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The Journal

Christian Character Grows from Faith in Jesus

REV DAVID O'MARA

Dear Friends,

Simeon and Anna are 2 of the most beautiful people in the Bible. They have aged well as they continue to seek the Lord and His purposes in the world. Simeon is described as righteous and devout. He is righteous which means that he is well behaved towards people. True Christian faith affects the way you treat other people. But notice how this “righteous” aspect of His character is linked to his other quality - devout. To be devout is to be careful about religious duties and service to God. Simeon is not casual or lazy or neglectful of his need to seek the Lord and honour the Lord. We know that Romans 1:5 says that obedience flows from faith. Christian character grows from faith in Jesus and this faith in Jesus accesses God’s power. He is looking for the consolation of Israel

The word consolation goes back to God’s promises to comfort his people - see Isaiah 40:1, 66:13. The greatest way in which God comforts His people is send them the Saviour of the world - Jesus. Simeon’s piety prepared him to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. In 2:29 Simeon offers his famous words of praise :- “Nunc Dimittis - now dismiss. Simeon had been told that he wouldn’t die until he saw the Saviour of the world and now he is full of joy to have the privilege of holding Jesus. He now has peace in his life because Jesus is enough and brings hope to Israel and deals with their sin. Simeon teaches us a timeless spiritual truth - those who know they are empty will be fulfilled - Matthew 5:6 Blessed are you who hunger and thirst for righteousness for you will be filled. Simeon knows that there is nothing more important in life than the Saviour of the world coming to bring peace through forgiveness of sin. Simeon’s prophecy from God also recognises that Jesus will expose where people are at spiritually. You cannot remain neutral about Jesus 2:34-35. When God humbles us it is a wonderful opportunity to allow Jesus to fill us with Himself and His love. Those who remain self-sufficient find that they are ironically empty because it is only Jesus who brings hope, joy and meaning to life ! In 2:38 Anna “nails” the significance of Jesus. He comes to redeem us because we are lost in sin and need a saviour to rescue us from judgement



God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara

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