The Call to Hear! Revelation 1:1-20 I) The nature of God ___________ us to hear A picture of the triune __________ The Father who is ________ The Holy Spirit who _______ all The Son who is _______ over all See Him in his glory as a prophet, ________ and king But He is a ________ king, who gave Himself for us So that we could be a part of His ____________! II) John's faithfulness in adversity __________ us to hear III) The glory of Jesus __________ us to hear Should listen because He has _________ over the churches Should listen because He has authority over ____________ Should listen because He is our _________ Should listen because He is pure, _______ and divine Should listen because He is the righteous _________ Should listen because He ________ the Word of God IV) The seriousness of the message __________ us to hear One church has lost its ____________ One church is ______________ One church is teaching ________ One church has ungodly __________ One church lacks __________ One church is struggling with _____________ One church is __________
We’re going through the life of Christ on Sunday evenings, and we just finished talking about the angelic announcement to Zechariah about the birth of John the Baptist. When Zechariah is told that his wife Elizabeth is going to have a baby, he is incredulous (we’re told in the passage that she is barren and advanced in age). As a result, he is punished because of his unbelief, and can’t speak until the baby is born.
That evening someone asked an insightful question, that neither I nor the rest of the class did a very good job of answering. I think that we got part of it right, but missed an important element. The question was this: why was God so merciful to Mary in her disbelief, and so harsh to Zechariah?
Part of the issue is certainly that Zechariah should have known better. He was a priest, performing the most holy duty of his life. He was getting to burn incense in the temple, presumably a once in a lifetime event. Sure, an angelic announcement wasn’t a common everyday occurrence, but if it was going to happen, you’d think it would happen then! Mary, on the other hand, was just a young lady, and not a priest. How would you expect her to react!
But, upon reflection, I think that there is even more to the story. Zechariah and Elizabeth were finally going to experience the joy of having a child. The disgrace that they experienced as a result of Elizabeth’s barrenness was finally going to be removed (Luke 1:25). Zechariah should be overjoyed! The angel found his response less than overwhelming.
Mary, on the other hand, was a young lady. She was unmarried, but betrothed. Something in the angels announcement gives her pause. She basically says, “I haven’t had sex! How can I have a child?” The angel very graciously explains it to her. Why is he so gentle? Well, besides being stunned, Mary is dealing with a virtual impossibility in her mind. She can’t be pregnant! And if she is, how could any of this be explained to her family, friends, and neighbors? Can you blame her for being fearful? The angelic announcement to Zechariah would remove disgrace, but the announcement to Mary could bring considerable disgrace! And that, I think, is why you find Gabriel dealing much more gently with Mary than with Zechariah.
Reflections of the True Light I) First Baptist desires to be a _______ A) _________ is the true light B) The light has _________ in us C) And now ________ are the light D) We _________ the true light! II) That ________ A) We have to understand that when we ________ the true light, some will be offended B) But we do our best not to be ____________ C) ___________ people of all ages III) That _________ ____________ our community IV) That __________ ____________ lives through the Word of God -- God's Word is the ________ that shows us how to live -- We have a ______________ to share it in word and in deed! V) That ___________ ____________ the good news of Jesus
I can’t believe that it’s really been since April that I posted a blog! Perhaps I can give you some insight into why in this post.
I really intended on having at least one post every week when the year started, and I thought that it would be easy because I had figured out a way to cheat! I was going to have my sermon outlines available online so that people could use them when listening on the web or the radio (per request). Unfortunately, I found out that trying to cut and paste from Word into WordPress was not as easy as I had anticipated, and the frustration level made me give it up temporarily. I now see that things are a little different on here, so maybe I should try again! It also seems that the ability to post new blog entries to Facebook has been fixed as well, so I’m hopeful that this entire process has just become much less frustrating!
Sometime in April my lovely wife Valerie got sick with viral labyrinthitis, or, as the pharmacist put it, she was a dizzy dame for about six weeks! That entailed more care from me, which morphed into even more care as the spring progressed. Val’s grandfather died in May, and when we were on the way home from the funeral she developed a horrible earache and ended up in the emergency room. A 2 week migraine followed, with various MRI’s and doctor’s visits. She is fine now, but has had to work full time this summer to help pay some of our bills. That means that some of my extra time is now spent on cooking, cleaning, and doing additional house and yard work over the summer. Combine that with extra church services in the summer and a larger congregation to take care of, well, let’s just say that you end up making some sacrifices. This was one of them! I won’t say that I’m back, but I am hopeful…
As for the rest of the family, Andrew is doing great. He just started his junior year at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. This summer he’s been working as a waiter at Julie’s Cafe in Fish Creek, and that will continue until October. He’s also working as our youth director at church. Roxanna and Zak just bought their first house, and will be staying in Green Bay for awhile. That has entailed some extra work for us as well, since there were some problems that popped up after they moved in. I’m happy to say that many of those problems have now been fixed, and they are finally getting to enjoy their home a little. Oh, and they are also expecting a new arrival — their first dog! They had a visit from a retired racing Greyhound and they loved her. I’m sure it will be all over Facebook if they do get her.
That’s probably enough for now. Perhaps something a little more spiritual and a lot less mundane in the future!