THE PREQUEL: We've already read through the book of Acts together which begins in a very similar way with an address to a mysterious man named Theophilus (whose name literally means 'lover/friend of God'). That's because Luke wrote both books, making him, by volume at least, the most prolific writer in the New Testament. Luke was not physically with Jesus the way he was involved with the story recorded in Acts, but the opening verses tell of all the work Luke did to prepare this 'orderly account' (v3).
HOW WOULD YOU REACT? Zechariah and Mary go through very similar experiences and are both stunned by what they see as the angel Gabriel speaks to them, and the first word out of their mouths are exactly the same: "How?" (v18, 34). But that's where the similarities end. Zechariah's 'how' is inwardly focused and demands proof, whereas Mary's 'how' accepts that God will perform a miracle and reflects her natural curiosity as to how it will be accomplished.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ACTIVE WAY BEFORE PENTECOST: Both Mary (v35) and Elizabeth (v41) are filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is eternal God, and has been active since the creation (Gen 1:2). He just doesn't make Himself known until the wind and fire of Pentecost.
LONG CHAPTER, SHORT POST: The chapters in the Pauline epistles we just finished reading are relatively short, and now all of the sudden we have had to transition to this 80 verse behemoth, so although there's much more to DIG DEEPER into, we'll cut this short today so you don't get too overwhelmed! If you still want more, watch the overview video above.
This Sunday (June 28) we look forward to coming together to celebrate Communion. Yesterday we were reminded to examine our faith in the doctrine expressed in scripture and summarized on our confessions.
Today you are invited to examine your hope. All Christian hope rests upon the finished work of Christ as Savior. The holy gospel teaches that all our righteousness is in him alone.
God's children rely wholly upon the merits of Christ, find in him their strength and victory, and confidently expect his return in glory. They look forward to celebrating this holy supper anew with him in the kingdom. They will surely be received by God at his table.
AAA Prayer Tips:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The Mighty One who has done great things (v49), and who also displays tender mercies (v78).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Realize what Mary did: that you are the Lord's servant; may God's will be fulfilled (v38).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: