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The Virgin Birth: God Does the Impossible - Life of Christ Part 2

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
January 4, 2023 10:00 pm

The Virgin Birth: God Does the Impossible - Life of Christ Part 2

So What? / Lon Solomon

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Wisdom for the Heart
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His name was Enrico Fermi.

He was an Italian. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1938. In that very same year, he fled the regime of Mussolini and came to America where he eventually became professor of physics at the University of Chicago. Fifty years ago this past week, Fermi was responsible for one of, if not the, greatest scientific accomplishment in human history. Because, you see, on December 2, 1942, Fermi gathered with his team of scientists in a squash court underneath Stagg Field in Chicago at the University of Chicago. And in front of them was what they called Chicago pile number one. It was a 400 ton pile of graphite bricks impregnated with uranium pellets. And at Fermi's command, the cadmium control rods were pulled out of the pile. And at 3.36 p.m. on December 2, 1942, the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction in human history occurred.

Now, the Stagg Field squash court was demolished in 1957. But the impact of what happened there on December 2, 1942, has literally transformed the world that we live in. Of the 30 million people that are hospitalized in the United States every year, a third of them are treated with nuclear medicine. Consumer goods from smoke detectors all the way to nonstick frying pans depend on nuclear technology. One sixth of the world's supply of electricity is supplied by nuclear reactors.

All of America's submarines, 84 attack and 34 ballistic, are powered by nuclear reactors. And finally, let's not forget nuclear weapons. Fermi's discovery led to the dropping of the first two atomic bombs, nicknamed Little Boy and Fat Man.

And they killed over 100,000 people. But today's thermonuclear weapons make these two bombs look like cap pistols, really. And Alvin Weinberg, writing in the World Book Encyclopedia, reflecting on this awesome discovery of nuclear power and energy, said this. And I quote, he said, nuclear energy is the most powerful kind of energy known to mankind. Now, when I read this, I stopped for a minute and I asked myself, is Mr. Weinberg correct?

You say, what did he say? He said, nuclear energy is the most powerful kind of energy known to mankind. The answer is, is he right? And I say that he isn't. Because right here in Colossians Chapter 1, God tells us that there is a power greater than nuclear power. Look with me in Chapter 1 of Colossians, beginning at verse 15. He, that is Jesus Christ, is the image of the invisible God. He is the firstborn over all creation, for by him, all things were created. By him, all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created by him and for him. Verse 17, and he is before all things and in him, all things are held together. If you understand what these few verses are saying, they are telling us that Jesus Christ's power far surpasses anything we have ever seen with regard to nuclear power or any other kind of power. It tells us that the power of Jesus Christ is the power that made this universe, the power that made every atom in this universe. And verse 17 tells us to be even more specific that Jesus Christ, by his own divine power, holds together every single atom in the universe.

Every proton, every neutron, every electron, every speck of nuclear energy exists by Jesus Christ's specific design and creative power and it is completely at his disposal, nuclear power is small potatoes when compared to the incredible power of Jesus Christ, the living, risen Son of God. You say, Lon, why did you bring all this up, huh? What are we talking about? This morning I want to talk to you about the power of God. I want to talk to you about the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, which is one of the most incredible displays of the power of God anywhere on record in human history. And then we want to answer the question, so what?

That's right. So let's turn back to the Gospel according to Luke, which is where we're studying. Luke chapter 1, a little easier to find because the New Testament goes Matthew, Mark, Luke, easy. Third book in the New Testament, chapter 1. And let's look at this tremendous passage about the virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I'm beginning in verse 26 of chapter 1 of Luke's Gospel. In the sixth month, verse 26 says, by the way, that's the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy. Remember last week we learned about Elizabeth who got pregnant.

That's what it's talking about. In the sixth month of her pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, to a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel went to her and said, greetings, you who are highly favored.

The Lord is with you. Whenever I take a trip to Israel, I just came back from taking a tour, it was my seventh time there. We always go to Nazareth and we always go to the little church of Saint Gabriel in Nazareth. This little church is built over the only running fountain of water ever known to exist in the city of Nazareth.

