By Gary Semenyna, District Representative
I know that Christmas is past, and we associate the name of Emmanuel which means “God with us” to the Christmas season, but we do see the name of Emmanuel used in different places in the Word of God. In Isaiah 7:14 the promise of Emmanuel is given, and yes, I know that we associate this passage with Christmas. Then in Matthew 1:23 we have the account with the angel and Joseph where the angel refers back to the passage in Isaiah and says that the child’s name shall be called Emmanuel which means God with us, which again is related to the Christmas season.
Okay so some of you may be thinking, well those two passages are associated with Christmas, and yes, they are, but we need to be reminded that this name of God does not only relate to the Christmas season. Case in point is Joshua 1:5 where Joshua is being commissioned by God with the promise that He will be with him and not leave or forsake him. All right, the name of Emmanuel is not there but the meaning of the name is. So, does that passage from Joshua sound familiar? Well in Hebrews 13:5 we have those exact same words.
So, the timeline is Joshua, Isaiah, Joseph and then us. What difference does that make in our lives today? Well, God promised Joshua, (whose name is the Hebrew form of Jesus) that He would not leave or forsake him. How cool is that! Isaiah and Joseph were told that God was going to send His son and His name would be called “God with us.” We have the same promise today as children of God, that God gave to Joshua, Isaiah and Joseph. Is that thought doing anything for you? The bottom line is that God is always with us. Always does not mean sometimes, or only if we are good enough.
Will there be times that we think that God has left us? Yes, there will be especially when we are going through some difficult or hard time with our family, or the Church, or when we commit that “sin” again. But the reality of the situation is that God has promised us that He will never leave or forsake us. God never has broken a promise! We need to apply that understanding way beyond Christmas time and know that God is always there with us and for us. Sometimes I think that we forget that God is cheering for us, He is wanting us to succeed and to have a life that is abundant.
In the upcoming days and months remember that one plus God is the majority. God is bigger and stronger than any problem or concern that we have in our life, church or family. God is all that we need, and I am so thankful for the promise that HE WILL NEVER LEAVE OR FORSAKE US. His name truly is Emmanuel, every moment of every day.
Gary Semenyna is the District Representative
for BC and Eastern Canada