March 31 - Encouragement to Be With God

Thoughts to lead you into prayer. 
Praise God. 
Praise God that he is good; Psalm 110:5. Praise God that he is merciful and does not treat us as we justly deserve; 2 Samuel 4:14, Ephesians 3:4. Praise God that we can approach his throne of grace with confidence that we may receive mercy and grace to help us at this time of need; Hebrews 4:16.
Thank God. 
Thank God, that no matter how we feel he is always here for us. That even if we want to, we cannot hide from him, nor escape the presence of the Holy Spirit; Psalm 139:7-10, Jeremiah 23:23-24 and Acts 17:27.
Acknowledge sin.
Acknowledge that there are times when you have been short-tempered, and allowed anger to simmer in your life. Confess this and repent of it; Ephesians 4:26-32.
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 1:8-25.
Please pray for the Holy Spirit's help to receive God's Word.
Why did the angel of the Lord tell Zechariah that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit? We know that God the Holy Spirit ordinarily and principally works through the Word of God preached, to bring new life but not exclusively so. That’s why we pray for both the physical health and the spiritual salvation of our unborn children.      

What did the angel say John would do? What a privileged task John was to have in his life. Thank you, in God's grace, for allowing me for the opportunity to try and help you move closer to God. 
What do you think the angel means when he says that John will, "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children?"  

How does Zechariah respond to what he hears? Why does he not believe what the angel is saying? He is, after all, a man who is genuinely godly and is committed to serving the Lord. How could this have happened? Hard to say, but could it have been that he had just gotten into a habit of fulfilling his religious responsibilities without being personally engaged with God? How could the miraculous births of Isaac, Samson and Samuel have slipped his mind? (Genesis 18:11-14, 21:1-3, Judges 12:2-3, 1 Samuel 5:19). It shows the importance of being with God every day no matter who you are.

Who does the angel say he is, and where has he come from? Think of the privilege it is for us to be able to be in the presence of God through the work of the Holy Spirit.

The expression of unbelief, did not go unnoticed. God does not take lightly to such expressions of doubt in his ability to act in all powerful way. In Zechariah's case, he was struck dumb for nine months, a daily reminder, during the full term of his son John's unborn life, of his unbelief. For the Israelites, their chastisement lasted for 40 years.  They wandered in the wilderness until all those who had left Egypt when they were over twenty had died, because of their refusal to enter the promised land disbelieving that God could protect them.  The exception of course was Joshua and Caleb who had declared their faith in God. (Number 13). A warning to us all. 
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.
WCF Q2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him? 
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. 
Here is a pdf with Scripture proofs
Proverbs 9:9-10, "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight."
Take Care in Christ
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley