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Summary: Mary was willing to humble herself, accept the change of her circumstances, accept the shame and gossip and disdain she would face. In your life God wants to do something impossible for you, but possible for Him.

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The Riddle

I was at a Christmas party many years ago. A pastor and author was there who liked to play games with riddles. He had a good one which stumped everyone at the party.

“what’s bigger than the universe . . . dead men eat it . . . if living men eat it they die”.

You can think about that for a bit.

Luke 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Two Points to this message: 1. Nothing is impossible with God.

SOME SCRIPTURE ABOUT IMPOSSIBILITIES

But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Acts 2:24

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. Hebrews 6:18

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:23-27

It is obvious from these passages that nothing is impossible with God.

QUESTION: Is anything difficult for God?

Chuck Smith used to say you measure the difficulty of a task not by the task itself but by the capacity of the agent doing the work. If God is omnipotent, and by any measure we might be able to apply to Him He is, indeed, omnipotent, then there is nothing that is even difficult for Him. If you accept Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”, then you should have no problem with things like a worldwide flood, the sun stopping in the sky for a few extra hours of daylight or a virgin girl giving birth to a son without any physical relations with a man. For man all of these things may seem impossible. For God they are not even difficult. This is a reasonable perspective.

Illustration: Ruth Segafus- Almost twenty years ago I was serving as associate pastor at a small church in Long Beach, California. In the morning service during prayer someone told us the story of an elderly lady who was going in for surgery that week for a mastectomy-she had breast cancer. As we were praying for her I felt that the Lord was planning to heal her. I told my wife after the service “I think the Lord is going to heal the lady we prayed for this morning”. A few weeks later she came to our evening service to tell her story. She said the morning she was scheduled for surgery she was at peace. Her husband had been a pastor about fifty years. She felt her life had already been full and complete. She prayed to the Lord, “Lord, I’ve had a good life. I’m ready for whatever you have decided. If you want to take me home, I’m ready to be with You. If you want to heal me, I’ll give you the glory. Thy will be done”. When she got to the hospital they took her to a room next to the operation theater to prepare her for surgery. A technician would take a thin metal probe and press it into her chest to direct the surgeon to the place where the tumor could be found and extracted. He was using a scanner to see the tumor and direct his work. Unexpectedly there was a clamor of activity as the nurses and technicians in the room seemed very disturbed. They brought in the surgical team. Mrs. Segafus said “I didn’t understand why everyone was so upset. I thought ‘I’m the one going in for surgery and I’m at peace. Why are all these people so stressed?’” The lead surgeon came to her and said “Mrs. Segafus, I’m sorry, we can’t do the surgery today. She said “Why not”? He said, “as the technician was placing the probe the tumor disappeared. We can’t find it. We’d like you to come in tomorrow for some follow-up tests”. They did the follow-up tests. They never found the tumor. She was already in her 70’s. God gave her a few extra healthy years and a story to tell.

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