Paul, the apostle, said to the people to whom he was ministering at this particular time:

“…..I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in Heaven and on Earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit,” (Ephesians 3:14b-16, New Living Translation).

2018 is almost over! As you embark upon a brand new year, remember these two words:

God says, “You must be INSIDE STRONG!”

My personal motto is:


Sounds good, doesn’t it? Sounds pretty inspiring, don’t you think? Sounds easy, right? NOT! I’ve come to realize during this journey called LIFE that living out my personal motto or declaration can only be achieved if I am INSIDE STRONG!

What does it mean for an individual to be INSIDE STRONG?

INSIDE – the part within; inner man; inward nature, thoughts, and/or feelings; within one’s heart, mind, and spirit

STRONG – having great physical, intellectual, or moral power (morally sound, doing what’s right)

As followers of Christ, it’s necessary to be strong within our hearts, minds, and spirits.


Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) says:

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

Wow! That’s a very powerful statement, isn’t it? As the scripture states, we are to guard or “protect, nourish, and care for” our hearts. I believe “heart” in this verse has two meanings. For one, we must take care of the heart or that organ that pumps blood throughout the body. We do so by eating right, exercising, sleeping, and relaxing.

Secondly, we must take care of ourselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Why is this so important? How well you protect your “heart” determines the person you will be and the life you will live. Imagine the life of a person whose heart is filled with anger, unforgiveness, hatred, or even depression. On the other hand, imagine the life of an individual who has allowed God to heal his or her heart and is, therefore, now filled with joy, peace, and love!


Some, including Christians, unfortunately, neglect the inner man. I know because I’ve been guilty! Why, you ask? Our primary focus is the outer man. We spend more time on our outward appearance, like our clothes and hair. Now, don’t get me wrong! I like to look nice just as much as the next person, and I keep my regular hair appointments. Nevertheless, it becomes a problem when you’re willing to stay broke spending money in boutiques and Nike outlets and on cars and houses you really can’t afford just to keep up a particular persona.

In fact, the fashion industry alone is worth billions of dollars. Coresight Research, a research network of global retailers, brands, and innovators, estimates that the worldwide clothing market is worth approximately $278 billion thanks to those of us who use clothes and shoes to make up for what is lacking on the inside.

There are those who fail to protect their hearts because they’re too busy performing for others. What do I mean? Well, let’s consider social media. Personally, I believe that sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be very beneficial when it comes to connecting on both personal and professional levels. However, I find that one of the downsides to the internet is that some people use it to portray themselves to be something they aren’t. Although I don’t believe it’s necessary to display all your dirty laundry via the internet, I don’t think you need to lie either. For example, several months ago, an individual I know fairly well, announced their new marriage on social media. The announcement was news to me. I wasn’t even aware this individual was dating anyone. When I did further investigating into the matter, they revealed that they only made that particular post to impress their “friends” and followers. Initially, I laughed it off, but when I think about it now, I think it’s sad that a person feels the need to embellish the truth just for “likes” from people who don’t even know them, let alone care about them.

What people think about you is not important. I’m not talking about putting your best foot forward in a job interview or performing your duties at work to the best of your ability. Rather, you don’t need to go out of your way to make others accept and like you. This is a lesson I had to learn. If people like you, they like you. If they don’t, then they just don’t. What matters is that God loves you, and the Bible let’s us know that He, indeed, loves you and me! Therefore, He is the one we must focus on pleasing.


One day, God told the prophet Samuel to stop mourning for King Saul because He had chosen to remove him as king of Israel due to his disobedience. God then instructed Samuel to go to a man by the name of Jesse (who was later identified as an ancestor of Jesus) and his sons because one of them would be the next king. When Samuel met with Jesse and his sons, he immediately thought the next king was Jesse’s son Eliab. Why? He was the oldest, and it only made sense for God to select the first born. Just when Samuel was about to anoint Eliab as the next king, God said NO! God said to Samuel:

“….Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” (I Samuel 16:7b, NLT).

In fact, God said no to all seven of Jesse’s eldest sons. To everyone’s surprise, God chose the youngest son David to be the next king of Israel and instructed Samuel to anoint him while his father and brothers looked on (I Samuel 16).

Again, as children of God, let’s not be concerned about impressing people. Rather, let’s be most concerned about impressing God. How do we impress God? We impress Him by first repenting of our sins, accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and building a relationship with Him through worship, prayer, and obeying His Word. When we focus on pleasing God, that’s when we become INSIDE STRONG!


If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!


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