Friday, October 25, 2013

God with Us—Always

Immanuel is a name of Hebrew origin and it was first used in Isaiah 7:14 to speak of son who was to be born of a virgin. This son is further identified when an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, and spoke saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21, NASB) Then Scripture goes on to link the naming of this virgin born son to be named Jesus with the child spoken of by Isaiah who was to be called Immanuel. “”BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”” (Matthew 1:23, NASB95)

“Immanuel” and “Jesus”—one meaning “God with us” and the other “Jehovah is salvation.” Both are used to identify God who became man to bring salvation and union with Him. Our God is everywhere present all of the time, but there is a special everywhere present-ness that exists for those who believe in Him. The Bible tells us that it is by trusting that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead that brings salvation and eternal life and His constant abiding presence. Even as in one sense Jesus has left and will return one day to take with Him those who are His, there is the other sense that He is and always has been our omnipresent God. Scripture speaks of Christ being in us as we in Him. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NASB95) Clearly, our God abides in His children and He expects us to abide in Him.

Abiding is evidence of our salvation and it is shown through our fruit—our continuance in service and obedience. In Romans 12:2 we read, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” The proving is a showing of what already exists, what God has done. It is an evidence of the change that God has made in us.

In the hastiness of our days or maybe even in the routine and the mundane we might take our eyes off of God. In these times He has not gone anywhere. The problem rests in us not looking to and trusting Him for the crazy things or the things we think we can so easily handle on our own.

In Hebrews we find the answer for those times, those times when we get tangled up in the things of life and not looking to our Lord of life. “…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1–2, NASB95)

Fixing our eyes on Jesus—knowing the truth of Christ’s continual presence, we are to take our eyes off of the things (big and small) and look to our Lord who is always present and sovereign over all of those things. And if we think to doubt what He is willing to do about our circumstances right now, we don’t have to look any further to be assured than remembering what He did for us to bring us into a relationship with Him in the first place.

Jesus told the disciples, “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, NASB95) And He really meant it!

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (10/25)

I am God with you, for all time and throughout eternity. Don’t let the familiarity of that concept numb its impact on your consciousness. My perpetual Presence with you can be a continual source of Joy, springing up and flowing out in streams of abundant Life. Let your mind reverberate with meanings of My names: Jesus—the Lord saves, and Emmanuel—God with us. Strive to remain conscious of My Presence even in your busiest moments. Talk with Me about whatever delights you, whatever upsets you, whatever is on your mind. These tiny steps of daily discipline, taken one after the other, will keep you close to Me on the path of Life.

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”  … ““BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”” (Matthew 1:21, 23, NASB95)


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