Summary: When things seem impossible to us, God can!


TEXT: ACTS 19:8-20


INTRODUCTION: A. Three boys who lived in the same neighborhood got to bragging one day. None of

the three could top the other two until they started bragging about their grandfathers.

The first boy said, “My grandfather was in the FBI and caught several famous

criminals.” The second boy said, “Oh yeah? Well my grandfather was a military hero

who saved his whole platoon from being captured by the enemy.” The third boy said,

“That’s nothin’. My grandfather knew the year, month, week, day, hour, minute, and

second that he was going to die!”

The first boy asked, “Really?” The second boy asked, “How did he know that?”

The third boy replied, “The judge told him!”

1. We’ve become a society that is fascinated by the astonishing and the unbelievable

a. Amazing athletic feats and tremendous displays of strength

b. In movies and television, we expect to see dazzling special effects and breath-

taking stunts.

c. We turn to talk shows to see and hear about bizarre acts performed by demented


2. We observe such things and exclaim: “Wow! Did you see that?” Man! How in

the world did they ever do that?” Oh! That’s just incredible!” “I can’t believe

anybody would try something like that!”

B. Yet, if we’d just take some time to look at the biblical records, we’ll find that there is

not one actual or simulate event in our technically advanced society that can even

begin to stand beside the might works of God:

1. Gen. 1 – speaks the world into existence

2. Ex. 14 – parts the Red Sea

3. Josh. 10 – Holds the sun and moon still in their orbits

C. There are other scriptures that remind us of the power and strength of God

--That show us the possibilities that exist when it comes to God and what He can do

1. Jer. 32:17 – “Oh, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by

your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”

2. Lk. 18:27 – [Jesus says,] “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

3. Eph. 3:20 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or

imagine, according to his power that is at work with us…

D. One of the most important scriptural teachings that we can depend on, that we can lean

on, that we can in, is that when things seem impossible and we can’t, God can!


--Acts 19:11-12 – God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that

had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

A. First thing to point out: it is God who performs the miracles

1. The miracles didn’t happen because of Paul but because of God

2. Lots of times I’ve heard radio or TV preachers say something like, “If you’ll just send in your money,

I’ll send you this pillowcase or prayer cloth or handkerchief and if you’ll just sleep on it or just carry

it around with you, you’ll receive a miracle.”

a. That kind of thing makes me cringe when I hear it because God doesn’t sell His miracles

--He gives them out of His grace and mercy

b. Another thing that makes me cringe is that these so-called preachers act like miracles happen

because of their own abilities.

3. Supernatural events occur through the agency of two persons: God or Satan

a. Satan’s supernatural acts are faulty and weak – they don’t last

--They’ll fade. They’ll turn bad just like a rotting tomato.

b. God’s miracles are perfect

--They’re permanent and will not fade

c. 1 Jn. 4:1 – Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from

God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

B. Second point brought out in tonight’s text is that these miracles were unusual

--Understandably, miracles are unusual in themselves but these were extraordinary

1. God does perform miracles but these were different than ones He normally performs

2. This particular type of miracle is only described in a few isolated incidences in the New Testament

a. The woman with the hemorrhage that touched the hem of Jesus’ garment

b. In Acts 5, when people would try to get passed over by Peter’s shadow

c. Here in our passage this evening

C. Two reminders:

1. All of God’s miracles are extraordinary becuae they happen outside of the natural ways of operation

2. God also works through normal, ordinary processes

--God will honor the dedicated work of physicians and other medical personnel

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