READ: Luke 1:1-25
THINK: When people are trying to prove a case--like in court--what kinds of evidence do they look for? When people are confirming a story for a news article or non-fiction book, what sources do they value most? Ideally, they look for eye-witnesses who can provide a first-hand account of events and confirm facts surrounding these events. Only then can they assemble the most complete and accurate story. As all of the Holy Spirit-inspired authors of Scripture, Luke did just that when he wrote his account of the good news--the Gospel--of Jesus. As a result, his is the Bible's most comprehensive and extensive record of Jesus' unique life and powerful ministry. (For further details, see the Introduction to Luke, p. 1379.)
RESPOND: Why is it important that the biblical record of Jesus' life and ministry is based on carefully investigated eye-witness accounts (cf. v. 2-3)? In what ways had Zechariah and Elizabeth demonstrated faithfulness and devotion to God? In what ways would John's birth and life be unique? (See John 1:15 notes.) In what ways would John help turn people to God and prepare them for God's purposes? (See 1:17 notes.) Why is the relationship between fathers and children so important? (See 1:17 second note.) What does this indicate about God's intentions for the family unit? What are a father's responsibilities in regard to his children?
PRAY: Give God thanks for making His Word available to you. Pray that your heart will always accept God's purposes, regardless of how impossible they may seem. Also, ask God to strengthen your family relationships.
ACT: Talk to someone about your first-hand experience with Jesus. Also, do something deliberate and practical to enhance your relationship with a family member--preferably for your father or mother, if that is possible. Show them proper respect and do what they ask of you. But you may also help a brother or sister with a task or write a personal note of appreciation to family members.
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