Christmas Devotional | Day 14
December 14, 2017
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 | It's All Coming True
God's promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit bears witness to this truth.
And his [John's] father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
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 knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit 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."
And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
Consider the role the Holy Spirit has already played in this story. First, the angel told Zechariah that his son, John, would be filled with the Spirit. Second, Mary was told that the Holy Spirit would cause her to give birth to Jesus. Third, when Mary greeted Elizabeth, the Spirit filled Elizabeth and prompted her to pronounce a blessing on Mary. God is directing the events of the Christmas story, and all of history, through the powerful work of His Spirit.
As a result of the Spirit's filling in today's passage, Zechariah prophesied about Jesus. More specifically, Zechariah told of how God was fulfilling His saving promises to His people through Jesus. The expectations of the Old Testament-the messages of the prophets (Isaiah 53, etc.), the covenant with David (2 Samuel 7:12- 14), and the oath God swore to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3)- were all being met. This is the good news John was sent to preach.
We do not have the same role as John the Baptist, but we have been commanded to tell others the good news of Jesus Christ. And we too can rely on the Spirit as we proclaim the truths of the gospel. Because He is gracious, God is still drawing sinners to Himself through His Son by the power of His Spirit.
Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he blessed God for His faithfulness and His salvation. God's promises to David and Abraham were being fulfilled in the coming of Christ. God was sending His people a Savior, and Zechariah's son, John, would point people to Him.
How does God's faithfulness in this passage help you rely more fully on His promises? List some promises in the Bible that bring you security and hope.
For Kids: What is one promise God gives us in His Word? (Example: God will never forsake His people according to Hebrews 13:5.)
Thank God for His faithfulness and for the hope that we have because of His promises.
For Further Reading
Read about Peter's proclamation of Christ as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies following the Spirit's coming at Pentecost in Acts 2.
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory . . ."
Practical Response - Meet a Need
As a family, purchase a gift for a family, an individual, or a child in your community who cannot afford a gift at Christmas. Alternately, you might serve for a day at a local Christian ministry that cares for the homeless and/or underprivileged in your community.
Devotional credit: Radical, Inc.