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Hope Fulfilled

Devotions

Our hope is in the Lord! That truth is so important, we should shout it from the rooftops. Pastor and author David Platt explained why we’re compelled to spread the gospel of Christ: “[If] Jesus did rise from the dead if Jesus alone paid the price for man’s sin, and if Jesus alone conquered sin, death, and the grave, then going around the world and telling people about Jesus is the only thing that makes sense.”

This is the true spirit of Christmas, as we see in Simeon’s pronouncements. Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took her purification offering to the temple (v. 22). They also planned to dedicate their firstborn son to the Lord (v. 23), as the Law prescribed (Ex. 13:2). There they encountered Simeon, a devout worshiper who was “waiting for the consolation of Israel” (v. 25), that is, the Messiah. The Holy Spirit had promised he’d see the Messiah with his own eyes, during his lifetime (v. 26). Mary and Joseph might have been a bit shocked by the old man who took their baby in his arms, but they could sense God at work.

Simeon’s first pronouncement focused on rejoicing in hope fulfilled (vv. 29–32). “My eyes have seen your salvation”—the Messiah had finally come! God had kept His promise to Simeon and to generation upon generation of Israelites. And not only them, for the Messiah is for “all nations,” including Gentiles. The Redeemer had arrived in the person of Jesus Christ!

Simeon’s second pronouncement was to Mary (vv. 34–35). These words are a bit more cryptic and indicate that the Messiah will be opposed and hearts will be revealed in how people respond to Him. Mary herself would experience deep sorrow.

>> Spend some extra time today praying for your unsaved friends and family members. Ask God to give you open doors for faith conversations and enable you to live the truth of the gospel before them.

Pray with Us

Father, we all have friends or loved ones who do not yet know you. We ask you to pursue and win them as you have pursued and won us. Show us how to be your hands and feet in this work.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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