To Make Ready A People

There is no greater joy than that of being a mother! I know within my own life, that the day Peyton was born, my will and wants changed from me to him. I knew that God had a special plan for my son, and that it was my responsibility, and honor, to see that I raise him in such a way that it would bring Him great pleasure.

(Luke 1:12-17)
12 “And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

In this passage, we see that Zacharias and Elisabeth are older in years and cannot have children. What I thought was very interesting was that though they desired children, and couldn’t have them, they continued serving and living each day in the Lord. They continued doing what they knew to do regardless of their circumstances.

We see then that God hears their prayers and rewards them with a child; John. Notice what the Bible says concerning the instructions to the parents of John the Baptist.

1) Our children are precious!
In verses 14 and 15 it says “…thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.” vs. 15 “he shall be great in the sight of The Lord….and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” Every mother experiences joy and gladness the first time they get to look at and hold their child. We are given the responsibility to raise our children, but ultimately, they belong to The Lord.

2) Our children have a purpose!
Verse 16 says “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to The Lord our God.” Just as we rejoice in the day of their birth, we can rejoice in their lives lived for the Lord Jesus Christ! I can picture the multitudes of believers that have come to know Christ through the ministry of my children; and that brings me great joy!

Like John the Baptist, I believe that God has a plan for each of our children…that they come to know Him and that they live to serve Him. Our responsibility is to raise them and teach them what the Bible says and commit them to the Lord.

Ashlee Underwood

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