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Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
May 20, 2021 12:00 am


Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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May 20, 2021 12:00 am

Even before the world heard Jesus' first cry, long before Jesus took his first earthly breath, God was displaying his providence to those in need. As told by Luke in his gospel account, God’s faithfulness extended first to a lowly priest of God, named Zechariah. God's faithfulness to this humble servant is the same faithfulness that He displayed with the gift of his Son, and is the same faithfulness that He offers to us today.

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Christianity never once said to anybody, turn off your thinking. Try to believe know what Christianity says is this man is versus why is that this resurrection. Look at him and all the perfection of his glory. Believe this is the God man who will say in Luke chapter 19, I've come to see the say those would you like to become a friend of God's answer this world God. God displayed his sovereign plan to those in need and those with spiritual eyes to see today on wisdom for the heart. Stephen David begins a brand-new series from the first three chapters. As the story begins, God displayed his Providence to a lowly priest of God, named Zechariah and it's the same faithfulness that he offers to us today. Open your Bible to Luke one for this message. Called certain if I were to ask you which inspired author provided the most content of the New Testament, you would probably guess the apostle Paul depend the 13 letters or epistles in the New Testament that the answer would be no it wasn't. Paul, if you guessed the apostle John. The thought well he wrote the gospel of John of the book of Revelation. In three short letters first through third John again, you'd be wrong.

And these were my answers. By the way, as I thought through it, one New Testament author who wasn't even an apostle about these uncircumcised Gentile physician happened to write the most. It's a two-volume bestseller we could call it.

His name is Luke. Volume 1 of his two-part series is called the gospel of Luke volume 2 is called the book of acts in sheer volume alone, 25% of the content of the New Testament is written by Luke. This converted Dr. that each of these two volumes are written to the same person. In the second volume. Outlook writes in acts chapter 1 and verse one in the first book of Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day when he was taken up, that's how. Second, the second volume begin. And from that point. Volume 2 reveals the details behind the arrival of the Holy Spirit, the creation of the New Testament church in the early actions of the spirit filled apostles back in volume 1 in Luke's gospel at the outset of this two-volume series.

Luke tells Theophilus exactly why he was moved to compile it first one begins. Inasmuch as many of undertaken to compile the narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us. Just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word and delivered them to us. It seemed good to me. Also, having followed all things closely for some time past to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. That's the purpose statement for this two-volume series no. Luke we know, if you put the clues together was the traveling companion of the apostle Paul. It's obvious to me that he was because what I just read in Luke 114 exactly one long sentence. He sounds like Paul visiting and keyword to this purpose statement. If you have read Bibles open. You might underline or circle. It is the word certainty that you might have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. Theophilus I want you to be certain I I want you to grasp with assurance what you have an understanding fully of this gospel. This happens by the way, to be a wonderful coincidence that the man's name is Theophilus. Theophilus means friend of God is applicable to do. Every believer written it almost immediately. Up to this point.

Today he's writing to the friends of God. Those if you come to faith in Jesus Christ.

In fact, Luke will stress in this gospel account that Jesus is a real man 100% divine. Yes, but 100% human by faith in the God man we've become not only children of God, but you happen to be a friend of God. If you get all excited about who their friends are. We tell you you're one of the friends of God. Luke wants the believer to develop this certainty. This foundation for his faith in, and the evidence along the way to encourage the faith of believers that he says here in this opening sentence that he's examined the testimonies of eyewitnesses.

He's reviewed the accounts traveling with Paul he would talk to many believers, hundreds of them who had seen the Lord walks with the Lord to watch the miracles of the Lord, even the Luke himself is not an eyewitness.

He's going to use a word for interviewing these eyewitnesses found nowhere else in the New Testament is the Greek word out top tastes.

It gives us our word autopsy. Only a doctor would come up with that word. He's carefully examining the historical record.

He's compiling he's arranging he's diagnosing all the facts. He's giving us the autopsy. Here it is laying it out for you with historical markers along the way. God, who came into our cluttered world are chaotic world are condemned the world.

This is the God man who will say in Luke chapter 19, I've come to seek and to save those who were lost. Would you like to become a friend of God. Look at the evidence and believe. So let me take you through these opening texts by laying it out this way let me give you three unchangeable truths for every heart that needs to be refreshed today. Truth number one.

Even when God's authority seems unimportant.

He is still in control.

Notice how the gospel account now opens in verse five. In the days of Herod the king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah.

I love the way that's juxtaposed in the days of Herod, there was a priest. You can write in the margin of your notes or in your mind. This is a terrible time to be a priest is the worst time to walk with God. This would be a terrible time to try to represent God in the days of Herod, there's a priest.

