Blessings Saints from God our Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord! T'is the season to be joyful! Indeed today and everyday is a marvelous privilege to praise God for the display of His awesome splendor in all of creation, but more particularly through Jesus the Christ!
Of all the gifts that will be received and given in this season; with all the painstaking effort that may be engaged to occupy things wished for, none can compare to the wonderful present that God has given all who will receive it. It is the gift of God's presence! And it is the gift that keeps on giving.
When Isaiah communicated the prophetic mandate of God that a virgin would conceive, and bear a son whose name would be called Immanuel, which means God is with us, the context communicated that God himself would bring forth a sign that would communicate to the Hebrews that God was with them to deliver them. Matthew's delivery of the message was profoundly different in context as he communicates that God, through Jesus Christ was really among us.
The gift of God presence presents to all who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, the opportunity to be sealed with the Holy Spirit ourselves, and thus be empowered to continue the work of the Anointed One. In this empowerment we continue in the posture of giving as we preach the good news (gospel), give sight to the blind, set captives free, proclaim the acceptable year of our Lord, and the list goes on!
For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 How do you receive this marvelous gift? Look at the preceding scripture - believe that Jesus Christ came as a gift to show you how to live. Believe that Jesus Christ came as a gift who paid a debt that he did not owe, because you owed a debt that you could not pay - He died for your sins and mine. Believe the words of Jesus when he said, I will return for you. God is a promise-keeper. There's joy in knowing that the God who watches over His Word promised the sign of the virgin birth of King Immanuel and kept His promise! There's comfort in the expectation of His promised return!
If you don't know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior for the pardoning of your sins, I pray that this is the day, the moment, the very hour, that you will receive the gift that keeps on giving. It is the gift of God's presence. If you do know the Christ as Savior and Lord, I pray that this season and everyone afterward will bring you peace, comfort and joy as you bask in the gift that we have come to know as Immanuel, through Jesus Christ our blessed Lord. Amen.
In His Presence,
Pastor Emery Barber