“And the child (John) grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.” (Luke 1:80)
Zechariah knew from the beginning that his son, John, was destined for great things by God. Zechariah was himself a priest who served in the very Temple of God. He was a good choice for God in that he would train his son in the faith. John has the opportunity to grow up around spiritually alive parents. They would have tremendous influence on him, and the fact is stated by Luke, that John would become strong in spirit – that is the Spirit of God.
Do we take the spiritual development of our children seriously? Is the world our main focus – get an education, find a good job, get married, etc.? For the Christian it must be that we lay a foundation of the Holy Spirit of God in our children. They need to be like John, “strong in spirit” – or like Paul says, “filled (overwhelmed) with the Spirit.” From that they may build, and indeed God will build their lives to His Glory through Jesus.
Heavenly Father, build us up strong in Your Spirit. Overwhelm us continually with Your presence. Fill us up with Yourself, and then we will know the way to go and the work to do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn and a guest columnist.