With…or Was With?

15 12 2013

This time of year, one of my favorite names for Jesus comes to the forefront: Emmanuel.

This name of His warms me like no other, for it means, “God with us.”

With us.

Christmas is the time when we recall the birth of Jesus. Like other historical figures who came and went, he was born. He lived among us as a human, doing incredible things, and then He died. For many in the world, Jesus is a “has-been.”

As His disciples, we also recall that He rose victorious over the grave and walked among men once again, providing hope that there is, indeed, life beyond the grave.

Sadly, when the work that required His physical presence was done, He left. You’re not going to travel anywhere on the planet to see Jesus today.

Because of this, we are apt to think of Jesus as the Man who was, and the Lord who will be with us throughout eternity…

…but fail to remember that He is with us right here…right now.

He calls us “friend.” He invites us to chat with Him continually. No person chooses a friend…right before he or she moves to the other side of the planet (much less outside the universe). Long-distance relationships are hard to maintain.

Read His parting words to the disciples…and to us…from Matthew 28 with renewed sight:

“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The “age” is not over.

He is still with us.

Emmanuel!

This year, I strongly encourage each of you to memorize Psalm 46. It is only eleven verses long, and will help us to remember, no matter what is happening to us or around us, that God is with us. I’ve added it here for your pleasure:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though it’s waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

{Earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes, tsunamis…yet in the midst of these, we have a hiding place:}

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. God will help her when morning dawns. The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

{Wars, famine, economic collapse, disease, pestilence, increasing crime rates. Hallelujah! these will not last forever:}

Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. Cease striving {relax – rest} and know that I am God {trust Me}; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with usthe God of Jacob is our stronghold.

({} = My comments. 🙂 )

Emmanuel

God WITH us!

Merry Christmas. 🙂

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13 responses

18 12 2013
Tracey

Thank you Tami for your timely reminder. It’s hard to wrap our hearts around the living, breathing reality of His love in the here and now. Those that ponder that truth deeply as the mother of Jesus, Mary pondered, are richly blessed by His presence, even in spite of our circumstances. twe

18 12 2013
lessonsbyheart

So true. It’s easy to say we believe that all things work together for our good, and that God is in control…until things get tough. Then (I) take matters into my own hand and try to engineer better circumstances instead of seeking what God is teaching me.

It’s when the ‘rubber meets the road’ that I discover what I *really* believe. Sadly, it’s often that God is distant and busy elsewhere. If things are going to change, I’m going to have to ‘be the change.’

I think this is going to be an area of focus for me in 2014.

What you said about pondering is true. I’ve been ‘pondering’ both this message and the one a few posts back about ‘chosen.’ Wowee! Those are words to live by for sure!

Have a Merry Christmas!

\o/

16 12 2013
nopew

I memorized Psalm 46 when I was in Grade 8 (ten years ago haha – not).
How I yearn for people to experience God as present rather than idea/doctrine. May your writing here help to open people up to God is real, God speaks, God rejoices with us. On my soapbox I say, stop trying to get God right and get right with God!
Peace

18 12 2013
lessonsbyheart

Hey, I like that. I’ve been discovering that I have “rules” for just about every area of my life…”Do this, don’t do that and it will go well for you.” This spilled over in a huge way into my relationship with God. “I must ____ if He is going to be pleased with me.”

God, ever faithful, has been chipping away at this flaw in my belief system. He is so patient with us.

Off to “stop trying to get God ‘right’ and get right with God!”

May this be a day filled with wonder!

\o/

16 12 2013
vonhonnauldt

Emmanuel, God with us. literally, “with us, the God.” Not just any God, not just “a” God, but THE God, the God of Creation and Scripture, come to us in the person of the Lord Jesus: THE GOD OF ETERNITY!!

16 12 2013
lessonsbyheart

Shouting “hallelujah” over here! 🙂

\o/

16 12 2013
platinumdonmccoy

Psalm 46!!! God used this chapter for me when I was going through certain trying times a couple of months back. God, indeed, is with us. GLORY:-D

P.S: I’ve always wondered what ‘\o/’ meant. Anyone wants to tell me?

16 12 2013
lessonsbyheart

\ 🙂 /

Praise Jesus!!!!

17 12 2013
platinumdonmccoy

Ah, bon. I see…

Glory to His Name \:-D/

15 12 2013
Mary

\O/

15 12 2013
The Gift of His Presence | Prayers and Promises

[…] With…or Was With? (Lessonsbyheart.wordpress.com) […]

15 12 2013
dianarasmussen

Amen Tami, God with us…still, Hallelujah!

15 12 2013
lessonsbyheart

MMMM. Forever!

\o/

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