[CF Devotionals] 2013-12-20 - He's Here!

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Author's Note: This devotional is based on a message preached to youth on December 11, 2013.

Last week the message was title “It’s Coming”. We spoke of this pre-Christmastime as a time to look forward to the coming of Christmas which should be centered around reflecting on Christ’s first coming and preparing for his second coming. Today we build on that. Jesus came and is returning again, but it is also true that he is here with us.

Matthew 1:23 (NASB) - “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”
Isaiah 41:13 (NASB) - “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’

God is with us. In Jesus God is with us. What does that mean? Well Isaiah 41 helps us a little with some of that implication. Let’s expand this last verse and look at it in context with a bigger part of this passage.

Isaiah 41:9-12 (NASB)
  1. You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
    And called from its remotest parts
    And said to you, ‘You are My servant,
    I have chosen you and not rejected you.
  2. ‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
    Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
    Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
  3. “Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored;
    Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish.
  4. “You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them,
    Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent.

We are not Jews from Israel but spiritually speaking we are his chosen people called from everywhere so this promise is for us according to verse nine. He chooses us to be his servant. He doesn’t save us to worship. We don’t choose him by repenting. He chooses us to serve. In serving we repent of doing our own way and choose to do his way. In serving we worship him. Worship is more than songs, church attendance, reading Bibles, and praying; worship is focusing on him in every situations.

Don’t fear, God is with us. Don’t stress over everything going on around you. Trust him to give you the strength you need day by day. He will hold you up with his right hand – Jesus is his right hand. Jesus holding us makes me think of an old poem.

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only one set of
  footprints, is when I carried you.”

Mary Stevenson
Copyright © 1984 from the original 1936 text
Footprints-inthe-Sand.com
All Rights Reserved

Elsewhere in Isaiah it talks about God holding the whole universe in his palm. If that hand is strong enough to hold all that, then certainly he can hold us and our problems. Let God deal with those who oppose you. There's a bit of a cheesy saying but in its simplicity, is an easy way to remember to let God handle things: Let go. Let God!

Isaiah 41:13-16 (NASB)
  1. “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand,
    Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’
  2. “Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel;
    I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
  3. “Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges;
    You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them,
    And will make the hills like chaff.
  4. “You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away,
    And the storm will scatter them;
    But you will rejoice in the Lord,
    You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.

From verse nine to sixteen "I will help you" is promised multiple times. Trust God. Prayerfully remind him of his promise and trust him to keep it. He can turn your mountains into molehills. He will strengthen you so that you can crush the biggest problems and blow them away like wind blowing the chaff. Then we simply sit back and rejoice and glorify him. Serve him and worship him. Don’t sweat the small stuff and for God it is all small.

God is with us. He loves us and wants to help us. Will you let him? Will you let him abide with you? Will you give every problem, every fear, every heartache, every tear, every trial, and every disappointment to him? Will you give every friend, every foe, every family member, and all the drama that can go with each? Will you give it all to him?

2 Timothy 1:12

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

God is with us. God is for us. Nothing can stop us!

This Christmas, what matters is not my presents but only his presence. I tweeted this little nugget today as a clever way to remember this message. And it's not just true of Christmas; it's true year round. What I get doesn’t matter only what he brings. What I go through doesn’t matter only that he holds me. What I get good or bad in life doesn’t matter as long as he is with me.

Psalm 23:4-6
  1. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
  2. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
  3. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

The darkest valleys of death, disease, and divorce all lose their power over us. We can walk through them without fear because he reigns over us and cares for us. God is with us. God is for us.

IHFHBOH
Adam

[email adam] adam@cfdevotionals.org
http://www.cfdevotionals.org

All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted


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