Devotion: Waiting In A State Of Holy Anticipation
There was a man in the New Testament who had heard the promise of God that he would see the child Jesus before he died. Because he trusted in this convenient, he postured his heart in a continual state of holy anticipation-------and he recognized the face of humankind's salvation when the son of God was brought before the altar of his Father.
This face, "a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and a glory for the people of Israel," Luke 2v32.
My heart feels encouraged reading this verse, and I think about where/who it is positioned to see today. Simeon was expectant on God and this revelation of himself. Where are my expectations placed?
I think sometimes I place expectation on myself. My vision remains focused on the physical world around me. The world's news next to my studies and weekly assignments. The highs & lows of the mirror. And I know it's alright to consider all these things. To make resolutions and follow-through. This is an important part of living fully.
But how comforting it is when we look up and reflect on the eternal, knowing that our satisfaction in pursuing these goals comes from Jesus, the one who strengthens our resolve in all hard, worthwhile things.
♪ Most Beautiful / So In Love (feat. Chandler Moore) - Maverick City Music | TRIBL Music
Luke 7 tells the story of a women who, hopeless and afraid, comes to Jesus. She finds him in the home of a man named Simon whose high religious status made him a respected member of society.
"The women brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind Jesus, weeping, began to wet his feet with her tears, kissed and anointed them with the perfume," v38.
Simon made to embarrass her, but Jesus only replied with "Look. Do you see this woman?" Looking and seeing represent the same gap in attention that exists between hearing and listening. Here Jesus is asking Simon to see. "I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my heard with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven------she has loved much," v44-47.
In those days, the roads would have been moulded by the wear of sandals, horse-carriages, mud and dust. And genuine love is seen in moments such as these. In the ugliness of daily-living. Remember Jesus did the same. In John 13, before the Feast of the Passover, before crucifixion-----that most intense revelation of heavenly love----Jesus knelt at the feet of his disciples and began to wash their feet. When he had finished, he said to them, "Do you understand? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also bought to wash one another's feet," v13-14.
Jesus was showing them what love does. How love sees. And when we are really seen (as was the case with Simon), hypocrisy becomes humility. When we really see, criticism turns to compassion.
"Blessed are you who know these things and do them," v18. Who choose to look and see.
♪ You Know Me - Steffany Gretzinger | Bethel Music Worship.
Luke 6: "I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never-----I promise-----regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives towards us, generous and gracious, even when we are at our worst. Be kind the way Jesus is kind to us.
Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults----unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; difficulties can feel like a boomerang.
Be easy on people; you'll find life given back, but not merely so-----given with bonus and blessing," v35-38.
The kingdom of God is beautifully unusual, in that God's love is not at all determined on our ability to return it in full. How can we love to such a degree as eternity?
But still, let us love. How can we not but respond so completely when we feel the comfort of such an everlasting promise?
The kingdom of God on earth calls us to the same. To love without expecting return. To serve, quietly, knowing that humility rewards us in heaven, in heart. 1 John 3: "And let us love beyond word or speech, to action and truth," v18.
It can feel hard to love when you feel loveless, or to give when you feel depleted. What is an area of your life where you feel a sense of lack and deficiency right now? Think in time, finances, passion, patience, hope.
For me, it is exhaustion. I feel tired. I've spent the last couple days inside between half-sleeps and studies, and yet, I still feel tired. And I think makes me feel unsteady. All I want to do is curl up and continue to sleep. Not because I'm sad, but because my body just feel weary. This is how I feel deficient. But I trust Jesus when he says that he will give rest & strength.
1 Peter 5: "And when you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you," v10.
This God, who "is able to make all grace abound to you" will ensure that "you may have an abundance for every good deed," 2 Corinthians 9v8.
♪ Justin Jarvis - Eyes on You - Live Sessions.