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With God, Nothing Is Impossible | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Cross Radio
December 5, 2021 3:00 am

With God, Nothing Is Impossible | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 5, 2021 3:00 am

Sometimes it is easy to forget that the people God chose as Jesus’ parents were young and, in many ways, unprepared. Yet Mary and Joseph trusted in God’s plan and were faithful. 

Starting off our Christmas series, Pastor Greg Laurie shows how God fulfills His promises through the obedience of regular people. Listen in for a message from Luke 1 and Matthew titled, “With God, Nothing Is Impossible.”

Notes

The word for power comes from the root word “dynamite.”

Mary saw Jesus enter the world as her son and leave as her Savior.

Mary was living in Nazareth.

1. Mary lived a Godly life in an ungodly place.

Nazareth could be described as sin city.

Mary models for us that it is possible to live a holy life in an unholy place.

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young.”

Mary was a nobody in a nothing town in the middle of nowhere.

God uses “nobodies” to tell everybody about somebody.

The Lord hand-picked Mary to fulfill this prophecy.

Troubled means “disturbed,” “confused,” or “failure to function.”

2. Mary was surprised that God had selected her and not someone else.

Gabriel the Archangel tells Mary what the name of her child, the Messiah, was to be.

Mary was willing to do whatever God wants!

3. Mary obeyed and magnified God.

Mary wonders how she, being a virgin, will conceive and Gabriel says, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” —Luke 1:37

For with God nothing will be impossible!

Joseph is an unsung hero of the Christmas story.

4. God chose Joseph just as surely as He chose Mary, to be a stepfather, a father figure for Jesus on Earth!

Joseph was doubtful about the supernatural conception.

The angel of the Lord came to Joseph, too!

If there were no virgin birth, there would be no sinless Christ. If there is no sinless Christ, there would be no atonement.

1. Jesus came to die and give His life as a ransom for many.

“For even the Son of man came not to be served, but to serve others, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” —Mark 10:45

2. Jesus was born in Bethlehem to bring life in all of its fullness.

3. Christ was born in a manger so that we could be born again!

God has given us the ultimate gift.

For with God nothing will be impossible!

Scripture Referenced

1 Timothy 4:12

Isaiah 7:14

John 10:10

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Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org.

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Hey there, thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie part just a ministry supported by harvest partners on Greg Laurie encouraging you if you want to find out more about harvest ministries. To learn more about how to become a harvest partner, just go to harvest.org okay, grab your Bibles find the app on your phone, your tablet and turn to Luke chapter 1. The title of my messages with God nothing is impossible while Christmas is here right and there's all the reminders that it's time to get out there and shop and remember to get this for someone or get them for someone else and and then there are the telltale signs of where you're at in your age.

As each Christmas conference since if you're really young. You believe in Santa Claus as you little bit older, you don't believe in Santa Claus you get a little bit older you become Santa Claus and finally, you look like Santa Claus. That's where I met at this point in my life free of a Sunday school teacher that went to Israel and decided to buy one of those little olive wood nativity set. You know they had Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus in the wisemen of the camels and so forth. So she packed it up and was going through the airport and the security people stopped her and they were carefully going over every figure in her nativity said she was kind of surprised by this and she finally has.

Why are you paying so much attention to all these figures my nativity set in the answer from the security guy was simply, we must make sure there is nothing explosive in them.

But you know that makes a really good point. There is something explosive in the power of the story of the birth the life, death and resurrection of Jesus affect the apostle Paul says that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes in the words of Paul use them for power is from the root word. Due to Ms. and we couldn't get our English word dynamite from it.

So Paul is effectively saying there's explosive power in the story of the gospel. So I want to talk about that story about God want you to read with me right now the Christmas story.

I often read from the new living translation, but only to be reading from the new King James version because I love the structure of the translation when it comes to this particular passage. So let's read together. I'm reading Luke chapter 1 verse 26 no and the six month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary and the angel came into her and said hey you know you are highly favored. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women when she saw him she was troubled at the same and considered what manner of greeting this was in the angel said to her to not be afraid, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son and called his name Jesus.

He will be great.

He will be called the son of the highest in the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. Now Mary asked the very legitimate question.

She says to the angel, how should this be seen that I do not know a man in the angel answered and said the Holy Spirit will come upon you the power of the highest will overshadow you.

