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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#961. Praise be to the Lord - Luke 1:67-75 (18/12/23)

This Christmas, we are revisiting some of the teaching surrounding Jesus’ birth that we have looked at in our Luke series. I’ve entitled this teaching series, ‘Mary Treasured up These Things’ (from Luke 2:19) because my hope and prayer is that, like Mary, we will treasure the story the truths and the God of the Christmas story. 


Today, we reflect upon how when we are filled with the Spirit, He inspires us, and works through us to inspire others, to see that Jesus is king and redeemer. 


You can listen to this devotional at:


1. The Holy Spirit inspires prophecy (1:67) 

‘His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied…’ (Luke 1:67)

As with Elizabeth (v.41), when Zechariah is filled with the Holy Spirit, He begins to prophecy - to praise God as he is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is a broad term for any speech that is inspired by the Holy Spirit - revelation given by the Spirit. Prophecy can be foretelling (predictive) and or forth-telling (revelation of God and truth); Zechariah’s prophetic song contains elements of both as he ‘forth-tells’ the glory of God and ‘foretells’ the ministry of John (The Baptist) and Jesus. 


2. He sings of the redeemer and king (1:68-69)

‘“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David”’ (Luke 1:68-69) 

The Holy Spirit inspires him to speak of this King as our Redeemer.  Redemption speaks of being brought out of slavery. Jesus has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of God. His blood—His death—was the price of our redemption. 


He also sings of Jesus as ‘a horn of salvation’; ‘horn’ - as in the horn of a bull or ram -  speaks of strength and rule; Jesus is a mighty Saviour! Jesus is both King and Redeemer. When we are inspired by the Holy Spirit, we trust and bow to Jesus’ kingship in a new way and help others to do the same. When we are inspired by the Spirit, we have a renewed appreciation and help others admire our King, who is also our Redeemer.


3. He sings of God keeping His promises (1:70-75)

‘“(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant,  the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”’ (Luke 1:70-75)

Zechariah praises God for faithfully keeping His promises to David and Abraham. God fulfils His covenant promises to provide a King and Saviour and bring victory to His people.


Response

When we are filled with the Spirit, He inspires us, and works through us to inspire others, to see that Jesus is king and redeemer. If we believe in the gift of prophecy, it’s so important to bear in mind that that what we are witnessing here in Zechariah’s prophecy is a great model for us. Paul urges us to desire to prophecy but that we do so with the right attitude and aims: 


‘Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.  But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.’ (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) 

If we are truly filled with the Spirit, we will always leave people with greater trust and admiration for Christ. Let’s pray together.

“Holy Spirit, please inspire me to see the glory of Jesus as king and redeemer. Encourage my heart and help me to draw others to appreciate you more fully. Amen” 
 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

In particular, we have services on Christmas Eve, Sunday 24th December 10:30am - 11:30am; Monday 25th December, Christmas Day Family Service

10am - 11am; and Sunday 31st December 10:30am - 12pm. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another. 


4. Study and pray together  

This Christmas, we are revisiting some of the teaching surrounding Jesus’ birth that we have looked at in our Luke series. I’ve entitled this teaching series, ‘Mary Treasured up These Things’ (from Luke 2:19) because my hope and prayer is that, like Mary, we will treasure the story the truths and the God of the Christmas story. 


Prayer to begin

To begin, please read Luke 2:19 and pray for one another in light of this text


Please read Luke 1:39-56

  1. What is the great theme in verses 46-48 with which Mary begins her song, and what does this teach us about how we are normally to begin our worship and times of devotion? 

  2. What are the various things that she praises God for in verses 49-55? 

  3. How is Bible study and memorisation crucial in the development of our ability to worship? 

  4. David, also sets us a great example of worship from the mind and soul. Please read Psalm 103:1-5 and list the truths that David praises God for. 

  5. SIV - How does rich personal and corporate worship make us more effective in our evangelism? 

  6. SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  7. SIV - Lets now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV. 

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