You may enjoy worshiping God through Casting Crown’s “God is With Us” on Youtube as you worship today.
“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins…Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
Matthew 1: 20b-21, 23
Have you ever thought God must be crazy? I wonder what was going on in the mind of Joseph as the angel gave God’s message. I am sure he had questions, but God gave him lots of answers through the voice of an angel. To me, the most important thing about Joseph is his response to God: he chooses to believe the message and responds with faith. Have you ever thought about what we miss in life when we give into doubt and fear?
Worship Tip: Respond and Choose to Believe
Let’s continue our Christmas Worship Challenge by savoring the details in this message.
- Don’t be afraid. Have you ever thought about how many times God speaks to our fear in His Word? Did you know that the phrase, “Do not fear,” is repeated 57 times throughout the Bible? “Do not be afraid,” shows up 46 times. Aren’t you glad that we have a God who understands our fears? A God who speaks and acts, enabling us to overcome fear? As one who sometimes struggles with anxiety, I am grateful that God cares about my fears.
- He will save His people from their sins. God reveals His purpose in the birth of Christ right up front. No guess work. No leaving us to wonder. No gray area. Savior. Simple. Profound. Today I am rejoicing that He went to such great effort to save us from the terrible consequences of sin.
- In its most basic form, worship is simply our appropriate response to God. At the very least, it is what He deserves and what He is due. Down through the ages, the callous, destructive ingratitude from the original sin, a resistance to worship God pulses through my very DNA—it is the core of my sin nature. To elevate self, to discount, ignore, overlook, or reject God, to make my world about me, to worship the creation rather than the creator, this is the ungrateful legacy of the fall.
- Immanuel, God with us. From beginning to end, Genesis to Revelation, God is invested in relationships. Jesus is the one who is God with Us. Though He was born thousands of years ago, He is still Immanuel through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. God with Us, is so interested in relationship that He invites us to abide in Him. Wonder of wonders.
Today’s Worship Challenge:
Choose to worship instead of worry. Instead of fearful or anxious thoughts, choose to rejoice because Christ is Immanuel, God with us. Remember that He is with you in everything that you do today. Enjoy His presence by faith.
Today as I worship God I am filled with gratitude that He cares about my fears, He saves me from my sin, and He makes Himself continually present. Immanuel God with us. We are blessed more than we can possibly understand! I would love to read how Christ been your Immanuel; please share a comment.
(By the way, I always wondered what the difference between Immanuel and Emmanuel was. The difference is in the language it is translated from: Hebrew uses Immanuel and Greek is spelled Emmanuel. Both words are translated as “God with us.”)
Here is another related song by Mercy Me: God With Us.
I’m loving all of your encouragement this Christmas season. There have been a few times when I thought God was crazy (sending us to a certain duty station… again) but He always leads me through these times. When I reflect on these situations it’s so clear how He was at work. Keep writitng, I love it!
So glad that The Christmas Worship Challenge is adding meaning and encouragement to your Christmas season! When I know that others are blessed by what they read, it is like gas in my tank and encourages me right back. Worship is retoring to the soul!