Tuesday, December 8, 2009

God's Presence, the greatest gift of all

“If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: “God with us.” We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a Baby in the manger is the truth that this promised Baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!” by ~ John F. MacArthur, Jr.

What the angels said that night to the shepherds about “We bring you good news of great joy” remains our excellent news to this day. The good news of great joy wasn’t just the fact that a baby was born in a local manger. The angels weren’t there simply to deliver a birth announcement there was more to it. That child, that very child wrapped in swaddling clothes meant more than that. He was the Immanuel, the beginning of a new way of life with the equation of “God with us” being in it.

Imagine what the reaction of the shepherds would have been if the angels had announced it was God who had come instead of an infant. I could hear and visualize it now, “Hey guys, we’ve got news for you! God has arrived on earth and you can see Him at this address.” I don’t know about the other shepherds but if I had been one of them I would have been scared to hear such a thing. However, the announcement of a baby in a manger arouses our curiosity but the trail still leads to God.

Instead of picking out baby clothes and wishing Mary well we need to stop and ponder what His birth is truly all about. We needed a Savior, someone to come and rescue us from ourselves. It was a task too big for anyone but God. We had messed up royally and it was time to get His children back on track. His arrival and exit would open a very large door giving us direct access to the One who was and is indeed “with us.”

What is so awesome about the whole thing is God remains WITH us and we get the choice on whether we want to remain with Him or not. This Christmas we need to concentrate on God’s Presence instead of the presents we may want or get under a tree or in a stocking. It is His presence that is the greatest gift of all.

The sad thing today is we see so many people fighting for all they are worth against that presence. They want it out of the school, they want it out of the work place, and they want it out of Christmas. This year they even fought to get it out of Thanksgiving. What next Easter, Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, the local church, the local charity, private homes?

I was almost going to say, “where does it all end?” Praise the Lord we know where it is all going to end, it ends WITH God. For all eternity we can either be in His presence, WITH Him or separated WITHOUT Him. The choice is ours. As pretty as we would like to make the second option appear, being somewhere without God, it will never be what we would like. We can take a Christmas tree out and replace it with a couple of snowmen or remove a manger and dress it up with pretty lights instead but we will never be able to replace eternity in Heaven WITH God with anything “just as good.”
No matter where we go with it. No matter what we try to do the trail leads back to God. We can either be on the good side of the equation or on the other. God’s presence is here and we must never lose sight of it. For indeed it’s not going away no matter how hard we try to kick it out and make it look like something different.

God WITH us, means God with me and I like that!

Happy Birthday Jesus, Happy Birthday!

© 2009 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing


Debbie said...

Karen, well written as always. And we have the most important heart choice of all; to receive that gift of His presence personally. I'm so thankful and glad I did. He saved me from myself.

Hugs to you,

Anonymous said...

Cute, I love it when you said we need to get under a tree or in a stocking! :)
Jessie at Blog Schmog

mamas*little*treasures said...

Hi Karen - thanks for stopping by my blog tonight . . . . and thanks for sharing your thoughts on this amazing quote! It really is a wonderful reminder of the true meaning of the holiday to help us focus on the eternal gift He has given us. ;o) Hugs, Nina

Tami Boesiger said...

I like it too, Karen! Knowing He understands every hurt is a great comfrot.

Denise Hughes said...

Yes! "God with us" is not just for back then in a manger, but God remains with us today! He is with us with his presence. Thank you for sharing today. These are important words to meditate on. Blessing to you today.