Waiting on the Messiah

 

Luke 2:25-30

Notes

 “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:  For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,”

Not much is information on who Simeon is.

All we really know about Simeon is what Luke tells us here in these few verses.  Some have supposed that this Simeon was a son of “Hillel,” who was a famous distinguished teacher in Jerusalem, and the president of the Sanhedrin. But not much is really know for any certainty, and who he was is really irrelevant to the story.  However, what he was and how he acted is very important.

First of all, the text says, “Behold”

  • That is to look closely at this!,
  • Study this!
  • “Hey! Check this out!”
  • The author is getting ready to say something very important and he does not want you to miss it.

The author singles Simeon out.  Why? Well lets look at how he describes Simeon.  Luke uses words like “just” and “devout”.

  • Another way of saying this would be to say that Simeon was a fair and sincere,
  • he would be considered a pious man.
  • He would be a man with deep spiritual morals, a man of conviction.
  • A man who lived by his word.

The fact that he was single out by name indicates that everyone knew of this virtuous man.

  • Everyone considered that he was a man that was righteous in the eyes of God.
  • He was a good Jew,
  • He was seen as one who discharged his duties faithfully to man and to God.
  • His reputation preceded him.
  • He was a man of respect among the people.
  • He was probably an elder.

He was undoubtedly a holy man and was divinely inspired.

The text says that the

  • “Holy Spirit” was upon him
  • “Holy Spirit” had revealed things to him.
  • He was “led by the Spirit” into the temple.

This scripture indicates that it was the direct influence of the Holy Spirit that Simeon was told to go into the temple, the text reads, “And he came by the Spirit into the temple”. This makes what he spoke about Jesus a divine revelation by God to Simeon.

When Jesus asked his disciples who is it you say that I am and Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus told him, “Blessed art thou Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:16-18)

You see Simeon wasn’t just waiting for something from God.  Simeon was waiting for something specific from God.  God had made a promise to Simeon. We don’t know when the promise was made. We don’t know how long Simeon had been waiting.  It could have been years, or months, or even days.  It could have been just hours.  However, the reading of the text gives me the feeling that Simeon had been waiting a long time, probably decades.  But Simeon wasn’t the only one who had to wait was he.  Mary and Joseph had waited months to see Jesus.  Israel had waited even longer. It is estimated that there were at least 400 years of silence from God between the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament it self covers a span of approximately 4000 years. All of creation waited in anticipation of the birth of Christ.

Take a look at Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Simeon and Israel were looking for this birth!  Simeon was waiting for the fulfillment of this prophecy.  He was waiting for the arrival of the “Messiah” who is called “the consolation of Israel” because he would give comfort to them by his appearing.  Simeon longed for the coming of the Messiah; and the Spirit prepared him to see Jesus for who he truly is.  The Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace!  The promised Messiah.

This birth was something that the world has never seen.  God put on flesh!  This had never been done since the before creation.

Man had never seen it

No other religion ever recorded such an event

Angels had never seen such a sight

When Moses had asked to see the God’s face, the Lord told Moses he cannot do so because he his holiness would destroy Moses.  See Moses was flesh, and like all flesh he had the sin of Adam.  It would be like trying to put two magnets together where the polar ends don’t match up.  The magnetic force would not allow you to do this.  God says that He reveals himself in nature.  I believe this magnetic principle is one way that God reveals his holiness and it’s inability to mend with sin.  But Simeon had read the scriptures.  Simeon know that God had a way to redeem, not only Israel, but the whole world to him.  Simeon knew that somehow, God would become flesh.  God found away to overcome this spiritual law.  That’s what is so important of the virgin birth.

Some things to know about Simeon and his waiting.

  • Simeon was absolutely sure that the Messiah was coming and that he would see him.
  • Simeon expected the Lord to come at any moment.
  • Simeon lived his life in his belief as a result he was seen as just and devout
  • Simeon lived a life under the direction and in obedience to the Holy Spirit, he was man who surrendered to the will of God
  • Simeon was ready to welcome the Lord into his life. He took him in his arms, he made him feel welcomed and loved. He blessed God for such a special gift.  See he understood that the Messiah was first to come as a sacrifice and then again as a conquering King.  He knew in his heart what John would later record in the 3rd chapter of the Gospel of John when he said, “For God so love the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but heave everlasting life.”  You could say that Simeon was effectively the very first Christian! Simeon believed on Him!  He believed that He was the restoration of Israel, and all of the world!
  • Simeon lived a life who’s whole purpose was the revelation and declaration of Jesus Christ. As a result, Simeon was the first man to declare that Jesus was indeed the Christ, the promised Messiah in the Temple. Then with his life purpose being fulfilled he was ready for the Lord to take him home.  His whole meaning in life was Jesus!