Therefore, the holy one born and you will be called the son of God, and indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age and this is all the six month for her who was called barren. Verse 37 for with God nothing will be impossible and then Mary said, behold the maidservant of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word and the angel departed from her. Okay, let's unpack this amazing story. Strip away all the tradition and get to what really happened. So were introduced to Mary did you know more girls have been named after Mary that any woman was ever lived.

Mary is such a special woman for so many reasons. But here's something to think about Mary is the only person who was present at both the birth and the death of Jesus Christ's Jesus entered the world as her son and he left the world as her Savior. He was conceived in her womb and then later became into her heart. So where was Mary when this message came to her. She was living in Nazareth. According to verse 26 so here's the problem with the Christmas story not with the story itself, but the way we sometimes choose to interpret it.

We have made it to beautiful.

There's too much fairy dust on the story and we miss what it really was saying we've overly romanticized it, and as a result, we have lost the power of the story of the birth of Jesus and that starts with Nazareth. What was Nazareth.

I don't know if you know this, but it was a city that was run down or its wickedness and this is not the first time an angel went to a wicked city.

Remember, the Angels were dispatched to Sodom to warn them of the judgment that was coming in to deliver Lot and his family and did this wicked city known for its sin. The angel comes and just sort of confirm this.

Remember when Nathaniel was told that Jesus was from Nazareth, he actually said. Can any good thing come out of Nazareth, you know, certain cities are known for certain things. As an example, Rome is called the eternal city. Paris is called the city of lights. New York is called the city that never sleeps and Las Vegas is called sin city right Nazareth can also be called sin city.

Not only that, but it was sort of a non-place, meaning it was a small place that was between two other places.

It was a place where Roman soldiers would stop on their way to somewhere else.

And because he spent a lot of time in this city, let's just say, to put it delicately, more than one young woman found herself pregnant and so here in this godless place Godly girl living a godly life. This brings me to point number one, Mary lived a godly life in it on godly place. I don't know where you find yourself right now.

Maybe you're surrounded by nonbelievers baby in the town of the village of the city where you live is known for its sinfulness and you wonder sometimes how can I live a godly life in a place like this you can do it with God's power.

Just like very did you know sometimes we may think that certain sins cannot be resisted second song said simply irresistible right no.

All sin can be resisted.

First Corinthians 1013 says this, there is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God who is faithful will not allow you to be tempted above your capacity to resist but will with the temptation make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Go back in your mind from moment to the last time you were tempted the sin and if you gave into that sin, ask yourself this question.

Was there a way out. Could I have resisted it if I had chosen to in the answer of course is yes.

Mary shows you can live a godly life in it on godly place. I would also add she was very young when the angel came to her, maybe as young as 13 or 14 years old and by the way the Bible is filled with the stories of young people. The change the world. Jeremiah was but a boy. When the Lord called him to be a prophet to the nation Israel.

You remember those three courageous young men, Shadrach me shack in the Bendigo who would not bow before the golden image directed by came King Nebuchadnezzar and then of course we think of others who took their stand in their use, such as Stephen who we looked at.

Not too long ago, from our series in the book of acts who courageously stood up for his faith and actually lost his life in the process. So if you're young, I want you to know there's God can really use a young person. Let's not forget the fact that the last great spiritual awakening that we call the Jesus movement was largely a youth awakening a youth movement that's why Paul wrote to young Timothy and said don't let anyone think less of you because you are young be an example to all the believers in the way you live in your love and your faith and your purity and I started out preaching when I was very young I became a Christian at the age of 17 I look like this. Then I started preaching when I was 19 I look like this you can see that I sort of turned into a chippy and I started pastoring our church when I was 20 vectors a photograph of me signing a wedding certificate for a couple I Mary, by the way, what was I thinking with the suit. That is one ugly suit, but I got started young. I was willing to take risks. I was willing to do something unexpected and I'm just saying you God can use young people because they're willing to do something that is a little bit out of the box, or to do something fresh, something that hasn't been done before. You know when you get older you become set in your weights you go to the same restaurant you said the same spot in the order the same thing off the menu right.

I remember that when I was younger I used to love to go on roller coasters released, I went on roller coasters one day and this may have been a my 40s I just said I'm not going on a roller coaster again. I hate roller coasters we were.

