Day 15 of 40 Days to Celebrate the King: Signs
This week we will read Psalm 138 and…
- Monday Luke 1:5-25, 57-80
- Tuesday Matthew 4:1-6, 28:18-20
- Wednesday Matthew 3:1-12
- Thursday Isaiah 62
- Friday John 1:6-34
- Saturday Mark 1:1-8
- Sunday Philippians 1:1-11, Psalm 126, Luke 3:1-6
Look for the video today and the blog each day. The videos each week are about tools to improve your discipleship starting now, but especially getting ready for 2022.
Remember our goals are as easy as 1-2-3.
- To bless one family or person during this Christmas Season. Doris and I got the name of a family from Journey Home, a local ministry to the homeless. We got another family from our church. We are excited about taking our grandsons shopping for these families.
- Join in the two disciplines of watching a video each Monday to get us on the same page and to suggest a discipleship tool to put in place in your life, and sacrifice one thing weekly, (like fasting a meal or giving up a TV show), learning the joy of giving for the King.
- Finally, consistently do three things each day, pray the prayer included here, study together the same scriptures, and read a simple devotional thought. Here’s that devotional now.
We had not been married long. Doris had not yet learned the subtle nuances of my extremely sophisticated and very mature sense of humor. We were watching a baseball game together when the camera focused on the third base coach going through a gyration of motions. He was wiping his pant leg, touching the bill of his cap, brushing off the letters on his jersey, and then tapping his wrist three times. Doris asked, “What is the matter with that guy? Why is he making all of those motions?” It crossed my mind that this could either be a wonderful teaching moment, or an opportunity to unleash said sophisticated humor. I went for the humor.
“That is an amazing story,” I said, straight-faced. “That guy can’t talk but he has a job in Major League Baseball. He uses signs to communicate.” Doris did not laugh at my joke so I kind of forgot about it, until, a few days later I overheard her in a conversation with some of her friends, retelling that story. “Then,” she said, “He used all kinds of signs to talk to the batter although he can’t hear or speak.” THEY all got my sense of humor because they laughed uproariously. Doris, on the other hand, thought even less of my wit. In my defense, I didn’t say the guy couldn’t hear…
In the Luke story that we read today, there is a funny moment in verse 60 of Luke 1, when Elizabeth has said that their newborn, baby boy would be named John. First off, it’s funny that they don’t accept that. Can you imagine a modern-day nurse, after the sweating mother, who has just gone through the agonizing hours of labor tells her, “We have decided to name him Alouitios,” turning to the father and saying, “That’s a stupid name, what do YOU want to name him?” My guess is that young mom would come up out of her bed and rip the heads off of the nurse AND the dad, just for good measure.
But, they do just that. They ignore Elizabeth and turn to the baby’s father, Zechariah, and Luke says, “They used gestures to ask the baby’s father what to name him.” The angel never told Zechariah that he would be unable to hear. The Bible doesn’t tell us that. The neighbors just assumed that because he could not speak, he could not hear either. So they used signs. Isn’t that hilarious? Well, maybe YOU don’t get my highly sophisticated sense of humor?
There is a place in this story where signs are important. In fact, it is the same sign and it happens over and over. In Luke 1:9, the angel is telling Zechariah about this amazing baby boy they were going to have. The angel says you can count on all of this stuff because, “He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before he is born.” In verse 35, (that we have not read yet) Mary asks how she will have a son without ever having sex. The angel says to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you.” In verse 31, (be patient, we will get to that) Mary visits Elizabeth and when she says hello, “The baby (John) leaped within her (Elizabeth) and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.” One more that we did read, verse 67, when Zechariah is obedient and writes his son’s name, John, instantly he can talk again, he starts praising God, and “Then his father, Zechariah, is filled with the Holy Spirit and begins to prophesy.”
There is a lot of Holy Spirit filling going on in this Christmas story. And it usually is a result of someone being open to God’s work and obedient to His will. When God is about to do something pretty spectacular in someone’s life, and they are willing for that to happen, He gives them a sign, the Holy Spirit coming in them and on them. We see that repeated over and over again in the New Testament, most notably Acts 2. There is a whole room full of people who are willing to do what God wants and He pours His Holy Spirit on all of them.
I’m just saying for today, if you want God’s sign, His Holy Spirit, then be obedient to what He is telling you to do. And if you are worried about your ability to pull that God thing off, don’t. He will give you a sign, His Holy Spirit. My goodness! How different this Christmas would be if a whole bunch of us decided to do what God is telling us to do, and, as a result, were filled with the Holy Spirit and all that that entails.
Here’s the question for you to ask yourself today. What do I think God is asking me to do for Him during this season? And, am I willing to do that? If the answer is yes, watch for the sign.
A video comes later today. What devotional book helps you to be a better disciple? God bless you. Have a great day. See you tomorrow.
Here’s our prayer for this week:
O God, our Father, who sent Your Son to be King of Kings and Prince of Peace, grant that all the kingdoms my life may become the Kingdom of Christ and that I may learn the Way of Peace. Send Your Holy Spirit on me today. And make me an instrument of goodwill and reconciliation. In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.