Christmas Series: Godly Parents

Christmas Series:

Godly Parents

 

Luke 1:1-4 (ESV) ~ Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

 

Every generation learns new and better ways of doing things. We have gone from open campfire to wood stoves to electric/gas stoves. We have gone from walking everywhere to horse drawn carriage to horse-less carriages (cars) to travel not being an issue with the Jetsons flying cars (oh wait, not there yet.) The point is, change can be good, although there are some things that haven’t changed.

 

One of those things is that every generation needs an example of what godly parents are to be. Let’s look at the parents of John the Baptist and some examples of what is needed for godly parents. Also note, none of these have changed NOR should change.

 

  • Righteousness ~ They were parents who were righteous.
    • Luke 1:6 (ESV) ~ And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
    • They were both righteous before God and walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.
    • They controlled their thoughts, minds, tongues and behavior, diligently seeking to please God in all they did.
    • They were “blameless”. This of course didn’t mean they were perfect. It means they were faithful, living in such a way that no one could charge them with open sin. They lived honestly before both God and men.
  • Human Problems ~ they were parents with human problems.
    • Luke 1:7 (ESV) ~ But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
    • Being righteous did not free them and does not free us from problems. They had to face the problems of this world just as all persons do today. One difference: they were righteous before God. Therefore, they had the presence of God to help them through the problems.
    • Matthew 5:45 (ESV) ~ so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
  • Worshipped ~ They were parents who worshipped.
    • Luke 1:8-9 (ESV) ~ Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
    • Zechariah and Elizabeth were both chosen by God to serve. WE HAVE BEEN CHOSEN BY GOD TO SERVE! (Just saying.)
    • He was faithful to that call, even in the midst of his human problems. He was steadfast in his duties, despite the lack of visible blessings from God.
    • The burning of incense symbolized that sacrifices were being offered up to God in the sweetest and most prayerful of spirits. The aroma of the incense was just like prayer; it enveloped the sacrifice and carried it before the very throne of God.
    • The priests considered the burning of incense to be the highest privilege of the priestly functions. However, because of the large number of priests, some never had the opportunity to offer it up to God. To be chosen was determined by drawing lots.
    • The point is this, Zacharias was faithful to God’s call. He was chosen and ordained by God to be a priest, and he accepted this call. He was faithful in his worship despite his human problems and lack of visible blessing from God. In this faithfulness, God honored him.
  • Prayer ~ They were parents who prayed and led others to pray.
    • Luke 1:10 (ESV) ~ And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.
    • In the midst of the problems not only the parents faced, but also those around them, they became a praying people.
    • They were to be as involved in the prayer and worship as he was. (What a lesson for congregations!)
    • Matthew 18:19 (ESV) ~ Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
    • Psalm 91:15 (ESV) ~ When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
  • Greatly Favored by God ~ They were parents who were greatly favored by God.
    • Luke 1:11-17
    • God is bound to bless and highly favor any parent who is righteous, worship, prays and leads others to worship and pray.
    • How did God favor Zacharias and Elizabeth?
      • Their need was met by God in a personal way.
      • Their prayers were answered.
      • Their son was to be great.
        • He would cause his parents to rejoice because of his life.
        • He would cause many to rejoice because of his contribution to society.
        • He would be great in the sigh of God, because of his own faithfulness.
        • He would live a discipled and controlled life.
        • He would be filled with the Holy Spirit from the very first.
      • Their son was to be a prophet, turning many to the Lord God.
      • Their son was to be the forerunner of the promised Messiah.
    • Difficult to believe the humanly impossible
      • Luke 1:18-19 (ESV) ~ And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
      • Zacharias just could not believe the message and promise of God.
      • Just as Zacharias had unbelief, this is the same thing that we face today, unbelief.
      • The very Word and promise of God should have been enough to convince Zacharias, but he was weak in faith. He asked for a sign, a sign other than God’s Word and Promise.
      • Many are asking for additional signs from God other than God’s Word.
    • Had to be discipled by God
      • Luke 1:20-22
      • Zacharias had asked for a sign, other than God’s Word itself. He let his tongue speak instead of his faith. God gave him a sign, his tongue stopped for nine months before John was born.
      • Zacharias has failed to receive the Word of God.
      • Zacharias had spoken words of distrust and unbelief; therefore God took away his ability to share the Word to men, as well as his ability to spread words of distrust and unbelief.
    • God fulfilled His Promise ~ They were parents, who during their human problems, their unbelief, still trusted God and He still fulfilled His promise.
      • Luke 1:23-25 (ESV) ~ And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home. After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
      • These parents did two things that reveal why God was able to bless them:
        • They were responsible. Zacharias was sick, he lost his voice completely. Yet he fulfilled his duties despite being disciplined with infirmity. He did was he could, responsibly and faithfully. What an example!
        • They withdrew into the presence of God. After completing his duties, he and his wife returned home. The both got alone with God, to absorb from the reconciliation needed to be in the presence of God.
      • The call to service necessitates a period of preparation, especially the preparation of oneself in the presence of God. Time alone with God for meditation and prayer over God’s call is essential.
      • James 4:8 (ESV) ~ Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
 
Pastor Andy Lambert

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