Thursday, January 02, 2014

2014 - Immanuel, God with Us

This past Christmas was an interesting one for several reasons.  Certainly, it was a joyous time of celebrations with family and friends.  Yet at times, in the midst of these celebrations, I felt a tinge of loneliness.  While praying through this loneliness during a season that's supposed to be all smiles and warm, fuzzy happiness, God whispered in my ear, "I came."  I came for you.  I came for you when you felt alone.  

In the midst of the loneliness of the world in sin and in need of a Savior, God showed up in person.  He came to fill the longing in our hearts and the sadness in our souls.  He is the ultimate cure for the loneliness of mankind.  He continues to be with us day in and day out along the journey of life.  This year, I want to live in light of his presence.  Immanuel, God with us.  He came.  When we needed him most, he stepped in.

I think the implications of this truth on my life are many, but I want to focus on a couple specifically this year.  The first implication of God's omnipresence on which I want to set my heart is his constant companionship.   

Throughout the Bible, there are many times when God promises to be there for us and not to leave us on our own:
It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20
No matter what I may face, I will never have to face it alone.  Sometimes I may feel alone, but God's word says otherwise:  I am never alone.  As I walk through days that might seem filled with loneliness or filled with community, I can always have confidence in the Lord's presence.  

The second implication of Immanuel on which I want to focus this year is the accountability of the Lord's presence.  Having a consistent awareness to God's presence in my life should hold me to a higher standard of conduct and a greater desire for personal holiness.  Would I make the same choices if I was keenly aware of Christ's presence in the room?  Would I do what I do if Jesus was watching?  Well, he is watching, and I need to live in light of this presence.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Psalm 139:2-3
Nothing escapes the Lord's awareness and his knowledge.  He knows the choices I make; he is there watching me make them.  This makes me desire to live in a way that will honor his presence in my life.

So, this year, I want to find comfort and conviction in his presence because he came.

Immanuel, God with us.  God with me.


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