Your best christmas gift for your family

16/12/10 2:52 PM

Sunday December 19, 2010 week 3 of a series

Malachi 4:5-6

“Look, I am sending te prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives.  His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers.  Otherwise I will come and strike theland with a curse.”

Luke 1:8-20, 57-64, 67-68, 76-79

Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was surving as a priets before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incene.  And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.  Then the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.  When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.  But the angel said to him:”Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.  Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.  He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.  He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled wit the Holy Spirit even before he is born. Many of the people of Isreal will he bing back to the Lord their God.  And he will go one before the lord, in the spirit and  power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisom of the righteous– to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”  Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel.  I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.  And now you will be silent and not be able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”… When it was time for Elizabeth  to have her baby, she gave birth to a son.  Her neighbors an relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.  On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to nme him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”  They said to her, ” There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”  Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child.  He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.”  Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God…. Hos father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: “Praise be to the Lord, th God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.  .. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy o our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to the shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

What’s the greatest gift you can offer your relatives this Christmas season?

1. Embrace the role of intercessor.

What can we learn from Zechariah about interceding for our relatives?

1. Expect God to speak as yo intercede for your relatives

2. Draw unreasonable faith from what god says.

3. Pray prophetic blessings over their lives.

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