Summary: This sermon illustrates what receiving Christ really is through the Biblical story of Simeon.
A Gift Worth Receiving
December 23, 2001
A. [Prayer and God’s Sovereignty, Citation: Mark Ashton, A Voice in the Wilderness (OM Publishing); submitted by Owen Bourgaize, Guernsey, United Kingdom
A small boy was writing a letter to God about the Christmas presents he badly wanted. "I’ve been good for six months now," he wrote.
But after a moment’s reflection he crossed out "six months" and wrote "three."
After a pause, that was crossed out, and he put "two weeks."
There was another pause, and that was crossed out too.
He got up from the table and went over to the little nativity scene that had the figures of Mary and Joseph.
He picked up the figure of Mary and went back to his writing and started again: "Dear God, if ever you want to see your mother again…"
1. That’s probably not the best way to approach God at Christmas!
2. Today we will try to find a better way to approach God this Christmas.
B. I want to begin this sermon a little differently than I usually do…
1. Today I want to give someone a gift [pick a person].
2. I have this pen that says "Somerset Christian Church" all over it.
3. ", this is your pen. You can have it; you can write with it; you can give it away; you can throw it away; you can do whatever you want with it because its your pen."
4. [Person will probably just say, "OK," but will not come and get it.]
5. [Set the pen down and proceed with the sermon.]
C. Let’s stand (if you are able) and let’s read our scripture text together. [Read Luke 2:21-31.]
D. Today, I have five things that I believe we can learn from Simeon that will help us this Christmas; first…
I. Like Simeon, those who want to see Jesus will find Him.
Luke 2:25, Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
A. Simeon was a priest living in Jerusalem.
1. Simeon was righteous and devout. The Holy Spirit was on Simeon.
2. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel.
3. The consolation of Israel is the promised Messiah.
4. Simeon was a priest and he knew the OT prophecies concerning the Messiah.
5. Simeon was looking for the promised Messiah. Simeon wanted to see the Messiah.
B. Simeon wanted to see Jesus and Jesus came to Him.
1. Simeon was one of hundreds of priests living in Jerusalem.
2. Simeon was chosen by lots to serve on this particular day.
3. Out of the hundreds of priests living in Jerusalem, Simeon won the lottery of priests and got to serve in the temple on this day.
4. He wanted to see the Messiah.
5. He was a devote and righteous man and the HS was upon Him.
6. He was chosen out of hundreds of priests to serve on this once-in-a-lifetime chance and on that once-in-a-lifetime day, the Christ child was brought to the temple to be circumcised and to have everything done for Him that was to be done for the child in accordance with the law. Simeon wanted to see Christ and Jesus came right to him!
C. And absolutely nothing has changed today.
1. This is not just an isolated event for lucky priests!
2. Its a promise that is made to anyone and everyone!
3. The Bible makes it very clear that all who seek the Lord will find Him!
4. If you and I earnestly seek God, we will find Him!
5. (Heb 11:6) And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. God rewards those who earnestly seek Him!
D. Do you want to see Jesus?
1. Do you want to see Jesus? Do you really want to see Jesus?
2. Hebrews says that without faith it is impossible to please God.
3. It says that if we are to see Jesus, we must first believe that He exists.
4. And then we must EARNESTLY seek Him.
5. And if we EARNESTLY seek Him, we will be rewarded.
6. How bad do you want to see Jesus?
7. Does Christmas mean anything to you, or is it just another holiday?
8. Do you really want to see the Christ child?
9. If you EARNESTLY seek Him, just like Simeon, you too shall find Him!
II. Like Simeon, those who have the Holy Spirit will often receive assurance before the answer.
Luke 2:26, It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.