Thanks for joining me again as we walk through the story of the birth of Jesus as told by Luke. In Saturday's blog post we examined Zechariah and his doubt when the angel told him that he and his elderly wife Elizabeth would give birth to a son. I hope you resolved, along with me, to believe God this Christmas.
Today, let's shine the spotlight on Zechariah's wife Elizabeth. After her husband returned from his service at the Temple of the Lord, Elizabeth became pregnant, just as the Angel Gabriel had foretold. Unlike Zechariah's response of unbelief, Elizabeth expressed her faith in the Living God. Let's take a look at her reply:
"The Lord has done this for me," she said. "In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people." (Luke 1:25)I don't know about you, but as soon as something unfortunate happens in my life, I usually ask the question, "Why me, Lord?" When I'm suffering under some sort of hardship, I don't reason that everyone experiences difficulties in life. I'm not quoting verses to myself like Matthew 5:45, "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." After some time, God usually reminds me of that verse, but in the beginning of my trial I'm usually in the mindset of "Woe is me." I take my trials personally.
Well, I love the lesson that Elizabeth gives us in this scripture. She takes the Lord's blessing of her soon-to-be-born son personally. Oh, she knows that her son John will be a special child, and that he will bring joy to her and Zechariah. She knows that he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth and will be great in the sight of God. She knows that he will be kin to the Savior and prepare the people's hearts for His coming.
She knows that her son will bless the world, but she takes God's blessing personally.
This Christmas, I want to take my blessings personally. I want to take God's favor personally. Oh, I know Jesus came to earth to die for the sins of the world, and I want the whole world to come to know Him. My heart breaks when I watch people around me grasp for money, fame and people, when what they really need is the Savior. And I pray that this Christmas maybe they'll see that only He can bring peace and joy.
But this Christmas I have to take his sacrifice personally. He died for me. Believe me, I know what a sinner I am. I know how unworthy I truly am. I needed a Savior. I still need the Savior.
I can't tell you how many Christmas carols I've listened to this season that have literally broken my heart. I've been a soppy mess, full of tears over the same songs I listen to every year. I think it's because I'm taking it personally. When I hear, "O Holy Night," I believe I was on God's mind that night. When I hear, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," I believe He's not just "God with us," but He's with me. When I hear "What Child Is This," I believe that Child was born for me.
This Christmas I'm taking His birth personally.
Take a look at Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige's performance of "What Child Is This". I pray that you take this powerful song personally.
Overwhelmed by His Favor,