Philippians 4:13- 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me How many of you have read the classic children’s book “The Little Engine That Could”? Anyone who has read it has thought “wow, what an encouraging story.’ This book has been one of my favorites since I was a young girl. This book draws two themes for me, two points that I would like to parallel to a life in Christ.
1. Just because someone has strength, beauty, or wealth doesn’t mean that they are the best person to help or willing to help.-In the Little Engine that Could we see the “Shiny Engine, Big Engine, Rusty Engine (To good for you) (To Tired) These Engines or people in our lives don’t care what your dilemma is, they judge you based on what you drive, look like and eat. The Shiny Engine, the Big Engine and the Tired Engine all could have helped the broken down engine but they felt they didn’t need or owe that small train anything. Let’s look at the story of the Good Samaritan: Luke 10:25-3525 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” 27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’[a] and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”[b]28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed,[c] he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’We see that a Priest and a Levite passed by the man in need. These two should have been upstanding citizens, men who in the community had good standing but they chose to pass the wounded man by. They are like the engines who thought they were to good to help the broken down engine.But both our stories show us there is help for us. The broken down engine was rescued by a small blue engine who wasn’t pretty, wasn’t big, wasn’t important in the train world. But this small blue engine chose to help, chose to exceed the normal expectations of it and to help the broken train and all those upon it. In the story of the Good Samaritan we see that the one who wouldn’t have been usually recognized or of high status chose to help the wounded. Not only did he bandage the wounds, he brought the wounded to an inn, paid for his time spent and made sure he was looked after.We need to realize God uses many varieties of people to help us and we shouldn’t have an expectation of the quality of person who God sends our way to participate in our lives.Second Point I want to make is:We can do all things through Christ who strengthens usSo often instead of taking the attitude of the Blue Engine or the Good Samaritan we take the attitude of the big and shiny engine and say no we’re not able. But just like the little blue engine did, we need to say “I can, I can, I can.”When God is leading us and we’re walking in His will each obstacle, each challenge, each task should be faced with I can, I can, and I can.God always gives us the resources, the strength and the ability to carry out the task He sets before us.So set out today to walk in God’s Will and always have the attitude of the Little Blue Engine, I think I can, I think I can!