Immanuel—God with Us

Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org

Saturday, December 24, 2011 and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Immanuel—God with Us

Read | Matthew 1:18-25

Throughout ancient human history, heaven was God’s dwelling place, and except for a few personal encounters (as with Abraham, Hagar, and Jacob), He seemed far away to most people. Then He came to be in the Israelites’ midst, first in a pillar of cloud and fire, then in the tabernacle and temple. But now, He was about to do something totally new. His presence would be with them in the form of God’s Son, a man who’d literally live among them.

Even before Jesus was born on earth, He was given two names, which both indicated His identity and ministry. Immanuel tells us who He is—“God with us.” Christ took on human flesh while retaining undiminished deity and became the perfect God-Man. He lived on earth, walked among men, and suffered the weaknesses of humanity. Yet He also displayed the power of Almighty God as He healed the sick, cast out demons, calmed the sea, and raised the dead.

Jesus means “The Lord is salvation,” which describes what He came to do—to save us from the bondage of sin through His death on our behalf. This explains why He had to become Immanuel. Since the Father is immortal and cannot die, His Son had to take on a human body in order to offer Himself as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

But what do these two names of Christ mean for you today? Through the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, Jesus still lives with you and has the power to deliver you from the grip of any bondage. No sinful habit, painful past, or present struggle is too difficult for the God-Man to overcome.

Matthew 1

The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

1Therecord of the genealogy ofJesusthe Messiah,the son of David,the son of Abraham:

2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. 4 Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. 5 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. 6Jesse was the father of David the king.

David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa. 8 Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah. 9 Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah. 11 Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor. 14 Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud. 15 Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob. 16 Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

Conception and Birth of Jesus

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of 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 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

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