Anna: Living a Grace-Energized Life of Praise
As we open to Luke 2:36, and are introduced to the life of Anna, I’d ask you to underline two words in your mind. First, in v. 36 “she was of great age”—underline in your mind OLD. Second, in v. 37 “a widow of about 84 years”—underline in your mind ALONE.
There you go, in two words you could describe the woman we are going to meet today. Anna was OLD and ALONE.
Yet from this account God gives to us, this old and alone woman was also vibrant, filled with joy, overflowing with God's Word and in love with the Lord.
She is just what any woman who knows the Lord would want to become:
An Old Testament Woman of Grace
Think about the limited resources Anna had to live this life we see, she had God's Word and the Spirit of God. But, just like most of the saints of Old Testament and the early church, Anna had no personal copy of God's Word. Those early saints had to rely upon the Word they heard as it was read to them, or what they could copy down for themselves.
But even with limited access to the Word, she flourished, because of the unlimited access she had to God. Anna was a powerful example of a grace-energized woman—from the Old Testament! And how does God describe godly, grace-energized women? Is she perfect? No, she is not perfect, but she has a life dominated by choices to obey and follow the Lord.
Anna, like any other grace-energized woman may fail here and there, sin now and then, give up from time to time—but her life is characterized and dominated by choices to seek to follow God's Word.
That describes Anna, that describes a grace-energized woman, that is what God always wants, and that can describe YOU!
This is an incredible account, open your heart to God's Word as He speaks to us today:
Luke 22: 36-40 “Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 39 So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.” NKJV
There is no more timely, vital, or relevant message I could share with you from God's Word than this one. The whole world is growing more and more aware of the bleak future facing most women. In fact, the U.S. Census Department issued an analysis of the population demographics of the USA and their conclusion was:
Being Old and Alone is in The future for 80% of all women
The most recent US census paints a very bleak picture facing women in America. You could summarize the numbers by saying: just under half of women 65 years old and over are widows, and of those widowed women the vast majority lived alone.
If you are a woman you will very likely spend the final days of your life being OLD and ALONE. Now think about what it means to compound old age with all of its limitations and troubles with loneliness.
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