And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him, 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. Luke 2:25-26

Once again my heart is encouraged as I continue pondering all aspects of the Christmas story again and again, how God chose such ordinary people to experience the birth of the Son of God. Perhaps it is because they recognize their need for the Savior of the world who valued the heart and character of man more than prestige, pride, and arrogance.

Mary and Joseph were bringing the baby Jesus to the temple to present Him to His real Father for the first time and to offer a sacrifice for the first born Son of God. Their offering of two turtle doves revealed how poor Christ’s family was, because they could not afford a lamb. My, how God’s ways are not our ways!

The thing we do know about Simeon is he was very old. He was righteous and devout, eagerly watching for the Messiah. We know the Holy Spirit was upon Him, and had told him he would get to see what he was watching for, the Christ, the Messiah, who had been so long awaited for. There is much to be gleaned from Simeon’s life as we too are eagerly waiting and watching for the second return of the risen King.

"And he came in the Spirit to the temple…"

This man was led by the Spirit before Pentecost. Was there anything the religious leaders saw or valued in Simeon? I think not, but God did, because God looks on the motives of the heart. Only He truly knows the value of any one of us. God valued this insignificant man enough to allow him to take into his arms His only Son. After holding Jesus, he blessed God, and said,

"Now Lord, You are releasing Your bondservant to depart 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 of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people, Israel."

Simeon was a beautiful example of the teaching of the baby he had held in his arms when Jesus said in John 10:27-28:

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand."

How I love these verses! They produce tidings of comfort, great joy, and peace while living in this temporal home on earth during this season. I love the way Simeon departed from this earth in peace according to what God had spoken to him.

Simeon has become a very important person to me through the years of reading the verses devoted to this man’s life while on this earth. He fulfills Jesus, our true Shepherd’s description of the sheep that are truly His. Take a moment to read those scriptures in John again, and let us truly examine our lives to see if we qualify as a true follower of Christ. The rewards far outweigh the sufferings of denying the lust of our flesh, in order to attain a life in the Spirit lived in obedience to Jesus.

Simeon stored up heavenly treasures. But even before leaving this earth for his heavenly home He got to hold in his arms the baby, Jesus! He acquired great faith as he eagerly watched for the fulfilment of God’s promise to His people. O that we might surrender our hearts to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, now and forever, as we ponder the life of Simeon, and we eagerly watch for all that really matters in this life and the life to come.

Merry CHRIST-mas to all from Masterpiece Fitness‚Ě£

Teresa Roberts

Masterpiece Fitness

www.masterpiecefitness.com

276-237-6680

Delighted with "Braveheart," an early Christmas gift this year I believe from the Lord. He has given me the privilege of sharing His love with an animal who had experienced rejection, betrayal and neglect, full of anxiety and fear. Like myself, he is a work in progress.