Saturday, December 25, 2010

What Now?


Luke 2

21 ¶ And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord

23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD"),

24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."

If you continued to read this account you will find that someone had been waiting at the temple for years to see Jesus. It was a man named Simeon. Simeon had evidently lived a long and full life and was ready to depart this world with only one exception. He had received revelation from God that he would not die until he saw the Lord’s Messiah. So there he waited in the Temple looking and hoping for Christmas.

When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus into the Temple that day, Simeon saw Him and immediately knew that this was the promised Christ Child. You can read what Simeon prophesied as he confirmed this baby to be the Son of the Most High God, the promised Messiah and Savior of the World.

Luke 2

34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against

35 "(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

He told Mary that the coming days would not all be easy.

There was also an 84 year old woman in the Temple that day who was a widow and a prophetess. When she saw Jesus she immediately began speaking of Him to all who were looking for the redemption of Israel.

Last week we discovered the word Christmas means the beginning of the mission of Christ. Christ is not Jesus’ last name but rather His title. Christ means the Anointed One, The Messiah. That first Christmas day, announced by the Angels and observed by the Shepherds in the town of Bethlehem marked the beginning of the mission of Jesus the Christ.

However, it was just the beginning. Now What? The story continues!

In the days following the birth of Christ, God continues to give revelation to many and through the scriptural account of those days, we find certain truths and principles of life confirmed. It is by God’s word that we understand Three Certainties:

The Circle of Life

· Which says that things begin and things end

· Simeon and Anna the prophetess were at the end of their lifetime on earth while Jesus was just beginning His. However, Jesus’ would also one day be over.

· Things begin and things end!

The Cycle of Life

· Which says that in between the beginning and the end there will be ups and downs, good times and difficult times, days of laughter and days of tears, both joy and sadness.

· Anna had been married, no doubt with hope, and lived with her husband for 7 years before his death. Since she had spent all of her time in the temple, praying and fasting, waiting for the consolation of the Lord.

· Mary was told by Simeon that both good days and difficult days would follow. This Child, he said, was destined for both the fall and rising of many in Israel …

The Secret of Life

· The secret of life is giving …

· The whole Christmas story and the continuing account of Christmas is a story about the secret and the spirit of giving.

The secret of life is giving.

The world understands at least one thing about Christmas … that Christmas is all about the spirit of giving.

However, the world does not understand the secrets of giving. The continuing Christmas Story reveals:

Three Secrets of Giving

· Giving to Get

· Giving to Bless

· Giving to Keep

This is exactly what God did. God wanted to get, bless and keep, so He gave. Giving is Heaven’s secret of life.

Notice in Luke 21, verse 22, the word says that Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to Jerusalem to the Temple in order to:

“Present Him to the Lord.”

This literally means that they brought Jesus to the Temple to take His place or to stand in His place beside the Lord.

He, as does everyone and everything else, has a pre-designated place beside the Lord. Jesus was born for a specific purpose … so are you! You also have a definite place beside the Lord, as do all of your blessings.

It was Mary and Joseph’s responsibility to do all they knew to do and what they knew to do was to bring what God had given them and give it back to the Lord.

Even though Jesus was God’s Son, and even though Jesus had a destiny, nonetheless Mary and Joseph had to bring Him and offer Him to the Lord … Jesus could not have come on His own and neither can your blessings.

Perhaps this is one reason why God chose Mary and Joseph … Perhaps God knew that they would bring Jesus back to Him.

Perhaps this is why God chooses certain people … maybe it’s because He knows that they will continue to honor Him and give what He gives them back to Him.

Genesis 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

It was so with Abraham. God said He chose Abraham because, “I know Abraham … he will command his children and his household after him to observe the ways of the Lord.”

After we have been given something precious, it’s time to give it back to the Lord.

After we have received something from the Lord it is time to dedicate it back to Him for His purposes

Bring it back and dedicate to God what He first gave you.

If you dedicate the first to God, the rest is blessed.

The firstborn sacrifice was a type of firstfruits sacrifice. If the first is blessed, the rest is blessed as well. Lasting benefits accompany the blessing on the firstfruits.

God gave first – in fact – the bible says that we love Him because He first loved us. God so loved that He gave …

God gave to get

God gave to bless

God gave to keep

It’s the Secret of Life!

What we give definitely affects what we get.

What we give definitely affects God’s blessing on what we have gotten.

What we give definitely affects how much we get to keep.

There is a:

Circle of Life

Cycle of Life

Secret of Life

The Secret of life is:

God gave to Get

God gave to Bless

God gave to Keep

And so can we!

What has God given you?

The most precious gift God has given you is your own soul. Give it back to God – dedicate your life on the altar of service to the Lord. Present yourself to God and you will get a new life, an eternal life, a life that will last forever.

Give your soul to God each day in this continuing story of Christmas and you will find heaven’s secret to a truly blessed life.

Give your life to Jesus and you will get to keep it forever. The Word says that if you would save your life you would only end up losing it but if you lose your life for Jesus’ sake, you will save it.

You can only keep what you give to Him … but … what you give to God you can keep forever. So, what now? – Live the secret! (Blessed Eternal Increase)