Have you ever taken the idea that God is with us to heart? Have you ever appreciated the fact that God is with YOU? He came not just to be with and save a faceless us. He came to be with YOU and save YOU. He can be your own personal Emmanuel.
Remember the Classic Christmas Hymn
One of the classic Christmas hymns we hear every year is “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel.” This Christmas favorite, based on Matthew 1:23 and the Latin hymn, “Veni, Veni, Emmanuel,” was translated into English in 1861 by John Mason Neale.
This hymn is one of the most significant musical interpretations of a scripture passage. It emphasizes the reality central to all Scripture, that God is with us, the meaning of the name “Emmanuel.” The usual interpretation of the hymn is that God, in all his majesty, has become man in the person of Jesus.
Whether you read the Old or New Testament, God has always played a role in the lives of his people, comforting them, blessing them, chastising them, and most importantly, saving them.
God Is With You and Me
When God took on human form in Mary’s womb, he was with us, Emmanuel. As Christians who accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior, he is in us as Lord, and in us with the Holy Spirit. And as we walk our daily Christian walk, he is intimately involved in all aspects of our lives.
I find this to be humbling, uplifting, empowering, and absolutely mind-blowing. If it wasn’t for the reality that we need to be out serving God in whatever capacity he has purposed us, we would have to be on our knees 24 hours a day praising and thanking him.
I suppose we have to wait until we meet Jesus Christ face to face in heaven, before we can truly give him the praise he deserves.
Discover God in Our Lives
In the meantime, each of us has to discover how much God, OUR Emmanuel, MY Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, influences our lives, and how much we will continue to serve him, allowing him to control our lives. When God became man, he was “all in.” He held nothing back. He was fully God and fully man. How often do we say we are “all in” for him?
Finally, ponder this. How often do you promise to know God through his Word, to love him by spending time with him in praise and thanksgiving, and to serve him? Yes, I just pointed a finger at you. But notice, I also pointed three back at me. I am the ultimate “work in progress.” I struggle every day to know, love, and serve MY personal Emmanuel the way I should.
Listen to God's Words
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! (Psalm 95:6)
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel (which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:23)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Also read: Isaiah 7:14, Luke 4:8, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
In the Words of Others
“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” C.S. Lewis
“We worship God with our entire life—with every decision we make and everything we do.” Joyce Meyer
“It is the pleasing of God that is at the heart of worship.” R.C. Sproul
“One of the greatest rewards that we ever receive for serving God is the permission to do still more for Him.” Charles Spurgeon
Think About It
Reflect on what you just read and describe any changes you should make in your daily routine to fully appreciate the opportunity to say, “God is with me.”
Visit the Old Testament and reflect on how God was involved in the lives of his people, blessing them, and chastising them when they disobeyed him and turned to other gods.
Read Deuteronomy 31:6 and Romans 8:38-39, and meditate on how God will always be your Emmanuel, involved in your life.