The longer you walk with the Lord as your Savior, the more you long to see Him face to face. This was true of both Simeon and Anna in Luke 2.
God created human beings to know Him. Though we fell into sin, which separates us from Him, God has prepared a way for every person to return to a relationship with Him. The image of God can still be seen in people's moral, rational, spiritual, and personal components. Fallen nature tries to work its way back to friendship and reconciliation with God. This is the essence of religion. However, the Bible teaches that the only way back to God is through His Son, Jesus Christ.
When religious people hear the Gospel, they respond to it sincerely from a heart that has been trained religiously. They generally reject God's free offer of grace without knowing so as they continue to work for God's favor. God never intended people to work for salvation; it is impossible! In fact, "religious good works shipwreck grace." God offers the free gift of eternal life only through His Son (Romans 6:23).
In Romans 9, Paul explained how God sovereignly saves. In chapter 10, he discusses how people respond. God saves faithfully, mercifully, and particularly. The righteousness of Christ has changed you and me! This settles our heart when distressed over those yet to be saved.
Using proper names is very important at announcements of significant life events. When the angels announced Jesus' birth to the shepherds in Luke 2:10-14, the titles they used had intentional significance.
The second chapter of John's Gospel shows the beginning of Jesus' public ministry – His first miracle, His first appearance at the Temple, His first Passover and His first cleansing of the Temple. The central verse of this section is John 2:17. All these events were the Messianic fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. We can study this passage to ask, "What is the activity and fruit of a life consumed with properly worshiping the Lord?"
A disciple is simply someone who follows Christ. Luke 9:57-62 and a parallel passage in Matthew 8:18-22 tell of Jesus' interaction with three different disciples. It is easy to follow Jesus when doing so is popular, but many disciples leave when things become difficult (John 6:66). Jesus' response to each disciple highlights the question of who they will follow first. Each one's heart attitude is revealed in what the Lord says to him.
Pastor Kent Hobi
Do you ever wonder if all the things we believe as Christians will ever come true? Generations of God’s people come and go, and we still groan under the task of becoming who we are in Christ. Will our faith ever be sight?
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