And it was actually built by the crusaders even though the church that's there today is built on the ruins of the crusader church. And as you go inside of this beautiful little shrine, tradition says that it was here that the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary while she was alone drawing water from the well. And that then from here they walked together back to her house where he made his great pronouncement about the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now I don't know for certain whether he appeared to her here at the well or not. But when you walk into this church, all over the walls and all over the ceilings are some of the most breathtaking paintings in all of Israel depicting Gabriel's announcement to Mary about the birth of Jesus Christ while all the host of heaven look on, all of the angels are gathered around and they're depicted as kind of peering in and wanting to see what is this thing that's going on. And what is this thing that Gabriel is talking to Mary about? It's positively staggering to walk into this little church and be impressed with all around you this idea of what a special thing the birth of Jesus Christ was.

And every time I visit this church, it reminds me that Jesus Christ did not come to earth in the usual way. The Bible declares that his was a unique birth for a unique person sent to accomplish a unique mission and what Gabriel announced to Mary was so incredulous that I suspect the angels of heaven really did stand around in awe and wonder at what was going on just like the murals in this church depict. Well what did Gabriel tell her? Verse 29, Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this was. But the angel said to her, don't be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God and you shall be with child and give birth to a son and you're to give him the name Jesus. Jesus in Hebrew Yehoshua or Yoshua for short means God is salvation or God brings salvation or God saves. And he will be great and will be called the son of the most high and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever and his kingdom will never end. Now everybody thinks their kid's special.

True? You think your kid's special. And I'm always amazed at how parents will say to me, now you know what they're doing? I really think I've got a prodigy here. This kid is actually beginning to say, mum, mine, dad, dad, six months old, I think I've got a prodigy.

And I just always smile because after you have three or four you begin realizing that even though they're special they're not that many prodigies around. But everybody thinks their kid is something unique but this kid really is unique. Look at the great promises that Gabriel made. Her son would be great. He would be called the son of the most high God. The Lord would give him the throne of his father David.

He would reign over the house of Israel forever and his kingdom would never end. Man, what a mouthful to promise anybody about their child and Mary was flabbergasted. But dear friends, what flabbergasted Mary was none of this information that Gabriel had just reeled off about how great her son was going to be.

That's not what really astonished her. Look at verse 34. And Mary said to the angel, how can this be?

How will this happen since I am a virgin? You say, aha, look, look at that unbelief and that doubt. No, no that was not unbelief and doubt. Mary's asking a very reasonable question. You see Mary was a virgin. The Scripture is explicit, patently explicit on this issue. Two times in verse 27 the Bible says she was a virgin.

Right here in verse 34 she says to the angel Gabriel, hey Gabriel, how can this be? I'm a virgin. If you read in Matthew chapter 1, the Bible says that Mary was engaged to Joseph but they had not yet come together.

That is they had not yet had any kind of sexual relationship. If a person wants to say that they don't believe that Mary was a virgin, that's their choice. But if a person wants to try to say that the Bible never claims that Mary was a virgin, that's hogwash. The Bible claims without apology that this woman had never had sex with Joseph or anybody else for that matter and therefore her having a baby, any baby, even a great baby was absolutely impossible.

And that's the key word here. The key word is impossible. What the angel was telling Mary was going to happen to her was not improbable, unlikely, implausible or rare. It was impossible. About as impossible as an apple falling off a tree and going up. About as impossible as the shortest distance between two points being a crooked line.

About as impossible as two and two being anything else other than four. Those are natural laws that are always true. And hey, Mary's parents had gone over the birds and the bees with her. She knew about how this thing worked.

That's another natural law that's always true. And that's why she looked at the angel and she immediately recognized that what he was saying to her was going to happen could not happen as long as the laws of the universe held true. And so I don't think she was doubting him or unbelieving him.

I just think she had a reasonable question. And that is, how can this possibly happen? Well, the angel answered her. Look at verse 35. And the angel answered and said, The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One that will be born will be called the Son of God.

