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Emmanuel-God With Us!

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.


Joshua 1:5

 As Christmas approaches we are reminded once again, that our God “Emmanuel,” came down from heaven, and dwelt among us.  He did not come as a conquering King, but as a baby, weak and defenseless.   Yet unbeknownst to the wise men and the shepherds, in that lowly manger, lay both the Presence and the Power of God.  God was with us, that quiet, starlit night, and he was about to radically change his relationship to humankind!

That same Presence and Power has continued to dwell with God-fearing men and women through the ages.  For instance, despite his human limitations, God chose to work through Moses, in setting the Israelites free from Egypt.  When Moses hesitated at the great responsibility before him (Exodus 4:10), God responded with these words, “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” In other words, I will be with you; I will dwell with you.

After Moses, came Joshua.  Understandably, Joshua felt intimidated by Moses’ legacy.  How could he possibly live up to Moses’ legacy as a leader?  But God comforts Joshua with these words, “as I was with Moses, so I will be with you!"  Once again, God promises his Presence and Power to Joshua.

More than 400 years later, a young woman wrestling with her inadequacies and human limitations, would voice her concern, and disbelief that she would be the mother of Jesus.  “How will this be, “…  “since I am a virgin (Luke 1:34)?”  And once again, God answers, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”  Simply put, I will be with you and will dwell within you.

God’s words for Moses, Joshua, Mary and many stalwarts of the faith are also for us today. You may be the most ordinary, unconnected, unrecognizable person on the planet, but you serve a great God, and he is able to do extraordinary things through you too, if you would just say “Yes.”  This great God is not just with you, and within you, but he is also for you, so that whatever you do in his name, you are on the winning team and no one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life.

Beloved, let this Christmas be a reminder that he came for you (yes, inexperienced, unconnected, and ordinary you), and he will never leave you, nor forsake you.  Acknowledge his Presence and Power within you and go do exploits for the Kingdom (Daniel 11:32), as you continue the work that helps transform his relationship to humanity.  Time is running out, so give the gift that matters.   He is coming soon!

Loving God, I acknowledge you Presence and Power within me.  You are the God that is always with me, within me and for me.  Fill me with that sense of urgency that drives me to do your will, while there is yet time.  Present me with opportunities today, to give the gift that matters.  In your holy name, I pray.  Amen.