Sunday 1-1-17, Boring, Oregon
Today we read Gen 1 – 2, Luke 1
S = Scripture O = Observation A = Application P = Prayer SOAP for the soul.
S. Luke 1:13-15 … But the angel said, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah! For God has heard your prayer, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son! And you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice with you at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or hard liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. NLT
Gal 4:4 …when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman. NLT
O. Today I noticed that this devout priest, Zechariah, had previously been praying for this son. But now his wife, Elisabet, was long past her years when childbirth normally occurred. Without doubt he had stopped praying for a son years earlier. He thought, well, it must not be God’s will, for now it is too late. Why continue asking God for the impossible? Now as the angel of God startles him with this message… he is trying to tell this angel to let God know that there must be a mistake. It is too late.
A. Did I ever question God’s timing? Maybe we all have at least once.
Frances and I had planted a new church in the lower-class neighborhood of Buenos Aires called, La Boca. The young lady who had promised to accept the challenge to be pastor over the new congregation, backed out. She felt called to a distant area. We were holding nightly meetings in the open air. Now I was praying for a building to serve as a church and a pastor to care for the new converts. In our ninth month of nightly meetings in an open parking lot, God miraculously gave us our building. But we were in our third year when God finally gave us our pastor. He had been preparing Jose Manuel Carlos and his family for this moment. God was right on time with just the right pastor.
P. Dear Lord, I have discovered that You are truly a God Who answers prayer… but in Your way and in Your timing. For 9 long months Zechariah could not speak due to his questioning Your time-table. Many times we have prayed like this: “Do it now, Lord, right now!” Dear Lord, help me to be ready to gratefully receive Your answers to my prayers… in Your way and in Your timing. Amen.
God’s way and God’s timing are better than mine.