With God nothing is impossible, but we can’t think we can change the laws God puts in place.

Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

If we plant corn, we can’t expect to get watermelon. What we sow is what we’ll reap. We can’t go to heaven by our own way or if we’re sowing things contrary to God. We can’t expect the church to grow if we’re not working to help souls be saved. Some people expect joy in the services but it’s impossible if they aren’t doing anything about it. God set some things in motion that we can’t override. None of us can save ourselves. There’s only one way to be saved: by repenting, forsaking all sin, and asking Jesus to save us. The man ran to Jesus, but his riches couldn’t save him and he wouldn’t give them up.

Mark 10:17-27…there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said…Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered…Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said…One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus…saith unto his disciples,How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again…Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus…saith,With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Elisabeth and Zacharias were about 88 years old. Zacharias was doing the priests’ duties and stayed at the temple all week. Zacharias didn’t believe the angel Gabriel who said Elisabeth would have a baby that would be filled with the Holy Ghost. They had prayed a long time for a child but gave up praying. Elisabeth was past the age to naturally have a baby. The oldest woman recorded to get pregnant naturally and have a baby is 59 years old. Elisabeth’s pregnancy was a miracle of God.

Luke 1:15-20 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord…shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and…filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many…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…Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said…I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak…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.

Zacharias had to suffer the consequence of not being able to speak because he didn’t believe Gabriel who God sent to him. He couldn’t talk until John was 8 days old and he took him to be circumcized. When asked the name of the baby, he wrote his name was John. No one understood why they named the baby John when no one else in the family had that name. Zacharias was obedient to what God told the angel. How many promises has God given us that we think are impossible? God wants us to put our confidence in what he says and to act on it. He knows the right time for things.

Luke 1:21-25 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…And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months…

Eight years after God told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations (now at age 88), he asked God what he will give him since he’s still childless. God repeated that Abraham’s seed would be as many as the stars of heaven.

Genesis 15:1-5…word of the Lord came unto Abram…Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless…thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the Lord…This shall not be thine heir; but…shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir…Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them…So shall thy seed be.

When Abraham was 99 years old the angels said Sarah was going to have a baby. God was testing them to see if they’d believe him. It took 25 years until God fulfilled his promise. Abraham believed, even though it seemed impossible.

Genesis 18:1-3 And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door…And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not…from thy servant:

Genesis 18:9-14 And they said…Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. And he said, I will certainly return…Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it…Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the Lord said…Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed…Sarah shall have a son.

Sarah laughed because of surprise. Abraham was fully persuaded and strong in faith. He believed God would do what he said.

Romans 4:17-22 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,)…Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that…spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith…And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

John the baptist was born in a similar situation, being conceived in a miraculous way when Elisabeth was past child bearing age. The angel Gabriel also went to Mary and said she was going to have Jesus. Both times Gabriel said fear not. Most people would be troubled if an angel suddenly appeared. Mary asked how it could be out of curiousity, but she was completely compliant to what the angel said. This was in a time when being pregnant when not married was looked at as a shame. That’s why Joseph’s original thought was to put her away. Mary was willing to be used in whatever way God wanted. God may want to use us in an unusual way and we need to be willing to do whatever he wants.

Luke 1:26-38…the angel Gabriel was sent from God…To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph…and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel…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..Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son…call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest…Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered…The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing…born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth…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…

Elisabeth through the Holy Ghost said what the Lord said would happen. It happened to her because Mary believed.

Luke 1:39-45…when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost…said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For…as the voice of thy salutation sounded… the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Being saved by our own ability is impossible, but it’s possible with God. We’re made the seed of Abraham’s promise and as many as the stars of heaven through faith in Christ. If Mary hadn’t believed the promise, she would not have received the promise. We have to believe and claim the promises of things that seem impossible when we’re in hard trials.

Galatians 3:26-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free…male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)