Hearing God’s Voice from His Word
James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Take a moment and turn your attention to God. Tell God that you desire to trust and obey Him. Ask God to speak to you from His word.
Psalm of the Day
Psalm 49:6-10 Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me—
6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches?
7 No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them—
8 the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—
9 so that they should live on forever and not see decay.
10 For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish, leaving their wealth to others.
Read the entire Psalm
Think of how this Psalm points to Jesus. “No one can redeem the life of another.” Christ is our only redeemer. The rich trust in their wealth and boast of riches. In the end their wealth will not save them. Praise God that only He can redeem us. Ask God to redeem those who do not know him.
Luke 2:25-38 – New International Version
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Having God’s Ear through Prayer
- Express thanks to God.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you.
- Confess your sin to Him and receive forgiveness.
(1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.”)
- Bring your personal requests to God.
(Psalm 62:8 “Pour out your heart before God”)
- Pray for someone in your small group.
- Join with others from River and pray for Cameron as he serves in Japan. Ask God to encourage him and use him to make the gospel known.
Living as God’s People by applying the Bible
Scripture Reflection from the Sermon
Advent is a season of waiting. As Christmas approaches, we remember how the weary world longs for a savior. We celebrate the good news that the Light of the world has come. Before Jesus’ incarnation, many faithful Jews were looking forward to the hope of a promised Messiah. They were waiting for the King to come. This waiting was not merely passive—it was not a kind of “hurry up and wait.” Rather, this kind of faithful waiting was “readiness.” In our passage this week, Simeon and Anna both exemplify what it means to live in a state of readiness––active waiting. As they waited for the arrival of the King, they actively pursued righteousness and holiness––they sought personal faithfulness. How might you seek to live in a state of faithful readiness?