Matthew 1:23 (KJV) | Isaiah 7:14 | Matthew 28:18-20
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.”
“and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
My teenage daughter lives out a brave journey for Christ. She is a bold example and always has been. She lives her faith for everyone to see in a truly remarkable way without fear. No, she is not perfect! We all fall short, and she is no exception (especially when it comes to helping with chores)! I can honestly say she tries her very best to know and share Christ. She desires to live for the God that is with her. Years ago, when we moved into a new neighborhood, she found – another – best friend forever. This was the first BFF of hers that was different. This friend didn’t go to church, and didn’t even know who Jesus was. Our diligent little Christ follower knew then that it was her calling to tell this “best-ie” at every chance about the Gospel. It’s been a beautiful ride to see and be a part of. They have been attending church events together for years
I will never forget the day when this friend asked if she thought their church small group leader would pray for her. She hadn’t asked my daughter to pray as she usually does, so we knew this was big. Together they went to ask for prayer, and we heard that this friend’s mom just learned she had cancer. Her leader lovingly asked “what can I pray for?” I expected her response to be something along the lines of “Pray that my mom gets better” or “quick and complete healing – a miracle”. Instead, her words astounded me: “I want my family to know Jesus, and feel how close God is”. Her greatest desire wasn’t for her mom’s physical health, but for her entire family’s’ spiritual health. It was for them to be saved and experience God in the most trying time in their lives. I had the honor of leading her in prayer as she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior two years earlier. She knew full well of Immanuel, and she knew what having Him with her always was like. Now, she called out for Immanuel on behalf of her family. God with us.
What a blessed assurance the name Immanuel is. It’s an unconditional guarantee. Jesus is Immanuel, which means “God with us”. God sent his one and only son to save His people. As he walked this earth, He was fully man and fully God. He came to earth to be the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. Immanuel was put to death on the cross, conquered death, rising from the grave, and now takes His place at the right hand of God the Father.
We rejoice in the last thing Jesus said before He ascended into Heaven. Matthew 28:20 says “And surely I am with you always”. He went to prepare a place for those who love Him, but He did not leave us! He will never leave us. He is still Immanuel. Always for eternity, God IS with us. What a precious and comforting gift that we have the privilege of living in every day when we know Immanuel. Let’s live in that beyond Christmas, and continue to rejoice in Immanuel all year long!
Immanuel, we rejoice in your birth. Thank you for coming to pay a price that we never could. We praise you for that perfect plan of redemption. Even greater still, we thank you that you have not left us. Please forgive us when we forget your presence. Speak into our lives so that we can be living examples for our Savior and Messiah! Amen!