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Two Responses to a God-sized Vision Luke 1;5-38 120306

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Two Responses to a God-sized Vision (Luke 1:5-38)

Intro: Birth announcements – usually after the birth, not before conception.

Ill: The nurse approached him, smiling.  "The labor is going great," she said.  "Wouldn't you like to come in?"

"Oh, no."  The man shook his head.

The nurse returned to the mother's side, and the labor progressed smoothly.  As the birth neared, the nurse returned to the man, now pacing frantically in the hall.  "She's doing so well," she assured him.  "Wouldn't you like to at least come in and see her?"

The man seemed to hesitate slightly, then shook his head again.  "No, no, I couldn't do that."  He jingled car keys in his sweaty palm and resumed his pacing.

The nurse went back into the room and coached Mom's valiant efforts in pushing the baby into the world.  As the baby's head began to exit the birth canal, the nurse raced to the hall, grabbed the man by his elbow, and dragged him to the bedside saying, "You have got to see this!"

At that very moment, the baby boy was born and placed on the tummy of the mother whose radiant smile shone through her tears.  The man began to cry openly.  Turning to the nurse, he sobbed.  "You were right!  This is the greatest moment in my life!"

By now, the nurse, too, was tearful.  She put her arm around him, and he rested his head on her shoulder.  She soothed, "No one should miss the birth of their son."

"This isn't my son," the man blubbered.  "This isn't even my wife.  I've never seen her before in my life.  I was just bringing the car keys to my buddy across the hall!"

    Background: 400 years of silence. A people who had turned away from God, and yet there was a remnant. Promises that were made in the OT, were yet to be fulfilled.

    Two parts of a God-sized vision – The Big Vision is the plan of Redemption

Tell the story and read the dialogue (vv. 11-20) Tell the end of the story.

1.       A God-sized Vision: Part One (vv. 5-25)

a.        Birth in the midst of barrenness.

b.       A spiritual sign in the midst of a Spiritual Famine. There had been no prophetic word from God for 400 years. The coming of John the Baptist is the spiritual signal or prophetic pointer that Messiah is coming.

Application:

·         God answers prayer

·         God keeps His promise

·         Wait on the Lord

·         Keep praying

·         God’s sovereignty over our lives

 Ill: The story is told of a king who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!" One day the king and his friend were on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. In preparing one of the guns, the friend had apparently done something wrong, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off.

Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!" To which the king replied, "No, this is NOT good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail.

About a year later, the king was hunting in a dangerous area. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to it. As they approached to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So after untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. You were right," he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. "And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this."

"No," his friend replied, "This is good!"

"What do you mean, 'This is good'? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?"

"If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you."

Situations may not always seem pleasant while we are in them, but the promise of God is clear. If we love him and live our lives according to his precepts, even that which seems to be bleak and hopeless will be turned by God for His glory and our benefit. Hold on...God is faithful! -- Source unknown.

c.        The response of Unbelief or lack of faith: Zacharias or Zechariah

                                      i.      Demands an immediate sign.

                                    ii.      Focus on seeing before believing

d.       Results: Delayed revelation and temporary judgment.

Application: Stop demanding signs from God; Believe God’s Word/ Promise. Don’t question God. Trust God.

Tell the story and read the dialogue (vv. 28-38) Tell the end of the story

2.       A God-sized Vision: Part two (vv. 26-38)

a.        Birth without ordinary means (sexual intercourse).

b.        Christ came to provide a spiritual birth/ New Birth without works, by grace. Israel and the rest of the nations were spiritual dead. SHARE THE GOSPEL.

c.        The response of Faith

d.        Results: God does the impossible.

Application:

·        We need to accept and believe God’s Word.

·        Humility and Obedience – whatever you want God.

·        We can trust God because he can take the impossible and make it possible.

Conclusion: Since nothing is impossible for God, you can trust Him completely. 

·        Invitation: The most humanly impossible thing is for sinful man to be okay with God. The first step to becoming a Christian is recognizing that you cannot be saved apart from God’s Work in your life. You must recognize that you have a need to be saved from your sins. You must believe that God can do what you cannot do for yourself.

For the Believer: Maybe you have given up in the midst of your present circumstances or maybe you just feel like giving in. Stay strong in the Lord. Trust Him. Wait on Him. He can take an impossible situation and do the impossible.

Ill: The nurse approached him, smiling.  "The labor is going great," she said.  "Wouldn't you like to come in?"

"Oh, no."  The man shook his head.

The nurse returned to the mother's side, and the labor progressed smoothly.  As the birth neared, the nurse returned to the man, now pacing frantically in the hall.  "She's doing so well," she assured him.  "Wouldn't you like to at least come in and see her?"

The man seemed to hesitate slightly, then shook his head again.  "No, no, I couldn't do that."  He jingled car keys in his sweaty palm and resumed his pacing.

The nurse went back into the room and coached Mom's valiant efforts in pushing the baby into the world.  As the baby's head began to exit the birth canal, the nurse raced to the hall, grabbed the man by his elbow, and dragged him to the bedside saying, "You have got to see this!"

At that very moment, the baby boy was born and placed on the tummy of the mother whose radiant smile shone through her tears.  The man began to cry openly.  Turning to the nurse, he sobbed.  "You were right!  This is the greatest moment in my life!"

By now, the nurse, too, was tearful.  She put her arm around him, and he rested his head on her shoulder.  She soothed, "No one should miss the birth of their son."

"This isn't my son," the man blubbered.  "This isn't even my wife.  I've never seen her before in my life.  I was just bringing the car keys to my buddy across the hall!"

By LeAnn Thieman, from A Second Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul, Copyright 1998 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne and Marci Shimoff

Ill: The story is told of a king who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, "This is good!" One day the king and his friend were on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. In preparing one of the guns, the friend had apparently done something wrong, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off.

Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, "This is good!" To which the king replied, "No, this is NOT good!" and proceeded to send his friend to jail.

About a year later, the king was hunting in a dangerous area. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to it. As they approached to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So after untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. You were right," he said, "it was good that my thumb was blown off." And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. "And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this."

"No," his friend replied, "This is good!"

"What do you mean, 'This is good'? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?"

"If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you."

Situations may not always seem pleasant while we are in them, but the promise of God is clear. If we love him and live our lives according to his precepts, even that which seems to be bleak and hopeless will be turned by God for His glory and our benefit. Hold on...God is faithful! -- Source unknown.

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