If your birthday was anything like mine, it was nothing like Jesus’ birthday.

No angelic announcement.

No elaborate gifts of gold or frankincense.

No shepherds rejoicing or extra stars shining.

No forerunner, pointing a nation to the significance of your birth.

And rightfully so. Jesus was the most important bundle of joy ever born. His birth cut time in half. 6 months before Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit, John the Baptizer was conceived. John was Zechariah and Elizabeth’s long-awaited bundle of joy and God’s appointed prophet, pointing people to Jesus. He brought joy to his parents and pointed people to the one Who brings joy to the world, Jesus!

The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth in Luke 1 is a great reminder that God can give abundant joy even where joy has been abandoned!

No person or situation is beyond God’s redemption.

If you find yourself in a place of doubt and despair like Zechariah and Elizabeth, be assured God has not forgotten you, and He is not intimidated by your questions. The name “Zechariah” means “remembered by God.” Your name probably isn’t Zechariah, but rest assured you are remembered by Him!

Joy cannot be stolen, but it is often abandoned.

Every year at Christmastime, you’ll read news stories about Christmas gifts and nativity-baby-Jesus being stolen. Joy is a God-given gift, but it works differently than physical gifts. The only way your life can be void of joy is if you choose to let it go. Zechariah’s doubt-filled reply to the angel in Luke 1 reminds us that our joy problem is often a vision problem. The natural thing for us to do is to view God’s promises through the lens of our problems, but that’s backwards. When we choose instead to view our problems through God’s promises, our vision increases. Don’t give up on the joy of praying – keep praying and believing our God is a God of miracles!

Joy to you should lead to joy to the world.

The angel told Zechariah that many would rejoice with him and Elizabeth when their son was born, and that’s exactly what happened! Not only did others rejoice, but the first words out of Zechariah’s mouth after ten months of silence were words of rejoicing and prophecy! The tragedy of Zechariah’s story is that he had great news and was forced to be silent. The tragedy of modern-day Christianity is that we have great news and often choose to be silent. God gave you joy so you can take it to the world!

K E V I N • M I L L E R

There’s more where that came from! Click below to watch the entire message called “Bundle of Joy” from our series, With Bated Breath.

Make sure forward this to a friend who could use some encouragement!

Access the whole series as well as hundreds of other messages from Awaken Church at awaken.church/teachings.


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