If Simeon would have not been living a life of expecting from the Lord, or in obedience to the Lord, he would have missed his opportunity to perform his part in this miraculous revelation of the birth of the creator, who became a man, to redeem mankind to himself.  If we are not careful, we can miss what God has for us in Christ.

So while Christmas is a great time to look back and to reflect on all that God has done for us, let’s not get so caught up in the lights, and pageantry, or the gifts and credit card abuse, or the food and the wine that we forget that Christ is still alive, and that he is returning to establish His kingdom here on earth.

How are you waiting?

  • Are you waiting like Simeon did?
  • What are you waiting for from God?
  • Are you living a life in anticipation of the return of Jesus?
  • Do you live your life in the belief that Jesus can come at any moment?

Do you live a life that shows?

  • Jesus is coming at any moment to complete the restoration of Israel
  • That the Kingdom of Heaven is indeed at hand.

If we do then, how should we be waiting?

Throughout Scripture we find  admonitions given to us about the Lord’s return:

  • Watch faithfully.
  • Work diligently.
  1. We are to watch.
    1. The Lord said repeatedly that we are to watch for His coming because we do not know the day or hour of His return (Matt. 24:42; 25:13).
    2. In Luke 21:36, Jesus gave this specific instruction: “Keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
    3. We are to stand fast in the faith with courage and strength (1 Cor. 16:13).
    4. We are to watch soberly, arming ourselves with faith, love, and salvation (1 Thess. 5:8).
  2. We are to work.
    1. We are to be the Lord’s witnesses—telling of the love of God and the atoning death of Jesus Christ.
    2. We are to testify about what He has done in our own lives, both with our words and by our example.

While we celebrate this Christmas let us live lives of sobriety, testifying to the truth.  Being fair and honest in all our dealings.  Bearing spiritual fruit in anticipation that our redeemer is nigh.  Living lives in submission to the Holy Spirit and being obedient to the will of Christ in our lives.

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A Look in the Mirror- Proverbs 9:21

I try to be very cautious when I give my testimony, and to not be too specific because I don’t want people to get the wrong impression.  I share just enough for them to know that I overcame through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because I want Christ to be the focus and not my sin.  You see part of my issue is that I was an alcoholic.  I don’t share how bad of an alcoholic most times because I have noticed that alcoholics tend to brag.  Once pride over sin enters into the conversation it is a lost cause, and the sin becomes the conversation.  It becomes who was the bigger sinner.

Instead of discussing the deliverance of the cross the conversation deteriorates into who drank the most, or who did the most embarrassing things, and all focus on Christ is lost.  Truth be told all sin comes from our selfishness and is fed by pride.  Even shameful sins are fed by our lashing out to feel better about ourselves, by punishing those around us.  This gives us the center of attention, even if it is in a bad way.  Unfortunately we become to think of ourselves as unique in our little world. We believe that we are smarter than everyone else around us.  We believe that we don’t need others, they don’t know us, and that they cannot identify with us.  This twisted image makes us dependent on the sin.

I can remember, when I was drinking, that at times I was very proud of how much I could drink.  Even how cruel I could be to others.  I remember sometimes purposely starting fights with my wife, so that I could have an excuse to storm out and go drinking.  Afterward I would feel ashamed and then would drink more to drown out the terrible feelings.  I couldn’t look at my wife or my children without severe regret for the things I had done.  When I looked in the mirror, it was only to ask myself what had happened to the young man I use to be.  Where were all those great things I was going to do with my life?  Where was the man that swore to protect the ones he loved?  I began to realize that the same pride I had in those things had become twisted into my self-image from my hard headedness of holding on to my sin.

Proverbs 9:21 says, “He , that being often reproved hardenteh his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” You see I did not listen to the warnings that others were giving me in the way of life I was living.  I chose to hold onto my drinking, and the underlying sin that fed it.  I choose to be in rebellion.  My pride had me held up for ransom. The Lord has given us plenty of warning over and over again of what this self-pride will do to us.  It says, “Therefore his calamity will come suddenly; Instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing.” (Proverbs 6:15).

There comes a point when everyone around us gives up and leaves us to our own destruction.  God warns us that there is a penalty to pay for willful ignorance and pride. He calls it being stiff necked. Being stiff necked and prideful, resisting the truth, and choosing sin over repentance can destroy lives.  Only in looking back at a wasted life of destroyed relationships, and tortured looks from loved ones can one see this truth.  But there is an alternative.  Take a look at the book of Ecclesiastes.

