December 15

With Christmas fast approaching, I have been thinking a great deal about one of the names given to Jesus long before He ever touched the hay of Bethlehem’s manger.  The Old Testament prophet was told that a virgin would give birth to the Messiah, and that His name would be Immanuel (the New Testament spelling is Emmanuel).  That name means, “God with us.”  Today I read one of David’s psalms where he wrote, “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1).

Isaiah had received the promise of the coming Messiah.  Not only the Jews, but all mankind was waiting patiently for His appearing.  You see, all of us need the help of the Son of Almighty God in order for our sin debt to be forgiven.  Just as Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, and all other Old Testament believers looked forward to the son of the woman mentioned in Genesis 3:15, we too needed Him to come.  We too need this Redeemer. 

There is only one Redeemer Who fits the criteria that would receive the stamp of approval from God in Heaven.  God make the statement multiple times during the earthly ministry of Jesus that He was His “beloved Son,” and He followed that quickly with the statement that He was “well pleased” with Him.  Jesus Christ is our propitiation.  He is the One and only sacrifice that God will accept in the place of our sin.  He is the only One that satisfied the righteous demand God has for the forgiveness of sin.

I have great joy in the knowledge of what I have just told you, but I take great joy in knowing that He did not only come over 2,000 years ago, but that if I wait on Him today … He is here with me today.  You see, after Jesus ascended into Heaven, He left believers with the Holy Spirit of God.  I cherish the relationship I have with the Holy Spirit.  He leads me; brings conviction; guides me into the truths of Scripture; indwells me so that I am never alone; prompts me to do the will of God; and gives me a lack of peace when I am not in line with the plan God has for me (among many things). What a joy to know that Jesus not only came as a baby … not only that He lived without sin and died in my place … not only that He rose from the grave, but that He has chosen to indwell me in the Person of the Holy Spirit of God.  He is not just near me … He lives in me!  It doesn’t get any better than that for me.  If I face a difficult situation today, I will not do it alone.  If a tough decision needs to be made along my path today, He will be here to help.  I am so thankful that the LORD came for you and me today.  These devotionals are possible because this verse is true!

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