In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . .
In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. . . .
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. . . .
Jesus came in the form of a babe, grew and lived and loved among us in the form of a man. He came declaring the grace and truth of the Father, the very Lord of all creation. And in His presence here with us, He declared: I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Belief in that simple statement births the most miraculous of gifts — the gift of salvation into the very body of Christ. United as one with the King of kings. The incredible presence of Christ within us, come to stay. Forever.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God– children born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but born of God. –– John 1:11-13
The presence of Immanuel — God with us — is exactly that.
If you have joined me on this journey through Advent, I thank you for doing so, and I hope you have somehow been encouraged by at least a portion of the words you’ve read throughout the past twenty-five days. When I started this journey, I was
a bit extremely nervous since I generally like to plan and outline and re-plan and re-outline. . . well, you get the idea. Each day has been a step of faith for me as I came empty-handed before God and asked Him to meet me here. Perhaps that is the very reason God urged me to write these devotional thoughts in the first place, so He could remind me of His faithfulness in not only coming to earth through Jesus in human form, but so I would see Him coming to me still. Every morning, He again showed Himself as Immanuel — God with me.
Each day I found Him here reminding me of the privilege of His presence. A privilege I too often neglect, which is why celebrating Advent in this way has been so special for me. I’ve taken the time to travel the worn path to Bethlehem’s stable again and again throughout these last few weeks, and I’ve allowed myself to experience anew the wonder of the Word made flesh for me. Following the angels’ greeting from the manger to the cross, I’ve accepted the invitation to come and drink freely from the well pouring forth from Savior’s reserves. He is so very gracious and kind in sharing with the likes of me.
I hope you have found Him, too. In your day to day tasks, and in the season’s rush toward Christmas, I pray you have made your way to His manger. That you have opened your eyes and your heart to experience the amazing gift of Christ come to you. And I hope we both continue to do so. That we stay close to Savior’s side and linger long in His presence, not taking our rights to His kingdom for granted.
I hope we will look to Him each day for our “daily bread,” as we gain nourishment from the Bread of Life Himself. I pray we will remember this incredible secret of Christ in us, and truly experience the hope of the glory He brings to each moment of every day. And I hope we will always be thankful for His coming, and that we’ll continue to look for it. To look for Him.
I pray we will long for the One who was, long before all time began. The One in whom all of creation was made and holds together. The One who is with us here in the messy and the mundane of everyday life. The One who will come again to make all things new and regenerate a heaven and earth in which we will live with Him forever.
I hope we will always remember to never forget.
That we will fix our gaze solidly upon Jesus — the One who humbled Himself, taking on the form of human man and submitting to an agonizing death on the cross for you and me. This Jesus is the King of all the earth, but He emptied Himself for us. Becoming a servant to make His enemies friends with God, He gave up His divine privileges for the privilege of calling us His beloved. He who knew no sin became sin for us, so that we might be called the children of God.
And that is what we are . . . all because of Who He is.
Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place, and gave Him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Christmas came more than two thousand years ago, but Christmas still comes every day in our hearts. The gift of Immanuel is here to stay. The Word who became flesh and dwelt among us, still lives within us now. And one day He will again return to Jerusalem to stand upon its heights and make Himself known once more.
When that day comes, every eye will see His glory and know that He is Lord.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. . . .
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let the one who hears say, “Come!” And let the one who is thirsty come, and the one who desires the water of life drink freely. . . .
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
May the gift of Christmas come be yours today and all year through!