“A stubborn heart shall fare evil at the last; and he that loveth danger shall perish therein.  An obstinate heart shall be laden with sorrows; and the wicked man shall heap sin upon sin.  In the punishment of the proud there is not remedy; for the plant of wickedness hath taken root in him.  The heart of the prudent will understand a parable; and an attentive ear is the desire of a wise man.  Water will quench a flaming fire; and alms maketh an atonement for sins.  And he that requitech good turns is mindful of that which may come hereafter; and when he falleth, he shall find a stay.” (Ecclesiastes 3:27-31).

This is a comparison and contrast that shows there is an alternative.  You can choose to live in your sin and pay the penalty of destruction, sorrow, and death. From this there is no remedy.  You cannot get out of it by yourself.  You have to accept the truth of your situation.  A truly wise man will understand that he cannot continue in this path of self-destruction.  Shame only builds more shame.  Believe me please, I know.  There is another way.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).  What is so important about this?  Take another look at Ecclesiastes above.  It says that a prudent man knows that water puts our fire.  Alms and atonement must be made for the sin. You see sin ultimately brings death.  “Then when lust has conceived, it bringeth for sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth for death.” (James 1:15). Death will come to those who continue in their sin.  Destruction that cannot be remedied will occur as a result of our rejection of this truth.  You see you do not have to believe that fire will burn you if you touch it, but it will.  Just the same sin will kill you.  But we do have hope in Jesus Christ.

 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6.23).  Jesus offers an alternative.  In his death he paid the price for our sin.  He died to pay the price of death for you.  But not only that, Jesus rose again so that we might live eternally with the Father.  This is a free gift, a way out of your old life.  A way of atonement that has been made on your behalf, by God Himself, in Jesus Christ. “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and on the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17).

You see there is a way of hope.  There is a new life.  There is a way out of the shame and despair.  That way is in Jesus Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  This is more than just a second chance.  This is a new birth.  Salvation is more than just being saved from hell, or self-destruction.  It is a whole new life.  It is becoming the child of God you were intended to be from before you were born.  The Father has always wanted to hold you in his arms, he wanted you so much that he sent his son Jesus to become a man and pay the price of death for you.

All you have to do is believe that he did, and then confess it.  “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:9-11).  The hardest part is just putting away that foolish pride.  Because with pride in the way you are blinded to seeing the truth.  Look in the mirror, what happened to you?  Tell the truth.

 

Be an Encouragement

Philippians 4:8

I received a push on my computer from a newspaper that I subscribe to and the article it highlighted was one that depicted what they referred to as the top racist moments of 2017.  This article had pictures with little one liners that described with no real details how the picture represented something that someone had done that showed racism.  I was quite taken back.  I remember when was young the end of the year was used to reflect on how adversity had been overcome, and how despite all the odds we had persevered through the hard times, made difficult decisions and shouldered the burdens of those events together.  We looked back and chose to revel in the good of others and the accomplishments that were made by family, friends, and our communities.

Lately it seems a bad virus has spread across our continent.  This sickness has darkened our hearts and made us to hurt and use one another spitefully.  It is strange how in such a short time we went from being on the top of the world, the only super power to survive the cold war, united in a common cause to the mess we see now days.  We have allowed our joy to be taken from us and made to feel vulnerable.  We have allowed the “fear” of racism, sexists, and other unseemly isms to infiltrate our peace for fear of being ostracized from society. Political Correctness and the immoral minority have paralyzed us into inadequacy of action. We have compromised our holiness before God and man.

Remember the words of Paul and Timothy that were recorded in their letter to the Philippians where they wrote, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8).  It is believed that Paul wrote this epistle near the end of his Roman imprisonment around 61-62 AD.  Paul sought to encourage this church who was in a spiritual battle.  He poured out his life as an offering to Christ in many dangerous situations, which included beatings, stoning’s, shipwrecks, and imprisonments and yet he still had joy.  Paul wanted the church at Philippi to know that living a Christ centered life was the key to joy.

So looking here we see that perspective affects our joy.  Paul said that we need to look at things in the proper perspective.  We should think, or deliberately consider, or meditate on these things that Paul mentions.  We should reflect on things that are true.  In other words we should concentrate of things that are correct, or accurate and not give into speculations or hearsay.  Think on eternal truths from the scriptures and see them at work in nature.  We should be honest in all our dealings with God and with man.  Promote the general good, and the good news of the gospel.  We should protect our minds and honor those who are chaste.  We should dress ourselves in integrity.

