Although these posts are scheduled to appear while I'm away, it seems fitting that this final one in the series "God With Us" would appear on New Year's Day. May we all know new life with God in the year ahead... Happy 2010! I've been a Christian for a long time now. And yet I can say that through his Spirit, God is still changing me, transforming me, making me more and more the person he wants me to be. God is still exposing areas of my life where I live without him. God is still showing me what it looks like to live with Him, as a mom, as a writer, as a friend. Before Jesus died, he told his disciples, "If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you." Jesus says, I will live within you. I will take up my dwelling place within the people who believe in me. My house will exist on earth through those who follow me. And all the things that I did when I was on earth—loving people, inviting people to be loved, teaching people, healing people—all those things will continue to happen through my Spirit living within my people. Jesus tells us that life with God doesn't start when we die, it starts right here. It starts right now. It matters to God how we live. And when we live with God in every area of our lives: in our relationships, in the workplace, at the gym, in our families… when we live with God in every area of our lives, we will begin to know the fullness of life that Jesus wants for us. At the very end of the Bible there is a book called Revelation. The writer of this book, whose name is John, has a vision of the end of the world. He writes, "I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away'" (Rev. 21:1-4). This is what we long for. This is what we hope for: being with God and all God's people, being WITH God and having God WITH us, forever.