Present, Now and ForeverHoliday Devotional – Day 4

“So all this was done that it might
be fulfilled which was spoken
by the Lord through the prophet,saying, “Behold, the virgin
shall be with child, and bear a Son,
and they shall call His name Immanuel,”
which is translated, “God with us.”

Matthew 1:22-23 (NKJV)

If God is with us in Jesus (and He is), then it follows that we’re with Him. Let us not overlook his beautiful and generous gift of abiding with us, so much more than sharing the same space. God’s gift of abiding means sharing our lives and making us a vessel to receive and pass on His grace and peace and courage and wisdom and love. It means we can be more like Him every day because He gives us Himself.

Our Father knows our flaws and shortcomings, but He loves us more than we can mess up. And so each Christmas we’re reminded of His ability to do anything but turn away from us. We joyfully celebrate our “God with us” Savior’s birth because the gift never ends.

Though steady stars may be obscured by passing clouds, they are no less present and powerful. And even when we feel momentarily alone and alarmed by passing fears, our Immanuel gift is no less present and powerful. Christmas tells us that from one silent night to a forever future, we abide with the One who came for us and will not leave. And close in heart, we learn to be like Him, sharing grace and peace and courage and wisdom and love because He first gave it all to us.

Prayer

Father, thank you for your greatest gift, our Savior Jesus Christ, who abides with us. Please help us be more like You in every way, every day.

Action

For each family member, draw and cut out a small heart from construction paper or a greeting card. Write on each one “God is with me” or “My Immanuel gift” or something similar. Be sure family members will have their heart with them each day, in a wallet, lunchbox, favorite book, or other item. Remind your children that Jesus is always with them and Christmas is a beautiful time to remember and celebrate that gift of abiding even more.