Read: Luke 2:25-35
Devoted to God – verse 25
We are introduced to Simeon as a man who is a just man devoted to God. I wonder what that looked like 2000 years ago. What did he do differently from others around him? He was also waiting for the promised One who would bring consolation (comfort) to a world in turmoil. His total belief in God's promises indicates that Simeon knew these promises well. He believed that God had revealed them through the prophets. He was a man who loved and served God so thoroughly that the Holy Spirit filled him.
In Tune with God – verse 26
Simeon was in such a close relationship with God that the Holy Spirit spoke directly to him. He listened and understood the message. I doubt this was the first time Simeon put action to what God was telling him. Following God's directions was a natural part of Simeon's character. We need to be in tune with God and live so that we can hear and understand His messages.
Prompted by God – verses 27 - 28
When the Spirit of God prompted Simeon, he acted immediately. He didn't wait or ask for an explanation. We need to immediately respond when God speaks to us, with no questions or excuses.
Ø Write down something that God has asked you to do. Did you respond correctly? What was the result?
Waiting for God – verse 29
God kept His promise to Simeon. Simeon saw the Messiah before he died and then had peace, knowing it would soon be time to leave this world. Simeon faithfully waited for God's promise to be fulfilled, honouring God in all he did as he waited.
Shinning for God – verses 30-32
Simeon lived to see "the salvation" just as God promised. He saw Jesus. How thrilled he must have been. He held the promised Messiah, Saviour, and Light of the world. Jesus, the One worthy of all praise, honour, and glory; for Israel and the Gentiles. I need to shine the light of Jesus to all of those God brings into my life. I need to give Christ honour and glory for the things He does in my life.
Guided by God – verse 33
Jesus' parents listened carefully to Simeon's song and all he said. They were amazed! Because Mary and Joseph only had a small idea of what God had planned for this child, they needed to walk by faith daily, one step at a time.
Surrender to God – verses 34-35
Simeon ended the visit with Mary & Joseph by proclaiming a blessing over them. But then he spoke directly to Mary. His message was not a happy one. Mary was warned that she would suffer great sorrow. Mary was given a warning of the sadness she would endure in the future.
Read: Luke 2:8-20
An Ordinary Audience – verses 8-9
There was a group of very ordinary men and boys given the task of caring for the sheep of several families. On a quiet, typical night, they were faithfully tending their flock. The Amplified Bible describes the scene this way. "And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them…" They had their own fireworks display!
An Extraordinary Message – verses 10-12
We all love to receive good news, news that brings true joy. But too often, our lives are filled with fear and circumstances that deplete us of our happiness. The angels assured the shepherds there was nothing to fear, and they were directed to the source of joy, the promised Saviour, Jesus.
A Heavenly Song – verses 13-14
Each song we have looked at begins by singing praise to our God.
This song then moves into a declaration of peace to those who please our Heavenly Father. Joy and peace go hand in hand. When we find contentment and joy, we find peace in our souls. Philippians 4: 4-7 gives excellent advice on finding that peace. We are instructed to Rejoice in everything, don't be Anxious about anything, Pray about everything, Give Thanks always.
An Eager Heart – verse 15
The shepherds had immediate faith, trust and obedience in the Angel's song and God's message. The shepherds responded quickly to the astonishing and unexpected message from God. With anticipation, they said, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."
A Willing Proclamation – verses 16-18
The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found the young family and Jesus in the manger just as the angels described. However, many did not believe the shepherds as they repeated what the angels had told them and what they themselves saw in Bethlehem.
A Full Heart – verse 19
We each have precious memories that we treasure, moments with loved ones now in heaven, and hard-earned accomplishments are just a couple of the memories we may cherish. Mary seemed to recognize the importance of each moment she was experiencing.
Back to an Ordinary Life – verse 20
These ordinary men and boys had experienced an extraordinary evening full of the unexpected. We can only imagine how these events shaped their future. What we do know is that they returned to their ordinary life glorifying and praising God. Their careers may not have changed, nor their responsibilities. However, they now understood how well God knew them, that He cared for them, and that He would always be with them. They would continue to glorify Him.
Read: Luke 1:67 - 79
Personal Filling – verse 67
It appears Zechariah didn't believe the angel's message that they would have a son, so he asked for proof. Zechariah's doubting heart resulted in his muteness while waiting for the child's birth. During those months, God seems to have worked in his heart. When asked what the child's name should be, he affirmed Elizabeth's declaration; his name would be John. Scripture tells us that Zechariah was immediately able to speak again. It seems he had grown closer to God during his quiet time, evidenced by being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Powerful Praise – verses 68-69
Like Mary, Zechariah begins his song as one of praise. He acknowledged and thanked God for visiting and redeeming His people. God paid the ransom to release His people from bondage. Of course, the horn of salvation referred to is the coming Jesus Christ.
Personal Protection – verses 70-71
God has been using prophets to speak His messages to us since "the world began." Through those prophecies, God assures us many times that He will keep us from the harm others want to bring upon us.
Practicing Mercy – verse 72
There are reasons God wants to keep us from harm. Two of those reasons are spoken of in these verses. He keep us from harm so that we can show mercy to others, and so that we remember the covenant God made with us. (the promised blessing)
Powerful Defeats – verse 73-75
God promised Abraham that He would bless His people. God promised to defeat their physical and emotional enemies, whether real or perceived. He gave them the power to serve Him in holiness and righteousness all of their days. Those promises are also ours to claim.
Prophecies Fulfilled – verses 76-77
Zechariah begins to speak to his newborn son, John, in these verses. He prophesied that John would go before the Messiah and prepare people to recognize and accept Jesus as the Messiah and Saviour from the punishment of their sins.
Tender Mercy – Verses 78-79
God's tender mercy will then shine upon us like a sunny new day. This mercy is available for all who are in dark and difficult situations. This mercy can lead them into everlasting peace.
Debi Snider... more