I Can Do All Things Through Christ
John Telgren

Take a minute to reflect on God's plan for saving those who are lost.

God sent the very best he had. Jesus left the comfort of Heaven and entered into our human experience. He identified with our humanity in the most extreme way possible. He even went so far as to identify with our sinfulness, not by being sinful but by taking on the ultimate consequence for sin which is death. He defeated the power of sin and death through his atoning work on the cross and resurrection from the grave. Before he went back to the father, he spent some additional time with the disciples he had been traveling with, living with, and training. There was still much work to be done. His ministry had a very limited geography because he was concentrating on training these men to carry on after his very, very brief ministry with them. Their ministry was to expand geographically starting right in their own back yard. "You shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). He had told them to "Make disciples of all the nations" (Mt 28:20). This was a mandate to look outward in ever expanding circles. It was a mandate for cross-cultural outreach. The apostles, their disciples, and the disciples after them carried on the mission that Christ started and virtually saturated their world with Christianity!

What is even more amazing is when you look at some of the factors involved. People did not come to Christ incrementally but they multiplied because everyone was sharing their faith. Acts 8:4 said that the persecuted went about everywhere preaching the word. They faced persecution, they were marginalized and ridiculed, they were seen as backwards, uneducated, and superstitious. Churches often did not have it all together. The Corinthians church is a prime example both in scripture and in post-biblical letters, which reveal that the church in Corinth continued to have its share of troubles, as did other churches. In Paul's reflections in 1 Cor 11-12, Paul reminds us that God works most powerfully "through" our brokenness and weakness, not "in spite" of it. How many dynamos for God have been the broken, backward people and churches that seem to most effectively touch and transform lives for Christ? Of course, they would probably not characterize themselves as dynamos because the power comes from God.

God does not require us to be perfect. He requires us to be honest and faithful. This contributes to an integrity that God would be all too please to work through. So, reflect on this question. Is it possible to serve God in spite of problems, weaknesses, and brokenness? The better question is, "Is it possible to serve God effectively 'through' our problems, weaknesses, and brokenness?' " Isn't this a matter both of honesty AND of faith? Didn't Paul say, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me? (Phil 4:13)" The most powerful ministry comes through our weakness, not through our strength.