Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Day Devotional ~Simeon, "Many a great man has striven after an immortality..."

And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God saying,
​“Now Lord, You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
​​According to Your word;
 ​​For my eyes have seen Your salvation…”
Luke 2:25-30

For years, I have waited expectantly,
Longing to see Your salvation with my eyes.
Treasuring the promise You’ve given me,
This great hope of seeing the Christ.

Oh, how the years swiftly pass;
My steps may falter, yet my heart burns bright.
I see my end drawing near,
Searching the midnight sky for Your light.

Then I see Him, the tiny Babe wrapped in warmth;
I stretch forth my hands to this blessed Child,
And draw Him close to my beating heart
All glory to You, Lord—my eyes now behold my desire!

Gazing in His eyes, peaceful like doves,
A divine and holy love settles upon Him,
And now that I’ve embraced Your great salvation,
Take me in peace; the bright Morning Star has dawned.
Simeon’s Prayer

         Simeon was a very usual name in Judea, and there is no doubt that our Simeon was just an obscure old man of the common people, entirely unknown out of his own little circle, who for years had been a devout but unofficial student of those prophetic Scriptures which had kindled in his heart, and kept burning for many years, the fire of faith and expectation; who, hoping against hope, had at last been rewarded by a revelation from God ‘that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.’ Many a great man has striven after an immortality of memory among men, only to die and be forgotten even in the place where he lived and wrought what he fondly hoped would be immortal deeds; yet this obscure old man, who was a lover of God and a believer in His Son Jesus Christ, has attained an immortality which shall endure while the world stands, and in the world of glory shall live and shine among the greatest of the servants of God. True immortality comes only to those who associate themselves with the Lord’s Christ. Not all who believe and receive Jesus shall be known in this word, and have their names preserved in the records of time; but none is too obscure to have his name written in the Lamb’s book of life; none too obscure to live and shine forever among the great unnumbered and numberless host of God’s redeemed ones.
         Simeon was just and devout. His character was summed up in these two words. They were enough, for they tell the whole story of his walk before God and man. A just man and devout is certain to be a good man, in the broad sense of the word; a kind, merciful, generous, and benevolent man.
         Simeon was just.—The just man of the Scriptures is a man who is right with both God and man. The just, or the justified, man is he who been set, or made, right with God; the rightened man. A sinful man can be justified with God only by faith in Him. Every truly justified or just man is also a regenerated man; and thus righteousness is not only a matter of standing with God, but also a matter of state as well. It is a walk of faith, truly, but of character as well. Not with God only was Simeon just; he was also just with men; that is, he was righteous in all his relations and all his dealings with men. Righteousness of character and actions, or practical holiness, is the final test of Christian character.
         He was devout.—Simeon was devout as well as just. Now devoutness is that which describes our attitude towards God, without respect to law. It is the characteristic of personal relation. The devout man is the pious man, who loves and adores God for Himself. Loving His holiness, His goodness, His mercy and His truth, He seeks to imitate them in his own life. He walks with God in holy admiration and adoration all the days of his life. He beholds and admires His glory in all His work and especially in all the manifestations of His grace towards men. He is a man of humility, prayer, and praise. He loves God’s law, lays up His precepts and commandments in his heart, and seeks to illustrate them in his life, simply for the purpose of glorifying God’s holy name among men.
         Lastly, it is said that he had faith in God’s promises. He not only believed in God, but he believed and expected the things which God promised and foretold. ‘Having seen them afar off,’ he was persuaded of them and embraced them.’ He ‘waited for the ??consolation of Israel.’ Being familiar with the Scriptures, he had discovered that God had promised to visit and redeem His people by the coming of the Messiah. In that Messiah he saw concentrated all the good things which God had prepared for His people, and he looked forward to His coming with all his heart and soul.
         Simeon had been long a lover of the light…. He had lived for many a year with his windows open towards the east. But now the morning broke for him; what more had he to ask of God or man?
And we see, too, a soul completed in a vision not only of salvation for himself, but of a glory and a radiance for all the world.
         If we could only trust God like Simeon, our whole powers would immediately become enlarged, and our whole being be fulfilled.

         The charm about Simeon was that, though he lived many years, he had not begun to grown old…. He never doubted his dreams; he was sure that they would all come true. He sang through the whole of the storm. He was certain that his old eyes would yet gaze upon the face of the Messiah. His was an unconquerable soul.


The Silver Shadow

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