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It’s the fourth week of “It Could Only Be Jesus” and we are in the midst of the Christmas story now:

  • We are blessed in believing. In Luke 1:39-45, we find Mary hurrying to the home of Elizabeth. Upon entering the home, Elizabeth, also pregnant, experiences her baby leaping inside of her and being filled with the Holy Spirit, speaks words of affirmation and prophecy over Mary. Can we even imagine the joyful time these two pregnant women had together? One older in age, about six months pregnant, and carrying a child whose life had a unique plan. Mary, younger in age, about three months pregnant, and also carrying a child whose life had a unique plan. Both women, distinctly different, each expecting an unexpectant miracle. Sometimes blessing comes wrapped in surprising ways. In the full study, Lindsey Bell writes: “The truth is, we can be blessed even when we only have a little.” It’s true, isn’t it? Today may we hold close the words Elizabeth spoke to Mary: “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”
  • Our perspective and our response. Both Mary and Elizabeth could have wallowed in self-pity. But their focus remained on God who always has a plan and works it according to His purposes. How will we view our circumstances? We must frame them and enclose them in God’s promises.  In Luke 1:46 we read the words, “Mary responded.” Jumping back up to verse 38, I read, “Mary responded”. Mary always responded.. The question is: “Will I respond when the Lord speaks something to me?” We all have a choice. And I want to be like Mary, I want to respond to Him.
  • We must trust and obey God’s plans. In Luke 1:57-66 we continue to read about Zechariah and Elizabeth and now the birth of their son – John. “When it was time” (verse 57) brought the reminder that God is not bothered by time. He is not concerned with being early, or late, for His time is always the right time and on time. He fulfills His plans on His own timetable. Obedience –> redemption + praise. Understanding cannot precede obedience. Someone once said, “Delayed obedience = disobedience.” Zechariah and Elizabeth were obedient although they did not fully understand all the events which would take place. They obeyed and trusted God.
  • Through discipline, we gain hope. “Instantly Zechariah could speak again …”
    (Luke 1:64a, NLT). These verses speak of such hope. Zechariah had just come through 9 months of “discipline” or “pruning”. When his mouth was opened once again, he was able to praise God because he had learned, he had submitted to the hand of God, and to the process. In so doing, he was able to have hope for the future … “Now we will be saved from our enemies….”. Zechariah now had hope of rescue and salvation.
  • We must prepare the way for others to receive. We closed this week with reading Luke 1:76-80, where we read the prophesy Zechariah spoke over his own son, John the Baptist. It’s an amazing and powerful calling which John had. As I read the words which so stood out was verse 79: “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (ESV). Who of us has not needed the light as we sat in darkness of situations, in the shadow of death with others, and needed our feet guided in peace. What if John had not obeyed and prepared the way by declaring the message given to him? Where would I be? Where would any of us?

This week’s reading should remind us all of the gravity in sharing the message with those around us, for our world has probably never been so dark as now. Luke states about John “And the child grew and became strong in spirit…” That is my prayer for each of us this week. May we become strong in spirit and so be a light, especially in this Advent season.

The first week of this study can be found > HERE ”“ One Sufficient Sacrifice.
The second week can be found > HERE ”“ Faith, Hope & Assurance.
The third week can be found > HERE – Precious is the Name.
Today I may be joining … Trekking Thru the Week and Tell His Story and Grace Full Tuesday and #RaRaLInkup .