Summary: This New Years sermon describes how everyone can do something to help build the Kingdom of God.
Do What You Can Do
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Philippians 4:13.
And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in the LORD of hosts, their God.’ - Zechariah 12:5.
(CEV translates Zechariah 12:5 as: Then every clan in Judah will realize that I, the LORD All-Powerful, am their God, and that I am the source of their strength.)
INTRO: Xu Yuehua lost her legs in an accident when she was 12-years-old, while gathering coal on a railway - a train hit her. After both of her parents died, she was placed in an orphanage, where she learned how to walk by herself using two stools, and she still uses that method to move around. Xu is 55-years-old now, and has cared for 130 orphans during the years since teaching herself to walk on stools. One child, Sheng Li, believes Xu saved her life and says “Without Big Mum (Xu), I would have died long ago. Her stool walking was the most beautiful sound to me then.” Xu says, “I am actually not a great person, but do what I have to do - to bring these poor kids a mother’s love.” (Rational Review News Digest - the freedom movement’s daily newspaper)
What is it that you can do for the Kingdom of God in 2011? How can you make a difference this year? As human beings, we are capable of great things, greater things than any of God’s other creations upon this earth. It is amazing what Xu Yuehua has accomplished with her life even though she has no legs! We do not know whether she knows the Lord as her Savior or not, but surely God is pleased with the life of Xu Yuehua. Let us pray that she comes to know Jesus Christ as her personal Savior if she is not already a Christian.
Natalie Grant has a song that she sings called, “Human.” She sings that we are called to be “Human.” And, yes, we are called to be human; however, as children of God we can be so much more. We should do all that we can do, plus all that God would have us to do. When we add God into the doing equation, the result will be exponentially more than what we can do only with our human abilities (Philippians 4:13).
There is a poster I once saw that said, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” In a way, this is true. Jesus is knocking at the door of our heart (Revelation 3:20), but we must open the door. God calls (Matthew 4:19), but we must follow. God speaks (1 Kings 19:12), but we must listen. If we only have faith the size of a tiny mustard seed (Matthew 17:20), we can move mountains. First, however, we must make the decision in our hearts to use that faith.
William Carey, the father of modern missions, and missionary to India, had this motto: “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” Carey went beyond thinking about doing things, to actually trying to do things for the Kingdom of God. You may feel like you have few abilities that God can use. You may think that you do not have the education, or training that is necessary to do anything for God. You may feel as though you are too old, or too young, or too sick, or too handicapped, or ________, to do anything for God. If that is what you think, you are wrong! Do what you can do, add God into the equation, and the possibilities are limitless!
This year, let us make the commitment to go beyond just thinking about doing great things for God, to actually attempting great things for God. Now, I want to look more specifically at what all of us can do for the Kingdom of this God to some extent, whether small, or great.
I. Let’s talk briefly about prayer. There are some so-called, mature Christians who say that to pray for yourself is wrong. I believe God would tell them that they are wrong. Jabez, who is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 4 is an example of how to pray for yourself and your family. Here’s what it says: “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).”
Not only should we pray for ourselves; but, of course, we should pray for others, and the apostle Paul gives us a prayer list in