Summary: Learn more about the character and attributes of God. It is difficult to please God or respond to Him appropriately if we do not know what He is like.

Omnipotence of God

The doctrine that God is all powerful.

Job 42:2 "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.

Mat 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

What do we mean when we say that God can do all things?

When we say that God can do anything, what exactly do we mean? There are things that even an omnipotent God cannot do. For example, God cannot sin

Hebrews 6:13 (NIV) When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself...18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.

God cannot be made to do something with is logically inconsistent. For example, God cannot draw a square circle or create a rock that is so heavy that He cannot carry. There are other things God cannot do; for example, He cannot change or He cannot die or cease to exist.

Therefore, the omnipotence of God has to be understood within the context of His character and within the context of logical consistency.

Just how powerful is God?

God is supreme over the laws of nature

Joshua 10:13 14 (NIV) So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!

Acts 26:8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?

Gen 18:14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."

God can even exercise power even over the free wills of men

Prov 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

Phil 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

God can change even the hardest of hearts. He could even convict the toughest of unbelievers, Paul

1 Tim 1:15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst.

God can work good out of everything

Joseph understood that while his brothers intended to harm him, God could work even within their evil schemes to save many lives.

Gen 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

God is all powerful. But what does that mean to us?

Discussion question : Imagine that your father is Lee Kuan Yew. How would you live your life differently than the way you are living now.

Few people would live their lives differently if they are connected to someone rich or important. Wouldn=t we want to take advantage of the situation?

Take advantage of Him

Suppose we found a AJEANNIE@ when we are cleaning our house and the AJEANNIE@ gave us three wishes. Do we wish for things like Aa bowl of noodles@, Aa nice dress@, or even Aa hundred dollars@. No, of course not! We ask for the sky because we know that whatever we ask, we are going to get it. But Christians continue to ask for small things even though their heavenly Father is the Almighty God.

John 16:24 (NIV) Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

There are two possible ways to interpret this verse. Maybe Jesus is saying that His disciples have asked for things from His Father but they have not learned to invoke His name in prayer. Jesus is therefore asking them to invoke His name because there is power in His name. A second possible interpretation is that Jesus is saying that His disciples have not asked for anything substantial (in other words, close to nothing). What they have asked for is peanuts compared to what God is capable. In other words, He might be challenging them to ask for greater things.

Psalms 2:8 (NIV) Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.

Of course, God is also interested in our small requests. But He doesn=t want us to just ask for small things. Ask for big things and expect/believe God to deliver.

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