Christmas 📜 Isaiah 7:14 – Immanuel

“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’). “ (Isaiah 7:14)

I love that the name Immanuel means “God is with us.” What a perfect name for Jesus. He came into the dark world he loved so much to be with us, to be one of us. Knowing Jesus is with us gives us hope for tomorrow and makes the world a little brighter.

It’s interesting to know the back story of this prophecy from Isaiah. Right before this, Isaiah had been speaking with King Ahaz. You may recall Ahaz was one of those wicked kings that did detestable things. (2 Kings 16) It was during his 16-year reign that Ahaz feared a takeover by Israel and it’s ally, Assyria. God’s message through Isaiah had been that no invasion would take place.

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Christmas 🕍 Luke 2:25-35 – Faith

Read Luke 2:25-35

Can you imagine having received the message Simeon had, giving him the assurance he would see the Messiah before he died? Many had been waiting for the Messiah to come rescue them. It had been hundreds of years since the prophets had foretold a Messiah would come. In Simeon’s day, the Roman oppression was so great the people were anxiously awaiting the day their Messiah king would powerfully come to save them.

Simeon’s faith is commendable. Amidst the struggles of life under Roman control, and the natural aging process our bodies go through, Simeon never lost hope. He had faith in God’s promise. It seems as if his faith was the fuel that sustained Simeon through each day of waiting.

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Christmas 💗 Isaiah 9:6 – Jesus

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
.

What do you think Isaiah thought when he gave us this message? Did he know it was a Messianic prophecy? Did he have any inkling that this child would be so famous? Of course, any child being called Mighty God had to be pretty special!

At Christmas we remember the precious child, God’s own son, born just for us. God loves us that much! Make sure you stop a couple of times today to marvel at how God’s majesty was laying in a manger bed. How humbling!

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Advent 🕯 Isaiah 9:1-2 -Hope

Read Isaiah 9:1-2

Our Advent preparations are heading into the home stretch. It’s time to take a deep breath and prepare for the final frantic moments yet to come. Why do we try to pack so much into such a short period of time? There’s traveling, cookie baking, card sending, concert attending, rehearsing, decorating, wrapping gifts, carol singing–I’ve got to be forgetting something! Yes — hoping in Christ!

Isaiah’s prophecy speaks loudly to us as well. We can surely identify with living in a “time of darkness and despair,” too. Anytime God is absent from a conversation or a decision or an event, the potential for darkness exists. Isaiah’s message brings hope to those living in darkness when he says, “will not go on forever.”

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Advent 🌟 Micah 5:2 – Humility

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past,
will come from you on my behalf. (Micah 5:2)

Micah would have written this prophecy sometime during the the reigns of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah. Other prophets in his day include Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea. It’s hard to believe these words were written some seven hundred years before they were fulfilled in the birth of our Messiah, Jesus.

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