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Devotional - week of December 22, 2013


ONE IMPACT OF THE BABY JESUS

Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel. Luke 2:34

Mary and Joseph had taken Jesus to the temple for circumcision when He was 8 days old. Simeon, a just and devout man, who was waiting for the Savior came into the temple. The Holy Spirit revealed to him that this 8 day old baby was that Savior for Israel. Among other things, he prophesied that Jesus would be the cause of the rise and fall of many in Israel. There are two verses in the Book of Acts that well illustrate the fulfillment of the prophecy.

Acts chapter 5 records the believers ministering in the temple. Verse 13 says, “… the people esteemed them highly.” The fishermen, tax collectors and others were now elevated in the eyes of men.

Two verse later reads, “Then the captain went with the officers and brought them [the Apostles] without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned.” The reputation of the ruling class had fallen because of Jesus.

There is great persecution today of those of us who follow and preach Jesus. The fall of their persecutors will come. They are under the judgment of God. But consider the rise of those who are the followers of Jesus.

Scripture teaches clearly that any of us can be lifted above our present effectiveness in the Kingdom. We can be raised up as servants of the Lord in the same manner Peter and the other believers were. The one thing that made the difference for them was the filling of the Holy Spirit.

The filling of the Holy Spirit begins with a belief that you can be filled accompanied with a desire to be filled. Surely, the baby Jesus who is now Lord and King would be thrilled if we have that faith and desire. If we do, we just need to experience the crucifixion of our flesh (Galatians 5:17, 5:24).

By reading and continuing to obey the 5 statements below, a believer can be filled with the Holy Spirit—and enter into a far more fruitful ministry.