YOU ARE NOT ALONE FOR IMMANUEL MEANS - GOD WITH US.
With Christmas edging closer the amazing name of God—Immanuel is perfect to reflect upon and pray this week.
Seven hundred years before Christ was born the prophet Isaiah proclaimed these words. Is.7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel."
This time of year I reflect upon what it must have felt like for the scared young woman—Mary to be pregnant out of wedlock and for a man of integrity—Joseph (no more than a boy himself) to marry her despite the unusual circumstances. All this, so the fulfillment of prophecy could come true in Matthew 23:1 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel—which means, 'God with us.'"
Mathematically speaking, what are the odds that one baby would have prophetic words spoken over Him proclaiming He would come out of Bethlehem, Egypt and be called a Nazarene and yet it all came true. Just the fulfillment of these three prophetic words create staggering odds, not to mention the other 400+ prophecies foretelling the arrival, life, death, and resurrection of our Messiah.
Old Testament prophecy - Micah 5:2 says the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
Fulfillment - Matt. 2:1-6 Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Old Testament prophecy - Hosea 11:1 says the Messiah will come out of Egypt.
Fulfillment - Matt. 2:13-18 Mary and Joseph had to flee to Egypt for Jesus' safety. He came out of Egypt as prophesied.
Old Testament prophecy - Is. 11:1 Refers to the Messiah as a Branch, a Nazarene.
Fulfillment - Matt. 2:23 "And he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets that he would be called a Nazarene."
GOD WITH US—from the Old Testament to the New—God never changes. His story remains the same—He is with us.
He promised Moses, "I will be with you." (Ex 3:12) when He asked Moses to free the people from slavery in Egypt.
He promised Jeremiah, "I am with you and will rescue you." (Jer. 1:8) when he gave Jeremiah the challenge of relaying a tough message of judgement to His wayward people.
King David knew that the presence of God would follow him. "If I rise on the wings of the dawn, and if I settle on the far side of the sea; even there your hand shall guide me, and your right hand shall hold me fast." (Psalm 139:9-10)
Hebrews 13:5 declares, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Jesus came to earth as a babe, and sacrificed His life for our redemption. After He rose from the dead He visited His disciples and many others and said these beautiful words. "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." In using words like surely, always, and very, Immanuel is making a clear point—He is with us and will not leave. Matthew 28:20
To wrap this all up in a beautiful Christmas bow, Paul writes in Romans 8:31, "If God is for us, who can be against us?"
Our Immanuel Jesus, Our God who is with us, is worthy of our praise this week. If you are going through tough times as we head into the Christmas season my heart goes out to you. (One year I had that happen. I had news that turned my world upside a month before Christmas and I went into that season with deep grief in my heart.) Please remember in that deepest part of you that God is for you and not against you. Know that you are incredibly loved and He will see you through this sadness.
If you are at a good point in your life where the season only magnifies joy, then remember to praise our dear Immanuel. This song by Amy Grant called "Immanuel God with Us," will inspire you in your praise.
Other Names of God:
1) Elohim-God - October 1, 2018
2) Abba Father - October 15, 2018
3) El Shaddai - October 22, 2018
4) The Truth - October 28, 2018
5) The Alpha & Omega - Nov. 5, 2018
6) Jehovah-Shalom - Nov. 12, 2018
7) God of All Comfort - Nov. 19,2018
8) The Rock - Nov. 26, 2018
9) Our Maker - Dec. 3, 2018
10) Our Defender - Dec.10, 2018
11) Immanuel - Dec. 17, 2018
All Scripture taken from the NIV