It’s this game where you see a set of words. When you speak them out loud, they can sound like a totally different phrase than the set of words expected.
It’s exactly what happened to me the other day.
I heard someone say, “A Manual.”
When in actuality, they were teaching about the birth of Christ and had spoken the name, Emmanuel.
But due to their southern accent and slower speech, what I heard was a new meaning in the context of their message.
And it struck me that this beautiful Hebrew name, given in prophecy through Isaiah thousands of years ago… that I have heard so many times, could all of the sudden have a new meaning.
Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us). Isaiah 7:14 (AMP)
Now, I am not looking to create any disrespect to the beauty of the name meaning, God with us.
But simply trying to pass along a thought that Jesus, given to us as a gift, that we celebrate this season of Christmas, was also a perfect life lived.
A Manual, as it were, for life.
An instruction manual of how to life the perfect life.
Not that it is anyway achievable!
I have certainly been coming to my understanding that perfectionism is a pit that I can fall into in my shallow humanity.
But rather, Jesus’ life, is A Manual of how to live our lives interrupted.
How to life our lives loving others.
How to live our lives serving others.
How to live our lives seeking God in prayer.
How to live our lives humble, even when people around us are selfish, rude, demeaning, and back-stabbing.
Jesus came to this earth, leaving the glory of heaven so that He could experience every pleasure and pain that we experience.
Jesus is the God made man.
Born as a baby.
Lived a humble life as a carpenter’s son.
Surrounded Himself loving people.
Jesus is the advocate for us that pleads to the Father, explaining to Him why we behave the way we do… because He walked in the dirt like we do, daily.
But Jesus was obedient and faithful all the way to the cross.
He knows our pains and sorrows, as well as our success.
We often speak of His suffering. Even though I don’t think we can really relate.
But how often do we think of His successes.
All of His miracles and what He could have done with the pride of them.
And He repeatedly walked away from those situations humble.
He could have pumped up the crowd and let them carry Him around on their shoulders.
He could have done some crowd surfing.
Even today, He could have written a book, started a blog, or had a YouTube channel.
But I doubt it.
Because Jesus lived a humble life.
Knowing that He had a sentence of death.
Knowing that He was to face ultimate betrayal and suffering.
Knowing that the very people He created and loved would spit in His face and nail Him to a cross.
He was A Manual of love.
He was A Manual of service.
He was A Manual of humility.
He was A Manual for the life we should live.
He is A Manual for the life I want to live.
It’s not a “to do” list.
It’s not a contract.
It’s not a recipe.
It’s not a formula.
It’s an act of love.
Jesus loves me SO much, that He couldn’t stand to leave me as I am.
He loves YOU so much that He doesn’t want to leave YOU like you are.
By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living the godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Him self by means of His marvelous glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)
Do you KNOW Him?
This awesome God made man?
Do you KNOW my friend, Jesus?
He loves you dearly and gave you the best gift of all by coming to earth as a baby.
He lived the perfect life on earth so that He could die the death we deserved to die, for the sins we are bound to commit.
And best of all, He conquered death, by rising from the dead!
Praise the power of Jesus Christ!
He is risen and lives in Heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and purify us of all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
If you do not KNOW Jesus as your personal friend and Savior, simply pray this prayer…
I know that I am a sinner.
I believe that the penalty for my sins would be death.
But You died in my place for my sins.
I believe that You also rose from the grave and defeated death.
I accept your sacrifice for my sin.
I want you to live within my heart and be the Lord over my life.
I desire to follow you for the rest of my life.
I believe that you will give me every good and perfect gift that I need to live the godly life You desire in me.
I am excited about 2015 and about following A Manual for the New Year!
Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel– which, when translated, means, God with us. Matthew 1:23 (AMP)