Luke 1:18-22 – 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. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time." Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
“How can I be sure of this?” Zechariah’s question and logic seem reasonable to most of us. He and his wife are both well up in years and, expecting a child at their age would be totally out of the ordinary – it would, in fact, be miraculous! Through human eyes, this pronouncement hinges on the unbelievable. Like all good skeptics, he needs some insurance before he’s willing to put his faith in this angelic message.
The angel gives Zechariah the only answer that may suffice a skeptical soul. “I am Gabriel.” Gabriel’s name bespeaks his identity as one who stands in the presence of God. His appearance alone should suffice to validate his message. His presence had been enough to make Zechariah tremble with fear. Where else could such a messenger be from? But, apparently Gabriel’s awesome visage and authoritative annunciation were NOT ENOUGH to persuade Zechariah of its veracity. The impressive character and credentials of the messenger were not enough to convince Zechariah that the message was true. “How can I be sure of this?” If the message is true and if the messenger is faithful to deliver it accurately, what should be the proper response of the one to whom it is delivered? Should it not be BELIEF? The authority and credential of God’s heavenly messenger was questioned and was not accepted on its own merit. Are there consequences for this kind of skepticism and unbelief?
Unbelief of the message of good news sent from the very presence of God has consequences. For Zechariah, he would lose his ability to speak until the day the message was fulfilled. For those who will not believe the Good News of the Gospel the consequences are more severe. Mark 16:15,16 – He (Jesus) said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Truth matters, and believing the truth matters as well! John 8:31,32 – To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." The Truth has a credential and authority all its own! Those who are disciples of the Truth will KNOW when a message is true and when it is not! They will be free from the question, “How can I know for sure?” The call then, is to KNOW the truth and to believe it when it’s delivered! We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? – Hebrews 2:1-3.
- Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
- Join our 6:00pm Thursday night prayer team.
- Thank God for His message of TRUTH and for faithful messengers of that TRUTH!
- Pray for the Good News families of the week: Jim & Dina Priester (A.J., Allison, Sammy), Jeff & Melanie Porcelli (Amalia, Celia), Paul & Karen Rose (Cora, Paul, Shayne).
- Praise God for His mercy toward those who believe!
- Thank God for the Spirit of Truth who reveals all Truth so that we may know it and be set free!
- Pray that you may be sensitive to God’s Good News and receive the blessing that goes with it.
- Attend “In Touch” Prayer meeting at GNCC at 10:30am or join in prayer at that time.
- Praise God for His plan of salvation and those messengers who deliver its Good News!
- Give thanks that God makes a way through His Son (The Truth) for us to “know for sure!”
Prayer Challenge: Pray that God will sensitize our hearts to recognize the Truth of His Good News when we hear it, and that He will inspire our will to believe and obey that message upon receiving it. Pray that we all will be faithful messengers to proclaim to all the world around us this message of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord!