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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mystery photo
My cousin is travelling and sent me this photo he took on a foggy, frosty morning.
(Click here to enlarge.)

Would anyone care to tell me where this was taken?
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"In His Time"

"Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for Him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God" (Luke 2:25-28).

On Christmas Eve we were visiting with an older friend who drives for the Amish and he shared a cute story. He was hauling an Amish family and, to make conversation, he asked their little girl, "How old are you?" Rebekah responded, "I'm ten."   She then proceeded to ask him, "How old are you?" He told her "I'm 69." After she did some quick math in her head Rebekah solemnly informed him, "I don't think you'll live another 69 years."  He chuckled as he told our group,  "The truth is I wouldn't want to live another 69 years!"

Today I would like to examine one of two lesser known older characters that surround the birth of Christ. 

Simeon was one of the faithful Jews that had been waiting in expectation for the Messiah.  He had experienced a remarkable revelation that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord's Christ.  Now he stood in the temple, held the tiny Child in his arms and praised God.  What exuberant joy must have filled his heart.  What a sense of peace must have flooded his soul.  For some 400 years prior to this there had been little prophetic revelation.  It's as if God had been silent.

Yet Simeon held on to his faith.  He continued to wait (trust) and now that long expected wait had come to an end. The Spirit moved him that day to go into the temple and he met Jesus' parents when they came in for His consecration.  I wonder what thoughts were racing through Mary and Joseph's minds when this old stranger took their little baby for that moment?  If Mary was like most new mothers, surely she must have had some concern for the Jesus' safety as the elderly man took the Infant in his feeble arms.

When he took the Child he uttered a remarkable prayer/prophecy that began with the phrase "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace" (v. 29).  After this utterance we never hear him mentioned again.  I would presume he did not live to see Christ's ministry some 30 years later nor His great work of sacrifice for us.  Yet he had that brief moment when he saw and held in his own hands the fulfillment of his faith.

Today many of you wait.  You wait for your spouse to believe, for that wandering child to come home, for the needed healing to take place, or for that vexing problem to be resolved.  Hold on my friend.  Don't give up, don't give in.  Keep on trusting.  In His time you also will see God's consolation.  That's not our promise, it's His!

In Your time, in Your time;
You makes all things beautiful in Your time.
Lord, please show me every day
As You're teaching me Your way
That You do just what You say
In Your time.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Father, You're a compassionate, all-powerful, on-time God.  No need in our life is overlooked, overwhelming, or overly difficult for You to meet.  You use the good, the bad, and the complex matters that we sort through daily to test our faith and grow our endurance.  These challenges that are continually before us compel us to look to the Scriptures for spiritual understanding and sustaining power.  I will trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation, in the midst of the wait.  My heart seeks after You, my Lord and my God, for You have cared for me all the days of my life and You will continue to do so, for You promise to never leave me nor forsake me.  Amen.  

PS: Tomorrow I want to share an additional perspective about Simeon.

2007 Weber family Christmas newsletter - We welcome all of our daily encouragement readers to read our annual Christmas newsletter. This year's edition has more photos than usual.

Alberto and Jenny

This morning we had our friends, Alberto and Jenny Hernandez, over for a visit. We worked with them several years ago in chaplaincy and still stay in contact. They are from Peru and have a great missions heart serving the Lord Jesus in hispanic churches throughout central Pennsylvania.

Suggested Music

"In His Time" (Audio)  As I searched for the song quoted in today's message I found this song with the same title I had never heard before that has a great message!

"In His Time"  (Instrumental Audio)  Here's a beautiful instrumental arrangement of the song we quoted at the end of the message today.

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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