God With Us

Good morning. It is post-Monday, January 6, 2015.

Today’s Word of the Day is “nuppence.” If you’re thinking like me, the word means exactly what you thing it means. “No money; nothing.”

Today is Shortbread Day, a reminder to keep things “short and sweet.” Also a day to enjoy some delicious cookies!

I’m being trained on a new responsibility at work. I’m apparently about to be moved over to handling the “URDN” section of receiving. That’s where items go when we cannot receive them for whatever reason. The person at that station simply has to monitor the web tool for those items, upload new URDNs and receive old ones when the buyers disposition them. Looks easy enough.

Sounds like Christi had a rough day yesterday. Lots of meetings and a bit of stress. But she’s writing that off as first of the year catching up, since a lot of people have been on vacation for a while. Speaking of vacation, we’ve set aside the week of October 12, having both asked for the week off. We don’t have a trip booked, but we are planning something big this year, since it will be our thirtieth anniversary! Probably Cancun again, or maybe Cozumel this time. We haven’t decided.

Tonight, we start our Huddle groups back up again. The guys meet tonight, and the ladies will meet on Thursday. I have not done my “homework.” Oh, well.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Knowing Jesus)

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-25

The title of this reading is “Jesus, the Presence of God.” The segment in Matthew has us breaking into Matthew’s dream to get a glimpse of the vision that he had, as an angel of the Lord appeared to him. Matthew spoke of prophecy in relation to what the angel told Joseph. There would be many other “all this took place to fulfill” moments in the Gospels. “Fulfilled prophecy ranks at the top of God’s confirmation of Jesus as his fully divine Son.”

In order for this prophecy to be fulfilled, Joseph would have to be obedient to the angel’s words. We know that Joseph had already planned to “divorce” Mary over this strange pregnancy. They weren’t officially married, yet, but betrothals, in that culture, were just as serious. After the angel’s appearance, he went ahead with the planned marriage, which was not consummated until after Jesus was born. Contrary to what some believe, she did not remain a virgin for the rest of her life. But that’s not relevant to today’s reading.

I can’t help but wonder at what kinds of thoughts went through the minds and hearts of Joseph and Mary as they pondered the wonder of this event. God had chosen them to be vessels of fulfilled prophecy! There were two important facts in the prophecy that Matthew mentioned. One was that Jesus would be born of a virgin. The second involves one of his many names, Immanuel (or Emanuel, depending on where you read it). The name means, literally, “God with us.” As we ponder that, we realize that, “God would come to earth to visit his creatures in the person of a man who would not carry the stain of the sin nature.” Conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus would be the “only sinless person ever born into the human race.” He, alone, is worthy to free us from our sins. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. )2 Corinthians 5:21)

The words, “God with us,” brought great comfort and assurance to the people of Israel. “The hope of God’s rescue sustained them through much suffering and captivity.” Jesus has given us much the same promise, as he said, just before ascending into heaven, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

Jesus, Immanuel, “God with us . . . ” all names of the One who fulfilled prophecy. “Consequently, Jesus is eminently worthy of everything we can entrust to him. We are satisfied when we love and obey him totally. Prophets and apostles give us more than sufficient evidence to convince us to entrust our lives to Jesus.”

Questions to think about:

“Why is fulfilled prophecy important to our faith?
“In what circumstances do you need assurances of Christ’s love and power?”

“Thank you, heavenly Father, for the evidence
of your sovereignty in bringing to pass all the
prophecies about Jesus. Help me to reinforce
my faith and my witness to others by
grasping the significance of the statement
‘All this took place to fulfill what the Lord
had said through the prophets.”

If I had time, I would go ahead and share from the “Solid Joys” devotion today, but I don’t have the time. I have put the link in, because I think it goes very well with the devotion that I chose to write about today.

Father, I pray that you reinforce these important things about Jesus, in my life today. Remind me of his worthiness to free me from my sins. Remind me of my need for obedience to his commands. And remind me of my desperate need to draw near to you through him. May this be strong on my heart and mind all day today.

I pray for this day, that our travel to work and back will be safe and smooth. I pray for a less tense day for Christi at her job. I pray that I will quickly learn the new responsibilities that I am going to be doing at my job. May all of my interactions with people today be, in some way, no matter how small, a way of sharing your Kingdom. I pray for Stephanie today, that you would protect her from those who would do her harm (emotionally or spiritually) and show your great, overwhelming, crazy love to her.

God is with us, in the presence of Jesus Christ. He desires that we draw near to him. The fulfilled prophecies about the Son of God, our Savior, bear this out.

Grace and peace, friends.

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2 thoughts on “God With Us

  1. I like that word….nuppence…..must try to use it in conversation and freak people out. Always fun. Thank you for the devotional!

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