Luke and The Lost
What do we pack? What do we need for the trip? What can we leave behind? Are we ready for this? These are all questions for thought as we prepare for a short or long trip away from home and our “stuff of life”. We get ready in various ways. Some of us throw a few things together into a laundry basket and throw it in the car. (Yes, I have a friend who did this many times.) Some meticulously pack for days, ironing everything and folding clothes neatly into suitcases. (That was my mom.) Others think they must take everything from home, even the ironing board! (That was a cousin I have.) We all prepare in different ways.
Can we leave at a moment’s notice? It depends on our preparedness through experience and our trust in God’s leading. We got the phone call no one likes to get. A beloved family member dies who lives a thousand miles away. We know we must get there as soon as possible. I must testify that God has a way of preparing you before you know you need it! He knows exactly what we need and will help us.
I was able to leave work within minutes after rearranging tasks. I notified Randy who began packing. I came home to pack my things and we were on the road in two hours! How? It was all God. When you are in sync with God, He prepares you for He knows what happens next in life. Randy was led to get the car’s oil changed that morning so the car would be ready. Laundry was done before that call so everything was clean and ready to throw into a suitcase.
How do we prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of the Lord? Let’s read how God did it the first time…
Luke 1, The Message
1-4 So many others have tried their hand at putting together a story of the wonderful harvest of Scripture and history that took place among us, using reports handed down by the original eyewitnesses who served this Word with their very lives. Since I have investigated all the reports in close detail, starting from the story’s beginning, I decided to write it all out for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can know beyond the shadow of a doubt the reliability of what you were taught.
A Childless Couple Conceives
5-7 During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honorably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old.
8-12 It so happened that as Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties before God, working the shift assigned to his regiment, it came his one turn in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense. The congregation was gathered and praying outside the Temple at the hour of the incense offering. Unannounced, an angel of God appeared just to the right of the altar of incense. Zachariah was paralyzed in fear.
13-15 But the angel reassured him, “Don’t fear, Zachariah. Your prayer has been heard. Elizabeth, your wife, will bear a son by you. You are to name him John. You’re going to leap like a gazelle for joy, and not only you—many will delight in his birth. He’ll achieve great stature with God.
15-17 “He’ll drink neither wine nor beer. He’ll be filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment he leaves his mother’s womb. He will turn many sons and daughters of Israel back to their God. He will herald God’s arrival in the style and strength of Elijah, soften the hearts of parents to children, and kindle devout understanding among hardened skeptics—he’ll get the people ready for God.”
18 Zachariah said to the angel, “Do you expect me to believe this? I’m an old man and my wife is an old woman.”
19-20 But the angel said, “I am Gabriel, the sentinel of God, sent especially to bring you this glad news. But because you won’t believe me, you’ll be unable to say a word until the day of your son’s birth. Every word I’ve spoken to you will come true on time—God’s time.”
21-22 Meanwhile, the congregation waiting for Zachariah was getting restless, wondering what was keeping him so long in the sanctuary. When he came out and couldn’t speak, they knew he had seen a vision. He continued speechless and had to use sign language with the people.
23-25 When the course of his priestly assignment was completed, he went back home. It wasn’t long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy. “So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!” she said.
What do we learn?
–Be prepared to move when God says move and to stay when He says stay. He prepares the way.
–Nothing is impossible with God. Absolutely nothing.
–Get ready for the second coming of the Lord.
–What do we pack and what do we leave behind for this journey with God?
–Be prepared for his coming at any time.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We are more than conquerors with You in the lead. You prepared the way for Jesus. You prepare the way for us.
Thank you for coming and showing us how You work. Thank you for being with us.
In Jesus Name, Amen