Sometimes, I go overboard...heap way too many things on my plate and get anxious and overwhelmed and then strangely enough, often times when facing a deadline, get things done! As much as I crave order and peace in my life, I seem to work best under pressure and with looming deadlines!
In the middle of November, I began searching for Christmas devotionals and study materials. Not being content with one or two...I am in the midst of 3 separate studies, plus a daily devotional from Journey.
But the crazy thing is...they are all beautifully working together! Truths are shared to inspire, one is a journal which usually I don't like to be confined to do daily, but am loving it and the lessons learned bounce and build on each other. It is incredible!
One (!) of today's devotions, was based upon the verse of "Mary treasuring these things in her heart". It encouraged the readers to ponder the wonder of Christmas, to slow down and think upon the miracle and glory of Jesus coming to earth.
One of my favorite things to 'ponder' this season has been the name "Immanuel". It means God with us. Here are a few thoughts (from another devotion!) on that.
"The various names and titles that God has are not empty names, but names that are filled with meaning. “Immanuel” is one of the names the depth of which we can never reach. God took on flesh and made His home among people He had created. His coming had a very beautiful and sobering purpose. He came to die. His death would ensure a bond between Christ the Savior and the sinners He came to save.
We call it the great exchange. Sin was exchanged for righteousness, death for life, hate for love, enmity for friendship, and emptiness for the presence of God.
Immanuel – God with US!
Immanuel means God is with YOU! He will never leave you or forsake you, and He has made His home in you. And He is in you because He loves you!
So where can we go to escape His presence? Nowhere because we cannot separate Him from our hearts, and nothing can separate us from His love (Rom 8:38, 39). What can we do to make Him leave us? Nothing, because His love is stronger than any of our sin.
The great redeemer lives, and He lives in you!
As Christmas gets closer and closer, may we find time to slow down, enjoy the beauty and blessing and ponder the wonder of the true Reason!