A Place Of Grace
1-15-2020
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        Congregational Meeting

        January 27, 2017 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
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        Chili Cook-off

        January 26, 2020 - 12:00 PM - 12:00 PM
  • Song gem dust
      • Download

        Congregational Meeting

        January 27, 2017 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
      • Download

        Chili Cook-off

        January 26, 2020 - 12:00 PM - 12:00 PM
  • Song gem dust
  • Song gem dust
  • Song gem dust
  • The story of Jesus… WOW!
    Isn't it beautiful the way God has given us the things of His Son Jesus Christ in such a powerful way that a child can know and even understand, yet here we are as those older and still amazed by what Jesus has done.
    I think of the hymn #444 “I love to tell the story” Verse 3 captures the essence of the story… Verse 4… with those who know it best. Let us marvel at our Savior this morning...
    Luke begins his narrative declaring that his gospel was just the beginning!!! Acts 1:1-2
    Acts 1:1–2 NASB95
    The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.
    Although the work of Salvation, the payment for sin was finished… the work of Jesus Christ was ongoing!
    When you read and think through Acts, you really see that Jesus Christ stirred things up a bit didn’t He!?
    For starters consider with me...

    The Name of Jesus

    Last week we considered God… think about this:
    You can bring up a conversation about God and people will remain comfortable
    Ask people if they believe or have faith in God and they would most of the time respond in the affirmative
    Bring up Jesus and people begin to bristle, they get less comfortable, they now have entered into a more narrow perspective of faith.
    As you read through Acts the name of Jesus is not liked even opposed!!! Acts 5:40
    Acts 5:40 NASB95
    They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them.
    Acts 4:2 shows why this occured to Peter and James the people were disturbed...
    Acts 4:2 NASB95
    being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
    When people think of God their concept is One who is distant, powerful but not intimate, far enough for one to be their own god in their life…BUT
    You say JESUS… and God is now closer, real, and the very real decision one has to make is WHO will be God???

    The Message of Jesus

    The message of Jesus allows for only One God, it is very narrow, very clear, and one has to reject self if he is to grasp the message of Jesus Christ… Acts 4:12 and Philippians 2:9-11
    Acts 4:12 NASB95
    “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
    Paul would restate this …
    Philippians 2:9–11 NASB95
    For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    Jesus Christ is God’s message in the flesh…
    Acts repeats over and over the Finished Work of Jesus Christ (His life, death, burial, and resurrection!!!)
    Look at Acts 8:12 and Acts 8:35 Acts 16:30-31 and Acts 20:18-21
    Acts 8:12 NASB95
    But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.
    Acts 8:35 NASB95
    Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.
    Acts 16:30–31 NASB95
    and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
    Acts 20:18–21 NASB95
    And when they had come to him, he said to them, You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
    There was power in the early church because they preached Jesus!

    The Power of Jesus!

    Jesus has power over the enemy / over demons Acts 16:18 (spirit cast out of woman)
    Acts 16:18 NASB95
    She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment.
    There is power to heal Acts 3:6; 4:7-10 (lame beggar healed)
    Acts 3:6 NASB95
    But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”
    Acts 4:7–10 NASB95
    When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health.
    The power for salvation… I’ll read it again Acts 4:12
    Acts 4:12 NASB95
    “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
    Consider this salvation, consider the cost Acts 20:28
    Acts 20:28 NASB95
    “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
    Be on guard, His flock, His Bride, His Body is precious to Him...

    The Body of Christ

    Paul known as Saul was going around persecuting the church, these people following this Jesus. On the road Jesus meets Saul and says this… Acts 9:4-5
    Acts 9:4–5 NASB95
    and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,
    CHURCH!!! You and I are the embodiment of Christ, we are His representation to the world…
    We have this WOW message of Jesus Christ…
    Let me close with the spot on charge given in the children’s book we read at the start...
      • Acts 1:1–2NLT

