Tag Archives: Emmanuel

Grateful For The Gift

I can’t believe Christmas is almost here. Every day, when I drive by the mall, I can’t help but notice how many people are there. Other retail stores are packed as well. Everyone is looking for gifts, but they want a good deal. They want to give a good gift, but they don’t want it to cost them a lot. I understand being frugal and wanting to get a good deal, but as I thought about it, the gift God gave cost Him everything. It wasn’t cheap though we often treat it that way. He gave us the gift of Emmanuel.

The most famous scripture, John 3:16, says, “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son.” He loved us so much that He gave us His most prized possession. He sent His Son here to be God wrapped in flesh, to feel our pain, to breathe our air, to walk our paths, to know our feelings and to understand our ways. He wanted to show us love by giving us the gift that cost Him everything. At just the right time, He humbled Himself and was born as a human. Philippians 2 says that “He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human.”

Not only did it cost Him the privileges of His deity, it later cost Him His life. He laid down His life so that we could have life. His sacrifice opened the door for you and I to find forgiveness for our sins. It made a way for us to get to Heaven. When I think about that gift and what it cost Him, there’s no gift that I can give that would ever compare. The only thing I can do to show my gratitude for such a gift is to offer my life to Him. I’ve got to be mindful every day of the sacrifice He made for me. It can’t just be at Christmas when I think about the gift of His Son. It’s got to be an every day thing.

I heard a quote years ago and I can’t find who said it, but it’s powerful. It says, “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.” That’s how I want to be all throughout the year and my life. I want to always remember what God did for you and me. I want to be so grateful that I never forget what it cost Him to show me love. I don’t want Him to have to constantly remind me of the price He paid. I’d rather be the one who constantly says to Him, “Look at what you did for me. I’ll never forget it.” I believe a life of gratitude will never take gifts for granted.

Photo by David Everett Strickler on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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God With Us

There’s a story of how the Cherokee would perform a right of passage for all boys before they were considered men. To become a man, the boy would be led into the woods at night. His father would sit him on a stump, blindfold Him and then leave him. He was told that he had to sit there all night, but he couldn’t make a sound. When he saw the sun rays through the blindfold, he could take it off and find his way back to camp.

It was tough to sit there silently. With their eyes covered, their sense of hearing was enhanced. They heard ever twig break as an animal stepped on it. They could hear the sounds of all the animals in the forest that were out at night. I’m sure they could hear the sound of their own heartbeat as they wondered whether they would be attacked. In the morning when he removed his blindfold, he would see that his father was sitting beside him the whole night watching over him.

I love that story because it’s so much like what our Heavenly Father does for us. We often feel blind and alone as we go through this world. Our fears can get the better of us if we aren’t careful, but God is right there with us through it all even though we can’t see Him. Isaiah 7:14 says, “All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’)” (NLT).

Immanuel is one of my favorite names for God. It gives me hope when I feel blindfolded as I go through this life. When I’m unsure of how things are going to turn out, and I feel vulnerable and open to attack, I remind myself that God is right there with me. He’s watching over me, protecting me and caring for me. He has never left my side no matter how dark the night has been. He remains true to His name Immanuel. He is God with us.

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God Is With You

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.


I love reading Luke 2 throughout the year. I don’t believe the story of Jesus’ birth is just for December. Honestly, what we are celebrating at Christmas, should be celebrated all through the year. The fact that God wrapped Himself in flesh and lived among us is something to celebrate every day, especially when we’re facing mountains in our lives. The prophet Isaiah said the Messiah would be called Emmanuel which is God with us.

I’ve always loved the meaning of that name. God is with us. It’s present tense. It’s not He was with us or He will be with us. He is with us! In difficult times in our lives, we feel alone. We feel the world is against us. Our friends are scarce. Our troubles are compounded. Our stress is through the roof. Our bills are too many and too high. We feel abandoned and afraid. How we feel and what circumstances look like don’t change the fact that God is with us. They don’t push Him away when they’ve pushed everyone else away.

When we’re surrounded by the storm, the waves keep crashing into us and we feel like we’re sinking, He is with us. He isn’t panicking like we are. He knows that things are under control even when they appear not to be. The disciples found themselves in this same situation. They were on a boat in the middle of a fierce storm and they were taking on water. They were terrified until they remembered Emmanuel. “God is with us.” They found Jesus, woke Him up and then He calmed the storm.

Maybe that’s you today. You find yourself in the middle of a storm. Your mind is occupied by all the “what if’s”. You feel as though your life is sinking. Nothing is going as planned. If that’s the case, remember there is no storm He can’t calm. There is nothing that life can throw at you that He can’t turn into good for you. Even if you can’t see it, have faith. It’s especially important in those times that you remember Emmanuel. God is with YOU. And if God is with you, He is for you. When He is for you, who can be against you? 

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God is With You

I think it’s important to stop and remember what we are celebrating this time of year. People can argue that Christmas is commercialized, that some of the traditions have pagan roots or that Jesus wasn’t born in December. Honestly, what we are celebrating now, should be celebrated all through the year. God wrapped Himself in flesh and lived among us. The prophet Isaiah said He would be called Emmanuel which is God with us.

I’ve always loved the meaning of that name. God is with us. It’s present tense. It’s not He was with us or He will be with us. He is with us! There are times we all face where we feel alone. We feel the world is against us. Our friends are scarce. Our troubles are compounded. Our stress is through the roof. Our bills are too many and too high. We feel abandoned and are afraid. How we feel and what circumstances look like don’t change the fact that God is with us.

I’ve always heard it said that you plus God equals a majority. It’s important to remember that when you’re overwhelmed or feel alone. You have the Creator of the universe standing beside you, fighting for you and working things out for your good. When I look back at the hardest times in my life, I can see now that He was working things for my good. I had to go through the fires and the difficult times to be who I am now and to get where I am. It never feels like it during the struggle though.

When we’re surrounded by the storm and the waves are crashing into us and we feel like we’re sinking, He is with us. He isn’t panicking like we are. He knows that things are under control even when they appear not to be. The disciples found themselves in this same situation. They were on a boat in the middle of a fierce storm and they were taking on water. They were terrified until they remember Emmanuel. God is with us. They woke Jesus up and He calmed the storm.

Maybe that’s you today. You find yourself in the middle of a storm. Your mind is occupied by all the “what if’s”. You feel as though your life is sinking. Nothing is going as planned. If that’s the case, remember there is no storm He can’t calm. There is nothing that life can throw at you that He can’t turn into good for you. Even if you can’t see it, have faith. It’s now that you need to remember Emmanuel. God is with YOU. And if God is for you, who can be against you? In all things, we are more than conquerors through Him.

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