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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Emmanuel, God with Us



Psalm 91:1-2 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to my LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

Oh give thanks to the LORD,
for He is good,
for His steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the LROD say so, whom He has
redeemed from trouble and
gathered in from the lands.

He satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul, He fills with good things.


When our eyes are most fixed on Him, our problems are most small. When we are filled with gratitude at what He has already done, we grow in faith to see what He is going to do. Beginning the day with a verse praising God for His shelter, His power, His grace, His glory, reminds me that my God is bigger than my problems. I serve a mighty God.

He shaped the universe with A WORD.

THE WORD. The Word that became flesh and dwelled among us. He pitched His tent among the very people He created who used that breath He breathed in us to curse Him. Yet He still pitched His tent and became Emmanuel. God with us.

He orchestrated everything perfectly, from the way the mitochondria on a cell function to the way the stars in galaxies move in harmony. Yet He still looks with kindness on undeserving, insignificant, sinful, hateful people like me and you.

How gracious is our God? How grateful should His people be?

So, my dear sisters and brothers in Christ, as you struggle with the burdens you carry, be they illness, or unemployment, or relationships, or bitterness, or anger, or hostility toward God, know this. That everything is done before Him and in light of the Cross. That He paid for it all. The penalty for sin has been paid and the power of sin has been broken. We are no longer captives, but children of God. How much should that inform the way we live our lives, the way we view other people, the way that we are diligent in our work, the way we worship God with our hearts. 



God with us

Emmanuel, pitching His tent
Among our shabby shacks
Eating with the unclean, unwashed,
Lifting up our downcast, tear-streaked faces
To say "I paid it in full.
It is finished.
Your sins are forgiven.
The Death-wrought chains
That bound you to sin
Are shattered, broken, gone.
Live life freely now in Me."
Unafraid to touch our filth
Our rags, born in a stable,
A king, but not in a palace,
Clothed in rages, not robes,
Crying in hunger and cold.
He knows what it's like to be me.

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