Sunday’s message was taken from the passage in Luke which your Bible probably labels Zechariah’s Prophecy. It is a Holy Spirit inspired prophecy that Zechariah speaks over his newborn son, John.
Let’s pick up the passage in verse 76…
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
On his last Sunday at Blackhawk, Pastor Steve joined Pastor Kevin on stage for a few minutes to begin the message. Pastor Steve has a fondness for Indiana sunrises and verse 78, where Jesus is spoken of as the “sunrise”. He mentioned this has sometimes been translated as “dayspring”, which is one of his favorite names of Jesus. Pastor Steve noted that “it’s as though everything before Christ came was the night and everything after him was the day.”
- What light has Jesus, the Dayspring, brought into your life?
- Who do you know that is still living as though it is night? How might you be able to help them turn to face the sunrise?
Pastor Kevin’s message focused on verse 79 highlighting the light brought by the Dayspring, Jesus. He broke the passage down into three parts, which represent three shifts that happen in our own lives as we follow Jesus.
Shift One: Get —> Give “to GIVE light…”
Pastor Kevin said we are never more like God than when we give, and referenced John 3:16 and Acts 20:35.
- Think about all the aspects of your life (spiritual, physical, emotional, social), what has God given to you that you can give away?
- Is it easy for you to give these things away? If not, why might you find it hard to be generous with these things?
- We live in a culture of closed fists, how would it benefit your spiritual life to be open handed?
Shift Two: From —> In “to those who sit IN darkness and IN the shadow of death…”
Pastor Kevin noted that as humans we often want deliverance FROM our problems, but God wants to meet us IN our problems. The dark backdrop of a difficult situation allows us to shine the light of Jesus.
- What difficult situation in your life has the Lord been able to use for your good? Have you had an opportunity to share this testimony of God’s goodness with someone else in a similar situation?
- Is there someone in your life who could use your presence as they sit in darkness or in the shadow of death? How might you be able to bring light in the midst of the darkness?
- What trouble may come if your ultimate hope is put in deliverance FROM a situation and that deliverance never comes?
Shift Three: To —> Through “to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Pastor Kevin said that peace is not a destination at which we arrive, but is solely found in the person of Jesus Christ. God wants to be our peace and be with us as we travel through the valleys of life.
- The world views peace as something we attain and then try to maintain. Why is this view of peace ultimately lacking?
- What truth(s) do you know about Jesus that would lead you to be at peace?
- What situation in your life right now requires God’s peace?