By Justin Randolph
Pastor, Zion Hill Baptist Church, Sevierville
What is a miracle? A miracle is something we cannot do on our own. The reason we see miracles is because we get into situations that we cannot handle in the flesh. If I could show up and heal my brother, I wouldn’t have to pray for a miracle. If I could stop the wind or bring the rain, then I wouldn’t have to pray for a miracle. If I could save myself from my own sins and shortcomings, then I wouldn’t have to pray for a miracle. But, since I cannot do these things, I pray for miracles. I believe that God still provides miracles today. Do you believe this?
The psalmist understood his need of the Lord’s miraculous and divine mercy. The Hebrew word for mercy is “hesed” and is characterized by loyalty and devotion. The Lord made a covenant with His people. This covenant included a promise of deliverance, deliverance not just from difficult circumstances, although this is true and necessary, but also from sin and guilt. This salvation comes from the Lord and is according to His promise. In other words, our assurance of God’s mercy and deliverance is true because of the character of the One who spoke it. God does not lie nor does He back down from His Word. He can be trusted.
In Luke 1, we find the ultimate fulfillment of the promise of deliverance. Mary learns more than simply how she became pregnant, but by what authority her Son would be called Son of the Highest and rule over the throne of David. It would be the result of the “Holy Spirit” coming upon her and the power of God working within her. Thus, this would be no ordinary boy. This boy would be God in the flesh. He would be Immanuel — God with us. Mary also learns this is according to the Word of the Lord and is thus fulfillment of the ancient prophecies concerning a Messiah. Likewise, she learns that a sign has preceded this angelic announcement and her cousin is also with child in her advanced years. This goes to prove that the message the angel brings is true and that nothing is impossible with God — even a virgin birth.
The incarnation of the Word of God is the greatest miracle of all. The thought of God becoming flesh and dwelling among us is both startling and terrific. Who can fathom it? People today work tirelessly to refute the miracles of God when they should want more than anything for them to be true. Most people who deny the reality of miracles, at the same time believe in social justice, alleviating world hunger, and protecting the environment. But, all those things are impossible if this world is the result of evolution and natural selection. What motivation is there to make this world a better place if the outcome is already predetermined and the result of chance and not of choice. What the incarnation says is God is real, He loves you, and there is more to life than the material things of this world.
Disease, disaster, wars, and famine have their place in this world, but they will not have the last word. Because of the incarnation and resurrection, Jesus will! He will have the last word for this world and He will have the last word on your life and mine. He will say on that day, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into my kingdom which I prepared for you,” or He will say, “Depart from me, you worker of iniquity; I never knew you.”
What will you hear? What decision will you make? The choice is yours today. Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God? Will you surrender your life to Jesus Christ today?