Thank you to Proverbs 31 Ministries, here's the devotional for this Christmas Eve.
December 24, 2010 The Wait is Over
Micca Monda Campbell
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation…”
Luke 2:29-30 (NIV)
Christmas is finally upon us! We’ve been waiting for it. We’ve been planning, dreaming, and hoping for something spectacular. For some, the magic of Christmas will come exactly as promised, while others may feel disappointed. Perhaps what we are looking for isn’t found wrapped up in holiday paper tucked under a glistening tree. Instead, it’s found wrapped in swaddling clothes tucked away in a manger among the oxen and sheep.
That may not sound spectacular, but it is. Come with me to Jerusalem and see for yourself.
As we arrive, the greatest event in history has just occurred! The shepherds are the first to receive the news that the long awaited Messiah has been born for all. News doesn’t travel here as fast as it does in the twenty-first century. There aren’t newspapers, television or the internet, so news spreads by word of mouth. As soon as the shepherds see baby Jesus, they begin spreading the news of His arrival.
The good news doesn’t reach Jerusalem until weeks later. In keeping with the law, Mary and Joseph head to Jerusalem to present Jesus to the Lord. By participating in this ceremony, they acknowledge their child belongs to God, who is the giver of life.
Let’s tag along.
It’s a busy day at the temple. Many have come with their firstborn son and offerings. Jesus looks somewhat plain compared to the other babies. They’re all dressed up in their embroidered clothes and pretty booties, while Jesus is wrapped in a simple cloth. He may not look like much to others, but to His mom He is a jewel. Mary knows her son is a gift from God, and so does Simeon.
Simeon is a devout man who comes to the temple every day in hopes of seeing the promised Messiah who would deliver the people from their sins. Long ago, the Holy Spirit promised Simeon that before he died he would see the Son of God (Luke 2:26; paraphrased). Today is that day.
There’s Simeon now, walking among the crowd. The Holy Spirit must have led him here. He sees Jesus. As he gently takes baby Jesus in his arms, he proclaims, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation…” (Luke 2:29-30).
Just as we anticipate Christmas each year, Simeon had waited his entire life for this day to arrive. Was he disappointed? Not in the least. Simeon could do nothing less than sing praises to the God who keeps His promises.
I realize that the big day may arrive and you may still be waiting for your Christmas miracle — a new job, a healed relationship, or a baby of your very own. You don’t have to live disappointed. Simeon shows us how to hold on to hope.
First, believe that God is faithful. Next, wait for God’s perfect timing. It may be slow, but it’s certain. Finally, take a step of faith. Simeon didn’t sit still while he waited. He got up each day and went to the temple seeking the Son of God. As you and I seek God and His will each day, the Holy Spirit will direct our path.
Perhaps you’ve been wanting and waiting, like Simeon, to see the reality of Christ for yourself – perhaps you don’t know this Messiah. Just as the Spirit of God led Simeon to Christ, He can lead you to Him as well. This world may offer empty promises that leave you disappointed, but Jesus never will. God is the same today as He was the day Simeon received his promise to see the Christ-child with his own eyes. God’s promises are true.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).
The wait is over. Whatever your circumstance, you can experience the miracle of Christmas. Like Simeon, reach out and receive Christ into your heart. Simply pray this prayer:
Dear God, I confess I want and need You. I have sinned. My life isn’t what I want it to be, and I’m sure isn’t what You want it to be either. I willingly believe You came to earth, died on the cross, and rose from the grave to purchase me a place in heaven with You. Jesus, come into my life and take control. Forgive all my sins and save me. Let me see the reality of You in my life. I’m turning from my sins and placing my trust in You for my salvation. Share with me with Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*First, believe that God is faithful. Next, wait for God’s perfect timing. It may be slow, but it’s certain. Finally, take a step of faith. Simeon didn’t sit still while he waited. He got up each day and went to the temple seeking the Son of God. As you and I seek God and His will each day, the Holy Spirit will direct our path.*
This is where I'm lacking. I need to remember how faithful God is when my mind turns to worry. But most of all I need to not sit around and wait for what I think God should do right in the second that I need it, and walk in His promises as He works things out. Lord help me take a step closer to You every day.