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TCH MINI-STUDY: 53
 
WITH GOD, NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE
 
Throughout history, God performed many great miracles. Yet, two of these new testament miracles are of particular interest. In the first miracle, which involved the supernatural conception and birth of John the Baptist, we read, There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men (Luke 1:5-25). In this miracle, both Zacharias and Elizabeth were well beyond child bearing age. On top of that, Elizabeth had never been able to bear children – she had been barren her enrtire life. Yet, despite what seemed to be these impossible limitations, God promised Zacharias that he and Elizabeth would not only have their own child together, but that they would even name him John. As would not be unexpected, Zacharias doubted the word of the angelic messenger Gabriel, and, as a result, the angel declared that Zacharias would therefore be unable to speak until the child was born. Yet, because God is always faithful to His promises, soon after Zacharias returned home to Elizabeth, the miracle occurred - Elizabeth conceived a child. That child would later be referred to as John, the Baptist.
 
In the second miracle, which involved the miraculous conception and birth of Jesus Christ, we read, And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her,The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:26-38). Within this second miracle, God, again, sent the angel Gabriel to a never married virgin named Mary to tell her that she had found great favor with God, and that she would conceive in her womb and bring forth a son that she was to name Jesus. Again, as we might expect, Mary questioned this promise, since, as she said, she had not known any man, meaning she had never had sexual relations. In her view, Mary thought that it was impossible that she could conceive and have a child, but she eventually agreed to abide by God's will.
 
Initially, both Zacharias and Mary doubted and questioned the seemingly impossible promises they had received from God. In fact, with men these two miracles were completely impossible. Yet, later, both of them realized that they had truly experienced magnificent miracles in their lives, miracles which completely changed the entire world forever. Both Zacharias and Mary now realized without a doubt that with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37). We can ask, though, how and why were these two miracles possible? We can further ask, why with God is nothing impossible? The answer lies within two characteristics of God the Father.
 
GOD IS GREATER THAN OUR HEARTS, AND KNOWETH ALL THINGS
 
First of all, God is omniscient, meaning He knows everything. There is nothing in the heavens or on earth that He does not already know – past, present, and future. The psalmist David intimately understood God's omniscience: O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it (Psalms 139:1-6).
 
The scriptures teach that Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
(Psalms 147:5), andhereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things (1 John 3:19-20).
 
God's level of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding cannot possibly be questioned by man. Isaiah teaches, Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching [examining, finding out] of his understanding [intelligence, discretion, reason, skill, understanding, wisdom] (Isaiah 40:28).
 
Man has no chance of ever understanding the things that God understands. Indeed, God assures us, my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
 
Christ even explained the omniscience of His heavenly Father when He told His twelve disciples, Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered (Matthew 10:29-30).
 
THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION
 
Secondly, the scriptures make it clear that God is all powerful, and can do anything that He wills. The psalmist David understood this when he prayed, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness [Hebrewgedulah, mighty acts, dignity, do great things, greatness], and the power [Hebrew geburah, force, mastery, might, power, strength], and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power [Hebrew koach, vigor, force, capacity, means, produce, ability, might, strength] and might [Hebrew, eburah, force, valor, victory, mstery, might, power, strength]; and in thine hand it is to make great [Hebrew gadal, advance, exceed, great, increase, magnify, nourish, promote], and to give strengh [Hebrew chazaq, aid, be strong, courageous, strengthen, help, repair, fortify] unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name (1 Chronicles 29:10-13).
 
The power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are evident throughout scriptures. Through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, God the Father created everything. Paul explained, For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist (Colossians 1:16-17). In fact, scriptures even teach that God created the creation from nothing: things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (Hebrews 11:3), and God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were (Romans 4:17).
 
Paul also wrote the church in Ephesus that through Christ we [believers] have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will (Ephesians 1:11). Paul referred right after that to the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power [Greek, dunamis, force, miraculous power, strength, mighty and wonderful work), Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come (Ephesians 1:19-21). It is interesting that dunamis is the Greek word from which we get the English word dynamite [reflecting its' explosive power].
 
In writing the saints at Philippi, Paul and Timotheus referred to the supernatural, explosive, and miraculous power of God manifested by the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote, ...I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him [Christ], and the power [dunamis]of [the explosive power responsible for] his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death (Philippians 3:8-10). In verse 10, Paul refers to the power of Christ's resurrection. What is this power that brought about the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ? The English word power is translated from the Greek word dunamis, which means force, miraculous power, ability, possibility, might, strength, violence, or mighty work, and in this context is a direct reference to the operation of God's Holy Spirit. It is through the supernatural power and operation of the Holy Spirit that Christ was resurrected.
 
Concerning the natural and spiritual, temporal and eternal, we humans have many questions, about life. We have many earthly concerns [or problems] in life concerning our jobs, marriage, home, children, career, health, money, violence, crime, corruption, or addiction, as well as a thousand others. Each of us know well the questions and problems we individually and collectively have. With so many concerns, issues, and problems, one question has always been puzzling [at least to me]. Since God is all knowing and all powerful, why do believers not more often go to God and ask for His guidance and help? If a medical doctor knew everything and had the power to do anything, why would we refuse to consult him or her about a medical problem we were having? Likewise, why do we not seek God the Father through our great Physician [Mat 9:12, Luke 5:31], Jesus Christ, about our problems and needs? This question is puzzling.
 
SEEK THE LORD AND HIS STRENGTH
 
We should consult our Heavenly Father in all things. Without doubt, the sciptures invite the believer to seek God and to establish a personal relationship with Him. The psalmist, David, exclaimed, The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God (Psalms 14:2). We are to Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth (1 Chronicles 16:11-12).
 
Christ told His disciples [and us] take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:31-33).
 
We are in need [and when we are not] we are to not be timid in seeking God and His advice and help, since Christ, Himself, said ...your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him (Matthew 6:8). Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
 
When we do boldly seek Him, we are assured that our seeking will bear good fruit: Blessed [Hebrew esher, happiness, to be level, right, or happy] are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek [ask, diligently require of] him with the whole [all] heart (Psalms 119:2). When we do seek Him, things become level and right, and consequently we are happy.
 
LET HIM ASK OF GOD
 
The scriptures also invite us to ask of God. Christ instructed His own disciples, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:7-11).
 
If we want or need further understanding, James tells us, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him (James 1:5),
as well as,
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2). There are those who say, well, God rarely ever [if ever] answers my prayer when I ask Him. The answer may be that, as James said, we ask for the wrong reasons: Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss [badly, evil, grievously, harmful, injurious, miserable, sick, sore], that ye may consume it upon your lusts (James 4:3). In error, we ask things for ourselves, for our own wills and lusts, yet we are instructed to ask for things according to God's will: this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5:14-15).
 
Let us seek God and ask according to God's will, and God will answer our prayers and make His omniscience and omnipotence [and miracles] a part of our lives, and we will then truly experience that, with God, nothing shall be impossible. The apostle Paul revealed that he knew the value of consulting the omniscient and omnipotent God, and not man, when he wrote the church in Galatia, But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus (Galatians 1:15-17). And, as the apostle Peter argued Lord, to whom [what man or where else] shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life (John 6:68).





















 
"The LORD
bless thee, and
keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto
thee: The
LORD lift
up his countenance
upon thee,
and give
thee peace”
(Numbers 6:24-26).
HEAR ME SPEEDILY, O LORD
 
Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant”

(Psalms 143:1-12).

 
"For the time
will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but
after their own lusts shall they heap to
themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall
turn away their ears from the
 truth, and shall
be turned
unto fables”
(2 Timothy 4:3-4).
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