Merry Christmas!

It is Christmas Eve as I write this.  My family sits watching Christmas shows with the tree lit up while I ponder the ways that God has protected and cared for us over this last year.  I have been blessed to see my children grow a year older, to see my husband draw close to God, and to spend a lot of quality time with my first grandchild.  We had a lot of moments in which we weren't sure how things were going to turn out, and even a few in which a positive outcome seemed impossible, and yet we have come through.

I began a new Bible study this week focusing on all the names of God.  In Jewish culture a name is more than just a unique label to identify a person.  A name is a description of a person's personality - it identifies a quality of them.  Therefore when someone assigns God a name it isn't a new identity for Him, but a newly identified aspect of who He is.

One of the earliest names given to God is by Abraham in Genesis chapter 22.  God has called him to sacrifice his son, a test of his obedience to and trust in God.  Abraham brings him up the mountain, builds an altar, lays his son upon it and raises his knife before God stops him.  It is then that God shows him the ram he is to offer instead.  Abraham then identifies a key aspect of God and names Him:

The Greek and Latin root of the word provide shed a bit more light on this wonderful aspect of God.  You see pro- means before and vid- means to see.  God gives us what we need before we even see the need!  

Which brings me back to Christmas.  Since Eve bit the fruit God saw the need to provide a way to return to Him.  We may have run from that need over the years, and some of us may not even realize how much we truly do need that relationship with Him.  But God knew - and before we recognized it He had already developed and implemented a plan to provide for us.  And many years later He did - by sending His Son down to earth as a helpless babe to experience all that we might.  

Jesus came to take on every thing that you or I have ever done that could separate us from His Father.  He paid the price so that we could once again have fellowship with God, so that we could again enter into a close, personal relationship with Him.  He is the ultimate provision!

So as you open your Christmas gifts and enjoy time with your family today, please take a few moments to remember the best gift you could ever be given - Jesus - and take the time to give Him the best gift of all - YOU.  

Merry Christmas!

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