Before you open the Word today, pray.
Ask for help, even now, in knowing how to talk to your Father in prayer. God is with us. Christmas is God’s guarantee that you don’t have to do anything alone, ever again. God is with us even when we struggle with sin, even when we fail in our flesh. Process together with God about whether or not you are experiencing His presence with us.
The sin that rushed into the hearts of Adam and Eve back in the garden—it was now everywhere. But God saw Noah on the earth. He loved Noah and wanted to make him, his family, and all the animals safe so that the flood wouldn’t destroy them along with everything else. So God whispered in Noah’s ear a warning of the rain. He told Noah the one thing that would rescue them from the flood was an ark.
Now, Noah was different from all the other people on the earth. While they ignored God and plugged their ears when He spoke, Noah listened carefully because he believed that everything God said was really true. If God said a flood was coming, then it would come. If God said it would be so big that it would wipe out everything and everyone, then it would. And if God said an ark was the only way he and his family would be safe, then it was.
God told Noah the one thing that would rescue them from the flood was to build an ark. What is amazing for us today is that the ark has already been built for us. It is being held out to us this Christmas and it is not made by human hands. We never have to leave the safe embrace of the ark we are offered now. We are called to climb into Christ, hidden safely in Him through the storm of God’s wrath. And we are to stay firmly in Him, never walking in our own strength again. There is nothing to earn, for Christ has already finished the work. There is nothing to repay, for Christ is the gift of God.
Christmas is the gift of Immanuel, God with us. Christ is with us before God the Father. Even repentance we don’t have to do alone. Christ is with us when we fail in the way we swore we never would, bringing us safely into the presence of God. He is with us the very second after we have missed the mark again, carrying us back to the Father in repentance and rest. And His is the strength we experience when we overcome temptation.