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Summary: Simeon was a devout and righteous man who had been waiting patiently for the Messiah to come. When he saw the little boy, Jesus, he took him by his arms and blessed him.

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WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM SIMEON

We are continuing our Christmas series.

We have been learning a lot of spiritual lessons from the wise men, Mary and Joseph and the shepherds.

From the wise men, we learned that it is always wise to seek the Lord.

From Mary, we learned that we need a Savior from our sins.

From Joseph, we learned that we can trust His plan for our lives even though we cannot at first understand it.

From the shepherds, we learned that when we listen to the message and act on it, it brings great joy in our lives.

The Christmas season is not only a time of celebration but of learning new spiritual truths.

There was a story of a store owner who was doing some last minute Christmas shopping with his young son.

Suddenly, he saw another store owner with whom he had been friends for some time.

The two of them exchanged greetings and spoke with each other.

They talk about what a financially profitable season it had been for their respective stores.

The small boy overheard his father say, "This has been the best Christmas ever.!"

As the store owners parted company, the father and son continued their shopping.

But the father noticed his son had become very quiet.

He inquired as to his son's silence.

His son replied, "Dad, you just told Mr. Johnson that this was the best Christmas ever."

His dad replied, "I did, son. The economy is great, and the people are really spending a lot."

"O.K.", the son replied, "It's just that I always thought that the first Christmas was the best one ever."

Indeed, the first Christmas is the best ever because Christ came to be one of us and to fulfill the purpose of the Father.

That is why we need to keep on learning new spiritual truths this Christmas.

So, what new things have you been learning this Christmas?

Today, we will learn from the life of Simeon.

Many of you probably are not familiar with this man.

He was present at the temple courts when Joseph and Mary brought the boy Jesus to present him to the Lord.

Simeon was a devout and righteous man.

In fact, he had been waiting patiently for the Messiah to come.

The Holy Spirit told him that he would not die until he saw for himself the Messiah.

And so, when he saw the little boy Jesus, he took him by his arms and blessed him.

He also declared words that made Mary and Joseph marveled at the things that God has planned for their son.

These words are part of the Christmas message for us to reflect upon.

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE LIFE OF SIMEON:

1. SIMEON WAS WAITING FOR THE CONSOLATION OF ISRAEL

Luke 2:25-26 (NIV) "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 on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

The name "Simeon" means "God has heard."

That means, he was close to God's heart and his prayers had been heard by God.

His two character traits are being righteous and devout.

Being righteous refers to his moral conduct among the people while devout refers to his devotion and commitment to God.

We need to develop these two character traits in our lives as well if we want to grow in spiritual maturity.

We need to live a good moral conduct before the eyes of God and men and we need to be devoted to God as well.

And of course, we can only do that if we have Christ in our hearts and we obey the Holy Spirit in our lives.

It is said further in the text that Simeon was a man who has been waiting and watching for the consolation of Israel.

That means as he studied carefully the prophesies from the Scriptures particularly the Book of Daniel and Isaiah, he discovered that the Messiah is coming soon.

And so, he was expectant, full of anticipation and very hopeful that someday, the promised Messiah would come.

And in fact, he asked the Lord in prayer that if possible, he will be able to see personally for himself the Lord's Messiah before he dies.

And the Lord granted his request.

After all, his name was, "The Lord has heard."

According to verse 26, it has been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he sees the Lord's Messiah.

Hence, he waited patiently even though it took him many years of waiting before he sees the Messiah.

Daily, he would go to the temple to worship God, to watch and wait.

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