Hey there!! I can’t believe Christmas is almost here. This will be the last blog post you see from me until the New Year!
I could think of no better way to wrap up 2022 than to meditate on some of the names of Jesus.
This has been my focus this month and I want to share with you two that have really resonated with me.
Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)- “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Matthew 1:23 (ESV)- “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
This name always leaves me in a posture of immense gratitude, complete confidence and enduring hope. “God is with us.” We all can easily nod and in our head say, “I know I know.” But, do we live like we know? Do we live every moment aware that He is right there with us?
How differently would we respond to hard circumstances knowing and believing He is with us?
How differently would we resist temptation knowing and believing He is with us?
How differently would we seek Him first knowing and believing He is with us?
How differently would we pray knowing and believing He is with us?
How differently would we parent knowing and believing He is with us?
How differently would we steward our health knowing and believing He is with us?
How differently would we love others knowing and believing He is with us?
And, yes. I purposefully said both know and believe. I have seen in my life how sometimes there is a disconnect between knowing and believing. There can be head information without heart transformation! I encourage you to seek the Lord and join me in asking Him to reveal where there might be information that needs to move past the head and into the heart!
We see in both the book of Isaiah and Matthew that our God is a present God. We see that the Christ and Messiah would be God Himself. This same God will leave Heaven and coms to earth in the form of man in an effort to live among His people! His rescue mission wasn’t from afar. Not only that, but He didn’t just meet us half way—He went all the way (to the cross).
What’s powerful to remember is that He is still with us. For those that are born again of His Spirit, His Holy Spirit now resides in you! He is with you every moment of every day. His strength, power, love, grace, wisdom and joy is with you every moment. Do you depend on it? Do you receive it?
LIGHT OF THE WORLD
John 8:12 (ESV)-“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Light. In the Old Testament we see the power of light and it’s mark of God’s power several times. For example, when God spoke to Moses through the burning bush. Or, when He would lead the Israelites with a pillar of fire!
I also love how David speaks of God in Psalm 27:1- “The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?”
God is our light. This doesn’t mean we will never go through dark times. It does mean that God will be our light in the valley. He will lead us. He will be with us. He will show us the way because He is the way.
Psalm 119:105-"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
Even in the dark valleys, we don’t have to fear any evil because God is with us and He is light!
As I meditated on this truth, I had to get honest with myself and ask...are there any areas of my life or my mind that have become darkened? Maybe darkened by sin. Maybe darkened by despair and hopelessness. Maybe darkened by doubt. Maybe darkened by hard heartedness. I encourage you to consider the same question.
Jesus is our hope! If we see and recognize corners of our mind that have become dim or dark, God is gracious and is quick to forgive those who confess and repent!
We can never really walk in darkness when our hearts and minds and spirits are filled with light. External darkness may come, but not internal darkness. If it does, something else is going on and John warns us about it.
1 John 1:5-10 (ESV)- “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
Yes, a heavier portion of Scripture to meditate on here but I could not avoid it. This is where I landed in my personal study and where I invite you to join me!
We are reminded here that God is light and when He makes His home in our hearts, we cannot both have fellowship with Him and keep walking in darkness. This type of darkness comes from habitually walking in sin. God is ready and willing to cleanse us from our sins as we confess them. He is faithful. With that said, this is a good time for each of us to go to a sacred space with the Lord and assess if we have been honest with ourselves about the condition of our heart and where we are not walking in the light. Take heart friend, our God is merciful and gracious. I am learning to practice being more honest with myself and with God than trying to seem impressive. Humility is the gateway!
Jesus is the light of the world and He has been given for us. This is what we are celebrating at Christmas time! Jesus Himself. We have the light of the world in us and with us!
Those are just two names of many and you got to experience where my brain tends to go when I am studying the Word! Hopefully it all made sense written down.
What names of Jesus have you been meditating on?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you next year ;)