Thursday, February 02, 2017

Would God tell you His secrets?

Nunc Dimmitis - (Infant Christ and Simeon)
by Giovanni Bellini c. 1505-1510

TODAY'S SPECIAL:   Luke 2:22-40

TO CHEW ON: “And it had been revealed to him (Simeon) by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord Christ… 
 (Anna) was a widow of about eighty-four years who did not depart but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Luke 2:26, 37-38

The day Joseph and Mary presented Jesus at the temple a wonderful thing happened. Two complete strangers approached them with messages from God about Jesus, their eight-day-old baby.

What, about these people, made them candidates to hear from God? What can we learn from Simeon and Anna about the kinds of people to whom God tells his secrets? I see six principles:

1. Live a holy lifestyle. Simeon is described as “just and devout.” Anna lived in the temple, praying and fasting day and night. I don’t think God expects us to go to those lengths. But prayer and fasting–at least occasionally–are disciplines that attune our senses to hear God’s voice.

2. Live with expectation. Simeon was “waiting.”

3. Listen. Simeon heard the Holy Spirit’s instructions. In our world of noise from every direction, this is big. One practical practical way we can do this is to let God’s words be the first ones we hear every morning (before we check our email, messages, Facebook).

4. Obey. Simeon went to the temple when the Holy Spirit led him, then opened his mouth and spoke over Jesus.

5. Refuse to make excuses because of age or life situation. Both Simeon and Anna were old. Earlier, God spoke to Joseph and Mary who were young. Anna was a widow.

6. Realize that God is in every situation. There are no coincidences. Anna had no specific instructions to go anywhere. She just happened to come in “at that instant” and spoke of what filled her heart.

I ask myself, would God reveal His confidences to me? Would He to you?

PRAYER: Dear God, I would like to be like Simeon and Anna, someone to whom You can tell Your secrets.

MORE: The Feast of the Presentation
Today is known as the “Feast of the Presentation” or “Candlemas” in the church calendar.

This collect begins the liturgy for the Feast of the Presentation:
Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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