"With God All Things Are Possible"
"I Can Do All Things Through Christ..."
My prayer when I got home after a very busy day went something like this... "Lord, I am weak and I just don't have the strength to do the things I need to do tonight. Please give me the strength I need to accomplish the things I need to get done." Have you ever felt like you just can't go on? Have you ever prayed a prayer like this when you have come to the end of your endurance? God has given us a verse for those times in our lives. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13) My daughter and I walked in one of the walks to raise money for a certain cause several years ago. The path took us up and down several streets and circled around a neighborhood in town. Trees lined many of the streets which helped, but the last stretch of the walk was up a steep hill. As we neared the finish line the woman in front of us was praying out loud, "Help me, Jesus! I've come too far to quit now. Help me, Jesus!" There have been many times in my life when I prayed the same prayer and the Lord has given me the strength to go on. I am reminded of Psalm 73:2 which reads, "But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped." Asaph continues in verse 26, "My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." Many of the Psalms declare that the Lord is our strength. I close with these encouraging words. "The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation." (Psalm 118:14) "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1)
"All Things Were Made By Him"
Our verse today is found in John 1:3. "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." My Bible tells me this and I believe it. We can look at the very first verse in the Bible and decide if we are going to read it and believe it, or question God's Word. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) And if we scroll down just a little we also read, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:27) When people take a stand against the Bible, they are actually taking a stand against God, because He is the Creator of all things. There are many more scriptures that tell us that God created all things. And I believe them all!
Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Acts 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Nehemiah 9:6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
God Has The Preeminence In All Things
As we continue with our thought on God creating all things, we see in Colossians 1:16-20 that this gives God the preeminence in all things. I have seen many political rulers, ball players, actors and actresses, and company heads who think their world revolves around them. Actually, I have seen some three and four year olds who know they are the center of their little world. We have a warning in I Corinthians 10:12, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." Also in Proverbs 16:18, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." God is still in control and those who try to lift themselves up in pride will fall.
"16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."
Observe All Things That Jesus Commanded
While Jesus was with the disciples He tried to prepare them for His death and resurrection, but they did not understand. He came back and appeared to them after He rose from the dead and talked with them. We often quote the end of Matthew 28:20, the last recorded words of Jesus in the book of Matthew. "...lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." This is a wonderful verse to remember and it can help us through many troubles and trials. But, we need to put the verse in its context. Let's notice some things from Matthew 28:16-20.
"16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
In verse 16 we see that Jesus will be talking to His 11 disciples. They had faith enough to meet where Jesus had told them to be, but as we see in the next verse, "some doubted." We can't be too hard on the disciples, because there are times in our lives when we try to be where God wants us to be, but we still have doubts in the back of our minds. I think in verse 18 Jesus is trying to assure them that He has all power and He is sending them out and they will receive the power they need through Him. We also see this in Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." In verse 19 He sends them out. Now, we saw the end of verse 20, but we need not skip over the first part. "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..." As Christians we are to do all things that we learn from God's Word, but we are also to teach others from the Holy Word of God. And just before Jesus left the disciples He promised them that He would be with them always. When I was growing up and my Dad told me to do something, I might forget or be slow about doing it if he was not around. But if he was right there with me you can be sure that I did what he said. Jesus is with us always. And has promised us the power we need from on high. That should encourage us to be witnesses for our Lord.
All Things Are Become New
Our grandchildren like for us to read, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle, to them. We also have the game on our ipads and they can help the caterpillar eat the fruits and play little games. After several days of playing and eating and nights of sleeping under a leaf the caterpillar emerges from its cocoon as a beautiful butterfly. I recently saw a short video of a real caterpillar eating its way out of an egg, eating some leaves, and spinning the cocoon, then coming out as a butterfly. I showed the video to Jedidiah and he exclaimed, "You mean it's real!" Every time I think of the life cycle of a butterfly, I remember II Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." When we are saved God takes all our sin of the past and casts it far away. He creates in us a new creature, just as the caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly. Don't try to hang on to your old life. Let Jesus create in you a new creature. An even greater truth is that one day God is going to take away all the sin and pain of this world and make all things new. What a glorious day that will be! "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful." (Revelation 21:5)
Love Bears All Things
We used to have Fall Festivals for the young people at our church. One game that they enjoyed was "Going On A Bear Hunt". I gathered 10 stuffed bears from my children and tied a Bible verse around the neck of each one. Before our guests arrived I hid the bears outside and each pair of children was given a bear hunting license. As they found each bear, they marked the correct verse on their license. It was a fun game for the children. One year I waited until dark and gave them all flashlights. (For safety adults stood at the drive and we gave them boundaries.) One of the verses I used is found in I Corinthians 13:7. "Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." Do you know what bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things? Charity. Read a few more verses from this chapter and see why it is often called the love chapter.
"1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." (I Corinthians 13:1-7)
All Things Are Possible With God
Five weeks ago we began with Matthew 19:26, "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." We looked at scriptures leading us to be "with God." We saw many references in the scriptures to "all things." We are closing with the incredible thought that "with God all things are possible." Mark recorded it twice in his gospel. "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." (Mark 9:23) "And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." (Mark 10:27) We can look all the way back to Abraham and hear the Lord ask, "Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son." (Genesis 18:14) We hear the Prophet Jeremiah's prayer in Jeremiah 32:17. "Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:" And hear the Lord's response in Jeremiah 32:27. "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" We are in the middle of summer, and Christmas is far away from our thoughts, but if you need another verse to convince you, remember what the Angel Gabriel said to Mary. "For with God nothing shall be impossible." (Luke 1:37) The next time something extraordinary comes into your life and all those around you say that it is impossible, remember what God says in His Word. "With God all things are possible."