Welcome to Nuggets of Truth. It’s a daily devotional to help us walk closer with God and to know Him better. Today I want to I tell you about a little known man in the Bible who spent his life was waiting to see God. Randy Hekman on the OneCry website* writes these thoughts:
We know about Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men. But what about Simeon’s role in the Christmas story? “Simeon?” you ask. “Who’s Simeon?” Simeon is the man mentioned in Luke 2 who lived in Jerusalem and was told by God that he would not die before he had personally seen the Messiah. So on the very day Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple to present Him to God in compliance with His law, Simeon himself felt led by the Holy Spirit to go to the temple. This would have been about forty days after Jesus’ birth.
When Simeon saw the Child in the temple courts, he took baby Jesus in his arms and prayed this wonderful prayer: “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).
Let’s not read this and just think what a sweet story it is. How often do we fully appreciate what an amazing thing Simeon did? Consider this: The prediction of a coming Messiah had been prophesied for over a thousand years. The first prophecy was in the Garden after Adam and Eve first disobeyed God (Genesis 3:15). Multiple prophets continued to add details in their words from God. I’m sure that each succeeding generation of Israelites hoped the Christ would come in their time. Hundreds and hundreds of years passed, but still no Messiah.
So this ordinary man, Simeon, going only on what he sensed God had personally told him, trusted that this long-awaited Messiah would really come in his lifetime. Don’t you think that as he shared this conviction with others, he was often mocked as a dreamer? But in faith he tenaciously held onto this dream, day after day continuing to listen for God to prompt him to go to the temple to see that special One. Maybe he experienced times like we sometimes have, where he thought he heard God’s voice and went to the temple, only to be disappointed. But then one day, there was no mistake. He knew it was God’s voice again! I’m sure his heart raced as this old man half walked, half ran to the temple. And sure enough, there was no doubt that this little Baby, from a family so poor they could only offer two birds instead of a lamb, was the Messiah he had longed for. What an amazing testimony of faith!
There’s an application in this story for us. We are waiting for God to show up in power in our world too, this time in another Great Awakening. Many of us believe God has told us such a movement of His Spirit is coming in our lifetime. But let’s be honest: We have an easier time than courageous Simeon. At least we can point to numerous prior revivals mentioned in the Bible and in American, European, and Canadian history. Simeon had nothing to go on but God’s promise to send a Messiah sometime, and God’s specific word to his heart. But even though revivals and spiritual awakenings have happened before, we will still be challenged by naysayers who think we are just wide-eyed dreamers. Well, I personally don’t care what others think, and I hope you don’t either. God always fulfills his promises.
Father, in the name of your Son Jesus Christ, we thank you for sending your Son to ordinary people like us. We didn’t deserve your grace but you gave it as a free gift anyway. Thank you for forgiving us and making us new, brand new. May we serve you each and every day of our lives for your glory in Jesus name. Amen.
Until next time, my friends, this is Pastor Don Kimbro, waiting on Jesus to return right along with you. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like and I’d love to hear from you. Now listen to these words from the apostle Paul to the church at Corinth and know that he wrote them to you as well.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
*Randy Hekman, Dec. 24, 2013, www.OneCry.com
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