March4/Luke 1

When I was a welder we didn’t really want to start a new project on a Friday. Friday was usually used to finish up a project and perhaps, though I wouldn’t admit it, to take it a little easier:) However today we will start a new book: Luke and not only that this first chapter is a looooooong one! Ah but so what it’s Friday!

Dr. Luke traveled with Paul on many of his journeys and so is credited with also writing the book of Acts. Dr. Luke was a Greek and he is writing to Greeks and he is portraying Jesus as the Son of Man a perfect Man! In Luke’s book you will meet the compassionate Jesus who offers his love to all who will receive Him and even to those who don’t. A Man who wants his message of salvation taken out to the whole world! Luke wrote this account to a man named Theophilus so that he could be certain of the truth. As we read the scriptures we can be certain of the truth also!

Verses 5-10 > First off we will meet John the Baptist’s parents Elizabeth and Zechariah. John had parents who were old, righteous and were careful to obey the Lord. What a wonderful thing for a child to be born into a home where mom and dad both are considered to be righteous,  love the Lord and are careful to obey the scriptures. You young mom’s and dad’s the best thing you can do for you children is to be those kind of parents. Why not take a walk around your neighborhood and pray for all the mom’s and dad’s that they would come to know Jesus so they can pass on a godly heritage to their children!

The other thing I noticed was that they had a crowd of people praying for them. I can’t think of any better support that parents need than prayer support. If you don’t have a couple of people faithfully praying for you find some who will. You absolutely need it. Nobody can survive without prayer! It will change your life dramatically!

Those of you that are older at Hilltop and your families are grown up and out of the house; would you consider adopting one of the young families at Hilltop and praying for them? What a wonderful ministry for you and what a help that would be to them.

Verse 13 > God hears our prayers. Evidently Elizabeth and Zechariah had prayed a long time ago for a child and now they were considered too old to conceive and yet God came through! Perhaps you have prayed a pray that hasn’t been answered yet, well don’t give up God knows what is best and what is the best time!

Verses 18-20 > If we don’t believe God’s word we won’t be able to speak it with confidence and clarity. Let God’s word build up your faith so that you can speak God’s word when an opportunity arises. Remember Luke said he was writing this so that we would know the truth. Truth doesn’t change. We are to speak the truth in love.

Verse 25 > People need to know the kindness of God. We are Jesus’ representatives here. Are we representing his kindness. Romans 2:4 says that it is the kindness of God that draws men to repentance. Are people drawn to us or do they avoid us? A fruit of the Spirit is kindness. Ask the Holy Spirit to grow that fruit in you so that people can experience the kindness of Jesus. When you are alone in your time of prayer ask the Lord to bless you with a dose of his kindness so that you also can experience it first hand. Be kind to someone who has been unkind to you and you will be able to say, “So that is what Jesus is like.” How else will you experience the real Jesus? We get ‘born again’ to be able to do these types of supernatural things > things that don’t come natural to us.

Verse 27 > A year before a Jewish couple got married they would become engaged or espoused which meant that although they would not consummate their relationship, they would be considered husband and wife in a legal binding so strong, it required a divorce to break the relationship. Mary is probably about 15 years old at this time.

Let me point out a couple of things we can learn from Mary.

Verses 29-38 > Remember she is about 15 and yet when the angel spoke to her she believed what he said. Earlier Zechariah who should have know better didn’t believe what the angel said. His mouth was closed and Mary’s open to tell about her experience and to sing a song in praise to her Lord. I guess age doesn’t always indicate maturity. Belief opens our mouths to speak.

She was willing to obey God even though she would suffer embarrassment, ridicule, be thought of as an adulterer and more than likely would have been laughed at to no end when she told her parents and friends that she was pregnant by God and was having God’s baby! Think about that for a minute and let it soak in. Think of the faith of this young girl. She believed this strange message from an angel. She found favor with God because He knew she could be trusted with his son and not to cave under stress.

Are you embarrassed to tell someone how Jesus changed your life? 15 year old Mary wasn’t. When you read the scriptures do you believe them and show it by obeying them? 15 year old Mary did. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to form Jesus in you > his character? 15 year old Mary did. It changed her life and if you let the Holy Spirit form Christ in you it will change your life too! That is what is means to be born again.

Verse 37 >I like where it says the word of God will never fail or nothing is impossible with God. What do you consider impossible for God to do in your life? > save your children, spouse, friend or co-worker? Heal you or someone else you have been praying for? Get you a job with benefits? Find you a mate?  Show you what you are to do with the rest of your life? Form the character of Jesus in you? Deliver you from a nasty habit or addiction? Pull you out of depression? Find you a friend? Put your marriage back together? Forgive you for your past? Deliver you from bitterness and jealousy Why not believe? 15 year old Mary did.

Verse 38 >Can you say, “I am the Lord’s servant?” 15 year old Mary did. I think that is a wonderful identity to have. When someone asks you, “Who are you? You can say, “I am the Lord’s servant.” In fact Jesus said:

Mark 10:43–45 (NLT) — 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Verses 47-56 > Perhaps we could all take a few minutes right now to praise our kind, gracious God for all he has done for us!

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

 

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    In this chapter we see the contrast of responses to God’s plan. Zachariah said it cannot happen. and was mute until it did happen, while Mary asked how it can happen, knowing if God said it He can do it. Also John was a nazorite ftom birth and filled with the Holy spirit ftom birth. Compare him to Samson, another nazorite ftom birth, who was used by God but not as effectively due to noncompliance with his nazorite status. Our decision is whether we want to be Mary or John or a Sampson or Zachariah.