The word “Can” is an interesting word. It means “to be able to.” It became a key word in the sermon that I heard in church yesterday. Somewhere underlying the message was a theme of being able to build the church one person at a time. In the message there was a clear and apt challenge to recognize:(1)I can follow Christ. (2) We can make a difference, and (3) God can do the impossible.
I am not promising that I will come back to reflect on these points in any subsequent blogs, and I do not want to rehash the sermon from yesterday. I have thought a lot about this idea of “I can” since that message. Indeed, I believe that God never asks us to do something that He will not enable us to do. So again and again through the Gospels we see Jesus extend an invitation to ordinary people like me, and like you, to follow Him. We see fishermen, tax collectors, sinners, and even religious people accept the invitation and follow Jesus.
Jesus takes this invitation somewhat deeper in John 15 when He calls us to abide in Him. I am not sure all of what that means, but somewhere along the way I heard someone define “abide” as to live in moment by moment conscious dependence on Christ.” That is fed in my awareness by seeing John 15:5 where Jesus makes it clear, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Without Christ, I cannot walk away from sin. Apart from Christ I cannot overcome the challenges of each day. Without Christ I cannot live for God’s glory. I am absolutely dependent on Him.
We used to sing the hymn in church, “I need Thee every hour.” But truthfully, I need Him every single nano second. Break time down to the smallest possible degree, and I cannot do anything apart from Christ. But PRAISE GOD, the converse is true. Paul discovered and passes on clearly to use, “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME!” (Shouting now, WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO, Hallelujah). Phil. 4:13
What I especially love about the sermon yesterday is the simplicity of the “I can.” I can actually complicate this very quickly in theological jargon and deep devotional thoughts. But to “follow Jesus” is so simple. Peter, James, John, Andrew, Matthew, and so many others left behind an old way of living to go with Jesus. One day at a time; indeed one moment at a time; one step at a time. It means getting up every day and greeting the day with “Jesus, TODAY I am going to follow You.”
Quickly, let me add; “Yes, God can do the impossible.” If you struggle with that, just break it down with “God.” If you accept the premise that God is real by faith, the rest is easy. God can do miracles. God does still do miracles. I have seen it in my life. I have seen in on the mission field. I have seen it in finances. I have seen it in family. I have seen it in churches. I have seen it.
I am not sure what is going on in your life today, but why not start here. You can follow Jesus. He invites you to do that. If you have never chosen to “follow Him”, why not begin right now. If you have followed Jesus, but are struggling with something today, follow Jesus. Don’t complicate it, just follow Jesus.
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