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FACING All Problems with God’s Strength

Updated: Jul 28

"No DIY Projects with God"

—Home Church Sermon—

Every verse in the Bible is awesome.

Every verse in the Bible is fantastic.

Every verse in the Bible is for our benefit.

Every verse in the Bible points in some way

to God and his will for our dealing with

both the good and the bad things in our life.

Let me identify one key reason why we may not

experience the awesome, fantastic, benefits

of some verses in the Bible.

“We may not understand what a verse means”

We may “think” that we know what it means,

but we may be wrong.

At times we MISunderstand what it actually says.

Many people have answered the question;

“What is the most frustrating thing in your life?”

with the answer:

“Being misunderstood.”

It is frustrating, disappointing, angering, and often

confusing as to how others can “MISunderstand” us.

With that thought in mind,

how frustrating must it be for God,

that people misunderstand him

and his word (The Bible).

Because God is so loving and caring, I think that his

frustration has more to do with “us” than with him.

In other words, his frustration may be more about the

fact that “we” are missing out

on what “he” has to offer us.

But always remember that

He hurts when we hurt,

especially when we don’t “have to”

be hurting in certain areas.

It’s like trying to do a “DIY” project

(Do It Yourself Project)

without the right tools.

His words and truths in the Bible give to us

the right tools to work life.

Misunderstanding verses in the Bible is like

having the right tools in your toolbox,

but not using them in the right way or

for the right projects.

It may be that we don’t even know what a tool is for.

Every tool has at least one purpose.

Every Bible verse has at least one purpose.

It is possible that we are using certain Bible verses in

the wrong way for the wrong purpose as well.

That will make the project (I mean)

that will make “life” more difficult.

Do you know that God has no DIY projects?

planned for us.

He really doesn’t.

He doesn’t want us to view life as a

“Do IT Yourself” project.

He wants us to do life WITH HIM,

not do life YOURSELF (without him).   

This may be dating me, but one personal example is

the fact that I got through High School, College

and Seminary without a computer.

Seriously.

Most everything was hand-written.

HOW DID I DO IT?

It was not that computers were not available.

It was just that I did not have one.

If a paper was required to be typed, I either typed it,

my mom typed it, or I paid someone to type it

at $2.00 per page or something like that.

But most assignments were hand-written with

paper and pen.

The calluses that I used to have on my fingers

are a distant memory.  

Do you do a lot of texting?

Do you know that the word “text”, means?

“a written work”.

Your text is your written work.

We must never take a TEXT out of CONTEXT.

Con” = with.

Context” = with text.

When a person takes our text out of context,

we can get into real trouble, can’t we?

So, every TEXT (verse) must be interpreted in the

CONTEXT of:

* Where it is in the Bible?

* What comes before and after it?

* Who wrote it?

* Who was it written to?

* Why was it written?

* Was it written to address a specific problem

or situation at that time?

* Is the verse Prescriptive or Descriptive.

Does it simply DESCRIBE something that happened

at that time in that specific situation?

or is it something that is PRESCRIBED in that situation

at all times in the future?

 (like a Prescription that you get at the doctors for

a common problem that everyone has.

Since it is a common problem, it has the same

remedy or pill that will take care of the problem.)

Here is a joke about taking Bible verses out of context.

Ten years out of high school, Tom ran into his old

classmate Jake, once informally voted

‘least likely to succeed.’

But Jake was driving a $70,000 car and wore

expensive, imported clothing.

Tom said to Jake,

“Man, you are looking great.

It looks like you are doing great as well.

I love your car.

I love your watch.

Look like at you.

“Least likely to succeed.”

I don’t think so!

How did you do it?”

Jake said to Tom;

“It’s the easiest thing, Tom.

My grandmother left me a little inheritance and the

Lord guided me to turn it into a lot of money.

I just took a Bible, flipped it open at random and

put my finger down on the page.

It landed on the word ‘oil’, so I invested in an oil well

and money started rolling in.

Then I went back to the Bible, flipped it open again,

and this time my finger came down on the word ‘gold’,

so I bought a bunch of gold coins.

I doubled my money in a year.

It’s really been amazing!”

Tom congratulated him and hurried home

to pick up his Bible.

“If it works for dumb old Jake, it has got work for me.”

He flipped open his Bible, plopped his finger down on

the page, and looked down to read it.

