featured graphic for Pastor Mike McKay and his wife Kristi of Neighborhood Church during COVID-19

Weekly message from Neighborhood Church: God is personal

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (which according to Matthew 1:23 means ‘God with us.”)

I was having a conversation with a few of our grandkids and they said to me, “Papa, you are kind of like a dad. Like my dad, that is like another dad for me.” I said, “Yes, I am a dad, and I am your dad’s dad. They replied, “Yes, I know that Papa, but you are like ‘A’ dad, like ‘My’ dad to me!” Now I was not sure what specifically his little mind was figuring out, but he stated to me that I knew about him and loved him like his own dad. It seemed that he was trying to find where I fit in his little world and I was honored he saw me like ‘another dad’ to him. See, I barely knew my grandfather on my dad’s side and though I deeply loved my grandfather on my mom’s side, I did not feel that close to or personal with him. So, I have sought to know each of our grandkids and find opportunities to be close and personal with them. It was a deep joy and such an honor to discover that, at least with this grandson, they felt that closeness and that their Papa is personal.

As I thought and soaked in the joy and fun of this level of personal connection with our grandson, I thought how God must feel when we recognize He is like that good father to us. It must bring on a huge smile. You may have heard or sung the song Good Good Father sung by Chris Tomlin and written by Pat Barrett and Tony Brown. Yes, God is an amazing Father, and to many that ‘another dad.’ He has such a deep love for us.

Jeremiah 31:3 the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you.

God is faithful in His love and connection with us. His care is never ending and even breaks out in song at the thought of us.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.

See, God is not some distant deity who sits aloft in heaven throwing down rules, judgments, and scorn. He is a loving God who squeezed Himself into the tininess of a human and came to be Immanuel, God with us. It’s the true celebration of Christmas. God is personal and He desires for us to experience a nearness with Him.

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.

James 4:8a Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.

God has already initiated the desire to draw near to us as Christmas attests, for God is personal. How are we seeking to draw near to Him? This Christmas season, let the reality that God is personal soak in. Revel in the reality that God is that good, good Father and let His love bring you peace, love, hope, and joy.

Church, especially during Christmas can be a place to soak in the personal nature of God. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. Due to the new COVID-19 restrictions, we have a 9am live-stream only gathering from our Cypress campus and another pre-recorded gathering at our Los Alamitos campus. At 10:30am, at the Cypress Campus, we will be having an in-person outdoor gathering. Our webpage has information on how to connect with us or find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Continuing to enjoy the personal nature of God along with you,

Mike