And even Elizabeth, your relative, is going to have a child in her old age. And she who was said to be barren is in her six month of pregnancy, the angel said, for nothing is impossible with God. The angel answered Mary's question. Mary said, How can this possibly be?

The laws of the universe won't permit it. The angel said, I'll tell you the answer. The answer is God is going to suspend the laws of the universe, Mary. He's done it for your relative, Elizabeth, and now he's going to do it for you, for with God, nothing is impossible. That's the simple answer that he gives Mary.

He says the Holy Spirit's going to come upon you, the power of God's going to overshadow you, and you're going to have this child. You say, Well, Lon, how did that work? Well, how do I know?

I don't have a clue. We tried for years and years, 15 before we could even make a girl. How in the world do you expect me to explain this to you? I don't understand how it worked. But the angel didn't explain to Mary how it worked either. All he said is he gave her a very simple answer. God is going to do it, Mary.

God's going to do it. And you know that answer satisfied Mary? She knew the eternal God of the universe personally. She had a grasp on his power. And if he wanted to perform a rip, snort, and miracle, then that was fine with her. And I'd like to suggest to you, if you're a Christian, that if you and I claim to know Jesus Christ personally the way Mary did, if we claim to have some grasp on his power the way Mary did, then Gabriel's explanation should satisfy us as well. God made the laws of the universe, and God can suspend them any time he feels like it.

And that's the simple answer as to how this could happen. Look at Mary's response, verse 38. She said, I am the Lord's servant. I belong to you, Lord. May it be unto me exactly the way you've said.

If this is what you want to do to me, Lord, then that's great. I may not understand it, but that's great. And then the angel left her. This is the announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ, commonly called the Annunciation, if you want the fancy word. And yet, in spite of the tremendous beauty of the passage, the question that we still have to answer for modern day living is what? So what?

That's right. And I want to spend the rest of our time now not defending the virgin birth, because I've done that in other messages. In the defense of the virgin birth, from a theological point of view, go out there and order one of the tapes, and we've done that before. But I want to spend the rest of my time here assuming the virgin birth is true, because I believe it's true, and I hope you do, answering the question, well, in light of what we've read, if it's true, so what?

What difference does that make to me in the 20th century? And I have two so-whats. I normally don't, but there were two things here that were so pressing that I spent all week trying to figure out which one am I going to do, and finally decided, well, why not do them both? So I am. And I hope both of them will be meaningful for you.

So what, number one, is this? The events of the virgin birth teach us a great lesson about God's power. Look what it says here in verse 37. For with God, nothing is impossible. This is how the angel Gabriel answered Mary's astonished question, how can this happen?

I'm a virgin. What you're talking about is completely impossible. Gabriel agreed with Mary. He said, Mary, you're right, what we're looking at here is majorly impossible, but with God, nothing is impossible. And throughout the Word of God, this is the constant message the Bible keeps giving us about God. I want you to turn back in the Old Testament to the very first book in the Bible, the book of Genesis, chapter 18, if you would, to one of what I think is the most humorous and touching stories in all the Old Testament, Genesis chapter 18, the story where the Lord comes to visit Abraham and announces that he's going to have a son after all these years. Genesis chapter 18.

Look with me at verse 9 in Genesis 18. The Lord has been there, the Lord has been sitting outside of the tent having lunch with Abraham and two angels. And in verse 9 of chapter 18, the Lord says to Abraham, where is your wife Sarah? And Abraham said, she's over there in the tent. Then the Lord said, I will surely return to you about this time next year and Sarah, your wife, will have a son. Now Sarah was eavesdropping at the tent.

How do we know that? Well, look. Now look at the end of the verse. Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent where she was behind. She was eavesdropping. She might have been in the tent, but brother, she wanted to know what was going on outside the tent.

And so she was right there by the door. And the Bible says that Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. The King James will say that it was no longer with her after the manner of women. She was no longer menstruating. She was no longer producing eggs.

