31 August 2011

Luke 28b-35

28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

  Blessings are a lost “art” (so to speak) that is rarely practiced in the church body today.  Well, at least in the more conservative circles that I am a part of right now.  Either way, it is something that is not commonly practiced for some reason.  Looking at the content we can learn and apply this to blessings that we can give to others. 

  Simeon, as we see here, was a man who was interested in what the Lord had in store for him.  In some way the Lord promised Simeon he would see God’s Salvation.  God was faithful in that promise as Simeon was faithful to recognize God’s work in bringing His salvation to Simeon before he died.  He spoke truth about the Child and what God’s Salvation would bring.  Also, when Jesus’ father and mother heard this Simeon spoke to Mary and said that she would personally be affected by His ministry as well.

  Now how can we apply this to our children that are born?  First of all we must take an interest in the Lord.  It does no one in the church body any good if we are not dedicated to listening and learning from God.  When we want to learn we need to shut our mouths and listen to what God is teaching us.  Second, we need to have faith that what the Lord has promised us will come to pass.  Simeon showed this faith in his blessing of the child.  Third, we can speak the truth over the children.  Seek out those who have bore children lately and lay hands on them; take an active interest in what the Lord will do in that child’s life.  Pray the Lord will pierce their heart as He did to Mary.  God’s salvation was brought into the world as a child, fragile and weak.  Bless those who have come fragile and weak, speaking the truth to them as it has been spoken to us.  Lastly, never stop speaking the truth to these children.  This does NOT end when they become a year old or 90 years old.  Continue to bless people with the truth of God’s salvation always. 

19 August 2011

Luke 2:21-28a

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God

  Wow, what a great example Mary and Joseph are when it came to this child.  They have been told such great things about Jesus, and they are faithful to what God has already commanded.  If there was anytime taking short cuts or taking a break would be okay, it would seem like being the parents of the Christ child would be the time.  Mary and Joseph did not use that to their advantage like most of us sinners would.  How faithful they were in this case to fulfill the command in Exodus 13.

  Another picture of faithfulness is Simeon.  He is one of my favorite people to read about in scripture.  He said to be “Righteous and Devout.”  This makes me think, what does the Lord think of me?  Where is my focus?  Simeon’s focus was on what the Lord had promised him, the “consolation of Israel.”  What better thing can you say about someone other than “the Holy Spirit was upon him?”  This was a man after the heart of the Lord. 

  One thing that can easily be overlooked is the faithfulness of the Lord.  He promised the coming of the Messiah, and He delivered.  The entire Old Testament points towards this man, this Messiah, this child Jesus.  There are literally hundreds of prophesies that are fulfilled by Jesus.  God is so faithful, even when we are not. 

  Thank you so much Lord for loving us the way we cannot love you.  You are everything we should strive to be.  Lord, please help me to serve you as much as I should.