“So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
We have only a limited amount of time. Soon this most precious commodity will run out. Wisdom would dictate that we live every moment to its fullest; in abiding fellowship with the One who is the Giver and Taker of life, and commit yourself to a work and ministry that will outlive you. Start now!
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more” (Luke 12:48).
With the growing popularity of the Powerball lottery and those who foolishly participate, you often hear individuals speculate on what they would do with the winnings. Their intentions are seemingly noble—charitable offerings to the church, universities, shelters, soup kitchens, etc. God’s guiding principle of stewardship, however, isn’t based upon what you might do with what you don’t have, but what you are doing with what you do have. It is the expectation that we are to manage our resources and not be managed by them.
“I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).
Having known highs and lows, victories and defeats, joys and sorrows, David offers in this passage an experienced observation about life. To be sure, life eventually gets us to the place that the church, and the teachings of our faith, have been trying to take us all along…a place of humble dependence and trust in Him. If you believe in the sufficiency of God’s provision, then believe it regardless of circumstances.
“Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:31-32).
The incarnational name of the Christ child would be Immanuel—God with us. He was approachable, touchable and, still today, present. It was as if God, the Father, recognizing the inefficiency of the Patriarchs, Judges, Kings, and Prophets, decided to don human flesh so that the message of his love and grace might be fully and perfectly revealed. He sat where we sat; felt our pain, grief, disappointment. He knows our questions, doubts, uncertainties. He accommodated himself to us; that we might know he is a God to whom we can relate.
“For my eyes have seen Your salvation” (Luke 2:30).
Simeon was given a privilege not afforded subsequent generations—He was an eyewitness to the Christ child. The first disciples walked with Jesus daily and were witnesses, along with hundreds more, of the resurrected Christ. And for 2000 years, to this present day, a countless number that can be revealed only by eternity, have lived and died for the call of Christ because they have seen and known the salvation of God.
“And he came in the Spirit into the temple…” (Luke 2:27).
Simeon is a role model of the attitude necessary for the experience of worship…one of expectation. He entered the temple as we should enter the church—expecting God to reveal himself in ways that are fresh and anew. This heart of vigilant expectation enabled Simeon to see the Christ child. It is the same anticipation that enables us to see, and experience, the presence of Christ in our worship and to be the presence of Christ in our world so that others might see.
“Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word” (Luke 2:29).
This first line of Simeon’s song captures the peace that comes with the restoration of hope. The coming of the Christ child was the fulfillment of a long-awaited promise from God—“that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (v.26). This deliverance from eternal death and despair filled him with such peace and hopeful anticipation that he was now ready to die. That’s the peace of Christmas that the heart of faith truly desires.