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Friday, February 12, 2016

Day 2: Matthew 1:18-25 & Psalm 2 - Jesus Immanuel

Today's Reading: Matthew 1:18-25 & Psalm 2

Get the Full Reading Plan Here

Jesus Immanuel

"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). " - Matthew 1:21-23, ESV

Sometimes the beauty if great writing comes in saying a lot in a few words. Matthew's account of Jesus' birth is not as long or detailed as Luke's, but it is packed with rich meaning.

In these few verses, we see . . .

1. Jesus' birth is the miraculous fulfillment of God's promise made through the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14).

2. Jesus' name indicates His mission: He will save His people from their sins.

3. Jesus is God with us, which is the meaning of Immanuel. 

Think about how wonderful and powerful this message is: God has sent forth His Son, miraculously born of a virgin as the fulfillment of long-awaited promises. Jesus came to save us, not to condemn us; He saves us from our biggest problem, our sin. Jesus came to be "God with us" and to reconcile us to God forever.

We were made to be with God, and our greatest need is to have God with us. But sin stands in the way and keeps us from fellowship with a Holy God. Jesus comes as "God with us" and our Savior to redeem us from our sins and reconcile us to God forever.

This is the best news we could ever hear: God has sent us a Savior, His own Son. This is the heart of the Bible's message: God is with us in Jesus - not against us or apart from us, but with us, forever.

Prayer Based on Psalm 2:

Heavenly Father, every day we see the nations raging against You, plotting against You and Your people. ISIS mocks the international community and beheads your people, oppressing and enslaving their neighbors. The United Nations promotes wickedness and ignores brutal human rights violations by its own members. Our own country runs after sexual immorality, lawlessness, foolishness, violence and selfishness. We can so often feel overwhelmed, like the world is spinning out of control.

But You, O Lord, remind us that You are enthroned in the heavens. You laugh at the rebellion of the nations and You will judge them in Your wrath. You have established Jesus as Your King and You have given Him the nations as His inheritance, the ends of the earth for His eternal possession. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. Compared to Him, the kings of this world are petty, weak and so temporary. We thank You than You have brought us to worship You and to know Your King and our King forever.

Lord, advance Your Gospel in this world through Your church, that Jesus may receive the inheritance of nations. Give us a holy confidence in the King who reigns forever, a boldness the world cannot intimidate away. Bring many to repentance and faith in Jesus; may they kiss the Son and be saved from perishing. Thank You that we have found refuge in Jesus. May others find refuge in Him, too!

In the name of your Holy King, Jesus, Amen.  

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