Summary: Phil 4:13 opens a door to confident, faithful living through Christ.
The Seven Most Powerful Words
Dr. Roger W. Thomas, Preaching Minister
First Christian Church, Vandalia, MO
Introduction: Magicians perform amazing feats with just a word—“abracadabra.” That’s not for real. Ali Baba in the Arabian Nights opened the door to the robbers’ cave with a secret command—“Open Sesame.” That’s make-believe. Those of us who grew up watching Captain Kangaroo (that’s long before Big Bird and Kermit the Frog) will never forget his magic words, “please and thank-you.” Those are good words for sure, but not necessarily magic! Tonight I want to share with you seven words that are for real. They are the most powerful words in the world. These seven little words, if understood and believed—really believed, will enable you to overcome any obstacle, conquer every challenge, fight off every foe, bear any burden, and shoulder any sacrifice. Just seven little words!
Ready? Right them down. Better yet, inscribe them on your heart. Weave them into the fabric of your future. These seven words will revolutionize your life. From Philippians 4:13, (count them out with me) “I can do all things through Christ.” Let’s unlock the power of these seven words a phrase at a time.
Let’s begin at the beginning. I—This first word reminds us of the “people of faith.” “I can do all things through Christ.” Make no mistake about it. God uses people to accomplish his will in this world. Remember what scripture says, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10). Oh, sometimes he uses angels. On occasion, he used a dumb beast. But almost always the Lord of glory calls men and women to do his bidding. But not just any men and women. God is partial to a certain kind.
God seeks out ordinary folk to use. God seldom uses the mighty, the powerful, the rich, or the influential. The reason is obvious. Too often such people are too full of themselves to be useful to God. That’s why the Apostle Paul who penned these words wrote, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him” (1 Cor 1:26-29).
If that is true, and it is, then these words apply to you and me as certainly as they did to the Apostle Paul. “I can do all things through Christ.” I, not somebody else, not just exceptional people, not just the rich, the famous, the powerful, or the talented, not just preachers or saints or missionaries—I can do all things through Christ. But this is just the beginning.
I Can Do—These next two words reveal the perspective of faith. “I can do all things through Christ.” It is a fact of human nature. We seldom accomplish more than we think we can. People who think can’t, can’t! Henry Ford said, “Success begins with I can. Failure with I can’t!”
The late Charlie Jones used to tell salesmen about the lad who was sitting sadly under a tree by the road as a crackerjack salesman drove by. The boy sat by a scruffy looking little puppy under a crudely scrawled sign reading, “Puppy for sale, cheap!” The look on the kid’s face was enough to tell the salesman he wasn’t having much luck. The man stopped his car and walked over. The boy told him his plight. His dog had pups and his dad told him he could have the money if he sold this last one. But nobody was interested. The salesman offered some advice. “You need to think positive. You have to believe that you have the best product in the world. You have to make it look good. You have to make people believe this is the best dog ever.”
The boy listened intently as the man told him everything he needed to know about salesmanship. Finally the salesman moved on to his appointment. An hour later he was on his way to his next appointment. The boy with the puppy was still there. But this time he was dressed in his best duds. The dog had been washed and brushed. There was a big bow around his neck. The sign now read, “World’s greatest dog for sale. $10,000 dollars!” “Oh, no,” the salesman thought to himself, “What have I done?” Unfortunately he didn’t have time to straighten out the youngster.