Don’t Give Up!

We are approaching a new year, a new beginning.  It causes one to look back over the past year and evaluate the gains and losses. I am not talking about weight but that might be one of those things you were concerned about as 2021 began!

Most people like to set goals, to start over. If you are like me, you set them high, maybe too high. Some have given up on even setting them as the goal was never realized! When failure comes early, you just give up altogether and make excuses for your failures. This has become a pattern for me in many things. Upon realizing this, it was time to get more serious, time to change my pattern of thinking!

What are reasonable expectations for you? Mine cannot be yours in certain areas. I will never excel in athletics of any kind at my age. I will never go back to school to accomplish some degree. Yet, there is something we can all do. We can change our mindset about our goals and our failure in that goal.

“that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind”,               Ephesians 4:22-23.

When I look at a year, I consider spiritual goals and physical goals; each has it’s sub division. To me, the greater goal is the spiritual one that can reap eternal benefits. What can empower me against sin? What can be the means to bless and encourage another. What about reading through the Bible this year? Or memorizing the Word, praying more, hospitality?

I began this year with the goal of memorizing 1 Peter. It was a bit overwhelming to think that somehow I would work my way through 5 chapters or 105 verses. But I gave up on all the excuses that tend to dominate the thoughts as we face a big goal. I decided to stop listening to the lie that it was too hard or too much. I knew I had the time although it would require prioritizing time, which is another one of those lies that I succumbed to in the past.

What excuse do you use in any expectation or desire that you have failed in? I have come to hate excuses that I have lived by, that were really cover ups for my failure in commitment. Albeit, some excuses you cannot help; the highway accident, the weather, the virus…

Truth is, some goals while never fully completed still benefit the doer. If I could memorize even one verse or chapter I made progress. And so it is with all spiritual goals. 

Before you give up and quit on your goal, stop and ask yourself, “has the progress I made before I got off track been helpful”? Did I enjoy some benefit before I crashed? If so, then get back on the plan and keep moving forward. 

I believe the devils goal is to sway us to sleep, to trip us in some way that brings shame, pain and division. Once that happens, we turn and run or stop and cry or blame someone else but we rarely get back on plan. Don’t quit now! Take full responsibility and move forward.

We are in a battle in life, both spiritual and physical – a battle for truth! Stop listening to the lies purported by others and yourself. Set a goal, make a decision and press on to win the battle for your life; spirit soul and body! The Lord will always help in our weakness. But it’s up to us to be serious about it!

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” Ephesians 6:12.

God the Help of Those Who Seek Him

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth” Psalms 121:1-2.

The end of ALL THINGS….

But the end of ALL THINGS is at hand; therefore be SERIOUS and WATCHFUL in your PRAYERS.  1 Peter 4:7

The end of ALL THINGS …

It sounds so ominous. It sounds like something we should pay attention to. Are you SERIOUS and WATCHFUL in your PRAYERS? This is something that I am learning.  Why? Because we have been instructed to do so and because it is important as we see the great need all around us. Souls need to be saved. Our hearts need encouragement and without SERIOUS PRAYER, these things may not happen.

All around us crazy things are happening. Governments seem to be more and more corrupt. Public schools have an agenda that is against the family. Fathers are leaving their children and mothers are overwhelmed and looking for some escape. Then there is the infighting, war, illegal activity, violent outbursts, unreasonable expectations and illogical thinking and selfishness seems to be the modus operand-a ; all of these are symptomatic of the sin that rules in the hearts of mankind. And it is increasing exponentially! Could it be that the END is that near? It seems to me that there is a satanic movement to destroy mankind and the plans of God. Satan has always had this agenda and we are instructed to PRAY today because the END is nearer than we realize!

What am I saying? Get SERIOUS Christian! STOP meandering around truth. STOP walking in the pathway of the unjust and start living SERIOUSLY for the Lord. Be the LIGHT OF GOD in the darkness of a sinful world.

1 Pet 4:8
And above ALL THINGS have fervent LOVE for one another, for “LOVE will cover a multitude of sins.”

According to Peter, the END is near, get SERIOUS and PRAY. Then ABOVE ALL THINGS – LOVE one another.

Be SERIOUS in PRAYER, be FERVENT in LOVE. These are two extremely important things we are told to do by GOD Himself through Peter’s words. Are you listening?

Yet, that is not all. As 1 Peter 4:11 says, speak as an oracle of GOD,
MINISTER in the ability of God’s supply. Why? Because in ALL THINGS GOD should be GLORIFIED.  Today, tomorrow and in the end.

