Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Are you facing a seemingly impossible situation? I want you to know that, as a child ofAbraham, you are in a position to make use of the zero factor. Put yourself in the place of Abraham and Sarah. They were both over 90 years of age, with nothing but a

Are you facing a seemingly impossible situation? I want you to know that, as a child ofAbraham, you are in a position to make use of the zero factor. Put yourself in the place of Abraham and Sarah. They were both over 90 years of age, with nothing but a promise from God that a son would come from Abraham’s body — and that he would be the father of many nations. Sarah was barren and well-past childbearing years. They didn’t doubt God’s Word, but they had tried taking matters into their own hands. Sarah thought maybe the prophecy would be fulfilled through Abraham and her maidservant Hagar, but that was a big mistake! Usually when we act on our own without waiting for God to come through, we mess things up.

Can you imagine, though? It would take true faith to believe that a child could come into their lives at this age. And consider their track record. In everyone’s eyes, including their own — they were two “zero’s” when it came to reproducing. With all their hoping, wishing, dreaming, praying and desiring, they could not get beyond “the zero factor.” They had been married for decades, yet they had “nothing” to show for it. I believe that sometimes God delights when His children are in this very uncomfortable zone of having, seeing, feeling — nothing. God doesn’t delight in our suffering, but in the opportunity to prove Himself.

God likes to have the “odds” stacked against Him. He loves the “hopeless” cases — He is God. He wants all the glory. He wants the opportunity to demonstrate that He can turn hopelessness into hope — death into life — trouble into triumph. Miracles begin with “nothing.” Everything that we see — the world, the sky, the light, the waters, the plants and animals — everything was spoken into existence out of “nothing.” God is the Creator — He knows how to take our “nothing” and form it into something useful in His hand. It’s almost impossible for us to understand. Men call each other creative if they paint a picture or build a bridge. But even the architect and the artist must use materials to create their works of art. They must start with something.

With God it is different. He knew man needed some shade from the heat and food to eat and He spoke trees into existence. That’s what makes Him God. He needs no other resources outside of Himself. Just think about it. When you’ve reached the point of zero — you have nothing in your hand; your marriage has dwindled away to nothing — your hope of promotion on the job has gone; your children are away from home and their lives are messed up — the doctors have given you no hope — you are in the place where miracles begin.

This reminds me of a young man from the Bronx, Brother Anthony Alverez. If anyone knows about the “zero factor,” Anthony does. Anthony is not proud of his past. He had been born and raised in New York City. At the young age of 24, Anthony not only was addicted to heroin, but he learned that he had full blown AIDS in his body. At that time Anthony didn’t know anything about God and had nothing but hatred in his heart. Anthony was brought to the place of “nothing.” He had no money; his health was gone; he was facing death; he was without God in his life; and, he was living in a neighborhood without hope. Yet, our miracle-working God had other plans for Anthony.God revealed Himself to this young man, in a very similar way to Abraham’s experience. God told Anthony there was work for him to do; He called him to preach. In Anthony’s mind that seemed like a dream. His body was riddled with AIDS; he had no hope. How would he preach the Gospel? But Anthony didn’t doubt God. He accepted the call and humbled himself before the Lord. God healed Anthony of AIDS and gave him a second chance. He also gave Anthony a beautiful wife, whom the doctors said would never have children because of Anthony’s disease.

Once again, God created something out of nothing. Anthony and his wife have two, very healthy — very active twin boys. No sign of AIDS exists in any family member. Anthony is now preaching the Gospel around the world, because God is the Lord of the impossible circumstance. Under the tent, Anthony told us that he proved God again in another area. His family had some significant debt that had not budged. They had no means of getting rid of that debt. God spoke to him and told him to give $100 - he really couldn’t afford to give — and before the tent came down, all of Anthony’s debt was paid off. The “zero factor.” It was multiplied many times over in Anthony’s life. Yet, because he believed God, he went from being a heroin addict — to preaching the Gospel; he changed from facing death with full blown AIDS — to being miraculously healed; his family, instead of facing barrenness in their marriage — was granted two beautiful sons; and instead of unpaid debt — Anthony is facing financial freedom. NOTHING IS TOO DIFFICULT FOR GOD!

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