This is the final installment in a series of posts meditating on Immanuel — God with us. Let’s continue worshipping together by thanking God for revealing Himself to us and by remembering how very near and accessible He is.
I have loved re-reading the experiences of the Israelites as the Christmas season comes around again. Not only does it fascinate and reassure me to “connect the dots” of covenant love and the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies, but I personally relate to the Israelite’s situation on a few levels.
It is encouraging to me remembering that just as God’s presence led those freed slaves through a desert to the Promised Land, He is with me through times when I feel trapped in my circumstances or stuck in a wilderness. While God is moving me toward my Promised Land, the Holy Spirit dwells within me to guide me, inspire me, empower me, comfort me, advocate for me, equip me, protect me, reassure me when I’m discouraged, forgive me when I doubt Him, give me grace when I grow impatient and give me a restful peace when I feel frantic and overwhelmed.
I appreciate that the same promises God made to the Israelites remain true for me. And I understand those promises even more clearly now because Jesus’ presence brings new layers of enlightenment to what is happening then and now from the broader Kingdom perspective.
How does God teach or encourage you with these verses about His presence today?
Exodus 25:21-22And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
Colossians 1:26-28 The mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
John 17:20-22 [Jesus said,]“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.
Hebrews 10:19-24 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Colossians 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.
Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jsus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ephesians 3:12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.
What are learning or embracing about the wonder and fullness of Jesus’ presence as the Christmas season arrives?
Encourage someone this weekend by sharing an answer to this question. Also, consider encouraging me and others here by telling about your experience in the comments below or by writing to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.