1 Peter 4:11 “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of GOD. If anyone MINISTERS, let him do it as with the ability which GOD supplies, that in ALL THINGS GOD may be GLORIFIED through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the GLORY and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

PRAYER is a deterrent to sin Matthew 26:41
LOVE is a characteristic of GOD, the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22
MINISTER is to be an attendant, to serve another, to wait upon another

Don’t think you should leave ministering to some other person with a title. GOD calls us all to be MINISTERS!

There is a day coming when MINISTERING will be rewarded.

Matthew 25:40
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

We have today to be obedient.  You have today not knowing what tomorrow brings. Use today for the GLORY OF GOD.

Matthew 26:41
WATCH AND PRAY, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Mark 13:33
Take heed, WATCH AND PRAY for you do not know when the time is.

Hold Fast!

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

Where does your hope lie? And what do you hold fast to?

The Word of God is always expedient. It is the one thing in this world that we can fully trust in and rely on. The word of man will almost always fail, but not God’s Word.

Today I was making note of all the things that we are told to hold fast to. But first, what does it mean to hold fast?

It means to lay a strong hand on, to seize and don’t let go! Kenneth Wuest says it is to hold down. It speaks here of a firm hold on the thing that is necessary and worthy of being held.

We are to:

Hold fast to the gospel 1 Cor 15:1,2
Hold fast what is good 1 Thess 5:21 (Phil 4:8,9)
Hold the traditions 2 Thess 2:14,15 (stand fast and hold)
Hold fast the pattern of sound words 2 Tim 1:13,14
Hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope Heb 3:6
Hold fast our confession Heb 4:14
Hold fast the confession of our hope Heb 10:23

These are challenging words to me. Why? Because at first I think that the ability to hold fast is all on my shoulders. But is it? No! It is not about our power of holding that gives security. It is about the power of the One we hold on to and the power of the Word that keeps us. The power to hold on to these things is in God Himself and His Word.

In studying this closer I learn that holding on to these things is the proof that I did believe the gospel and that I do believe God’s word and that I fully placed my faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

“…whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end” (Heb 3:6).

The average Jew, the writer of Hebrews explains, looked to the law, the prophets and the keeping of rituals but these things could not save anyone, Jew or Gentile. Our salvation has never been in what we do but in what Jesus did. As well, the security of salvation is in God’s strong hand (John 10:28,29) and the Holy Spirit who sealed us when we trusted in Christ (Eph 1:13,14)

To sum this up, true Christians hold fast to God and His Word because our God holds fast to us! What are you holding fast to today?

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. John 10:28,29

Danger! Danger!

Danger! Danger!

There is a movement in our society that seems to be intended to sway or deceive many. Words are being thrown around; some loosely, some forcefully but many with the intention of deceiving.

Religious leaders of days gone by would seek to subvert the truth of the gospel and dumb down the people. They couldn’t allow those apostles of Jesus Christ to win over the people! They wanted to silence them and pervert the message, putting an end to this new religion that attracted so many.

Acts 14:2-3
“But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.

Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands”.

Did you notice the response of the apostles? They were not silenced. They did not cower. They did not respond with angry attacks. However, they did speak boldly. They were forthright and confident with the message of truth.

Notice as well, it was the Lord who was “bearing witness to the word of His grace”. When the word of God is spoken it is the Lord Himself that takes His word and graciously reaches into the heart and mind to “discern the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

It doesn’t take much these days to poison the mind. In Acts 14:2  the word poison means to injure, to exasperate or make evil affected. It is translated as harm, oppress or harass in other places in Acts.

Sometimes it’s good to be reminded that our enemy the devil is seeking to suppress the voices of those who speak truth and call out his lies.

Paul and Barnabas went throughout “the region” spreading the word of the Lord. It was rejected by the religious rulers often and when the apostles could no longer boldly proclaim it, they shook off the dust from their feet and continued on their way with joy (Acts 13:51,52), not with complaint!

Do you face opposition at times because of the word of the Lord? How often do you experience resistance or the bitter poison of others against the gospel? What is your response?

Shake it off friend. We are not called to argue, fight or resist the authorities around us. We are called to suffer through for righteousness sake.

1 Peter 2:15
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—

None of us want to suffer the threats of others and we conveniently forget, or maybe with subtlety satan has deceived us as 1 Peter 2:19-20 says, “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God”.

Be encouraged dear Christian, to speak forth the Word with confidence and do not be afraid of their threats! Be aware of the subtle attack or divisive approach to draw you into an argument that would cast a shadow upon the glory and goodness of God.

