Luke is the third of four Gospel accounts of the earthly life of Jesus.
Luke was a Gentile Doctor (Col. 4) and fellow worker with the Apostle Paul.
Luke personally investigated the stories he recorded by interviewing eyewitnesses.
Luke wrote this account to a man called “Most Excellent Theophilus” (an important Government official) to help him be sure of his faith.
In the first two chapters of Luke there are 6 main characters:
Zechariah -- an elderly priest; chosen by God to be the father of John the Baptist
Elizabeth -- Zechariah’s godly but barren wife; the mother of John the Baptist
Mary -- a young virgin; chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus
Shepherds -- the first people to hear the good news that a Savior had been born
Simeon -- a righteous and devout elderly man who was praying to see the Messiah
Anna -- an elderly prophetess who worshiped in the temple night and day.
Let's read five short passages from these two chapters and then make it personal.
With these verses as a frame of reference, let’s discover four truths concerning Gods plan.
1. God's plan for your life is unique.
God had a plan for Mary and it was unique to Mary.
God had a plan for Elizabeth and it was unique to Elizabeth.
Gods plan for Zechariah was different that His plan for the Shepherds.
Gods plan for your life will be unique to you. You can’t expect someone else to do what God wants you to do. From God’s point of view, you have no double. There’s nobody who can take your place.
Heb. 10:5 - When Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifices and offerings you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me.” Then I said, “Here I am O Lord, I have come to do your will.”
If Jesus said, "I’m not interested in doing God’s will," who would have taken his place? Nobody. It was unique to Jesus.
Likewise, if you're not interested in doing God’s will for your life -- you have no double; God’s will for your life is unique to you.
In virtually every team sport there are different positions. A football team has 22 different positions (11 on offense and 11 on defense). Every position is unique and serves a specific purpose. Offensive linemen are usually very big. Their specialty is blocking. If an offensive lineman traded places with a wide receiver the team would suffer. He wouldn't be fast enough and a wide receiver is too small for the line.
For every person in the body of Christ there is a purpose, a plan, and a place. Gods plan and place for you is unique to you. Be content with who God made you and where He placed you in His Kingdom. You have no double!
2. God's plan for your life will be supernaturally revealed.
Gods plan for your life is an invisible reality until God chooses to reveal it.
I Cor. 1:9 - No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him – but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.
Nobody discovers the will of God by means of their five senses; it must be supernaturally revealed. Throughout the Bible, there are no rules that dictate how God reveals Himself.
Look at the many different ways God revealed His will in Luke 1 & 2:
Zechariah saw the angel Gabriel
Elizabeth became pregnant and because she was previously barren said, “The Lord has done this for me.”
Mary saw the angel Gabriel, followed by the confirming testimony of others:
Testimony of Joseph who saw an angel of the Lord through his own dream
Testimony of Elizabeth, when her own baby leaped for joy in her womb
Testimony of the shepherds who told Mary how they learned about Jesus’ birth
Testimony of Simeon and Anna who told Mary what the Holy Spirit had revealed to them
Approximately eight years ago Peggy and I began leading a Bible study for Chinese scholars. Our friends informed us that they had been praying for a way to minister to international students at the University Medical Center. After only two weeks, the study had grown to nine Chinese students. One student sent us this email: "I am so glad to meet you at the study. I live alone in an apartment and during the weekend I am lonely. It is difficult to find someone to talk to. To tell you the truth, yesterday I spent my happiest day in Omaha! There were so many people at the study that I could talk to in English. The Bible is very new to me. However, I know I can learn a lot from reading it. Hope to see you next weekend."
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him – but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.
Heb. 11:6 - Anyone who comes to God must believe that He exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
One of the reasons God chose to use the people he did is that they were seeking Him.
Luke 1:13 - But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.”
Luke 2:25 - There was a man called Simeon. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel.
Luke 2:37 - Anna never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.
When people seek God, he reveals the plans he has for them.
4. God’s plan is experienced by submitting to Him.
Initially, Zechariah was anything but submissive. So, God allowed him to be mute for several months until he came around.
But once Zechariah acknowledged God’s right to choose, the experience was much better.
Luke 1:63 - He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosened and he began to speak, praising God.
Mary's response was as pure as it gets:
Luke 1:38 - “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.”
This kind of submission is very difficult, but pleases God.
Over one hundred years ago, James McConkey wrote about the need for genuine consecration to the Lord. From his book, Surrendered Life, here is his suggestion of how to submit to Gods plan.
“Lord, this life which I now yield to Thee, I know not what is best for it, but Thou dost. While I carried out my own will concerning it, I found nothing but failure, mistake, fruitlessness and disappointment. Now, yielding it to thee I submit also to Thy will concerning it. As Thou mayest see fit, send prosperity or adversity; rest or toil; service or suffering; abasement or exaltation; crucifixion or glorification; the starlit night of faith or the meridian blaze of Thy conscious fullness. Stay not Thine hand; spare not the chastening fires; cool not the furnace of crucible until Thou hast had Thy perfect way with me. By Thy grace I will walk with Thee, though the path be not of my choosing. I will trust Thee when I cannot see Thee. I will submit to Thee when I cannot understand Thee. Yea, I yield myself wholly, absolutely, irrevocably, in humble, trustful submission to Thy blessed will.”
The Lord will not ignore the person who prays this prayer. That person will discover Gods plan for his life.
Explore the purpose the Holy Spirit has for you in this
It's the fourth sermon in a series of four on "Christ in You."
1. Why would finding God's plan for your life make the Christian life an exciting adventure? Many believers seem content with just “going to church” and doing what seems right to them. Is that wrong? Explain. What are they missing?
2. Zechariah initially resisted the angel’s message because he wasn’t ready to admit that God had the right to choose him, choose him now, and choose his son’s name. When it comes to finding and doing God's plan, what are some of the things that a Christian might not be ready to let God choose for him?
3. What part of the prayer of submission by James McConkey is most challenging to you? Why?
Author: Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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