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Saturday, July 16, 2016
The Gift and the Giver - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotional 16 July Saturday
Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us. Luke 1:78 nlt
It's only a keychain. Five little blocks held together by a shoelace. My daughter gave it to me years ago when she was seven. Today the lace is frayed and the blocks are chipped, but they spell a message that never grows old: “I ♥ DAD.”
The most precious gifts are determined not by what went into them, but by who they are from. Ask any parent who ever received a bouquet of dandelions from a chubby hand. The best gifts are valued not in money but in love.
Zechariah understood that. We hear it in his prophetic song as he praised God for giving him and his wife Elizabeth their son John when they were well past their childbearing years (Luke 1:67–79). Zechariah rejoiced because John was to be a prophet who would proclaim God’s greatest gift to all people—the coming Messiah: “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us” (Luke 1:78 nlt). Those words point to a gift given with so much love that it will even “shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death” (1:79).
The sweetest gift we can receive is God's tender mercy—the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus. That gift cost Him dearly at the cross, but He offers it freely out of His deep love for us.
Jesus, thank You for Your gift of forgiveness and life through You. I receive Your gift with joy.
Jesus is both the Gift and the Giver.
Luke 1:67–79 is a great example of the complex literary structure of the Bible where poetry intertwines with prose. Luke is telling a story—actually two stories that overlap and interconnect: the angelic announcement and subsequent birth of John the Baptist and the angelic announcement of Jesus’s birth and Mary’s subsequent pregnancy. Each story includes a song (Mary’s—Luke 1:46–55; Zechariah’s—Luke 1:67–79). It is in response to the birth of his son and the coming arrival of the Messiah that Zechariah cries out, “The God of Israel . . . has come to his people and redeemed them” (Luke 1:68).