Living in Peace…

When you get the chance, you should take a close look at Luke chapter 2. Just past the oft-read story about God becoming a little baby, there is a brief tale about a guy named Simeon. Simeon is a really old man when we meet him. He is a righteous man who loves the Lord and has been given a promise from God. He was told that before he died he would get to see the Messiah. Well, around verse 28 he gets to do just that. Mary and Joseph bring the baby Jesus to the Temple where our righteous friend is. He gets to hold the God-man and praises the Lord. After spending just a brief moment with Jesus, he declares that his life is complete and he is ready to die. He has found his peace.

So, what does this have to do with living in the last days? It is a very nice story, sure, but shouldn’t we be looking in the more prophetic books or at least an epistle? Maybe we should, but we are not going to for this particular article. I think that there is a lot we can learn about living in the last days from Simeon for one simple reason; He was waiting for the last days to begin, and when they finally did, he became totally at peace.

When most people consider living in the last days, peaceful is not something that typically comes to mind. A lot of sermons and studies on the subject are very good at working the audience into a lather of fear and foreboding. However, here was Simeon, witness to the very start of the last days, totally content. He was not afraid of death, not quarrelsome with anybody, not anxious about what was to come – he was just at peace. Simeon understood that the coming of the Messiah meant that the age had changed, and now mankind was living in the last days. Peter knew this same truth when he quoted the prophet Joel in Acts 2. Jesus’ coming to earth meant the inauguration of the last days and started the clock downwards on this earth. Knowing all this, Simeon was at peace. He was completely satisfied with his life, because he now knew the reality of God’s mercy embodied in Jesus.

If that brief encounter with God’s incarnate Mercy was so impactful for Simeon, how much better do we have it? Christ lived and died for us. Then after what had to be the darkest period in human history; the weekend between the first Good Friday and Easter morning, Jesus rose from the dead. The little baby that gave Simeon the ultimate fulfillment one-upped all of history and conquered death. He has never left us since then, and has no plans to do so in the future – even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). We get to live out Simeon’s wish to be with Jesus on a daily basis. We get to know his love and the very present truth of his salvation every minute of our lives.

That is an awesome truth by itself, but it gets even better. When the last days approach their last days and things start getting all apocalyptic, our awareness of God’s mercy will only come closer to perfection. The closer we get to the earth being burned up in a great flaming destruction and the universe collapsing in on itself, the better our relationship with Jesus gets.

Because of Christ’s resurrection and indwelling in the lives of his saints, we get to experience his goodness on a regular basis. However, we have to consider that at this point, we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away (1 Corinthians 13:9). In other words, we don’t really have the full story yet. We don’t know exactly how the last days will play out. We don’t really know what the new earth will be like. And most importantly, we don’t know the absolute fullness of Jesus’ presence yet. Even Simeon, who got to hold Jesus in his arms, did not experience God’s presence in its full grandeur. When God tears this place apart and makes it new, he is going to glorify his saints into a new body and put us into a new and perfect relationship with him. We will get to be with him on a new level. We will get to be with Jesus in full and perfect measure at all times. Nothing we could possibly go through in the last days could ever come close to comparing to the joy that promise brings.

Among the many comforting things about this truth is that no matter what period of history we are living in, the focus of our lives never actually changes. Our prayer and life’s devotion should always be the simple one which Simeon shows us; to be with Jesus. That hope and prayer will not go unanswered, because Jesus has come to be with us. He wants us to know that and to sincerely focus on loving him. So, even if you live out the rest of your life and never see the last of the last days –you only need to focus on being with Jesus. Throughout all of our time here on this earth, we should pray and live our lives as a simple request to Jesus; “Can I be with you?” Then when the time of this earth is up – we get to carry that request over into a new and more awesome realm. His answer will always be the same; “Yes, my child.”

Seek his presence, and be at peace like Simeon.

Two truths and a lie about Brad:

  1. Holds a degree in Religious Studies from Liberty University.
  2. Currently works as a Web Developer and Graphic Designer.
  3. Has a crippling fear of the tiny holes cut into crackers.

The truth is out there…twice.

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