And now we recently visited and are visiting our church harvestable Lonnie and a bunch of my family decided to jump off this rock. Now the last time we were there a couple years earlier. I jumped off the rock with them this time. I looked down, is it I want to jump up the rock anymore see when you're older, you're less willing to take a risk, but when you're younger you willing to say.

Let's see what the Lord will do. You might be a young person like Mary living in a godless place, and your seeking to live a godly life and I want you to know your life can make a difference. Mary was a nobody and nothing town in the middle of nowhere. But here's the good news. God goes out of his way to use people like this. God uses nobodies to tell everybody about somebody if you don't believe me as Mary and Joseph when you get to heaven. Think about this the Lord handpick this young, maybe 13 or 14-year-old girl to fulfill Bible prophecy of Isaiah 714 says the Lord himself will give you a sign.

Behold, the virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he will call his name Immanuel. Do you think that Marilee carry that passage ever thought to herself, you know II think I'm going to be the fulfillment of that prophecy. I think I want to be the virgin prophesied of in the book of Isaiah. I seriously doubt that was the case, but she was the fulfillment of this promise that God gave God chose this young unknown girl in a relatively unknown city to bring about the most known event in all of human history and a reminds us that God keeps his promises. There are over 500 passages in the Old Testament, pointing to the arrival of the Messiah were told in these passages written before he was born how we would be born, where he would be born. They talked about his crucifixion, his resurrection, and much more.

And it just reminds us that God keeps his promises. That's good to know us and it don't hesitate to hang on to the promises of God. The Bible says that the Lord is given to us exceedingly great and precious promises in first Peter one I think of the promises of God a little bit like gift cards. It'll give cards are very popular now to give to people for the Christmas season and if you're like me you probably have a lot of unused gift cards. I read that $200 billion a year is spent on gift cards and so many of them are left on use. Now I had to admit to you that some gift cards I receive are cards that I don't want to go to this place. I received a gift card for place called liver world, what, why would it would either deliver what one night when I buy and deliver world by me that there's no place called liver world, but I did get a card for a place called jail cats and priestess that's a nightmare to me. Don't want to go there and then I got another gift card for dog strollers are us none of you listen to be preaching all that I have a particular dislike for people pushing dogs around and strollers. Also, I don't love cats I love some cats not most cats don't like produces the go to slow the fast lane and kale is the most worthless thing they've ever put on our plate. We used to call it garnish.

Now we call it a meal. What is going on. I digress. Anyway unused gift cards to goes give cards and use them take the promises of God and claim them for yourself. God keeps his promises. Just as surely as there were hundreds of promises in the Old Testament pertaining to the birth of Jesus.

There are also so many promises in the Bible pertaining to the return of Jesus.

Jesus said, I will come again. I want to look at Mary's reaction when the angel comes to her. She's honestly surprised and humbled. Verse 29 says when she saw him she was troubled at his saying considering what manner of greeting this was the word that is used for troubled could be translated, disturbed, confused of failure to function immune. Imagine there you are Mary. Maybe she's doing some chores.

Maybe she sweeping the floor and all of a sudden this angel appears to her and gives her this message. Her life was about to change in one of the most amazing ways imaginable and she's responsive to what God wants to do and let me also say this, this wasn't just any angel means a big deal to have an angel appeared, but this was Gabriel. Gabriel is a mega Angel there's groupings of angels rankings of angels and Michael is the Archangel. He seems to be the top dog in the angel world. A. Remember, the Bible says that the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the art Angel that would be Michael, but Gabriel's right up there. Gabriel appears the Old Testament book of Daniel speaking to the prophet, and now Gabriel is personally delivering this significant message to Mary telling her that she is going to be the mother of the Messiah that brings me to my next point Mary obeyed and magnify God.

Mary obeyed the magnify God. The sheik of the said no thank you. No one's going to believe that I am pregnant and that is been supernaturally done and that I'm the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah. Is there going to think that I've been immoral and I going to buy way to live a moral life.

No thanks. Get someone else but to her credit, Mary obeyed cheeses B as you want and she does with the Lord tells her to do what an incredible thing this is. And then she does ask a legitimate question. How is this going to work out house is going to happen.

