READ: Luke 1:57-80
THINK: Put yourself in Zechariah's place and consider how you might have felt and what you might have done under the following circumstances. First of all, would you have taken the angel at his word, or would you have had a few questions as well? Then think about how you would handle the inability to talk. How long could you go without getting extremely restless? Could you handle it for months--particularly during an extraordinary time like having a child if you were at an advanced age? And what would be the first thing you'd say when you were able to speak again?
RESPOND: What was the first thing Zechariah did when he was once again able to speak (v. 64)? Why is this significant? Who inspired Zechariah's prophetic words in verses 67-79? (See 1:67 note.) What was the main thing for which Zechariah praised God? How would people receive "the knowledge of salvation" (v. 77)? Why is God's forgiveness so vital to us? What does it mean to serve God "in holiness and righteousness"? (See 1:75 note.) How would you describe the concepts of holiness and righteousness and how should these traits affect your everyday life?
PRAY: Praise God in your own words for His forgiveness and salvation. Ask Him to help you--in the power of the Holy Spirit--to demonstrate true holiness and righteousness in all you think, say and do.
ACT: Ask God to search your heart and life and expose any area in which you are not practicing and demonstrating moral purity, spiritual integrity, separation from evil and complete dedication to God. Make the necessary changes starting today. Also, take time to read or re-read the article on Campus Missions Commitment to Live, p. 1776.
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