Summary: This sermon exams the statement: You can do/be whatever you set your mind to!

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Matthew 19:26; Phil. 4:13

Title: “We can do whatever we set our minds to!”

Introduction: Show Coleman video.

We have all heard motivational speech about the power of human will! The strength of the mind!

“Don’t let anyone tell you –you can’t do it!”

The Power of Positive Thinking Paperback -by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Many of the sermons focus on having a positive attitude:

Joel Olsten—“Your best life now.”

I. Christians have used several proof text to support the view that you can do whatever you set your mind to.

1. THE “ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE” verses –because all things are possible with God that means they are possible with me!

The right context for all things should be considered:

---Matthew 19:26 “all things are possible with God.”

—The backdrop had to do with a rich man’s salvation.

It has nothing to do with winning a ball game, hitting the lottery, buying a dream house, or going on a dream date.

The “all things are possible” verses are all related to spiritual growth--The only time God did something totally miraculous and against the normal laws of nature was to benefit man’s spiritual walk.

When Jesus healed people of the physical afflictions he was still concerned about their spiritual health.

The Purpose of John’s Gospel –the last two verses summarize the reason for the miracles, resurrection and the writing of the Gospel: 30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

The miracles of the Bible are never done to make people popular, famous, rich, etc.

--The virgin birth, walking on water, restoring the dead where rare events and they were done for man’s spiritual benefit.

2. We say God is omnipotent but there are some things He cannot do: He cannot cease to exist. He cannot sin. Making a rock so big that He cannot lift it is another example of the logically absurd. “He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). He can do the logically absurd. He cannot make a square circle or create an uncreated being (since any created being is, by definition, not uncreated).

Absurd to ask him as Janice Joplin did to : buy us a Mercedes Benz because all our friends have Porsches!

“in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began…” Titus 1:2, emphasis added; see also Hebrews 6:18)? So is this a contradiction? Absolutely not.

Phil 4:13—favorite of athletes! Picked out of context to support the idea that we can do whatever we set our minds to!

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, ESV).

Here’s the immediate context of the verse:

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 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. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. The context of Philippians 4:13 Paul says, the secret to being content is Christ. In any situation, even if you are alone in a dark Roman prison, you can be content through Christ’s strength. That’s what Philippians means by doing “all things through Him.” It’s about finding complete satisfaction in Jesus Christ, even in the middle of the valley of the shadow of death.

II. There are three limitations to the statement, “I can do whatever I set my mind to.”

1. First, “God’s will!”

James 4:13-17 Boasting About Tomorrow 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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