Summary: There are some people in the world who feel they might be too old, too limited or too marginalized to be of much use to God. Simeon is proof positive that God uses anyone who is submitted to the Holy Spirit. This offers great hope, confidence and assuranc
Simeon’s Exemplary Life and Message (Luke 2:25-35)
There are some people in the world who feel they might be too old, too limited or too marginalized to be of much use to God. Simeon is proof positive that God uses anyone who is submitted to the Holy Spirit. This offers great hope, confidence and assurance that God continues to use the weak of the world to shame the things which are strong.
When Irving S. Olds was chairman of the U.S. Steel Corporation, he arrived for a stockholders’ meeting and was confronted by a woman who asked, "Exactly who are you and what do you do?" Without batting an eye, Olds replied, "I am your chairman. Of course, you know the duties of a chairman--that’s someone who is roughly the equivalent of parsley on a platter of fish."
Bits and Pieces, June 27, 1991, p.7.
If you do not want to feel useless or under utilized, Simeon’s life is full of great lessons for us this morning.
"Now there was a man named Simeon who lived in Jerusalem. He was a righteous man and very devout. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and he eagerly expected the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and prpaised God saying,
"Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me. I have seen the Savior you have given to all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations (to all 24,000 ethnic groups on the planet) and he is the glory of your people Israel.
Joseph and Mary were amazed at what was being said about Jesus. Then Simeon blessed them and he said to Mary, "This child will be rejected by man in Israel and it will be their undoing. But he will be the greatest joy to many others. Thus, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul." (Luke 2:25-35)
Illustration: Avoid being put on the shelf:
Nicolo Paganina (1782-1840) the great Italian violinist, willed his fine instrument to his home city of Genoa. His bequest carried one condition. The violin was never to be played; it would simply be placed on display. But that’s not good for a finely crafted stringed instrument. It needs to be used and handled regularly if its beauty and value are to be retained. As a result of Paganini’s request, his marvelous violin has become nothing more than a decaying form. It has wasted away as a museum piece.
The following are several characteristics of Simeon that we gain greater appreciation for all people who are devoutly seeking to do God’s will at whatever stage, status or service level they may be in:
1. DEVOUT - Simeon was an earnest, sincere and spiritual man who loved the Lord with all His heart, soul, strength and mind. (Luke 10:27) One of the most important pre-requisites to be used of God is to be devoted to Jesus Christ, His purposes, and processes above that of our own. You can tell how much God will use a person based upon their devotion to Him, His word and His will above any other factor.
2. FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT - Simeon was controlled by the Spirit so that others recognized that it was not unusual for God to speak to him. When a person is full of the Spirit it means they are submitted completely to His control, His leading and His enabling power. People who are filled with the Spirit are credible because they have knowledge, insight and wisdom that is supernaturally endowed.
3. PATIENT - Simeon was nearly eighty years old and had waited a long time to see the Savior. Let us be relentless in our resolve to wait upon God to fulfill HIs promises to us. Let us not get weary thinking that we need to run ahead of God and do things in our own strength, wisdom or manipulative abilities. Love is patient - long-suffering and kind. Let us wait on the Lord and be of good courage and He will strengthen our hearts. (Psa 27:14)
4. PROPER PERSPECTIVES - Simeon was given proper perspectives from his understanding of Old Testament prophecy. He knew that the Messiah would be a light to the nations, not just to Israel. He saw the Savior as the one who would offer deliverance, salvation and freedom from death, hell, judgment and sin. Simeon saw how the Savior would be the beacon to share God’s plan of salvation for all 24,000 people groups on the planet not just to the Jews. Let us see the Savior as the light to all people groups so we can overcome any parochial thinking that might limit our perspectives.