Faithlife Sermons

Doing The Impossible

The Book Of Beginnings  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:17
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Does keeping the faith or being true to the LORD seem like it is impossible for you? Let’s see what Scripture can tell us about that.

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INTRO

Hard Road to Faith
One of my favorite books when I was a teenager was titled "A Child Called It". If you have never heard of this book or read it let me warn you that there are some parts in it that you would find disturbing. Not because of vulgarity, or any un-chased depictions, but rather because of how this human being was treated. Basically the book is about this boy who is part of a larger family but is treated as if he is some sort of animal or slave. He is continuously being starved, tortured, and beaten while continuously being physically neglected as well. This child who is now a man was recounting, in this book the real life horror he lived through. I read this book before I was a christian and I often wonder now if this man ever found Christ because I find it hard to think how else he could have survived this outrageous situation.
As a christian this story reminds me of some biblical stories that have similar terrible situations. Job, who is caught in the middle of some show of power between Satan and the Lord. He looses everything he has, all his wealth, all his children, even his health is failing him. Job was called to do the impossible.
Joseph, who was hated and almost murdered by his brothers was sold into slavery. Then while in slavery he was falsely accused for attempted rape and then imprisoned for years. Let me tell you that the prisons then are not like they are here! Rats, flees, ragged clothes, unclean and unsanitary conditions, as well as often abusive jailers. Joseph was called to do the impossible.
Moses, taken from his people to be raised his whole life long knowing that he belonged to neither. He was a slave by birth and raised by the very people who were enslaving his relatives. Yet because he was raised in opulence and privilege he did not fit in nor was he welcomed by his countrymen. Enslaved to his passions he murders and then flees leaving all that he has ever known to live out in the wilderness. Then called by God to go back and oppose the king of the mightiest nation in the world. He would then lead the people of his bloodline who did not respect or trust him out of a land which they knew into a foreign and hostel country which they had no knowledge of. Not to mention he had to continuously put up with their disobedience which also cause the trip to take 40 years longer then it should have. Moses was called to the impossible.
Joshua, was to lead an army of escaped slaves and rovers into a land where militarily they were at a disadvantage at every turn. Not just to lead the army but to lead them to victory over the cities and peoples who lived there taking what was rightfully theirs and cleansing the land of these mighty and wicked people groups. Joshua was called to the impossible.
David and the other kings after him were to rule a group of people who were consistently seeking to sidestep God's authority in their life. How does one seek to rule the unruly? David and these men were called to the impossible.
What is the hardest thing you have ever had to do?
Have you ever been asked to accomplish the impossible?

TITLE & TEXT

Doing The Impossible
Genesis 18.9-15

THEME

The people of God are always called to do the impossible.
ISRAEL
Defeat Enemies
The "ites"
Take Possession
Of the land
Be Holy
Set apart form the peoples
US
Be Holy
Set apart from the world
Take Possession
Our minds
Defeat Enemies
Our hearts
PROBLEM
The problem is that the impossible always seems so, well, impossible. We walk for a while but then at some point we fall. The fall seems inevitable. When we fall we are reminded of the last time we fell, and the time before that. We begin to weigh our failures with our victories and find the scales are inevitably tipping out of our favor. We begin to get discouraged and at times even angry with the lord for asking us to do what is so clearly impossible.
So what is the secret? How did these men and women of the faith recorded in this book continuously seem to find victory? What was their game plan?
PRAY

TEXT EXPOSITION

Context
So here we are with the great patriarch Abraham and his wife Sarah. He has just been given this sign of the everlasting covenant between himself and God and is now in the process of entertaining the LORD and two of his angels with a meal as our text for today unfolds.
Text
Genesis 18:9 ESV
They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.”
Why is He always asking questions?
Good Teachers - draw out a response
Adam / Eve
Listen when name comes up
Context?
Hot day
Making meals
women's place
Genesis 18:10 ESV
The LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.
Abraham Already told this...
Genesis 17:21 ESV
But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”
Why repeat himself?
Did he not tell her?
Lord wants Sarah to hear
the word is given to all
Text = [The time of renewal]
Time = 9 months for a baby = about a year
Sarahs Son
"Sarah shall bear to you" = Abraham
To Sarah = "Listening behind Him"
Why does her position matter?
Genesis 18:11 ESV
Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah.
This is why 17:17 happens
Genesis 17:17 ESV
Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
They Were Old
Not only unlikely
The Inside Scoop
Impossible
Like Her Husband...
Genesis 18:12 ESV
So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”
Bitterness
After This
Patience / longsuffering
Now Have Pleasure?
Childbearing - significance
Is there anything that you have been hopping for, for a very long time?
Are you bitter against God for something?
What might your response be if you were told that the impossible was going to happen?
Genesis 18:13 ESV
The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’
Theological Insights
Who did Sarah laugh to in V12?
Why did God ask Abraham this?
Why did God miss quote Sarah?
What was the real issue here?
Genesis 18:14 ESV
Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”
TOO HARD
Can God make a rock to big for him to lift?
Ridiculous Question = 14a
Build a Ark - Noah
Leave a Family - Abram
Oppose a King - Moses
Rule a Nation - David
Deliver a People - Christ
Defeat Sin
Conquer Death
TOO WONDERFUL
Creating a Universe
Calling a People
Preserving a Nation
Sending a Son
Healing the sick
Raising the dead
Loving a Sinner
Redeeming a Wretch
Welcoming a Child
Genesis 18:15 ESV
But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
SHE SPEAKS!
What was it Sarah was denying?
Not words alone
Why was Sarah afraid?
Power
God who Sees
God who Hears
El Shadai
What was Gods answer?
Truth
Correction
no change in calling
GOD CALLS US TO THE IMPOSSIBLE
Luke 1:37 ESV
For nothing will be impossible with God.”
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Dying to ones self is both impossible and scary without Christ!
When we finally fall to our knees and call out to God because the situation is impossible for us, we are finally at a place where He can work through us.

GOAL

We can only do the impossible when we believe it is possible only through Him.
Philippians 4:13 ESV
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
He does not call us to do the impossible, only to trust that what is impossible on our own is possible through him

CLOSE

Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 840 Hard to Dominate Self

A college president not long ago made this arresting statement to a class of graduating seniors: “It gets easier and easier for man to dominate his universe … and harder for him to dominate himself.” He went on to say, “It matters little what you learn or express if in the end you cannot find some ways of working things out with your neighbors.” We cannot dominate the universe, but, with God’s help, we can dominate ourselves.

PRAYER
God help me to come to the place where I can realize that I am utterly helpless to do anything other then sin against you on my own. LORD help me to follow you, help me to please you, help me to serve you; all of which are impossible for me to do if left to myself. Give me more of you as I become less of me!
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