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Written by cycleguy on December 9th, 2012

If you read my last post, you know that I preached about “Emmanuel” Sunday.  All you have to do is read Matthew 1:23 to know it means “God With Us.”   I want to piggyback on that theme with a little more information that I shared Sunday as I explored Emmanuel more in-depth.

One of the knocks against Christianity is that God is some being “way up there.”  There are different philosophies regarding God’s activity in today’s world.  (The following are edited for space)  For example:

The agnostic will say, “I will believe there is a God if you can prove it.”

The atheist says, “God?  Not on your life.”

The Deist will say, “God created the world and then took His hand away from it all.”

Meanwhile, Christianity says, “Not only did God create the world, He still takes an active part in it.”

I like that last one a whole lot more.  :) 

The name Emmanuel says far more than “God With Us” when you dig deeper.  It also says God committed Himself to be near us for all eternity.  This is more than the Christmas story; it is the Christmas miracle.

“God with us” tells us Jesus is God.  Even more, Jesus is God with us.  He was more than a godly man or a talented man or a holy man.  He was God in the flesh.  When I was studying for the message, I came across a unique story.  In Manila, there are families who live in the garbage dump.  Their shacks are made of things people throw away.  The food they eat is that which is thrown away.  But missionaries have also chosen to live in the garbage dump as well in order to reach them with the Good News of Jesus.  That is what Jesus did when He became “God With Us.”

“God With Us” means three things:

It means we are far more precious to God than we could ever imagine.  I don’t know about you, but I could spend the rest of my life listing why I should be anything but precious to God.  When everything conspires against  me to say I’m not worthy,  they matter ZERO to God.

It means there is for more to celebrate than we thought.  The entrance of God into this world is cause for a great celebration.  While sin separates us, God seeks reconciliation.

It means we will never be alone. As I wrote here, Christmas can be one of the loneliest times of the year for many people.  But Emmanuel says, “You are not alone. I am here.”   I find it really interesting that His introduction into the world as Emmanuel is verified in some of Jesus’ final words: “Lo, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Well, there you have it.  A fitting way to start your week.  You are not alone.  How’s that fit your week?  :)

Now…check out what Sele and Ed have to say.

 

29 Comments so far ↓

  1. Bill, for most of my life I thought I could do it all on my own, alone, for Him. I can come to realize, finally, that I can do nothing alone, but only because He is with me.

    • cycleguy says:

      You are not alone in that struggle Larry. It is easy to get too self-confident and think it can be done alone (especially preaching). Thanks for your honesty.

  2. Jeff says:

    Not often I see a Diest plug. How does a Christian explain to the millions of children in the world that are dying a protracted and painful death that Jesus loves them, is with them, and is all powerful?

    • cycleguy says:

      Hate to burst your bubble, but not a plug. See my highlighted comment? :) I wish I could answer your question with the wisest of answers. I can’t, so I won’t pretend to know. I know life is hard and not always fair, but God does stay with them and promises them a much better future. As for Deism, it can promise nothing.

      • Jeff says:

        Aw Shucks, I was hoping it was a plug. All Theisms make promises. They can’t all be right. Some have to be false promises. I would rather have no promises than false ones or ones that can’t be wisely explained on how they are true.

        • cycleguy says:

          I can’t possibly make a totally wise answer because I don’t claim to know the mind of God. If i did then that would make me God and i definitely won’t claim that. I have no clue why things happen the way they do, why children suffer, why young fathers/mothers die, etc. I will trust in a God Whom I cannot know completely to make sense of things in the end. Until then I will hope.

  3. tcavey says:

    Beautiful!

    This part is gold: “God committed Himself to be near us for all eternity.”
    That makes all the difference in this life.

  4. Daniel says:

    A great bit of encouragement here this morning. Blessings to you.

  5. Eileen says:

    Oh boy, Bill…our pastor shared the exact same garbage dump story with us yesterday!

    Also, I saw this you tube video yesterday and was reminded that beautiful things can be made from trash. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXynrsrTKbI

  6. Craig says:

    So simple but a truth that will change your life! I lived for so long under the idea that I had to earn God’s favor or that I didn’t deserve being in God’s presence.

    Thankful that God pulled those weeds/lies out and that I can now live in His truth!

  7. Zee says:

    I was preaching about a similar topic last night at the youth group. It was based on the story how a friend of mine and I got over a swamp and how he pointed out where I should step to avoid getting wet. The point of the sermon was that God not only shows us the way where to go, but also He actually walks the path in front of us, showing us where to step and holds our hand so that we know that we’re not alone in getting through the tough points of our life.

  8. floyd says:

    God is indeed with us. The Holy Spirit is within reach to every human being at this minute. The power that has changed the world of those who believe is beyond question or explanation. The problem is that people begin to believe that they have the power of God. That’s when things begin to deteriorate… World history proves it over and over and yet the willfully ignorant choose to turn the stubborn heart.

    Great and comforting post… Proof that God is indeed with us.

  9. I have been preaching similarly themed messages focusing on the reason Jesus came. So far we have hit on Jesus coming to defeat satan, to be the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, the prince of the kings of the earth, and coming so that we could have life and have it more abundantly. He is surely with us.

  10. Not only is he with us, but he’s mighty and sovereign enough to steer everything for our good. That’s something to carry you through!

  11. Jan says:

    Love this Bill. Thanks for starting my week out in a mighty light. :)

  12. Betty Draper says:

    Lovely thoughts Bill to start the week with, we are never alone…that gives confidence and comfort at the same time. Good post

  13. Debbie says:

    We need to hear we are not alone, alot! :) Thank you , Pastor Bill. It can seem like I’m alone, but over and over He has helped me take care of loved ones and has protected them, that I know for sure, He’s here with me. God bless you!