Archive for January, 2016

We Can Do All Things

January 8, 2016 Leave a comment

As 2015 comes to an end and we launch into 2016, it’s useful for us to take time to both reflect on what God has done and allow him to prepare us for what’s to come. A new year marks a fresh opportunity to center our lives around the goodness of God. I pray that as you begin looking toward what is to come you will make space to gain God’s perspective, ground your hopes and pursuits on his grace and celebrate all that God has done and is doing. May your time with God this coming year be filled with the loving presence of your heavenly Father.

And as we face new or continuing challenges, keep in mind that the same heavenly Father that gave you grace can strengthen you through those challenges. Paul tells us, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Do you know that your God longs to strengthen you? This verse illustrates a powerful spiritual principle that our heavenly Father longs for you to know today. You were never meant to go through this life alone, living in your own strength. The God who formed the mountains, filled the seas, breathed life into dust and sustains every living creature longs to strengthen you for whatever lies ahead.

Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” God can do “far more abundantly” than you could ever dream in your life, “according to the power at work within [you].” The Holy Spirit, the power of God for all the earth dwells within you. Just as he empowered the Apostles for the advance of the gospel through trial and tribulation he will empower you. Just as he spoke to the Apostles, telling them where they should go and what they should do, he longs to lead you.

You can do all that God has called you to. Whether it is freedom from depression, victory over sin, engaging in difficult confession, working biblically rather than worldly, seeking unity and fellowship with those that bother you or simply seeking God with all your heart, the Holy Spirit will strengthen you today if you are willing to receive.

To be strengthened by God begins by declaring our inability. God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). When we try and live in our own strength, we become unable to receive the grace of God. God’s grace is never forced on us, but rather, readily available to all those who acknowledge their need of it. God cannot empower you to experience unity with a fellow believer if you try and engage in relationship apart from the inner work of the Holy Spirit. He cannot empower you to experience victory from sin if you don’t take time to receive his love and follow his leadership moment by moment.

To be strengthened by the mighty hand of God is to stop living in your own strength and instead wholly rely on his. God longs to “do far more abundantly than all [you] ask or think” if you will lean into him for his love, power and guidance. He has plans far above anything you could ever dream of, and the path to those plans begins with following him moment by moment today. He will faithfully guide you into all the abundant life he has for you, but you must be willing to follow him and live by his strength.

In the context of Philippians 4:13, Paul describes an important spiritual principle. Scripture says, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Trust God in whatever season he’s leading you through. Whether you find yourself with plenty or little, difficulties or ease, you can find your contentment in the gift of abundant relationship with your heavenly Father. All that is good comes from his hands alone.

This coming year, we must seek and save the lost just as Jesus did. We need to actively think of ways that we, as individuals, can extend the hand of fellowship that will bring people to our church. Let’s start with those we know, perhaps even Christians we know, to get the ball rolling. By the end of the year we need to be reaching out to those who don’t know the love of Christ and will come to accept him. We may think that we don’t have what it takes to evangelize our world. Truth is, we don’t. But He does. Lord, make us instruments of your peace.

Pastor Rich

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