Have you ever prayed for something for a very long time and God does not seem to hear nor answer you? In today’s Bible reading, Zechariah had been praying for a blessing of children for years and yet the people in his society looked on it as if it were all in vain. Elizabeth was barren. Both he and Elizabeth had given up all hope in their advanced years.
Let’s look at Luke 1:13-17, “13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
As you can see, the very first words of the angel were “Do not be afraid.” Then he went on to tell Zechariah that his past prayers had not been forgotten (v. 13). When we pray, it is not for us to dictate as to the way nor the time when our Heavenly Father chooses to answer those prayers.
Verse 14 teaches us that no child will cause such great joy than a child that has the grace of God upon him or her. The grace of God can even be on children as infants and toddlers. The Holy Spirit can operate in small children and these children can grow up to be great evangelists for the Gospel of Christ Jesus (v.15).
How is greatness measured in this life? Our society may measure greatness in politicians, millionaires, generals of armies, authors, artists, and even presidents of corporations like Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter. Our definition of greatness is empty when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is left out. Can you imagine the angels of God consider those who work at evangelizing and doing the work of the Good News of Jesus as great? In contrast, those who do nothing for the Gospel of Christ are not great in God’s sight. Do not seek the praise of men, but seek to praise and worship our Heavenly Father.
With God, nothing is impossible! When you pray, just remember that prayers are not necessarily rejected because the answer was delayed. Stay steady in Christ and persevere in prayer. God will ultimately give you an answer of yes, no, or wait.
If you do not know the living Christ, please consider praying this prayer:
Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!
If you have prayed that prayer, please write to me and tell me that you did. You can write us at Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc., PO Box 1778, Ashland, VA 23005. I would like to send you a Bible so that you can develop your relationship with the Lord. The best way to grow in Christianity is to read the Bible and get involved in a local church.
Reverend JC Ryle, Daily Readings, January 3rd, 2020.
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