April 1 - Encouragement to Be With God

So you know.
I have been annoyed with myself at the number of mistakes I am making in producing this, e.g., using the 'wrong' word, which has changed the meaning of the sentence. It has happened more than once, and once is too many times. So, I have decided that I am going to base what I am writing on JC Ryle's Commentary on the gospel of Luke. It won't all be a straight lift from Ryle, but I will use it as a basis for the structure. I'm also going to identify which verses I am referring to as I work through the notes. Hopefully, these developments will help your use of these 'Daily Encouragements.' By the way, I am not making these changes because someone has said something. I'm just trying to refine and improve what I am sending you. All the comments I have received so far have been complimentary and encouraging, which I am thankful for and appreciate. 
 
Thoughts to lead you into prayer. 
 
Praise God. 
Praise God that his knowledge and understanding is infinite. For example, he knows the number and names of every star; Psalm 147:4,5. 
 
Thank God. 
Thank God for establishing the created order, the sun and moon, the seasons of the year, and for the fact that he sustains it all by the power of his word; Psalm 74:16, Hebrews 1:3 and Colossians 1:17.
 
Acknowledge sin.
Acknowledge that there are times when you have not lived with believing hope and confidence in God's all-sufficient power, providential keeping and power. Confess this and repent of it; Psalm 31:1, Psalm 25:3 and Psalm 62:1, 5-7.
 
 
A Psalm to Sing.
Sing Psalm 25A with joy in your heart to God, for he loves and cares for you. Here is a link to the words, and here is a link to it being sung. 
 
 
Let's read Luke 1:26-33.
Please pray for the Holy Spirit's help to receive God's Word.
      
In these verses, we have the announcement of the most marvellous event that has ever happened in this world -- the incarnation and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We should read it with wonder, love, and praise.
Note the lowly and unassuming manner in which the Saviour of mankind came among us. 
V 26 - It's the sixth month into Elizabeth's pregnancy when Gabriel, the same angel who had appeared to Zechariah, is sent to an obscure town in Galilee, called Nazareth. The young girl Gabriel has been sent to speak with obviously lives in humble circumstances. God could have chosen very different circumstances for Jesus to have been born into, but he didn't. See 2 Corinthians 8:9. 
 
The condescension of Jesus leaving the glory of heaven and coming to earth is made all the more incredible by the fact of where he began his life. When Paul writes to settle a dispute in the church at Philippi, he counsels them and writes, 'What are you doing, look at what the Lord Jesus did in coming to earth? This is how you should be approaching your life and each other'. See what Paul says in Philippians 2:1-8.
 
V 27,28 - What is the young woman's name, and what two essential facts are we told about her? How is Mary viewed by God? We need to take care how we think about the mother of Jesus. As a boy growing up in a Protestant ghetto in Northern Ireland, I often heard a song sung which despised Roman Catholics and included a profanity about Jesus' mother. Yes, Roman Catholicism is wrong in its teaching about the virgin Mary. Mary was not conceived free from original sin; she should not be venerated as an object of worship; we cannot pray to her as a mediator between God and man. These teachings are wrong, but we must have a love for, and respect the mother of our Saviour. Remember how the Lord cared for his mother even from the cross; John 19:25-27.
 
V 29,30 - What is Mary's reaction to seeing and hearing the angel? See how gentle Gabriel is with her, how he speaks to her heart before he tells her the message, he has been sent to give her. These are days when we need to take care when speaking with each other. We need to be aware of the signs of anxiety, and fear, and talk with one another appropriately.   
 
V 31 -33 - Note how Gabriel, as he had done with Zechariah, informs Mary of what her child's name will be. What two things does Gabriel tell Mary about who Jesus is going to be? What is God going to give to Jesus? What is Jesus going to do? Finally, says Gabriel, "of his kingdom there shall be no end." Daniel prophesied this, Daniel 7:13-28, and Paul reiterates it in what he says in Philippians 2:9-11. The Kingdom that Jesus has been given by the Father, because of his obedience unto death on the cross, is an everlasting Kingdom, it is eternal, and his rule over it, his dominion, shall never pass away. We are citizens of this Kingdom, and when the King comes in glory, he will take us to be with him in that Kingdom for all eternity. 
 
 
Memory Verse. 
Psalm 121:1-2, "I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."  
 
 
Doctrine to think about – Shorter Catechism.
Q. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach? 
A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. 
Scripture proofs pdf
 
Take care in Christ
Andrew
 
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley