DEVOTION: Matthew 1:18-25
Matthew 1:18-25 (ESV)
The Birth of Jesus Christ
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ[a] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed[b] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel"
(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
Most people think of God as a far away being looking down on the world, sometimes laughing, sometimes frowning, sometimes shaking his head in disgust, and the rest of the time judging. Too often we fail to realize Immanuel. How often, as you are going through your day, realize that God is with us? Even though Jesus ascended into heaven, he promised us "Behold, I am with you always to the very end of the age." In many other various ways he has promised to always be WITH us and to live IN us.
He is not far off. He is not some mystical thought throughout the day. He was with us in body, and at Pentecost he sent His Spirit to live in us and in the world. He is most definitely WITH us!
First, this should give us fear. We shouldn't ever be willing to do in secret what we wouldn't doin public. We shouldn't ever be willing to do what God forbids. God sees it all. He is there for it all.
Secondly, His presence should give us peace, because we can know that, in spite of seeing every one of our failures, He still loves us and He already died and rose for us. In the same way that we know that a loving parent isn't going to destroy, disown, or forsake his or her children because of sin, so we can know that, because that the Son was already forsaken on our behalf, we will not be forsaken.
Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to us! Praise the Lord for His eternal peace! Praise the Lord for His love and forgiveness! Let us never take it for granted! Let us never fail to realize IMMANUEL!!
Prayer: Lord, help us to always, every day, realize that you are with us so that we may not sin, but when we do, you don't forsake us, but forgive us. Amen.
Thurs- Karate 5:15-7:30
Sat- Men's breakfast 8am; Sunday school Christmas program Worship 5pm
Sun- Worship 8:30; Sunday school 9:45; Chapel 11
WORSHIP WORKERS FOR THIS COMING WEEKEND:
Acolyte- 8:30- Addie Hoelscher 11- Gus Klaustermeier
Ushers- Sun-Scott and Alex Heitgerd, Bob and Tom Linke
Altar- Set up- Dave and Linda Callies; Clean Up- Pam Linke
Elders- Sat- Randy Fischer; 8:30- Don Turnure 11- Charlie Figura
Greeters- 8:30- Rich and Peggy Talbert; 11- Dan and Lisa Rausch
Lay Readers- Sat- Marcia Sevier; 8:30- Allan Dreyer; 11- Steve Robine
Piano- Sat- Doug Walters
Organist- Rachel Fisher 8:30 and 11
Projectionists: Sat- Kathy Fischer; 8:30 Schaumberg 11- Cluver
YESTERDAY'S QUIZ: From where did Paul write the letter (Epistle) to the Colossians? Prison in Rome