She could not have a child. She was 90 years old. And so, verse 12, Sarah laughed. I guess when you're 90 and you're told you're going to have a kid, it's either laugh or cry. And so she laughed. And she thought, how in the world am I going to have a kid after I'm worn out and my master is old?

Will I have this kind of pleasure now? And then the Lord said to Abraham, why did Sarah laugh? And say, will I really have a child now that I'm old? By the way, how did the Lord know that? Sarah was inside the tent and the Bible says that she said it inside herself. The Lord said, why did Sarah laugh and say, will I really have a child now that I'm old? Look, verse 14, is anything too hard for the Lord?

Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son. And Sarah said, I didn't laugh. And the Lord said, oh yes you did. Can you imagine how spooky that must have been? You're inside the tent hiding and he knew exactly what you did and exactly what you were thinking?

Wow. And Sarah got so scared she said, I didn't laugh, I didn't laugh, I didn't do it. He said, oh yes you did.

Yeah, you did. But I'm going to show you what God can do. Is anything too hard for the Lord? And that's the constant refrain throughout the Bible, that nothing is too hard for the Lord. And God has proven this to be true time after time.

He created the universe, he sent the flood, he opened the Red Sea, he knocked down the walls of Jericho, he made the sun stand still, he sent fire from heaven, consumed Elijah's altar, he made an axe head float, he gave Jonah the first submarine ride in history, he impregnated a virgin named Mary, he healed a leper like Naaman and he raised Jesus Christ from the dead and on and on and on the list goes. And if you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and your Savior, then this same God who did all of this is your God and on your side. He's dedicated to caring to you and no need you ever have, no need you ever take to the Lord in prayer, no need you ever depend on God to get you through, there is no need that is too hard or too impossible for God to handle. And God wants us to know this and God wants us, friends, in our hearts to believe this and God wants us to change the way we look at life.

God wants us to give us a whole new perspective on the vicissitudes and the events of life. No matter how big the problem is, my God is bigger. No matter how great the need is, my God is greater.

No matter how powerful my enemy might be, my God is greater and I have nothing to fear. You remember the three Hebrew youths, remember their names? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, sure. And you remember they were going to be thrown in this fiery furnace. You don't have to turn to Daniel chapter 3, but let me read to you what happened there. King Nebuchadnezzar said, if you don't bow down and worship me, I'm going to throw you in that old fiery furnace over there. And he said, and when I throw you in there, there is not a God anywhere who can save you. So if you think this God that you worship is going to come into that fiery furnace with a suit of asbestos on and lead you out, you're crazy. He's not going to do it.

And this is what they said in response. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king and said, Oh Nebuchadnezzar, we don't need to defend ourselves before you in this matter because if you throw us into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it. And he will rescue us from your hand, oh king. But even if he doesn't, even if he chooses not to deliver us, even if he has a bigger and a wiser plan that includes us being fried to death rather than bowing down to you, that's okay too. We want you to know we will not serve your gods.

We will not worship the image of gold you set up, and we will not bow down to you. What gave these three young guys this kind of courage? Well, it was the size of their god. Didn't you hear what they said? It was the size of their god. These were just normal people. But what made them heroes is they had an enormous god and they knew it.

They knew it. And this is what God wants you and me to know. This is how God wants us to face life. God wants us to know his promises and God wants us to rely upon his promises and God wants us to expect them to come true.

God wants us to build our lives around his promises and I don't care what your problem is this Christmas season. In this book, God has a promise for you. He has a promise in the book for you. And no matter how impossible God's promise might look to you, it can't be nearly as impossible as the promise he made to Mary about the virgin birth. But if God is able with his power to make that promise come true, then my dear friend, do you really think there's any promise he's made to you that he can't make come true?

Come on now. For with God, nothing is impossible. If you're here this morning and you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, the greatest promise in all the world is one that God made to you right in the Bible. He said, for God so loved the world that he sent his only son, Jesus Christ, that those of us who believe in him, who place our reliance and our trust in him, should not perish but should have everlasting life. What a great promise. You say, but I don't know where heaven is and I don't know how eternal life works and I don't know how God's going to do this for me.

