The story continues and the drama unfolds, just like our lives, as we continue to follow Mary, Elizabeth and Zacharias as God’s word comes to pass. As it does for them, it will for us. I’ve changed things up a bit today with gift bundles! We’ll look at several passages from the remainder of Luke 1 and see the bundle of gifts God reveals in each one.
Luke 1:39-45 – Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
- Encountering Jesus fills us with the Holy Spirit and brings joy.
- When the Holy Spirit comes upon us, He gives us boldness to speak.
- Blessed is the fruit of what God births in our spiritual womb, the fruit He brings forth as a result of our abiding in Him (John 15).
- With belief comes blessing – for what the Lord says will be fulfilled.
Luke 1:45-56 – And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.” And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
- No matter what our condition or circumstances – even in a lowly state – the goal is to make much of God with our soul!
- God’s mercy will always be on those who fear Him.
- God does whatever needs to be done for His word to be fulfilled.
- What God births in us has a gestation period.
Luke 1:57-66 – Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her. So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. His mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John.” But they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” So they made signs to his father—what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, “His name is John.” So they all marveled. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God. Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And the hand of the Lord was with him.
- At the full time, God delivers in us what He conceives in us: new life.
- When God brings forth new life in us, others see His great mercy to us.
- Our obedience is met with God’s faithfulness.
- The hand of the Lord is upon His children.
Luke 1:67-80 – Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to our father Abraham: to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.
- God raises us up as horn of salvation announcing the good news of Jesus Christ!
- God delivers us from the hand of our enemies to serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness.
- God sends us now, ahead of the second coming of Jesus Christ, to:
prepare His way;
Give knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins through the tender mercies of God;
Be a light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death; and,
Guide their feet in the way of peace.
- God may keep us in the deserts until He manifest His ministry for us; deserts are where we grow and become strong in spirit.
We have arrived at the end of Luke 1. Since four seems to be today’s magic number, let’s end with four “Big Questions” to apply the gift of God’s word to our lives.
- Do you believe the Holy Spirit will accomplish all that’s required in you for you to do what the Lord is asking of you?
- Are you making much of God in whatever state or wait you’re in?
- Will you obey God and trust His faithfulness will bring His will to term?
- Do you see God’s purposes for saving you as your purpose for serving Him, even in the desert places?
Where the answer is “Yes!” praise God! Thank Him for what He’s already working in you. Where your answer is “No!” praise God! Thank Him that He is at work in you to bring about a “Yes!” in all areas of your relationship and walk with Him. He really is faithful. He really is at work. His timing really is perfect. He will bring that which He puts in you to full term in His perfect timing. Just as He did John. Just as He did Jesus. Just as He is doing so now in the specific circumstances of your life. Let us make much of God in all things today, especially as we draw nearer to the day we celebrate the birth of the Savior who makes it all possible.
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