I can . . .

Vol. 4, No. 14 – April 7, 2019

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. –Philippians 4:13

I like to read. In fact, I even like to read to students. One of my favorite books to read to my Middle School and High School students is Alexander and His Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I have been tempted to read it to folks at some churches with those who complain about everything except for their little S.M.O.T.S groups. If you do not know what that is, it is the Secret Meeting of the Saints groups.

If you have not read the book, you do not need to let another day pass without going to the “store.”

If I reach back a little further, one of the all-time great books for children that is also instructive to moms and dads is The Little Engine that Could. It was originally entitled The Pony Engine, framed in a story that this engine could do what the passenger, freight, and rusty old engines would never be able to do. (That will almost preach!)

Puff, puff, chug, chug, went the little blue engine. I think I can  . . . I think I can . . . I think I can! The little engine finally reaches the top of the mountain to the joy of the funny little clown, and all the dolls and toys. Going back down the mountain it seemed to say, I thought I could . . . I thought I could!

Henry Ford, Sr. put it all into perspective: Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t . . . you are probably right!

Paul’s stunning statement is not boastful or wishful thinking. Since there is no do in the Greek, the broken sentence is that of an excited and vibrant man exclaiming, I can! “I can, through Him who strengthens me!”

This is not Eastern mysticism, nor is it New Age “mind voltage;” it is not even some religious philosophy of power in positive thinking. Just four basic words: I can . . . through Christ!

If Jesus Christ, Who dwells within me, controls my mind, my lips, my hands, my feet, He can do anything through me that He desires. This is the endowment of the regenerated person; the person professing is not always possessing what is infused with His strength:

  • I must act and He will enable me to produce
  • I must speak and He will enable me to speak
  • I must think and He will focus my mind
  • I must think, speak, and act (do) all things through Christ!

I have thought from time-to-time how great it would be to have a sculpted body instead of the thing I have created (yes, it is my fault). In my fantasy, I have invited Michelangelo to come and do his thing to give me a makeover body. Since he could well turn a block of marble into a world famous sculpture, he would be a great choice for my re-make. Then I have considered Leonardo da Vinci coming with his great talent of color. He could make me be a masterpiece. I do like music, so I have also considered inviting Beethoven to take control of my voice and instrumental ability – I could even write a symphony!

Then I wake up.


Well  . . . who would you call???

Dwight Pentecost finishes with this statement, All that Jesus Christ is today in glory can be manifested through us, because it is God who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

I cannot; God can, so I should let Him

I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me. –Galatians 2:20

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

April 7, 2019

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