This is Herod the great, by the way were going to see him surface. This is this is the one who orders the death of every male in order to claim the title. He loves the most. Which happens to be king of the Jews guarded he will kill three of her sons so they will represent a threat to his throne.

He had nine or 10 wives were not even sure what we know. We executed one of them for no apparent reason. Add to that the fact that during these days. The religious leadership of the temple system is utterly corrupt, spiritually bankrupt, shackled to traditions rebelling in their hearts against the word of God and will see that when Jesus arrives on the scene, God no longer matters in the political realm or even in the religious realm, God is essentially unimportant. He is virtually the relevance sounds like to be living during the reign of Herod was bad enough, but to be a priest embedded in a corrupt religious system only added to the challenges Seleucus setting the scene to reteach this unchangeable truth here.

Even when God is set aside.

He still he still in control. Don't be mistaken. Truth number two.

Even when God seems absent. He's still aware of every sorrow, go to verse five again in the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the division of a body and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth stop here for another moment during these days the priesthood was made up of several thousand men up to 10,000 men who were placed in the 24 divisions. It would serve for a week at a time twice a year. The Luke tells us here that Zechariah was in the division of a bike shop. What that means is he's one of the less significant priests. He did live inside the city of Jerusalem. This division was fairly insignificant in the larger scheme of the religious world these priest were not well-connected dated hold special offices. They lived out in what we would call today the country. These were country priests. By the way, the rabbis were teaching during these days. The legalistic traditions that there were several kinds of people who weren't able to enjoy close communion with God. By the way they're making it up there.

They were finding people with their traditions that they said there were several kinds of people.

One was a man who was single and didn't have a wife second was a couple that didn't have child course Jesus himself will be born into this system and he will shatter these misconceptions.

He never had a wife. He never fathered any children but is there anyone who ever had closer communion with God the father. Jesus this is this is the religious cloud which you feel it when Linda says there's a priest and a faithful wife and I getting pat on the back. They don't have a parent obvious payback from God without as a backdrop, were told here in verse eight that Zechariah's division of several hundred priest is not called up to fulfill that week of service.

Verse nine tells us the lots were cast to determine which priest among them had the special privilege of burning incense inside the holy place just outside the holy of holies this by the way would've been the high point a high moment of the priests entire ministry. In fact, the priest we know could only do this one time in his entire lifetime of ministry, and among 10,000 priests, many of them never got this chance. So here Zechariah probably in his last round of his priesthood is chosen by lot poor frankincense over the hot coals of that altar just inside the holy place.

I imagine that I picture him stepping in there for the first time and only time in his life awestruck because we would be. He looks around at the furniture as he sees the candelabra at the table of the show Brandon that massive curtain 30 feet high.

But this high separating from the holy of holies the other side to be that close would be awe-inspiring at this moment. Zechariah is representing Israel in the prayers of the nation it as the sweet smelling. Frankincense is billowing smoke he would've been awe-inspiring were told here in verse 10 that outside is a multitude of worshipers, those that have gathered their prey joining in this manner represents them as their praying to God as he performs the sacred task look at look at this a referral for a country priest who faithfully serve the Lord for a man in his wife, who no doubt wondered why the blessing of God was always on somebody else. I can't wait to get home and tell Elizabeth would got it done about the time that billowing smoke clears the air. He realizes he is not alone.

Verse 11. There appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense and Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon, and that's the biblical way of saying you nearly passed out, gave appropriate smelling salt to help. Remember, by the way, this is the end of what we call the 400 years of age or test of mental silence when Malachi put his grill down until this moment God has been silent.

No angel sightings. Anyway, nobody seen Angels and the clouds are in there and gelato or no angels anywhere.

No word from God.

Until this moment. Verse 13 the angel said to him what angels typically say the humans do not be afraid, Zechariah notices incredible revelation for your prayer has been heard and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John and you will have joy and gladness. That's the understatement of the year and many will rejoice at his birth April and goes on to describe the prophetic ministry of John the baptizer as he will become known look at later, the forerunner the announcer of his cousin, who happens to be Jesus, God the son, the Messiah, back to the first part for your prayer has been heard and your wife Elizabeth will bear a son.

Nicole and John went with this wasn't his prayer in the holy place he's praying for the nation as he represents them he is. He's praying for the Redeemer to come.

He's probably praying a few prayers for his own religious leaders that he might've even been praying for Herod praying for Elizabeth to have a son. At this point they are both in their late 70s. Some scholars believe the phrase well advanced apply to those in their 80s. Zechariah prayed this prayer 50 years ago.

