PASTOR HEIDEN RATNER
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” – Matthew 1:23 ESV
One of the greatest nicknames Jesus carries is the name “Immanuel”, meaning, “God with us.” Think about that for a second. God is not just in heaven. Not just in the past. Not just in the future. But, presently with us RIGHT NOW. God is closer than you may realize. And not only is He close, but He’s with us. (Romans 8:28) How marvelous is it, that the God of all creation and the Savior of the world, would know our names and desire a relationship with us? Let that good news encourage your soul today.
This reminder was given to Moses in Exodus 3, as the Lord spoke to him out of a burning bush, declaring: “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:15) Notice God doesn’t go by “I was”, but rather “I AM.” He’s present. He’s here and now. He’s near.
The great confidence we need to face the challenges of today is found in the reality that God is with us. As Charles Spurgeon so eloquently preached: “God with us… is the laborers strength, is the sufferer’s comfort, is the balm of his woe, the alleviation of his misery, is the sleep that God gives to His beloved, is the rest after exertion and toil.” It must’ve greatly encouraged Mary and Joseph to know that even in the chaos of their assignment, God was with them through it all. Be encouraged as He is with you today, too!
18 “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18 ESV
Lord, thank You today for being with me. You don’t have to be, yet, You choose to be. I acknowledge Your presence and nearness in my life. I need it and I want it. I need You, Father. Please help me to walk step by step today aware of Your closeness. Help me when I drift, to draw back to the reality that You haven’t moved. That You’re still here. And You’re still the same.
Thank You, Lord, for Your presence. Let’s walk this out together. In Jesus name, amen!