Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to strengthen the faith of believers to trust God.
21 December 2008
U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris
BIG IDEA: Understanding Elisabeth’s infertility (along with the knowledge that with God nothing is impossible) will strengthen the FAITH of believers to TRUST GOD.
REFERENCES: Fourth Sunday of Advent; James 2:14-26 (NIV) (Faith in Action)… Abraham – stumbled “not” at the promises of God – he nearly offered his son Isaac to God as a sacrifice; Romans 4:18-20 (NIV) Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his his body was as good as dead - since he was about a hundred years old – and Sarah’s womb was also dead, Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God; Jeremiah 32:17 (KJV) Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You; Matthew 19:26 (KJV) And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Barren: OT people considered childlessness a terrible curse. Thus it was very significant to Israel that God promised generations that were obedient to his law: Exodus 23:33 (KJV) “None will miscarry or be barren in your land”; Deuteronomy 7:14 (KJV) “none of your men or women will be childless, nor any of your livestock without young”; Later, God’s disobedient people found life itself to be barren. Isaiah 54:1-8 (KJV) But even at times of greatest despair the prophets promised the barren a song and a shout of joy, for God would surely restore those who had been rejected; Genesis 18:14 (GNB) Is anything too hard for the Lord (A Son is Promised to Abraham)?; Proverbs 31:30 (KJV) Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised; 1 Samuel 2:1-10 (of Hannah, in Thankfulness for a son); 1 Samuel 1:6 (KJV) And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb; Isaiah 7:14 (KJV) the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son;
I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: Luke 1:37 (ESV) For nothing will be impossible with God.
II. READ THE PERICOPE: Luke 1:37 (ESV) For nothing will be impossible with God.
III. READ THE TEXT: Luke 1:37 (ESV) For nothing will be impossible with God.
IV. PURPOSE: To strengthen the faith of believers to trust GOD.
V. SERMONIC THEME: “There’s nothing that God cannot do.”
VI. INTRODUCTION: Earlier, I was talking to my Chaplain Assistant – SSG Larry S. Johnson about Email Errors –boy, I’ve made my share of email errors. Speaking of Email Errors … there is a joke that I came across recently about Email Errors which read:
A man was on a business trip to the south of France and his wife had planned to meet him there the next day. When he reached his destination, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail. He tried his best to type it in from memory. Unfortunately, he missed one letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before. When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint. Hearing the scream, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen: "Dearest Wife, missing you already, just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow. P.S. Sure is hot down here!"
We laugh about things like that because we all have made errors typing email. How many of us have also made errors concerning our Faith and Trust in God?Th his wife had planned to meet him there The writer of the Book of Hebrews says in Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) Now, faith is the substance of things hope for and the evidence of things not seen; In other words, faith is something that you cannot see; yet you still believe. If you can see it with your natural eyes then that’s “not” FAITH.
Someone else has said … the virgin birth of Jesus will only be a problem to those who have a limited perception of God. Therefore, the question for Fortress Chapel members and friends to ponder … today … is “do you have a limited perception of God?” Again, “do you have a limited perception of God?”
Move 1: Now, today is the Fourth Sunday of Advent.
a. During this time of the year, with Christmas less than a week away, … as we revisit “the Narrative of the Annunciation of Christ” …