Reading Luke and Acts in 2020
Week 2 | Luke 2
Luke 2 Reflections and Questions
By Rev. John Pinson
What’s age got to do with it?
Devotion to God takes many outward forms, but always involves Worshiping, Waiting (Prayer-Fasting), and Witnessing
Most likely Anna did not live in the temple, but Luke means that she was there all the time. The word translated “serving” (NASB) has the sense of worship or service to God. Anna’s worship took the form of “fasting’s and prayers” (2:37). Fasting means going without food for some period of time, and is usually joined with prayer. For the Jews, the most common fast lasted from sunrise to sunset, although longer fasts are mentioned in the Bible. The Day of Atonement was an annual national fast.
Otherwise, fasting was done in times of personal or national distress, or as preparation for special times of seeking the Lord. While there are no commands in the New Testament epistles for us to fast, there are examples of fasting (Acts 9:9; 13:3; 14:23; 2 Cor. 6:5; 11:27). Personally, I have found fasting to be a beneficial way of setting aside time to seek the Lord in times where I needed to know His will or in times of crisis. What better time for us in North Georgia!
Some of God’s saints are especially gifted for the ministry of prayer in that He enables them to devote large blocks of time to it. Part of that time involves interceding for others, but part of it also will be devoted to praise and thanksgiving. The main thing in prayer is to seek God and commune with Him.
Even if you are not gifted in the ministry of worship and prayer, you need to fast to set aside time to seek the Lord as Anna did. Take a half-day each quarter or one lunch hour each week or an hour each Sunday afternoon to spend in devotion to the Lord. Read His Word, sing some hymns or praise songs, and pray. The familiar ACTS—Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication—is a helpful outline to follow in your prayer time.
Anna couldn’t keep it to herself; she “continued to speak of Him” to others (2:38). If your cup is brim-full, you can’t help but slop some of it on others. If you are excited about your relationship with the living God who sent His Son to save you from your sins, people around you will know about it. Some believers justify they’re not witnessing by saying, “I don’t talk about it; I just live the message.” But part of living the Christian life is talking about it!
We all talk about the things we love. Have you ever been around a sports fanatic? What do they talk about? “Did you see that game last night!” Have you ever been around a young man or woman who has just fallen in love? What do they talk about?
Yes, you need to be tactful and sensitive. Yes, you need to wait on the Lord for the right opening. But, all too often we don’t err on the side of being too bold or insensitive. The order, by the way, is important: Worship first, then waiting and witness. The reason Anna was telling everyone about the Lord Jesus was that she spent much time in private devotion with the Lord. All too often, the reason that we do not bear witness is that we have lost our first love. Here are some questions to ponder over the next few days:
Devotion to God takes many outward forms, but always involves Worshiping, Waiting (Prayer-Fasting), and Witnessing.
- Wednesday - How often do you worship?
- Thursday - When do you pray?
- Friday - When was the last time you fasted?
- Saturday - Who was the last person you shared your faith with?
Rev. John Pinson is Superintendent of the Northwest District.
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