Alone is how the enemy would have us. Brokenness and division is his specialty. Maybe you know this all too well. Friend, Jesus has a special place for the broken and the hurting, and amid the busyness and celebration of this season, Jesus whispers tenderly: I came to be with you.
You see, togetherness has always been the message of God. “Alone” God declared to be “not good” (Genesis 2:18). From the very beginning and throughout the pages of Scripture, our covenant-keeping God calls us again and again to be in community with each other and in close relationship with Him. We are not meant to do life alone. When our sin separated us from God, Jesus gave His own life to bridge that gap, to include us in his family, and to give us a future and a hope (see John 3:16, Jeremiah 29:11).
Maybe today, instead of struggling with loneliness, you find that there is never quite enough of you to go around. You have so many demands and people to care for that alone would seem to be a generous slice of heaven itself. Today is a precious gift, so steady your heart with this truth: You have a Helper. God himself is here. Please don’t miss this sacred gift of the season.
He is the One who stands beside us, whose very name means, God is with Us. This name reveals God’s purpose: Jesus came so we could have a home with Him forever in heaven. Yet, I find it interesting that the message here is not “us with God”, but it is “God with us”. He will not always pull us out of our circumstances, but instead, promises to stand right in it with us. He is not watching from afar. He is here - with us in our celebration, with us in our waiting, with us in our sorrow.
If we were sitting together for coffee today, I would tell you there is no sweeter truth for you to grasp than this: Jesus chose to die rather than live without you. You are unique and special, deeply loved, and deeply valued.
The book of Matthew is an account of Jesus Messiah: his life, his death and his resurrection. But the bookends to the gospel are the precious message of Immanuel. The very last words of Jesus are encouragement to his followers that they do not walk alone. It is a reminder to us as well.
“Remember, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
Reflect and Respond:
1. How does the message of Immanuel give you hope? How can you use your testimony of how God has been with you to encourage someone else?
2. Are you part of a community of believers? We are not meant to do life alone. The Church is God’s plan to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus and there is a place and a purpose there for you.
3. What practical ways can you be more like Jesus to the hurting, broken, and alone? Pray to have eyes to really see those around you and the courage to respond.
Encouragement: In an outrageous act of love, Jesus came to be with you. You are worth it to God.
Recommended Resource: Because of Bethlehem: Love is Born, Hope is Here, by Max Lucado