I love the responsive Gabriel when he says in Luke 137 with God nothing shall be impossible. Maybe right now I'm talking to someone who is facing what appears to be an insurmountable obstacle, you have a problem that is so big you don't know how it will ever be resolved. I want to remind you that God is bigger than your problem and I want to remind you that with God nothing is impossible. Maybe you have a marriage that's unraveling you did everything you can to save it but it's hanging by a thread. Effective threads on fire and you're saying it's too late were headed to divorce court hold on don't give up for with God nothing shall be impossible. Maybe you have a prodigal son or prodigal daughter or prodigal husband or prodigal wife by prodigal immediately walked away from God, and they have no interest in spiritual things and you're praying for them and you feel like they'll never return to the Lord, don't give up. Don't lose all why because with God nothing shall be impossible. Babe you've been given bad news from a doctor told you there is no course of treatment love for you get your affairs in order. You're going to die, listen, God decides when we will die. But let me also say to you, don't give up all keep praying.

Why, because with God nothing shall be him possible. Let me shift gears now to another main character in the Christmas story that is often forgotten or ignored, and his name is Joseph my estimation, Joseph is the unsung hero of the Christmas story, bringing me to my left. Next point God chose Joseph. Just as surely as he chose Mary, let me say that again God chose Joseph. Just as surely as he chose Mary God the father in heaven chose Joseph to be the stepfather if you will or father figure for Jesus on earth who was Joseph, well we know it was a carpenter by trade. So this is what we might describe as a blue-collar worker.

This is an average kind of a guy. This is a hard-working guy.

This is a guy that goes out of chops trees down and frames houses and builds tables and he taught Jesus to do the same. I mean, think about this God said this is the man I want to represent me to Jesus on this earth, and Joseph was a good father figure for Jesus and he did some amazing things as well. He bravely stood with Mary. She says that Joseph Joseph you're not gonna believe this, but the angel Gabriel appeared to me and told me I'm going to be the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah and I will be the mother of the Messiah.

Joseph loved Barry he knew she was a godly girl rightly.

He wasn't buying it. So he decided to put her away privately. He wasn't going to expose Serbia's heart was broken.

He loved Mary but he said there's no way this is going to work and so now the angel of the Lord comes to him as well. We should appears over to Matthew chapter 1 we read this in Matthew 120 while he thought about these things, we hold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream say Joseph son of David, don't be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit that shall bring forth a son and call his name Jesus and he will save his people from their sins.

No Joseph.

Just like Mary could've said no thank you because no one's going to believe this.

Joseph do when he went out of the construction site the next day and they heard the Mary was pregnant that they were going to believe his story and in fact Joseph went through life with people believing that his wife had gotten pregnant out of wedlock and Mary went through life with a reputation of being a loose girl. She sort of had that scarlet a on on her and it was so unfair because it was a very opposite effect.

On one occasion the Pharisees said to Jesus: Lisa we were born of fornication. They were applicable to say families.

We were born out of wedlock like your immoral mother memos are 40 words a ridiculous but yet this is exactly what God was doing she was the fulfillment and she obeyed and Joseph was willing to obey as well. Joseph did a couple more amazing things actually fulfilling Bible prophecies, an angel of the Lord spoke to him in a dream, telling him to flee from Herod to Egypt. Remember King Herod was having those baby boys murdered in his attempt to stop the Messiah. Joseph did not wait till morning. He obeyed God any move after Herod died Joseph in the family returned again to Nazareth and the Scripture said the Messiah would be called out of Egypt and he would be a Nazarene. So Joseph's actions not only protected his wife and his adopted son, but it prepared the way for God to fulfill many more prophecies a.

Who knows why God is directed you to maybe do certain things, things that are not don't always make sense in the moment, but things that were actually the will of God as God called you to take a step out of your comfort zone and do something unexpected. Follow the example of Mary and Joseph to young people that God used change the world. Let's think a little bit about the virgin birth Summit say will I you know I'm a hard time believing that virgin birth and I and I don't think it's really essential I think is you. If you believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus. You don't have to believe in the virgin birth is what will I would beg to differ with you on that because first of all, virgin birth is clearly taught in the Bible it either you going to believe the Bible we are not gonna believe the Bible and number two are to simply believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus and not believe that he was super not supernaturally conceived in the womb of the virgin would be effectively to say he was a sinner like everybody else see if there is no virgin birth. There's no sinless Christ and if there is no sinless Christ there is no atonement, and if there is no atonement. There is no forgiveness, and if there is no forgiveness there is no hope of heaven. So as you can see believing in this biblical teaching of the virgin birth of Jesus is essential as a follower of Jesus. Now let me close with three thoughts.

