God in Us: A Christmas Promise
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him…”Isaiah 11:1-2a
From the line of David, a young shoot will come up from a stump – the remnant of a dynasty lost long ago. From this shoot, a Branch will come and be that perfect ruler.
A miracle is going to happen.
An angel appears before Mary and shares with her a message too difficult to fathom. The first words out of the angel’s mouth are words of assurance and promise.
“Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you.”Luke 1:28 ESV
The angel continues to say, “Do not be afraid, Mary: for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” (Luke 1:30-31 ESV)
“For nothing will be impossible with God.”Luke 1:37 ESV
The emphasis of the birth of Christ rests upon the power of the Spirit and his work in Mary rather than her work for God.
Her faith – given by God – received and she conceived. Mary trusted God’s promises that he will be with her. Faith received the divine peace that rests in the assurance that nothing is impossible with God.
Jesus was born. The impossible happened. The Spirit of the Lord rests on Christ and gives everything he needs — wisdom and understanding, counsel and power — to carry out the plan God devised for all people.
By the power of the Spirit resting upon Christ, he carries out God’s will by living the perfect life to be that perfect substitute. Through God’s will Christ was willing to be that Lamb on the cross to remove all sins, to redeem all people, so that those who rest in Christ’s promises will be holy and righteous before our Heavenly Father.
The benefits do not cease with a believer’s status before God.
Jesus’ life becomes our life. His ancestry becomes our ancestry. We are perfect, we are forgiven, we will conquer death, and we are a child of God. The Branch grafts us to the family tree of Life. Our name is carved into the trunk and will not be removed.
The same Holy Spirit that brought a miraculous conception is the same Holy Spirit that works miracles in us today. The “mystery of godliness” (1 Timothy 3:16) is impossible to fathom, so by faith, we ponder this truth in our hearts and accept it to be true.
For nothing is impossible with God.
Christ dwells in us. The same wisdom, understanding, counsel and power lives in us. And its not based on believers trying so hard to obtain the Spirit but bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
It’s the same Spirit that prompts us to rejoice this Christmas like the angels rejoiced. Jesus Christ is born and he lives today.
May this glow of Christmas truth reverberate in our lives. Each day God has ordained for us is another opportunity to glorify him. Each day is another opportunity to boldly and cheerfully declare that God is with us, he is for us, and he is in us. God has set us apart, chosen us, like the humble shepherds, to spread this message of hope and peace.
On Christmas Eve, as we gather with other believers to sing Silent Night and other Christmas hymns, let’s pause, ponder, and reflect upon this great miracle. A virgin with child gave birth to a baby and is lying in a manger.
A prophecy was fulfilled. God kept his promise. This is Immanuel—God with us.
He is in us.
For nothing is impossible with God.
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