DEVELOPING GOD'S INFLUENCE IN OUR LIVES

Luke 2:22-35

Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD"), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."

25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29 "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation 31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."

33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." NKJV

What is it that would cause a man to say now finally I have got what I always wanted. Now I can go to the grave in peace. This man is what today we would call a Christian already so what now has so filled his life that he is ready to die.

The psalmist said "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? NKJV Ps 42:1-2

In our series on Spiritual Maturity the most important thing is desire. Those who desire God will have Him and those who do not won't.

Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. KJV

  1. We need God's influence in our lives.
    1. It is not in man to direct his own steps.
    2. If we do what we want then we will not be successful.
    3. Man's moral compass is broken.
    4. Man's moral direction is always pointing the wrong way.
    5. Its this the reason that so many who seek their own pleasures end up so miserable.
  2. We are influenced by may outside sources.
    1. By parents, good or evil.
    2. Teachers - godly or not.
    3. Friends & even acquaintances.
    4. The media, books, movies, video games, TV.
    5. Our heros, sports, movie stars, Brittany Spears
    6. Our leaders, our counselors - Rehboam
  3. We are influenced bout our own sinful desires.
    1. Self-gratification
    2. Lusts - are there any anymore
    3. Simply wanting our own way.
  4. How can we be influenced by God?
    1. Not "let your conscience be your guide"
    2. Listen to God
      1. an example of not listening to God
        1. Jer 36:23 brought destruction
        2. The scroll contained the judgment of God against Israel.
        3. The purpose of the scroll was that the people would hear and repent and God would forgive them.
        4. But because he would not listen he was cast out of the city and given the burial of a donkey. Jer. 22:18-19
        5. The city was captured and thousands were carried away captive.
      2. In His word
      3. Read Listen Meditate
      4. Through other godly people
      5. church service and sermon
      6. radio or TV the right programs
      7. books
      8. tapes or CDs


        This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com