Ruth Bell Graham: Immanuel

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Among the most reassuring promises of Scripture are the “I-Am-With-You” promises. They begin in Genesis where God says to Isaac, “Fear not, for I am with thee” (Genesis 26:24). They reach a glorious climax in Matthew 1:23, “‘And they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us’” (NKJV).

Once again at the close of Matthew, as the risen Lord prepares to return to Heaven, He leaves His disciples with the promise, “Lo, I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

This happy season will be even happier as we bear in mind the words of the writer to the Hebrews, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). Having so great a Gift places all lesser gifts in proper perspective.

And all of time is marching toward that glorious fulfillment when, as He said, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3).

He with us here—we with Him there. Immanuel!


Unless otherwise marked, Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, King James Version. The Scripture quotation marked NKJV is taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.

Adapted by permission from “Growing in Prayer,” by Ruth Bell Graham, Decision magazine, December 1973, ©1973 The Ruth Graham Literary Trust.