“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts,
and always be ready to give a defense
to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” 1 Peter 3:14-15

“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming”. 1 John 2:28

Candles and Character

When wisdom enters your heart,

And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,

Discretion will preserve you;

Understanding will keep you,

Proverbs 2:10-11

Viewing young women growing up in our world today, I am amazed that the rules of conduct seem to have morphed into some otherworldly habits! May I just take a moment to look at some things that scripture has to say about what is proper for women professing godliness? The instruction God gives in His word is really more about the attitude of heart that carries us and the display of character seen in our moderation and manners.

“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.” (Hair, jewelry and name brand clothing are not to be our emphasis!)

‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:9-10‬ ‭NASB

Deportment is a word not commonly used these days. It speaks to how one carries herself; posture, walk, conversation, conduct etc. Yet, it also includes her attitude, style and manners. The greek word for adorn means – to put in proper order, decorate, to trim a wick. Wait, what? 

Think of the intentional trimming of the candle wick that it might burn upright, without smoke and without flickering. We want the fragrance of the candle, the beauty of the flame and the benefit of it’s illumination, not the black sooty residue. Likewise, our adornment is important if what others see is to be beautiful, clean and fragrant. More specifically, could others see me and sense that I am a woman of God? It’s not that modest clothing makes a woman godly but having a mindfulness about her clothing keeps her from mistakenly giving the wrong impression about her character.

In thinking about ways to encourage  young women to honor the Lord in these areas I am reminded of the woman in Proverbs 31:10-31. Beginning in verse 10, she is said to be virtuous or excellent. That is, having a strong moral character. It is a military word. She had the moral strength of a strong army. She wasn’t wishy-washy about what she did, how she looked or how she held herself. She had purpose, conviction and lived differently than the average, common woman. 

The word wife could be translated woman. It is highly unlikely that she displayed any of these fine things listed by being married. Rather, she had a strong moral character and therefore, made an excellent wife. 

She is trustworthy, doing good and not evil all her days (v12). She works willingly (13), consistently and considerately (15). She works hard (17-20) and she is mindful of those in need and does what she can to help them. She is well clothed, properly fit for the woman who represents her husband (or father) who sits in the gate and has a place of honor and responsibility.

Pause with me. Being properly fit is not about the money, the fashion or name brand. Does my appearance give honor to the One I love? Is it respectful of His character and holiness? Is it mindful of His request to be modest? Is it proper in its fit or is it fit for the place it’s worn? 

Therefore, I ask, do you want to be an excellent woman? Then seek to have a strong moral character. Give careful attention to how one acts, speaks and appears by giving careful attention to heeding the Word and applying its truth to your heart.

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,

But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.


What’s in that Back Room?

Can I come by and see what’s in your house today?

Zacchaeus was a wee little man…

You remember that story? He climbed a tree to see Jesus and then in one amazing moment, Jesus called to him to come down because he wanted to go to Zacchaeus’s house.

I read that today in my daily reading and it reminded me of a lesson I taught young children years ago,  although with a simple gospel line. It was titled Your Heart, Christ’s Home.

You and I have many rooms in our home. When you are expecting company you focus on cleaning the rooms you know they will see; your living room, dinning room and probably your bathroom.

But imagine the Lord Jesus coming in for a visit and he says, “I would like to go in that room”.

Wait! That room is not clean. I didn’t take time to clean there because that is my personal bedroom, or office, or entertainment room.  Or maybe, we only invite “the other” guests into that room! They don’t really care how  cluttered and  dusty it is. There are things there we let others see, but not Jesus! Yeah, right!

Could that be true of our heart? We have rooms in our heart with daily habits, personal joys and entertainments that we wouldn’t want others to really see or know about.

But friend, we cannot hide these things from God. He knows what is there and that is why he says, “I want to go into that room”. He wants to be present in every room of our heart and remove the shame of it’s filth.

Maybe it’s time to clean up those areas of our life that we secretly indulge in or are embarrassed by, or ashamed of. Things that we know would be called out by God as areas of sin. I speak to myself here as much as anybody.

It may be time for  repentance and cleansing. The Psalmist says;

“Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression”. Psalms 19:12-13

Jesus Christ as our sin bearer has already paid the price for cleaning but it’s up to us to let His Holy Spirit do the sanctifying work. Jesus told Peter in John 13:10  that he was clean, (because Peter believed Jesus Christ) but needed his feet washed. Salvation cleanses the sinner from sin but sanctification is the daily purifying work of the Spirit of God.

“who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works”. Titus 2:14

Wonder Working Power

As I have been studying and memorizing 1 Peter 1, I continue to be thrilled at the Wonder Working Power of the shed blood of our Lord Jesus! Do you know that song?

