In the last chapter we thought about the important question, "WHAT CAN GOD DO?" Here are some of the things we learned:
God created all things.
God holds all things together (preserves and sustains).
God holds the world and manages it.
God controls the movement of mice and men.
God wills, and He carries out His will.
God inhabits or dwells in eternity.
God has a purpose and plan for men and women.
God provides grace to meet our needs.
God can enlighten me, encourage me, enable me, enlarge me, and help me to endure.
In this chapter we want to ask another important question: "WHAT CAN I DO?" As we seek to answer this question, we will follow the same outline of the last chapter (Chapter 10).
Can I create anything (make something out of nothing)? Could Pharaohs magicians create lice (Exodus 8:16-18)? _______ Can I control the universe and keep it going? Can I stop the earth from rotating on its axis? Can I stop the moon from revolving around the earth? Can I make the sun and moon stand still (see Joshua 10:12-14)? Can I stop the waves of the ocean from pounding against the shore? Can I make it rain or snow or stop it from raining or snowing? Can I control the outside temperature? Can I stop the birds from migrating or the bears from hibernating? Can I make summer come after the fall and winter come after spring (see Genesis 8:22)? Can I make the sun set in the morning and the sun rise in the evening? Can I make 50 billion snowflakes and make them all different? Can I make seven billion people and make them all different? WHO IS THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN DO ALL THESE THINGS? __________________
Can I manage the world and direct its affairs? How well can I hold the world? I cant even hold myself! (Try it! Try to pick up yourself and see how well you can do it!)
Suppose the official leaders of your town were to come to you and say, "From now on you are in charge of this entire town. You are to take care of every person in this town and every problem that this town might have! You are in charge of the big details and also the little details, and if anything goes wrong, we will blame you!" Could you handle this assignment? Your town is only one small town located on one tiny speck of the globe. How could you ever take care of all the towns on the face of the earth? How could you ever take care of the whole world? Are you thankful that "the earth is the ________________ and the fullness thereof" (Psalm 24:1)? What does God rule over (Psalm 103:19)?_____
How many stars can I name? (Compare Psalm 147:4 and Isaiah 40:26.) How many galaxies can I name? (The one we live in is called "the Milky Way.") How many stars are there?
Suppose there is a wicked ruler somewhere in the world who is cruel to his subjects. Can I remove him from power? Can God? How?
In the last chapter we talked about Gods will. How good is my will? I can will and wish all kinds of things. I can say, "MY WILL IS...
...THAT A MONEY TREE MIGHT GROW IN MY BACK YARD. "
...FOR PERFECT HEALTH THE REST OF MY LIFE."
...FOR ALWAYS HAVING STRAIGHT A's ON MY REPORT CARD."
What are some other things that I might will and desire? Is "my willing" going to make it come to pass? Can I say the same thing that God says at the end of Isaiah 46:11? ______Do I always want my will to come to pass? Do I always want what is best for me (see Psalm 106:15)?__________
What if a person said, "I will to be saved my way by trying to perform good works and by trying to love my neighbor." Will this person be saved?______ Gods will is for people to be saved His way. God is willing to save all those who are willing to be saved His way. If a person wants to be saved some other way, then God is not willing to save him. What is Gods way to be saved? When it comes to SALVATION, what is Gods will (John 6:39-40)? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________
God is "From E_____________________________ " (Psalm 93:2 and Psalm 90:2). Where am I from? When did I begin? Was I here when God laid the foundations of the earth (see Job 38:4)?_______ Was I here in the days of Abraham?______ In the days of David?______ In the days of Paul?______ In the days of Columbus?_______ In the days of George Washington?___________ In the days of Abraham Lincoln? _______ In the days of the Second World War?_____ In the days when man first landed on the moon? _____
As I think about the world and time, I realize that I can only stand in one tiny spot in the world. The world is so big, and I am so little. I am like one grain of sand among the thousands of beaches of the world. I am like one tiny snowflake among all the snowflakes that have ever fallen!
I am very limited as to where I can be. Suppose a friend in Boston calls you up and wants to see you, and suppose that another friend in New York calls you up and wants to see you at the same time. Can you be at both places at once? Can God? Suppose a believer in Boston and a believer in New York both call upon God in prayer at the same time. Does God have a problem being in both places and reaching both of these believers?
God was here BEFORE I WAS BORN, and God will be here AFTER I DIE! God is there in the past, and God is there in the future, but when I think about the past and the future, I am very limited.
