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The Scriptorium

The Work of the Spirit

Is He working in you? Luke 1.25-35

Luke 2  (4)

Pray Psalm 121.1, 2.
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.

Sing Psalm 121.1, 2.
(Duke Street: Jesus Shall Reign)
I lift up my eyes up to the heights: Whence comes my help by day, by night?
My help comes from the Lord above! He made creation by His love!

Read Luke 2.1-35; meditate on verses 25-35.


1. What had been revealed to Simeon by the Spirit?

2. What did Simeon say to Mary?

This passage shows us how the Spirit of God worked throughout the period of the Old Testament. He hovered “upon” people whom God favored (v. 25). He revealed God’s Word to such people, so that they understood His promises and set their hearts to wait for them (v. 26). The Spirit further empowered and guided those whom God favored for their daily walk with Him (v. 27). Finally, He enabled them to see Jesus, if only in prospect, and to proclaim the Good News of His coming (vv. 29-35).

Simeon was “just and devout” because he believed the Word of God and looked forward to the coming of Israel’s “Consolation”. He communed with the Spirit and lived within the orbit of His Presence and power. He waited patiently until the day he held Jesus in his arms, then he burst into proclamation of the salvation of the Lord in Jesus: “For my eyes have seen Your salvation” (v. 30). God also revealed through him that many would be saved by the Child of Mary, and that she would know sorrow in her heart. All this was the work of the Spirit.

Since the Spirit was so powerful to work on, with, and through those whom God favored throughout the period of the Old Testament, how much more powerful must He be since He has come to dwell in all who believe in Jesus? What blessed ability to understand the Word of God is ours! What power for bearing virtuous fruit and exercising gifts for ministry! What boldness is ours for bearing witness because of the indwelling Spirit of God! And what energy He exerts to transform us increasingly into the likeness of Jesus!

Do we expect the Spirit of God to work with us like this? We should. We must wait on Him daily and walk the path He has marked out for us so that we may know His exceedingly abundant power at work within us to will and do of God’s good pleasure (Eph. 3.19, 20; Phil. 2.13).

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
How many times during his long life do you think Simeon prayed, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law”? (Ps. 119.18) And now, because he was just and devout and had been eagerly waiting to see Jesus, the Consolation of Israel (Lk. 2.25), his prayer was answered.

As he edged toward the end of his life, his expectation must have increased daily (Lk. 2.26). And then, there He was! The long-expected Jesus. How his heart must have rejoiced. “For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Lk. 2.30-32).

After Jesus’ resurrection many people shared Simeon’s reaction: Mary Magdalene told the disciples “that she had seen the Lord” (Jn. 20.18); and then the disciples told Thomas, “We have seen the Lord” (Jn. 20.25).

God used this devout, kind, older man of faith to share good news, but some hard news as well, with Mary: “yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also” (Lk. 2.35). God seemed to layer information onto Mary and Joseph about their parenting of His precious Son; words of preparation for their hearts. A joy-filled, albeit difficult road lay ahead of them.

Now that we have seen the Lord, and His Holy Spirit lives in our lives, and we rejoice to know Him; we, too, have some words of preparation to comprehend from Jesus: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16.33).

So we pray, Open our eyes, that we may see wondrous things from Your law (Ps. 119.18), and let us be of good cheer as we live through the power of the Holy Spirit to be, like Simeon, just and devout, as we wait expectantly for Your  imminent return to earth (Acts 1.11).

Come, Thou long expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a king;
Born to reign in us forever, now Thy gracious kingdom bring;
By Thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit, raise us to Thy glorious throne.

For reflection
1. Do you look forward to the coming of Jesus? How does that affect your daily walk with and work for Him?

2. How do you experience the Spirit of God, at work in you?

3. Whom will you encourage today to let the Spirit do His work in them?

Then he entered the temple—but not by chance or naively. He came to the temple in the Spirit of God.… If you wish to hold Jesus, and to embrace him with your hands, and to be made worthy of leaving prison, you too must struggle with every effort to possess the guiding Spirit. Origen (185-254), Homilies on the Gospel of Luke 15.1-3

Pray Psalm 121.3-8.
Commit yourself afresh to the Lord as your Keeper and Shade. Call on Him to guard your steps today, to keep you in His grace, guard you from all ill, and give you strength for all your endeavors.

Sing Psalm 121.3-8.
Duke Street: Jesus Shall Reign)
God will not let our footsteps fall; He will preserve us all in all.
He does not slumber, does not sleep; God will His chosen people keep.

You are our Keeper and our Shade; You have our debt of sin repaid!
You will preserve us by Your might; naught shall afflict us day or night.

Lord, You will guard our lives from ill; You will our trembling souls keep still.
All our endeavors You will guard; eternal praise be Yours, O Lord!

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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