"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). - Matthew 1:23
The message of Christmas is right here - God is with us. He came to us to be with us. We don’t need to “do” anything to be a Christian, we simply need to receive Him. Being a follower of Christ is allowing Him to live within us, strengthening us to be all that He’s called us to be. When things get difficult, we can know that the very God of the universe, the God who created the mountains and the oceans, He lives in us. The same power who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. He is with us. No matter where we go or what we face, God is with us.
I heard a powerful message preached this Christmas weekend about the “us” in this verse. “Us” is a powerful, evocative word. Hearing the word makes you want to be part of it, whatever it is, it makes you want to belong. The word can even insinuate an exclusion when referencing the “right” kind of people - "us" can make us feel left out. Or it can mean the radical kind of inclusion - that’s the kind of “us” in Matthew. This isn’t for the “right” kind of people, this is for us. You and me. God has not just come for “them”, He has come for us. All of us are welcome at His table.
We need only to look at the genealogy at the beginning of Matthew to see who’s included in the “us” - the people listed are the types sinners who would typically be excluded. There are murderers, adulterers, prostitutes, liars, and thieves - one does not read that list and think Jesus came from exceptional line of humanity. No, Christ entered this world through a stream of broken people just like us. His ancestors were deeply fallen just as we are. When we take the time to read this list, we understand there’s room around the table for anyone, even the unlikely. There are seats available for us. We are all depraved, corrupt, and full of wickedness just as the Jesus’ ancestors. We don’t sit at the table because we’ve done anything to deserve it, we’ve been invited to the table precisely because we don’t deserve it.
Pondering His beautiful gift to all of us this Christmas week, and I am humbly moved by His gracious gift to me. I know I did nothing to deserve His invite, and I can assure you if there is room at His table for me, there is room at His table for you.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists. It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst. Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps! Here is the link:
https://www.gofundme.com/chair4caregivers. Thank you so much!!
Popular posts from this blog
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:25-26 What believer would not want to experience the kind deep devotion to God found in these verses? This kind of loyal commitment is the desire of every person of faith....yet it eludes so many of us. If you've been a believer for long, you know there are times it does not come easy. There is a great price involved in reaching the kind of faith found in these verses. This level of commitment is only achieved through fierce struggle. The battle between Spirit and flesh is constant, but it is in the battle that we are strengthened when we choose to lean in and trust God, to turn to Him for our strength in the battle, and to keep our eyes fixed on Him despite what the world throws at us. Asaph wrote these words only after a difficult and confusing crisis of faith. He was tempted to com
I am a believer in Christ, and I have breast cancer. On August 17, 2017, I was diagnosed with an aggressive (HER2+), recurrent (hormone negative) type of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. At this point, they have not yet staged my cancer because they are waiting for the biopsy results from a suspicious spot in the second breast. The biopsy is scheduled for September 5th, with a lumpectomy to follow on September 7th. They will formally stage my cancer after they biopsy my lymph nodes, which will be taken during the surgery. It doesn't make any sense to me that I have a cancer diagnosis - I am a fairly healthy woman who runs 2 miles almost every day and eats a gluten-free, primarily paleo diet, with no family history at all. But it makes sense to God, and so here I am. Update ~ They found 4 isolated invasions during the lumpectomy. Due to the nature of my cancer (HER2+ and ER-), the recommended protocol is chemotherapy and radiation. Beginning in October, my chemotherapy regime
When we launched our new blog we had no idea if anyone would see it or be helped by it, but we knew that the LORD was prompting us to step out in faith and just do it. The response has been amazing and we are looking forward to how God will use this space for His glory. We have learned over many years of service in a variety of ministries, that God does not require human assistance to realize His plans for individuals, churches, nations, or the human race. But the story of the bible is the story of God’s will playing out through the words and actions of the His children. So…we pray, meditate on his Word, and write from the heart about the truths that mold our faith, guide our actions, and inspire our hearts and minds. Please visit the site and subscribe to continue receiving posts. https://graceinmarriage.com/ It is our sincere hope that you are blessed by our work here and welcome your input on how we can make Grace in Marriage even better. Thank you for your support.