Life Changing Gratitude: How can I be sure of this?
Speaker: Dr Jon Lovelady | Series: Life Changing Gratitude
This week, we finish our sermon series on “Life Changing Gratitude” by looking at an overlooked personality in birth of Jesus: Zechariah (the father of John the Baptist). Zechariah is a priest in the temple and a person of faith, but he and his wife, Elizabeth are without a child. This is a personal tragedy for this faithful family and it had been a matter of prayer for many years. In reality Zechariah doubts God’s desire or power to give them a child because they were too old for children. Yet, by lot, or a “throw of the dice” Zechariah was assigned to serve in the temple. Due to the number of priests, this could have been the one and only time that Zechariah would ever serve in the temple! Angel Gabriel meets him in the temple to share with him that his prayer had been answered, but Zechariah could not believe it! God did not give up, but instead events are set in motion to confirm God’s power and word to Zechariah and to the nation of Israel. We often wonder if God is concerned about us and if God even hears our prayers! This moment in the life of Zechariah leads him to an inward transformation that leads him to see the “big picture” of gratitude for what God has done. As you read this section of the story, it is hard be believe that Zechariah could be doubtful, but often God speaks to us and we are just as doubtful to be believe. Confront those obstacles to great faith as you read Luke 1:11-20: Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 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, 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 thedisobedient to the wisdom of the righteous– to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 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.” (NIV)