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God with You This Season

Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice. —Dave Barry

Learning who we are in Christ is a lifelong process. 24/7/365… and class doesn’t dismiss over the holidays. In fact, there are facets to the biblical account of Christmas that bring the reality of being “in Christ” to light like nothing else. Consider the popular yuletide word Immanuel (Hebrew for “God with us”). It shows up prophetically in Isaiah 7:14:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Fast forward about 700 years to a young girl who is growing up minding her own business. An angel interrupts her placid life in Luke 1:26:

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored, the Lord is with you.”

The miracle, of course, is not just that the Lord was with Mary; He was in Mary. The Spirit of God permeated the membranes of human flesh so that the Son of God could dwell in the womb of a woman. A familiar story, but an astounding reality.

Another astounding reality much closer to home is this: If you have come to grips with your sin, thanked God for His forgiveness through the cross, and opened the door of your heart to Christ, the same is true of you as was true of Mary. You are highly favored, the Lord is with you.

The miracle, of course, is that the Spirit of God has somehow permeated the membranes of your flesh, so that He isn’t just with you, but He is in you, too—your own Christmas story 24/7/365!

O Jesus, this year, fill my mind not only with the awe and wonder of what You did 2,000 years ago, but fill my heart with worship for what You did the day I asked You into my life, the day You became Immanuel, God with me, God in me. Amen.

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