Summary: God wants to open the windows of Heaven in our lives and visit us personally in the person of His son Jesus. This will happen as we prepare our hearts and seek Him.
VISITATION #3: JESUS IS THE OPEN HEAVENS
I love the New Year! It’s exciting to turn the calendar page from one year to the next. It’s a new beginning! Let’s decide to get closer to Jesus, and get to know Him better!
• I have been reading through and studying the Gospel of Luke – the life and teachings of Jesus– and we are going to journey through this book together from now until Easter.
• Two principles: Freedom (Holy Spirit may interrupt the series) and discipline (systematic study of a book of the Bible).
THE BOOK OF LUKE:
“Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.” (Luke 1:1-4).
• This is the first of a two volume work written by Doctor Luke. The second = Acts.
• Before we jump into our text in Luke, let’s go back to the Old Testament…
MALACHI PROPHESIES THE COMING OF A MESSENGER:
“Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming," Says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderer’s soap.” (Malachi 3:1-2).
• |Malachi was the last prophet to prophecy before the 400 silent years before Jesus came.
• Then Anna, a prophetess, who served the Lord in the temple continually, saw Jesus.
• It’s important to go to church and seek the Lord. When we seek Him, we will find Him!
“Return to Me, and I will return to you," Says the Lord of hosts. "But you said, ’In what way shall we return?’ … Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:7,10).
• God says when we return to Him, He will open the windows of Heaven and pour out a great blessing! When did this happen in the Bible? Four hundred years later…
“When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22).
• What are the open Heavens? JESUS! He is the blessing God promises through Malachi!
THE BIG IDEA: God wants to open the windows of Heaven in our lives and visit us personally in the person of His son Jesus. This will happen as we prepare our hearts and seek Him.
1. God wants us to repent – to turn from our sins and turn to the Lord.
“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.” (Luke 3:1-2).
• Luke makes a point of including the historical and geographical context of the story of Jesus. This is no fable or fairy tale, but the true account of the life of Jesus!
• John’s job was to turn the hearts of the people back to the Lord.
• It’s the beginning of a New Year – let’s seek God and His kingdom together this year!
“And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ’Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough ways smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ” (Luke 3:3-6).