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May praise flow freely from my lips, for you teach me your statutes. May my tongue sing about your instructions, for all your commands are just.
As we come to know the Lord, praise comes forth. Take a look at Psalm 150 (NKJV): “Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” Praise the Lord for who He is in your life. If you don’t know the Lord today, know that you have been invited to commune with Him. Come to the Lord as you are and experience His unfailing love. Your heart will flourish as you accept His invitation and choose to receive His grace in Christ Jesus.
Now to the one who is able to keep you from falling, and to cause you to stand, rejoicing, without blemish before his glorious presence, to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, and now, and for all eternity. Amen.
I find great comfort in that God is able to “keep me from stumbling” and “present me faultless”. By grace through faith in Christ Jesus our sins have been made “white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). Not only has the Lord dealt with our past sins, He has committed to work in us to protect us from sinning all the more in the future. This promise is an invitation into daily relationship with Him and a guarantee that He will be there for us. Make no mistake, our God is faithful, and His love is unfailing. He shows up in our lives. This promise is an invitation to die to ourselves and to place Christ on the throne of our hearts. Take courage today, in our Lord who works for your good. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High. For you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. Because of our God’s tender mercy the dawn will break upon us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Here we have the second part of Zechariah's prophecy. The first part of the prophecy was all about the coming Messiah, Jesus. This part is all about Zechariah's son John, who will prepare the hearts of Israel for the coming of Christ. Everything Zechariah prophesies reflects what Gabriel had foretold to him initially. These are also the powerful words of a father (both God and Zechariah via the Holy Spirit) being spoken into a son's life. I venture that this experience was quite beautiful for Zechariah, being used by God to speak truth about his son John, and God's Son Jesus.
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because he has come to help and has redeemed his people. For he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from long ago, that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us. He has done this to show mercy to our ancestors, and to remember his holy covenant— the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham. This oath grants that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, may serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him for as long as we live."
John the Baptist has just been born and Zechariah confirms the baby's name by writing "His name is John" on a tablet. Zechariah was silenced by the angel Gabriel from the announcement of John's birth until right now, when God chooses to fill Zechariah with the Holy Spirit to prophesy about Christ's coming. Through this time of silence, God has prepared a powerful purpose for Zechariah's returned voice. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose". (Romans 8:28 NIV)
“Remember the law of my servant Moses, to whom at Horeb I gave rules and regulations for all Israel to obey. Look, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord arrives. He will encourage fathers and their children to return to me, so that I will not come and strike the earth with judgment.”
2 Kings 2:10-12 briefly describes the prophet Elijah being taken into heaven right before Elisha's eyes. In Matthew 17:9-13, Jesus Himself confirms to His disciples just after the transfiguration that "Elijah" has already come. Luke 1:13-17 brings to us the account where Zechariah (John the Baptist's father) is told by an angel of the Lord that his future son would, "go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children." Plans are in place to reveal the Messiah to the world.