Would you be free from your burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
Would you o’er evil the victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood

There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb

And of course, those verses that speak to being whiter than snow…where sin stains are lost in it’s life giving flow… AMAZING!

I’ve been stuck on verse 5 of the first chapter. Not stuck as in it’s too hard to memorize. No, I keep coming back over and over again thinking on the keeping power of our God who loves us so much and wants us to be His children, not just His creation! As a side note – you who have believed in God’s saving power will know the completeness of His salvation in a day to come – and it will be very good!

1Pet 1:5 says, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”.

This blood that we cherish for it’s keeping power is precious to God, even as His Son is.

1 Peter 1:19
but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

1 Peter 2:4
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

God’s plan to save the whole world came at a great cost. The Father was willing to judge His Son who bore my sin and your sin on the cross because, you and I both know that we have sinned.

The Father who loved us would punish His Perfect Son.The Son who loved us, would willingly take our punishment so that you and I would not need to be punished. There is no way we would have been able to withstand the strong wrath of a holy God against our unrighteousness.

Who does that? The Father and the Son, that’s who. Their love for us was so great! They were willing to do whatever it took that we might become children of the living God!

John 1:12
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

So, have you believed in the precious blood of Christ and it’s cleansing power? If so, you are being kept by God. What is He keeping you for or from?

For salvation 1 Pet 1:5
For unity through His name John 17:11

From the evil one John 17:15
From stumbling Jude 1:24
From the hour of trial Rev 3:10

We have forgiveness, cleansing and the promise of a future through His blood! And if that is not enough, all your cares and concerns that you take to Him in prayer, He is able to keep those too!
2 Tim 1:12

But certainly God has heard me;
He has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
Who has not turned away my prayer,
Nor His mercy from me! Psalms 66:19-20

Jude 1:24,25
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.

Loving More, Holding Less

February is the month of love. So, let’s talk about love…and dying. Ok, it’s a one sided conversation about the way we love the dying and the way we love the Lord. How can our perspective on death support someone who may have already lost a loved one or may even now be sitting beside them, holding their hand, cherishing the moments till that last breath? Is that, perhaps, even you?

Dear Christian friend, death is on my mind. I don’t say this in a morbid or evil way. Death is complicated as is the way we hold onto the dying in our hearts and before the throne of grace. We are filled with sorrow at the news of terminal illness, hating the very thought of losing those we love so deeply. While we are concerned for them, we think of what we don’t know and can‘t control and how empty we will be when they are gone.

According to one source, death is the permanent cessation of vital functions of all living organisms. That’s very scientific! But, while factual for the body, not so for the spirit!

It’s only February of 2021 and I know of seven, off the top of my head, who have been promoted to glory. Four on the same day! In fact, this past year has opened the eyes of all worldwide who watch and calculate death, then confirm it to the world and mandate that you need to be more aware of it and take precautions to keep from it!

Death makes us sad; the thought of it, the fear of it, the certainty of it, the eminence of it, the absoluteness of it. It happens! We can not stop it, only delay it. We think that we have some control of it, some way to slow it down. There are those that don’t or won’t think of it – as if denial will change anything.

In my Bible reading this morning of genealogies it casually states – he lived and he died. I realize there is nothing that is casual about death, but it is common and often unexpected.

What do you think about death? You may have a strong emotional feeling tied to it, tied to the one you love that is now “gone”. I do. I stood by the bedside of my father, my mother and my father-in-law and watched them pass. I cared for several others in their final days. In the past year I have grieved with many friends over the loss of those they love.

When my father was brought home from the hospital on hospice, he told us as we gathered around him, that he did not come home to die. He was going to get better, but denial didn’t change the facts.

Dad spoke often that he and his beloved wife would be gloriously raptured with all the saints of God. This is indeed a wonderful and blessed hope as Titus 2:11 tells us, “Looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

The truth is that we look forward to being raptured and live everyday in the reality of it, but we don’t get to choose it over death! Ecclesiastes 8:8 “No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, And no one has power in the day of death.”

Dad’s hope in the Lord’s coming seemed to supersede his love of God! I don’t mean to speak evil or harsh of my father who lived a life of godliness and longed to be in his eternal home. Yet, I was surprised from watching him in the last week of his life. Somehow it seemed he had lost the joy and longing for the Lord Himself and he wanted to hold onto this life and to his wife of 57 years!

Please, don’t misunderstand me, I would never criticize those who love their spouse or family and life. They are precious gifts from God. But shouldn’t the depth of our love for God be greater still? The principle to love God with all our heart and soul implies a greater love than that of family.

He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:37

Here is the main thought, the question that I ask myself. How much do I love the Lord? Do I long to be with Him? Is He my hope or have I only loved the “thought” of being with Him?

