Steven A. Bush - December 24, 2023

The Immanuel Effect

The Immanuel Effect

Matthew 1:21-23 reveals the message the angel gave to Joseph concerning his virgin wife, Mary: "'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 (Isaiah 7:14): 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel' (which means, God with us)." (ESV) As stated in the text, Immanuel (with an I or with an E) means: "God with us!" It does not mean: "God with just me." Throughout the NT we discover the intended Immanuel effect or God-with-US effect. Jesus came and died to save us from sin, death & hell. He also came to adopt us into His Family. As brothers & sisters in this Family, our Lord means to transform our hearts in such a way that we genuinely love one another. As the old song based on John 15 goes: "This is My commandment, that you love one another that your joy may be full." So what is the Immanuel effect? Love that leads to joy! Vertically, for sure. But horizontally as well. And while this notion will make every Christmas merry and bright, it will make every day of every year just the same...

Scripture References: Matthew 1:20-21, Colossians 3:12-17, Philippians 2:1-11

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