In today’s sermon, we are going to take a look at the story of Simeon – a man who was led by the spirit to see and hold the baby Jesus.  We, as genuine believers, are to also be led by the spirit but are we allowing the spirit to lead us?  The key verses for today’s sermon will come from the gospel of Luke.

26 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. 27 So he came by 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, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;

Luke 2:26-29 NKJV

Seeing is believing?

When I was little and my family was about to go somewhere, I always wanted to know where we were going.  I would ask both of my parents, “where are we going?’  I would do this because I was hoping that we would end up going somewhere fun and not somewhere where I would have to sit and be still.  My parents would occasionally answer, “you will see when we get there.”  How many of you can share this same story?  I imagine that many of us can share that same story.

In light of us drawing closer to Christmas, there’s a phrase that is popular to say during this season – “seeing is believing”.  This is typically said in movies for children to get them to believe in Santa and also to believe in the magic of the holidays.  Cambridge gives the following meaning to define this phrase:  “if you see something yourself, you will believe it to exist or be true, despite the fact that it is unlikely”.

As a child, I didn’t want to wait to see where my parents were taking me; I wanted to know before we got there.  My parents were, of course, the leaders and as a child, I had to follow their lead.  What’s very interesting for us as adults is that we believe we are the captains of our own ship.  We believe that we are the ones who are at the helm of the ship and is directing the course.  However, I ask you today, are we truly the captain of our own ship and should we be?

If we are truly genuine believers and true worshipers of the Lord, I tell you that you should not be at the helm of the ship.  When we decide that we are the captain of the ship, what we have done is committed a mutiny against the One that captains our ship.  You see, as I preached in last week’s sermon, the Lord is our guardian angel.  God is the one that captains our ship!  God guides us and gives us our course corrections if we allow Him to lead.  We, as genuine believers, are to be led by the Spirit.  Are you allowing the Spirit to lead you today?

We don’t really want to allow the Lord to lead us do we?  No, we want to direct our own steps.  We will tell the Lord, “you gave me my feet and my brain to think so let me do what I want.”  The Lord will give us directions, and we will turn to the Lord and tell Him to prove who He is! Everybody wants to go the right way, but before we go, we want to know with a 100% guarantee that the way is truly the right way.  So, we tell God to show us proof so that we can believe it – again, seeing is believing, right?

In ancient times, asking for a sign from the “gods” was very common.  Also in ancient times, we see in scripture where the Lord actually showed signs.  I believe that the Lord still speaks to us through signs and even dreams.  We must be spiritual-minded so that we can be able to recognize when the Lord is communicating to us.  I want to take a look at a few stories in scripture that illustrates what I am talking about.

Simeon led by the Spirit

In Luke 2, we are introduced to a man named Simeon (Sim-e-on).  From what we read in Luke 2:25-35 we learn a lot about this man.  For instance, Simeon must’ve been a man of old age who was nearing death (v.26).  This fact is actually what makes his story so touching and unique. 

Simeon, I believe, had seen a lot in his life.  He lived in a time period between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  During this time period, the Lord “went silent” for a time period of 400 years.  This was a time where men like Alexander the Great came to power which eventually led to Rome coming to power.  The Maccabean revolt also occurred during this time period and these events led to the Festival of Lights – better known as Hanukkah.

So, this time period was a very dark time for the Jews.  However, for a man like Simeon, it did not matter how dark the times were because he still held to his faith.  Luke 2:25 tells us that Simeon was both a just and devout man.  Let’s note that Simeon was not just and devout in his way but he was just and devout in the Lord’s way.  He was waiting for the Consolation of Israel – this means he was looking ahead for better days for the children of Israel.  This indicates to us just how strong and genuine his faith was because those who are of genuine faith are always looking ahead for better days are full of hope.

In his faith, we see that the Holy Spirit comes to be upon Him (v.25).  The Holy Spirit which is a part of God came to visit a man who was faithful.  This is also interesting because the Holy Spirit now dwells inside of us because Christ was resurrected and ascended to heaven (John 16:7).  Many people like to make it seem like the Holy Spirit was only present after Christ ascended to heaven by the Holy Spirit has been around the whole time!  Many times in scripture we have seen how the Holy Spirit visited those who were of genuine faith!

The Lord reveals to Simeon that he would see Christ (the Messiah) before he pass away.  Scripture (Luke 2:27) tells us that Simeon came into the temple by the Holy Spirit.  This is to say that the Holy Spirit led him to the temple.  Why did the Holy Spirit lead him to the temple?  Well, you will see that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus arrives at the temple!

God has promised Simeon that he would see Christ.  What’s very interesting about this is that Simeon would have had no idea that Jesus had been born without this revelation from the Lord.  We don’t know when our family or friends have had a baby unless we are told.  Simeon had no idea that Jesus was born, but the Lord certainly knew it and He led him to the temple to see Christ.

For us to find Christ, we must allow the Lord to take us to Him!  The problem that many of us face is that we do not allow the Lord to lead us to Christ.  Why?  Because we want to know where God is taking us.  We want proof that He is God indeed instead of allowing the Lord to lead us.  If you want to find Christ, you must be led by the Spirit to Him!  Simeon was led by the Spirit to Christ and even had the opportunity to hold the baby Jesus in his hands!  Have you held the baby Jesus in your hands?

I say to you today, allow the Lord to lead you!  Allow yourself to be led by the Spirit.  We fight God too much!  Always looking and asking for a sign but having no genuine faith inside of ourselves.  Why should the Lord show you a sign if you are of no genuine faith?  Truthfully, I say this to you, wherever the Holy Spirit (God) leads you, you should know that it is where you should be.  God will always put you in the right place at the right time!

Being led by the Spirit

There are other occasions in scripture where we find faithful people being led by the Spirit that I want to quickly mention in our sermon today.  Again, since it is the Christmas season, I will refer to some stories that we often sing about in song.  In Luke 2:8-16, you will find the story of the shepherds.

The shepherds were in the field keeping watch over their sheep when they were visited by an angel.  The angel told them that Jesus had been born.  They began to head to Jerusalem when they look to the sky and saw a bright star that led them to where Jesus lay.  For some, this sounds like something of a nursery story but this is actually in the Bible.

We have also heard the story shared of the “3 wise men” – scripture actually does not give us a number of how many wise men there was.  That said, in Matthew 2, the wise men were aware of the prophecy of Christ.  They began seeing signs of the Savior’s birth and wanted to go find the Messiah.  When they finally found Jesus, God revealed to them that they should return home in a different direction from which they came.

I mention these two stories with Simeon’s story to show you that these men certainly received signs from the Lord, but these signs were revealed to them only after their genuine faith was put into action!  Again, I say to you, there are many people who want the Lord to give them a sign but they don’t want to put forth the genuine faith that is required of us.  The Holy Spirit, I believe, certainly reveals things to those who are of genuine faith.  We must allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit to what God has for us.  For us to be rewarded by the Lord, genuine faith is required.

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