A God how knows us personally

Download (right click and choose save as)

Sermon Notes

Good afternoon once we start the to read from Luke’s gospel chapter 1 we know that Christmas times coming in soon today starts the first of a series of Sunday’s relating to Luke’s gospel chapter 1 after we get really close to the birth then we jump to Matthew and we read from Matthew and then we come back and we finished off with the actual birth of Jesus Christ of the church calendar set up in such a way that it’s meant to build up anticipation and our eager hopefulness for the coming of that date so as we started a we don’t look too far forward we just try and stick with what we have the passes that we have in front of us the Gospel according to Luke with Nasca sites requested who wrote the Gospel of Luke Lucas is a trick question only in the sense that I said it was a trick question infection not requested Luke Luke wrote it down Luke wrote this book and one other book do know what the other book is the Luke wrote acts this is the first part in a two part volume in a two-part series that Luke writes to a certain man named Theophilus we don’t know much about this Theophilus we have some assumptions he has some ideas of who he might be but nonetheless this is most likely someone who has heard of Christ and now is receiving extra information so to confirm his faith in Christ the with that in mind Luke is writing this book to a person named Theophilus in order to strengthen his faith when we read it we should look at it at that angle first and then will have to look at it from our own context as well but we look at it from that angle one isn’t that Luke is trying to teach a awfulness here what is he trying to convey what spiritual truths are trying to be is Luke trying to accentuate in these verses that I had it written here verses three and for which I did not read in the have and give you leveling guild started from verse 51 this is just so you all know that the book is written to Theophilus when we start off in verse five one thing that we can notice is that it says in the days of King Herod of Judea that we were not talking about long time ago in a land far far away this is knots the beginning of a fable was not the beginning of like a really cool children’s story this is this history this is an actual event that happened during the time of King Henry and we know when Herod the great was in charge was in power we can go back and study and secular history books and find out that there was this the Pacific time where that took place so what not talking about philosophy not talking about ideas and ideologies were talking about real people in real situations in real life context so Theophilus needs to know something merciful unlike some people nowadays who feel like Christianity and its origins is something detached from regular normal lives Luke sets out from the very beginning to say this is something that happened just close by I C I thought there are witnesses who have accounted for its abuses firsthand information of what really took place so when you hear the stories that happened throughout this book know that this is not me making it up this is not me thinking back and kind of by imagining how it could’ve been this is real situations if you were to build a time machine and go back you would find a scruffy looking man would probably long hair while they didn’t look all that great and people called Jesus they would find a character like that a real person like that here we have a surreal situation and where the real people who we are looking at is the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth and in verse six and seven it says that they were righteous before God living blameless sleep according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord but the first seven starts the word but but they had no children because Elizabeth was barren and both were getting on in years seen this is not Theophilus is not a story of how when you do a good you automatically blessed this is not that kind of story like that may sound familiar for for the Indian year it’s not a story of, where as long as you do enough good you’ll get it back at some point in time is not one of those kinds of stories this is a story about a man and a woman who would devote who followed God who did everything they were supposed to do but there was still something wrong they were fully satisfied it was something missing in their lives this is how the gospel begins and it’s a beautiful thing the the gospel begins like this because it teaches us that sometimes it’s not what we think it should look like know my that sometimes there are some years we’ve done everything right squeezed tight we’ve gone to church as often as we could we’ve attended the prayer meetings of the discipline in our family prayer in our personal prayer and still things just don’t go the way that we thought it should go sometimes it’s like that but the beauty of the beauty of starting the gospel story with this kind of a situation is it teaches Theophilus the you know what that’s where it should begin it should began with a person who’s try and he’s failed because his mats can only go so far the gospel story begins when human merits and the gospel story starts when all other hope is finished we have a husband and a wife who are golden age who had been praying I’m sure they had been praying consistently with tears and year after year after year nothing not even a hint of an answer from Christ the from God until finally until finally while he had been selected to offer the incense the Angel comes in he speaks to him and when the Angel comes in speaks to him what happens there in verse 13 to 17 the Angel said that him do not be afraid Zechariah for your prayer has been heard your wife Elizabeth will bear you aside and you will name him John and it goes onwards to verse 13 attitude toward to it ends at verse 17 one thing that kind of ironic about the story does anyone know what Zechariah’s name means Zechariah it means God remembers is more specifically it means Yahweh remembers so uses the proper name of God that was given in Exodus Yahweh remembers if that’s your name if your name is that your God remembers and you’ve been praying year after here after year what you start to think about the situation a we find a husband and a wife who after years and years finally the moment they had been waiting for happened and the Angel comes and says your prayer is that heard the what you need to learn Theophilus what you need to understand from this part of the story is that God always hears your prayers he works alone in a timeline that you don’t understand perhaps we need to know that what is impossible by human standards that’s nothing for God he can make those things happen when you think that after years of not being able to have your prayer be fulfilled don’t think for a second they got has forgotten you Theophilus whatever your prayer requests may be don’t give up know that he will work the impossible in your life it is a difficult road and when we look at this devout man and wife we know the pain and misery they would’ve gone through even Jesus himself said in Matthew’s Gospel you said