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Thursday, October 9, 2014

His All-Powerful Love

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jer 32:27)

At one time or another, we have all been frustrated by a lack of power.  We have wanted to do something - achieve a goal, heal a loved one, or perhaps end a trial - but we were prevented by our own inability to act.  As human beings, we have limitations.  We are not always able to do what we want to do.

God has no such limitations.  He is able to accomplish all His holy will.  He is all-powerful, or omnipotent.  This is repeatedly affirmed in the Scriptures.  When God reiterated His promise to Abraham that he would have a son by Sarah, who was old and barren, He said, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Gen 18:14), the implied answer being, “of course, not!”  And sure enough, one year later Sarah gave birth to Isaac.

In Numbers 11, when the people grumbled against God because they had no meat, the Lord vowed to give them meat for a whole month, “until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you” (11:20).  Moses wrongly assumed that the Lord would provide this meat from their own flocks and herds, which would never be enough for the whole nation to eat for a month.  God replied, “Is the LORD’s power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not” (11:23 NAS).  The result was a spectacle I would love to have seen.  The Lord caused a wind to spring up and carry quail from the sea and dump them around the camp of Israel so that quail were piled waist-high for a day’s journey in every direction!  

In Luke 1, when the angel came to Mary to tell her that she would give birth to the Son of the Most High, she replied, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” He said, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (1:37).  There are many other passages that could be consulted, but the uniform testimony of Scripture is that God is able to do anything He purposes to do.  

We should note that this is not the same thing as saying that God can do anything.  There are some things God cannot do.  He cannot lie (Heb 6:18; Titus 1:2),  be tempted or tempt others (Jas 1:13), or deny Himself (2Tim 2:13).  He cannot do anything inconsistent with His nature, which is why we should understand omnipotence as His ability to accomplish all His holy will, rather than the ability to do anything.

What might God’s omnipotence tell us about His love for His people?  Remember that love is valuing the highest good of another.  God desires our highest good.  That God is omnipotent indicates that He is able to accomplish our good.  Last time, we looked at how God’s knowledge and wisdom benefit His love for us.  They indicate that He knows what is best for us and He knows the best way to accomplish it for us.  His omnipotence means that not only does He know what is best and the best way to accomplish it, but He has the power to accomplish it!  There is nothing that can stand in the way of God working good for those He loves.  

Without His unlimited power, God would only be a really nice guy with great intentions, but no ability to come through on those intentions and possibly no ability to keep the promises He’s made.  That God loves us is only good news because it is this God who loves us.  All of His other attributes coalesce to make His love as powerful and certain as it is.  

Consider the things facing you today.  There are people in your life who have promised you things that they may not have the ability to accomplish.  But there is One who has never made a promise that He cannot keep.  There is One who will never fail to love you by working good for you.  What affect should the knowledge of God’s all-powerful love have on your outlook on your current circumstances?  Think on these things.

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