May 2, 2016

“God is strong, and He wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.”
– Ephesians 6:10 (The Message)

As a young boy, I can remember watching Paul Anderson perform incredible feats of strength during an exhibition at my high school. I was in awe of this powerful man’s size and his ability to lift huge weights and large numbers of people with ease. Anderson gained worldwide attention in 1955 during an amateur weight-lifting contest in Moscow. At the age of 22, he lifted more weight on his first attempt than any of his Russian competitors. Anderson went on to become a Gold Medalist at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia and was known by many as “the world’s strongest man.” He once lifted an amazing 6,270 pounds, which put him in the Guinness Book of World Records as the greatest weight ever raised by a human being.

I also remember hearing Paul Anderson’s words that day. He told the audience how God had changed his life and given him a vision to reach others for Christ. I later learned about the Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia, Georgia, that has provided a Christian environment for troubled and homeless young men. Over 90% of those graduating from Anderson’s “miracle home” have gone on to live productive lives. Following his death in 1992, Anderson was inducted into FCA’s Hall of Champions.

In Ephesians, Paul gives us a picture of a “mighty” and “muscular” God. There is nothing more powerful than God. He created the entire universe, He flooded the earth, His Son Jesus Christ was born from a virgin’s womb, and He defeated death by raising Jesus from the tomb. WOW!! Paul is reminding us to be strong and to understand that all of God’s power is working inside of you and me. When the troubles come or fear creeps into our minds, we must remember that God has placed in each of us the power to resist and withstand anything Satan brings our way. Our challenge is to allow God to release this strength and power in us and to see what a difference it makes.

Heavenly Father, your power is above and beyond anything I can imagine. Help me to remember that through the Holy Spirit, You have placed great power and strength in me. Strengthen me today to face my challenges and fears with confidence and courage. Amen.

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