Approaching Sunday

Filter By:
Showing items filed under “Chris Lay”

Extraordinary Strength

main image

Sermon Text to meditate on this week is Ephesians 6:10

            Some may know what I am talking about when I mention a show called The World’s Strongest Man Competition. For those of you who have never seen or heard of it, here’s what the show is about. The show has about 8 contestants who compete in several strength events. Each of the events features a certain group of muscles. The other component of each event is the apparatus that uniquely provides the weight the competitor must lift, move, or throw. Some examples of the different competitions are pulling a bus 50 yards with a slight grade to the ground and throwing weighted beer kegs over a bar of different heights. The feats of strength that are displayed during these events seem to be unbelievable.

             Although some of the strength that these men have comes naturally, most of their strength comes as result of adding something to their natural state of strength. Like these men of extraordinary physical strength, I want to have extraordinary strength in my spiritual life. How can I have extraordinary spiritual strength? I need more than my own strength to withstand the temptations I face on a daily basis. How can I have that extraordinary strength every day?

            Paul gives a great explanation of how a Christ follower can have extraordinary strength every day. In Ephesians 6:10, he tells us, “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” Each piece of armor Paul describes comes from God and through the person and work of Jesus. Securing myself with the belt of truth, protecting my core with the breastplate of righteousness, holding my ground with the shoes of gospel of peace, protecting other areas with the shield of faith, having the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit all comes through the person and work of Jesus Christ and is applied by the indwelling Holy Spirit. As I put on the whole armor of God I am abiding in Christ. Abiding in Christ is how to have extraordinary strength, every day!   

Posted by Chris Lay with

Jesus: Mighty God

For those of us who have been in the Christian circles for a while, the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace is a familiar one. Although it is a familiar story many people forget about the fourth person in the furnace. Jesus was that fourth person. It was His presence in the furnace that allowed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to survive that dreadful event. Not only did they survive the fiery furnace, the event would prompt King Nebuchadnezzar to at least recognize their God as The Most High.

For many years, this encouraging story of Jesus’ power and strength would be a discouragement to me. I would long to have Jesus’ power and strength displayed in my life like it was in the lives of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. However, there seemed to be no evidence of this in my life. It would take a very difficult season and situation in my life for me to finally recognize and see the power and strength of Jesus.

About twelve years ago, I felt God leading me to quit my job and pursue another career. The career I was pursuing was a sales job that was a commission only pay. After several months of trying to make this commission only sales job, I realized this was not the career for me. With many months of very little income coming in, I knew I needed to find a job that brought in a consistent paycheck. The job I found was at a restaurant. Although it was not my ideal job, it brought in a consistent, yet minimal, paycheck.  I was grateful for the job, but it was still not enough to pay all the bills. I decided to look for another job, which I found at a moving company. Both jobs were very demanding physically. This situation in my life was compounded by the fact that I had only been married for about two years, and I was a new father. With all that was going on in my life, I was coming to a breaking point. All the demands were weighing heavily on me. It was at this point, I had to look to Jesus to bring me strength to withstand all the demands. I would begin to really rely on Him. He became my Mighty God.

Posted by Chris Lay with