“They shall call his name Immanuel which means, God with us.”
READ
Matthew 1:18-25
REFLECT
What is the best gift you’ve ever received?  Why is it so memorable?  The gifts we remember are usually connected with a significant relationship.  It’s the giver that we remember, not simply the gift.  Gift-giving is one great way to express our desire to begin, or continue, a relationship.  When God sent His Son to this earth to redeem us, He gave us the greatest gift.  He gave Himself.
Consider the awesome message of the greatest gift – “God with us.”
1 – GOD is with us.  From His birth to His death, Jesus showed Himself to be God.  This means God gave the greatest gift anyone can give – themselves.  “He is the exact expression of [God’s] nature.” (Hebrews 1:3)
2 – God is WITH us.  The distance between giver and receiver was taken away.  God is not a distant idea, nor a set of laws.  He became a living being who lived in this world.  The Creator walked among the creation.  “The Word became flesh and took up residence among us.” (John 1:14)
3 – God is with US.  This miraculous act demonstrates God’s desire to know you and me.  We will always have assurance of His love and acceptance due to His desire to be with us.  “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
RESPOND
1 – Why do you enjoy giving and receiving gifts?
2 – Which of the three points above is most difficult for you to believe?
3 – How can you show your appreciation for this amazing gift through your training?

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