Text: Luke 1:37; 18:26-27; Matt 17:20-21 (King James Version
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
In "Sunday School Times" a story is told of an Eastern king that illustrates at once our delusion respecting natural processes, and also God's work and presence in them. The king was seated in a garden, and one of his counselors was speaking of the wonderful works of God. "Show me a sign," said the king, "and I will believe." "Here are four acorns," said the counselor, "will you, Majesty, plant them in the ground, and then stoop down for a moment and look into this clear pool of water?" The king did so, "Now," said the counselor, "look up." The king looked up and saw four oak trees where he had planted the acorns. "Wonderful!" he exclaimed,
"This is indeed the work of God." "How long were you looking into the water?" asked the counselor. "Only a second," said the king. "Eighty years have passed as a second," said the counselor. The king looked at his garments; they were threadbare. He looked at his reflection in the water; he had become an old man.
"There is no miracle here, then," he said angrily.
the counselor, "it is God's work, whether he did in one second or in eighty
I'm thankful that we serve an awesome and mighty God! I am glad that He has everything in control even though it seems that everything around us is out of control! I readily admit that there are times that God seems a million miles away, but in reality, He is closer than we think.
He is as close as the mention of His name! What ever our needs may be, He is always there to help bear our load. If we are tempted, He is able to deliver. If we are sick, He is able to heal. And whenever we need a miracle, God is still the miracle worker! Amen!
I do not want, in any way, to portray our Savior as some kind of errand boy who is at our beckon and call. But, I do want to say that God is concerned about His children, and He is always there to answer the prayer that is ushered out of a heart of faith!
It seems that many times the reason why we fail to receive an answer from God is not because we have not prayed. It is not because we have not known God's Will or Way. But, it was because of a lack of our faith!
Miracles happen without faith about as often as Azaleas happen without spring.
Miracles are God's gift to the expectant ones. So miracles come to those who are willing to accept them and live expecting them. Yet miracles do not always happen the way we expect them to. Miracles show up in strange places. The people had prayed for a Messiah, someone to deliver them from the Romans. They thought their miracle would take the form of a soldier or politician but he came as a baby. God's miracles are not always what we want, but they are never less than what we need.
Miracles occur when our faith and participation meet
Miracles require both our faith and our participation in them. First our faith. Mary first conceived Jesus in her heart before she gave birth to him. There is more to a miracle than what we see; like with icebergs, there's a lot more that we don't see than what we do see. The miracle of the Hebrews being freed from Egypt begins with a burning bush in the Midian desert. It was here that Moses believed God had called him to go to Egypt. The birth of Jesus is a miracle because of the faith of Mary and even Joseph.
Miracles also require our participation. Moses not only believed God but he took his staff and went to Egypt. The miracle circuit had to be completed. Moses had to free the people manually not by remote control; and yes, miracles require sweat. The man who was blind from birth that Jesus heals receives his miracle not through the mail, but by going to the pool and washing off the mud Jesus had packed his face in. Sure there are times when there is no participation, except outlandish faith; the woman with the issue of blood, the man with leprosy who is healed by the side of the road, but these times are rare and usually involve people who could do nothing for themselves.
The miracle of the birth of Jesus requires Mary's cooperation and participation. God is willing, but is Mary? Mary's response tells us all we need to know, "Be it done unto me as you have commanded." She is the servant of the Lord; thus we have a miracle called Christmas.
It has never been a question of God's ability or power, for by our text we read that "for with God all things are possible to them that believe!" So if you will allow me again to ask the question, "If God is able, what's keeping you from your miracle?"
Miracles are indeed rare, that is why we call them miracles. Yet my question to you tonight, are they rare because like the spotted owl, they are an endangered species or are they rare because finding people who have faith and who are willing to participate in a miracle are rare?
I. We Serve an Awesome & Mighty God!
There is no lack to our God and His mighty power. He is not some gray-headed grandfatherly figment of our imagination that walks stooped over with some weather beaten staff in hand.
The God of this Bible that is declared to be the Almighty God who knows no limitations or bounds. He is the Ancient of Days who fills up all space and time! He is the Great Creator of this universe who has made all things including man whom He made in His own image!
And what God becomes to us strictly depends upon how we really see Him. How big He becomes depends on how we put the magnifying scope of His Word to our spiritual eyes, and focus in upon a God who is bigger than anything we could ever imagine!
17 … faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
When you think that the moon is just over 100 thousand miles away from the earth. And Pluto, the farthest planet in our solar system is nearly 10 billion miles away.
And traveling even farther, 50 billion miles from the earth is what scientist call Interstellar Space, and even it reaches distances impossible for us to imagine!
There you find the Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to our galaxy. It is just 25 trillion miles away! (Just a Sunday drive!) Just to reach that star by space travel traveling at the speed of light, it would take an entire human lifetime to get there! And beyond that, we find what is known as Intergalactic Space, which is the space between galaxies. And beyond that, there is absolutely no ending!
Can you imaging a place where no human telescope can discover the contents of its black scape? A place where no human will ever go? Distances so vast and great that no human mathematical equation is ever going to measure it? And then to realize that God is bigger than that? Just the mere whisper of the voice of God created it all!
It wasn't anything for God to structure this universe and everything we will ever discover about it. It was just not a big problem for God! He never even broke a sweat!
II. God Doesn't Struggle Like We Struggle!
God showed Moses in His Deliverance of Isreal that He was Mightier than Pharaoh and his armies!
He showed Joshua that He was still bigger than the walls of Jericho and every barrier to victory!
He showed Jehoshaphat that some battles don't belong to man, but that they belong to God!
In the New Testament, after man had not heard from God for 400 years because of sin's separating power, angels heralded the arrival of a Deliverer and a Savior!
And the Jehovah God who had so often delivered in man's
past stepped out of the shadows of eternity into time and came again to show us
that God is certainly more than enough for our every need!
He opened blinded eyes, unstopped deafened ears, caused the dumb to speak, the lame to leap, and the dead to rise again!
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
I John 3:8
8 … (Because of sin) the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
III. God is Supreme Ruler Over Everything!
A. He Rules the Heavens!
1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
B. He Rules the Earth!
1 The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
C. He Rules the Kings of the Earth!
1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
1. God has the power to change men!
D. He Rules the Elements!
1. Proverbs 30:4 declares he gathers the wind in his fists, binds the waters in a garment, and has established all the ends of the earth.
2. Jesus rebuked the wind and waves on the tempestuous sea and they obeyed his will.
E. He Rules Our Enemies!
1. Elijah understood that even in the face of the insurmountable numbers of a Syrian army that "the angels of the LORD are encamped about them that fear Him!"
2. When all the servant could see was the enemy, Elijah could see the Host of Heaven in flaming chariots of fire!
II Kings 6:16-17
16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 3. He rules over Satan.
4. He rules over Death.
5. He rules over Hell.
IV. Our God Is!
The Peace Speaker & the Problem Solver!
The Miracle Worker & the Heart Mender!
He's my Provider & my Supplier!
He's my Shepherd & my Song!
He's my Sword & my Shield!
He's the Healer of all my diseases!
The Forgiver of all my iniquities!
Once an alcoholic became a believer in Jesus, he was asked how he could possibly believe all the nonsense in the Bible about miracles. "You don't believe that Jesus changed the water into wine, do you?" "I sure do, because in our house Jesus changed the whiskey into furniture."
He is Holy & Highly Exalted!
He is Merciful & He is Majestic!
There is nothing too hard for Him!
He's the Overseer of the Overcomers,
The Captain of Our Salvation,
He is Altogether Lovely,
And Jesus is His Name!
Herod couldn't kill him,
Learned men could not baffle Him,
Politicians could not bribe Him,
And Pharisees couldn't trick him!
Pilot couldn't touch Him,
The devil couldn't budge Him,
The cross couldn't keep Him,
And the grave couldn't hold Him!
V. There is no Sickness that He Cannot Cure!
Do you worry about your health? Is your body plagued with pain? Your miracle is letting the Lord have his way, stop your worrying; God knows what he is doing, rest in his arms and call upon his name. Wait on your miracle. Have faith and be willing to participate, have hope.
He's bigger than:
Aids or Alzheimer's
Arthritis or anorexia
Bulimia or bursitis
Cataracts or cancer
Depression or diabetes
Emphysema or Epilepsy
Hepatitis or Heart disease
Melanoma or Migraines
Turberculosis or anything else!
The Bible still declares that by His stripes we are healed!
If receiving a miracle is dependant on us having the spirit of Mary, then we have our answer. "I am the servant of the Lord, may it be as you have said."
How many of us have this submissive attitude to put our lives in God's hands? When we keep things in our hands, the outcome is predictable; but when we put things in God's hands, who knows what can happen… miracles. Yet, it is more than putting things in God's hand; it is putting ourselves in his hands "may it be as you have said." These are the words that serve as the prelude for miracles, "may it be as you have said."
Maybe you're plagued by sin. You are desperate to get out from its power. You know what is right, but you do what is wrong. Then turn to the Lord. Participate and have faith and the miracle will come.