So what? Mary didn't know how she was going to have a baby as a virgin either. And if she'd have waited until God had explained it all to her, she never would have had the kid.

She didn't have to understand. She just had to trust God. And folks, if you're here and you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you don't have to know where heaven is or how God's going to get you there or how all of this stuff works in the councils of heaven. All you've got to do is just trust God that if he made your promise, he's got the power to keep it. And if you trust him, the day you close your eyes on this earth, he'll be there to take you to heaven and he'll worry about where it is and he'll make sure you get there. If you're here and you're a Christian, you know God has made us promises about every aspect of our life, about our finances, about guidance, about our children, about strength, about hope, about heaven, about everything, about the circumstances that we're facing. And what God wants is very simple. He wants us to do the exact same thing that Mary did. He wants us to simply trust him and believe him and take our stand on the promises of God and stay there because we know that the one who's backing those promises up is reliable enough and powerful enough to make good on every one of those promises, just like he made good on the promise that he made to Mary about the virgin birth.

You know what I find at Christmas time? Is that people have lots of problems. But what a great time to lay those problems at the foot of the cross and say, God, for every problem I've got, you've got a promise. And I'm not going to focus on my problem. I'm going to focus on your promise and I'm going to believe you. And no matter how impossible it looks, God, I'm going to trust you.

And your time's right. You're powerful enough to solve my problem according to your promise. There's a second so what that I'd like to suggest to you this morning, and that is that the events of the virgin birth not only teach us a great lesson about God's power, but it also teaches us a great lesson about God's will. You know, it's very important that we understand that Mary's decision to accept God's will for her life carried some great personal risk with it. Have you ever thought about that?

Most of us haven't. Think for just a second about the risk that Mary had to accept when she accepted this plan that God had for her. You know, in ancient Israel, in fact, in the Old Testament law, if you were found to be pregnant as an unmarried woman, the Old Testament law said that you were to be taken into the middle of the city and stoned to death because you were an affront to the nation of Israel. Now, in the time of Jesus, of course, this was not actually being practiced in reality, but nonetheless, to get pregnant outside of wedlock was still a matter of gross disgrace in the nation of Israel.

She was engaged to a man named Joseph. When you were engaged in Israel, you weren't actually married yet, but you were much closer to one another than our engaged couples are. We have premarital course here, and I commonly tell couples who are engaged if after you take the course, you still want to marry each other, that's a pretty good sign. Because in the course, we try to talk about marriage from a very realistic point of view and help you figure out everything that's wrong with your partner in advance. You say, what a depressing course. Well, it's more depressing to wake up on your honeymoon and start figuring this stuff out, isn't it?

And you need to know what you're getting into. And I commonly tell people, if you go to this class and you're engaged and you break up, that is perfectly okay. I would much rather have you break up before you get married than later. But you see, in Israel, when you got engaged, it wasn't like that.

You were stuck, you were committed, you were given. It's just that the groom hadn't showed up to pick up the bride yet, that's all. And here Mary goes getting pregnant, and Joseph knows he hasn't slept with her. And she's going to tell him that God did this. God made her pregnant, an angel appeared to her, and God made her pregnant?

I mean, come on guys, you're going to believe this, huh? You're going to buy this from your fiancé? And what if Joseph didn't buy it? What if he decided to break the engagement, which he had the right to do under these circumstances, huh? Well, it would have meant that Mary would probably have had to remain unmarried the rest of her life. She would have had to go back and live in her father's house in disgrace the rest of her life. And what if her father, not wanting the disgrace, had said, you can't come back here, we don't want you, not after what you did.

She would have had to turn to begging or even prostitution to support herself for the rest of her life. And then on top of all of that, with her story about being impregnated by God, she ran the risk of being called crazy or demon possessed by the religious leaders of Israelite society, and she ran the risk of being expelled from all of Hebrew society as a demon possessed person. There was a lot of risk involved in Mary accepting the will of God for her life. And yet despite all those risks, Mary said, I am your servant, Lord.

