Luke 1:8-17 – Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. Then an 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, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous–to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
Luke’s research from firsthand witnesses provides us with this amazing account as one of the first events surrounding the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It unfolds like a musical drama and you can almost picture yourself sitting in on the scene between Zechariah and the angel. The scene opens with Zechariah performing his priestly duty of burning incense in the temple at the altar of incense, when all of a sudden he is startled and gripped with fear by the appearance of an angel of the Lord standing next to him on the right side of the altar. As in nearly every other angelic appearance to humans, this heavenly messenger’s first words were, “Do not be afraid.” Wow! I’d probably faint dead away and miss the rest of the message – but Zechariah hung in there for the good news!
“Your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.” Another wow! God is attentive to our prayers and doesn’t forget them – even when we may think that the time is past for them to be answered! As one whose wife is also well past child bearing years now, I probably would have fainted dead away at this revelation too and missed the rest of the message – but Zechariah hung in there for more good news! “He will be a joy and delight to you.” A son that is filled with the Holy Spirit can provide this wonderful blessing to his parents! And not just to his parents, this child will bring the same delight and joy to throngs of others who will find their way back to God because of his ministry! His greatness will be in the sight of the Lord and need not be measured by popular opinion. He will never take an alcoholic drink – his entire life and ministry will be marked by total sobriety and the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Luke records this unique event and the prophetic announcement of this special baby to help his readers understand God’s purposes and plan for the blessing and preservation of mankind. Fathers hearts will be turned to godly love for and training of their children and the hearts of wayward rebellious and disobedient souls will be turned to the wisdom of doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, for the right reason. All of this, in order to “make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
- 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 attention to our prayers!
- Pray for the Good News families of the week: Laura Mohr (Ashley), Aaron Montenaro, Jon & Rachel Perryman (Kaitlyn).
- Praise God for the significant historical events recorded in His Word that help us believe!
- Thank God for Scriptures that convict us of sin and wrong and turn our hearts to the right.
- Pray that you may have a heart that is turned from sin to serving your family in righteousness.
- Attend “In Touch” Prayer meeting at GNCC at 10:30am or join in prayer at that time.
- Praise God for parents who raise their children to be filled with the Holy Spirit!
- Give thanks that God calls messengers to prepare the hearts of people for His coming!
Prayer Challenge: Pray that God will send forth workers in his fields that will turn the hearts of fathers to focus on loving and training their children in truth and righteousness. Pray that your family, neighborhood, community, church, land and nation will all become people who are prepared for the Lord!