Monday, December 24, 2018


The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…



     "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which is God with us" (Matthew 1:23).

    The Lord Jesus Christ dwelled with the people of His day physically during His earthly lifetime.  He dwells with the people of His indwelling presence in every day spiritually.  Our Savior came into the world in order to make a way to come into our hearts by His death, resurrection, ascension, and bestowing of the Holy Spirit on all who believe.

    "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16).

    Note the "Behold" in the prophecy mentioned in Matthew's Gospel.  Few did so at the time of the Lord's entrance into the world.  Shepherds came to the manger.  Wise men from the east arrived, likely several years later.  However, few beheld the Lord Jesus, either at the beginning or throughout most of His lifetime as "God with us."  His ministry drew multitudes, of course.  However, by the end, He died forsaken and alone on Calvary's cross.  Moreover, while more than 500 witnesses saw Him after His resurrection, the risen Savior revived in a world historical demographers estimate to have been populated by three hundred million people during the lifetime of Christ.  Yes, few beheld the physical advent of the Baby, the Boy, the Man, the Lamb, and the risen Lord.

   We can also miss His spiritual presence today.  Walking with God as a born again believer involves realizing and affirming His indwelling nearness with eyes of faith that see the Unseen presence of "God with us."  "We walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7).  Left to our natural perspectives and inclinations, we live as if alone.  Thus, we must behold.  We must choose to believe that our Lord is with us to the degree He dwells within us.  He rejoices with us in our blessings.  He compassionately shares our sorrows.  He leads and guides us from within in the everyday moments of existence that seem mundane, but which actually bear eternal significance.  As we frequently suggest in these messages, we live life as a "We" rather than a "me" or a "He."  The Lord Jesus prayed us accordingly: "That they all may be one, as Thou Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us" (John 17:21).  He then died, rose again, and ascended to make the answer to His prayer possible and actual in all who believe.

   We "behold" by beginning our days with the affirmation of God's loving and involved presence.  We also expect many opportunities throughout our days to believe the Truth in the face of great challenge and conflict.  We then look back on our days in the faith that sees our Lord in hindsight.  God with us.  The greatest gift He could give, to the degree our Lord dwells within us by His Spirit.  May He grace much grace to remind, encourage, and challenge us to "Behold… God with us."

"Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father."
(Galatians 4:6)
"Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
(II Corinthians 3:18)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 
(Ephesians 6:11-12)

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