Special Days – Presentation of the Lord: Malachi 3:1-4; Psalm 24; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40
The Lord calls us to return to Him.
God calls us to be His faithful people. He says, ‘Return to Me.’ He promises to bless those who return to Him: ‘I will return to you’. God calls us to honour Him with our ‘tithes and offerings: ‘Bring the whole tithe (tenth) into the storehouse…’ When we honour the Lord, He has promised that He will honour us: ‘Those who honour Me, I will honour’. When we honour the Lord with our obedience, He promises that He will honour us with His blessing. He promises to ‘open the windows of heaven and pour down for us an overflowing blessing’. Satan – ‘the devourer’- will be defeated. We will ‘serve God’. He will take ‘delight’ in us. We will be His ‘treasured possession’ (Malachi 3:8-12, 17-19; 1 Samuel 2:30).
Open the door of your heart to Jesus. He will come in.
For God’s people, there is a glorious eternal destiny: ‘I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever’ (Psalm 23:6). We ‘receive this blessing from the Lord, … the God of our salvation’ (Psalm 24:5). There is only one answer to the question, ‘Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?: Jesus Christ ‘shall stand in His holy place’. No one else has ‘clean hands and a pure heart’ – no one else but Jesus. He is the One who receives ‘blessing’ from the Lord – and He gives it to us (Psalm 24:3-5)! How do we receive His blessing? – We must open our hearts ‘that the King of glory may come in’ (Psalm 24:7, 9). How can ‘the Lord, strong and mighty’ live in me? How can I receive His resurrection power? Jesus says, ‘I stand at the door and knock, if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in’ (Psalm 24:8; Ephesians 1:19-20; Revelation 3:20).
Receive Christ and become a child of God.
God invites each of us to receive a great blessing – the blessing of being His ‘children’ (Hebrews 2:13). We become God’s children through faith in Christ: ‘To all who received Him, who believed in His Name, He gave power to become children of God’ (John 1:12). What will you do with God’s great invitation, His invitation of love? Will you receive Christ and become a child of God? Will you miss out on the blessing ‘because of unbelief’ (Hebrews 3:19)? God is waiting for your answer – ‘Today, when you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts’ (Hebrews 3:7, 15). Throughout life, we must guard against ‘an evil, unbelieving heart, leading us to fall away from the living God’. ‘Every day’, we must take care that we do not become ‘hardened by the deceitfulness of sin’ (Hebrews 3:12-13). As God’s children, let’s grow in Christ (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18).
Let us follow Jesus. Be filled with the Spirit. Walk in the Spirit.
Jesus ‘fulfilled all righteousness’ (Matthew 3:15). His circumcision and presentation to the Lord was ‘according to the law of Moses’ (Luke 2:21-24; Leviticus 12:1-8). Jesus’ obedience was always more than mere conformity to ‘the written code’. He was walking ‘in the Spirit’. He was filled with ‘the Spirit of the living God’ (2 Corinthians 3:3,6). His obedience came ‘from the heart’ and His ‘praise’ came ‘not from men but from God’ (Romans 6:17; 2:29). What joy there was for Simeon and Anna! This was ‘salvation’, ‘redemption’ (Luke 2:30, 38). As you journey through life, don’t ‘lose Jesus’ (Luke 2:43-45). Keep close to Him! If you do ‘lose Him’, where will you find Him again? – ‘In the temple’ (Luke 2:46). Have you lost your way? Find your way back to ‘the sanctuary of God’ – and things will start to fall into place again (Psalm 73:16-17)!
The Bible readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary – Year A.