“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
Written by Beth Andrews for “Deeper Roots” @ https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com
Original post @ https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com/2019/12/05/christmas-presents-or-christmas-presence/
O Immanuel . . . God is with us. Isaiah 8:8, 10
My best friend and I are separated by almost a hundred miles. We chat often on social media and text and talk with one another on the phone, but when I have the chance to see her face-to-face my heart rejoices. There is something about presence—about being together physically that touches the heart more than a phone conversation ever could.
In the beginning, in the Garden, God and His first children, Adam and Eve enjoyed one another’s presence regularly. The Bible tells us that they delighted in spending time together “in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). But sin forever altered that. The fellowship was broken by disobedience and man was physically separated from God. A few select people encountered God for specific purposes, like Noah, but God no longer walked with His creation like before. After Noah, the Bible shows no interaction between God and man throughout many generations, until Abraham.
God promised His presence with Abraham and his descendants and He was faithful through their escape from bondage and their desert wandering and settling in The Promised Land. He was with them, but still not in the same way as He had been with Adam and Eve. The Israelites built a temple where He could dwell among them, though still separated from them by walls and heavy curtains. When Israel’s apostasy reached a certain point, the Lord withdrew His presence from the Temple—and the people. But He promised His presence would one day return to them, in the person of the Messiah. And as He always does, The Lord kept His promise.
The hope of Christmas is the hope of God with us – in the flesh. It is the fulfillment of the promise of His presence. God – in the person of Jesus was born as a flesh-and-blood baby in a stable in Bethlehem. He had tiny toes and tiny fingers, and He cried for the comfort of His mother. He walked with His creation. He talked to them. He touched them – healing, comforting, and cleansing them. Imagine being able to reach out and touch God’s own hand. The most wonderful Christmas present is the presence of God. That is the promise of Immanuel—God with us.
P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !! If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ?? Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… https://godsmanforever.com/
To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…
Picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=ACYBGNSpNGxP_CX09U_h3pS2LSm2g3S3FA:1575552357545&q=image+Christmas+Presents+%E2%80%93+or+Christmas+Presence&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiasuL0zZ7mAhVCc98KHUSgBcoQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1272&bih=922#imgrc=TUhC6y_dWaV42M: