Emmanuel (Part Two)

God is more than just an entity who watches over us from afar. He calls us to deeper and more meaningful relationship with him every day. He sent Jesus to us so that we might be saved from our sins and enjoy grace so that we can continue to grow and change and become more Christ-like.

Emmanuel means God with us. Quite literally, Jesus lived a life on this earth and walked among us. But his birth, death, and resurrection mean so much more! When he breathed his final breath, the veil of the temple was torn in two, signifying the end of our separation from our Creator. We no longer need sacrifices to cleanse us before going to God- Jesus is our intercessor and his sacrifice renews us daily. This means that we can be free from our worldly worries and cares when we come before God in prayer.

Understanding this changes how we live our lives. If we are not separated from God, we are subject to his truth, his convictions, and the Holy Spirit guides our hearts and minds, if we let it. God never meant for us to walk alone in our faith. Through the reading of his word and prayer, our hearts are led by his truth, and he instructs our ways.

This can be the prompting we hear to help others, or the nudge we feel in our hearts when we are stumbling. His voice calls us back to truth, to a life led by grace and love rather than rules and condescension. Because we are free in Jesus, we are not trapped in shame, but can rather move forward freely from our mistakes, continually receiving support from God, whose truths live in us through the Holy Spirit.

God's voice is affirming, reminding us when we are on the right path. It rebukes us when we fall short of loving others. He calls us to him because He loves us, he sent Emmanuel because he desired to be with us.

As Christmas draws closer, I hope that we can not only reflect on the wonderful gift of a savior, but also the relationship God is calling us to by sending Emmanuel.


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