God with Us

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2016

when-god-feels-far-away

Key Bible Verse: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” (Revelation 21:3)

Dig Deeper: Revelation 21:1-7

Despite mighty pictures of God’s presence, we are, at the same time, commanded by Scripture to seek his presence (Ps. 84:1-12; James 4:8). God is high and holy, unlike us in nearly every way, and yet we, his creatures, are made for life with him.

The terrifying, holy nature of God should not keep us from seeking his face and desiring his presence. Instead, when we look to Jesus, we see our invitation. When Jesus Christ was born, the prophet Isaiah said one of his many names would be Immanuel, which literally means “God with us” (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23). The startling message of the Gospel is not just, “God loves you, ” but “God has come to be with you.”

Remember the opening to the gospel of John? “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Certain commentators conclude this line might as well be translated: “God came down and pitched his tent among us,” referring to the Old Testament tabernacle. Jesus came to begin the process of dwelling with his people. Through his life, death, and resurrection, we now obtain life in his name. By the coming of Jesus, history and the way humans relate to God has changed forever.

– Chris Nye in Distant God


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