Gathering Together

“Getting To Know Jesus”

LOC – 004 – The Childless Will Have a Child!
Being God’s Man – Faith in the Tuff Times

Most people look forward to having a baby.  If my wife is expecting, I’m calling Abraham to try to find out what to do next!  She’ll be calling Sarah or Elizabeth!  Actually, we’re content to be grandparents!  Are you childless and wanting to have one?  Being childless can be a source of great longing.  Do you know a married couple that wants to have a child of their own and has not been able to?  Do you have faith that God can do the impossible, even in your life?  We are in Luke 1:5-25.

1.  Live a Righteous Life – Luke 1:5-6

Herod “the Great,” is another man with a big ego.  Just because you call yourself some sort of title doesn’t mean you measure up!  He is a powerful, ruthless, ungodly and murdering ruler!  It is a sad day when a leader is not humble, but flaunts his power!   

Zechariah & Elizabeth are righteous followers of God who have no children.  Good people.  Sometimes bad things happen to good people!  Zechariah is a priest (one who is still serious about serving God).  Not all priests are hypocrites!  This is a statement of the importance of maintaining your integrity.

To be truly pleasing to God, we must do what is right by God’s standards, not by our own.  We can’t make up our own rules as we go along without reaping painful consequences for our choices.  Having faith in tough time’s means trusting that by doing what is right, we will reap God’s rewards, not the world’s consequences for wrong behavior.

2.  Continue Your Daily Responsibilities – Luke 1:8-10

Zechariah is praying in the temple for all of the people, which is a rare opportunity.  Since each priest took turns doing this, once per year, it is possible that this was the only time he ever did this.  He enters the Holy of Holies to make intercession for the people, and while performing his duties, an angel comes to tell him that he is going to be a father.  (Interlude) Jews are expecting the Messiah.  Signs of the times tell them it is near!  Don’t stop living because some “sign” of the future is evident.

We don’t have to break routine or do something special to get God’s attention.  God is not manipulated by religious behavior or actions.  If we are walking in faith, we can proceed with our daily duties and know that God will accomplish His plans for our life.  Just make sure what you are doing is in agreement with what the Bible teaches and you will have God’s blessing.

3.  Pray Concerning Your Situation – Luke 1:11-17

We gather by the nature of the conversation that Zechariah and Elizabeth are still praying for a child.  Because of their prayers and faith, they are told that they going to have a baby boy!  He will be healthy, grow to be a man who will be faithful in serving God!  Don’t stop praying until God answers your prayer!  Many babies die, but Zechariah is assured that his baby is going to live to adult hood and do something great for God.  People are proud to claim a son, daughter, brother, sister or relative who is in ministry!

How would you feel if you and your spouse were childless and had almost given up on having a child and you got news like that?  The angel gives Zechariah some strong instructions about the upbringing of this child!  All parents should have some serious instructions (possible restrictions) in the upbringing of their children!  It is no secret what God can do for those who are truly seeking to follow Him and trusting in His guidance and provision.

4.  Don’t Doubt God – Luke 1:18-23

Zechariah doesn’t disbelieve the angel’s message, but he does seek a “sign” as proof that this is from God.  He is introduced to the meaning of speechless!  Gabriel Calling!  Gabriel means “God’s Power.”  This is only the start of God manifesting His power among men.  We will see another example of that power in the next lesson!  Don’t challenge God’s authority.  HE WILL WIN!

Meanwhile, the crowd is waiting for a “final blessing” and wonders why Zechariah is taking so long.  Don’t leave without your blessing or you won’t be blessed!  Sometimes God may be slow according to our wishes and we may think we have been waiting forever, but Like Zechariah and Elizabeth, we never want to doubt God or give up on what we sincerely and Scripturally believe that He is going to do.  God is constantly looking for and testing His servants to see who is faithful, trusting and ready to serve Him.

5.  Praise God for the Results – Luke 1:24-25

When Zechariah finally exits the Temple, the people perceive that something extraordinary has happened to him while he was in there.  Now, for them to hear what has happened is more important than leaving!  What’s Elizabeth going to think when Zechariah gets home?  She can talk all she wants and he can’t interrupt!  It’s going to get very interesting as her pregnancy starts to show. 

God has given you special talents and abilities.  He also has a job tailored just for you and will bless you as you do it.  There may be testing or disciplining to prepare you for the job, but as you truly believe in and trust God, you are going to have more opportunity to praise Him for His faithfulness and blessings than you will have time to do it.  God likes to reward those who are sincerely faithful to Him. 

CONCLUSION

Next Week, Mary and Joseph are going to learn some very special news!  Try to put yourself in their shoes as you see what happens.  We are off in our adventure of “Getting To Know Jesus!”  We look forward to being with you next week.  Meanwhile, God Bless and have a great week.