Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pray for the Children

Luke 2: 21 - 38

And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "EVERY firstborn MALE THAT OPENS THE WOMB SHALL BE CALLED HOLY TO THE LORD"), and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, "A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS."

And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, "Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
And the glory of Your people Israel."

And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed--and a sword will pierce even your own soul--to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."

And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Eight days after he was born, he was given his name officially. Though the Lord had already told Mary and Joseph that his name would be Jesus. Then a little while later, Mary and Joseph took the baby to the temple. The verses say that it has to do with the law of Moses that a first born child, male has to have a special sacrifice made to the Lord. So Joseph and Mary did that. They came to the temple and present the child to the Lord. This was special, but every family who followed the law did this. It is in hopes that in doing this the first born male will be redeemed by God and be sanctified. So a price must be paid.

When my children were born, we were thrilled that God had trusted us with each child. We sacrifice each day for them. We love them, listen to them, and make sure their needs are met. We take great care in giving them a name that we believe will fit them and add to their uniqueness. We want the best for them. Our children are precious to us and we want them to be redeemed by God. But we believe that it is their choice. All we can do is show them with our lives, pray for them, and teach them that God loves them. We don't have to do it for just the first born male. We can do this for all of our children. So today, pray for your children. Pray that God will keep their hearts in his hands and they will always stay close to God.

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