      • Acts 5:40NLT

      • Acts 4:2NLT

      • Acts 4:12NLT

      • Philippians 2:9–11NLT

      • Acts 8:12NLT

      • Acts 8:35NLT

      • Acts 16:30–31NLT

      • Acts 20:18–21NLT

      • Acts 16:18NLT

      • Acts 3:6NLT

      • Acts 4:7–10NLT

      • Acts 4:12NLT

      • Acts 20:28NLT

      • Acts 9:4–5NLT

  • In a Year Operation Mobilization stats…

    (from October 31, 2017 to November 1, 2018) In the top 50 World Watch List countries alone...
    245 Million: Christians in the world experience high levels of persecution for their choice to follow Christ.
    1 in 9: Christians worldwide experience high levels of persecution
    14%: The rise in the number of Christians who experience high levels of persecution. (from the 2018 reporting period to 2019’s)
    4,136: Christians killed for faith-related reasons
    2,625: Christians detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned
    11: countries scoring in the “extreme” level for their persecution of Christians. Five years ago, North Korea was the only one.
    105: churches attacked, burned or vandalized each month
    11: Christians killed every day for their faith
    Switch to Wurmbrand Slide
    Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was an evangelical minister who endured 14 years of Communist imprisonment and torture in his homeland of Romania. He is widely recognized there as one of the country’s greatest Christian leaders, authors and educators.
    In 1945, when the Communists seized Romania and attempted to take control of the churches, Pastor Wurmbrand began an effective, vigorous “underground” ministry to oppressed believers as well as to the Russian soldiers occupying his country. He was arrested in 1948, along with his wife, Sabina, who was imprisoned as a slave-laborer for three years. Pastor Wurmbrand spent three years in solitary confinement, seeing no one but his Communist torturers. He was then transferred to a group cell, where the torture continued for five more years.
    After more than eight years in prison, Richard Wurmbrand was released, immediately resuming his work with the underground church. A couple of years later, in 1959, he was re-arrested and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Pastor Wurmbrand was released through a general amnesty in 1964, again resuming his underground ministry.
    A group of Christians in Norway, realizing the probability and danger of a third imprisonment, negotiated his family’s emigration from Romania with the Communist authorities… Voice Of the Martyrs was later founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand.
    What causes a man to have that kind of boldness and passion for the gospel of Christ??? I believe our scriptures today give us a clear answer...

    Growing Opposition

    The sermon we are looking at today takes place almost 2 years after the beginning of the church...
    Last week we began to see the persecution that was beginning to take place towards the followers of “the way” or Jesus Christ
    Interestingly the persecution was increasing… so the church had a prayer meeting!
    We would pray that the persecution would stop BUT...
    Acts 4:29 shares with us thier prayer...
    Acts 4:29 NASB95
    “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence,
    WOW! What an amazing passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ
    Through this persecution the church continues to GROW!
    The apostles set in place deacons to minister to the peoples needs while they focus on teaching and prayer!
    One of these men is named Stephen
    A man full of Faith and the Holy Spirit, full of grace and power...
    Boldly and confidently declaring the message of Christ
    Opposition was growing, consequences were severe for the church yet we see God answering the prayer of His church...
    False Accusations...
    Blasphemy against God and Moses (law)
    Speaking against the Temple and Law
    Jesus will destroy this temple
    Alter customs handed down by Moses
    When we speak truth the world attacks with lies, twisting the truth ton their gain...
    All those on the council gazed at him, and it says his face was like an angel… An Angel: like one who stands in the presence of God!
    When we stand before God justified by Christ, we have no need to fear any man we may be called to stand before” ~Jed Johnston
    Stephen gives his speech boldly and confidently before his accusers and delivers a beautiful panorama of the Jewish history… the one who stands accused is NOT on the defense here rather he takes up the offense as he preaches truth! Acts 7:1-60
    This is the longest discourse in Acts… yet it is powerful, concise, crucial, and a great reminder...
    Acts 7:1–60 NASB95
    The high priest said, “Are these things so?” And he said, “Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘Leave your country and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’ “Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. From there, after his father died, God had him move to this country in which you are now living. “But He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, even when he had no child, He promised that He would give it to him as a possession, and to his descendants after him. “But God spoke to this effect, that his descendants would be aliens in a foreign land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years. “ ‘And whatever nation to which they will be in bondage I Myself will judge,’ said God, ‘and after that they will come out and serve Me in this place.’ “And He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. “The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him, and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household. “Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers could find no food. “But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. “On the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family was disclosed to Pharaoh. “Then Joseph sent word and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five persons in all. “And Jacob went down to Egypt and there he and our fathers died. From there they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. “But as the time of the promise was approaching which God had assured to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt, until there arose another king over Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph. “It was he who took shrewd advantage of our race and mistreated our fathers so that they would expose their infants and they would not survive. “It was at this time that Moses was born; and he was lovely in the sight of God, and he was nurtured three months in his father’s home. “And after he had been set outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him away and nurtured him as her own son. “Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds. “But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. “And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. “And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand. “On the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?’ “But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us? You do not mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’ “At this remark, Moses fled and became an alien in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons. “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush. “When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look. But the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. ‘I have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt and have heard their groans, and I have come down to rescue them; come now, and I will send you to Egypt.’ “This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. “This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. “This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren.’ “This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness together with the angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living oracles to pass on to you. “Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us; for this Moses who led us out of the land of Egyptwe do not know what happened to him.’ “At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. “But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘It was not to Me that you offered victims and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel? You also took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the god Rompha, the images which you made to worship. I also will remove you beyond Babylon.’ “Our fathers had the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it according to the pattern which he had seen. “And having received it in their turn, our fathers brought it in with Joshua upon dispossessing the nations whom God drove out before our fathers, until the time of David. David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. “But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. “However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: Heaven is My throne, And earth is the footstool of My feet; What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord, Or what place is there for My repose? Was it not My hand which made all these things?’ “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. “Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.

