Devotionals

Dec 20th, 2017 | Day 13

Posted by Neil Essen on

Matthew 1:22-23

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel(which means, God with us). 

The fulfillment of Jesus coming as a baby came in such a way as to fulfill what God had already said would happen. His coming closed the loop on what had been said. But it wasn’t the end of something—it was really just the beginning. This child that came was doing far more than fulfilling a prophecy. He was showing us what God is like!

Verse 23 tells us His name will be called Immanuel, meaning “God with us.” Jesus is God with flesh on. Christ’s coming brought us the wonderful opportunity to see and experience God up close and in a new way. Now He’s with us. He came to show us how to live. He came to show us how to die to self. He came as a humble servant and to show us that those who would like to be first and best should choose to be last in love toward others. And remarkably, Jesus then told all that would be His followers that He would be with them not just for a passing moment, but always, even until the end of the age. 

The blessing of Christ’s coming shows us God’s love for us in that He came to relate to us, as we are in human form. He isn’t far off, distant and uninterested like a busy parent too consumed with their “important” life to pay attention to their wide-eyed child. Instead, Jesus’ arrival shows us that He intends to meet us right where we are. At this Christmas, instead of trying to do the “religious” or “churchy” thing, choose to respond to a true and deep relationship that Christ desires with each of us. 

Application:

Jesus came to show us what God is like and draw us in to far more than religion. He came to have a relationship with us.

  1. How does our culture’s view of God as distant, uninvolved or not real differ from what we see in Christ’s coming to earth?
  2. What emotions come to the surface for you as you consider that Jesus promised that He will always be with you?

Prayer:

Gracious Lord, You are so kind to come to earth and give your life as THE example and sacrifice.  Thank You for loving me and desiring me. Thank You that I can have genuine, eternal, abundant life through faith in You.  Amen.

Further Study: Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 28:20

 

KIDSTUFF! A Devotional for Kids and Families

Matthew 1:22-23

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel(which means, God with us). 

WOW! God shows us again and again just how powerful He is! He shows us how creative He is! He shows us that He can do anything He says He can do! He also teaches us that He can be trusted to do what He says He will do.

Remember what we learned in the Old Testament in Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”  God used prophets like Isaiah to tell people what He was going to do in the future.

Then God reminds us in the New Testament in Matthew 1:22-23 that “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord has spoken by the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” God is saying to us, “See, I told you I was going to do this cool and amazing thing, and I have done it! You can count on me. I love you!”

Activity:

Our Great Big God wants to watch over us, to protect us, to provide for us, to help us, encourage us, to teach us, and to be our Best Friend! He wants a relationship with us, and to be real to us.

Part of being a good friend is being there to listen. God is always ready to listen to us as we pray to Him.

Praying can happen anywhere and everywhere, not just at church, before bedtime or at meals. Where are others places we can pray?

  • Pray in the car on the way to soccer practice.
  • Pray at school.
  • Draw your prayers.
  • Sing, whisper or shout your prayers!

Pray:

Dear Good, Good Father, You have always been there for Your people, long ago, throughout time, and still today. Nothing makes You happier than for Your children to reach out to You in prayer. Remind us to always turn to You. Thank You for always being there for us. Amen.

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