I am at your disposal. I made a commitment, God, that you are my Lord and you are calling the shots, and so whatever risks it might bring me, I'm committed to doing the will of God, period. So, let it be to me the way you said. I love what the commentator William Barkley said, and I quote. He said, Mary had learned to forget the world's commonest prayer, thy will be changed, and to pray the world's greatest prayer, thy will be done.

Don't you like that? The world's commonest prayer, thy will be changed. The greatest prayer, thy will be done. My Christian friend, and I'm not talking to you here if you don't know Christ as your Lord and Savior because this will make no sense, but if you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, when it comes to responding to the will of God for your life, Mary's example is the example God wants you and me to copy. The will of God will always represent great opportunity that God is offering us to make our lives count for Him, but as with every great opportunity, there's always great risk.

Always great risk. There's no such thing as an opportunity without the possibility of pain and heartache and failure associated with it, and Mary saw those possibilities. You say, I see that she saw them, but she ignored them. No, she did not ignore them. She committed them.

There's a difference. She did not close her eyes and ignore the risk. She understood the risk. She appreciated the risk, but she committed the risk to the Lord. See the difference?

And said, God, you're so far ahead of me. I'm sure you've got all of this worked out. I'll take the risk.

I'll trust you. She committed it. And that's the way God wants us living our lives. Mary's outlook was the will of God will never take me where the grace of God won't sustain me. And so she embraced the will of God for her life, risks and all. And that's exactly what God wants you and me to do. And when we do, we find that in spite of the risks of pain and heartache that come with every opportunity God sends, some of which might actually become reality, some of that pain. God really does know what's best for us. We always find.

And his will always brings maximum benefit. I don't know that there's a greater example anywhere in Christian history of submitting to the will of God, besides the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, perhaps, than the example of a lady named Fanny Crosby. Fanny Crosby was a famous hymn writer. You know many of her hymns, although you may not have realized that she wrote them. You know the number one most recorded hymn in all of America is not one of hers. It's actually Amazing Grace.

But hers are right behind it. For example, Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Say, Lon, I'm sure glad we don't pay you to sing.

Well, all right, you don't. But you know the song, right? All the way my Savior leads me, what have I to ask beside? Know that one? And how about this one?

Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, redeemed by his infinite mercy, his child and forever I am. She wrote that one. She wrote this one.

To God be the glory, great things he has done, and so loved he this world that he sent us his Son. And on and on. You say, Lon, could you sing them all for us? No, because she wrote 9,000.

We'd be here all day. In fact, it's kind of interesting that she lived to be 95 years old. She didn't start writing hymns until she was 15. So for 80 years she wrote hymns, and to write 9,000, that's 112 hymns a year for 80 years. That's one hymn every three days for 80 years. Now, that's what I call production, you know? That's production. That's the kind of staff person you'd like to have.

True? Now, the most incredible thing about Fanny Crosby is not that she wrote all those hymns, but that she wrote them blind all of her life. Fanny Crosby, at the age of three months old, was a little infant, obviously, and she had a problem with her eyes. And her mom called in a quack doctor. The doctor that was usually there was out of town, and this quack came in and put hot compresses on her eyes and scarred her corneas for life. And she was blind the rest of her life. She wasn't born blind. She was made blind by a quack doctor. Less than six months later, her father died. Her mom had to go to work.

And many people would have spent the rest of their lives consumed with bitterness and self-pity. And Fanny Crosby might well have, were it not for her grandmother, because, you see, while her mom went to work every day, her grandmother babysat her. Her grandmother, a deep and godly woman, would sit little Fanny on her lap and would talk to her about God and about the world and about the Bible and about the will of God and about her being blind. And she used to always teach Fanny.

Fanny, even though you might ask God to give you your sight back, if it's not really what's best for you, God won't do it because He loves you too much. She taught Fanny to pray. She taught Fanny the Word of God. And it was at her grandmother's knee that little Fanny learned what it meant to find joy in God's will for your life, even if it meant being blind. Her grandmother convinced Fanny that God had something so special for her to do that He needed her blind in order to accomplish it. And that's why He had let this happen. And so, rather than being angry or bitter, she should embrace God's will for her life and trust God that He needed her blind.

