Devotionals Tragedy!

God’s Salvation

I recall those early years of childhood when mom used to make cakes. My sister and I would watch her every move and at times even help stir a mixture. For us helping was selfish (at least for me) because the desired end was to lick the mixing spoon or scoop the remnants out of the mixing bowl. Making the cake or pudding mixture was done in front of us children and for me it was all about savoring the left overs! Read the next section and see:

Lk 2:30 “For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

1) God prepared salvation. Simeon saw and held “God in the flesh”, God Incarnate … the long promised Messiah. This One would be the God-chosen Savior. This was God’s salvation for a lost, sinful people. Now he adds that this salvation was prepared by God in the sight of all people.

In a way this seems strange, because Mary was “hidden” and out of the public eye for the duration of her pregnancy and no one really knew and understood the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy other than Joseph, Elizabeth and her husband, Zachariah, the parents of John the Baptist, likely Mary’s parents and a few others. How could Simeon say God prepared His salvation in the sight of all people?

Firstly, the “all people” would be the Jewish nation. Then, when we survey the Old Testament we see how God revealed more and more information about Messiah, starting from Genesis chapter 3:15 right up until Malachi chapter 4. It is amazing how much information God provided (as an example we saw this in Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6-7). The prophets proclaimed His coming over and over again. Most of Israel were not interested in the Messiah God would send. They wanted one of their own choice and design … yet God was preparing His Messiah … His Salvation … in front of the whole nation over all their years of existence!

Today, you and I read the Old Testament and are able to see prophecy unfold, age by age. This was true of Simeon. This is how he knew about the Messianic Prophecies which led him to pray about and seek the coming of Messiah. We who live in the Church Age understand Messiah has come … and more particularly the full salvation of God is completed. Those who witnessed Jesus’ ministry and subsequent Crucifixion understand that this was all visible and seen by those around Him.

Today, we are able to direct people to Messiah through the pages of Scripture. His substitutional sacrifice as Messiah, God’s salvation may be seen there. Another way of saying it is … we have the Gospel and it is our duty as believers to share the Gospel with others so that as they hear, some will respond and be saved. Will you make a decision to share Jesus with people this New Year?

A visiting pastor from the City of Greenville, South Carolina, ministered to us yesterday. In his message he told of how he led a street evangelism ministry in the Downtown area. Excited about this, after the service I asked how he went about it. He said they used a method of presenting the Gospel we used back in the 1980’s. It is lengthy, cumbersome and demanding to learn. After speaking about various options, he mentioned he wanted something far simpler. We told him about “Two Ways to Live” … a Mathias Media Gospel presentation that is easy to learn and present and even includes making a sketch. He was eager and said he would look into it immediately. Our son-in-law sent him all the needed information to peruse. You might like to google it and see where such booklets are available for purchase. It will help you understand the Gospel and present it to others. Now that you have tasted from that spiritual cake or pudding bowl and found how good it is, why not let other experience it too?

2) God prepared this salvation as a light of revelation to the Gentiles. Within the context of what Simeon was saying, we cannot ignore God’s promise to Abraham that all nations will be blessed through him.

Ge 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.

This is fulfilled in the Gospel, which is for all nations! (You might like to reference this in Genesis 18:18, 22:18 & 26:4-5). How would God’s salvation be:

Lk 2:32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles?

Listen to Jesus’ words:

Lu 24:46 “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

Matthew presents it like this:

Mt 28:18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

What God said to Abraham about all nations being blessed through him (the nation of Israel) was realized through the preaching of the Gospel, starting at Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 and then spreading into the nations of the world. The reason for speaking about “Two Ways to Live” is because you and I have an obligation to get the gospel out as well. All true Christians are God’s evangelists. You can reach people your pastor will never get to. My friend, how can you stand back and let people go to hell when you are going to heaven? That is neither loving nor kind nor godly! Someone shared the Gospel with you … you need to help other know it so that they too can, like Simeon, see the salvation of God! Real believers will share Jesus with everyone. That is an effect of the Gospel in your heart! Look at the end result:

Rev 15:3 “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. 4 Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Notice what follows “all nations” will! Share the Gospel and souls will be saved!

Thank You, Lord, for Your salvation. Help us to share it. Amen.

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