His finger landed on, ‘Chapter 11.’

VERSES in the Bible are called TEXTS.

We are supposed to interpret verses in the CONTEXT

of other verses that come before and after it.

If we don’t, then we run the risk of misinterpreting

the verse/TEXT.

One example of a verse taken out of context is

found in Genesis 31:49

The misinterpretation is based on the word “Mizpah”.

48 Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you

and me today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 

49 It was also called Mizpah, because he said,

“May the Lord keep watch between you and me

when we are away from each other. 

These verses have been used to sell hundreds

of thousands of pieces of “Mizpah” jewelry

purchased through the years.

Miz  Pah

Mizpah jewelry is often made in the form of a

coin-shaped pendant cut in two with a zig-zag line

bearing the words Miz on one of the half’s

and the word Pah on the other.

Verse 39 is often printed as well;

“May the Lord keep watch between you

and me when we are away from each other.” 

This is worn to signify the bond.

However, in the original CONTEXT, 

These are not words of trust.

They are words of “mistrust” spoken by Laban.

He did not trust his son-in-law Jacob.

Here is how the verse was originally meant:

“May the Lord keep watch between you and me

when we are away from each other -

so that neither of us cheats the other.”

We can see this in v.50

“If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives

besides my daughters, even though no one is

with us, remember that God is a witness 

between you and me.”

While this misinterpretation [verse taken out of context]

doesn’t cause major harm in the universe,

it is a little ironic that good friends, thinking that they

are asking God to watch over them and take care of them

while they are apart are originally would be saying,

Since we don’t trust each other, we are asking you

God to watch over each of us so that

we do not take advantage of the other.

You can read the rest of the story if you want to in Genesis 31.

Both of the men agreed to put up a border

between their territories, and that would not pass

the “Mizpah” Hebrew = “Watchtower” [pile of stones]

to steal from one another.

I want to look at a verse in the Bible that is often

taken out of context and misunderstood.

It is not a verse that inspires jewelry sales,

But it has been printed on millions of bumper stickers,

refrigerator magnets and pieces of art with the

inspiring words in multitudes of different fonts. 

The verse that many people memorized was from

the King James Version which says;

“I can do all things through Christ

 which strengtheneth me.”

-Philippians 4:13

This verse has been taken out of context and often

misinterpreted to mean that you can do anything with

God’s help and strength which is not entirely true.

If that is true than EVERYONE has the ABILITY

to become the following [not in order of importance];

Rocket Scientists, Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants,

Police Chiefs, President, Teachers, Pastors,

Childcare workers, Pilots, Roofers, etc.

But we all know that it is not true that everyone

is gifted with the ability to do every possible thing.

Some are not gifted to work with children.

Some are not gifted to be brain surgeons.

Some are not gifted to work with children.

Some are not gifted to work with numbers and finances.

Some are not gifted to be pastors or teachers.

God gives different gifts to different people.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same

Spirit distributes them. There are different

Kinds of service, but the same Lord. 

There are different kinds of working,

but in all of them and in everyone it

is the same God at work.

-1 Corinthians 12:4-6  

So, if Philippians 4:13 does not mean that everyone

can do everything that they want with God’s help,

then what does it mean?

“I can do all things through Christ

 which strengtheneth me.”

Rather than the word “DO” in the verse, I like the better word, “FACE”.

You can think of it this way;

“I can FACE all things with God’s help.”

The New International Version [NIV]

Reads this way;

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

NIV

“All this”, in context…

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and

every situation, whether well fed or hungry, 

whether living in plenty or in want.

 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

-Philippians 4:12,13

God’s promise is that in every difficult situation

in your life, you can FACE it with God’s help.

You can FACE All Problems with God’s strength.

Remember that with God, there are no DIY Projects.

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for your promise to give to us all

that we need to be able to FACE anything

that is before us.

Forgive me when I have lived life like it is a

DIY [Do It Yourself] project

without looking for your help and strength.

Please give to me the trust to depend on you.

In Jesus’ name.

Amen! Pastor Dave


Word of Life Church

17525 W. Bell Rd.

Surprise, AZ 85374

Word Of Life
   Church & preSchool

623-544-3000

wolchurch@wordoflifeaz.org

17525 W Bell Road

Surprise, AZ 85374

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