The Christmas Story Part 1

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Luke 1:18-20 (KJV)  And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.  [19]  And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.  [20]  And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

Christmas is a special time of the year for me. It is the time we as a people are reminded of the Birth of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ was uniquely and singularly
born into humanity.

He did not come into BEING when He was born, for the Bible tells us that Jesus is “God With Us”. As God Jesus existed with both Father and Spirit from eternity past (see John 1:1-3). “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”

When Jesus was born His birth brought the immortal into mortality. God fulfilled His Promise to send a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15; Revelation 12:7-9). God fulfilled His promise to Abraham in Christ (Genesis 12:3). God would step down from Heaven to be with us (Matthew 1:21-23; Isaiah 7:14). When we could not touch the face of God, God will come down so He can touch our face and our lives!

Before God as Jesus enters humanity He will need a herald, someone who will go before Him. He will need a Special Messenger, a mortal Man who is uniquely anointed of God. This Messenger was prophesied and promised of God as “The Voice” and “The Messenger”:

Isaiah 40:3 (KJV) THE VOICE of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Malachi 3:1 (KJV)  Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

This Messenger was prophesied 700 years before the coming of Christ. During the 400 years that God was silent between the Old and New Testament God’s Israel looked for this Messenger daily. When would the Messenger come? In the fullness of time – about 6 months prior to Christ’s supernatural birth.

Christmas Reminds Us Jesus Came For The Broken

If God is going to come to the earth to minister to the broken, who do you think He entered humanity through? The broken.

When God told Abraham that he was going to have a child and ultimately the Messiah would come from that child, God was speaking to a broken man. Neither he nor Sarah had children, nor were they likely by human standards to have children. But God promised this broken man and his wife that He would heal them, and give them a child. God keeps his promises if we but believe in Him. God loves to bless the broken and the hopeless, changing the Abrams of this life into Abrahams. God has no use for the prideful:

Proverbs 3:34 (KJV)  Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

James 4:6 (and 1 Peter 5:5) (KJV) … God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

God loves to lavish grace on those in need.
To the humble seeker the Lord gives His greatest treasures.

The Old Covenant started with a childless couple – Abraham and Sarah – whom God would bless with a child. The New Covenant begins in the same way with Zacharias and Elisabeth, two believers who were childless.

Luke 1:6 (KJV) {Zacharias and Elisabeth} were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

They were believers who loved the Lord our God. Look at how they were described.

Both RIGHTEOUS before God
WALKING in ALL the commandments
WALKING in ALL the ordinances of the Lord.

They placed their faith in God. Do YOU love the Lord? Do YOU put Him first even if life has not worked out the way you plan? If you are of Christ’s Household you are – as the Prophet Habakkuk said (2:4) … the just shall live by his faith.

Zacharias and Elizabeth were broken, but loved the Lord and His Word. Though challenged they did not give up. They put their faith in God and walked according to His Word one day at a time. They praised God with their forefather David:

2 Samuel 22:2-4 (KJV) … The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;  [3]  The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.  [4]  I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

God will use a broken person to do His will, but will not use a person unwilling to walk with Him.

Luke 1:7 (KJV)  And they had NO CHILD, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now WELL STRICKEN IN YEARS.

Though in apparent hopelessness they did not despair. Zacharias kept honoring the Lord by his life.

Luke 1:8-10 (KJV) And it came to pass, that while {Zacharias} executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,  [9]  According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.  [10]  And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

Many people were watching Zacharias and how he dealt with his suffering. Had he let depression and despondency rule he would have quit the priesthood. He kept honoring God with his life – and the fruit of this was a multitude of God’s people praying while Zacharias lit the incense of the holy place.

Psalms 141:1-3 (KJV) …. LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.  [2]  Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.  [3]  Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

We need to learn from this dear Christians. What you do in your life effects those around you. Perhaps you are broken. Perhaps weak. Perhaps you struggle with sickness. Continue to do God’s will. What you do will effect others. What you do TODAY will effect others TOMORROW.

If You Are Broken Use Your Lips To Pray And Praise

Luke 1:11-13 (KJV) And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing ON THE RIGHT SIDE of the altar of incense.  [12]  And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.  [13]  But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

The Altar of Incense symbolized to prayers of the faithful going up to God. Notice that the Angel of the Lord appears to Zacharias on the right side of that altar. The right hand in Scripture is symbolic of the place of favor with God. God heard Zacharias’ pleas.

Psalms 16:11 (KJV) {You, O Lord} wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Luke 1:12-13 (KJV) … when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.  [13]  But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

God has heard your prayers Zacharias. The child you have long waited for is coming through Elisabeth. This should have caused Zacharias to jump for joy. God heard your prayers. Praise Him! Praise Him!

