December 5, 2011

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

Luke 2:25 & 26

 

December 5, 2011

Picture this if you can: An ordinary man, not one of America’s Sexiest Men Alive. Not the Athlete of the Year, not the Most Influential Person on Earth and not even a Lottery winner. Simeon is just an ordinary man. In fact, we don’t even know if he was ever married or had children. All we do know about him is that he was righteous and devout. That, by the way, says a lot about a person. Oh, if only those words would be associated with my name I would be honored. This righteous and devout man was told by the Holy Spirit that he would live long enough to see the Lord’s Messiah. I cannot imagine how hearing that impacted his life. I mean if I heard God say to me that I would live long enough to see Jesus returning, I would like to think that the rest of my life would be lived differently. I would race up and down the streets and I would spread the Good News of the Gospel to every living person. I would want to make sure that all those who are lost are found before He got here. Simeon? Well, Simeon did what a righteous and devout man did back in that time, he went to the Temple.

I bet Simeon went every day; I would. Simeon goes every day and we have no idea how many days that is, but I am sure he went every day looking, watching and waiting for the Messiah. I bet he got up early, had his coffee and breakfast, and then got out the door and made his way down the dirt road to the Temple. Then each night he would make the same journey in reverse and have his supper and go to sleep. We don’t know how many days he did do this, but we know he never grew tired of it. Then one day as he is there Mary and Joseph walk in with the Baby Jesus. Simeon is so overcome with joy when he sees Him that he takes Jesus in his arms and he says to God,

“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace according to Your Word. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which 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: 29-33

What a wonderful blessing God bestowed upon Simeon, the joy of seeing the Infant Jesus. Now think about this, if Simeon had not faithfully gotten up early every morning and gone to the Temple he would have missed this opportunity. I wonder how many opportunities we miss with God when we choose to sleep in, turn on the television and watch a mindless show, play on Facebook and just keep busy being distracted. I wonder how often we would meet with God if we got up early to meet with Him, when given a break, spend it with Him, when distressing from the long day, praying to Him. All of this is what prepares us to see the Messiah. We see Him when we do things purposefully to see Him. Simeon would have never seen Jesus from his home. He had to get up, get out and get there.

What do you have to do to prepare to see Jesus? What can you stop doing and what can you start to do? How about during this Advent Season you just start to rise early each day and spend the first part of the morning with God. I know I tell you this often but it is true, I give God the first hour of every day, I have done that for over 14 years, and that is my most favorite part of every day. I may be tired when I get out of bed but I wake up quickly, and time spent with God is time spent well. I pray I encourage all of you to get up early, read the Bible and pray to God. It is a delight and I don’t want you to miss out on it. Plus, and it is a big plus, this is a wonderful way to get ready and prepare to see Jesus. Just one way, but a very good way. Try it!

 

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