Today’s Scripture:  Genesis 18:1-15

Introduction:

Welcome to the first message of the Second Week of The American Bible Challenge Devotional.  This will be another 7 Day series, and we’ll be doubling up this week as we work through this series, and revisit a favorite topic of mine:  Reconciliation.

Today, we’re going to talk a little about the life of Sarah, and I’m interested to know what all we’re going to get into.  So…without any further delay…let’s get into today’s message.

Today’s Message:

Sarah certainly would have manipulated social media to express her emotion when she heard the three mysterious visitors tell her husband Abraham that next year she would have a son. Sarah, with her AARP card. Sarah, collecting Social Security. Sarah, old enough to be a great-grandma giving birth to her first son.

Pretty funny? Sarah thought so.

In fact she laughed. “Ha! I’m a worn out ol’ lady.”

I know that’s the reaction I had when I knew the Lord was calling me to ministry.  I laughed, and thought to myself; “What in the world can God use a loser like me for?”  I can remember giving God my Moses laundry list of excuses why it was a bad idea for Him to call me into ministry.  I was like.  “You do know what I’ve done throughout my life, right!?!”  Obviously that’s a stupid question considering God knows my life from my very first breath to the last one.

I mean.  I certainly wanted to serve God, and I wanted to believe I could be used by Him…but through the lens of the world…and my own opinion of myself…I thought there was NO way a loser like me could be used to do any good for the Kingdom of God.

Okay, maybe it’s not quite as big a deal as an old woman like Sarah giving birth to a child at her age, but basically the reaction was the same.  I don’t know if anyone else who does this kind of thing can relate to me, but I can certainly relate to what Sarah thought.

The visitor – an angel or some say Jesus himself – said to Abraham, “Why is your wife laughing?”

I remember how methodical God was with me.  I think He maybe even understood me, but for every excuse I gave Him for why it was a bad idea for Him to use me…He just continued to show me through His Word…and people who had words of knowledge for me that God had great things planned to do for me, with me, and through me…and while I didn’t really believe it for a long time…eventually I began to believe that God’s plan wasn’t going to change.  My opinion of myself needed to change because I wasn’t going to change God’s mind…and that was clear as Pastor Cass Hill of New Life Christian Center began preaching this year about Vision, Mandates, and that’s when the Holy Ghost gave me the kick in the butt to get me going into what has become over 200 Holy Ghost inspired messages.

Again…I realize it’s not the same as a woman old enough to be a great-grandmother having a child…but it may as well have been because we all know that it took God almost 12 years to get me to where I am today.

I wonder what kind of laugh it was. A deep, belly guffaw? A silly snicker? A sarcastic chuckle? Either way, Sarah laughed at God. You probably don’t want to do that, no matter how ridiculous He may sound.

If you heard God’s plan for you right now, what would you do? Scream…suck wind…maybe laugh?

Today, when I hear God’s plans for me I realize that it’s up to me to get to a place where I believe it’s going to come to pass, but like I just wrote there was a time where I laughed at God’s plans for my life.  I remember it was really more of a “you got to be kidding me” kind of chuckle.  I guess maybe the sarcastic chuckle is more like it.  I had my “yeah right, Lord” moment in the beginning of all this.

I remember when I barely had anyone else reading these messages that I found myself asking God if He’s sure this is what He wanted me to do, and then He gave me more encouragement through Pastor Curtis Holt of New Life Christian Center.

Today, as I look at the various places where people are following this ministry.  We have over 60 people, and about a half a dozen Facebook pages that like our ministry: www.Facebook.com/ChristlikeMinistriesNWA is the link for our Facebook Fan Page.  We have over 80 followers on Twitter (@ChristMinistNWA is our Twitter handle).  Here on WordPress we have almost 50 followers: www.christlikeministriesnwa.wordpress.com is the link for that.  In addition to those we have just over 20 connections on our Christlike Ministries NWA on LinkedIn profile.  Those are just the people we know about.  I’m sure that we probably have close to 200 or more people who are following along with Christlike Ministries NWA…and that’s what being faithful…and continuing to do this regardless of what I thought, saw or felt in the beginning…and here we stand having quite a few people being impacted by this ministry…and the messages the Holy Ghost inspires and anoints me to write.

“I want me to do what! I’m going to do that when!” you laugh, with tears in your eyes. Seems hilariously impossible. God has a great sense of humor…right…

But he’s not joking. If he could allow a grandma to give birth to a healthy child, imagine what can he do with you – at any age. Lead a Bible study of middle schoolers. Go to Peru on a mission trip. Reach inner city kids with backyard VBS.

Don’t laugh – nothing is too hard for the Lord. He can even use…you.

Friend…God really isn’t joking.  There’s nothing that God cannot do through a yielded vessel.  If you’re willing to be used by God…then He will use you…and that’s no joke…it’s the absolute truth.

I wonder if there’s any of you who were like me who knew God was calling them to do something, and like me…maybe you laughed.  It could be that you’re still laughing…but today God wants you to know He’s not kidding…He’s actually quite serious…and He’s wanting to use YOUR life to make a difference in the lives of those around you.

When it comes to God…just remember this final point…and then be like those who were wise enough to say:  “Here am I, Lord.  Use me as You desire.”

Don’t laugh – nothing is too hard for the Lord. He can even use…you.

Conclusion:

It may seem to you like God’s playing a cruel joke on you, but He’s not.  If He’s called you to serve Him…it’s no joke.  He’s serious.  I have one thing that helped me to be encouraged, and now I’m passing it on to you.

God doesn’t call the qualified…He qualifies the called.  If He’s called you to serve Him then don’t give Him a laundry list of excuses and disqualifications.  You’re already qualified…because He’s called you…and whatever skills, gifts or abilities you need…He will make sure you’re supplied with.

So…I hope that is encouraging to you.  Be blessed my friends…and be encouraged.

Blessings & Grace;

Pastor B