Oh that we would praise God in the dark, and praise God in the light. Praise Him in the valley, and praise Him on the mountaintop.

We are frail creatures subject to failure ands breaking, but we have a God Who loves us and will be faithful to us. As a priest Zacharias was familiar with the Law which promised:

Deuteronomy 7:9 (KJV)  Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, THE FAITHFUL GOD, WHICH KEEPETH COVENANT AND MERCY WITH THEM THAT LOVE HIM and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

God will not be unfaithful to His people. He watches what we do. He had watched Zacharias for years as both he and his wife aged. God watched their faithfulness in service, and came to offer a child to Zacharias at a time when only God could have made a difference. Why did God wait?

Isaiah 42:8 (KJV)  I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Faith believes in a faithful God.
Faith trusts God and God alone.

It is not faith to move forward when you have a road map. It is not faith to do a thing when you have all the resources at hand. Faith is to trust God no matter what. Faith is to believe that God is able.

Romans 14:4 (KJV) … God is able to make him stand.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (KJV) And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

God is able to enable John and Elisabeth to have a child. “Fear not John. You and Elisabeth shall have a child, and his name shall be John”.

John” means “God is Gracious”!

Zacharias, name the baby “John” to remind yourself daily that I the LORD am “gracious”, filled with mercy. I love to fix the broken. I love to reach out to those in need.

This baby would grow up to be special. When God is Gracious, He doesn’t just give a little grace, but a magnificent Grace.

Luke 1:14-16 (KJV)  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.  [15]  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.  [16]  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

The baby John would bring a blessing to those around him, and would grow up to be blessed and bless others. John would be the greatest Herald ever known.

John would be “filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb”. This shows us that the filling of the Spirit is not something we earn or deserve, but it is a gracious gift from God.

Luke 1:17 (KJV) {John} shall go before him {the Messiah} in the spirit and power of {Elijah}, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

John would be as great in ministry as was Elijah, one of the few people in the Scripture that never experienced death.

Confess With Your Mouth The Power Of God

Things were going quite well up to this point when Zacharias did something God cannot stand. He disbelieved God. He should have praised God for this wondrous answer to prayer, but instead said:

Luke 1:18 (KJV)  And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an OLD MAN, AND MY WIFE WELL STRICKEN IN YEARS.

Your mouth reflects what is in your heart. Though Zacharias had been praying for years for a child his heart hid doubt against God. He did as Abraham’s wife Sarah did. God will not bless doubt. Some might excuse Zacharias for he had been a valley a long, long time. Yet the Bible tells us as believers:

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)  But WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

God calls on us to believe Him, believe that He is faithful, believe that He is a rewarder of those who DILIGENTLY seek Him. When Abraham was told that God would bless him with a child and a nation Abraham did not baulk at the promise, but BELIEVED. Zacharias did what so many other believers have done.

Zacharias looked at the size of the problem,
and not at the size of God.

  • When David stood before Goliath he saw a big man but a bigger God. With that in mind he killed Goliath.
  • When Daniel stood before a lion’s den he saw lots of hungry lions but a bigger God. He rested on the blanket of their fur.
  • When Israel stood before the Promised Land they saw a big people but a little god. They could not enter.
  • When Zacharias stood before his wife he saw big barrenness and made God to be little.

But God is faithful.
God will keep His Word.
The Herald must come so that the Messiah can come.

The path of faith is to believe that God is able.
To magnify Him.
To speak praise and honor of Him.

Luke 1:20 (KJV) … And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, BECAUSE THOU BELIEVEST NOT MY WORDS, WHICH SHALL BE FULFILLED IN THEIR SEASON.

The believer loses his voice when faithlessness reigns. The Church loses its audience when it will not speak life and light to a dying and dead world. Many Churches today do not have a Voice because they do not speak God’s Word but a twisted version of it. God will remove your Lampstand and your Light if you will not speak Christ.

God took Zacharias’ voice away so that he could not minister in the Temple until John was born. Yet God was gracious. Zacharias repented of his unbelief, and named his boy John just as God decreed. God could have taken Zacharias’ life but instead just took his voice.

2 Timothy 2:13 (KJV)  If we believe not, yet HE ABIDETH FAITHFUL: he cannot deny himself.

God is faithful! So how is your faith? Remember that God will not bless faithlessness. He that wavers is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord! (James 1:6-7). Do not be double minded. Be single minded for God. Or as Joshua said:

Joshua 24:15 (KJV) … choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

I choose the Lord Jesus. I choose my Heavenly Father. I choose the blessed Spirit. I choose to believe God is able, regardless as to the state of my life.

What do YOU choose?
May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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