In the last chapter we saw that God is very qualified to help us and to solve our problems. God has the power and the ability and the knowledge and the wisdom and the goodness and all that is needed to be the great Problem-Solver. Who else is as qualified as He? We asked the question, "CAN GOD?" and we received the sure answer, "GOD CAN!"
In this chapter we want to ask this question: "CAN I?" How capable am I? How qualified am I? How well can I handle my problems? We looked at some of Gods characteristics and found that He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, etc. Now we want to look at some of our characteristics and try to learn something about ourselves.
Suppose your radio were to break and suppose also that you do not know anything about radios or how to fix them. What would you know about this radio? You would know that when you plug it in and turn it on, it does not work as it should. You really do not know what is wrong with it or how it could be fixed. You really are not qualified to take care of the radio. This job is not a job for you! This is a job for the radio repair man!
Suppose your appendix were about to rupture (or burst). Would you be qualified to operate on yourself? If you could open yourself up, would you know how to find the appendix? Would you know how to remove it? Would it be better to find a qualified doctor?
WHEN I LEARN THAT I AM NOT QUALIFIED, MY LACK OF KNOWLEDGE FORCES ME TO FIND SOMEONE WHO IS QUALIFIED! If I should discover that "I can't," then I would want to find someone who can!
Is man really qualified to solve his own problems? There is a movement today called "HUMANISM." MAN is the center of this movement and there is no place for God or prayer or heaven or hell. The humanist "Bible" is called The Humanist Manifesto II written in 1973. There was also a Humanist Manifesto I which was written in 1933. The Humanist Manifest II says this:
No deity (God) will save us; WE MUST SAVE OURSELVES.
In other words, the writers are saying that there is no God that can help us or solve our problems. Man must save himself. Man must solve his own problems. To solve his problems man must look to himself and not trust in some God that does not even exist.
The Humanist Manifesto also says:
We can control our environment, conquer poverty, markedly reduce disease, extend our life-span, significantly modify our behavior, alter the course of human evolution and cultural development, unlock vast new powers, and provide humankind with unparalleled opportunity for achieving an abundant and meaningful life.
Did you notice those first two words: W_____ C_________! In other words, the document is saying that man can solve his own problems! Man has the answers! We do not need God. All we need is to work together so that man can solve mans problems!
Is this declaration really true? Is man really qualified to solve the great problems that he faces? Does man really have the answers? Can man really achieve an abundant life apart from Christ (see John 10:10)?
Let us find out how qualified man really is. WHO AM I anyway? Letís
take a close look at ME, MYSELF and I.
As you see the many problems around you, how able and how capable are you?
Are you able to solve the problem of disease? Are you able to keep people from dying? Are you able to rid the world of poverty (see Matthew 26:11)? Can you stop the problem of crime? Can you make crooked people straight? Can you make sinful people righteous? Can you take away guilt? Can you provide true security and safety?
What about inflation? Are you able to keep the prices from rising? Do you have the power to improve the economy and cure the problem of inflation?
Are you able to take care of the drug problem in your school? Can you stop drugs from being sold and from being used? Do you have the ability to make your classmates live right (stop using bad language, start paying attention in class, be respectful towards the teachers, do their homework every night, etc.)?
Are you able to take care of the problems that your family is facing right now?
Can an African change the color of his skin (see Jeremiah 13:23)? Can a leopard change his spots so that he has the stripes of a tiger? ______ Can you change an evil-doer into a righteous man? Can you change a sinner into a saint? _________ All of these things would require nothing less than the working of miracles. Are you qualified to perform such miracles? _______
CONCLUSION: "Lord, I am not able, but YOU ARE!"
How much do you really know and understand? Do you know and understand yourself? (You must know yourself better than most people know you.) How well do you know your own mind and your own body and your own soul? How well do you understand your own feelings and fears? Do you know how to make yourself happy?
Do you know what other people are thinking? Do you know what is going on in their minds? What is one thing that Jesus could do that you cannot do (Matthew 9:4 and 12:25)? _____________________________________________________________________________________________
How well do you know your own future? Do you know how long you will live? Do you know whom you will marry? Do you know where you will live? Do you know what the world will be like in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? 100 years? Do you know who will be the next President of the United States? Do you know what will happen tomorrow (see Proverbs 27:1)?
How many facts do you really have stored away in your head? Think of an encyclopedia set. How many of the facts that are given in this set of books do you know? Half of them? One tenth of them? One hundredth of them? How much do you know about history? How much do you know about the Civil War? How much do you know about what happened 3,000 years ago? How much do you know about the earth we live on? How much do you know about the solar system? The universe?
Think of the public library that is in your town. Do you think that in all of those books there is a lot of knowledge and a lot of facts? How much knowledge and how many facts do you have compared to all that is found in these books? If your teacher were to give you an exam based on all of the information that is found in the public library, how well do you think you would do? The next time we get puffed up about how much we think we know, lets remember 1 Corinthians 8:2: "And if any man _________________ that he knoweth anything, he knoweth _____________________ yet as he ought to know."
