March 15, Thursday

The AMI QT Devotionals for March 15-16 are provided by Joanna Tzen.  Joanna graduated from U. Penn and currently works in Philadelphia.  She married Paul in 2014, and they attend Grace Covenant Church. They are expecting their first child any day now!

  

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Luke 2:25-32 

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

Waiting is a part of life, whether it’s as simple as waiting for the bus or waiting for God to move in a particular area of our lives. Simeon was waiting to see the Messiah in his lifetime. This passage tells us he was righteous, devout, and filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit moved him to visit the temple courts where he saw Jesus. Verse 29 tells us Simeon was a patient man. He was an old man ready to go home to the Lord was waiting for his time to come. Once he saw Jesus, his purpose was fulfilled.

Have you ever waited with such purpose as Simeon did? I know when I find myself waiting, I get impatient, sometimes borderline hopeless, if I have waited for what I feel like is a long time. It’s easy for me to lose focus on what I am waiting for.

I currently find myself in a very different kind of waiting season. My husband and I are expecting our first child in April. There is a sense of purpose and expectancy, along with a lot of trepidation, but also joy! It’s a different kind of waiting because there is a due date in sight, but there is still the uncertainty of how life will change after the waiting ends.

I’ve often thought about prayer as birthing something into the spiritual realm. It requires waiting and trusting in God. As I count down the days until my child’s birth, I’m thinking about how my own spiritual birthing experience has prepared me to depend on God in a similar way.

Is God working in your life right now through a season of waiting? If so, how is He calling you to display the trust and focus that Simeon had in his life as he waited for the Messiah?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me first (1 Jn. 4:19) when I was completely unlovable. Forgive me for the things I have put before You and trusting in others more than I trust You. Remind me of Your faithfulness. Thank you that You never let me go. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Judges 8


Lunch Break Study

Read Lam. 3:24-6: I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

Questions to Consider

  1. What does it mean in verse 24 where Jeremiah says, “The Lord is my portion”?
  2. Why does this allow Jeremiah to wait?
  3. What can be learned while waiting? Do you recall what Abraham learned about himself while waiting for the Lord to deliver on His promise 25 years after it was made (Gn. 12:4, 21:5)?

Notes

  1. This refers to the territories that the tribes of Israel had. The Levites did not have a territory and the Lord was their portion. Jeremiah understands, in the same way, that the Lord is enough for him. The Lord is his security and his provision, much more so than anything that is physical.
  2. Knowing that the Lord is his portion, allows Jeremiah to wait because he trusts in who the Lord is. He knows the Lord is good (v. 25) and he keeps His promises. This hope (v. 25) allows Jeremiah to wait quietly (v. 26) upon the Lord.
  3. Abraham tries to fulfill God’s promise through his own human strategy: first, after waiting for 10 years he simply assumes that his servant Eliezar would be his inheritor (Gn. 15:2-3); then later he marries another woman who gives birth to Ishmael whom God rejects as the fulfillment of the promise (Gn. 21:10). What does this show about Abraham, the so-called the father of faith? No one has an unwavering great faith in God; that is to say, if we are to have great faith in Him, it will be the result of falling on our faces many times because of our lack of patience while waiting on God. As God was gracious to Abraham whenever he felt short, thereby never abrogating the promise made to him, it is through God’s infinite grace that we learn to trust Him and His goodness.

Evening Reflection

Lord, thank You that You walk with us in every season, particularly in times of waiting. The truth is that all of our waiting pales in comparison to waiting for Jesus. Fortunately for us, Jesus is already here. In every moment of waiting, may we have much joy and peace, because we understand the Messiah has already promised and secured for us our greatest need—a relationship with the Heavenly Father that can never be broken.

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