God Is Able
A few months ago, I asked our Worship Planning Committee to think about and share with me their ideas about a topic for summer Sunday evening series. A few weeks ago, one of the Worship Planning team members shared an idea with me that resonated with me as something that would work well this summer in light of current events and the interruptions of family gatherings and vacations that often take place at this time of year. She had come across one of Joni Eareckson Tada’s devotionals from her daily radio program “Joni and Friends.” Joni, as you may remember, is a Christian advocate for people with disabilities. As a teenager, she became a quadriplegic due to a spinal injury she suffered in a diving accident. At the beginning of this radio broadcast, Joni said, “You often hear me talk about my wheelchair, but hopefully every time you do, you hear a lot of ‘ability’ whenever I say that word ‘disability.’” She shared how she likes the word “able” and that there is no one more “able” than our wonderful God. The Apostle Paul actually stated it best: “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able!” (2 Timothy 1:12).
In Joni’s radio program, she listed several Scripture texts that have encouraged her that all focus on the theme that God is able. These verses are so encouraging in light of shootings, terror attacks, political division, and global uncertainty. They’ve been a great encouragement to Joni because of her disability and the fact that she can’t do many of the physical things that we often take for granted if we happen to have the full range of physical abilities.
I picked out several of these texts for us to focus on in late June through the end of August. Here’s the schedule for this summer evening series that I have entitled “God Is Able”:
June 18 “He Is Able to Do Immeasurably More” Ephesians 3:20-21
July 23 “He Is Able to Make All Grace Abound” 2 Corinthians 9:8
July 30 “He Is Able to Help Those Being Tempted” Hebrews 2:18
August 13 “He Is Able to Save Completely” Hebrews 7:25
August 27 “He Is Able to Keep You from Falling” Jude 24
I will begin this series at the combined service of the Jenison CRCs that we’ll be hosting on June 18. There will be some breaks in the series due to a family vacation and the Chicago Mission Trip. We also have combined services elsewhere in July and August. I will also be preaching a final message on the Apostles’ Creed articles from the Heidelberg Catechism on July 9.
As we are confronted by our own human limitations whatever they happen to be in the face of difficult circumstances, it is absolutely essential for us to grasp and hold onto the fact that our God is fully able and capable of taking care of us and our situation. Joni shares a piece of wisdom that is true of all of us whatever our ability or disability, “…because of my wheelchair, I am constantly reminded that if I am able to do anything at all, it is because my God is the capable One. He is the able One.”
May all of us be encouraged by these Scriptures and messages that all emphasize that “God is able.”