    Application of Stephen’s Sermon

    Those who have a wrong view of God
    Have you tried to confine Him to your ideas to a place or time
    Have you been rejecting Him, the truth He has been desperately trying to show you
    Have you covered your ears to the truth
    Those who are filled with the Holy Spirit
    Are you praying for a boldness and confidence OR asking God to make life easy
    Is there a passion for the TRUTH of Jesus Christ
    What is your heart to those who hurt you...
    Can you forgive them?
    There was one who heard this forgiveness there… His name was Saul Acts 8:1-2
    Acts 8:1–2 NASB95
    Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him.
    Initially: nothing seemed to come from this forgiveness other than the gospel spreading BUT GOD would work in this man Saul who we would come to know and love a The Apostle Paul!
    Maybe you are saying in your heart… “I cant forgive” or “Pastor you have no idea” … But God does and He can work in your heart.
    Dale Rhoton, one of the founders of Operation Mobilization recalled this story about Pastor Wurmbrand…
    During one visit, I was with them in their home as they were talking in Romanian. I do not understand one word of Romanian, but I could tell they were talking about a person. “Who is this person you are talking about?” I asked. “That is the man who betrayed Richard, and because of him Richard was put in prison,” replied his wife, Sabina. Some hours later Richard said, “Dale, let’s take a walk.” As we were walking, a man crossed the street and came over to us. In Romanian style, Pastor Wurmbrand and this man hugged and kissed, and then he introduced us. The man left, and Richard and I resumed our walk. “That is interesting,” I said to Pastor Wurmbrand. “That man has the same name as the man who betrayed you.” Without blinking an eye he said, “Dale, we all make mistakes.
    Wurmbrand, R. (2017). Tortured for christ: 50th anniversary edition. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook.
    How will you allow the Holy Spirit to have power in your life and give you a confidence in the face of persecution and hurt???
  • Song gem dust
  • We are in the Gospel of Luke… today we are going to tackle most of one of the largest chapters in the Bible (80 verses!) We are going to be looking at the events of a man by the name of Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth:
    He is a priest
    They are said to be considered righteous in the sight of God
    I am so glad God is watching!
    An angel will visit him
    God will work a miracle
    In the end this priest will prophesy and praise God…
    BUT FIRST! Let’s rewind and go back 400 years...

