Thursday, February 8, 2024

Two "Powerful" Verbs

As you study a text, don't be afraid to be creative. Be inquisitive! Make the text your own. If you can, come up with your own translation or paraphrase of the text you're studying. There are dozens of ways I could illustrate this, but here are two. I played around with these verbs during my morning Bible study.

The first verb is usually rendered "Be strong." Well, you might as well tell a dog to fly and a snail to run as to tell a weak person to be strong. Actually, Paul's construction here means something like "Be strengthened." Paul realizes that the resources we need for Christian living are not to be found in ourselves but in Christ. We need to be inwardly strengthened by God's Spirit in our innermost being (Eph. 3:16). 

Paul talks about this in our second verb as well. Phil. 4:13 is usually translated something like, "I can do all things in union with the one who strengthens me." I'd like to suggest we do a better job of rendering that little prefix "en" on the participle. Hence I might suggest, "I can do all things in union with the one who inwardly strengthens me." 

My friend, as you continue to study God's word, you'll gain new insights that cause you to ask yourself, "What have I seen in this passage that challenges the way I live? What changes do I need to consider in light of my study? What prayer do I need to pray as a result of what I've seen?"

By the way, if we go into our day without a time of prayer and Bible reading, we're effectively saying, "I don't need the grace of God. I can cope with the day apart from him." The fact is, we cannot cope without the grace of God. We depend on him because we know it is only those who wait upon the Lord who renew their strength. No authentic Christian leads a prayerless life!

Have a wonderful day!