My Eyes Will See the Salvation of God!
What can the early years of Jesus let us know about how we should approach our New Year?
You will always have a mixture of experiences, hopes and expectations going into a new season. Simeon, Anna and Jesus represented these for us as we learn to:
Walk With God
Talk With God
Run With God
Walk with God
And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 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. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.
Here we’re reminded of the importance of God’s spoken word.
Simeon walked with God and therefore had the Holy Spirit upon him to give him great expectation of God’s salvation and moved him to see it at Christ’s appointed hour of revelation.
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.
These words were life to a man’s soul like Simeon who after years of faithfulness, could have gotten into a rut of just expecting the same old thing - “this is just our lot in life (under the Roman oppression)”.
Talk with God
Simeon had a word from God, a promise that had been spoken to him that he would see the salvation of God in his lifetime. He had a life where he heard from God.
Anna had a different challenge.
Here we’re reminded of God’s written Word
Anna faced unexpected disappointment early in her marriage. However, the tragedy in her life pushed her further into God rather than away from Him, to a life of prayer and fasting to see the salvation of God. This also needs to be our response.
Prayer and Fasting Week
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
These words had to be life to someone like Anna, who with continued fasting and prayer expected to see the salvation and goodness of God despite her difficulties.
Run With God
Here we’re reminded of the application of God’s Word
Jesus learned to walk, talk and run with God in his Heavenly Father’s house. It prepared him to be a bringer of salvation and one who see it over and over again in his earthly life and ministry. We need to have the same expectation (as we go into things like our Explore God Outreach).
“I Must Be In My Father’s House”
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day's journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
“I will not glory, even in my orthodoxy, for even that can be a snare if I make a god of it... Let us rejoice in Him in all His fulness and in Him alone.”
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.
Jesus’ life and ministry were shaped and directed by this dedication to his Father’s house, Word (the Scripture) and purposes. In the new year we need a present work which leads to an eternal reward.
Have a purpose
New Year’s Resolutions
I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare his praise in the coastlands. The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes.
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
*Is the one deed worth it even if the world continues to be fallen around you?
Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.
Have a plan
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
How people respond in PANIC MODE
Devil drives us to non-sensical decisions
Like gunshots fired in a crowded room - the panic causes more harm than good
Why would you leave your God or church family during a dark time?
Get counsel from seasoned leaders, down, not those who would panic with you.
Have a group of godly people to counsel you
*A DIY job gone awry
The bigger the job, the more input is needed.
Don’t make plans or pursue even godly ambitions alone. Pursue the counsel of God through the righteous in Christ
*Joseph and Mary treasured up all the things that were said about Jesus in her heart to anchor their souls when their hearts were being tested/pierced.
To see the salvation of God, you must receive Jesus’ work already done for you on the cross. His sinless life was not only our model but our provision for meeting God’s righteous requirements. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was our substitute for a debt of wrath for our sins against a Holy God. Christ’s resurrection three days after his death and burial is the promise of forgiveness, new life in the land of the living and eternal life in Him. Turn away from the old life of sin today and see the salvation of God as you entrust yourself to Jesus his Son who has come to deliver this good news!
Second City Church - Declarations Of The New Year- Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019