CHRISTMAS EVE 2014
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23
Immanuel – God with us – the promise of Christmas.
The coming of the Messiah is the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise of Genesis 3:15 – a Saviour for mankind. And not only a Saviour to recover man from sin, but also the assurance and reality of God actively and personally involved in each individual life. God sends his Son, and the Son gives his life. The Spirit is the seal of our salvation -the ever-abiding presence of God – God with us.
In John 16:32 Jesus tells the disciples that they will soon all abandon him. But he assures them, saying, “…yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” The presence of the Father brought Him comfort, strength and assurance. If you are alone, or feeling lost in the crowd at Christmas, I hope you can draw aside to consider that God is with you. You are not alone. And, as Jesus said in John 16:27, “For the Father himself loveth you.” You are not unloved.
This assurance is “the product of the interaction between a God-seeking man and his Saviour through the Word of God. A.W. Tozer put it this way:
For millions of Christians…God is no more real than He is to the non-Christian. They go through life trying to love an ideal and be loyal to a mere principle…(but) A loving Personality dominates the Bible, walking among the trees of the garden and breathing fragrance over every scene. Always a living Person is present, speaking, pleading, loving, working, and manifesting Himself whenever and wherever His people have the receptivity necessary to receive the manifestations.
It remains for us to think on these truths and pray over them until they begin to glow in us. If we cooperate with Him in loving obedience, God will manifest Himself to us, and that manifestation will be the difference between a nominal Christian and a life radiant with the light of His face.” (Berg)
It is my prayer and hope for you at this season that the presence of God is a reality, that His light radiates from within you and His Spirit is a genuine part of your celebration. Take time to ponder on the truth that God is truly with us and let it sink deep into your heart. You are not alone, and our Heavenly Father – God with us - loves you.
Next week will be my last weekly blog for this year. God has given me a dear friend who is gong to help me edit my devotionals and our goal is to at least get a Kindle edition out this coming year. Meanwhile, Tom and I will be Stateside reporting to churches and seeing family.
May God be with you and give you a Merry Christmas.