He and Elizabeth wept together as they prayed this prayer 40 years ago. 30 years ago. Maybe 20 years ago, but time ran out praying the praying this is an 80-year-old man.

So imagine this when they got a spare room that that's never going to use the sound of children playing in their homes never going to be heard will never echo around their walls. God has seen the absinthe the heavens silent but imagine this revelation, Gabriel says you know that prayer you prayed 50 years ago got hurt Peter this prayers you and Elizabeth prayed 30 years ago got hurt your prayer.

God knew every time he prayed for child but it wasn't time. It was in his will. God knew when you stopped praying for child even when God seems absent, just what still aware of every sorrow and every longing in every prayer me provide one more unchangeable truth is we work through this text even when things seem impossible.

God is able to do the unimaginable. Now I got adhere Zechariah in in buying. I wonder if I would review. He asked the angel in verse 18.

Notice how shall I know this from an old man and my wife is advanced in years.

By the way, husbands. There's a lesson in diplomacy here do know. Zechariah says I'm an old man but my wife is advanced is a brilliant man here wise priest all my wife well she's advanced how is this going to happen right away.

Later in chapter 1 Mary is going to say to the same angel has is gonna happen, but her questions different from Zechariah. How can a virgin be carrying the child she didn't understand that process for Zechariah. On the other hand he doesn't believe that he is all is is advanced, wife of many years, you know to pull this off for Mary. It will be a question of biology for Zechariah here.

It is a matter of belief he wants proof you want to sign with Solaris.

He standing here talking to an angel.

I need a sign from God. Hello, here's the conversation. Verse 18. Again, how shall I know this old man in my life is advanced in years. The angel answered, I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God. It was sent to speak to you and bring you this good news first time you hear that expression's notice the word play here, though, to catch that satirizes I'm an old man. The angel says I'm Gabriel and I stand in the presence of God who cares how old you are when things seem impossible.

That happens to be the perfect time. Gabriel chuckled he'd seen over the course of human history. God move at that impossible moment to perform his will. Old man-year-old, but I'm Gabriel and you can't believe what I've seen. I stand in the presence he goes on to announce because of unbelief. Zechariah is not going to be able to talk or hear. For the next nine months plus maybe a play on this God has shattered the silence after 400 years and now because of your unbelief. I'm going to have you spend nine months inside. He can't speak later on in the chapter we learn he can't hear either total silence at the end of the chapter here in verse 24 were told she conceives and then she stays hidden indoors for the next five months. I love that we did was that the she uncertain is for real. Who can believe our joy Luke is the only gospel writer. By the way, gives us so many prenatal and postnatal details, probably because God used his experience with Dr. evidently love people.

Paul will call Luke, the beloved physician love life you get the impression from the way he writes this will learn together that he would've been someone who is been a lot of fun to be around wonderful encouraging to be around for the word the firm rejoice is found more times in Luke's gospel than any other New Testament book.

The phrase praising God praise God occurs more times in the Gospel of Luke, then all the other books of the New Testament combine I get the picture describes as a smile on his face and he loves rolling out the news here of great joy, the certainty of our faith is built on these unchangeable truths which lead to us into joy are great. Good creator that even when God even when his authority is considered irrelevant in our world is in total control. Even when God seems absent silent. He still aware of every sorrow, every pain even when things seem impossible.

God is ready at his timing. According to his will is fully capable to do the unexpected, the unimaginable, miraculous, so he introduces us first to this good and I just wanted to stop and consider that family portrait is as old man grinning from ear to Zechariah's name mean God.

Remember next to him and his and elderly advanced woman of years.

She's smiling Elizabeth's name refers to the faithfulness of God's.

And in this little boy bouncing perhaps around his name is John which means God is gracious, good news of great joy. In fact, that's the title that Stevens given this brand-new series from Luke one through three.

Today's lesson is called certainty. I hope you will be with us in the days ahead for all of it. This is wisdom for the heart in addition to equipping you with these daily Bible lessons. We also have a magazine called heart-to-heart heart-to-heart features articles written by Stephen where he explores various topics related to the Christian life. He deals with issues like the rapture in the coming tribulation, how to think biblically about trials and pain and much more. There is also a daily devotional guide.

These daily meditations are rich in biblical truth.

They help you explore and meditate on God's word personally so that you can grow in your walk with Christ.

We send heart-to-heart magazine is our gift to all of our wisdom partners.

If you'd like to see it, we be happy to send you the next three issues you can sign up for it on our website or you can call us today here in our office. Our number is 86 648 Bible. That's 866-482-4253. The website is wisdom Thanks for listening. I hope you be with us for our next Bible lesson tomorrow here on wisdom for the heart

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