Today you should read: Luke 1:67-80
With the start of the New Year comes a sense of fresh starts. In a lot of ways, our passage today shows a picture of what a fresh start looks like. You see the fresh start when you compare today’s passage to the first time we see Zechariah in chapter 1 verses 12-23.
The first thing that stands out from today’s passage is that Zechariah is filled with the Holy Spirit. In verse 14, right after he had been told he would have a son who will be used mightily by God and be filled with the Spirit, he responded, not in the Spirit, but in the flesh, when he doubted God. Contrast as well with his wife Elizabeth who was filled with the Spirit in verse 41.
PRINCIPLE: Having faith and being filled with the Spirit are two sides of the same coin. The Spirit empowers us for faith, and faith allows the Holy Spirit to be at work.
Promise of Redemption (68-75)
Zechariah has obviously been through the ringer over the months of his discipline. Instead of responding in fear, he reminds himself and others of the promise of redemption that God has been working out from the beginning. Fear kept him from having this reaction initially. How has fear kept you from responding in faith in the past?
Part of John the Baptist (76-79)
Zechariah finally understands the role of his son John the Baptist. It seems that he is committing to playing his individual role in raising the instrument God will use to prepare the way for the ministry of Jesus. He now has a willingness to be used for the sake of the gospel and the Kingdom.
My goal in this post is to help us realize that it is very easy for us to react in fear. The goal is to be able to pinpoint these fears, and ask God to help you overcome them. The vision is to be filled with the Spirit to the point that God is what you fear, and all other fears seem inconsequential in comparison.
What is God teaching you through His Word today?
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice
3 thoughts on “January 5, 2018”
Thanks Graham! Thanks for pointing out how we underestimate and under utilize the Holy Spirit in our lives. That’s a great goal for this year – walk in the Spirit!
I think I can see myself in Zechariah’s reactions to the angel. When he first sees the angel he has fear. When I encounter God up close it’s all Him. Then I start to look at life and the things I see happening. Like the angel said, “ But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” It’s like Peter, who one minute was saying Jesus was Messiah and the next thing you know he’s being rebuked for being a tool of Satan.
Why are circumstances weighed so heavily in my life that I waiver in my belief in God’s own Word? Without the help of the Holy Spirit, we cannot stand against what the world throws our way. Lord, help me to walk by faith and not by sight.
I love what you said about Zachariah reminding himself about the promise of redemption. In a small way, I have been doing that often in my relationship with the Lord and the promise of him one day taking away pain and wiping away every tear.
Eternal perspective matters. I don’t know how we would’ve gotten through the past couple of years with the variety of things my family has faced without that perspective.