Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

God...Dwells Among Us

With the New Year spinning fast before us, we distance ourselves quickly from the Birthday of Jesus, Christmas. Lest we forget the significance of that event.. God became flesh and dwelt among men!

What a revolutionary thought! Why would the God of all creation 'stoop' so low to become like us? Has any other god ever attempted this? Aren't we suppose to achieve goodness and become more like Him? Ponder the passage in John 1: 14:He became like unto us...God became flesh and dwelt among us.

As a kid, one of my dad's half-sisters came to live with us for a while (my parents, grandmother, seven children and here comes Aunt Dora). We had heard a lot about her through the years, but now 'she came to live with us'. We really got to know her better. (She had several children and rotated months with them. I think she was on-the-outs with a daughter, so we lucked up and crowded her into the small rent house for several months.

When someone comes to live with you, there is not doubt about it - you get to know them in a very personal way. This happened when "God came to dwell among men". Man experienced Him in a very different manner than ever before. God became flesh (Jesus was born) and lived in a family and community unit with relatives and friends.But the sad part of this story is "they knew Him not", so the Scripture points out.

This is the "other side of Christmas" when we realize the Baby Jesus was God incarnate. And He outgrew the manger, became a teenager, then grew into manhood. All the time, "he dwelt among his family and friends". He was just an ordinary kid, but he was anything but ordinary! He was the Lord, the Eternal God of Israel. He had all the attributes of God, yet he lived within the limitations placed on Him by His heavenly Father and His earthy father.

Joseph and Mary knew "He was God" just as the angel of the Lord had told them. The sensed, saw, and witnessed all that was happening as Jesus grew. The miraculous birth in Bethlehem (satisfying all the prophecies of old); the decree from Herod (to kill all the boy babies) and their escape to Egypt; Jesus (age 12) interacting with the religious leaders in the Temple though his parents thought He was lost; and many more instances we are unaware of as Jesus aged. He was flesh -they could see that! And He was God, they sensed that in many ways too.

Jesus taught that He 'came to seek and save that which was lost'.(Matt 18:11). Another assignment of His - "to give eternal life to all who believe in Him. (John 3: 16). Also, Jesus taught that He did not seek HIs own will, but the Will of His Father (John 5: 30). After Jesus' death on the cross 'to pay for the sins of the world (His blood sacrifice), the promised Holy Spirit came to His disciples in a mighty way. And now the 'flesh gave way to the Spirit". Jesus ascended to heaven ( Matt 28) to take Hs place at the right hand of His Father. But the Holy Spirit came 'among us' to be our constant Comforter, our Shield and Protector at all points. Now the Spirit 'lives among us and in us to guide us through life's rocky ways.(John 14).

We not only have the Father's promises (Old Testament), but we have the teaching of Jesus - His trusted promises of forgiveness, comfort, joy, peace, eternal security and many more provisions. (Gospels). But we also have the Holy Spirit walking with us and serving as our Paraclete (constant companion, our Comforter on earth)...see 1 John 2:1. God - dwelling with us. "How marvelous, how wonderful and my song shall ever be; How marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior's love for me"!

May you sense the very presence of God with you as you draw nearer to Him. His promise is to draw near to you 'if you will draw near to Him'. (James 4:8). Allow the Christ-child to become your Savior and dwell among you through the presence of the Holy Spirit. What a marvelous way to begin this New Year - allowing the God of this universe to "dwell with you".(John 1:14).






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