Good news should be shared and enjoyed with one another.  Take joy in the accomplishments of others and in the blessings that the Lord has given others.  We should share in the blessings the Lord has given us with all love and compassion towards our fellow Christians and the world.  We should publically acknowledge good deeds and be useful in our community to build up our community instead of tearing it down.

Paul knew that true joy comes only through humility and faith that is acted out in the lives of those around us.  Pray for one another, give to one another, and share hope in Christ to one another.  Allow the joy you find in Christ Jesus to share peace instead of quarrels and divisions.  If you pray for peace and restoration then get out be a peace maker, be a restorer in your community.  Let the light of Christ show in your daily walk.  Weep with those who need to weep, then be an encouragement.

Get Out of the Christmas Blues

Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

This is part of the message that the angels of the Lord said to the shepherds who were nearby in the fields of Bethlehem.  The whole message is one of joy and celebration.  The long awaited Messiah had finally come.   This birth would change the course of human history.  While this miraculous event was taking place there were shepherds in the fields doing what shepherds do.  There were inn keepers doing what they do.  Some were undoubtable asleep, some might have been eating, some were having fun doing other things, or just unwinding from a long day. Life was happening as normal.

I remember when my dad passed away.  It was a day just like any other.  I had intended to go by and see him that day.  I was in route to see him, when something else came up, so I put it off, intending to see him when I was done. Later when I was starting to head to his house, I received a call from my sister.  My dad had passed away.  I went to the hospital to see him, and as I left I remember looking around and wondering how everyone could just keep going about their business, didn’t they know that he was gone?  That 1st Christmas without him was very difficult.  I had a custom of calling him before the sun came up and singing, “We wish you a Merry Christmas” to him.  Instead I laid in my bed and whispered it softly to him.  I knew that he was in heaven, and that he could hear me, but I missed hearing his voice.

I know that there are some of our ministry family that have lost loved ones this year too.  Some have lost your vehicles and homes and even jobs and had to relocate.  Some are drowning with financial burdens that won’t seem to stop.  Some are dealing with the loss of a relationship.  Some a death of a very close friend or a wife, or a mother, or a dad, or a husband. I know that even though you know they are in heaven, you still have a heart that longs to see them.  I just wanted to take some time to encourage you that you will see them.  You will see them because of the birth of Jesus set forward the plan of salvation that was made before the very foundations of the world were created.  I also want you to know that there are things around you that you can do to ease your pain.

I want you to know this, because I know that grief can be a terrible thing if you let it take over your life.  I want to encourage you to get out and take advantage of this season to have some joy.  Share your love of Christ in your happiness and your sorrow.  Find someone and be intentionally kind.  Invite a neighbor over to watch the Nativity Story or some other Christ centered movie.  Get with your church and find a needy family, and make them Christmas presents.  Call up an old friend and just pray for them.  Everyone can always use a little prayer.  Then take the time to follow up with them on the results of the prayer.  Always pray with expectancy.

Those of you who are social media savvy can take the time to write out what Christmas means to you and how Christ has changed your life and post it.  It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out, but just enough to remind those who read it about the wonderful gift that God gave us in Jesus.  Maybe you can go to a nursing home and read the Christmas story to some elderly.  Maybe get to a homeless shelter and help serve there for a night or two.  Who knows you might find something that you have been missing.

I guess what I am trying to share with you is that we all can lose sight of how amazing this birth is.  That God became man, and lived here among us.  He loved, he laughed, he worked. He ate when he was hungry and drank when he was thirsty.  He even cried for his friends, and for the lost he never quit fighting.  In the end he gave himself, his very life, as a ransom for us all.  Surely there is a reason to enjoy Christmas!  Let your joy come out and share your testimony!

Leave the Pig Pen Behind

In the gospel of Luke we find a story about a son who had taken his inheritance from the family and went away to a far land.  While there he wasted the inheritance on unwise and questionable living.  Much like many of us do when we first leave home.  When he had run out of money, there was a famine in the land and he was caught with no money, no job, and no way to come home.  Stranded in the this foreign land he took a job as a servant to an unrighteous man who took advantage of him.  After some time of this the young man, out of desperation decided to swallow his pride and return home.

The time away had beaten the young man in more than one way.  His heart was broken and his life was in shambles.  He had no hope, he only wanted to get home and beg his father for mercy and help.  I can think of times in my life when I had ruined all the opportunities that youth had given me, and squandered my money and eventually was left with nothing but burned bridges.  Shamefully I turned to family for help.  Not knowing if they would help, but desperately needing it.

