6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Learning about the importance of learning to hear from God

Message from God

CCCAG December 10th, 2017

Scripture- Luke 1:26-38

Edward Kimball, Sunday school teacher, was not one of the ordinary type.

• Got involved in the lives of his boys

• Got to know them on a personal level

One day a new teenage boy started to attend his class, and as was his custom, he visited him at his place of employment- a shoe store downtown.

Mr. Kimball wrote about the encounter- When I was nearly there, I began to wonder whether I ought to go just then, during business hours. And I thought maybe my mission might embarrass the boy, that when I went away the other clerks might ask who I was, and when they learned might make fun of him and ask if I was trying to make a good boy out of him.

Then when I found the store, I determined to make a dash for it and have it over at once. I found him in the back part of the store wrapping up shoes in paper and putting them on shelves. I went up to him and put my hand on his shoulder. Then I made my plea that he accept Christ, and I feel that it was really a very weak one. I don’t know just what words I used, nor could he tell. I simply told him of Christ’s love for him and the love Christ wanted in return. That was all there was of it.

It seemed that the young man was just ready for the light that then broke upon him, for there at once in the back of that shoe store in Boston the young man gave his life to Christ."

Edward Kimball had just witnessed to Dwight L. Moody.

But that is not all the only person he witnessed to.

Follow the progression that now takes place.

John W. Chapman attended a revival of Moody’s and accepted Christ. John Chapman’s became a pastor and evangelist. During one of his revivals Billy Sunday came forward after accepting Christ.

Billy Sunday preached a revival at which Mordecai Ham was present. He came forward during the invitation to profess his faith in Christ

Mordecai Ham preached a revival at which Billy Graham was present and he too professed Christ publicly.

Before today, most of us never heard the name Edward Kimball.

But many of us knew who Dwight Moody was.

Many knew of Billy Sunday’s ministry.

Some of heard of Mordecai Ham

All of us have heard the name Billy Graham.

One person believing and obeying the Word of God that was spoken to them changed the course of 10’s of millions of lives in the 20th century and even today.

The bible describes another person believing the Word of God spoken to her. This teenager from Nazareth had a visitation by God’s messaging angel Gabriel.

This girl had every reason to doubt the angels message-

She was a poor girl living in the bible’s version of the sticks. Nazareth was considered to be so back water that even to refer to a person as being from there was to say they were poor, uneducated, uncouth in manners and behavior, and generally the person you wouldn’t want to move in next to you. Even Jesus’ own disciple asked the question-“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

This girl wasn’t even a citizen of the country that she lived in- Nazareth was part of conquered Israel. She was a subject of a foreign emperor who cared little about her wellbeing.

She lived during a time when woman were second class citizens even in her own community.

Even her religion had been twisted into a series of do’s and don’ts instead of a pursuit of a transcendent God that loved His creation.

Lastly, it’s been over 400 years since God seemingly took notice of her people. 10 Generations ago, the last Prophet, Malachi spoke of a messiah that was to come, preceded by a man who carried the spirit of Elijah.

That man carrying the Elijah spirit is in the womb of Elizabeth

That’s the backdrop of our scripture reading this morning.

Luke 1:26-38 (note reading from NIV)

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

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 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, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

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