Let’s pull out the rest of the gifts from Luke 1:5-25!
Gift Seven – “So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived…” (verses 23-24a).
TRUTH: Unbelief has consequences, but God still does what He says He’ll do.
Isaiah 55:11 assures us: “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
God’s word will reign, whether we respond in fear or faith. We will still walk through consequences of unbelief or disobedience, but God’s will still accomplish what He pleases, and He’ll still use us!
QUESTION: Do I see the Lord’s faithfulness in spite of my unbelief?
Gift Eight – Also in verses 23-24a:
TRUTH: God births new life in impossible ways.
Elizabeth is old! She is well-advance in years and has been barren all her life, yet God brings forth new life in her! Impossible circumstances mean nothing to God; He is not limited by our physical, circumstantial or mental capacity or imagination. Maybe what He’s birthing in us isn’t a literal child, but the new life of Christ in us, like Mary (we’ll unwrap gifts from her story next week). Either way, God births new life in impossible ways – both natural new life and spiritual new life.
QUESTION: What impossible circumstances in my life are awaiting new life from God?
Gift Nine – “…and she hid herself five months, saying, ‘Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people’” (verses 24b-25).
TRUTH: The Lord’s eyes are on us and He will take away our reproach.
God’s eyes are always on us even if He’s not moving in a way we can detect Him. He sees us, He sees everything that’s happening in, around and to us, and He will take away our reproach among people. We simply need to believe Him, trust Him and be about His business!
Funny how we’re not really worried about whether God’s eyes are on us when things are going good, right? But what about when we think He’s lifted His hand or when we think others perceive us in a way that brings shame, blame or defame? What about when we’re hurt by someone else and their accusations are untrue?
Recently when I was hurt, angry and completely distraught by what I felt was an injustice by another’s actions or perceptions, the Lord unmistakably asked me: “Shauna, do you think I don’t see it all? Do you think I don’t know every detail and won’t take care of it completely?”
I can answer “Yes!” in my head all day long, but to answer “Yes!” in my heart requires trust that let’s go and let’s God do His thing.
QUESTION: Do I believe God sees me and my circumstances and will take away my reproach?
When our family is done opening our gifts Christmas morning, we’ll linger in the living room for hours chatting, going back through our gifts, telling the stories, explaining how meaningful a particular one might be. As we come to the end of this week’s pile of presents from Luke 1:5-25, as we sit with our first nine “gifts,” I want to leave you with three “big” questions and how our four “big gifts” or foundational truths from Day One are the answer:
The “Big” Questions
- Are you about God’s business, doing what He’s told you to do as you pray and wait on His promises?
- When you hear from the Lord – when you receive His word – do you believe Him?
- Do you believe He sees you and can do even the impossible in your life?
We can resoundingly answer “Yes!” because…
God’s “Big” Truths
- God says what He’s going to do and does what He says so we will believe and rejoice in a God who makes all things possible;
- God’s purpose and plan for us precedes our birth – both our physical birth and our spiritual re-birth;
- God’s word is certain and He is able to bring it to pass no matter what insurmountable obstacles appear to make it impossible; and,
- What God conceives He brings forth – naturally and spiritually.
Can you imagine what our relationship with the Father and our lives would look like if we really believed these truths? If we were unwaveringly convinced that these truths were absolute? My friend, they are! I don’t always live like I believe, but I want to!
God is so good. The gift of His truth is transformational, both through Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life – the very Word – and in the words He gives us in His word. Let this gift be what we treasure above all this Christmas season.
Do you know someone who needs some encouragement in the Lord this Christmas season? Will you share this message with them or on your social media? Let’s spread some real holiday cheer, the kind that can last the whole year long! Also, if you’d like new posts to come directly to your inbox, you can enter your email up at the top right of this page where it says “Sign Up!” For this series, you may receive an email every day, but after this series closes with Christmas, you’ll only receive one email a week (and only when there’s something new to share).
Next week, we’ll consider The Gift of Christ in Us.