that the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to salvation we all know that but when where in that situation can we hope against what the world tells us can we hope against what common sense may tell us that he’s forgotten this and he no longer hears my senior in seminary is an XML room Jubilee Jacob which when I met him he was my first roommate in seminary is very passionate about the addiction is he learned and read everything and anything he could about alcoholism and about how to get people out of it and add some boy named people would joke about how passionate he was about this sort of ministry he would spend a lot of time on it his thesis that it of being on this topic and so when he was my roommate I asked him you know why is this new what’s the reason why you’re so passionate about this and he told me that his father was known by everyone to be the other drunk he would rarely show up to church and he was abusive he was violent at times it was a pathetic situation I tend after a chin after I to try to reach out to him and he never worked J sin and his younger brother and mother they for some reason because the grace of God to touch their lives frankly with they never gave up hope and they kept praying in the Praying but it was never easy my he told me that there would be a number of nights that he would he and his brother would go and sleep on the roof because his father when he is drunk can get up there to be them it was a pathetic situation pretty much everyone in the church assumed that there’s no hope for this family but the beauty that we get from this passage. That we get from a family like that is that God can work miracles no matter what situation we find ourselves in we should never get to the point where we feel like this is how we start the Advent season and in anticipation that are great hope will one day be fulfilled when we go further on to verse 18 it’s interesting to note how Zechariah responds to this wonderful news if you just heard in verse 18 he says how will I know that this is so Fryman old man and my wife is getting on in years when we look at that and we know what happens afterwards that the Angel understood that this is the question of a person who is losing his faith and so you reprimands him what kind of funny because later on in the story a year later on in this chapter Mary also has a similar question Mary’s question how can this be since I’m a virgin will look at these two questions Zechariah’s quest in the how well I know that this is so and Mary’s question how can it be we have to distinguish written notice something space addle but very important Zechariah’s question was a question not of that sought understanding with Zechariah’s question was one that fundamentally could not accept what was being said he needed more proof in order to believe it. It’s not that doubts are wrong that I’ve talked to is a design about this I’ve mentioned in other places too it’s not that our doubts are evil or wrong it’s how we present our doubts to Christ it’s how we approach God with our doubts here we can only assume that Gabriel understood maybe from the inflection of his question of the look on his face that his question how can this be so was one of a person who sought more evidence how many times 20 times have we been in the dark moment of our lives and we struggle to believe that God works all things for the good of those who love and we struggle to believe that promise until and unless we get at one tiny me glimmer of light as long as I get that just that small little glimmer of light then I believe the rest God but that’s not faith that’s not how our relationship with God is supposed to work a really beautiful phrase that I’ve heard bad read from John or birds or birds book faith and doubt do not doubt in the dark what you have seen in the light Junot doubt in the dark would you have seen the light I can only imagine that as Luke writes this in no way the the the writing though the words between the lines go something like this Theophilus in your search for who Christ is don’t push for more evidence than a humble open-heart needs Joan go beyond that trust him he has revealed certain truths to you already things that you had already been taught believing those things apply them in the midst of the darkness and let that hope flourished there let that faith guides you met it upholds you those three things that I kind of pulled out of this text that I think that Lucas teaching to Theophilus and to us and just so you know Theophilus it is a Greek name is a Greek name that comes from two words fail us an adult. Sorry Bayless and Phyllis fails means God and Phyllis means friend’s friend of God who which one of us is not a friend of God so Paul so Luke says to Theophilus who says to us friends of God he says remember that even though a you are as righteous as you possibly can be used to need grace you still need to his divine intervention to overcome what is lacking in your life the second thing that we should learn is that we should trust him never doubts never will never for a second believe the lie that God is not able to work these things out in your life know that God works in the impossibilities of the human struggle and the impossibilities of the human situation in this passage have not even touched upon the bigger impossibility that’s behind-the-scenes the impossibility of after 400 years this prophecy that was given to prophet Malachi the last verse of the Old Testament after 400 years and still not yet been fulfilled even in the midst of 400 years of human impossibilities God can do the impossible and in the final thing is never despair never never doubts what God has shown you in the light don’t pass for more than what a humble heart needs and if you have don’t despair repents and still pressing to him and by doing so I do believe that we can mentally prepare ourselves for this this time in the church calendar that Super Bowl of of all that we have in our whole year this is what it this is the beginning of it all of the details and propose Easter also without Christmas that there is at least it starts from somewhere so I pray that we would be able to reflect on these words but the words of Paul with the the words of Luke would not fall on deaf ears that we would be able to somehow and somewhere apply these to our own problems our own dark moments in our own minds with the good Lord bless us and guide us these words could ask one of you to please leaders in order for him and him think I actually finished story of what happened with Jovita Jacob Hutchens father he after years and years he finally did give up drinking and he became one of the most active members in his church the money that he was using towards buying alcohol he finally was able to use towards finishing the construction of his home that had been started when J was a small child I went there when I was in Canada and I spent time with them and you would never us expect that he had such a dark past and so it he was 100% supportive of his son when he decided to join ministry and I believe that same spirit that causes renewal in his life can cause that same when you will in our lives and the lives of our loved ones.