Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas: God Is with You

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

Matthew 1:23 (NLT)

Have you ever been to a baby dedication where the child’s full name is announced to everyone, and the baby has three or four different names from first name to last name? Sometimes there may five or six names in the middle!

The baby Jesus was like that; God gave him several names to tell us about the character of Christ and the purpose of his life. One of Jesus’ names is “Emmanuel.” It means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23 NASB). He’s with you always and forever; he will never leave you, and he will never abandon you (Hebrews 13:5).

You may have been abandoned in life by your parents, or your spouse, or your children, or your friends. Because of that abandonment, you approach this Christmas season in pain and full of heartache. But, the Bible says God will never abandon you.

Everyone else may abandon you, but God will never abandon you. You may not feel God’s presence in your life right now, but that is no indication that God is not there. He is with you – even now and unto the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

Would you be surprised to hear that God hates loneliness?

He not only hates loneliness, he understands what it means to be lonely. The Bible records that when God created man, he said, “It isn’t good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18 LB).

Loneliness is not an issue unique to you or unique to people who are single. There are many married people who are painfully, desperately lonely. You feel lonely because God created you to need people in your life – but, regardless of how many friends you have – your loneliness will still remain until you are intimately connected to God.

The good news is this: Because of the birth of Jesus, you now know that God is with you, and you never have to face another day alone. God being near removes your fear. You don’t have to worry; you don’t have to sweat it; you don’t have to be anxious about what’s going to happen.

You may not feel like God is with you; in fact, some days, you may not even feel like he’s on the planet! But his presence in your life has nothing to do with your feelings.

Through the birth of Jesus, God says, “I’m going to give you hope.” If you’re lonely this Christmas, let Jesus fill the void in your heart......Rick Warren