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Christ’s presence lingers long after Christmas

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It’s over for most of us. The strewn wrapping paper is trashed. The decorations are carefully packed away. The reds and greens of the season are exchanged for items of a different hue.

Yet, just because the “season” is over, doesn’t mean CHRISTmas itself is. As a matter of fact, CHRISTmas is never over. The birth of Christ in that manger brought to us Emmanuel, “God with us...”

…and He’s been with us ever since. Period.

That thought struck me this week while reading one of the writings of David — Psalm 27, to be exact. This is a beautiful Psalm. It reveals how David, the soon-to-be-king of Israel, chooses not to be fearful of his enemies because of God’s proven and promised protection. Verse 4 says, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.”

Isn’t it interesting that David’s one desire — above all — is the very thing that we have complete access to because of Christmas and the cross? David’s one desire was the continual presence of the Lord — something that wasn’t always accessible to everyone. Hence, the reasoning behind verse 9 a little later in the Psalm: “Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.”

David knew that absence of the presence of God in his life was a possibility. He had seen that frightful event in the life of King Saul and wanted to make sure it didn’t happen to him.

Aren’t you glad that’s something that we, as believers in this day and time, never have to worry about — the absence of the presence of God in our lives? When Christ came, died and was resurrected, He ushered in a new way of living — one in which the Spirit of God doesn’t depart from us, but dwells within us on daily basis. We have the very thing that David yearned for and sought desperately after — the continual, abiding presence of the true and living God.

What does that mean for us? What does total access to our Father God mean to us this New Year? It means that we never have to worry. He is in control of our lives and His presence will lead us and control our stubborn behavior, if we will yield to Him. It means we never have to wonder whether God is with us, for the Spirit lives within us. He can never leave us or forsake us, because as it says in 2 Timothy 2:13 – “If we are faithless, He remains faithful— for He cannot deny Himself.”

Total access to the Father means we can speak to Him at all times. We don’t have to sacrifice an animal or go to the Temple to ask Him questions or hear from His Word. We can, instead, enjoy His presence in our lives on a daily basis — minute by minute, second by second.

It means He is always there, even after “Christmas” has come and gone.

Prayer: “Thank You, Father. Thank You that the Spirit lives within me, giving me total access to You at all times and in every way. Thank You that You are always with me, that You never forsake me, for You cannot forsake Yourself. Thank You for Christmas, Father. I love You.“

Steve and Belinda Kirk write the “Everyday Grace” devotional for the Johnstonian News. Reach them at 919-449-5745 and sbmkax@earthlink.net .

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