What Jesus Did! 'It All Begins with Faithfulness' — Luke 1:5-7

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God's eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord's commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.
— Luke 1:5-7 NLT

Key Thought

Sometimes, when things aren't going as well as we hope, we are tempted to give up on our righteous commitments to God. "What's the use?" we might ask ourselves and also think, "It surely doesn't seem to be paying off for me!" God gave us Zechariah and Elizabeth as examples of righteous waiting. They remind us not to give up on God in our discouragement, impatience, and frustration. As Luke began his Good News about Jesus, we find these two old and faithful followers of God. They were righteous in God's eyes. Unfortunately, however, their fervent desire to have a child [1] had not been granted by God. Still, they honored God because it was the right thing to do. Then, their faithfulness provided the beginning of Luke's account of our salvation story. So, the next time we find ourselves discouraged and ready to give up because our prayers seem unanswered, let's remember this old couple. Let's celebrate their joyous surprise. [2] Let's always remember their example showing us that our faithful wait on God opens the door for us to share in his glorious grace.

[1] Luke 1:11, 13.
[2] One of Jesus' parables teaches us not to give up in our petitions to God (Luke 18:1-4) but, like Paul, we may not receive what we request. We need to remember that God's grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).

Today's Prayer

Holy and righteous God, my Abba Father, forgive me for the times that I have let discouragement and impatience cause me to stumble and even give up for a time. I do believe that you are at work in my life, and I want to use my life to serve you and help others find Jesus. Please give me the strength to live before you righteously as Zechariah and Elizabeth did. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Philippians 2:13
  • Matthew 6:31-33
  • Ephesians 2:1-10


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Illustration of Luke 1:5-7 NLT —  They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.