Read Luke 1:13-15. TEXT: "... Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John" (Luke 1:13b).
The time has finally come. At long last Zechariah's wife will conceive and bear him a son-his own son, from his own body. The angel even passes along the name God has personally chosen for this child.
The name John means "The Lord is gracious." It reflects several things. First would be God's personal grace for Zechariah and Elizabeth. This child will be a daily reminder of His grace to the aged couple-enlivening their home and filling their hearts with joy and gladness.
But God won't restrict His grace to just this little family of three. He wants to extend it far beyond. Through this child, God will pour out His grace upon the whole people of Israel and still further beyond. For this child will be the messenger who prepares the way for God's own Son. Through John's baptism, Jesus Christ will step forward and reveal God's amazing grace in His life and ministry, in His suffering, death and resurrection.
Similarly, God personally showers His grace upon you by forgiving your sins and promising to be with you always as He leads you to the eternal pleasures of heaven.
But He doesn't want to restrict His grace to you alone. Through you, He wants to enrich the lives of your family, friends, neighbors, fellow students, teachers, co-workers-even strangers. As you treat the people in your life with kindness, respect, love, concern and dignity, you show God's grace to a hurting world. And like John, when you tell them about Jesus, you prepare the way for Him to come into their lives.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, as You worked through John to prepare the way for Jesus, work through my words and actions so that my friends, family, and even the strangers I meet may live in Jesus. I pray this in His Name. Amen.
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