To be with you

'God with us' Matthew 1:23 NKJV

We often think the most important thing is to offer God our acts of service. But, the gift God desires more than service is simply to be with us. Think about the disciple, Peter; he's such a great example; so totally human! Peter followed Jesus, learned from him, praised him and served him; but he also doubted him, misunderstood him and denied him. Luke records Jesus' last conversation with Peter. Jesus asked him a deeply relational question: 'Peter, do you love me' (see John 21:15-18)? Three times he asked Peter! Peter didn't quite know what to make of it; he was hurt by the question.

God created us so that he could be with us. Genesis describes to us how, before sin entered the world, God loved to come and walk with the man and woman he had made, just to be with them. Jesus himself was also known by the name 'Immanuel', which is translated, 'God with us' (see Isaiah 7:14, Matt 1:23). The Bible ends with a picture of the new heavens and new earth with God once again being amongst his creation; close enough to '...wipe every tear from their eyes...' (Revelations 21:4 NIV).

St Augustine summed it up like this: 'Love God, and do what you will,' because when you truly love God you'll only want to do what God loves.

So what now? Today can you hear God whispering, 'I'd like to spend some time with you'? Don't delay, focus on him, even in the busyness of the day, and enjoy a special moment with him.

Soulfood: 1 Ki 18:16-20:43 Mt 19:15-30 Ps 66:1-12 Pro 6:20-22,

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