    Malachi

    Holman- “Malchi rebuked God’s people for specific violations of the covenant, such as laws concerning sacrifices, divorce, and tithes, but he also prophesied the coming of the Messenger who will set things right.
    At first glance it would appeared God had been silent or forgotten for 400 years after sending Malachi to the people and declaring His promise...
    Feelings of forgotten as a nation
    Zacharias forgotten as a priest (will God speak again?)
    Elizabeth forgotten as she is barren no children
    When in reality, God had not forgotten, but was DOING what he promised!
    & declare what God will do in the coming future...
    Malachi 3:1 NASB95
    1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.
    Malachi 4:4–6 NASB95
    4 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. 5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 6 “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
    The world stage had to be set… made ready for His Messenger who would come:
    Daniel had prophesied the things that would occur before the Messiah would come
    Alexander the Great would come in… create one language Greek
    His empire would be divided four way among his generals
    Eventually Rome would take over the world… roads being developed for transportation!
    God had not forgotten… On the contrary, He was remembering His promise, fulfilling His Word! In fact His promises… THE PROMISE goes all the way back to the beginning!

    God’s Promise

    The Seed of the woman would deliver a death blow to Satan
    Genesis 3:15 NASB95
    15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
    We see the three sons of Noah and there is a blessing passed to Shem
    Genesis 9:25–27 NASB95
    25 So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” 26 He also said, “Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27 “May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.”
    Through Abraham’s seed all men would be blessed this is made clearer in Genesis 15
    Genesis 12:3 NASB95
    3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
    Abraham had many sons… Yet Issac is the one God’s blessing was with.
    Isaac had two sons yet the blessing (Promise) was with Jacob… The God of Abraham, Issac & Jacob.
    Jacob had 12 sons… Jacobs name is changed by God to Israel (one who wrestles with God)
    God’s blessing of promise is passed from Jacob to Judah in Indicating the One to come would be royal, a ruler King.
    Genesis 49:10 NASB95
    10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
    From the line of Judah comes a man who was anointed king by the name of David… in and God Promises this...
    2 Samuel 7:16 NASB95
    16 “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” ’ ”
    The Hebrew word: mashiyach, meaning “the anointed” gradually became a title for the Promised Savior-King Messiah!
    God did NOT forget… He had been working all along in even the smallest of details!
    NOW… back to Luke.

    We Can Take God at His Word!

    Setting:
    Priest had their turns to serve in the temple… this was Zacharias’ time
    Selected to go in and offer incense (prayers) to God… Usually on behalf of the people of Israel
    Luke 1:11–17 NASB95
    And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
    I don’t think this man was praying for a son… too old.
    Praying for the people, felt forgotten, feeling the oppressions of the Romans, whatever it was GOD HEARD!
    Wow! the angel states the Zacharias’ son will fulfill the prophecy of Malachi
    Your son will prepare for the Promised Messiah
    It Is Time! The Messiah is coming!!!
    What God says WILL HAPPEN!
    Moody- Zacharias ought to have been focusing on the divine “promise” of the message, not the human “problems” of the message.
    Did you miss it? Do you doubt God due to human limitations?
    The Promise of the scriptures was being fulfilled and this is Zacharias’ response…
    Luke 1:18–20 NASB95
    Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. “And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
    Several lessons here:
    Be careful when you ask God to prove it or for a sign!
    This was good news, not intended to create a problem
    The last words he could hear was the promise, his last words were questioning God
    God has a time table and a plan, He is NEVER late and always stays true to His Word

    God’s Hand Working Deserves Praise

    “ His Name is John”
    These are the words Zacharias would write on a board for the questioning crowd…
    Wait a minute… Zacharias, he’s not going to carry your name?
    NO this baby boy would carry something much greater… the message that the Messiah has come repent!
    His Faith to obey and listen loosed his tongue… He begins to prophesy for all there to hear and share!
    Luke 1:67–79 NASB95
    And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant— As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old— Salvation from our enemies, And from the hand of all who hate us; To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His holy covenant, The oath which He swore to Abraham our father, To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; To give to 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 upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
    Look at the people’s response to all they heard and had seen…
    Luke 1:65–66 NASB95
    Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.
    Darrel Bock- The story’s close indicates that the Lord’s hand was with him. Luke is saying, in effect, “Be assured, Theophilus or any other reader of my account, that God was in these most unusual events.” When God’s hand is mentioned, usually an opportunity for deliverance is around the corner!

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