Thursday, September 19, 2013

Inspired by the lives of other Christians

Romans 12:12
Luke 2:25-35
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I find it encouraging and convicting to read stories of other Christian men and women and their efforts to live faithfully for the Lord. Currently I'm making my way through The Heavenly Man, an account of a man living in China in very recent times, but the tales which inspire me to greater faithfulness reach back to Biblical times and the Jewish and Christian followers of God who persevered despite the difficulties. Simeon waited patiently for the coming of the Messiah. He continued to pray despite the delay in the fulfillment of the promise. He was joyful, patient, faithful; and he received the reward promised to him by the Holy Spirit.
Simeon's tale offers us more than a peek into the events surrounding the Birth of Jesus. We also have been called to be joyful, patient, faithful; we also have been promised a reward of seeing our Lord. Simeon's perseverance and the fulfillment of his reward encourage us to persevere also when our reward has not yet come. How many years did Simeon wait? Well, perhaps the weeks and months I've waited aren't too long after all. How confident he was in the fulfillment of the promise! Perhaps I could grow in confidence in the wonders and gifts I have seen the Lord fulfill in my own life. My circumstances may be different in the details, but Simeon's prayer is one that I could truly pray today, as we sang it in my high school days:
Now Lord, You may let Your servant go in peace,
According to Your Word.
For my eyes have seen Your saving deed
Which You have set before all men.
A light for revelation to the Gentiles
And for glory to Your people Israel.
Praise the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit,
Both now and forever.
The God Who Is, Who Was, and Is to come,
At the end of the ages.

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