Summary: The road to surrender to the Lord’s will is different for each one of us, but it is where God wants to take us.
A Lesson Learned: Surrender
1. Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Customs officers at the Port of New York/Newark made an unusual seizure recently when they uncovered a shipment of 9,024 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said officers inspecting a shipment from Dongguan City, China, sent photos of the shoes to the agency's Apparel Footwear and Textiles Center for Excellence and Expertise.
…Customs said the shoes, which would have had a retail value of about $1,695,600, had been destined for an address in Chino, Calif.
2. Sometimes our profession and the way we really think are not in sync. We try to be imitate the real thing, but we are counterfeits.
3. The way we might sing some well-known hymns if we were being honest:
1. Fill My Spoon, Lord /2. Oh, How I Like Jesus
3. I Love to Talk About Telling the Story /4. Take My Life and Let Me Be
5. It is My Secret What God Can Do/
6. There is Scattered Cloudiness in My Soul Today
7. Where He Leads Me, I Will Consider Following
8. I Surrender Some
4. Consider “I Surrender Some.” Many people claim to be fully surrendered to the Lord. But how do you know? Zechariah probably thought he was…
5. Paul wrote of Timothy, “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy's proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. (Philippians 2:19-22)
6. Perhaps changing the song to, “I want to surrender all” would be the most honest thing. No matter how closely we walk with the Lord, God will show us areas in which we are not fully surrendered — if we are honest.
7. The idea of surrender is doing God’s will without resistance or hesitation. It is not a permanent attitude, but if we are characterized by frequently and typically being surrendered to God’s will, we call that the “surrendered life.”
Main Idea: The road to surrender to the Lord’s will is different for each one of us, but it is where God wants to take us.
Zechariah had been humbled, and was now willing to do exactly as God instructed. John, on the other hand, was surrendered from early on.
I. Contrary to Custom, Zechariah’s Son is Officially Named JOHN (Yochanan) (57-66).
A. Many CUSTOMS involved here.
1. Neighbors would gather together every evening from the day of birth until the 8th day, the day of circumcision.
2. Naming after the father is unknown elsewhere, and naming on the 8th day is unknown in ancient Jewish literature. Naming after family was typical.
3. Note Elizabeth’s insistence that her son be named “John.” She was steadfast.
B. Zechariah broke with CUSTOM to give John the name “John.”
1. But dads decided on names. He writes, “His name is John.”
2. Writing tablets were wooden boards covered with wax.
3. The name Yeshua communicates a message about His mission.
4. So does the name Yochanan — God is gracious. He introduces the greatest source of grace ever.
C. Zechariah had learned through hardship — and experiencing the consequences of resisting God — that SURRENDER was the only way to serve the Lord.
1. We need to ask ourselves, “Are we surrendered? Are we resisting God’s will and direction for our lives?”
2. Or are we entrenched in custom, protocol, and the comfort of habit?
II. Zechariah Not Only Can Speak, But He PROPHESIES (67-79).
A. Zechariah’s regained ability to speak ruled out a STROKE as the cause of his condition and reaffirmed that God was working.
B. He prophesies, signifying that the Messianic era was at HAND.
1. A sign that the Messianic era was thought to be the frequency of prophecy.
2. This happened particularly @ beginning phases of Messianic kingdom: at the birth of Christ, the Day of Pentecost, and it happened in the early church. Prophecy will make a comeback in the Tribulation and the Millennium.
C. Many of these promises are about Israel’s NATIONAL restoration, which were potential then, but will occur in the Millennium.
D. These national blessings were predicated upon SPIRITUAL restoration.
E. The basis of both of the above is the tender mercy of God, particularly the REMISSION of sins (77-78).
1. Remission of sin suggests something legal and properly addressed.
2. God’s mercy is tender — something emotional and warm
3. Like the sunshine visits our day and brings light, so does God.
III. John the Baptist LOCATES in the Wilderness (80).