Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Nothing is Impossible

Matthew 19:26 - But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

A scripture often heard. A true scripture. God’s timing is impeccable. 

I have several favorite stories in the Bible. God is amazing. He does some powerful things and uses the people least likely to bring about His plan. They all, in some way, turn us to God or Jesus...and salvation. No way is it, nor nothing is impossible, for God to bring about His plan, whether it be accomplishing His will in the world or salvation to the masses. We can think we know what He’s up to, but we really can’t be sure. Oh, some day we will know for sure. When we see the signs the Book of Revelation shares with us. 

So these stores…many regarding salvation! There's Noah and his ark and the very strong symbolism of the ark, the open door, the only way into the ark's safety, and Jesus. Jesus tells us He is the way. He is the door. He is the shepherd who leads. 

Moses delivered Israel, God's chosen people out of slavery in Egypt, Egypt being a symbol of the world (even today's world). He saves us from the slavery to sin in this world…just like Jesus.

There's David, a boy small in stature, compared to all his tall, strong brothers. He, not those able-bodied brothers, was instrumental in felling Goliath, a so-sure-of-himself giant. He uses the foolish things to confound the wise. I love that! Remember, Jesus humbled Himself. He didn’t use big words or any power but the power of the Holy Spirit. Remember, He uttered not a word of defense to His innocence as He was led to the cross…for each one of us.

I was foolish most of my life, wrapped up in a worldly lifestyle unlike many others today. I was ensnared. If it made me happy, I went for it. I was proud in my accomplishments. I believed lie after damnable lie. No one could change MY mind about who Jesus was. That pride said if others could live without Christ, doing their own thing, then how in the world could God punish the majority?! He wouldn't do that. Not a question, a period. Another lie.

More about this God's plan. His plan goes way back to the Old Testament. Adam and Eve, for starters! Despite the sin these two committed, His plan was carried out, though they paid for it and today we do too. Abraham and Sarah, both in the midst of old age, a woman well beyond child bearing years. But God used them to perpetuate the blood line of Christ. And through the ages, as Matthew and Luke both point out in genealogies, all are involved. 

Think about it... He used a simple maiden named Mary to bring about the birth of our Savior. She had to suffer embarrassment, silently, (like Jesus) when everyone thought she was pregnant by Joseph. I heard some interesting facts:
*The blood of a child comes from his father alone, and the male sperm is the source of the blood
*The body of an embryo comes from his mother alone
*The blood of Adam came directly from God when God breathed into him the breath of life
*Sin is transmitted only through the blood 
*The Holy Spirit contributed the blood of Jesus and Mary contributed His body - (Mart DeHaan) 

Jesus, being born of the Holy Spirit, therefore, a we know, had no sin. This is amazing! Look at paternity testing to identify a father. Jesus was in the beginning when creation was made. He and the Father are one, therefore He is Creator. This should cause us to pause and contemplate His abilities. 

So, how amazing is our God? His thoughts are higher than ours. He is in control of all things. Yet...He cares enough but the smallest details of our lives and wants to see all of us saved. Yet some refuse this magnificent gesture.

Another New Testament story is about the persistence of a woman with a 12 year issue of blood. She so desired healing. She sought hard enough. Enough to crawl on her hands and knees in a crowd to only touch the hem of His garment. Jesus healed her. He can heal physically and spiritually. It's the spiritual healing that is most important. Even if our physical healing doesn’t happen, our souls are good to go. All this healing is taken care of when we humble ourselves and ask Christ to forgive us for our sins…and follow Him.

A woman from Samaria, an outcast in her village for having had many husbands and now was living with a man. She had to obtain her water at noon to avoid all the others who went early in the morning. One day she arrived at the well only to see a Man who asked her for water. Jews often steered clear of Samaritans. Not Jesus. He knew she would be there. He knew her state and the condition of her sinful heart. But His purpose was salvation. In their discussion He revealed Himself to her…and she ran back to the village to tell everyone she could she met a Man who knew everything about her…and to come and see Him. He forgave and healed a woman. She no longer needed to live a life of shame.

I think of the story of Saul who persecuted Christians. It’s one of my favorites. It can bring hope to many. He was on his way to Damascus to work on persecuting more. Out of the sky a light blinded him. He could do no more than fall to the ground. He instinctively knew who it was. The light blinded him for three days but later was restored. He had been forgiven and now Saul, who was called Paul, became one of the most vocal, powerful men of the Bible. All by the power of God. We all live blind to the truth of Christ until His light comes into our lives and opens our eyes. I once was blind but now I see! This is a truth.

All the stories of redemption in the Bible. All the shame that was relieved. All the sin forgiven. All the lives now changed. Redemption of God's people (which is still playing out in the world today), redemption of individuals. Jesus saves. He's at work in Asia, Europe, even in the Middle East, and Africa. Missionaries have shared the Gospel with remote villages. God has shown people who He is in visions and dreams. We are told this will increase as the days draw nearer to His return. Come, Lord Jesus.

Nothing is impossible with God. It's good to remember when you question why some won't receive, who don’t want to hear the Gospel’s good news. There's still always hope. And if after that nothing happens, you remain grateful that you believed. Some day in heaven, somehow, those people will not be mourned. No more tears, no more sorrow. Another amazing mystery.

Jeremiah 32:17 - Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.

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