We continued another week into the Advent Study, “True Light For Everyone” –
We begin week 4 with reading Luke 1:5-17 and my thoughts were drawn to one part of the story in particular.
Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order of priests was on duty that day. He was chosen by lot to be the one to serve in the sanctuary.
This may sound very ordinary for a priest, and it was … until you actually begin to think on this. There was a large number of priests. So many that serving in this way, a privilege, might only come 1x in a priest’s lifetime.
Can we even imagine?
Let me draw your attention to verse 9: “As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense.” (NLT)
As was the custom. Chosen by lot.
This spoke several truths into our hearts:
- In the middle of our ordinary lives, as we are busy with our daily tasks, God may call us to do something which will end up being extraordinary.
- Nothing which happens in our lives is by accident. Chosen by lot did not mean by the luck of the draw. God’s hand was on the hand which chose the lot.
Zechariah’s life reminds me of this quote:
“God is not blind; neither is He capricious. For Him there are no accidents. With God there are no cases of chance events.” (R.C. Sproul)
Zechariah could not have fully understood all which was going to occur in his life as he entered the Temple that morning.
May Zechariah encourage you this morning to remember there are no accidents with God. Joy and gladness will come as the Lord reveals His purposes.
In Luke 1:26-38, we find Mary’s encounter with the angel.
Mary was confused and disturbed by the news which the angel delivered to her. But then, who wouldn’t be?
Rather than responding with what she did not know, Mary responded with what she did know:
- She knew she was a virgin (verse 34)
- She knew she was the Lord’s servant (verse 38)
Wedged between the two statements, we find the angel revealing something about Elizabeth … “People used to say she was barren …”.
Don’t we all have something “people used to say” about us?
May we not dwell on our pasts or the things which have been said about us. May we be more like Mary who remembered who she was, and more importantly, she knew Whose she was.
The study asks: How can having a deep knowledge of Scripture prepare you for what God has for you?
We closed the week with reading Luke: 1: 39-45, 56.
Here we find Mary visiting Elizabeth. The baby inside Elizabeth’s own belly leaps within her and Elizabeth delivers a prophetic word to Mary.
One verse in particular stood out to me: “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said” (verse 45, NLT).
As I sat letting the words sink in, I questioned myself: “Do I believe the Lord will do what He says?”
The truth is – it depends.
There have been times I have wondered, aka – doubted.
As I realized this, and confessed my doubt to Him, I wondered, “How many times have I missed the blessing He had for me because I did not believe?”
May we not gloss over the familiar words as we continue on into this Advent season. Let the words sink in and fall fresh.
May we be like Mary, believing the Lord would fulfill His promises.
Ask God to make your heart ready to see the Light of the World anew this Christmas.