Saturday, December 26, 2009

God with Us---Above Rubies Chrismas Devotional

Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Matthew 1:23)

The prophets revealed many different names as they foretold the birth of the Messiah who would come to deliver Israel and the world. Isaiah 9:6 reveals his name as Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father and The Prince of Peace.

God revealed to both Joseph and Mary, at separate visitations, that his name would be called JESUS "for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:23 and Luke 1:31)

But it was also prophesied that He would be called Emmanuel--God with us. What love! What purpose God has for us in the gift of His son, Yeshua. He gave him to be the Savior of the world--to save us from our sins, to deliver us from our selfishness and bondages so that we can live unto him--but also to be with us. He wants to be close to us. He wants to fellowship with us. He wants to be present in every detail of our lives. There is no greater gift we could receive than Emmanuel.

Because Jesus died to take the punishment of our sin, we have cleansing and forgiveness--and the infilling of the Holy Spirit--God with us.

This gets to the very nitty-gritty of our lives. Dear mother, God is with you in every moment of your mothering. He is with you when you feel overwhelmed and even when you feel you can't cope any longer. He is with you in all the frustrations. He is with you as you tackle another mound of dishes. He is with you as you scrub and clean. He is with you as you face all the extra activities you take on at this Christmas season. He is with you as you sort out squabbles and sibling rivalry. You are not doing all this on your own. Emmanuel is with you. Acknowledge that He is with you. Thank Him that He is with you. It makes all the difference. (Revelation 21:3)

All these moments, the good and the difficult, are sacred moments because of Emmanuel. He is with you as you curl up on your sofa and nurse your baby. He is with you as you read stories to your children and in the daily disciplines of teaching and training your children. Your whole attitude, and the atmosphere of your home, changes when you understand that God is powerfully with you in every mothering moment.

He is with you in the dark times. He is with you when you do not feel Him and think that He is far away. Your feelings have nothing to do with it. Your feelings do not change Emmanuel!

You may feel you are drowning in the waters, but in the midst of the deep waters, God says "I am with you...they shall not overflow you." The waters of adversity may be swirling around you. They look fearful and you wonder how you will survive. But remember, you cannot drown when God is with you. It is impossible. Read Isaiah 43:2 again. Instead of talking about all that you are going through, thank God that He is with you in your trial. When you understand that God is with you, you can rejoice.

Perhaps you are going through a fiery trial. The flames are engulfing your life and family. They feel as though they are consuming you. But, once again, please remember the promise of God--"You will not be burned!" The flames will not consume you. Why? Because God is with you! God is bigger than your fiery trial. Read again Isaiah 43:1-3.

We can rejoice in Emmanuel. He is in control. I love the reference to Emmanuel in Isaiah 8:8 and 10 that He is in charge and He owns the land! Yes, Emmanuel owns the land of Israel!

The greatest gift we have in this earthly life is that God with us. We are not citizens of this world. We are only sojourners here, ambassadors for the King of kings on our way to eternity. He does not leave us here to grovel and exist on our own. He has sent Emmanuel to be with us, teaching us, guiding us and filling us with His wisdom and His glorious presence as we fulfill our destiny.

Make this be the glorious theme of your Christmas celebrations. Share this wonderful revelation with your family. As you thank God, encourage each one in the family to thank God that He is Emmanuel--God with us.


PRAYER:"Oh God, I thank you that you are Emmanuel. I thank you that you have promised to never leave me or forsake me. I thank you that you are with me even when I do not feel your presence. I thank you that I do not need to fear any circumstance because you are with me."

AFFIRMATION:I can face every situation in life because of Emmanuel!

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