God With Us
Devotional

God With Us

October 16, 2023

God With Us

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23

I was surprised last week, when I walked into a store and saw Christmas decorations. It seems like the switch from fall to Christmas happens earlier each year. Although I am certainly not ready to usher in colder weather and holiday music; it is never too early to be reminded of Immanuel. Immanuel is one of the first titles given to Jesus. While the name only appears in the New Testament once, it has profound meaning for us.

In Matthew 1, after describing that Mary is pregnant through the Holy Spirit, Matthew throws in this little tidbit: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Matt. 1:22-23) Matthew didn’t come up with this title alone, rather it comes from the prophet Isaiah.

In Isaiah 7:14 the prophet is speaking to the king of Judah. Isaiah is encouraging him to hold onto his faith and trust in God’s plan. He then gives the king a sign. He says that a virgin will have a son that will be called Immanuel.

While many scholars see this verse being partially fulfilled in Isaiah’s time, we see its complete fulfillment in Jesus. Matthew knew this and did not want God’s people to miss it. He wanted to clearly show that God kept his promise. Jesus is God with us. As a fellow friend of mine frequently says, “Jesus is God with skin on.” He became human so that he might experience what we do, and bear our sins for us. Jesus was physically with the disciples and God is present with us through the Holy Spirit.

God is with us in the good times and bad. Even when we can’t see how, he is present. Jesus is present in the brokenness and evil of our world. He dwells with the hurting and sick. Our Lord is with those struggling mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. He is present in broken relationships. In every moment of suffering he is with us. He knows our pain, confusion, hurt, and fear and he walks alongside us in them. Jesus is also present in the joys. He joins us in celebrating new life, rejoices over a promotion and smiles at family dinners. God is always with us and will never forsake us.

When we embrace Jesus as Immanuel, we can be at peace knowing that we do not walk alone. As Charles Spurgeon says if God has come to be with us “Then let us come to God without any question or hesitancy”. God is with us, and in us, and we are with him.

Take a moment to reflect on God’s presence in your life. Where have you seen evidence that Jesus is with you? In what situation do you need to embrace God’s presence? Who in your life needs to be reminded that they are not alone?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, We are in awe that you sent Jesus to become human for us. Thank you for your presence with us. Open our eyes to see you each and every day. When we are discouraged or afraid, help us to lean into your presence. We pray this in the name of Jesus, our Immanuel, Amen.

Makalah Scholten
Spiritual Care Coordinator

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