Aloha Friday Message – October 13, 2017 – Sí, se puede!

1741AFC101317 – ¡Sí, se puede!

¡Que la bendición esté siempre con ustedes y que Dios los bendiga, Amados! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Belovéd!) Whew! I don’t know about Lake Woebegone, but I do know it’s been a long week in Kapahi! I want to begin by thanking all of you who so graciously offered your prayerful support during my recent illness. I still have a lo-o-o-o-ng way to go, but I am making incremental steps toward recovery. As new sequellae develop I’ll keep you posted. We also appreciate the prayers for my Dearest Darling Wife, Crucita. She, too, is making progress. That bug that caught us was one vicious little brute! I also want you to know that our son, Timothy – who moved here to take on the role of caregiver – has been a wonderful help to Crucita and me. He got here in the nick of time! So, again, thank you everyone. Now, let’s get into The Word.

Today I’d like to make my launching point from one of the readings for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time which you can find here.

Philippians 4:19-20 19 And my God will fully satisfy [supply] every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

I love these two verses. In fact the letter to the Philippians is one I often turn to when I have questions that need answers or situations where encouragement is needed. Just a few verses above these two (next Sunday’s readings) is the favorite of many a troubled soul: Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. In the Authorized King James version it reads I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (A little more on that later.) Truly, Beloved, it is in Christ that we find awesome strength, and it is indeed He who gives us that strength we need and in such perfect proportions as to always meet our needs and then still have some strength left over. It is that thought which often comes to mind when I read the KJV version “which strengtheneth me.” Just the knowledge that Jesus gives me strength – in and of itself – gives me strength! I have strength from Jesus, and knowing that makes me – and the effect of Jesus’ strength – even stronger. It’s like forging a sword out of iron and another of bright steel. The one is strong; the other is stronger; yet both are stronger than I alone can be.

It is something like that for Philippians 4:19. We all know to whom Paul is referring when he says “My God.” Paul is consistently reminding us of the Holy Trinity – “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you.” (2 Corinthians 13:13 2 – Cor 13:14 AKJV) – in his Epistles. The Trinity is an indivisible Community comprised of three distinct personages, and all of them act in accord with one another, yet separately. The fact that this is an impenetrable mystery does not faze Paul in the least. In that respect, I think of him in the same way I think of Abram.

God chose Abram over many others and assigned him to a task of God’s choosing. Abram means “exalted father.” He was renamed by God at the beginning of the first covenant – he became Abraham “father of many nations.” Saul of Tarsus was renamed by God at the beginning of the Second Covenant. Saul was the name of Israel’s first king, and the popular meaning of the name was “prayed for.” Saul of Tarsus assumed a task whereby he meant to choose God and exterminate The Way – as Jesus-followers first called their faith. Saul became Paul; Paul is rooted in a Latin word which means “small” or “humble.” You remember Simon was renamed Peter, and sometimes in the Gospels we hear both together – Simon Peter. But you never hear Abram Abraham or Saul Paul in any scripture. That is how total the change was – more than just a name, it was the designation of an entirely new person refashioned by God on the spot.

Abraham went on to do many astounding things, but none was as astounding as his willingness to sacrifice Isaac, and we know Paul also did many astounding things including healings and resurrections. Both of them had been prepared by God to do those things; that is why God changed them. He had a plan, and a job, and needed the right person for that job. He did what only God can do. He created a job and then created a person to do that job. Paul and Abraham both had that figured out way before their contemporaries did.

Now, let’s look at “fully supply.” This word “supply” in Greek is an interesting word – `πληρόϖ pleroo {play-ro’-o}. Among other concepts related to completion, it is used as: to make complete in every particular, to render perfect; to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the fullest; to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally. Paul’s meaning here is that God can completely repay – with more left over – all of Paul’s debt to the church in Corinth. There is where our eyes often go first. “God chooses to be generous with me, and I accept his generosity.” Then we pass him a list of what we want from him.

DING-DING-DING-DING! WRONG!! God is ABSOLUTELY – in the most literal sense of that word – ABSOLUTELY-Generous Will DOES fully supply all our needs. And so, while we want to focus on the thought of his generosity, we know “God gives us all we need, not all we want.” This leads to those silly prayers where we tell God, “I really need this | promotion | new house | personal renewal | sense of forgiveness | anything-else-I-usually-want to put in this sentence when I pray | … BUT (we so righteously add) Thy will be done. I don’t want to be greedy.” (Can you get that here before Tuesday, please? Thank you God!)” “Fully supply” in this passage is like we read about in Luke 6:3838 “give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

WHOA! Back UP!! Curve ball!! We were talking about God being generous and giving us what we need, not about giving others what they need. Think again. Read the passage in context. Go ahead. I’ll wait (you really should click on the link you know. It will take less than 60 seconds to read this, and it’s really good information.)

Do you see? The Church in Philippi had gone to extraordinary measures to help Paul in times of great need and great danger. They had given of their own temporal and spiritual riches to support Paul. Paul has absolutely no way to repay their kindness, but he knows God has seen their generosity and will answer it with his own version of GENEROSITY. He is saying, “I cannot repay the debt, but I am confident God will repay you out of his own riches.”

God has already been incredibly generous with us. How are we using the riches of his generosity? Use them well, and there is a better likelihood that he will fully supply all our needs in the way of generosity only he can provide. This cycle of receiving, giving, and receiving more is what enables us to “… do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It doesn’t make me superhuman – if one of the things I want to do is climb a building like Spiderman or lasso a jet like Wonder Woman – but, whatever God asks of me can be done through the strength I have in Christ Jesus. Even my old friend Abraham was able to do extraordinary things because he reasoned that God’s Word is true; if God said Abraham would be the Father of Many Nations, then somehow – no matter what – Isaac would be alive to carry on that Covenant. We can do all needful (requisite, necessary, required) things in the strength of Christ’s Glory, Grace, And Love. ¡Sí, se puede! How and why does that work? OUR “God will fully satisfy [supply] every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

How about a practical example? We have MBN members who are evangelizing, witnessing, preaching, teaching, prophesying, and giving the Devil Hell. Pray that those who want to go to Hell with Satan will instead ask you about going to Heaven with you instead. Go ahead! You can handle it (Philippians 4:13, remember?) Also, please remember Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. (←New Living Translation). What a GOOD & GENEROUS God we have! Look at what he’s given us:

Jesus loves me. This I know. All Creation tells me so.
It’s so easy to belong. Just believe and sing this song!
(↔ NOT a Music Link, but a decent read from a 2008 post.)

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Share-A-Prayer
IDC – A treasure since we first met her as a child. Got smacked hard by her latest treatment with Adriamycin – a real wrecking ball for cancer but also poisons bone marrow (and everything else), thus putting her capability to fight off infection very low. Please pray for the miracle of remission through combining faith and medicine.

ALG – A much-loved friend, wife, mother of three, coworker, and also – diagnosed last week – with breast cancer. She lost her QUEST healthcare protection not long ago. If you would like the address for her Go-Fund-Me link, please message me back and I’ll email it to you. For all of us in the MBN, especially our other cancer patients or cancer survivors – you know the power of prayer is what is most needed.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Creative Commons License
Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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