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Nourishing Your Spirit During the Holidays: Part 2

We long for connection. The problem is, we’re so busy handling life, we rarely have time or energy to connect deeply with friends. And the daily chaos makes us neglect to nourish our spirits. We set aside our need to connect with God—the One with whom we’re designed to abide.

 

It doesn’t have to be that way. God makes a way to break through the din. He takes the action necessary to make abiding possible.

 

In Part 1 of this series, we caught a glimpse of the effort that our Holy God makes to stay in fellowship with us. After the original sin of Adam and Eve, God provided a blood sacrifice by covering Adam and Eve with animal skins. Much later, He ordained the construction of the Tabernacle so that He could dwell among the Israelites.

 

In case you missed it, click here to read Part 1 and discover the need to nourish your spirit.

 

By instructing the Israelites to build the Tabernacle in the wilderness, God made a way to reconnect with the people He loves. He established a system of sacrifices that would compensate for all the ways they missed the mark.  It was because of His love for people that He provided a way to connect and dwell together. We are created for connection with God, which stems from His love for us. For you. For me.

 

 

Celebrating Immanuel

 

Even in the days of Moses, the Lord knew that the system of animal sacrifices was not the complete answer. When the time had come, and because of God’s unwavering love for us, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to come into the world as a man and be the One to provide the blood offering that would cover the sins of all people (see John 3:16). We know that sin comes with a cost—death and eternal separation from God. But God sent Jesus who sacrificed His own life to close the separation (see Rom. 3:23).

 

This is what Christmas is about: Jesus coming to be with us and dwell among mankind. In Bible times, there was a prophet named Isaiah. He foretold the birth of Christ this way:  “The Virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel, which is translated God is with us” Matthew 1:23 (HCSB).

 

God sent His son, Jesus, to be God with us. To connect with us; to walk among us; to abide with us. And He named Him Immanuel which means God with us. This is why we have such great reason to celebrate the Christmas holiday.

 

God didn’t require that we clean ourselves up or stop sinning before He sent His son. No. The Bible teaches us that while we were drowning in sin, Jesus came to make a way to connect with our Holy God.

 

Nourishing Your Spirit by Filling the Void Within

 

Such a connection fills an empty void within us. It’s emptiness we feel—That hole inside of us that we just keep stuffing more into…

More . . .

clothes

shoes

apps for our phones

Netflix binging (or Disney+)

food

activities for our kids

coffee

degrees

nail art

vacations

work

income

donations

perfection

service

recognition

creativity

knowledge

courage

fun

control

unity

STOP!

 

None of those things are bad. Not one. But they’re not what fill us. That’s why we can never seem to get enough. We’re not truly hungry for these things; we’re hungry for Jesus. Only He fills the hole that God created inside of us. And only He can satisfy.

 

And our loving, heavenly Father sent Him to earth to dwell among us.

 

At the appointed time, Jesus gave His life on a cross. He laid down His life and shed His blood, and that would fully cover us when we were immersed in the death of sin. Jesus was buried in a tomb but rose again after three days. Death could not hold Him. He lives forever and invites us to join Him for all eternity, fully reconciled to our Holy God.

 

Jesus “Tabernacled”

 

In Bible times, there was a follower of Jesus named John who wrote to tell the world about the Savior. He called Him the Word of Life. John said that the Word became flesh and “Tabernacled” among us.

 

Do you remember that word? The Tabernacle was the structure the Israelites built in the wilderness so God could dwell among them.

 

Since John was Jewish, the best description came from His Jewish heritage. He used a Jewish noun to describe an ongoing action. Tabernacle means to dwell, reside. To take up residence. To occupy. To stay. To Abide.  Are you starting to get the picture?

 

In Part 3, we’ll take a practical look at abiding through the two illustrations, one that’s conceptual and one that’s practical and something we see every day.

 

I’ll meet you right back here when you read Part 3!

nourish Your Spirit

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