Monday, December 12, 2016

Too Wonderful

"Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?"
Genesis 18:14

This is the question that Jesus asked Sarah and Abraham when Sarah laughed at the declaration that she would have a baby within a year.  She was nearly ninety years old and the promise of a child was dead in her heart. At the sound of the visitor's mention of it, the absurdity of it made her laugh.  We know it was Jesus who was chatting with them, because of the continued story, but that's really not my point today.

Most translations say, "Is anything too difficult for the Lord?", but as we learned at church this weekend, that word "difficult" can also be translated as "wonderful."  I love that - is anything too wonderful for the Lord?

What a great question to ask yourself, but I want you to be very careful.  Too often we grab a line from scripture and we cling to it so tightly that we lose sight of the context.  God had made a promise to Abraham and Sarah and in announcing the coming fulfillment of the promise He said, Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?  We must remember this context.

This is not a prosperity gospel support verse.  Your greatest hopes and dreams are not suddenly a possibility because of this verse.  What this verse tells us is that when God promises something, even though we think it's impossible and never going to happen, that nothing is too difficult or too wonderful for the Lord to accomplish. If He said it, it will happen.

Let me give you a few examples:
  • If we search for the Lord, we will find Him (Deut. 4:29)
  • Blessing and growth come from meditating on the Word (Psalm 1)
  • God is working within the circumstances of life for our good (Romans 8:28)
  • God will complete the work He started in us (Phil. 1:6)
  • If we confess our sin, God promises to forgive (I John 1:9)
  • Jesus promised rest from our burdens (Matthew 11:28-30)
  • Jesus promised to come back for us (John 14:2,3)
  • God will supply all our needs (emphasis on needs - Phil. 4:19)
  • God will comfort us in our trials (II Cor. 1:3-4)
  • God will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5)
  • We have an inheritance that is eternal (I Peter 1:4)
These are but a few of the many promises of the Lord.  These promises will give you strength and hope when you are going through the difficult times of life, but they won't help you if you don't know them!  So a simple study on the promises of God is a very valuable one.

But the greatest promise of all is the one we see this time of year, lying in the manger.  On the very day that sin entered the world, God promised to send a Savior.  Through the life and death and resurrection of this little baby, we are made completely new. This is a promise that is so wonderful, it's hard to even imagine. According to the first chapter in Ephesians, in Christ we are:
  • chosen
  • holy 
  • blameless
  • adopted 
  • redeemed
  • forgiven
  • enlightened
  • inheritors
  • predestined
  • sealed
How often do we place earthly, temporal desires above the fulfilled promise of restoration that is ours in Christ?  Why do we complain that He is not caring for us or providing for us, when the cross is a completed event? What do we long for that is greater than salvation?  What in our past is so horrific that the Lord is unwilling to cover with His blood? Knowing the past is unchangeable, why can we not choose to give the Lord today and everyday, trusting in His promise that He is making all things new?  

How can we look at that baby in the manger and not shake our head in wonder and whisper, is anything too wonderful for the Lord?

The gift of the promise of a Savior that we see at Christmas is one that is an eternity changer.  The answer to the Lord's question is, "No, nothing is too difficult or too wonderful for the Lord."  I know this is true because of what was accomplished on the cross.

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