Week of December 14, 2018
“There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” (Luke 2:36-37, NKJV)
Our faithfulness allows God to reveal greater insight to you than to those less faithful. Faithfulness brings opportunities to you that are not given to the unfaithful.
Anna had been a widow for many years. In her day, a widow had little status in society and was virtually helpless on her own. Anna spent most of her time in prayer and fasting. She longed to see the Messiah. God chose few people to encounter the savior when He was born, revealing His Son only to those whose hearts were faithful and pure. Anna was one of these few because she had a prepared heart to receive Christ. Jesus would later say to His followers “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” (Matthew 13:16, NKJV)
If we are to receive the presence of God this Christmas, we must prepare ourselves. Preparation must precede God’s presence. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were largely unprepared for his arrival. They knew He was coming and where He would be born, but when word came that He had been born, they made no effort to join Him. John the Baptist was God’s messenger to help people prepare to receive the Savior and those who heeded his message recognized Jesus when he came. His message was we had to repent which involves a change of mind and heart toward Him. This Christmas pray as the psalmist did, that God would examine our heart to reveal any need for repentance. As we do, we will experience the presence of God in a powerful way.
God Bless, Pastor Rick