A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Friday, December 13, 2019
Yesterday morning we stopped to see this old Chevrolet truck and wagon along Strasburg Pike. Can you find Brooksyne?
(Click to enlarge)
"A Consideration Of Simeon"
Message summary: Today we cannot take the infant Jesus in our arms. He is now majestically seated at the right hand of God the Father, having fully accomplished the mission for which He was sent into the world; to save sinners. But we can raise our arms and praise God acknowledging, as Simeon did, that Jesus is indeed the Lord's Christ. And today redeemed sinners are doing just that all over the world. We are just two of them and we sure hope you are as well!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"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).
When we were children, at least in our homes, taking pictures was rare probably due to the cost of a roll of undeveloped film and then the cost for processing. Or if you were rich (it seemed to us anyway) you had a Polaroid Instamatic camera! Nowadays multitudes of pictures are taken and posted everyday in social media.
But in Brooksyne's and my childhood only at birthdays and Christmas gatherings our moms got out the camera from the top shelf of the closet to keep some memories. Now we have trouble finding these old photos but the photo to the left shows my sister Genelle leading me in on Christmas morning to open our presents when I was ten. It was so exciting!
During our childhood the notion of everyone carrying a high quality camera that was also a phone and a powerful computer was science fiction from the Jetsons.
Now we carry our cameras everywhere and trillions of photos are taken at every occasion and even many non occasions. We are undoubtedly in the most photographed generation since Creation!
But today let us consider a photo that we don't have, but at least Luke gives us a word picture of Simeon holding Jesus.
Simeon was one of the faithful Jews who had been waiting in expectation for the Messiah. Consider how many generations before the First Advent that righteous and devout people like Simeon had looked in expectancy for the promised Messiah. It's similar to those who await the Second Advent.
We consider righteous and devout believers in generations past during the church age who awaited the promise of Christ's Second Coming yet died before the event. Of course the Bible makes clear that they really haven't missed it and will actually precede those who are alive and remain at the coming of the Lord! (See 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.)
"He (Simeon) was waiting for the consolation of Israel." The phrase "consolation of Israel" is a comprehensive term for the fulfillment of the Messianic hope. Although "consolation" is not a commonly used word, virtually all standard English translations maintain its stately use for this passage.
"And the Holy Spirit was upon him." Although Simeon lived prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 at the birth of the church we see in this passage how the Holy Spirit was upon him, speaking to him and leading him in the ways of the Lord.
"It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ." Simeon had experienced a remarkable revelation through the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord's Christ. Christ means Anointed One and is the Greek word (Christos) for Messiah. How many years had he lived with this revelation?
"Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts." The Spirit led Simeon to go into the temple courts and in doing so he met the parents of Jesus when they came in for His consecration. This happened at just the precise day, time and place His parents took Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.
"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." It would seem that Simeon was unknown to the couple but Luke does not preface the Child's dedication with any formal introduction. We simply read, "Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God." Don't you wonder how Mary and Joseph reacted when this stranger took their little baby into his arms? Today someone surely would have been present with a smart phone to get that photo up on Facebook and other social media!
Simeon stood in the temple courts and held the tiny Child in his arms and praised God. What exuberant joy filled his heart. What sense of peace flooded his soul. For some 400 years prior to this there had been little prophetic revelation. It's as if the heavens were closed, for God had been silent all those years. Yet Simeon held onto his faith. He continued to wait (trust) and now that the wait had been fulfilled he held in his own arms the long expected Jesus.
What was it like to hold the infant Jesus? He was surely held by many. Art usually shows Mary holding Him, but doubtlessly Joseph did as well. Grandmothers, aunts, and most women love to hold and cuddle babies. Interestingly though, Simeon is the only named person the Bible specifically tells us held the baby Jesus.
Today we cannot take the infant Jesus in our arms. He is now majestically seated at the right hand of God the Father, having fully accomplished the mission for which He was sent into the world; to save sinners. But we can raise our arms and praise God acknowledging, as Simeon did, that Jesus is indeed the Lord's Christ. And today redeemed sinners are doing just that all over the world. We are just two of them and we sure hope you are as well!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, just as Simeon took Your Son Jesus into His arms and gave praise to You, we invite Jesus into our hearts and raise our arms up to You. We ascribe to You glory and honor and power and strength that is due Your name. We rejoice in our salvation made available through the incarnation of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who came to redeem humankind from their wretched sin. For, at just the right time, while we were still powerless and dead in our sins, Jesus died for us. God, You demonstrated Your love for us, in that You credited righteousness to us through Christ's death, and justified us from sin. Your wondrous love is truly amazing and I can only respond by dedicating to You my soul, my life, my all! Amen.
Special Year-end Financial Appeal
We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.
Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.
If you would consider making a donation to our ministry see here for more information.
To donate directly online here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: WEBER,STEPHEN CHAP, Specialized Chaplaincy Ministry ID: 700001-237376
Please Note: We also provide this easy option due to the convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official tax deductible receipt. Click here to send an offering using PayPal. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber"
Stephen & Brooksyne
Another photo of the old Chevrolet truck we saw yesterday.
There was a small sign welcoming pictures.
(Click to enlarge)
We enjoyed seeing these rustic decorations on an old garage behind where the Chevrolet truck was parked.
Another creative decoration on the garage door!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Make Room" Video Casting Crowns
Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to you, your family or church during this Christmas season.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling. Here's a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)
"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. Brooksyne read and wrote about the poem in this message.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).
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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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