Do I long for a promotion into His Presence? Do I see the eternal joys beyond the earthly perspective of sorrow and loss? Am I longing with great anticipation to be with the Savior that I love? How do I get to this place of loving the Lord more than this life?

2 Corinthians 5:8 tells us, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” As I dwell on Him, study Him and cherish the moments of quietness with Him; as I give Him first place in my heart, then when I near the end of life I should with joy anticipate being promoted into His glorious Presence, the place where my heart is anchored! I believe this and it gives me great pleasure to know, “I am my beloved’s and His desire is towards me” Song of Songs 7:10!

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God? Psalms 42:1-2

Taking care of the matter of our sin and eternal standing is important. Salvation and deliverance from sin is a must! But let’s not neglect the relationship that made it possible! Now is the time to grow deeply in love with the person of the Lord Jesus. He is what heaven is all about! We are told to “love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment (Mark 12:30). Friend, it is more than a commandment. It is the reality of His love for me and mine for Him. It is true love.

I believe living this way would change our attitude about the certainty of death. If we looked forward to the time of our passing as a promotion or as the bride who longs to dwell with her one true love, then it might change our approach to a terminal diagnosis or the grief of a sudden passing. It might help us grieve without so much pain. It might help us recover from loss a little more gracefully. It might help to comfort us and the dying when we speak with joyful expectation of being united with our One True Love! Oh, let us love Him more and hold to this life less.

What is Living – Matters!

As I begin a study of 1 Peter, I have made note of things that are living. These are living truths that won’t change but will always be a part of the song of salvation.

Consider this –
We have a LIVING HOPE through Christ’s resurrection (life restored)
We have a LIVING INHERITANCE with no corruption or strings attached
We have a LIVING INHERITANCE that can not be used up as it does NOT FADE away! Yes, I mention it twice, double emphasis for double blessing!
We have a LIVING FAITH that is tested – by practice and experience (Rom 2:7 patient continuance) to praise, honor and glory.
We have a LIVING SALVATION – being born again (resurrection)
We have a LIVING SAVIOR – the red line of redemption spreads from Genesis to Revelation, preached by the Holy Spirit through the prophets, to all mankind!
We have the LIVING WORD OF GOD that lives and abides forever!

It can’t get any better! Have you entered into the place of the living?

Living He loved me, dying He saved me;
Buried He carried my sins far away.
Rising He justified, freely forever!
Someday He’s coming, Oh glorious day!

…because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. These things command and teach (1Timothy 4:10-11).

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit (1Pet 3:18).

Busy Waiting!

Give thanks to the Lord, the long awaited Savior has come! 

At Christmas time, we often think of  the angels and shepherds or Mary and Joseph when they came into Bethlehem but find no room in the inn. Let’s consider this sweet and beautiful portion of what  took place  in Luke’s account, Luke 2:25-38.  The baby has been born and the rejoicing continues in the temple.

Anna and Simeon were both elderly and prayerful. Simeon was “waiting for the Consolation of Israel and the Holy Spirit was upon him” (Luke 2:25). 

Here is what Isaiah 40:1-2 tells us concerning this consolation.

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”

Says your God.

“Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her,

That her warfare is ended,

That her iniquity is pardoned;

Anna had been widowed for a very long time. It seems that she had taken up a life of watchfulness with prayer and fasting, night and day. I would call her devoted and special. By special I mean, holy. She had set herself apart for the service of prayer and fasting. I think of her when I read 2 Co 7:1, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”. 

She inspires me. She lived with her husband for only seven years then was widowed and here she is eighty-four years of age. Somewhere in her grief she found purpose in serving God. 

Maybe she had learned from her father what serving God meant. His name was Phanuel meaning – the face of God. He belonged to the tribe of Asher, meaning blessed or happy. Anna had a heritage of godliness and in her grief as a young widow she chose to serve, happily.

These two elderly friends may have had many conversations about the One they waited for. As a woman close to God she recognized the beautiful opportunity to rejoice over the little one Simeon held, the Messiah and Savior, as the Spirit of God had revealed to Simeon in Luke 2:27.

I ask myself often, what shall I do while I wait for God? How shall I serve Him? Maybe in prayer and fasting? Not many are given to this kind of service!

The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly, For the salvation of the LORD.  Lamentations 3:25,26

The Savior came as a Child, died as a Man and rose as the One with the power to save. He certainly is the One who comforts and consoles all who are lonely and all who are waiting for His soon return. Which one are you? Lonely or waiting?

How will you serve while you wait? The Savior who came as a babe will come again, soon! 

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every  one according to his work. Revelation 22:12