Summary: How can we find God’s provision for us in view of the rising prices of gasoline, health care, and other concerns. Can God provide for us now as well as he ever did in history? God Can! Here’s why.
Dr. Marilyn S. Murphree
Valley Grove Assembly of God
May 7, 2006
Can God? God Can!
Introduction: Today there are many things that cause us concern—the rising cost of health care, the rising price of gas at the pumps, the lack of really good paying jobs. instability in the world because of the war in Iraq, the threat of Iran and North Korea, the flood of people coming across our borders…
Christians are not exempt from these pressures because we live and work in an imperfect world. Jesus told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Later when he prayed for His disciples, He said, “Father my prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF it.” He is saying, “Although we are living IN an imperfect world, we are not OF the world. Even though we have troubles and problems, he is saying, “I have overcome the world. I can meet you at your point of need. So don’t sweat the small stuff. I have already taken care of all of these things.”
People may say, “Christians don’t have it any better than anyone else. Christianity doesn’t make a whole lot of difference one way or another.” Jesus told His disciples, “I have come that [you] may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Was He just saying that to make them feel good? Often we see a gap between what Christians SAY they believe and what they ACTUALLY believe. If the world is to believe that we know what we are talking about, we have to have the GOODS in our own life. Christianity has to WORK for us. It has to be REAL—to be genuine. It has to make a DIFFERENCE to us personally in our every day life.
STORY: An Army Sergeant who was caught on the beach by German Artillery managed to save himself by jumping into the water. While improving his position with a trench shovel, he came upon an ornate crucifix—the kind that prosperous Italians often hung on their bedroom walls.
Two hours later in the midst of still another German artillery barrage, a United States chaplain rolled into the water beside him. A moment after that a German 88 landed just ten yards from the beach. The Master Sergeant held up the muddy crucifix that he had been clutching for dear life since discovering it and turned to the startled chaplain and said, “My God, sir, am I glad to see you! How do you make this thing work?”
If we say we’re Christians are we any different from those who don’t know Jesus? Does our Christianity WORK for us? Can we believe what Jesus said when it comes to the practical, daily things we are encountering such as health care, sickness and disease, filling up the tanks at the gas pumps or are we beginning to feel that He has left us to sink or swim? Can we realize the abundant life—the life to the full that He promised? Can we believe the scriptures and claim the promises for our daily needs? Let’s see what we can find that will help us throughout the upcoming week. We must have hope and confidence that He will indeed meet us at our point of need.
Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless. I will not leave you orphans to flounder around aimlessly, stressed out to the max.
1. We Limit Ourselves: Life more abundantly—to the full—does not mean just barely existing. Some people actually think that their religion is so hard that it is just about killing them. If have had people say, “Oh, it’s so hard to go to church and to serve the Lord. I am barely making it. I’m about ready to go under.”
Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29). He doesn’t expect us to be beat down and burdened down by trying to live up to a lot of oughts and shoulds. He comes to bring life and that more abundantly—peace of mind and peace to know that He is there walking right along side of us in all areas of our life. He is with us at the grocery store, at the gas pumps, and on our jobs. He understands the pressures and frustrations we face when we are faced with a boatload of bills at the first of the month or facing an uncertain doctor’s report.
How do we move from despair and anxiety into the abundant life that Jesus promised? I am certain that it is really us who puts the limits on ourselves. We say, “Maybe it is not God’s will, maybe I’m not smart enough, maybe God doesn’t want to do it for ME.” On and on we go.