DECEMBER 23: “Immanuel – God With Us!
Matthew 1:21-23 records His birth, “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.”
The essence of this passage and event in history is not merely that a baby was born. The essence is that God became a baby. God was in the Crib. Is. 9:6 “For a child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us.”
- KEY: The virgin gave birth to a child but the child that the virgin birthed existed before the virgin ever got pregnant. Therefore, the Son was given, not born.
Hebrews 10:5-7: “Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, ‘Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me; in whole burnt offering and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (In the scroll of the book it is written of Me) to do Your will, O God.”
Not only did Jesus come to do the Father’s will, but He came to represent God, the Father, so that we would know what it is like to have God with us, as the name Immanuel defines.
- In Colossians 1:15 we read, “He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God ….”
- Heb 1:3, “And He (Jesus) is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.”
In John 1:1,14,18, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God …. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us …. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” Jesus Christ is Immanuel: GOD WITH US.
- However, Many People Live Their Lives Oblivious to the Presence of GOD
John 1:1-5: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
THOT #1: Those Living Without An Awareness Of God’s Presence Are Living Their Lives In Search Of Hope And Meaning! Eph 2:11-12 Therefore remember that [before you came to Christ] 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
THOT #2: Those Living Without An Awareness Of God’s Presence Are Susceptible To Being Drawn Into Things That will, Leave Them Feeling Even More Empty And Confused.
THOT #3: Those Living Without An Awareness Of God’s Presence Many Times Live Their Lives Without Any Moral Compass Or Direction. Matthew 9:36, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd”.
Here is What it Means to Have God with YOU!
- Living in the awareness of God’s Presence means you can face every situation of your life with courage and assurance. Josh 1:9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
- Living in the awareness of God’s Presence means that you don’t have to worry about being overcome by failure! Isaiah 41:10Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
- Living in the awareness of God’s Presence means that you can be spiritually successful even In the difficult places of your life! Isaiah 43: 2-3a When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
- Living in the awareness of God’s Presence means that you have a source of never ending, always enduring, life! Psalm 36:7-9 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore, the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life.
- Living in the awareness of God’s Presence means that you can continually experience the wonder of limitless joy! Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
God Wants You and Me to Make Living In The Presence of God a Reality Every Day!
Jeremiah 29:12-14a “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord.¨
LISTEN…The only way to find something is to look for it. God desires an Intimate Relationship with You…To Talk with You to Daily Make a Difference in Your Life. During this Christmas Season as well as the whole year through…God is seeking to show Himself to you in the day to day routine of your life, but the only way that you can see Him, the only way you can realize His presence is to set you mind and your heart to seek Him.
God Clearly Outlines the method for Us to find Him:
- He says, Call upon me: God wants You daily to Acknowledge His Presence.
- He says, Pray to me: God want You to daily Talk to Him about all the issues in your life.
- He says, Seek me: God wants You to choose to find His presence and to live His will.
- And finally God says, Search for me with your whole heart: Don’t allow anything to distract you. Experience the JOY of Your Salvation!
POINT: Immanuel Came for YOU…So, Practice the Presence of Christ and You Will Know His Joy…His Peace…And His Fulfilment in Everything that You Do!