June 26, 2022
Have you met someone who's devoted to ministry? If you want to find a devoted KidzAblaze member, just look for someone who wears a KidzAblaze t-shirt more often than not, who's super prepared on the trips, and maybe someone rambling about what an awesome opportunity the team will have to minister on the next trip--even though that member isn't even able to go on that trip!
I have to appreciate those people who eager serve God with rare devotion. How do we find the same devotion? I noticed a Bible passage with two strongly devoted people: Simeon and Anna.
Simeon, Living With Devotion
"And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him."
Luke 2:25 (NASB)
It was known that Simeon was devout, devoted to God. In this case, the Greek word for devout is only used 3 other times in the Bible, once describing Ananias in Acts 9 and 22, another of the Jews coming to observe Pentecost in Acts 2, and of those who mustered the courage to bury Stephen's body in Acts 8. In other words, Simeon was someone who honored God through actions that were rare to see. He doesn't seem to be anyone "important", like a pharisee or a priest, yet he served while not regarding men, but God, being righteous. Being devoted to God means honoring Him by our actions.
Secondly, Simeon listened and walked in the Spirit. There seemed to be nothing important that would draw Simeon to the temple that day, at that time. Yet Luke 2:27 says he came "by the Spirit to the temple". And when he got to the temple, he recognized Jesus right away! Being devoted to God also means listening for His direction in our everyday lives.
Last of all, Simeon blessed others by His words. He encouraged Jesus' parents, prophesying how Jesus would bring salvation to both Jews and Gentiles. He also gave them a warning, mostly to Mary, of how many would oppose Jesus and hurt them in the process. He still ended with encouragement, however, in how Jesus would reveal things that couldn't be seen otherwise. Those who are devoted to God edify others with their words.
Anna, Rejoicing With Devotion
"And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years...She did not leave the temple grounds, serving night and day with fasts and prayers."
Luke 2:36-37 (NASB)
Just like Simeon, Anna also was devoted, offering God her whole life. She even lived at the temple! She also teaches us how to live devoted to God.
First, she "gave thanks to God" when she first saw Jesus! She recognized God's goodness to her, and in return worshipped Him!
Second, she told others about Jesus! When we truly are devoted to God, sometimes it will take us out of our normal boundaries, but He still calls us to share with everyone the Good News He offers!
How are we going to practice devotion?