Present.

To Live Simply is to get back to the basics. To get rid of all the fluff and extra. To stop and take the time to remember and acknowledge what in life actually makes life worth living. Don’t we, especially at this time of year, battle with the idea that the things and the activity is what life is all about? Don’t we so easily get sucked into the vacuum of “need to purchase” and “need to do” and “need to be” this, that and the next thing that we cease to take in what we really need, what full life is really about, the presence of Jesus Christ? Fridays for the next six weeks here are reserved for what it looks like to get back to the basics of the full, abundant life God has called us to. Today we hear from Beck Gambill on the topic of presence. It struck home with me and today I choose to quiet my heart and be present with Christ and present with those he has given me. Let the CHRISTmas Season Begin!

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With, present, here; these are the words on my heart lately as I approach Christmas time. I love words and I’ve been asking God to focus my heart for the holiday season on one word. That he would teach me and point me to himself. Present is what he’s talking to me about, being present. 

A while back I painted the names of God over the doorways of my house and I have to say my favorite is Jehovah Shammah, the Lord Who is Present. I also love that Jesus is known as the fulfillment of that old testament name, Emmanuel, God with us, present. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

I did a little searching in BibleGateway as I started writing this piece. I searched for instances in the Bible of “God with”. I was blown away by what I found. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible records  “God with” person after person, but more than that of how he has longed for people to desire his presence.

This Christmas season I don’t want to run around shopping, baking, decorating and occasionally run up to God and fling a little praise his way. No, I want to be with, inviting him into all of the beauty and merrymaking of the season. Recognizing that he wants to be with me and longs that I desire his continual presence in my life.

I see that in the faces of my children as well. Eyes that eagerly yearn for a full portion of my time and attention, and in my husband’s face too for that matter. Isn’t that the best thing we can give to those who love us, our presence. 

So this Christmas I will engage in the merrymaking. But through it all I will be looking for God’s presence, talking about his intimacy with my children, pointing out his character as we sing and read, and drawing near to him.

This year I want Christmas to be focus on being with. I want to offer my family the gift of my full presence, I want to offer God the worship of my full attention, I want to offer those in need the gift of my full gaze.

Did you know that the very last verse of the Bible is a blessing of God’s presence? “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” Revelation 22:21

I love that as far back as the Garden God has been with his people. That at the manger he sent his presence to us in such a personal way, one we could identify with, that there was no mistaking he had come to dwell.

All of these things point to the fulfillment of the ultimate being with; “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” Revelation 21:3

So, this Christmas, however we choose to express our joy, let’s not forget the most important aspect of the season, the being with. Let’s remember to regularly enjoy Emmanuel, the God who is with us, and to express our thanks for the promise of eternity with him. Let’s give our families, our friends, and those in need, the gift or our presence, making sure to imitate the God who has drawn near. Christmas is simply God being with us!

How is God asking you to be present with him and with those he has placed in your life today? How has the knowledge of his presence touched your life in a special way and how can you apply it to Simplifying your life this Holiday Season? Join the conversation by commenting below.

 

Beck Gambill is finishing her first novel, “Sisters”. She blogs, homeschools, mentors, is passionate about serving those suffering around the world, and believes connected community is the best way to live. You can connect with her on Facebook or her blog.

About Stephanie Page
Steph is a mom to four girls and wife to one very supportive man. She is the Executive Director of Stories Foundation and is passionate about fighting for freedom both spiritual and physical. Her days consist of car pooling, ministry, parenting and lots of coffee.

One Response to Present.

  1. Barbie says:

    What a beautiful post and much needed for my heart this morning. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, and walking through a hard financial place, all I really need is His presence! Thank you!

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