Summary: Based on the encounter with Simeon, how he waited and how we are to patiently wait for the return of Jesus
Waiting for Something Special Luke 2:25-32
2nd Sunday in Advent
No one likes to wait
Was at Sam’s the other day….had to stand in line what seemed forever (probably only 10 minutes)
Was going to Vanderbilt for Jacob Maxwell’s surgery and got in morning traffic..took me over an hour to get there
We hate to wait…did you know that Russians spend 37 billion hours waiting in line each year for necessities…we Americans wouldn’t stand for it!
BUT HERE WE SEE A MAN WHO HAD WAITED
Simeon had been promised by God that he would see the consolation of Israel (we would call it the Millenium) The beginning of something new God was doing…SENDING HIS MESSIAH TO THE NATION OF ISRAEL
He had waited all his life for just this moment
How about us?
Newsweek recently reported that many young couples with young children are beginning to go back to church
BUT FOLKS ARE NOW LOOKING FOR A CHURCH WITH A CONSUMER MENTALITY
In fact members of churches are doing the same
ASKING, "WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?"
Knowing what we believe
Knowing what it means to be a Christian
Acting on the teachings of Jesus….
ALL THESE TAKE SECOND PLACE FOR SO MANY
WE WANT OUR RELIGION TO BE LIKE McDONALDS
FAST AND WITH LITTLE REAL MEANING
The result is many are disappointed in church and with the leadership, expecting more than what the current system can possibly deliver
God hardly ever in the Scriptures works that way
The Israelites in the Desert after God had delivered them from Egypt wanted instant answers to all their problems and griped and complained about everything
THAT GENERATION DIDN’T ENTER THE PROMISE LAND IF YOU RECALL
Even Jesus didn’t do what the people wanted and so they turned on him and hung him on a cross
WHY DO WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR GOOD THINGS?
Healings, answers to prayers, spiritual growth?
The best place for cultivating patience is in waiting on God. There we discover how impatient we are, and what our impatience means. We confess at times we are impatient with men and circumstances that hinder us, or with ourselves and our slow progress in the Christian life.
If we truly set ourselves to wait upon God we shall find that it is with him we are impatient, because he does not at once, or as soon as we could wish, do our bidding. It is in waiting upon God that our eyes are opened to believer in his wise and sovereign will. We also see that the sooner and the more completely we yield absolutely to it, the more surely his blessing can come to us.
THERE ARE REASONS FOR WAITING….
1. WAITING MAKES US WALK BY FAITH
He may have reasons for delay we can’t appreciate
If we do receive everything right away imagine how spoiled we’d be
2. WAITING PRODUCES THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IN OUR LIVES
Look at that list in Galatians, the fruit is love that contains all sorts of good things that are developed by time
3. WAITING HELPS US IN SEEKING GOD
4. Ps. 130:5 -6 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
5. Philip Yancey knew an alcoholic friend in AA…the 12 step program had led his friend back to faith in God…for someone struggling with addiction, waiting is a fine art
His friends have answered calls from him at 4 in the morning and found him in an all night restaurant where he had been for hours writing over and over, "God will help me make it through the next five minutes."
6. OT prophets understood the need to wait for God… "Hosea 12:6 But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always."
Simeon had spent his life waiting for the Lord to come and while he waited he got close to God
He had prayed devoutly
Received messages from the Spirit
AND HE RECOGNIZED JESUS WHEN HE CAME
BECAUSE HE WAITED, AND WATCHED AND FILLED HIS TIME SPENDING IT WITH GOD HE WAS ALMOST ALONE IN THIS DISCOVERY IN ISRAEL!!!
ARE WE SEEKING GOD NOW?
ARE WE PREPARED FOR FUTURE SPIRITUAL CHALLENGES?
Has our faith really been tested?
It is the only way we really grow….James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
It’s the only way we will inherit the land….Ps. 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret —it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.