Christmas Devotional | 2023 - Day 1


By Ben Lovvorn

“Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” ~ Isaiah 7:14

“Dad.” I thought I heard someone whispering as I lay there, still mostly asleep. “Hey, Dad,” I heard more clearly, now disappointed it wasn’t a dream. “What’s up, buddy?” I answered. My little boy responded, “I can’t sleep.” Whether it was a bad dream, shadows on the wall, or strange noises outside, I knew what he needed me to do. “Want me to come sit with you for a little while?” I asked. “Yes!” he answered, both excited and relieved. It might still be dark, but I would be with him, and that was all he needed. It’s always comforting to know you’re not alone—that someone who loves you is with you. 

As I prepare this devotional, the world seems to be standing on the brink. Israel is at war. The United States is engaged in a power struggle with Russia and China. Meanwhile, our country also seems to be more divided than it has been in over 150 years. The moral decay of our society has accelerated beyond what most would have envisioned just a decade ago, and studies show the number of Americans identifying as Christian has declined significantly and consistently in recent years. Not to mention, we all face our own personal challenges and trials as we move through this life. Merry Christmas, everyone!

The good news is that you are not alone. If you are a Christian, God is with you. 

In Isaiah 7:14, the prophet foretold this amazing truth. It came at another time when the nation of Israel was surrounded by enemies determined to destroy God’s people. Isaiah told the people God would give them a sign that they would be victorious, and their enemies would not prevail against them. “Therefore,” he proclaimed, “the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Immanuel—God with us. 

This prophecy was partially fulfilled in Isaiah’s day. Israel did indeed withstand the schemes and assaults of their enemies at that time. But the prophecy found its final fulfillment in the person and ministry of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Matthew expressly recognized this in his Gospel. In telling of Christ’s miraculous birth, he explained, “All of this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’)’” (Matthew 1:22–23). 

In the Old Testament, the people were encouraged just by knowing that God was with them. The birth of a child named Immanuel served as a sign that “God [is] with us.” But when Jesus Christ came, Immanuel meant “God with us” in a new and more profound way as the Son of God literally arrived on the scene in human form. 

No matter our circumstances, this amazing truth gives us great confidence, hope, and peace for three reasons. We know that Jesus came to save us, Jesus is with us today, and Jesus will never leave us. 

1. Jesus came to save us. Immanuel—God with us. If you really stop to think about what that means, it is mind-blowing! As prophesied hundreds of years earlier, God would take on human flesh so that He could come to earth on a rescue mission to ransom and redeem us. Philippians 2:6–8 says it this way: “[Jesus], although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” The Bible assures us that Jesus, the Son of God, came to save us because of His immeasurable, incomprehensible love for us. 

2. Jesus is with us. Throughout Scripture, the Lord assures His people they can rest in His presence because He is with them. In John 14:26, Jesus foretold that when He returned to heaven, the Father would send the Holy Spirit in His name. The same Holy Spirit that Christ promised to His disciples is with us today. In Romans 8:9, the Bible reminds believers that we have the “Spirit of Christ” in us. As we navigate our daily lives, the presence and power of Jesus Christ are working in us to guide, equip, empower, and transform us. 

3. Jesus will never leave us. Not only did He come, not only is He with us now, but Jesus also promised that He will never leave us. Immediately before His ascension, in Matthew 28:20, Jesus assured His disciples that He would never leave them and that He would remain with them even to the end of the age. We too have the confidence that Jesus will never leave us. The author of Hebrews encourages us with this truth: because God said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5b–6).

Aren’t you glad that we serve a God like this? He loves you so much that He came to save you. He is with you even now. And He promises that He will never leave you!

Questions for Thought

  • What should your response be to the realization that Jesus came to save you?
  • Since Jesus is with you and has promised that He will never leave you, what do you need to start doing today? What do you need to stop doing today?


Heavenly Father, thank You for the truth of Your Word. Thank You for the miracle of the incarnation—that Jesus Christ, Your only Son, came to save me. I am resting in the knowledge that I am never alone because You are with me, and I can take comfort in the shelter of Your wings. Because You are my helper, I will not be afraid. Father, I trust You. I love You. I pray my life will evidence Your indwelling presence and power so that I might be a living testimony for You. I pray all this in the saving name of my Lord, Jesus Christ, amen. 

Daily Challenge

The Word of God assures us that Jesus Christ gave His life to save us, that He is with us now, and that He will never leave us. I want to challenge you to live like that matters. Consider what difference that should make in your life and start living like God is with you—because He is!

Author Bio

Ben Lovvorn

Executive Pastor

Ben serves by leading and overseeing the ministries and operations of First Baptist Dallas as the Executive Pastor. He has served in full-time ministry for more than a decade and is passionate about building the church of Jesus Christ and equipping the saints for the work of ministry. Ben earned a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University and a B.B.A. from Hardin-Simmons University. He and his wife, Parris, have four boys and one girl.