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PRE MIRACLE MIRACLE

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LAST WEEK

Well, after last weeks message, I think we should take a break from 1st Corinthians
But if you weren’t here, and want a fresh perspective in regards to Sex and the Bible, it is available on social.
Youtube, Itunes, and VCLB.org
It was a pretty real, raw perspective about the subject, and a rad thing about social is that everyone see’s it, including people who don’t know the Lord.
THIS WEEK
We are going to look at a story that is often overlooked
A story that comes before the story of Christmas
The story about the miracle before the Miracle
THOUGHTS
Have you ever felt like you are just a normal Christian?
You know, someone who just believes, but whom has really never seen anything crazy happen?
Maybe you feel stuck, or seemed to have lost a little bit of faith, or even a lot of bit of faith?
Maybe you have even counted God out when it comes to the things you wrestle with?
Any body?
TURN TO
Luke 1:5
Luke 1:5–25 NKJV
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. 8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, 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 to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him 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.” 18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. 20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” 21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless. 23 So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. 24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
PRAY
Luke 1:5-
Luke 1:5–7 NKJV
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
During the days of Herod, which dates this story somewhere between 37-4BC
There was a man named Zachariahs, who was of the eighth priestly division
This man was married to Elizabeth, who was also in a priestly lineage.
This couple were killing it in this faith thing.
The Bible recognizes them as:
Righteous before God
Walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord
Blameless before God and Man
But they had no child.
It seems as though that “But” was the scarlet letter of their lives.
Why would that be a bad thing?
What did bareness stand for?
Child Bearing was the highest calling of a woman during this time in History
Infertility brought social stigma and shame
Your community looked down upon you
Even considered your infertility as a sign that you were secretly in sin
Women, would mock you, while your husband felt defeated
This would probably lead to many arguments and even the thought of divorce.
As this couple would go about serving the Lord
They began to get old
The chances of being redeemed through a miracle were growing slim
During this season of doubt, insecurity, you begin to lack vision for the future because in your eyes their is no future.
HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO WHAT GOD HAS ALLOWED?
When you have no one to hand over your inheritance over to
When your name wont carry on
When the culture sees you as a second class citizen?
What did Zacharias do?
You continue coming to church
You continue trusting the Lord
What did Zacharias do?
Luke 1:8–10 NKJV
8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense.
ZACHARIAHS CONTINUED TO SERVE THE LORD
HE CONTINUED SHOWING UP TO WORK
HE DIDN’T CARE WHAT OTHERS THOUGHT OF HIM
IN THE MIDST OF DOUBT, FAITHFULNESS
During this particular season
IN THE MIDST OF CRITICISM, FAITHFULNESS
IN THE MIDST OF UNANSWERED PRAYER, FAITHFULNESS
ONE DAY, ZACHARIAHS WENT TO WORK
A division of the priests were chosen to go in and serve in the temple for the week
A division of the priests were chosen to go in and serve in the temple for the week
Out of all the priests, it was Zachariah who was divinely chosen to go in
The lot fell on him to burn incense in the temple of God
The lot fell on him
He was chosen to burn incense in the temple of God
As he performed his priestly duties
People would stand outside of the Holy Place he would offer up incense.
There they would pray
There they would intercede
There they would cry out to the Lord
Luke 1:11–17 NKJV
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, 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 to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him 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.”
Luke 1:11
AS ZACHARIAHS WORKED
IN THE NORMAL
IN THE ROUTINE
THE ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARED TO HIM
Causing him to be troubled and fearful.
THE ANGEL RESPONDED:
Do not be afraid
Your prayers have been heard
Your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John
You will have joy and gladness
And many will rejoice over his birth
But not only that
He will be great in the sight of the Lord
He will take the vow of a Nazarene
Abstaining from alcohol
Being filled with the Spirit
From his mother’s womb.
Turning many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
Preparing the way of the Lord in the power of Elijah
LIKE ANY OF US, WITH A GREAT WORD FROM GOD, COMES GREAT QUESTIONS
: 18-
Luke 1:18–20 NKJV
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. 20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
IMAGINE IF THIS HAPPENED TO US?
IMAGINE IF EVERY TIME WE DOUBTED THE WORD OF GOD, WE WOULD IMMEDIATELY BE DISCIPLINED?
FRIENDS, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE LOSE OUR CHILD LIKE FAITH
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE BECOME JADED
WHEN WE TAKE THE MIRACULOUS FOR GRANTED
WHEN WE DON’T TAKE OUR WALKS WITH THE LORD SERIOUSLY
WHEN WE DON’T LISTEN TO THE STILL SMALL VOICE
GABRIEL, ONE OF GOD’S GNARLIEST ANGELS
WHO STANDS BEFORE THE PRESENCE OF GOD
I WAS SENT, BY GOD, TO PERSONALLY ENCOURAGE YOU
TO BRING YOU THIS GOOD NEWS
BUT BEHOLD, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SPEAK, UNTIL YOU SEE THIS MIRACLE COME TO PASS
I’M GOING TO TEACH YOU A LESSON
I’M GOING TO TO SILENCE YOUR DOUBTS, BY SILENCING THE INSTRUMENT OF DOUBT
I’M GOING TO
CHURCH, WE ARE JUST LIKE ZACHARIAHS
WE ARE A FRAIL PEOPLE
WE ARE A WEAK PEOPLE
A PEOPLE WHO GIVE UP TOO EASY
A PEOPLE AFRAID OF THE MIRACULOUS
As your pastor, I want to challenge you.
To not give up on God’s Word
To not give up on His Power to change our situation
To not quit because the situation seems bleak
To not doubt the promises of God
Instead of asking How
Instead of questioning His Power
Instead of doubting His Ability
Respond like the man who believed that Jesus could
“Lord I believe, but I need you to help my unbelief”
Lord I know you can, strengthen me
Lord I know your able, strengthen that belief
Lord I know you’re powerful, let that win over my unbelief
MAY WE NEVER FORGET THE POWER OF GOD TO SAVE
WHAT A PRIVILEGE
WHAT AN HONOR
WHAT A MIRACLE
ZACHARIAHS AND ELIZABETH HAD A UNIQUE TASK
MAY WE NEVER DOUBT HIS STILL SMALL VOICE
To Parent whom Jesus called
MAY WE CONTINUE TO TRUST HIM
FOR HE IS A TRUSTWORTHY GOD
The greatest prophet born of a woman
A FAITHFUL GOD
To raise up a child who is filled with the Spirit from birth
To mother and father a man who would be called crazy
Who would live in the wilderness
Eat locusts and honey
Preach a message of repentance
Baptize many, including Jesus
Call out the unrighteous
AND DEAL WITH A PAIN THAT NO MOTHER OR FATHER SHOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH
THE PAIN OF LOSING A CHILD
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