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Christmas Devotional: Looking for Jesus

??? It?s the Christmas season, the time when all of Santa?s helpers are hitting the malls and department stores, and if computer savvy, the internet, looking for just that right gift to give to their favorite grandchild, aunt, niece, nephew, or spouse. Perhaps it?s the latest toy or computer gadget that someone wants, or maybe that piece of jewelry or fine perfume your special loved one desires, or even that new big screen TV or the right tool to make those home improvements you?ve been wanting. Or maybe it?s not some thing that you want, but some one that you are looking for. Maybe it?s a returning soldier, or even that special someone who will ask, ?Will you marry me?? Perhaps that?s what you are looking for.

?? Let me tell you about two people who were looking for someone special that day we call our first Christmas. One is named Simeon, and the other is named Anna. We find their stories in Luke?s Gospel, the second chapter. Both were elderly and godly people, and both were expecting the arrival of Israel?s Messiah.

?? Of Simeon, the Bible says, ?And behold there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon Him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord?s Messiah.? (Luke 2:25-26). Think about that for a moment. Here was this righteous and devout man, one that love the Lord above all things, who was living in the hope that the Messiah, the Savior or the world, would soon come. He had no idea when, he only had a hope and an inkling of faith that He would come in his lifetime. Now the Bible says the Holy Spirit was upon him, in fact, it was leading him to come to the Temple at the very hour and moment when Joseph and Mary were bringing the baby Jesus to the Temple, eight days after his birth, and according to the Mosaic law, to be circumcised and dedicated to the Lord. (Luke 2:22-24). Just as they were bringing the young child to the priest, Simeon arrived to meet them at the door. Now this was far from coincidence. Coincidence had nothing to do with it. He was directed to the temple at that precise moment, on that precise day, to have fulfilled for him what the Holy Spirit had promised: ?that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord?s Messiah.? Talk about a holy moment!

? I had a friend tell me years ago that there are no coincidences in running into people at precise times, only divine appointments. Well, if there ever was a divine appointment, this was it! Listen to Simeon?s response as he took the Christ-child into his arms and praised God. ?Now, Lord, you can release your servant in peace. For according to your word, mine eyes have seen Your Salvation which you have prepared in the presence of the whole world, a light of revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of Your people, Israel.? There was absolutely no doubt at all in Simeon?s eyes that this was the Christ of Israel, the Messiah that the prophets of old had spoken about. And now, according to the promise of the God Himself, he had seen the salvation of mankind.

?? Just as soon as he had made his declaration to Joseph and Mary, here came another person at just the precise hour, moment and day. See how specific our God is? Her name was Anna, whose name means, ?grace?. She was a prophetess, which meant that she was a minister of God and His word. She had been living with her husband for seven years, but then he died and left her a widow until the age of eighty four. And for those many years, she had been faithfully serving the Lord twice a day, seven days a week, going up in the morning and in the evening, offering prayers for the nation of Israel. She, too, had been looking for the coming Messiah. The Bible tells us in Luke 2:38, at that very moment, the moment Simeon had completed his prophecy, she came up and began giving thanks to God that she too had seen the Messiah, the fulfillment of her dreams and prayers. But she didn?t stop there. Not at all. She ?continued to speak of the promise fulfilled to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.?

?? Now let me ask you a question. Like Simeon and Anna, are you looking for Jesus to come this Christmas? Isn?t that what Christmas is all about? The coming of the Savior of the world, the Messiah and Emmanuel? What is Christmas about to you? Some thing to look for, or some One to look for?

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