Links Daily Devotional

God with Us

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:23, NIV)

I love history. When visiting historical sites, my mind wanders back in time and creates images of the past. Oh, as they declare, if these walls could talk!

Recently, a group of Links Players visited a truly inspirational historical site for this game of golf in Atlanta, Georgia—East Lake Golf Club, the site of this year’s Tour Championship. The venerable architect Donald Ross designed East Lake in 1913. This beautiful place became the home club of Bobby Jones, and we felt his presence everywhere—from the locker room that still displays his two metal lockers to his summer home behind the thirteenth green. Many of his trophies were prominently displayed in the clubhouse. But the truth is that Bobby Jones was not there; just a few of his many golf mementos remained to capture our affections.

Then my mind wandered back to another special time just a few years ago when we visited Israel with some other Links Players. We went to many places where Jesus walked and taught. And there, right in the heart of Jerusalem, stood the ancient Western Wall, or “Wailing Wall.” This wall is adjacent to the great Jewish Temple courtyard. The Temple Mount that can be said to be the center of many past dramatic events and also, arguably, future prophecies. It is a sacred place to Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

As we approached this most sacred Western Wall, a sign there displayed the importance of the place. It read: “You are approaching the holy site of the Western Wall where the Divine Presence always rests. Please make sure you are appropriately dressed so as not to cause harm to this holy place or to the feelings of the worshippers.”

I know his Divine Presence is not only at the Western Wall, but it with us today—right where we are now! Jesus promised this would be the truth. In his last words to us before his ascension, he told his disciples, who now are us: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

He came as a promise, Emmanuel, which means God with us. He departed with the same promise, I am with you always. That is all an integral part of the divine plan. He came to be with us, and he departed knowing that we desperately needed his presence to live with anticipation of our future hope.

I have a good friend who frequents a little church to pray and be still. He walks up the center aisle to row 24 and then slides into seat number 7. He says that it is a constant reminder that Jesus is with him 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He admits that he sometimes forgets this. I do too. Don’t we all need to remember that God is with us? We live triumphantly when we remember this beautiful promise from history.

Randy Wolff
December 10, 2014
Copyright 2014 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at