Text: Luke 1:1-57 Theme: Luke wrote and Zechariah and Mary received words that are sure as the God who sent them. Key verses: “Therefore, since I have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you…so that you may know the certainly of the things you have been taught.” (v. 3-4) “Then the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid…Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.'” (v. 11-13) “Zechariah asked the angel, ‘How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.’ The angel answered, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.'” (v. 18-19) “…God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth…to a virgin…Mary…the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” (v. 26-31) “‘How will this be, Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?'” (v. 34) “‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary said, ‘May it be to me as you have said.'” (v. 38) “When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son.” (v. 57) What God said to me: Dwayne, how dare you rush into this time with me without as much as praying for a moment to me. Do you just assume my blessings and presence? Do you think yourself deserving on your own merit? What about the sinful rebellion in your heart right now? What of that? How could you possibly think I would overlook your actions from earlier today? I do not. I will not. Confess and forsake your sins. Then return to this place to meet with me,Â rather thanÂ at me…Now, welcome to the book of Luke. You are in for an amazing journey. Stay focused. Learn all you can. And remember Luke wrote nothing – no one statement – down carelessly or without purpose. Carefully examine the details. For indeed you will discover that God is in these details. You can trust what you read. It has been thoroughly investigated and clearly tested over hundreds of years. Don’t be like Zechariah and question my ability to do what I say. What I tell you I expect you to believe and follow. Special note: Zechariah doubted Gabriel’s words and gave reasons why he didn’t think it could happen. Mary, on the other hand, simply asked how so she would have better understanding. Her words were not filled with doubt and scoffing, but rather with genuine wonder and need to know. She didn’t ask, “How can this be?”, but rather, “How will this be?” I am ok with you asking in concern and genuine interest, but not in heartless, faithless, short-sighted doubting. What I said to God: Thank You, Father, for pointing these crucial things out to me. Forgive me, please, for rushing into the Holy of Holies. I do need Your mercy to help in time of need. I am desparate for You. I often take my eyes and mind off of You, if only for brief moments. Yet, every moment spent away from You is dangerous, careless and rebellious. I appreciate knowing I can completely count on Your Word. Grow my faith to trust more what and when You speak to me. I see now more than ever that asking dumb, faithless questions in the face of clear, Biblical direction is unacceptable to You. Faith should come by hearing Your Word. Help me to discern carefully my questions before I blurt them out to You. Help me and my family take You at Your Word today and everyday. Praise You, Lord!
21. December 2007 Joshua 0