I praise the Lord for His presence. Although sometimes our Lord’s presence is more real than other times, it is no less real and no less available to us always. This is something I have been dwelling on as this Christmas season is upon us: That Christ’s presence on earth enabled us to have Christ within us. And I do not want to take this lightly. Because this one aspect of the Christmas story coupled with the subsequent event of the cross is everything to me. It is everything to us—that our Lord came into the world, and that our Lord has come into our hearts.
Our Lord is here among us, as our Lord always was. But even more, our Lord is within us. And this emanated from our Lord’s life on earth.
The Lord is here. He is here. He is here. Our Lord is here.
And I have been saying it over and over again to myself as of late. And I want to remind you of it. That our Lord wants to reside within us is unimaginable to me. And the more I try to understand it, the more our Lord’s love overwhelms me.
Let it overwhelm you.
It is like this newfound joy to remember that the birth of Christ initiated the events that enabled us to have Christ's presence within us. It is not just that we are new creations because of Christ. It is not just that our Lord makes us new and leaves us to ourselves. It is that we are new creations with the Lord within us.
How can I remain dismal; how can I remain distracted; how can I remain unmoved in light of this glorious reality? And I understand that I am dwelling on what may seem like an obvious aspect of Christ’s life on earth--His presence. But it is the Lord's presence that is the condition precedent to everything He has done for us.
Do we realize that God has called us? Do we realize that when we respond to God, we receive the presence of God within us? For our God is always present without, but how magnificent that our God is present within.
Do we truly realize that God, our Lord Jesus Christ; the Creator of Life; our Sustainer; our Redeemer; our Peace; our Joy, is present within us? It is not that we must pursue some distant being to obtain all of these things; for our Lord is all of these things for us because our Lord is here.
Our Lord is here. Our Lord is here. Our Lord is here.
I pray we dwell on this reality. If you have not responded to our Lord’s call and have not experienced the marvelous presence of our Lord within you, I implore to you to do so. I pray that if you have responded to our Lord’s call, that this season is a reminder of the presence of Christ on earth. I pray this season is even more a reminder of our Lord’s presence within us. Praise God that our Lord would make His home within our otherwise decrepit hearts.
"'The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' (which means 'God with us')." (Matthew 1:23 NIV) (emphasis added).
"Jesus replied, 'Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.'" (John 14:23 NIV).
"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26 NIV).
"Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. . . ." (Galatians 4:6 NIV).
Ode to you, Christmas cup. It's finally time for you.
Much love to you,