From The Heart

Publish date: 12/30/2001

Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: 68 "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, 70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began, 71 That we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, 73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: 74 To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

Luke 1:67-75 NKJV

Jesus is the light of the world. John was the prophet sent to “prepare the way of the Lord.” John was not the light -- he came only as a witness -- to testify concerning that light, so that through Him all men might believe. Zacharias, John’s father, had been struck dumb for nine months for not believing the angel who told him that he would be a dad in his old age. When John was born, Zacharias’s mouth was opened. He informed the neighbors and relatives gathered on the eighth day for the child’s dedication, circumcision and naming, that the child’s name would not be called Zacharias, according to the tradition, but he would be called John as the angel had instructed. Then he began to praise God and prophesy about Jesus and how John was anointed and appointed to go before Him and to announce His coming.

This was a great day and time in the history of the world. God was about to fulfill a promise that He had made many years before to Abraham and to establish a covenant that could not be broken. He reminded us of this promised covenant through the ages, since the world began, by the mouths of His prophets. This was a holy covenant -- a promise of mercy -- that we would be saved and delivered from the hands of our enemies and that we might serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

What a great promise – that we could serve God without fear! If you do not serve God -– you are right to be in fear –- fear for your eternity – fear because the evil one has dominion over you. Even for God’s people, under the Old Testament, there was fear. Men’s sins were only covered, not redeemed. They had to walk very carefully before the Lord. They were not born again into the family of God and they had to struggle with their flesh.

Thank God for His grace and His redemption. Now that Jesus has come, we can enjoy a wonderful new relationship with God. Our salvation is not in what we can do by our own efforts, but it is in the blood and sacrifice of Jesus. All we have to do is surrender to His mercy for it is in our self-surrender that we accept this wonderful, priceless blessing. God desires that we should serve Him without fear.

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.  1 John 4:14-19 NKJV

God is love! The Holy Spirit has shed his love abroad in our hearts. His love has been perfected in us. Perfect love casts out fear. Fear involves torment -– expecting judgment and punishment -- and the one who is in fear has not been made perfect in love. We love God because He loved us first. When you know that God loves you, you lose your fear. Because love will never harm you – love will always bless you, protect you, and forgive you. It is this love that enables us to come boldly into His presence.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:15-16 NKJV

Even though we have made mistakes, because of His love for us, we can be bold in God’s presence -- even on the day of judgment. It is only a man who is innocent, who can have boldness on his judgment day. He is innocent, not because he is perfect, but because he is forgiven. He can serve God without fear!