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Zechariah

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The Road to Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:29
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Zechariah’s Journey

Luke 1:6 NIV
Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.
Luke 1:13 NIV
But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.
Zechariah was a RIGHTEOUS priest who had been BEGGING God for a child for DECADES.
Luke 1:13–14 NIV
But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,
Gabriel told Zechariah that God was FINALLY ANSWERING his prayer for a child.
Luke 1:14–17 NIV
He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Gabriel told Zechariah that his son would be the BEGINNING of God's answer to the prayers of ISRAEL.
Luke 1:8–11 NIV
Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
Luke 1:13 NIV
But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.
God wanted Zechariah to SHARE this news with the WHOLE NATION.
Luke 1:18 NIV
Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
Obeying God's will required FAITH--taking real ACTION on God's promises--but Zechariah wasn't willing to take the RISK.
Luke 1:20–22 NIV
And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
God sealed Zechariah's mouth so he could have a SECOND CHANCE to fulfill his purpose.
Luke 1:62–66 NIV
Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.
Zechariah ultimately OBEYED God and TESTIFIED to the Israelites about the promises of God.
Luke 1:67–79 NIV
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

The Road to Christmas

The Promises of Christmas don't just HAPPEN--we have to CHOOSE to be part of them.
We receive the promises of Christmas by ACCEPTING the gift of Jesus--and the TRANSFORMATION he brings.
The world is transformed by Christmas through faith--our willingness to ACT on the promises of Jesus in CONSPICUOUS ways.
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