November 29, 2012

God can do the impossible

As children we played a game of trying to come up with something that was impossible. Most of our suggestions were silly, sort of like standing angels on the head of a pin or our dad sleeping past 7:00 a.m. When I became a Christian, the game became more serious. Among the list of impossible happenings were things like God  telling a lie or the failure of His love.

Of course my belief in God’s faithfulness has been tested and I know that He does not lie and that His love never fails. His grace and mercy endures forever. Anything that has ever been true about God is still true. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Perhaps the biggest test of all is trusting in God’s ability to change lives, to bring sinners into His kingdom by a new birth. I don’t know why I’d ever doubt that, for He did it for me, but I have doubted it. So did the disciples. In their belief system, they thought that wealthy people were particularly blessed by God. Then Jesus challenged them…

Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:23–27)

While some speculate about the significance of the camel and the eye of the needle, my focus goes to the words, “how hard it is for those who trust in riches.” Faith and being born again isn’t about crawling on your knees like a camel, or about the narrowness of the way in. Nor is it about how much money a person has. Instead, it is about what is trusted and about the power of God. 

Money, position, skill, personal merit, or whatever else a person may rely on to gain them favor with God will not cut it. All human effort is useless when it comes to having eternal life and a place in the kingdom of God. Only God can make that happen.

I’m encouraged by these words for many reasons, but the most significant is that I pray for the salvation of several people who appear to be impossible. They seem uninterested and hard of heart toward God. However, because Jesus said, “With God all things are possible,” I will keep praying!

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