You, child, also will be called of the Most High
Luke 1:57-80 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her.
59 And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zechariah, after his father. 60 And yet his mother responded and said, “No indeed; but he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. 63 And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, “His name is John.” And they were all amazed. 64 And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began speaking in praise of God. 65 And fear came on all those who lived around them; and all these matters were being talked about in the entire hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying:
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, 69 And has raised up a horn
of salvation for us In the house of His servant David— 70 Just as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient times— 71 Salvation from our enemies, And
from the hand of all who hate us; 72 To show mercy to our fathers, And to remember His holy covenant, 73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham, 74 To
grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Would serve Him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. 76 And you, child, also
will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; 77 To give His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins,
78 Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, 79 To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 Now the child grew and was becoming strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
In Luke 7:28 Jesus says: “I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” In today’s text, John’s father Zechariah, said this about John when he was born: “You, child, also will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; To give His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” If only every child would hear words like those from their fathers, words of encouragement and purpose. There is a key that is revealed just prior to what Zechariah said. The text says: His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying… We need to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying. He speaks on behalf of the Father in heaven. If people have spoken words of harm and discouragement, we need to hear instead what God says. God speaks through His word. In Jeremiah 29:11 He says: I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
God still speaks prophetically through His people today: Amos 3:7 says: Certainly the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret plan To His servants the prophets. There is perhaps nothing more comforting and encouraging than to hear words from a prophet that speak to our deepest concerns, fears, desires and dreams, the things of our heart that only the Father knows. We need though to guard against becoming addicted to His prophetic word, going from place to place hoping to be comforted and encouraged again and again. James 4:17 says: For one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, for him it is sin. We need to be willing to respond to and act on what God says. In yesterday’s meditation we saw that Mary responded to God’s word and His will, even though it would turn her world upside-down, with obedience and joy. We need to do what God asks of us, to do and be what He has planned for us to be.
Along with His word and through His prophets, God will also speak to us by His Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:11-12 says: The thoughts of God no one knows, except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. James 1:5-6 says: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. If we listen to what the world says rather than what God says it will discourage our faith and cause doubt. We will be driven by the whims of our society and culture. God will give us wisdom, all the wisdom we need for every situation and circumstance. We need though to be willing to walk with God in what He has told us and given us, even when we don’t have all of the answers. Sometimes the plans of God are more than we can comprehend or handle. In John 16:12-14 Jesus says: “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them at the present time. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you.” When Jesus taught us to pray saying: Give us this day our daily bread, He wasn’t referring to white, wheat or rye. In truth it was not just our provision that He was saying we should depend on God for each day. Rather, it is also our guidance and direction that God will give us fresh each day. What He spoke to us yesterday, last week or last year may not be enough for what He has planned for us today. Just as the Israelites did in the wilderness, we need to seek God early every day so that we would have the fresh manna we need. The world will continue to speak its lies and words of discouragement. We need to know what God, our Father in heaven, is saying.
Our Father in heaven, give us this day our daily bread. Step By Step - Rich Mullins and Bebo Norman - YouTube Amen.