Day 3: Joy in God’s Promise

Scripture: Luke 1:67-75

Zechariah’s Song

“67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.69 He has raised up a horn[c] of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”

 

Long, long, ago, God promised the people of Israel that He would be their God and they would be His people. To the people of Israel, this meant many things, one of which was that Yahweh (God), would be their protector. When they were in trouble, it was expected that God would send a Messiah to the people of Israel. Messiah means, “one who saves”. In the past, God sent warriors and leaders to rescue His people. Think about Moses who rescued them from the Egyptians, or David who led them in battle against the mighty Philistine army. For hundreds of years the prophets (people who bring God’s message) said that the Messiah was on His way, but it had been so long, many of God’s people felt forgotten because that promised mighty rescuer had not appeared.

But now, God’s people needed more than a rescuer, they needed a Savior!  God sent an Angel to Zechariah and promised him a Son that he was to name John. The angel said “John will lead many people in Israel to turn back to the Lord their God. He will go ahead of the Lord with the same power and spirit that Elijah had. And because of John, parents will be more thoughtful of their children. That is how John will get people ready for the Lord.” (Luke 1:24-25) This Messiah would be the Lord!

When John was born, his parents were way past the age that most people have children.  Zechariah doubted that this promise by the angel was even possible.  He and his wife Elizabeth probably felt like the promise was a dream and one day they would wake up and there would be no pregnancy and no baby.  But it wasn’t a dream, it was a promise, and God always keeps His promises!

Now that promised baby had come! The promise was real!  If the promise was true about John, Zechariah knew the promise was true about a Messiah coming too!  The rescuer was on his way!!  Just the thought of it filled Zechariah’s heart with such joy he began to sing praises to God.

Zechariah’s song said that God had not forgotten His people and now they could serve him without fear.  God has not forgotten you either.  God sent a Savior to rescue us from our sins.  If you have asked Jesus to be your Savior, then you can also serve God without fear because God never, ever, never, never, ever, ever, forgets his children.  No matter what, God is with you.  That is a promise that can make us brave!  Have you ever been scared to talk about Jesus with others because you were afraid, you’d mess up or get it wrong?  We all have!  But here is the truth: we can serve God without fear knowing that we are never forgotten.  We can trust that God will give us everything we need, whether it is the right words to say to the person who doesn’t know Jesus as their Savior, or even the money we need to start a new ministry or help someone in need…. or both!  God is our protector and provider! So, go! Go in the name of Jesus and do great things for Him!

 

Prayer:  God our protector, provider and promise keeper, help me to be brave.  May my dreams to do great things for you become realities as I seek to serve Jesus!

Activity:  Talk about the things you would do if you were just brave enough.  Would you bungee jump, para-sail, or race dirt bikes?  Would you try out for a team or sing in front of a crowd of people? Those things would be cool!  Now ask yourself, how would I serve God if I was brave enough and trusted him for everything?

Challenge:  This week pray every day and ask God to put an amazing way to serve Him in your heart and mind.  If you think God has given you an idea, share it with your family!