By Shawn McEvoy
So that you may approve the things that are excellent. - Philippians 1:10, NAS
The Apostle Paul was obsessed, gloriously so, with the victory of Christ that created freedom in Christ under the Lordship of Christ. Or at least that helps me to explain his non-stop use of the phrase "all things" in his letters to the church. With two little words, over and over again Paul reminds us just how much authority has been given unto Jesus. If it doesn't take hold to hear that all authority in heaven and earth has been given him... that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess... that the battle has been won once and for all... Paul goes further, into specific areas of our lives, to drive the point home.
Consider how powerful it is that Paul tells you that you, because of Christ, can now...
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17
That no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things. 1 Thessalonians 4:6
Profit through Surrender
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
Grow Truly Wealthy
As sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things. 2 Corinthians 6:10
The list doesn't end there, either. These powers and this dominion go beyond Superman, way past any government or earthly authority. You serve The One who has them, and rather than oppressing you with his might, he leaves you free to live and move and exist (Acts 17:28) in all things. Truly, his is:
...an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:10-11).
All you have to do is make him Lord of all (your) things (which he already is anyway - what you must do is actively acknowledge it). With those kind of mad skills at his disposal, why wouldn't you? That's one tremendous, unlimited inheritance!
Intersecting Faith and Life: Have you ever taken inventory of the things you really, definitely need to be able to do in life, in faith, in family and in the church, as opposed to the things you don't? Start to notice the difference by meditating on one of the above passages. For example, we know Philippians 4:13 doesn't mean we can jump off a skyscraper and survive, or win an Olympic footrace. So what does faith in Jesus give us the power to do? Where have you ever experienced this power to go beyond your own abilities, genes, talents, finances or circumstances?
Further Reading: Colossians 1:13-29
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