How much do you know about your own sins? Is it possible to sin and not even know it? Is it possible to think that you are doing right when you are really doing wrong? Who is the only one who really knows the human heart (Psalm 139:23-24 and Jeremiah 17:9-10)? _________________________
CONCLUSION: "Lord, I know so very little, but YOU KNOW ALL
Are you everywhere present? Can you be HERE, THERE and EVERYWHERE? Can you be in two places at once? Can you be at home and at school at the same time?
Have you ever been invited to two different activities which were both held on the same day at the same time? You might wish that you could split yourself into two people and go to both activities! Man is limited to one place at one time.
In Job 38:3-4 God asked Job a very important question. If God were to ask you this same question, how would you answer? How qualified is the evolutionist? Was he present on this earth when the first life appeared? Was he an eyewitness to how things really began?
Sometimes even when you are present, you might not be "all there"! Have you ever had a problem with daydreaming? Have you ever missed something that the teacher said because you were in "another world"? Did you ever miss something the coach said because your mind was somewhere else? Have Mom and Dad ever had to say something more than once because the first time they said it you were somewhere else? How would it be if God were to daydream like you do? Would you want to pray to a God whose mind is somewhere else and who is not paying attention to you at all?
CONCLUSION: "Lord, so often Im not there, but
You are there; You are everywhere!"
What are some things about you and about your life that keep changing? Do your own feelings change (happy, sad, mad, glad)? Do the things around you constantly change? Can you really do anything to keep things from changing?
People are very changeable. Read John 13:4-9. Did Peter do a complete turnabout? _______ Read 1 Kings 3 :5-14 and compare these verses with 1 Kings 11:1-6. Did King Solomon change? ___________ Was this a change for the better or a change for the worse? ______________________________
CONCLUSION: "Lord, I am so changeable, but YOU NEVER CHANGE;
ARE ALWAYS THE SAME !"
How much experience do you really have? How much experience do you have compared with your parents? Have your parents been around at least twice as long as you? ___________
In all your years of living, how much have you learned about solving your own problems? Are you fully qualified to solve every problem that comes your way? How much experience do you have in helping to solve other people's problems? Think of your friends at school who have problems. If they were to come to you asking for help, how qualified would you be to help them to solve their problems?
CONCLUSION: "Lord, my years are so few, but YOU ARE THE ETERNAL GOD WHO WAS AND IS AND SHALT BE!"
The Lord Jesus said, "There is none ___________ but one, that is ____________ "(Matthew 19:17). How concerned are you about blessing and helping others? And even if you were not selfish and even if you really want to bless and help others, are you not limited in what you really can do for others? Are you really qualified to help those who are lonely and those who are sad and those who are needy?
CONCLUSION: "Lord, my goodness is as nothing, but YOU ARE GOD AND
YOU ARE GOOD!"
Can people count on you? Can others trust you and depend on you? Are you a person who keeps your word? If people trust you, will they be disappointed?
In Matthew 26:35 Peter promised the Lord something. Was he faithful to keep this promise? ________ Notice what Matthew 21:28-30 says about the second son. Did this son prove himself faithful? Could Paul count on Demas (2 Timothy 4:10)? ________
Notice what the children of Israel said in Exodus 19:8 before God gave the Ten Commandments. Were the Israelites faithful to their word (see Exodus chapter 32)? ________
How safe is it to trust in men (Jeremiah 17:5)? _________________________________________ How safe is it to trust in the LORD (Jeremiah17:7)? _______________________________________________
CONCLUSION: "Lord, I often fail, but I know that
WHEN I TRUST
YOU, I WILL NEVER FAIL BECAUSE GOD IS FAITHFUL AND UNFAILING!"
How sovereign are you? How much can you really control?
Can you control the weather? Can the weatherman control the weather or does he merely predict it? Can you control the economy? Can you control the governments of the world? Can you remove someone who is in a place of power (such as a ruler) if you do not think that this ruler should be in power (compare Daniel 2:21)? _______ Can you control circumstances and events? Can you make everything go your way? Can you control what is going to happen to you today or tomorrow (James 4:13-15)? When it comes to controlling this universe, how qualified are you?
You might say, "I cant control all of these other things, but I certainly can control myself!" Can you really? How much self-control do you really have? Do you control your heart? Your hearing? Have you learned to control your tongue? Are you able to control and conquer bad habits? Do you often do things that you later wish you had not done?
CONCLUSION: "Lord, Im not in control, but You are. You are the LORD and MASTER of everything!"
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How qualified are you to handle your problems? At the beginning of this chapter we asked the question: "CAN I?" How would you answer this question? __________________________ The humanist says, "MAN CAN!" Would you agree? _______ We should say what David and Jehoshaphat once said: