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December 24, 2019 12:00 am
I learned that he was going to be a father. The angel told him several things about his son's life notice when cable does not about you. He does not say he will be great in the sight of his religious. He will be great in the sight of his religious leaders will be great in the sight of his peers be great in the sight of the Lord, but it's gonna be strange in the sign of the local God ever asked you to do something that simply seemed impossible. The story of Zacharias and his son John the Baptist is a wonderful reminder for us that nothing is impossible for God. God calls us to walk by faith and not by sight. When we do, God will accomplish his work in us and through us and that's often to the amazement of those around us. This is wisdom for the heart and today Stephen Davey continues through his series entitled Christmas cousins. This lesson is called the day that changed everything for every one of us.
We tend to measure life a number of different ways only. We measure it, probably first and foremost by years if someone says you want to tell me that your cell is a well nine or 35, 39, or some set of is along that line. As we enter this ourselves or I just turned 16 and I'm going to be another way to mark our lives is spiky dates like wedding anniversaries would be right there at the top of the list of your married I was married on July 11, 1981 were on our 30th year of marriage order how many couples identity Jeremy couples been married longer than 30 years of easier hands K for the year. I 50 years. Okay 60 years. All right I got 65 years, 70 years. Okay, summer place 67 and anybody else while not even halfway there.
Congratulations on how many of you been married five years of writing all over all right.
For years, less than four years. Okay, less than three years, all right to years, all right. One year how many months you can go and ask her I'm sorry is that rights are little over six months. Congratulations there are how many months yes ma'am you tell me okay are in second place runner up to somebody okay yes or five months. Wow.
Anybody know my missing anybody over here how many months for you three months yes ma'am, how many okay I think three months. She's no no-no over here to say hi want to show off good good man. I just don't forget. You know when you get to 65 years. Six years wonderful III think those of us were married measure obviously life before and after that that other people measure their lives. I think we all do by accomplishments you can remember getting a driver's license, graduated from college or graduate school for you life was before that moment and life began after some other accomplishment. I know some golfers whose lives are. Everything was before that hole-in-one and after that hole-in-one. Another way we measure our lives is by critical decision to become number when you took that job. Maybe you can number when you moved here to carry area from New York like 60% of you did.
I remember maybe stepping down from that job or maybe entering a retirement hopefully among the list of your critical decisions is the decision to accept Jesus Christ and his gospel for yourself right hi, that would be the top decision I have with me.
Effective online my pickup truck. I lost track of this little New Testament for many years. I can remember trusting Christ and giving my life to when I was in my junior year ending my junior high school and then I came across this little Bible keep with me inside the flyleaf in pencil sort of fading are the words conversion May 18, 1975. This, of course, for me is significant because my life before and after is now marked forever by that decision.
Some of you remember and think about your life in terms of maybe a vocation you chose or military extent that you did maybe deciding for years that our mission to let me take a trip and you came back and decided is that several families leaving our church to go over and and and you will remember forever. When that plane touched down life was different before that moment and it changed forever after that is, are those defining moment state they mark just don't think they they stay with us. They say a lot about us as we relate them to other people and how we communicate about those. I think all of us tend to mark our lives as well by significant trials we call personal tragedy maybe you think of life as well. Even 10 years ago this month.
My child or maybe it was four years ago today I filed for bankruptcy or maybe it's seven years ago this month, we lost everything and that hurt. Perhaps it was. It's like this. Well, four years ago we got the diagnosis from the doctor and life was one way until that moment and then a chain, but truthfully, I think all of us measure our lives by combination of all the above.
Knowing decisions ministry involvement we trust in Christ. Major events in life anniversaries. Perhaps even graduations, and certainly trial markups for defining moments in her life with you been with us last Lord's day, and for this month we have been looking at a defining moment will change life forever for an old faithful priest Zacharias where the gospel of where the gospel of Luke in chapter 1, and on this particular day that we looked at last Lord's day began our exposition through this chapter he realized as he was in there offering his frankincense liquid perfume upon the coals of that altar of incense that when that billowing perfume, smoke went away recognized in that holy place that he was no longer alone was looking into the face of an angel. Chapter 1 will identify this angel as Gabriel there has been 400 years of silence there's been no word from God. There been no angel sightings the nation in their disobedience have not been able to hear or have heard from God, the prophet Malachi when he put down the school. I was it until this angel appears and Zacharias were told was literally terrified he's petrified, so Gabriel begins his message by saying what angels typically visit human beings, stopping for my Gabriel has already appeared 500 years earlier to a prophet named Daniel he may remember that encounter to study the book of Daniel, and Daniel said as a result of meeting Gabriel at my strength the way I literally fell down to the ground. Daniel fortunately for us, describes Gabriel, which now Zacharias sees Luke does not describe them so just as an overview, not turning their let me just give you that description. Daniel describes Gabriel is wearing a linen robe which was significant because the high priest wore linen robe at the end of the holy of holies it signified access to God. Gabriel informs Zacharias that he indeed stands in the presence of God.
