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Summary: The third message in The Song of Heaven series explores the song of Zechariah and the theme of a "Song of Second Chances."

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The Song of Second Chances • Luke 1:68-80

KEY THOUGHT: The depth of our faith is not revealed until God makes clear our personal responsibility in His plan of salvation for all peoples.

READ LUKE 1:68-80

FOUR SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES FROM THE LIFE OF ZECHARIAH

I. The principle of HIS PRESENCE. (1:5-17)

A. God is always AT WORK regardless of our age, ability, awareness.

1. Jewish Priesthood divided into 24courses – each w/ 4-9 families

2. Apart from the 3 great festivals, performed duties 2 sep wks per yr

3. Daily ritual @ temple included offering morning & eve sacrifices… before morning sac & after evening sac incense was offered on the altar of incense.

4. Duties were assigned to priests by lot. BC of large # of priests (18k), no priest was permitted to offer incense more than once in his life.

5. God is @ work… and what God originates He orchestrates!

6. Zech has no idea of what is about to happen… he is unaware… age… ability… doesn’t matter BC God is @ work.

7. There might be someone here today and you feel like you are too old… or like you have nothing to offer… or you say, Allen, I just came BC someone invited me… GREAT NEWS… GOD IS AT WORK!

B. God hears PRAYER.

1. Luke LOVES to draw attention to the imp of prayer, esp @ moments of divine revelation

2. Priests expected to marry virgins of Israelite birth but to marry daughter of a priest was preferred. (Of Aaron)

3. Notice Luke 1:6 stresses their piety… righteous… Luke uses OT word to reveal that the childlessness was not result of sin but in order that God’s works might be revealed (JN 9)

4. Nevertheless, as the angel reveals Zechariah cont to pray!

“Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible.” – C.T. Studd

II. The principle of PAUSE. (vv 18-24)

A. Religious ACTIVITY is not a substitute for HOLY SPIRIT sensitivity.

1. Zech. In the presence of God’s Angel, pauses due to doubt.

2. We make justification… need to clarify… want to make sure… If you are walking in step with the Spirit, you will know when God is speaking that is a guarantee!

3. We tend towards routine… HS living will ruin you for the ordinary.

B. Others will not UNDERSTAND God’s activity IN YOUR LIFE.

1. Others assumed he had seen a vision

2. Reality, experiencing discipline of the Lord BC He was not ready to follow God fully…

“God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow.” – Hudson Taylor

III. The principle of PURPOSE. (vv57-67)

- God’s purpose for Zech & Elizabeth was to be personally involved in the era of salvation as the father of a son who would play a God-given role in the dawn of salvation…

A. Regardless of past DOUBTS & FAILURES, God offers a SECOND CHANCE.

1. God’s discipline doesn’t last forever… He doesn’t hold it over Zech that he let Him down.

2. PPL doubt the name Elizabeth reveals for their son… Zech req a small wooden tablet… wax-coated surface… Zech writes what the Angel had revealed of his son’s name… His name is John… and immediately God looses his tongue

B. Opportunities are primarily about His purpose NOT OUR OWN RELIEF.

1. 9 months… Zech could not speak. Frustration… imagine thought process… daily reminder… questions – will it ever be like it was?

2. I often times feel like we pray in the midst of difficulty and times of discipline from the Lord…. I’m not trying to downplay the value of prayer and seeking God’s face… but we must be careful to indeed seek His face and not simply His favors upon our lives… we must be careful to guard the motives of our hearts… often times we pray and as soon as God relieves the pressure we move along with our plans rather than His purpose.

“It is not our choice to spread the gospel or not. It is our death if we do not.” – Peter Taylor Forsyth

IV. The principle of PREPARATION. (vv 68-80)

A. Zechariah’s song given by the Holy Spirit is a simple message of not only the FIRST Advent but a foreshadowing of the SECOND Advent.

The prison door undone / The battle won / The debt is paid / And a new day made

The prison door undone (v68) – REDEEM = to set free by paying a price… it can refer to the releasing of a prisoner or the liberating of a slave. LK 4 Jesus declares He has come to bring deliverance to the captives… salvation to ppl in bondage to sin and death…

The battle won (v69) Horn = power & victory (1 Kings 22; PS 89)… picture of an army about to be taken captive and at the last minute help arrives and enemy defeated. Prev verse prisoner freed… now enemy is defeated so he cannot take any one captive… total victory…

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