Journey to the Manger: Simeon

Jackson and Lauren show their art project puzzles of Simeon.

Jackson and Lauren show their art project puzzles of Simeon.

We met another friend today in the Temple on our Journey to the Manger: a righteous man named Simeon.

Simeon

Simeon

Simeon was given an amazing promise from God. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would not die until he saw the Messiah, the Savior of Israel. Many think that Simeon was an old man by the time he entered the Temple in Luke Chapter 2. Even though Simeon’s age was not recorded, we do know that he believed wholeheartedly in God’s Word. He knew He would see the Christ, and lived each day accordingly.

Some may have been discouraged or even disheartened when time continued to pass with no consolation. Yet, when Simeon woke up each morning, he knew he was one day closer to seeing God’s promise fulfilled. He continued to believe and make himself available to be moved by God.

It becomes easier to make a basket the closer you get!

It becomes easier to make a basket the closer you get!

Today we tried out our basketball skills, attempting to score points in the trash can. First, we started half a room away from the basket. Amazingly, Lauren actually got one in! Each round, we moved one step closer to the goal, until we stood right in front of the can and shot every ball in.

The longer Simeon lived, the more his hope must have grown. He knew God would do what He said. As the time added up, the possibility grew that He would see the Messiah that day. Finally, the Holy Spirit guided him to the Temple the day Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to complete what was required under the law. Simeon couldn’t contain himself! He knew this child was the one he had waited for. Simeon took Jesus into his arms and held Him close. He praised his Heavenly Father for such a gift!

Now, Master, You can dismiss Your slave in peace, as You promised. For my eyes have seen Your salvation. You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples—a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to Your people Israel.

– Luke 2:29-32

Simeon never gave up. He believed God’s promise, and knew he would one day see the Savior. Not only did he behold Jesus with his own eyes, he was able to hold Him in his arms.

When we grow weary believing, or struggle to hold on to what God has promised, we must remember that we are one day closer to seeing God’s Word fulfilled. Just like Simeon, we can hold on to Jesus and find peace. Don’t give up! God’s promises are sure.

 

Click here to learn more about celebrating Advent with your family this Christmas, including access to a Scripture plan, free downloads and activity ideas. For more on Journey to the Manger, an advent experience from Focus on the Family, visit the Thriving Family website.

Do you believe this?

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die — ever. Do you believe this? ” (‭John‬ ‭11‬:‭25-26‬ HCSB)

Do you believe this?

In this passage of Scripture, Mary is grieving the death of her brother Lazarus. She did everything in her power to save him, and yet her brother lay wrapped up in a nearby tomb. Jesus didn’t come when she thought He would, and now her brother was dead.

Jesus reassured Mary with these words: “I am the resurrection and the life.”

True life, satisfying life, life without shackles, meaningful life is found in Jesus. He IS the resurrection. He is our only hope against the powers of darkness and the grave. Death holds no power over life when we believe in Jesus.

Jesus asks Mary, “Do you believe this?”

Jesus asks us the same question.

Do you believe that Jesus is who He says He is? Do you believe that Jesus is God, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin? Do you believe that Jesus literally defeated death and rose from the grave? Do you believe when you come to Jesus and repent, that Jesus will forgive you and make you new?

Do you believe this?

Can you go back to a specific time in your life when you realized all of this, and believed? Have you truly and wholly placed your life in God’s hands and confessed Jesus to be your Savior and your Lord?

Only Jesus can wipe away all your tears and all the darkness of your past. Only Jesus can clean your heart. Only Jesus can give you life.

Mary believed Jesus. She knew he was the Son of God and He was her Lord. And, Jesus did what He promised her: He raised Lazarus from the dead.

Let Jesus resurrect your life today, lifting you up out of the black trenches of sin. Let Him wash away your old life and give you new purpose. Come to Jesus and live.

Respond to Jesus, right now. Literally, stop and talk to Jesus, wherever you are. If you know Jesus is talking directly to your heart, answer His question: “Do you believe this?”

Pray from your heart to Him:
Jesus, I do believe You are the resurrection and the life. I believe You are God and you died on the cross for me. Please forgive me for all my sins and living my life apart from you. I give you complete control of my life, and I trust your promise that because I believe I will be with you forever in Heaven. You are my Lord and my Savior. Amen.

If you just responded to Jesus, please message me so I can be praying with you. Share the news with a Christian friend or pastor so they can encourage you and help you learn more about life with Jesus.