Google+ 05/05/14 We Must Bring Christ's Joy to Many!

Luke 2:33-35

 

Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him.

Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother,

“This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others.

He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him.

As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.

And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

 

As you open up this devotion and today's Scripture, you may feel that I have lost track of what time of year it is!  Hey Dave, isn't this the story of Simeon and Anna that we discussed during our celebration of Christmas and Epiphany?  You do know it is May, right?  Yes it is and yes I do!!!  Sunday is always a great day in our ministry.  Because we do exactly what the Bible calls us to do on the Sabbath, many of us never leave our church from 8 AM to 8 PM.  We have two worship services, Bible Study, Kids Ministry, and three meals!  Jesus told us to keep the Sabbath day holy to honor Him, so we fill the day will praise, worship, Bible study and teaching, fellowship, and breaking bread.  While many rejoice in these activities for God, there are some that oppose us.  They complain that there is too much Jesus!  Yes, I said that out loud.  Instead of focusing on the cross and the Good News, these individuals do the same thing that Simeon spoke to Mary and Joseph about in the Temple.  God has taught me a very important lesson that I hope all of us can learn.  Jesus caused many to fall in Israel.  Let's keep in mind who these "fallen" were.  Most of them were screaming how much they believed in God and listened to Him daily.  They claimed that everything they did was for God and He spoke with them every hour.  It was not the Gentiles that turned on Jesus.  It was the "religious right!"  We must be careful and realize that many of the people to whom we bring great joy, are the people that these righteous, religious people call "lost."  Both Jesus and Paul were denounced for "hanging out with the wrong crowd!"  Jesus knew exactly who needed to be healed and He never backed away from what He said and what He did in the name of God.   We often sing the song, "The Heart of Worship" which says it best.  "I'm coming back to the Heart of Worship and it's all about You...I'm sorry for the thing I've made it, but it's all about You, Jesus!"  Simeon told Mary and Joseph that when hearts were revealed, a sword would pierce theirs because of all the malice that would be leveled at their Son.  As a pastor, I can relate!  It hurts when people claim Jesus with their mouth and deny Him every hour with their actions and words.  Imagine what Mary and Joseph must have felt.  We must focus on what Simeon said and do it daily.  "We Must Bring Christ's Joy to Many!"