Tag Archives: gentleness

Immanuel

An angel of the Lord quoted Isaiah 8:8 to Joseph. “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means God with us) (Matthew 1:23 ESV) This is not so much a name as a description of Jesus. He is God with us.

Psalm 147:3 reads, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” That is exactly what Jesus, God with us, did when He was on earth and He continues to do it today.

Mary Magdalene was delivered from seven demons according to Luke 8:8. The Bible does not give an account of that first meeting with Jesus. Mary was oppressed by negative emotions like anxiety, fear of rejection, unforgiveness, depression and feelings of worthlessness. She craved love.

Image by Pixabay

Jesus encountered Mary in private. He healed her spiritually, emotionally and physically. He became her friend. Mary was the first person to see Jesus resurrected. Jesus was Immanuel to her according to her character and her need.

The encounter with Saul, later Paul, was different. Saul was successful in his field with ambitions to climb the ladder. He was a driven man, zealous and prideful. He was confident and had the ear of important people. His meeting with Immanuel was not private. It was very public because it needed to be. Saul’s image was important to him. He was in company with his cohorts and followers when Jesus appeared to him. It is recorded in the Bible for anyone to read. Jesus healed him of his former ways to the extent that Paul was able to write, “For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” (Phil 3:8)

Jesus has the same heart for each one of us as he had for Mary and Paul. He longs to be Immanuel to us, to heal our broken hearts and bind up our wounds. He deals with each of us individually, according to our personality and need. There is no “one size fits all.”

My Prayer

Jesus, Immanuel, You know me intimately and understand me completely. You know my wounds and You long to heal me. I trust You to be gentle when I need gentleness and firm when I need firmness. I commit myself into Your loving care. Amen.

What Shall I Wear?

In a week’s time, winter will be officially over. The larger clothing stores have already had their winter sales more than a month ago but on Saturday a little shop at a nearby mall was selling out winter clothes at R30 for any item. Few women could resist such a bargain and I was not one of them. I bought myself two long sleeved tops. I wore one of them over the weekend.

This morning I checked the weather forecast to see that the temperature would go up to 24 degrees and down to 9. I wanted to wear my second new top but thought it would probably make me too hot in the middle of the day. However, we were going out early and it would still be cold for a couple of hours. Moreover, the weather will be warming up over the next week and I might not get another opportunity to wear my new purchase until next year! What should I do?

We are often faced with decisions about what to wear. We have to weigh up the weather, the occasion, comfort, looks, our mood and various other subtleties. My Bible had some very clear instructions this morning. I read Colossians 3:12:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (NIV)

My Prayer

Father God, Please help me to clothe myself in garments You consider fitting for Your Princess. Amen

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay