God Is Here
"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel."—Matthew 1:23
Immanuel, it's the ideal name for Christ. It's a name that describes the fantastic and incomprehensible gift of God to us. The literal interpretation is "God with us." It's the ancient name for the coming Savior, and it signified that God would no longer be a "distant deity" but a "close companion." And the name took on distinct meaning at the birth of Jesus because now God "was with us" in the flesh. He became human, proving he was willing to experience life as a created being and becoming subject to the laws of a messy and sinful world. In Christ, God announces to the world that we are not alone.
But here is where the story gets interesting. Jesus was born in the meager confines of a mediocre town. Bethlehem was a place of inferior respect. It was known to be the "other side of the tracks" and more of a slum than the charming Christmas village we imagine. To add to this sordid scene, the Savior's birth took place not in a hospital, home, or hotel but a stable. And the stable scene was a slightly smutty, soiled, and smelly affair. God entered our mess, in a mess, and was birthed into life just like you and me. At this moment, God became one of us, and through his birth, life, death, resurrection, and presence of the Spirit, God daily lives with us.
You are not alone, brother!. God broke into time and space and lives with, among, and in you.
ASK THIS: Do you feel alone?
DO THIS: You are not—God is with us and wants to live in you.
PRAY THIS: God, thank you for coming close. For living in our skin. Something no other deity has done.
PLAY THIS: Austin Stone: Emmanuel God With Us.
Vince Miller is an author and speaker to men around the world on topics that include manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has authored 18 different books for men and is hosted on major video platforms like RightNow Media and Faithlife TV. He hosts a weekly podcast, writes weekly articles, and provides daily thoughts from God's Word all just for men. He is a 27-year ministry veteran and the founder of Resolute a Men's Ministry Platform that provides bible studies aimed at building better men found at www.beresolute.org. See his latest book and small group study Called to Act: 5 Uncomplicated Disciplines for Men.