Wednesday, February 4, 2009

His names

I just picked up a book titled "Praying the Names of Jesus" by Ann Spangler (it's on the $5 members' perks shelf at Family Christian this month). I like how it's set up: a daily reading guide - taking the reader through the meaning the first day and then ways to pray it the rest of the week, pulling out Scripture's use of the name.
I've started the first name and am reading about how Jesus is Immanuel. This name appears three times in the Bible. I agree with Ann when she says it is one of the most comforting names and titles of Jesus. It is literally translated, "with us is God" or as found in the book of Matthew, "God with us." Quite literally, God was with us as He came to earth in the form of man, Jesus. Praying to the person of Jesus can give us comfort as we know this "form" of God daily felt our feelings and dealt first-hand with situations and emotions as we do today.
After losing Nathan so suddenly, I took comfort in knowing that Immanuel heard my prayers and could identify with my feelings and thoughts. Jesus experienced the loss of His friend as well, Lazarus. In fact, the shortest verse in the Bible tells us that Immanuel dealt with the news of death as we do: He wept. Besides knowing us intimately as our Creator, He empathizes with our experiences. Being God, He is also the source of power, peace, and comfort that guides us through our troubles as well.

I'll leave you with a quote/challenge from her book: "The same Lord who walked on water, healed the sick, and rose from the dead is saving us, watching over us, guiding our steps. Knowing this, why don't we dance in the streets and throw more parties? Why do we sometimes act as though God is not only not with us but that He is nowhere in the vicinity?" (p.18)

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