And in His time, she'd understand why. At age 8, Fanny Crosby wrote, Oh, what a happy child I am, although I cannot see. I am resolved in this world contented I will be. How many blessings I enjoy that other people don't. So weep or sigh because I'm blind. I cannot and I won't.

Eight years old. Many, many years later, shortly before her death, she said, and I quote, I believe that the greatest blessing the Creator ever bestowed on me was when He permitted my external vision to be closed. By doing this, He prepared me for the work for which He had created me. The loss of my sight has been no loss for me. And about the doctor who made her go blind, she once said, He's probably dead by now, but if I could meet Him, I would tell Him that He unwittingly did me the greatest favor anyone in the world could have done me. End of quote. And at her last public appearance at a church in Connecticut, she said this, and I quote, We must trust God's way as being best for us, His will as being far better than anything we could plan for ourselves. There may be some pain.

There may be some disappointment. But as we commit them to God, He will turn them into blessing. Nine thousand hymns. And she says she could never have written them had she been able to see. The world would have distracted her too much. Just think what would have happened if God had answered that little girl's prayer and let her see again.

Just think how many hymns that mean a lot to you, you wouldn't even have to sing today. Does God know what He's doing? Hmm? You bet He does. Do we always understand what He's doing? No. Is that important?

Not really. What's important is that we trust Him. And God's looking for Marys today. God's looking for Fanny Crosby's today. Men and women who will let God call the shots. Men and women who will forget the world's commonest prayer, Thy will be changed. And who will embrace the world's greatest prayer, Thy will be done. So how about you? You know all those things you've been praying the world's most commonest prayer about?

Huh? When is it that we're going to get to the point that we'll learn to pray the world's greatest prayer about those things? And say, God, you're wiser, you're smarter than I am.

If this is what you think's best, I'll submit to it. I'll embrace it. Help me do it with joy. I may not like it.

There may be some risk. But I believe you know best. In one of these days, I'll understand. May God help us do that at Christmas. What a great present to give the Lord. Lord, I am your servant. Be it unto me according to your will.

Let's pray. You know, I can't help but think this morning that there are many of us here who've been arguing with God and fighting with God about things in our life that we don't like and praying the world's commonest prayer, Thy will be changed. And the result of that is we lose the joy in our Christian life.

We get frustrated and angry and bitter. My dear friends, release is the secret. Laying it down at the foot of the cross and praying the world's greatest prayer, Thy will be done. I'm your servant. I'll take it the way you're giving it, Lord, because you know best. If you're here this morning and you're willing to make that exchange of the world's commonest prayer for the world's greatest prayer in your life, in your circumstances, I'd like you to slip your hand up and say, not to me, but to God, God, I'm changing my prayer this morning.

Anyone like to do that? Thank you. God bless you.

Lots of hands. Thank you. God bless you.

Anybody else? Heavenly Father, you really do know what's best, even though most of the time we're not so convinced of that. Forgive us, Lord. And help us to be like Mary.

Help us to be like Fannie Crosby. Help us to be men and women who appreciate your great power, who know that if you wanted anything different than it were right at this moment, it would be different because you are not limited. But at the same time, help us appreciate the fact that the will of God conditions what you do and don't do. And Lord, for so many of us, the will of God has led us to places where we would never have wanted to go. But I pray in spite of that that we would trust you and that we would embrace the will of God with joy as you help us. We would say with Mary, I am your servant, Lord.

However you think it ought to be with me, then that's the way it needs to be. Lord, that's the greatest Christmas present your people could give you, that surrender. May that be true of our lives today, and may you restore the joy to our lives as we lay our burdens down at the foot of the cross and as we leave them there. Thank you for speaking to our hearts this morning. May we live differently as a result of hearing from you. I pray in Jesus' name, Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-05 00:41:25 / 2023-01-05 00:58:01 / 17

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