Some of you are very familiar with this story, but I want to concentrate on this one aspect.  When the father saw the young man in the distance, he ran to him.  Then he called his servants and told them to put a robe on him, and a ring on his finger.  This is what I want us to see.  The son had travelled a far way.  His previous job had him living with pigs, and eating the leftovers of what the pigs did not eat.  He was malnourished, unclean, smelling.  Yet his father loved him anyway.  His father did not say, “Oh my, go get a bath, and put on some perfume before you hug me!”  No his father instead ran to him, and kissed him passionately over and over again.

This is the love that God has for us.  He loved us before we were cleansed.  We did not have to clean ourselves up and be presentable before he embraced us.  A lot of Christians will tell you that God loves me just the way I am, and that is true.  He does love us, just the way we are.  But if we look closer at this parable, we see that his father loved his son so much that he did not let him remain unclean.  This is the way our heavenly Father also loves us.  He loves us so much that he cannot leave us in the mire and stench that Jesus saved us from.  He renews our minds and transforms us into his image.

Psalm 3:3 says, “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap”.  In other places in scripture it describes how the Lord brought the writer out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set his feet upon a rock making his footsteps firm (Psalm 40:2).  The Lord wants better for us than to just be saved from hell.  He wants us to be what we were meant to be in Him.

Romans 8:37 explains how that we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. We are more than victorious, more than vanquishers, more than subjugators. Christians need to study scripture and awaken to the truths that God has given us.  We do not need to be sheepish and tied to the things that kept us bound before.  When the son in this story had returned home to his father’s embrace, he had also left the pig pen behind.  He was not living in that filth anymore.  -Amen

Matthew 6: 26-34 Am I the Lord of Your Life?

Matthew 6:26-34

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  So why do you worry about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink? Or What shall we wear?  For after these things the Gentiles seek.  For you heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.   Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

I was headed home from church Wednesday evening at about 9 pm.  As I turned down the dimly lit road that leads to my house something caught my eye.  I slowed down to a halt and flicked up my high beams.  There was a field rabbit in the middle of the road.  His eyes stood there a moment and then he turned and desperately hopped away, trying to escape the beams of light that gave away his position.  I slowly proceeded behind him until he jumped off the road.  I remember just seeing him there was a pleasant surprise and I began to think of how God must be trying to tell me something.  Then suddenly something else caught my attention.

There just ahead at the edge of my headlights we two glowing objects.  Once again I slowed down and the familiar form of a young opossum came into view.  I stopped the car and we watched one another for a few moments, then he feeling it was safe, crossed the road in front of me and disappeared into the brush.  Then like a small voice I heard Matthew 6:26 in my mind, “Look at the birds of the air,” or the rabbits in the fields and the possums in the bushes. Do you see how I have cared for them? Can you see how I am caring for you?

I know you are wondering, wow where did he get this from seeing two different kinds of potential roadkill on a dark road?  But you see just a few weeks ago I was trying to wade out of that area in flood waters that were up to my chest.  I had my wife, son, two dogs, and a cat that I had to get safely out of our flooded home and to a place where they could be safe and get dry, and have some food, and a place to sleep.  I did not know what laid ahead for the future.  I did not know what tomorrow was going to bring.  The only thing I knew then and it is what I still know is Matthew 6:26-34.

It is amazing to me that the Lord knew me before I was even born, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1.5).  In Palm 139 David even says that the Lord not only knows us but has an intimate knowledge of us. “You have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out y path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.”  You see the Lord not only know us before we were born, but he also stays in complete knowledge of what we do, how we do it, and why we do it.  He supports us, and protects us in all circumstances.  He provides for us under all conditions.  He is not surprised by what we do, or where we are, or what happens in our lives.  Knowing all of this about us and our life, he still chose to save us.

For those of us who have already believed on his son, Jesus Christ, he has already blessed us with all spiritual blessings.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Ephesians 1:3-4)  You see this is our joy!  We praise God for what he has already done!  We already have ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS!  This is not of our own doing but just the complete love of God towards us.

This is how much more important that we are then the birds of the air!  We worry so much about things that we don’t need to.  We allow our joy to be stifled by the cares and concerns of this world.  What is going to happen to my house?  How am I going to get to work?  What will I wear?  What am I going to eat?  All the while the Lord is saying, “Be still, let me be God”. ” Am I the Lord?” “Am I the Lord of YOUR life?  If you have trusted me for salvation, Can’t you trust me with everything else?”

This is what I saw when I saw the rabbit and then the opossum.  I saw the Lord showing me that he took care of those two critters that were somewhere fighting to survive in the same waters that my family and I was trying to survive in.  They were alright.  They were being provided for.  So were we, thanks to the Lord of our life and the God of the universe who cares enough to know what my need is and provide for it.  That makes me feel confident it Him.