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Devotionals

Matters of Faith and Doubt This Christmas

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Matters of Faith and Doubt This Christmas

 

Luke 1: 19-20 Then the angel said, "I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! But now, since you didn't believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time." (NLT)

 

We can be such doubting Thomases. Even the expression "doubting Thomas" derives from Scripture when Thomas said he would not believe in the resurrected Lord unless he could put his hands in the very wounds of Christ. We are very untrustworthy by nature. Perhaps after a lifetime of disappointment stemming from the world, we can easily translate that onto God. Because the world will always make promises it cannot keep, provide dreams that cannot be realized and offer hope where it cannot deliver. God however, never does.

 

Within the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke, there is a picture of the correct way to approach God and the incorrect way. One way is filled with doubt and uncertainty and the other is filled with faith confidence. The way of doubt is fraught with consequences we would not have foreseen or wanted and the way of faith is laden with the promises of God being fulfilled in our lives. The events portrayed here from thousands of years ago are played out in our lives over and over again. Maybe not with the angelic visitation but certainly with what we know God has said and spoken for our lives and what the devil wants to whisper in our ears. It is always our choice who we want to believe and who we want to doubt.

 

Luke starts with the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth:

 

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God's eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord's commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old. Luke 1: 5-7 (NLT)

 

So Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous followers of God. The world had convinced them that their days of conceiving a child had passed. They were old and Elizabeth was barren. But those man-made restrictions do not apply to Almighty God. He can always bring life into situations the world has declared dead. But Zechariah had probably given up on the notion even though he had prayed earnestly for some time. As the years went past and Elizabeth remained without child, he probably assumed his prayers were simply unanswered or that it was not meant to be. But God sent the angel Gabriel to let him know that what he had given up on, God was ready to deliver:

 

While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. But the angel said, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly." Luke 1: 11-17 (NLT)

 

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828ministries.com

Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
 

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