Why did Jesus come. Why was Jesus born was Jesus born in the manger so we could all go shopping and spend billions of dollars. No, Jesus was born in that manger and came to this world to bring life and all of its fullness. Jesus said in John 1010 I have come that you might have life and that more abundantly. Jesus came to bring you a meaningful life, a life with purpose is the medical science seeks to add years to our life but Christ adds life to our years. He gives you a life that is worth living right now. People get all excited about what they're going to get under the Christmas tree thinking that's going to bring them some kind of fulfillment but I would venture to say that you will forget all about the gift you're going to receive.

Do you even remember what you receive. Last Christmas, probably not know it's not about the gift under the tree.

It's not about if you get this thing that you think that you want.

It's about a relationship with God. Jesus came to give you life and all of its fullness number two. Jesus came to give his life as a ransom for many. To give his life as a ransom for many.

If you want to get real technical he was born to die, that we might live. Jesus was coming on a rescue operation that baby was going to dine across. I know we don't like to think about that, but that's actually why he came. Jesus himself said in Mark 1045. The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many. Lastly, Jesus was born in a manger that we might be born again. CS Lewis put it this way, the son of God became a man, that men might become sons of God.

He was born in the manger so I could come into a relationship with God through him, and he offers to us the gift of eternal life. The Bible calls this the unspeakable gift enough. I was offering you a gift for Christmas let salmon to give you my green Bible for Christmas.

Here you go. Merry Christmas if you want this gift, you need to reach out and accept it, open it, enjoy it in the same way God offers you this incredible gift because at this time of the year. Many find themselves depressed, despondent, lonely, hurting, and I think it's because they're expecting Christmas itself just to satisfy them and really what you're looking for is Jesus you know it's interesting when I was young I came to Christ at the age of 17, I mentioned that earlier. The thing that drew me to Christ was a hope of finding the meaning of life. I wanted to know why was on this earth I wanted to know what I was here for and I found that in him and I knew that I would go to heaven when I die, but that was not the most appealing part of the gospel to me at the age of 17 will now at the age of 69. That's changed now.

The part that I sort of took for granted is become more and more valuable to me that part called eternal life that gift that God is given to me because time closer to the end of my race that I am to the beginning of my race and I'm so thankful that I have this gift truly Christ gives us is the only gift that keeps on giving.

No batteries required. We just have to receive this gift if you find yourself like Mary is a nobody living in a nothing town in the middle of nowhere, but I want you to know that God knows all about you. God loves you and he desires to have this relationship with you. You might say will Greg, I've made some bad decisions, there's no way that I could ever change will listen, you can't change yourself any more than a drowning man can save himself any Godself you need to call out to Jesus again.

This is why he came. He was born in the manger.

So you might be born again. My question to you is, have you been born again. I've actually heard some people say well I'm a Christian. I'm just not one of those born again. It's bold on you cannot be a Christian without being born again.

What is the context of that phrase. It was given by Jesus to a religious leader named Nicodemus came to him at night and Jesus said, truly, I say to you, you must be born again are literally born from above, is it what is that me that means that there comes a moment, will you admit to God that you're a sinner you of a spiritual rebirth you of a fresh start. It can happen for you right here right now because it seemed Jesus that was born in the manger and then died on the cross and rose from the dead. Standing at the door of your life right now and he is knocking, and he is saying if you will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in have US Jesus to come in the your life yet. Have you asked him to forgive you of your sin if not he'll do that if you call out to him. The Bible says whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. Some of the stock now for a prayer to pray a simple prayer and I would ask you if you want Jesus to come of your life if you want to find the meaning and purpose of life. If you want to have the assurance that you go to heaven when you die of an ask you to pray this simple prayer that I'm about to break out loud after me you can pray it. The quietness of your heart. If you want to. The main thing is you need to pray this prayer I can pray for you so it's a simple prayer, a lead you in.

If you want Jesus to come of your life if you want to find the meaning of life. If you want to go to heaven when you die if you want your sin and guilt removed.

Pray this prayer after me just pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that sure the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I turned from my sin.

Now that I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for sharing this prayer in answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray. They met everybody. Thanks for listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow the show and consider supporting it.

Just go to harvest.org and find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God