Minister’s Message – “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”
Philippians 4.-13 1 can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. You can tell a lot about a person by the words they use and it doesn’t seem to take long to figure out where they are going. Our words are like windows to a person’s heart, mind and soul it’s as though we can see what’s in their thinking.
Some times we use wrong words and pay the price. The first seven words of the church ought to be Philippians 4.-13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. “
More often than not, church’s across America quote the seven last words of the church – “We’ve never done it that way before.” There’s a church fact that simply states when the church is comfortable; the church is in its greatest danger keeping in mind that Christians are the church.
We’re often times interested in a baby’s first words. Parents and grandparents have to have a pretty good imagination to hear those first words mom or dad but parents are usually able to write something down in the baby book. First words, last words and many words in between give us an insight to what’s going on in other people. Last words are almost sacred to us when someone passes away but the message for us in the church today ought to be the first seven words, Philippians 4.-13 I can do all things through Christ. There are four things that will help us on our faith journey.
Notice first of all, these first seven words are positive. Paul said, “I can, how easy is it for us to say, I can’t? When Paul says “all things,” does he literally mean all things? Of course not. I doubt you can jump over your house or run a hundred-yard dash in four seconds.
What it means is that you can do what God has for you to do in your life. God gives us the power to use our spiritual gifts and our talents to further the kingdom of God. Here’s an illustration. A train runs from Bowling Green to Chicago. That train can do all the things it’s supposed to do on those tracks. It can speed up or slow down. It can pull hills and cross rivers. But suppose the train gets ahead of its plan and says I want to jump these tracks and do my own thing and head for St. Louis. The minute it leaves the tracks, it becomes helpless and hopeless. As long as it’s on the tracks, it’s suppose to be on it can do what it is suppose to do. We are a member of Christ’s body, He is the head, we are to function according to God’s plan for our life.
His will is the track we run on. Our question that we seem to struggle with is, God, what’s your will for my life? God’s will is determined by knowing God’s word and how it speaks to us. God’s word speaks, we are to abide in Him and His words are to abide in us. It’s not to read and understand all 66 books of the Bible but reading and staying in the word is where we gain a basis for our lives to operate as Christians.
These words are positive, they encourage us in our faith. If someone paid you $10 for every kind word you said about people and took $5 from you for every negative thing you said about people would you be rich or poor? These first seven words, also suggest a pattern. Second, Paul set out to do all things in Jesus’ behalf. The church today also needs to set-out to do all things for the kingdom of God. Paul’s list of accomplishments are impressive. When we stand before God to give an-account of ourselves, what will our accomplishments include? To often, we the church say “I can’t”. If you look at the way Paul did things, He did them one at a time. He did a task or traveled to a place and completed his purpose then moved on to the next one. Jesus came to one place, at one time, to one person and did His task then moved on. That should be our pattern too. Take each task one at a time, complete it and go to the next one with our faith in Jesus and His word as our guide. These seven words also affirm a presence of Christ in us. Jesus works through us. It’s not us, it’s Him in us. We’re to be faithful to our purpose in Jesus. God has no hands but ours, no feet but ours and no voice but ours. Christ in us is what gives us the victory in Jesus!
Finally, these seven words teach us where our power comes from. Christ alone is our strength. Churches seem to stop seeing God sized miracles because we seem to lack God size power. He gives us power to face all the obstacles that Satan throws in our lives and by now, I know you know what puts those things in our life, Satan. Christians, we are the church.
The first seven words of Philippians 4:13 is what sends the church into a lost and dying world so that we can minister in power and love. While the last seven words of the church keeps us safe and comfortable, the first seven words cause us to live an excited life through Jesus Christ. Does the first seven words of a church describe you best or does the last seven?