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Good morning brothers and sisters. This is the time of year that we remember the birth of Christ. let's talk about when God does respond and how our response is. But believe it or not, I don't want to start with the birth of Christ. Yep, you heard me right. I want to look at John's birth. So let's start with Luke 1:8 and see where this takes us. 5- There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Now we know who John's parents were. 6- And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7- But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. This verse is very important. The one thing that God commanded people to do was multiply and they couldn't. It doesn't give a reason as to why she was barren except that she was. It is also important to note, that they were probably out of child bearing years. The scripture tells us that were advance in years. But God!! 8- So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9- according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10- And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Now do you really think this was all coincidence. No, I think not. It was God's divine plane. But God!! 11- Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12- And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled and fear fell upon him. Would this be your response? I think mine might have resulted in a heart attack or something much worse. 13- But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14- And you will have joy and gladness and many will rejoice at his birth. 15- For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16- And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the lord their God. 17- He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Now Zacharias not only just got the news that he would have a son but also what his son would be. His son would lead the path to the Messiah. That is a heavy message. I wonder what went through Zacharias mind? But notice the angel said that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit and this is before the Holy Spirit came to the earth for all of mankind. He was touched by the Lord even inside the womb. John is of great importance. His job is a big one. But let's look at Zacharias' response. 18- And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years." Now here is the doubt. Here an angel of the Lord is telling him what is going to happen and he has doubt. No wonder I doubt somedays, I haven't seen an angel of the Lord appear to me. If he can doubt, I understand why we do. We shouldn't, but we do. 19- And the angel answered and said to him "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.20- But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time." Now the angel tells him who he is and why he is standing in front of him. But see, even someone who followed God completely and was righteous in the eyes of the Lord, can doubt. Would you have responded the same way? Me, to be quite honest, yes, yes I would. And I do. I question the Lord sometimes also. I say things like, "really Lord, you want me to do that. I don't know if you picked the right person." But for Zacharias' unbelief, he was silenced. He could not tell a single person what had just happened. If an angel of the Lord came to me, I would be bursting at the seams to tell everyone. I will ask again, what is your response when the Lord sends His messengers to you? Do you doubt? Do you rejoice? Have a blessed day. Rise up child of God, rise up!

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