Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25 (NASB)
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
In this week's passage the angel tells Joseph that the baby who will born to Mary will be called Jesus, for he will "save his people from their sins." We recall in another portion of the story of Christmas found in Scripture, the angel pronouncing to the Shepherds the Good News that the "Savior" has been born. God intervened by sending a Savior who would save us from our sin. We said yesterday that the intervention of God began with a manger but culminated with a cross. It is on the cross that the provision of being saved from our sins becomes a reality.
The wonderful Christmas Carol, "O Little Town of Bethlehem" says it this way, "O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast our our sin, and enter in; be born in us today." Jesus was born into the world so that he could be born into our hearts. It is the provision of the cross and our response to the provision of the cross that brings it about for each of us. When sin is cast out and the Savior enters in, he becomes our "Immanel." "God with us" becomes so much more than a baby in a manger. "Immanuel" becomes for us the daily experience of living in communion with the living God. Christmas really is everything and when it becomes everything to us it will be come a 365 and 24/7 reality in our lives.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, thank you for being my Savior and my Immanuel. Help me to know your presence this Christmas in the full way you desire for me to experience you. Right now I come before you believing you are with me and I am with you. I lay back in your arms of love totally secure and blessed. Amen!
Posted on Sat, December 19, 2015
by Alan Porter