Monday, December 27, 2021

2021.12.27 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 1:67–79

Read Luke 1:67–79

Questions from the Scripture text: Who was singing this song (Luke 1:67) to whom (Luke 1:63)? What was the Lord God of Israel doing at this time (Luke 1:68)? What was He raising up (Luke 1:69)? How long has God been speaking through His prophets (Luke 1:70)? What has God been promising since the world began (Luke 1:71)? What was promised to the fathers (Luke 1:72)? According to His promise, why was He saving us from our enemies (Luke 1:74? What does Luke 1:75 present as the two main parts of serving God? What did Zacharias tell his baby son that he would be called, in Luke 1:76? Before whom would John go (verse 76b)? What would he be preaching that Jesus will do when He comes (Luke 1:77)? What would the sunrise from God (Luke 1:78) do for those who are in darkness and death (Luke 1:79)? 

The amazing statements of this passage are made to John the Baptizer by his daddy when he is just eight days old and being circumcised.

From the beginning of creation, God has been a speaking, promising, saving God. The promise of salvation from the hand of that great enemy who hates us first came in Genesis 3:15, and this passage tells us that there were no ages before that. Throughout the ages, God has been this covenant-making, covenant-keeping God!

And His purpose for us is to respond to Him in love and gratitude. The salvation that Luke 1:71 promises has a purpose, about which Luke 1:74 tells us: that we might serve the Lord God without fear. That we might know that He is for us, that He has loved us, that He has saved us… and therefore we would not be afraid of anything else, but live our entire lives as service to Him!

What does that service look like? What great feats of spiritual strength, or mission field victories, or mind-boggling sacrifices make up this service?! Simply this: to live a holy and righteous life before Him, day in and day out (Luke 1:75). That’s not particularly glamorous before the eyes of men, but it is glorious before the eyes of God!

First things first, though. We don’t even deserve to be able to live such holy lives! That’s John’s big announcement, later in his public ministry: “I baptize you with water that says that you need cleansing from sin, but Jesus is going to come and baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He is going to give you real spiritual life to believe in Him, and He is going to suffer the fire of Hell on the cross so that when you believe into Him, you will know that your sins were cleansed there! At the cross! (cf. Matthew 3:1–12)”

The cross is where the sunrise of life bursts through our darkness and death: God, in His tender mercy, has given Himself to be punished for our sin and to be our life. Hallelujah!

What are your daily activities? What does it look like for that to be done “in service to God”? Why don’t you deserve to be able to do that? What has Jesus done about what you deserve? 

Sample prayer:  Lord, we praise You for making Your light and life to rise upon us in the Lord Jesus Christ. Forgive us for when we backslide into the darkness of living for ourselves, and grant that Your Spirit would keep making us like Jesus, so that we would shine with His own light, which we ask in His Name, AMEN!

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