I know yesterday’s message may have been a hard one to hear. It was certainly a hard one to preach. Not because it was a tough passage to understand, but because it is simple, true, and convicting. My philosophy of preaching is this: work on the scriptures till they work on you and then bring that to the people because that is what God wants to say.
I cherished Pastor Kurt’s response to the message yesterday during the service, he turned to me and said, “Thank you?”
After my nap yesterday, I needed a little encouragement. So, I went into my “workroom,” which is just our storage room with a desk and some equipment for building fishing rods. I sat down and began to build a new casting rod (7’ MHF, 1/4-3/4 oz – for those who care). I love doing this kind of work because it demands intense focus and it’s easy to make a mistake. Four times I tried to create a decorative band and failed. Three times I failed to cinch down a wrap tightly enough and it came unraveled. But I am determined to make this the nicest build I’ve ever done and for this rod to be the nicest (cosmetically and functionally) I own.
Around 6:00 pm I put a finish on the under-wraps and decorative butt wrap (I know this makes no sense to most of you) and set the rod on the rotating dryer. I will get back to it tonight to clean it up, wrap the guides and put the finish on, only to let it spin all night again. Then we will see if I was able to accomplish my cosmetic goal. Only time will tell me of the functionality goal was achieved.
So why tell you of something about which you have no interest? In part, to let you know just how boring I am. Also, to ask you to look at what you are capable of. There are not many things I am able to do with expertise…and rod building is not yet one of them. But I ask you to consider what you do best. THE thing on which you are an expert. Is there someone better? Almost certainly. There are much better fishermen than me, better rod builders and thousands of better scholars and preachers. But there is One who surpasses them all. There is One more capable than all the “experts” (doctors, politicians, psychologists, economists, etc). There is One who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20).
I’ve told you this before, but let me remind you of the capability of the One who holds your past, present, and future in His hands. What is He able to do?
Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians says this:
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
But Paul had to invent words to describe something I think is lost in translation.
Paul says God:
is able to do all (panta) we ask or think;
is able to do above all (uper panta) we ask or think;
is able to do abundantly above all (perissou uper panta) we ask or think;
He is able to do more abundantly above all (ekperissou/ uper panta) we ask or think
God is able to do infinitely more abundantly above all (u`perekperissou uper panta ) we ask or think.
The word “able” (dunamai) – is the origin of the word dynamite
And the infinitive of the verb “to do” (poiew) is the verbal form of poi,hma (poiema) which means: workmanship, poem, work of art or masterpiece.
The NIV translates this “to Him who is ABLE TO DO IMMEASURABLY MORE than we could ask or imagine.”
Literally translated it reads like this: “to Him who is with all the power imaginable able to create beautiful works of art/masterpieces, in ways that are infinitely more abundantly above all we could ask or even dream of.”
He is the One working in us and who deserves our praise, honor, and all glory.
So, friends, be encouraged because the One you serve and the One lifting you up is more powerful, more loving, and more capable than even the most brilliant of minds can describe.
Continue to be in the present and ongoing state of “having been trusting Him.” You will not be disappointed in the end.
In the grip of grace alone,