Summary: Questions to ask yourself at Christmas.
Years ago in Scotland, the Clark family had a dream. Clark and his wife worked and saved, making plans for their nine children and themselves to travel to the United States.
It had taken years, but they finally saved enough money and obtained passports and reservations for the entire family on a new ocean liner to the United States.
The entire family was filled with anticipation and excitement about their new life. However, seven days before their scheduled departure, the youngest son was bitten by a dog. The doctor sewed up the boy but hung a yellow sheet on the Clark’s front door. Because of the possibility of rabies, they were being quarentined for fourteen days.
The family’s dreams were dashed. They would not be able to make the trip to America as they had planned. The father, filled with disappointment and anger, stomped to the dock to watch the ship leave - without the Clark family. The father shed tears of disappointment and cursed both his son and God for their misfortune.
Five days later, the tragic news spread throughout Scotland - the migthy Titanic had sunk. The unsinkable ship had sunk, taking hundreds of lives with it. The Clark family was to have been on that ship, but because the son had been bitten by a dog, they were left behind in Scotland.
Waiting can sometimes turn out to be a blessing.
For the hero in today’s scripture, Simeon, this was the case.
He had been waiting expectantly all of his life to see the Savior. That wish was wonderfully fulfilled when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple.
Simeon is what we might call a "supporting actor" in the Christmas narrative. He did not have very many lines but they are interesting and instructional.
Consider Simeon’s role in the Christmas story and ask yourself these questions about your personal view of Jesus the Christ.
First question to ask yourself during the Christmas season - "Does the Holy Spirit guide my life?" (Luke 2:25-27)
Verse 25 says of Simeon, "the Holy Spirit was upon him."
Verse 26 says, "and it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ."
Verse 27 adds, "So he came by the Spirit into the temple."
You do not have to be a rocket scientist to catch on to why Simeon is mentioned in the Christmas story.
Simeon allowed the Holy Spirit to guide his life and thus became a mentor to Joseph and Mary with their young child.
Now this was remarkable because it was even before the Holy Spirit indwelled believers as He has since the Day of Pentecost.
Today, those who receive Christ, receive the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13) That should be encouraging to anyone considering making a faith commitment to Jesus. When you become a Christian, the Holy Spirit comes in to you to assist you in living the way a Christian should live.
Many people who have yet to receive Jesus claim that they wouldn’t be able to live a Christian life - and they are right. On their own, they’re not able. None of us is able on our own. But the simple truth is, when we turn to Christ by faith we are no longer on our own!
Concering life without the Spirit, God says this in Galatians 5:19-23:
"Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."
Which list categorizes your life? The answer to that question will inform you as to whether or not the Spirit is leading your life.
When the Holy Spirit guides your life, the fruit of the Spirit will evidence itself.
The Christmas season is not just a time to ask ourselves what gifts will we purchase for those we love, but "am I the spiritual person I need to be?"
Those you love will be more blessed by your being a spiritual person than they will be by any gift you give them!
Second question to ask yourself this Christmas season -
"Have I really seen the light?" (Luke 2:28-32)
In his novel, "A Painted House", John Grisham tells about a Sunday school teacher eulogizing a mean character in the story named Jerry Sisco, who had been killed in a fight with another ruffian.
In the words of the little boy who had seen the fight with his friend Dewayne: "She made Jerry sound like a Christian, and an innocent victim. I glanced at Dewayne, who had one eye on me. There was something odd about this. As Baptists, we’d been taught from the cradle that the only way you made it to heaven was by believing in Jesus and trying to follow his example in living a clean and moral Christian life...And anyone who did not accept Jesus and live a Christian life simply went to hell. That’s where Jerry Sisco was, and we all knew it."