• I Can Do:
  • These next two words reveal the perspective of faith. "I can do all things through Christ." It is a fact of human nature. We seldom accomplish more than we think we can. People who think they can’t, can’t! Henry Ford said, "Success begins with I can. Failure with I can't!"

    Story:

    The late Charlie Jones used to tell salesmen about the lad who was sitting sadly under a tree by the road as a crackerjack salesman drove by. The boy sat by a scruffy looking little puppy under a crudely written sign which read, "Puppy for sale, cheap!" The look on the kid’s face was enough to tell the salesman he wasn’t having much luck. The man stopped his car and walked over. The boy told him his plight. His dog had pups and his dad told him he could have the money if he sold this last one. But nobody was interested. The salesman offered some advice. "You need to think positive. You have to believe that you have the best product in the world. You have to make it look good. You have to make people believe this is the best dog ever."

    The boy listened intently as the man told him everything he needed to know about salesmanship. Finally the salesman moved on to his appointment. An hour later he was on his way to his next appointment. The boy with the puppy was still there. But this time he was dressed in his best duds. The dog had been washed and brushed. There was a big bow around his neck. The sign now read, "World’s greatest dog for sale. $10,000 dollars!" "Oh, no," the salesman thought to himself, "What have I done?" Unfortunately he didn’t have time to talk to the youngster.

    Later that day the salesman happened down the same street. He had almost forgotten about the lad. As he drove by he noticed that the sign was still there. The boy and dog were gone, but across the $10,000 sign was scrawled in big letters "SOLD!" The man couldn’t believe his eyes. He had to stop and find out what really happened. He walked up to the house and asked for the lad. The boy came to the door with a big smile on his face. "Tell me, son. You didn’t sell that scrawny pup for any $10,000?" "I sure did," replied the boy. Then he hesitated and added, "Sort of. I traded him for two $5,000 cats."

    It is amazing what you can do when you don't know you can't. David didn't know Goliath was too big to stop as he said "Is there not a cause?"

    Caleb didn't know the Promised Land couldn't be conquered. Joshua didn't know Jericho’s walls were too strong. Elijah didn’t know his enemies were too many as he challenged the prophets of Baal. Jonathan, the son of King Saul didn't know that the Philistines were too much for him and his armor bearer but he said, "It may be that the Lord will work for us".

    Faith is more than positive thinking. But it is never less. God has never accomplished anything through folk who say "I can't!" He has moved mountains, toppled kingdoms, and turned the world upside down with ordinary folk who say "I can!" I can! Not I might, I should, or maybe but I can do all things through Christ.

  • All Things:
  • That's the potential of faith. "I can do all things through Christ." That’s a mighty big promise. But no bigger than other promises in the Bible. How about these "alls"?

    "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. " (Rom 8:28)

    "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Rom 8:32)

    "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Rom 8:37)

    Paul penned these seven words from personal experience. He knew what he was talking about. He knew Christ was the Lord of all circumstances, not just the good ones. Listen to the context, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Phil 4:11-12).

    Then he adds, "I can do all things through Christ."

    Some of you know this by experience as well. Some of you have suffered loss. Many of you have faced problems, confronted temptations, wrestled with habits, and struggled to make decisions. It wasn’t easy. Some who knew you probably thought you wouldn’t make it. But you did. And because of it, you know the power of these words. "I can do ALL THINGS—not just the easy things, not just the things that everyone else is doing, not just the things I have always done before—I can do all things through Christ."

  • Through Christ:
  • But our last phrase is the key. "I can do all things through Christ"—This final phrase reveals the true power of faith. This phrase is not about the power of positive thinking. This is not some kind of pull yourself up by your bootstraps slogan. It isn't a promise that you can do anything if you dream big dreams and reach for the stars. That is all Nonsense.

    The power, the secret, is not in you. The power is in Christ. ""I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

    Paul said it elsewhere,

    "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20).

    As Jesus reminded his disciples,

    "without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5b).

    The Old Testament prophet Zechariah declared,

    "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." (Zech. 4:6).

    It’s not about us! It's all about HIM!

    Unless Jesus Christ is in you, unless he is the Lord of your life, you have no promise of God's power. There is no guarantee of personal or spiritual success. Even if you do get ahead in this world, it won't matter in a hundred years. As Jesus warned his disciples, "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul?" Fist and foremost, we need to recognize that the Christian life is all about "Through Christ".

    Conclusion:

    Seven little words packed with big promise. Remember them. Believe them. Most of all live them. You may be surprised by what happens. Your dreams may not all come true. Your problems won’t all disappear. But by living the Christian life knowing and believing that you can do all things through Christ will make whatever happens easier to go through knowing that Christ is going through it with us.

    Psalm 23:4 says,

    "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;"

    Even death is easier to go through knowing that the Lord is with us and we do not have to fear.

    A great preacher of another day, explained it like this, "Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger people; do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your tasks.

    We were never promised a bed of roses in this life, but if we do all things through Christ what a difference that can make in the life of the child of God. Take God at His word. He will never leave us or forsake us and God can't lie. Let's trust Him today and do great things for the Lord.