BELIEVE

10 July 2013

BELIEVE

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: LUKE 1:5-23

/The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold/

5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named
Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife
Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were upright
in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and
regulations blamelessly. 7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth
was barren; and they were both well along in years.

8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as
priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of
the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10
And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled
worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right
side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was
startled and was gripped with fear. 13 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.
14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because
of his birth, 15 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. 16 Many of the people of Israel
will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17 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.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an
old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of
God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good
news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the
day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will
come true at their proper time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why
he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not
speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for
he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After
this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained
in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In
these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the
people.”

__________________________________________________________________________

Not many men get to tell the story of an angel that visited their
father while he was carrying on his priestly duty to prophesy his
birth after years of praying for a child. John gets to tell that
story.

Are you surprised that the story of Zechariah’s doubt and his
inability to speak as a result of his failing to trust the promise of
God have made it into scripture? Surprised, maybe not, but grateful,
certainly.

It is accounts like this of Zechariah that stand as a reminder to us
that God’s Word and His promises are not to be taken for granted.
The old expression “God said it, I believe it, that settles it”
rings true here. There are so many things that God speaks into the
lives of those who know and love Him, but so many things that go
unfulfilled because we do not believe God, and therefore do not live
in a way that positions us for the promises of God to be fulfilled in
our lives. “God said it, I believe it, that settles it” needs to
become far more a reality in our lives. We need to start living like
we believe God’s promises – even when they are hard to believe.

A CALL TO ACTION

A good place to start is to take special note of the promises God has
given to you – both those that are given to you through His word (Phil
4:19, Psalm 37:4, Psalm 91 for example) and those that may have been
spoken over you through prophetic words. Then trust that God will see
those to fulfillment. When He does, go back and tick them off as an
encouragement.

God is a God of His Word – He is not a man that He should like. Today,
simply believe!

A PRAYER TO PRAY

Lord thank you for all the promises that you have spoken over my life.
Please help me to believe that what You have said is true. Amen.

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