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Communion Meditations (2017)

Omnipotent

Originally scheduled for April 30

Webster’s dictionary defines omnipotent as, “Almighty; possessing unlimited power; all powerful.” The Christian must remember, however, that omnipotent doesn’t really mean that God can do anything. If you are a graduate of kindergarten, you will recall the question, “can God make a rock so big he can’t lift it?.” It reminds you that omnipotence has its limits. There is an old joke about this.

A Bible class teacher was examining her pupils after a series of lessons on God's omnipotence. She asked, "Is there anything God cannot do?"

There was silence. Finally, one lad held up his hand. The teacher, disappointed that the lesson's point had been missed, asked resignedly, "Well, just what is it that God cannot do?"

"Well," replied the boy, "He can't please everybody."

 

It seems that omnipotence, and the power thereof, is limited when dealing with people who have a free will. This is particularly true when it comes to the problem of dealing with sin. You can certainly use power to punish people for their sins, and this is common enough in the Old Testament. You try to teach them to stop doing something. It’s when you come to the problem of getting them to positively do something you want them to do that you run into the limitation. For example, let’s suppose you have a teenage child with a very messy room. What do you do?

·         The simplest procedure is to rent a skip loader and clean up the room yourself. Most parents would then tell you that’s not quite what they had in mind.

·         You want the kid to clean it up? Then get a bullwhip and stand over the kid until it’s cleaned up.

·         What you really wanted was for the kid to want to clean up his room and do it by himself. You want him to voluntarily do what you want done. That’s more difficult.

Power, you see, can create opportunity but not obligation. God’s method is not the use of force, but the attraction of love. If it can’t be done with power, this is an alternative. The supreme demonstration of this is Jesus on the Cross. Calvary is God’s love in action, throwing open his arms to the repentant sinner. Nothing is impossible to God — but force is not his only method. If you want to work on the souls of men, you must woo them, not press them.

The great reminder of God’s love for us at the Cross is communion. The bread is a picture of Christ’s body; the cup is a picture of his blood, shed for you. It is his way of wooing you back into his love, by grace. It is fitting, therefore, that you should partake of this in a worthy manner. Do not do this lightly, nor automatically. Rather, do it with purpose and with gratitude. Examine yourself, see if there is something he needs to hear in the way of repentance, and then partake.

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