Part 6

September 13, 2020


Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”


Last week, we ended at the point in Zacharias and Elizabeth’s lives at which she had become pregnant after many years of marriage despite being very old. We learned that Elizabeth viewed the news as God’s blessing for her continued faith during the time when she was considered an outcast because she was unable to have children.


When Elizabeth was six months into her pregnancy, Jesus Christ’s mother Mary came to visit her. Mary and Elizabeth were cousins. Mary went to see Elizabeth in order to seek encouragement by confirming what the angel Gabriel had told her about both Elizabeth’s pregnancy and her own. Mary was newly pregnant with the Messiah!! LUK 1:39–45 (New International Reader’s Version) tells us about their visit:  At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in Judea’s hill country. There she entered Zacharias’ home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby inside her jumped. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she called out, “God has blessed you more than other women. And blessed is the child you will have! But why is God so kind to me? Why has the mother of my Lord come to me? As soon as I heard the sound of your voice, the baby inside me jumped for joy. You are a woman God has blessed. You have believed that the Lord would keep his promises to you!” Though Jesus and John’s mothers are the ones meeting, this biblical account is actually a meeting of the two babies. This is because we learn that the baby John reacts to Mary’s greeting, as Elizabeth makes clear. In fact, John’s reaction anticipates and mirrors the forerunner role that he will have in LUKE 3.


            Mary stayed with Zacharias and Elizabeth for about three months, which would have been around the time Elizabeth gave birth, and Mary’s first three months of pregnancy was complete. Of course, Elizabeth gave birth to a son, just as Gabriel had promised, and her neighbors and relatives rejoiced with her. On the eighth day during the circumcision and naming ceremony, the people were going to name the baby after his father. “But his mother spoke up. “No!” she said. “He must be called John.” (Luke 1:60 New International Reader’s Version). Elizabeth had the utmost faith in what the angel had told Zacharias and she stood firm in obeying the command to name the baby John. Again, we see such incredible belief in this amazing woman of the Bible!


Luke 1:62-66 (New International Reader’s Version) tells us what happened next: Then they motioned to his father. They wanted to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for something to write on. Then he wrote, “His name is John.” Everyone was amazed. Right away Zacharias could speak again. Right away he praised God. All his neighbors were filled with fear and wonder. Throughout Judea’s hill country, people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it. And because the Lord was with John, they asked, “What is this child going to be?”


The Bible teaches us that Zacharias and Elizabeth’s child eventually came to be known as John the Baptist. Zacharias and Elizabeth are not mentioned again in the Bible, after LUK 1:80 (New International Reader’s Version) which tells us: The child grew up, and his spirit became strong. He lived in the desert until he appeared openly to Israel.


It’s a safe guess that because of their advanced age, Zacharias and Elizabeth died before their son’s ministry began, around thirty years after his miraculous birth. So they did not get to see him announce the coming of the Messiah. However, their experience, living righteously and praising God for His miraculous work in their lives, surely must have helped prepare their son for his life of service to God. Elizabeth’s response in LUK 1:43 says so much about her: “But why is God so kind to me?” It shows how humble she is and the thrill she had to be able to participate directly in God’s plan. What a surprise it must have been for her!


When God sends those kinds of surprises, He has something very special in mind. As we close, let us look at the great lessons which the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth teaches us.


One important lesson is that our impossible situations are the platforms upon which God can come through for us and to show us His Best Work. You may have a boss in your after-school job who treats you with disrespect; or you may have to deal with a bully at school or in your neighborhood; or you may have had your heart broken. These are the situations in which God proves that nothing is impossible with Him. You just have to apply His Word during these situations which seem impossible to get through. And you must wait for God’s Timing. That is where faith comes in. Apply the Faith-Rest Drill – Problem-Solving Tool (device) #3.


There are three parts to the faith-rest drill. First is remembering God’s Promises.  God has made many promises to us. Remembering these promises increase our faith in Him! One such promise is found in JOH 14:27 (New International Reader’s Version): I leave my peace with you. I give my peace to you. I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be troubled. And do not be afraid. So, part of faith-rest is to remember His Promises when we need His Help. The second part is applying His Word to support the promise. What this means is you should remember He promised us peace and then remember that you learned a verse about it! The third part of the Faith-Rest Drill is resting in The Lord by leaving the problem in His Hands. You are able to rest because you know He’ll take care of the impossible situation – whatever it is!


Another lesson we learned from Zacharias and Elizabeth is that your health, finances, and all other problems can never frustrate God and His Plan.  Again, you have to wait for His timing. There are lessons to be learned during the waiting period until He comes through and deals with the situation. God’s delays are not necessarily His denials. Don’t misinterpret a “wait” for a “no.” Don’t assume that if the solution has not come in a few days or a few weeks, that God is saying “no” or “never,” He is simply saying, “Not right now.” And rather than looking at having to wait as a cause for doubt, let it be a cause for growth. Use this as a time to dive into the doctrinal principles that you may have never applied. And think about the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth!


When God intervenes, His surprises are always for His Immediate Glory and for our ultimate good. Even the unexpected catastrophes or tragedies. As Job said in JOB 2:10 (New International Reader’s Version): “We accept good things from God. So we should also accept trouble when he sends it.” That is an important thing to remember. God is a Sovereign God who has the right to say “no,” just as He has the Sovereign Right to say “yes.” If you believe that He is a Gracious God, only when He says “yes,” you will live a very confused life. He is a Sovereign God who has every right to surprise us in any way.


Whatever your life has been like over the last year, you are no match for God. He has wonderfully and graciously brought you to this place where you will listen, and He is pointing you to His son Jesus Christ and He is saying to you, “Start there, at the Cross.” Begin rebuilding your whole life around His Eternal Perspective and you will never be the same. As Christians in God’s Plan for our lives, we are all facing a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

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