Nothing Is Too Hard

(Genesis 18:11-13)  “Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.  Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?  Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

It was now many years since the original promise of God in Genesis 12.  Over and over again God reaffirmed His plan for the Messiah to come through Abraham’s lineage in his marriage to Sarah.  But over and over again, Sarah pushed back on this promise.  Sarah rejected the idea that she was the chosen mother of the promised child who would eventually become the father of Jacob, eventually renamed “Israel.”  She wanted to choose instead of accepting the choice God had already made.  She wanted to dictate the terms of God’s plan.  Everything she did seemed to say, “I’m not the one God.  Use someone else!”

What is God calling you to do today?  I’ve had times when I pushed back on God’s plan saying, “Not me Lord!”  But who can resist the hand of God?  Maybe you are under the conviction to start a ministry or go to Bible college.  Maybe the desire of your heart is to be a missionary in a far away country.  Maybe you are just called to minister to your own neighbors.  There is great fear to take the step of faith and risk everything.  Like Sarah, you may think you are too old.  It may seem impossible but you have a vision and a passion that won’t go away.  Are you refusing the God who can create the possible out of the impossible?  You may have no human reason to believe.  You may be surrounded by people who are telling you to “let someone else do it.”  You are the one God wants to us to accomplish great things.  Nothing is too hard for the Lord.

Renewed Thought – Believe God.  Trust God.  Watch God do amazing things with your life.

City Vision

(Act 17:16)  “Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.”

What do your eyes see when you look out over your city or town?  It doesn’t matter whether you live in a place that has a population of 200 or 2,000,000; there are people around you who need the Lord.  What does it do to your heart when you attend a baseball game, concert, or play?  Do you see the need as you walk across your school campus?  The word “stirred” in this verse means “provoked from within.”  As Paul looked out on the mass of humanity in need of a Savior, his heart was burdened and he was provoked to give them the gospel.

Is your heart stirred for your town or city?  Too many times the church becomes inward-looking and self-serving.  In some places there is more competition to win the saved over to church attendance than to see the lost come to Christ.  Sometimes we become more burdened to see our brothers and sisters agree with our Biblical viewpoint than to see our friends and neighbors in a relationship with our Lord.  It’s easier to evangelize the saved than engage the lost.  But God doesn’t call us to “fix” the Body of Christ.  Rather He calls us to introduce the Great Physician to those who need their soul healed by the gospel.

Wherever you live today, you are a missionary.  Look out of the stained-glass windows and see the need outside.  As you see the need through the Lord’s eyes, your heart will surely stir within you.

Renewed Thought – “It is the cooping yourselves up in rooms that has dampened the work of God, which never was and never will be carried out to any purpose without going into the highways and hedges and compelling men and women to come in.” – John Wesley

Boldness From The Relationship – Acts 4:13

(Act 4:13)  “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

“Boldness” comes from the Greek word parrhēsia which means “freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech.”  It is fearlessness to speak.  It is confidence to proclaim.  Sometimes we want so badly to give the gospel to someone but our flesh and our fear hold us back.  We keep our mouths closed when our spirit tells us to loose our tongue and proclaim the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord to a relative, friend or neighbor who need to know Him.  I’ve been there on more occasions than I would like to admit.

Peter had been with the Lord for most of three years during His earthly ministry.  Yet when the critical time came to stand up, Peter not only kept silent, he denied any knowledge of Jesus.

(John 18:25)  “And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.”

But now everything had changed.  Everything was different now.  There was no concern for self but only concern for the testimony of Jesus Christ.  Notice that Peter and John were perceived to be “unlearned and ignorant.”  They hadn’t been to the religious schools.  They weren’t trained in the art of public speaking.  Here were two men who were merely proclaiming what God had placed in their heart.

What is it that gives us the boldness to open our mouths and speak freely in the name of Jesus Christ?  What is it that gives us the confident assurance to speak when our circumstances put pressure on us to keep silent?  It comes from the reality of a relationship.  Boldness isn’t something that comes on you or me from the outside.  Boldness isn’t based on what you know.  Speaking for the Lord isn’t about information, it’s about relationship. These men “had been with Jesus.”  Armed with the power of the Holy Spirit and a new personal knowledge of the risen Lord Jesus, they were confident to proclaim.  Boldness to speak and to live for the Lord Jesus comes from the life of God breaking out from within us.  Boldness comes as the result of spending time getting to know the Savior.  If I have a problem with boldness, I am not spending enough time in His presence.  I know when my flesh overwhelms my spirit’s willingness to give the gospel that I need to go back on my knees and draw near again.  When the time comes again to boldly proclaim the Lord, my source comes from the power of the Holy Spirit and the relationship developed because  I “had been with Jesus.”

Renewed Thought – Our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is what can transform information into something supernatural as we proclaim His Word.