Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How Can This Thing Be?


With the world in the shape it is, families torn apart, 395 million starving around the globe, near 40 ongoing armed conflicts, 1/3 of America’s children living in homes without fathers, 1 out of every 8 youth in the US destined to become homeless during their lifetime, the increase in unemployment along with a rise in alcoholism and drug addiction while literacy rates are noticeably declining – it’s no wonder – “We Need A Savior”.

Last Sunday we agreed that the answer does not lie in the wisdom or counsel of man. In fact, the greatest minds in history and the most brilliant ideas ever laid forth have gotten us to where we are today.

It’s like King Solomon declared: “There is a way which seems right to man but the end thereof is the way of destruction.”

It is evident that the reason why God sent His Son is because:

We Need A Savior!

Without a Savior, this is the best life ever gets!

Without a Savior, this world is the best place you will ever live!

We need a Savior but, how? How can it happen? How can this thing be?

Before we go further this morning I wish to thank all who participated in making the three part drama series to compliment the messages this Christmas season. Last week we saw Part One: We Need A Savior; This week we watched Part One and Part Two: How Can This Thing Be?; and next Sunday morning in a brief, but special Christmas Sunday morning message, we will view Parts 1, 2 & 3 and then hear The Unfolding Plan of God.

I will also take time next week to introduce the cast and those behind the scenes who made this drama series possible. It was a tremendously successful first attempt in a long line of many more to come.

The fact that We Need A Savior is evident – but what is not as evident is: How Can This Thing Be?

If the most brilliant minds the world has ever known and the best leaders mankind could afford have gotten us into this mess, how in the world will we ever get out?

For our answer, let’s turn in our bibles to the Gospel of:

Luke 2

1 ¶ And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

It just so happened …

Nope – it was a plan all along – it came to pass …

Nothing, and I mean nothing, happens in God’s world without a plan!

2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.

This was not something that God just thought of on the spur of the moment. It was a long time in the making but God has a lot of patience – and persistence. And, the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord.

I’m sure that it was a hardship for many to participate and some most likely thought that the Roman rulers had ulterior motives in demanding a census. Conspiracy theorists of the day were no doubt running rampant with this one. Why register? Always consider that:

What seems like a surprise to us is often a plan to God!

3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

There are a lot of “so’s” in life … the result of something else …

God sets us up or moves someone else’s heart and – so …

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,

Of course he was!

This had been in the works for generations … It was a plan !!!

Salmon & Rahab – from the tribe of Judah, inherited there …

Boaz & Ruth continued the family in Bethlehem …

All the way to David and

Mary & Joseph

Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of David, through Judah back to Abraham – just so if anything happened, there was still a claim and still a need to go to Bethlehem – God triple stacked His success!

5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.

Fulfilling the prophecy which Isaiah spoke:

Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Many miracles are but fulfillments of God’s promised word to His people. God still speaks and He still fulfills His Word today …

6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.

God is always on time … Never late & seldom early … right on time!

7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

How sad it is to see the world at Jesus’ birth, at His death and perhaps at His second coming, unaware of the Savior and perhaps even unaware they need saving! The world still has no room for Jesus. We see it most demonstrated in our schools and our government.

Because we needed a Savior and there was no other way, God sent His Only Begotten Son, to be born in a stable manger, live a sinless life and die an atoning death.

Once we realize that we need a Savior it is important to also realize that: Every question, trouble and trial of this life has a spiritual answer.

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she was to become the Mother of the Messiah, she had but one question …

Luke 1

31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.”

32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

33 "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be …”, since I do not know a man?"

35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit … will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

The Christmas message is a message of miracles. We need a Savior – not a buddy, not a best friend, and not a bailout … we need a Savior. How can it happen? By the Holy Spirit … God has a plan which includes you.

In the end the simple willingness of Mary shines forth as perhaps one of the greatest prayers ever uttered:

“Be it unto me according to Your Word.” (Luke 1:38)

Would you dare pray that prayer with me now? Our salvation begins when we let God be God. He alone is wise and He alone can save. God has a plan for your life that has been long in the making. Call upon Him now and submit your life to Him. What the angel told Mary is still true today … "With God nothing will be impossible"