Summary: Last sermon in this series. What could be more positivie than "I can do all things through Christ"?
A. It’s with a touch of sadness on my part, maybe not yours, that I bring this series to an end.
1. All this Fall, we have been focusing on some fundamental, transforming truths.
2. We have tried to understand and appreciate transforming truths like: God loves us, God forgives us, and God saves us by His grace.
3. We have embraced truths like: We have a purpose, we can overcome temptation, we don’t have to be afraid, and we can be thankful.
4. We have also been reminded of the fact that we are the light of the world, that love is the answer, that we must live in submission to God and are held accountable to God.
5. I want to end the series on the most positive note possible.
B. I want us to consider one of the most positive truths from Scripture.
1. They are seven small, simple words but they pack an unlimited amount of power.
2. These seven words are found in Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ.”
C. Positive thinking may not be something that comes naturally to you.
1. The late comedian, Ronnie Shakes, said, “I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, and then I thought: What good would that do?”
2. Someone said, “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” (Herm Albright)
D. Anyone who follows the SU Football program knows exactly what the man meant by that quote.
1. Greg Robinson has been the SU Football coach for the past four years, and he is one of the most optimistic coaches I have ever seen.
2. The Orangemen have gone through the worst stretch in SU history – winning only one game in Robinson’s first year, and 10 games over the four years, with only three of the victories being against conference opponents.
3. Two weeks ago Robinson was fired, but he was allowed to coach the last two games.
4. This past Tuesday, he gave his final press conference as the coach of the Orange.
5. I really feel bad for Greg Robinson – he seems like a nice enough guy, and his heart is in the right place, and he’s certainly not a terrible coach, but he couldn’t turn the program around.
6. During his speech this past week, he continued to be positive.
7. Robinson pulled out a piece of paper, and started to read a synopsis of the children’s book “The Little Engine That Could.” How many of you remember that book?
8. Robinson said that it was a metaphor for the Orange football program during his tenure.
9. After a few minutes, he paused in his narration and asked a reporter in the attendance to recite the famous line the engine used to will itself up the mountain: “I think I can.”
10. “Well you know what?” Robinson responded. “I still think I can. I do.”
11. Fortunately, or unfortunately, he won’t get the chance to show whether he can or not.
12. But I really do admire his positive attitude and his optimism.
13. “I think I can” is the right attitude!
E. Winston Churchill, the great English statesman and Nobel prize-winning author, once acknowledged that he was an optimist, adding that it didn’t make much sense to be anything else.
1. He said, “There is, I believe, a great deal about which to be hopeful. Even if we must dig for it. Optimism – the genuine article, not the artificial kind sometimes pumped out at pep rallies – never comes without effort. And patience. And great faith.”
2. I believe, with all my heart, that with God’s help, “I can,” and “You can,” and that’s the genuine article, not some hyped-up positive thinking.
3. That’s the truth – truly transforming words from the Lord.
F. I want us to spend a few minutes looking at these seven, short, simple words.
1. Magicians perform amazing feats with just a word – “Abracadabra!”
2. Ali Baba in Arabian Nights opened the door to the cave with the words – “Open Sesame!”
3. Those of us who grew up with Captain Kangaroo remember his magic words – “Please and Thank You.”
4. These seven words are not magical nor make-believe, they are truly powerful because God is the one who made them and backs them.
5. These seven words will enable us to overcome any obstacle, conquer every challenge, fight off every foe, bear any burden, and shoulder any sacrifice.
6. I can do all things through Christ.
7. Let’s examine the sentence in three phrases.
G. The first part is “I CAN”
1. Those are the two most positive words that exist. Wouldn’t you agree?