11-9-2014       Preparing for Christmas

Live By Faith

Luke 1:5-7  “In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.  But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.” ESV

Zechariah and Elizabeth lived by Faith.

They lived well before God; righteous and followed the commandments.

How about you?  Could this text be written about us, here today?

This couple were living good lives by Gods standards, but their life was far from perfect; they still had problems – a long term issue that they had no victory over:  They remained childless

As well as they lived before God, they still had issues and problems.  They were not exempt from humanities curse.

Neither are you!

How you LIVE BY FAITH through those tough times shows your faith.

Luke 1:8a   “Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood,…”

Even though they did not understand why they were childless they kept loving God and serving in His Temple.

They chose to live by faith as they served through their problems.

I recently read a quote that said “If God has not opened your next door yet, praise Him in the hallway.”

Unfortunately, we are quick to run away from God when things get tough.  This is not new, many of His followers did this during the week Christ was crucified; but He chose to go to the cross for us anyway.

We are quick to turn from God and His church!  “Well, they just did not meet my needs” or “I wasn’t getting fed there” or “the preacher is ugly” or “:they were not friendly enough” or “The Cowboys were playing” or any of a thousand other EXCUSES!

These speak more of your love for God and His Word than anything else.  If you love HIM you will obey HIS commands.  Not if you love the preacher or other members, IF YOU LOVE HIM!

People are quick to turn to anything and everything the WORLD has to offer; no matter how short lived or ill-conceived the worlds offerings are!

We turn to the HORRORscopes, Oprah, Dr. Phil, the newest bestselling self-help book, or addictions; but they never help.

We like solutions we can touch, control, direct – we want to be “in control”     Until we yield control we will continue to head in the wrong direction – or in circles.

Do not be quick to give up, give in or give out!

Maybe the time is not right yet.

Maybe you are not fully prepared yet.

Maybe someone else is not prepared yet.

And, maybe the answer will be “No” –  if it is  then know God has your best interest at heart.

Until that answer/guidance is received KEEP SERVING WHERE GOD PLANTED YOU!  There is plenty of watering to do!

Luke 1:13-15  “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.  And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,”  ESV

Your prayer’s are being heard!

You may think your prayers are being ignored, or falling on deaf ears; but nothing could be further from the truth!

God Listens!

God hears the prayers of His children!

Keep serving where you are as you wait for the answer; then do not be surprised when the answers come!

They may not come the way you expect or WANT them to come.

The answer may not be what you want or expect but LIVE BY FAITH as you wait

Luke 1:18-20  “And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” ESV

When the answer comes TRUST GOD!

It would be easy to laugh off what Zechariah was hearing – a baby?  NOW?  Right!  After all Sarah did the same!

Look and listen for God’s Voice and when you hear from Him TRUST HIM and go with Him!

Live by FAITH when you are waiting and as God speaks and moves in your life!

  • Even if it seems strange – Old Man
  • Even if it is not the answer you want – wife advanced in Years (good husband)
  • Even if the answer is that YOU need to change – become parents

Luke 1:24-25 “After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”  ESV

When the Answer you heard with faith becomes truth in form, worship God!

Live by FAITH and receive the blessing God has given you