Immanuel, God with Us


We talked yesterday in church about being asked “Are you ready for Christmas?”  It seems to be the question of the day.  My thoughts usually go to shopping or cooking.  I’ve been buying gifts for a couple of weeks now, and they are wrapped.  Mostly.  The baking starts today, and I will cook for the next several days.  But am I ready for Christmas?

Isaiah 9:6 says “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  The truth is, we are getting ready to celebrate a birthday.  So perhaps the answer to the question “Are you ready for Christmas?” should be “Yes, I have Jesus in my heart.”  When you plan a birthday party, you invite people you know.  You don’t, as a rule, invite complete strangers.  So will I be invited to His birthday party?  Do I know Him?  The answer is YES.  I know Him.  I have a personal relationship with Him, and He is all those things to me.  Wonderful, counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, prince of peace.  But there is more.

Isaiah 7:14 says “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”  So, while Jesus is all those other things in my life, my favorite name for Him is Immanuel.  That is what I celebrate this Christmas.  God is with me.  He’s not just a baby in my nativity scene.  He’s not just a person I sing about in church.  He is real, and He lives inside my heart.

So I rejoice at Christmas about God’s perfect gift to us, His Son, Jesus,  Immanuel, for He is with me.  May you celebrate not only His birth this Christmas but the fact that He is with you.  As you exchange gifts with friends and family, remember that perfect gift given so long ago.  May His birth and life fill you with joy this Christmas, and may His resurrection fill you with hope and promise.

Merry Christmas.

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“Mary Did You Know”


Scripture for the day:  Matthew 14:23  “And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.  Now when evening came, He was alone there.”

I think this is a beautiful picture of how we are to pray.  We are to be alone, just us and God, free to commune together.  This is a time to restore, recharge, rededicate.  It is a time to bring our needs and concerns to the Father but also to just be quiet and listen.

This quiet time is a balm for my soul.  It calms me as nothing else can.  It gives me direction and purpose for my day so that I don’t just flounder about.  I thank God for this ability to come quietly to Him.  What a blessing it is in my daily walk with Him.

I listened to this beautiful song at the end of my prayer time today, and it blessed me to tears.  I hope that you can find time to listen and that it will bless you as well.

Song for the day:  Mary Did You Know by CeeLo Green

http://youtu.be/C1DZA_TdBBI