Summary: Amazing power, yet amazingly personal and loving, that’s my God, who can imagine that?
More than I can ask or imagine
by Andrew Chan, Senior Pastor
Pilgrim Baptist Church, Vancouver, BC
If been to the States on highways - find Sign says “Speed Zone Ahead” - actually means slow down, not speed up!
In USA washrooms are called "Restrooms", - but see no one actually resting there, reading the newspaper. In Canada we are used to certain way of doing things, seeing things, saying things.
Many used Bible verse in same manner, see it way we like it, see it way we are use to seeing it,
since we don’t have jaw-dropping miracles, why bother asking God do stuff beyond our imaginations, and dreams
in other words, ask modestly than God will give a real gigantic big size
I’m sure that God can do this but is that all? Just about stuff?
SO what is this verse all about, what is God trying to say through the Apostle?
In examining the preceding chapters and verses, you will find what the Apostle is hinting at: EG
Who can imagine (WCI) that God will blessed us with every sp. Blessing in Christ (1:3)
that his will/intention is not to harm but to bless
WCI that God has us in his thoughts, chose us in Christ b4 creation of world (1:4) that his purpose for the world was us, people made in His image
W C I that God knowing that the sin and evil we choose to commit would still want to adopt us, bring us into his family as full sons through Christ (1:5)
Ah no wonder the Apostle writes “to the praise of his glorious grace”
W C I that God would freely give, out of his own free will, choice, not to abandon us, His Son whom He loves?
W C I that we now can receive redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins?
As a Chinese person growing up, seldom I have heard the word grace, in fact I don’t even know the word in Cantonese, know lots of bad words, bad things, swear words I don’t even know the word for forgiveness, closest word to it “give face” Growing up - no vocabulary for grace. But I know the word “revenge” (hear it often), see it so often in Chinese movies.
I can’t imagine that a Supreme Being Powerful, whose laws I break, could bless, choose, adopt, forgive?
W C I that people who are
- unresponsive to God follow the ways of this world,
- gratify ourselves with every conceivable demented perverted ways that would make any demon cackle as the bible says it “we were by nature objects of wrath” (2:1-3)
- dead in our sins, (2:4-5)
can be become friends, as the wall of hostility is broken (Gentile and Jew division)
W C I that the church would become a reality, where we were once enemies of God and each other, NOW there is peace - reconciled through Jesus?
3:10 – THIS displays wisdom of God,
- no wonder Paul bow his knees before the Father
- awesome things he has accomplished, far beyond dreams…
As you mull over these thoughts, I invite u think - Is the apostle speaking about trivial things of life, or is the apostle when he mentions things far above imaginations, or ability to ask think about, is he asking us to consider something bigger than BMW, stuff here on earth, OR things of cosmic proportions, things that blows your mind away that God would give grace, love be rich in mercy, not throw us away into our own self-made hells,
When Paul - he is able to DO, Is He? Consider all that He has done,
A. God is able (him who is able)
active, not immobilized by fear, work, not dead but able
he’s got the tools, the power, capability, skills, wherewithal, strength,
he’s got what it takes to take on the world and its problems,
he took care of world biggest problem, death, estrangement, alienation, big cosmic size things that goverments with all their power can’t undo – and the biggest problem we have with God – sin.
I dunno what problem each facing, perhaps struggle over sin, money, personal issue, he is able to take on what takes you down…
Inspiring to hear one speaker who is fighting cancer talk about a Christian man who has cerebral palsy who challenged his faith, what do you have to complain about, whose faith in Christ, did not diminish, sings about, preach about,
was challenged by faith, man faith in God who is able, can’t even speak properly
Since he is able to do, given his track record, what should response be?
Should we trust that He is able to handle our problems? That somehow God knows what He is doing even through our most painful times!