Summary: God desires to touch us.
A FRESH TOUCH FOR YOU
S: Seek a fresh touch from God
Th: The Christmas Touch
Pr: GOD DESIRES TO TOUCH US
TS: We will find in the story of Luke 1:5-25 five stages that show God’s desire to touch us.
The ____ stage is…
I. SETTING (5-7)
II. SELECTION (8-10)
III. SCOOP (11-17)
IV. SKEPTICISM (18)
V. SENTENCE (19-25)
RMBC 23 December 01 AM
1. Do you ever get tired of the repetition that happens at Christmas?
Does it ever seem to you to be the “same ol’, same ol’”?
Does it seem to you that we always do the same things every year…
…the same traditions
…the same songs
…the same long waits in line
…the same wrapping paper and bows that were saved from the year before
…the same fattening snacks and cookies
…the “same ol’, same ol’”
ILL Notebook: Christmas (sure beats shopping)
It was a few days before Christmas on the Oregon coast. Two men whose families lived next door opted to go sailing while their wives went Christmas shopping. An unexpected storm surprised the weekend sailors. Before long, the sea became angry, and the two had a difficult time keeping the sailboat under control. While heading toward the harbor, the craft hit a sandbar and grounded. Both men jumped overboard into the icy water and began to push and shove in an attempt to get the sailboat into deeper water. Knee-deep in mud and repeatedly bounced against the hull by the unfriendly waves, the one said enthusiastically to the other, “Sure beats Christmas shopping, doesn’t it?”
Well, that was a sure way to beat the “same ol’, same ol’.”
But you know…
2. For some, Christmas is a time of disappointment.
There are many that have a real difficult time this time of the year.
And it is more than an issue of repetition.
It becomes a time of pain and heaviness.
Perhaps this drama, called “Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh,” will help us understand.
ILL Drama: “Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh”
There are many that are longing for a fresh touch from God.
Today’s study should be of some help to us in this matter…
3. Using Luke 1, let’s examine five stages in the story of Zechariah that describe how he went from disappointment to merriment.
I. The first stage is the SETTING (5-7).
In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.
Zechariah and Elizabeth knew disappointment.
Zechariah and Elizabeth knew the pain of infertility.
Here was a couple that was well into their sixties.
And for years, they went crazy hearing all the lines…
“Don’t try so hard.”
“Take an extended vacation.”
“Why don’t you adopt a child?”
“Just trust God.”
“There isn’t any unconfessed sin in your life, is there?”
I am sure that they went through all the stages that infertile couples go through.
At first, they deny that it is happening to them.
But, then it becomes evident that children aren’t coming and so they attempt to avoid children altogether.
Then, there is the anger.
At this point, all they really want to do is hide.
Because they are just plain mad.
It just seems so unfair.
Then, somewhere along the line, acceptance sets in.
They come to the conclusion that this is their lot in life.
The text here reveals, the fertility issue, that they are faithful.
Zechariah and Elizabeth were upright in God’s eyes.
You see, the infertility is not the end of the story.
For God delights in working through people who listen and seek to follow Him.
This leads us to…
II. The second stage is the SELECTION (8-10).
Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
ILL Notebook: Chance (what number are they on?)
To determine the cause of a kidney problem, Eveline Johnson’s son, Anthony, had to have several diagnostic tests. Upset about a consent form stating that one out of 10,000 people could have a serious allergic reaction, he insisted on speaking to the doctor. His mother asked, “What do you want to ask?” “I want to know,” he replied, “what number they’re on.”
Well, I don’t think the doctor could precisely tell Anthony that information.