What is the best gift you received this Christmas?  Well, it might surprise you – but I already know! The best Christmas gift any mortal man could ever receive is the one we’ve obtained in “Immanuel”, which means, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
“God with us” is precisely what we lost in the fall.  Adam’s sin forced him, and all his descendants, from the Garden of Eden, the paradise of God’s presence.  Ever since, mankind has struggled in the weary wilderness of life “without hope and without God” (Ephesians 2:12). To live apart from God is the definition of “lost”. To do so eternally is the definition of hell. There is no greater loss, no greater deprivation, no great calamity in time or eternity than to be “without God”.
How inestimably precious then, the gift which God has given us in Immanuel – “God with us”. Immanuel means that the lost can be found.  It means that those who were once “Lo-Ami” [not my people] are reborn as “the sons of God” (Romans 9:26, 1 Peter 2:10). Immanuel means the gates of Eden have been flung open wide. The way has been opened for us to enter the paradise of God’s presence. Immanuel means that today, God is with us.
A friend sent me a devotional by Charles Spurgeon that wonderfully expounds what that means for us today.  It was a blessing to me, and I’d like to share that blessing with you.  The devotional is based on Isaiah 41:10,
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
How Can He Fail You?
by Charles Spurgeon
God has a strong reserve with which to discharge this responsibility, for He is able to do everything. Believer, until you can drain the ocean of omnipotence dry, until you can break into pieces the towering mountains of almighty strength, you never need to fear.

Do not think that the strength of man will ever be able to overcome the power of God. While the earth’s huge pillars stand, you have enough reason to live firm in your faith.

The same God who directs the earth in its orbit, who feeds the burning furnace of the sun, and trims the lamps of heaven has promised to supply you with daily strength. While He is able to uphold the universe, do not dream that He will prove unable to fulfill His own promises.

Remember what He did in the past, in the former generations. Remember how He spoke and it was done, how He commanded and it stood firm. Will He who created the world grow weary? He hangs the world upon nothing; will He who does this be unable to support His children? Will He be unfaithful to His word for lack of power?

Who is it that restrains the tempest? Does He not ride upon the wings of the wind and make the clouds His chariots and hold the ocean in the hollow of His hand? How can He fail you? When He has put such a faithful promise as this on record, will you for a moment indulge the thought that He has out-promised Himself or gone beyond His power to fulfill? No! You can doubt no longer.[1]
God has come down to us so that He might forever be our Immanuel. May God give you the capacity to believe and receive this most precious of all gifts. 

A Blessed Christmas to You All,

Pastor Dale

[1] Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

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