In the last chapter we learned that God has a long range view. God sees very well! But, my eyesight is very limited. If I had two eyes on the back of my head, would this help me to see many more things? If I had a pair of eyes that I could place in every room in my school, would these extra eyes help me to be able to see what is going on in my school? Where are Gods eyes (2 Chronicles 16:9)? ________________________________________
My hearing is very limited also. I can only hear certain sounds. There are many sounds that I miss all the time. Have you ever seen a dog whistle? The dog can hear the sound of this whistle, but you cant! Try this experiment: Rub your fingers together silently. Now hold your fingers close to your ear and rub them the same way. Do you hear a noise? There are many noises that we never hear. Almost every day there is an explosion somewhere in the world, but it is too far away for us to hear it. Does God ever miss a movement? Does God ever miss hearing and knowing every sound?
My mind is very limited also. I only know so much. I can find a book that knows much
more than I know, but does this book know everything? Is Gods MIND limited (see Romans
We learned in the last chapter that God is the only One who can save a soul and give a person spiritual life. I might be able to help someone physically. I could possibly remove a splinter or help the person get something out of his eye. A doctor could do even more to help people physically. But how could I fix a soul? How much can I really help the person who lives in the physical body? Can I really solve problems such as GUILT, FEAR, DOUBT, INSECURITY, LONELINESS, etc.? Can I solve these problems apart from God?
Even doctors cannot fix a soul. Often they try to help the person that lives inside the body, and sometimes they are able to help in many ways, but they can never get to the real source of the problem. (Suppose you had a small hole at the bottom of your rowboat. If you keep emptying out the water with a bucket or with a pump, is this really getting at the source of the problem?) Only the Great Physician (the Lord Jesus) can get at the real problem and fix a persons soul.
Man is like a candle that must be lit (Proverbs 20:27--"the spirit of man is the_________________ [lamp] of the LORD"). Can I light this candle? Spiritual life and light can only come from God. It is not something that I can buy or earn. Is there any store that I can go to that will sell me eternal life? Where can I go to purchase forgiveness of sins or peace with God? Is there any bank that can give me ETERNAL SECURITY and TREASURES IN HEAVEN? There are spiritual blessings, and only God has them to give!
We also learned in the last chapter that God has a wonderful plan and purpose. Think about your local cemetery. This cemetery is full of people who once purposed and had great plans and hopes. Some wanted to be rich. Some wanted to be famous. Some wanted to be successful. What happened to all of their plans and purposes? They all came to an end! All of mans purposes must cease and come to an end. Man tries to become different things, but he is counting on things which do not last and do not stay and do not remain.
I might have plans for the future. I might even be thinking about a future occupation, but can I really count on reaching age 20? Can I really count on graduating from high school? Am I sure that these things are going to come to pass?
How can I store up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20)? How can I store up that which will last and remain forever? Is there something that I can count on all the days of my life and then forever?
Can you think of certain things that you are looking for and counting on? What are you
planning on and counting on for your life? Can you be sure of these things?
can you count on these things, or why can't you count on these things?
How can I get Gods grace and Gods favor? How can I gain Gods smile? Apart from God, what do I need to do and who do I need to meet in order to get Gods favor? Who can get me the grace of God? Can I take a trip to the shopping mall and buy a package of Gods grace? Who is the only One who can make GRACE abound towards me (2 Corinthians 9:8)?_____________________
Can I enlighten myself? The smartest man in the world is only so smart. Also, I find that the more I study the more I discover how much I do not know! My little cup contains so little compared to the vast ocean of knowledge.
Do I really want to understand? If so, how much can I really understand? Heres an example. Do you really want to understand Zechariah chapter 4? This chapter is part of Gods Word. Do you really want to understand this chapter? Now look at the chapter. How much do you understand, and how much can you understand?
Can I encourage myself? Do I get discouraged? How good am I at encouraging myself? And how long do I stay encouraged?
Can I enable myself? I may want to do many things, but even though I want to do them, does my desire mean that I am able to do them? Does desire always mean ability? Does dreaming make it happen? I may dream of being an athletic superstar. Do I really have the ability to become a superstar? (Even superstars do not have the ability to remain as champions forever! The boxing champ of 20 years ago is not the boxing champ of today!)
Can I enlarge myself? I may want to help people and be responsible and be involved and carry the load that I should, but I cannot bring it to pass. I cant give myself bigger shoulders!