Most people at Christmas really get all up and running on all cylinders in the spirit of the season. Back in the late sixties a woman, decked in the gaudiest outfit imaginable, asked me, “Pastor, what is your favorite Christmas verse?” Good question. I have two. Here’s the first:
Matthew 1:21 "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."
Being saved is the first thing! Without being saved, nothing else matters. Joseph understood this. I will always remember my first Christmas after receiving Christ. What a difference! But, being saved while essential, is not all there is to the story of Christmas and life.
No one verse tells the full story, yet one sticks with me over the years of walking with Jesus. Here’s the one that I lean on the most:
Matthew 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."
Changing the name “Christmas” to “God With us Day” is a favorite thought, though it has not gained much of a following. The truth is God is with us every day. Here’s a few thoughts from a promise from God made around seven hundred years prior the Incarnation, explaining some of the benefits of Immanuel, God with us.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
The underlining is for emphasis, in a way we can grasp. I do not have to face life with a fear filled heart. He IS with me. I am not disabled through fear! He is MY God, emphasizing the personal relationship. He exchanges my weakness for His strength. He is my Helper! I am upheld by His hand.
Christ is with me every moment of every day. I can join in with David in his phrase in Psalm 23, “I will fear no evil for thou art with me…”
Merry God With us Day!
Copyright © 2017 Larry Lilly
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