Sunday, 23 December 2018
Luke 1 : 67-80
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people….” – Luke 1:68
After a long silence of 400 years of the intertestamental period, Luke 1:11 & 19 is the first message from God to His people. In a time when people lived ungodly lives, we see two people, Zechariah the priest and his wife Elizabeth living righteously before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord (vs.6) and with them, God was pleased. Zechariah whose ears and mouth were opened (he had become deaf and silent because of unbelief -vs.20), was filled with Holy Spirit and prophesied about the ministry of both Jesus and John the Baptist as seen in our reading today.
The Jewish leaders and the priesthood of that time were expecting the earthly rule of the MESSIAH for which they were eagerly awaiting. Zechariah prophesied about God’s REDEMPTION, MERCY, SALVATION, DELIVERANCE and GUIDANCE for HIS people who were in darkness. Let us see how Zechariah’s message is relevant to our daily lives.
(1) Blessing the Lord for His redemption (V.68): Can we too just look back and thank the Lord for HIS redemption in our lives? The Love and mercy of God came down and redeemed each one of us. As the years pass by and times and circumstances change, do we forget His goodness? We have nothing to boast about – whatever we are, is by His grace! How long we will be in silent? Along with Psalmist let us say, “Bless the Lord oh my soul, Bless His Holy name!” (Psalm 103:1).
(2) The Promises God gave and the covenant (Vs.72-73): We have heard and received a lot of promises from God; at several times we made covenants/promises with God. But how many of them have been fulfilled and are we walking according to the covenant? Even if we are faithless, He remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13). Looking to Jesus, let us hold fast the promises and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us! (Heb.12:1-2) so that His name will be glorified through us.
(3) Remembering all the ways the Lord has led us (Vs71-74): Each of us can say to the Lord: “For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling…” (Psalm 116:8). We have experienced His divine protection so that we can happily sing: “I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.” (Psalm 116:13). Sharing with others how the Lord has led us, thereby glorifying His name may lead several souls to Him.
(4) Looking forward and blessing the child (Vs.73-79): Zechariah says, “And you, child…” as the child is his but still submitting and separating the child for the mighty work for the Lord. What an example! As parents understand what God has purposed for your children and bless them! As John was called to reveal Christ, we too are -a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that we may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvellous light (1 Peter.2:9).
Let us submit our today and tomorrow into the Almighty’s hand to be used by Him!
As we look forward to the new year, may this message be a reminder: let us hold fast the promises from the Lord and speak forth of the Mercy of Our God; Give knowledge of His salvation-to give light to them that sit in the darkness and to guide their feet into the way of peace (V76-79).
Thought for the Day: “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ~Corrie Ten Boom
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