December 7.  GOD IS WITH US

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him “Immanuel,” which means, “God with us.”  Matthew 1:23 

The intersection of faith and life reminds us of our desperate need for “God with us.”  Have you recently experienced this intersection?  With major intersections, much like the corner of Virginia Beach Boulevard and Independence Boulevard, you intentionally slow down and become cautious (or, you are supposed to, as some of my fellow citizens have yet to prove).  Why?  Because two major traffic flows cross, and a lot could go wrong if you are not careful. 

We feel this way in life sometimes.  You realize that God is big, but often life creeps in and causes a weight that seems just as big.  But, it’s just not so.  Nothing equals God, or even comes close.  So, when life intersects your faith, slow down and realize that God has your “now.”  Whatever you are going through right now, God has it.  The intersection of life and faith reminds us of this because we know that God is with us.  He is here.  We know that God is for us because he spared no cost to become God with us.  He did not spare His only Son, but gave Him willingly (Romans 8:32).  

As the Old Testament prophecy foretold (Isaiah 7:14), “they called Him Immanuel.”  This name, although given to Jesus, actually helps us to better understand God.    The name is mentioned three times in the Bible, and in all three instances the ultimate meaning is of God being with us – completely with us in every detail – through Jesus Christ. 

So, what do we learn about God through Immanuel?  We learn that God is personal (He came to us in human form), we learn that God is passionate for us (He did not hold Himself back from us), and we learn that God is powerful (He overcame every obstacle to bring us to Himself through His perfect Son, Jesus Christ).   So, Immanuel – God with Us – is the only perfect revelation of God, and Immanuel is Jesus. 

God’s desire was to rescue man from the brokenness of sin: “Turn to me and be saved, for I am God, there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22)  God desired that He would rescue us Himself (1 Timothy 2:3-4).  He also determined the perfect time –the fullness of time – to send us Jesus. (Galatians 4:4-5)     

He came to us.  He initiated our salvation.  He stepped into our lives.  He sent His only Son.  God did this.  He is with us.  This is God.  This is Christmas.

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