“‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” Matthew 1:23
There are only 3 places in scripture that this name of God, Immanuel appears. But there are many times that we see Jesus, God with us! Jesus came to us by a virgin birth as a baby. He was born in a stable, wrapped in cloths and laid in a manger. The son of God, had the most humble earthly beginnings that we could think of.
He grew in wisdom and stature and became a man that by mere appearances was just a man, but he was fully God as well. And He walked and He talked and He taught among all people, mere peasants not just among the scribes and scholars of His day. In fact, He spent more time with the mere peasants than He did with the scribes and scholars, and when He was with them, He was challenging them.
But what does it mean for us, this God with us, this Immanuel? I think one of the places we can find the answer is in 1 John.
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16
Can you be any more “with” something than to abide “in” it. Friends what I believe this is saying is this, as you fall more and more in love with Jesus, you believe the love He has for you more and more. And as you love Him, you are abiding in Him. His love abides in you as you abide in Him.
So what of this word abide? I looked it up and while there are many meanings of the word, the one that I believe is the meaning we have here, it makes the most sense is “to remain stable or fixed in a state.” To abide in God and to have God abide in you means that you are stable, you are fixed on God’s love. You believe Him to be your Immanuel, God with us! And for Him to be with you is for you to spend time with Him. The way you abide, the way you fall deeply in love with Him is to spend time with Him. You must spend time with Him and you must believe in His word. And if you doubt His word or His love ask Him to show you. This is the promise of Immanuel. God with Us! God with Me, God with You! We don’t have to wait for a prophet or even for the preacher on Sunday morning to tell us what to do and how to live. We get to go to the book and spend time with the one who lives there. Let His word abide in you. Study it and learn it and live it. Then you will be abiding in it and God will be abiding in you!