Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Fifteen years. "God, have we done something wrong? Don't you love us?" No answer.
Elizabeth passes the age to give birth. She turns 60, then 70, then 80. They can't understand why God never answered, yet they both continued to walk blamelessly, and refused to blame God or get angry with Him. Then Zacharias is "chosen by lot" to serve in the Temple that day. This position of service was decided by lot, and once he was chosen, this was the only time he could serve in the Temple during his lifetime. It was on this day that Gabriel shows up, calls Zacharias and Elizabeth by name, and tells them their prayer had been answered. Yes, the prayer that they prayed 60 years before!
What can we learn from this? Several things:
1.God hears our prayers, even when it seems like He doesn't.
2.He will answer the prayer in His timing, which usually isn't ours.
3.God's delays are not His denials. Don't give up trusting Him.
4.Angels know our names and where to find us. Gabriel called them by name and later he knew exactly where to find Mary (Luke 1:26-27).
Monday, December 12, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
A couple of weeks later, the barber was driving by the farmer's orchard and remembered his offer to let him pick apples. He pulled his car over, got out, and picked an apple. He took a bite and it was the most bitter apple he had ever tasted. He went to another tree, grabbed an apple, and it too was sour. He tried one more tree with the same results.
When the farmer came back to get a haircut, the barber said, "I stopped by your orchard and picked some apples, but they were all bitter and weren't like the really good tasting one that you brought me."
The farmer said, "Remember, I told you to call me first. I planted bitter apple trees along to road because people kept stopping and stealing my apples. Once they taste my bitter apples, they don't come back. The delicious apples are planted further away from the road."
Satan uses this same tactic to keep people away from God. He plants the most bitter and vocal church members out front for everyone to see and hear. Unbelievers are turned off by them and will say, "If that's what God is like, I don't want any part of Him!" Satan misrepresents God through "church-going" people who might not even be saved and don't act like Christ-like.
David said, "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps. 34:8). I can't taste something for you. You must do it for yourself. Just make sure are truly tasting the Lord and not a bitter apple that's pretending to be sweet. Once you've tasted the true God, you will see that He is good!