Gabriel is also described as wearing this belt made of solid gold, which no doubt reflected light from the candles burning in the holy place where every turn. Gabriel's face is described by Daniel was having an appearance as of lightning and brilliant and so no doubt Daniel and Zacharias are looking at it like that hard to concentrate her gaze upon someone so brilliantly as were lit up the eyes of Gabriel are described by Daniel as a red coals burning glowing red as if they are on fire. That will get your attention in this his arms and feet are described as polished bronze. His voice is described as a low rumble.
You can now imagine why Daniel fell to the ground and why Zacharias is in the air in the holy place all by itself, apart from the angel traveling petrified, overcome with fear.
By the way, that was at the site of only one angel Gabriel is just one angel, Joe chapter 38 informs us that the millions of angels were created.
These angels were created before the creation of the world they saying, in effect, to get a job. They say together as God's son. The words spoke. Colossians tells us he was the creating agent among the triune God in the universe was created and they all say while he spoke he the log gospel word of God. At that time. Of course all the angels were good sometime before or just after creation. The highest ranking among these created beings. Lucifer's name led an army of angels in a palace coup d'état against the very throne of God. They were judged, and they fell from their high and an privileged estate and we in the New Testament Hereford of these beings more often than not as demon there confirmed in their unholy rebellion, and ever since then they've been growing in their rebellion.
They do everything possible to thwart the purposes of God and defeat the work of God and diminish the worship of God and they know full well they're moving ever closer to the ultimate and final wrath and judgment of God, demon, I've heard a nice person that the Lord during the Lord's ministry. Most often they said we know who you are and you come to torment us before it's time.
They know it's coming so Hatem hate his people not only under the thumb of our sovereign Lord, are vastly outnumbered mega John the apostle took the tour of heaven described for us in the book of Revelation. He sees this mind-boggling site of at least 100 million angels worshiping before the throne of God.
Gabriel was just one now you just come from the throne of God. The presence of God to deliver a message to Zacharias is faithful 80-year-old priest back to verse 13 of Luke one. The angel said to him, don't be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son given the name John and you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. I want you to notice. As Gabriel reveals to us the character and career of John we know is John the baptizer John the Baptist to be aware of three ingredients of his character that will look at first call. The first one dedication just the first phrase in verse 15 says he will be great in the sight of the Lord. The word great is the word Meg Goss which gives us our English transliterated word may God big great stupendous John is to be greatly significant in the sight of the Lord speaks not only to the death of his character and his commitment but also speaks to the greatness of his role as the forerunner of the Messiah. Great men that will ministry occupied uniquely by this one person in redemptive history.
I want you to notice when Gabriel does not about you. He does not say, and he will be great in the sight of his religious world, he doesn't say he will be great in the sight of his religious leader. He will be great in the sight of his peers. No, they're not going to care for him. Most of them one iota there I got me all that excited about this profit. The first one I've heard from in 400 years arrives unannounced. No sanction from the rabbis or the religious leadership he just starts preaching repentance. Even claims the religious leaders need to repent.
The popular message camel hair for his clothing austerity and is bearing while the honey locust as the stable of his diet.
Meeting lived in the wilderness thundering in his voice as he calls this nation back to repentance.
The popular message he may be great in the sight of the Lord is going to be irritating and strange in the side of the local, but you will be wholly devoted to the Lord. Second, the character Johnny Martinelli my devotion, dedication, separation verse 15 again to send x-rays will drink no wine or liquor that's translated reps in your Bibles were here no drink strong drink is to live a life separated on the God sent a drink strong drink which would be equivalent to that drink our culture.
While some believe it's because John is being raised as a Nazirite is filling a Nazirite valve, so to speak with. There's nothing in the gospel accounts that speak of him not cutting his hair, which would be another indication of a Nazirite valve and I along with others don't believe that he is being raises Nazirite. I believe John is negative. Drink strong drink simply because he is functioning effectively as a priest like his father Zacharias, and according to Old Testament requirements. A priest was never allowed to drink strong drink while on duty. Leviticus chapter 10 and even after that, never to become intoxicated John the Baptist and violating his interesting conceptual thought like every Christian today who is according first beer to a royal priest is never off-duty, never off-duty. The apostle John, José, don't be under the influence of why W intoxicated but be dominated by the Holy Spirit, is don't let your mind be controlled by an intoxicating substance. Let your mind be controlled by the indwelling spirit that leads me to the third ingredient jobs character. The character Johnny. Finally my dedication and separation by consecration. Notice the last phrase of, or part of verse 15 this is startling, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yeah in his mother's womb. This filling was prenatal. The text does not mean as liberals, want to come along and try to torture to mean that the John is going to be indwelt with the spear from birth, even from birth present like the implications of what it might mean obviously one expositor under this way such a total invasion by the Holy Spirit of God is unprecedented in Old Testament certainly in the womb, in any dispensation what's happening here is this John was prenatal filling was prophetic. A picture of the filling of the Holy Spirit that will become the hallmark of all who are born again in Christ at that moment when you have by virtue of your faith trusted in Christ life begins at the moment of conception of life. You get the Holy Spirit you want to wait six months, 10 months to years grow up, get more mature and then maybe get you gotta the conception of your spiritual life, which by the way, becomes unbelievably significant in his revelation of our understanding of a pre-born child pre-born child is not some appendage the angel doesn't refer to pre-born John as and it or thing I noticed the personal pronouns.
Gabriel offers the pre-born baby as he he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's will. Imagine the truth… Is not fetal tissue. This is a living person conception immediately wrapped inside that body that embryo is an eternal soul so capable of being inhabited indwelt by the Spirit of God, that angelic introduction of his character. Gabriel refers to his career. His career is going to impact three different elements within society. We point them out to first of all, his career will impact the disconnected verse 16 there and he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the worker got you might circle the word turn it can show up in verse 16 and the shop number 70 it means to convert it means to turn around and it also has the nuance of meaning to cause a return to combat John's preaching is gone to call the nation to come back to their keeping God. Those were 16.
He will turn cause a return among many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord together 70. It is, he will go as a forerunner and amplify that to simply describe the work before it is he will go as a forerunner before him.
Only knows the Messiah in the spirit and power of Elijah. What he's doing is quoting Malachi. The last problem appeared in written Malachi. The prophet effectively sends closing words that the coming Messiah would be preceded by the coming of Elijah, and then you have the silence of God descending upon the people nation for more than 400 years within the first profit prepare the scene does so it's this little boy now all grown.
His name is John. He's a direct descendent on his mother's side to Aaron the high priest.
He has come to introduce the descendent on his mother's side to King David. So you have effectively, the high priest introducing the king you have a high priest introducing the final sacrifice wonderful illustrations in these two cousins lives in lineage and the ministry John will fulfill the promise of Malachi affected even mirrors his ministry is a lie just alone. Elijah fearlessly condemned the religious world. Elijah fearlessly challenge the nation preaching to them, repent, and nobody told everybody you going this way, you need to turn around and going in the wrong direction and you need to go back this way to God become reconnected in obedience and repentance to God.
Secondly, John's career will not only impact the disconnected but the disinterested, the middle part of verse 17. And here's the next reference to turning returning, he will turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children. John's ministry was so impact the hearts of people that would revolutionize the way they live inside the home. Fathers will be turned around so that they will once again chair about their family, because when a man is converted when a man is pagan. What is rebellious asked what he doesn't care about his family, but when that man's heart is turned around by repenting to God's heart does to is how he cares about his children and his family said John's ministry so impact the hearts of people that is going to revolutionize the way the regenerated hearts principle is this what will redefine the relationship. Fathers are going to come alongside mother's caring for the development and growth of their children listen. This truth is still alive and well, that's the kind of impact the gospel has even to this day you go to a culture that is not been saturated or even built upon the foundational phrase of the gospel or the word of God and you will find a culture where children do not matter and by the way, women don't either. They are chattel their beasts of burden you outside the Western world predominantly influence. Of course by centuries of the gospel and you find polygamy is rampant adultery.
In fact, is sanction for men only will you do that you get started. Children are the sole responsibility of the mother and don't let them get on the way. The father would you get inside a culture impacted by the gospel and you'll discover among many things, the value of a woman is dramatically increased. She is honored and respected and valued in the goal of a man is to faithfully love that woman that God is allowed and was life care for the children are viewed as gifts from God and not chattel faithful monogamy then becomes the ideal of that kind of culture and everything else is discouraged and so in our culture, by the way, I am sure your wedding where the Bible is being set aside, women are becoming things again children unwanted as men simply have their way.
The gospel comes along and pans in their hearts doubly. How this lesson isn't finished were almost times we need to stop here and conclude on tomorrow's broadcast, you're listening to wisdom for the heart with Steven David. Our office is closed today so were not able to take your phone call if you'd like to access any of our resources or making year-end contribution to our ministry. You can do firstname.lastname@example.org you can also do it from our smart phone app which you'll find in the iTunes or the Google place in case you're not able to be with us tomorrow. I wish you a Merry