Summary: Dr. Wood used this sermon at Christmas show his listeners how God worked through the life of a doubting priest when He blessed him with his first son at an old age. Of course, this son was John the Baptist. Dr. Wood show what can happen at the feet of p
The story is told of a small town in which there were no liquor stores. Eventually, however, a nightclub was built right on Main Street. Members of one of the churches in the area were so disturbed that they conducted several all night prayer meetings, and asked the Lord to burn down that den of iniquity. Lightning struck the tavern a short time later, and it was completely destroyed by fire. The owner, knowing how the church people had prayed, sued them for the damages. His attorney claimed that their prayers had caused the loss. The congregation, on the other hand, hired a lawyer and fought the charges. After much deliberation the judge declared, "It’s the opinion of the court that wherever the guilt may lie, the tavern keeper is the one who really believes in prayer while the church members do not!" We smile at this story, but it suggests how faithless we sometimes are in offering our petitions to God.
There are four aspects to this scripture I want examine.
1) An Unusual Couple
a. V-5 Both were from the tribe of Levi. Priestly stock
b. V-6 Both were righteous before God
The key here is they were righteous before God.
My teen years wild as a buck. Look good on Sunday while no body knew I was out drunk the night before.
My concern was for those that would see me on Sunday morning.
Where I was stupid is that some 7 to 9 years before I had asked God to make a home in my life.
God sees your private life. . . he is who matters
11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
c. They were righteous but not sinless
i. Romans 3:23 All Have sinned and fall short of god’s glory
d. They were suffering
i. Instinct to have children
ii. Jews carried on the family name
1. Proverbs a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches
e. Their suffering was from the lack of children yours could be something else.
i. You may have prayed until your about ready to quit
f. Their names were significant
i. Zacharias = The lord remembers
ii. Elizabeth = My God is an absolutely faithful one
Their names had more meaning than even they could have imagined
2) An abrupt interruption
a. V8 – 24 divisions of the priest
b. V9 – the priest would burn incense 1 time per year for one week
i. Take turns
ii. A very high honor
iii. Once in a lifetime
c. V11 – An angel appeared
d. V12- Zacharias became afraid.
i. 400 years of silence
ii. the 1st time God had revealed Himself even through an angel
iii. Nervous because of what he was doing. He probably thought
1. I might drop the sensor of incense
2. what if the fire goes out?
3. What if I trip and fall
After a number of years preaching I still get nervous every time I preach.
Just imagine being alone and an angel pops in.
e. We are much like Zacharias
i. We pray and when God shows up we get afraid
ii. We sing
1. Take my life lead me Lord (287)
2. I surrender all (275)
3. I am Thine O Lord (290)
f. The Angel said your prayer has been answered
i. Even Righteous men pray without conviction
ii. Why pray if we pray without conviction and expectation
iii. We pray kindergarten prayer
iv. We pray prayer god has already blessed
1. Turn this food to energy
a. It has got calories in it is up to you to make it go to energy
What if an entire body of believers truly prayed for God to take them an make them what he wants.
Could you imagine what the next business meeting would be like. WAR
This has happened People allow sin to enter and crush the movement of God
3) Angel Prophecy
a. V13 the angel says you will have a son and name him John
b. Many will celebrate his birth
i. If your natural birth was not celebrated your supernatural birth was
ii. If you do not know him lets have a party today
Plan of salvation call for those to be saved
Johns message was repentance - a U-turn
c. V-17 - The angel says the spirit will enter him
i. “turn the heart of the Fathers to the children
1. He is speaking of family reconciliation
If you want to measure how in turn you are with God measure how you are with your family
Daddy – how are you treating mother