God With Us
What a name! Immanuel. “God with us.” It is a promise, as well as a name, and it has been given to men and women of God throughout history, and given to us. Immanuel will be with us, and His presence is life-changing!
Desmond and his family lived at the Star of Hope mission in Houston, a temporary shelter for the homeless of our city. One summer our high school young people served as workers and counselors at a camp that allowed the children of families residing at the mission to spend a week in the country. Desmond was an inquisitive little guy of 7, who listened intently to the words of his counselors as they talked about Jesus and what it means to know Him.
Each night before lights out, Desmond would ask his counselor Ray to sit by his bed until he fell asleep, because he was afraid of being alone in the dark. On the last night of camp, Desmond wanted to ask Jesus into his heart. He told Ray, who talked with him and led him in a prayer to receive Christ. That night, Ray sat down by Desmond’s bed after lights out. After a few minutes, Desmond opened his eyes in the dark, looked at his friend and said, “It’s okay, Ray. You don’t have to stay. I know I’m not alone because God is with me now.”
How can we know that God is with us? We receive His presence by responding to the invitation of His Son Jesus, who says “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated God is with us (Matthew 1:23).