Immanuel – 1. God With Us

December 23, 2018

Justin Kane | December 23, 2018
Message Details

Merry Christmas New Day! This is our first Christmas together.

We just recently finished a series of messages called The Journey. There were a number of you last week who experienced freedom from discouragement and despair. My hope is that one thing stood out to you – That God is with you every step of the way. Leading, guiding, loving, correcting us as we go. It’s a journey of discovery and faith and trust. Discovering Who God is for you and who you are to Him.

And I believe today we will discover another beautiful aspect of who He is for us.

If we had to, we could condense all the truth of Christmas into three simple words “God With Us,”

Matt. 1.23 (NKJV) “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

He is with us, not just as a baby in a manger, but as Immanuel, the omnipotent Creator of heaven and earth who came to dwell among us that He may save us and bring us back into His family calling us His own sons and daughters that we may be His people called by His name representing Him wherever we go!

I reminded of a story of A little boy who looked into the sky and asked his mother, “Is God up there?” When she assured him that He was, the youngster replied, “Wouldn’t it be nice if He would put His head out and let us see Him?”

How many of us want to see Him.

What the boy didn’t understand and at times we don’t as well is that God has let us see Him—We see Him in the person of His Son Jesus. We don’t have to guess what God is like. Nor do we have to wonder if He’s alive. By sending Christ to earth as a man, the heavenly Father fully revealed Himself. Jesus was God “manifested in the flesh”

Hebrews 1:1-3 (TPT)
1 Throughout our history God has spoken to our ancestors by his prophets in many different ways. The revelation he gave them was only a fragment at a time, building one truth upon another.[a] 2 But to us living in these last days,[b] God now speaks to us openly in the language of a Son,[c] the appointed Heir of everything, for through him God created the panorama of all things and all time.[d] 3 The Son is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendor,[e] the exact expression of God’s true nature—his mirror image![f] He holds the universe[g] together and expands it[h] by the mighty power of his spoken word.[i] He accomplished for us the complete cleansing of sins,[j] and then took his seat on the highest throne at the right hand[k] of the majestic One.[l]

It is The light of Christ guides us.
It is The love of Christ comforts us.
It is The power of Christ transforms us.
It is The presence of Christ fills us.
Wherever you are, Christ is there with you.

• In the Midst of yOur Questions— God is with you.
• In the Midst of yOur Persecution—God is with you.
• In the Midst of yOur Worship—God is with you.
• In the Midst of yOur Need & Lack—God is with you.
• In the Midst of yOur Victory—God is with you.
• In the Midst of yOur Doubt—God is with you.
• In the Midst of yOur Journey—God is always with you.
• In the midst of your struggle With sin-God is always with you.

The Name IMMANUEL emphasizes the nearness of God as our Father. Christ’s birth brought the infinite, holy God within reach of finite, sinful man.

God came to live within us so we could allow Him to live through us.

The Son of God became the Son of Man that He might change the sons of men into sons of God, sons and daughters who can “now draw near with confidence (boldness) to the Throne of grace” through Christ our Immanuel.

And so Immanuel speaks of the incarnation of Christ, God in the flesh.
John describes the revelation of Immanuel

John 1.14 (NKJV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

“GOD WITH US” – Is truly a TRUTH THAT can TRANSFORM us from a common people into God’s own special people. Who now have an identity and a purpose and a calling.

Jesus is our IMMANUEL, at every stage of our spiritual life, for He has promised to never leave us or forsake us

While this Name occurs only three times in Scripture, the truth of “GOD WITH US” permeates the Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. In fact, the story of Immanuel begins in the Garden of Eden – God was with Adam.

Gen. 3.8 (NKJV) And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

In the Old Testament, Solomon asked
2Chr. 6.18 (NKJV) “But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!

Matthew answers this question,
Matt. 1.23 (NKJV) “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Think about this – The King of glory became the servant of men.

He humbled Himself to the point of death, even death upon a cross.

There’s no greater illustration of humility in all of history.

We must behold and honor Jesus! As we do and as we see Him, we’ll hunger and thirst to become just like Him.

GOD WITH US soon becomes GOD IN US for all who believe. And this is the divine mystery of the Gospel!!!

Col. 1.27 (NKJV) To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

And if He is GOD IN US, then He is also GOD FOR US – 
Rom. 8.31 (NKJV) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Rom. 8.32 (NKJV) He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

It is good to remember that Jesus is our Immanuel, wherever we are,
whenever we feel abandoned or alone and
in whatever circumstances through which we are going.

He is our Immanuel yesterday, today and forever.

He came to earth as Immanuel, so that He might die and we might live in Him.

Even His name ImMANnuEL speaks of His humanity (“MAN”) and His divinity (“EL” = GOD)

Jesus is our IMMANUEL when we are fearful,
when we experience spiritual warfare,
when we take our last breath and enter eternity.

We can move forward in God’s will and be assured of God’s presence. “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Before Joshua began his conquest of Jericho, the Lord appeared to him and assured him of His presence. That was all Joshua needed to be guaranteed of victory.
Josh. 5.13 (NKJV) And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”
Josh. 5.14 (NKJV) So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”
Josh. 5.15 (NKJV) Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.

What do we do when trials unexpectedly assault us? do we run to the Strong Tower of Jesus, our IMMANUEL that we might be safe (literally “lifted up” [above the fray!])? Or allow fear to dictate to us which course to take?

The secret of peace is not a plan or program but a Person, IMMANUEL, God with us.

David exhorts us,
Psa. 9.10 (NKJV) And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Knowing and trusting in His Name IMMANUEL is God’s antidote for fear.

When Israel feared the giants in the land God had promised to give them, Moses reminded them “the LORD is WITH US; do not FEAR!” When danger threatens or calamity strikes, we can be assured of Immanuel’s personal presence and power to comfort and calm.

In our valley times, we would do well to remind ourselves of David’s affirmation that
Psa. 23.4 (NKJV) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

In Isaiah God tenderly exhorts us

Is. 41.10 (NKJV) Fear 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.’ ”

And when fear knocks at our door, may God grant us the grace to stand in faith as we open that door. And too declare with confidence, My God is with me. He will strengthen me. He will help me. He will uphold me with His righteous right hand.

IMMANUEL – Enables us to fight our battles. By His power, not ours!

Not by might nor by power but by the spirit says the lord.

God has promised you His constant presence, but are you conscious of His presence every day?

When you are conscious of His presence every day, you will experience a peace that gives you rest, joy inexpressible in your spirit and a power that nothing in this world can offer.

You cannot be in God’s presence without His beauty, love, peace, power and glory rubbing off on you.

But how do you practice being conscious of God’s presence?
Start by seeing God with you in whatever you do and wherever you are.

Beloved, when you become conscious of God’s presence in your life, worries and fears will have no foothold in your mind. You will see Him maximizing your joy and fun, and prospering you in what you say and do!

Let me close with a story that may touch your heart. And also see God’s heart toward us.

I read a story about a wife and mother who became depressed. So depressed that one day without notice she left her kids and husband. Her husband tried to find her. He called her friends. He left numerous VM for his wife and sent her several texts… response.
Next the husband hired a private investigator to search for her. In a couple of days the PI informed the husband that he found his wife. She was in a local motel. You know the kind, those “no tell motels.” The husband jumped in his truck and immediately drove to the motel. He went to her room and knocked on the door. Surprisingly she answered. After staring awkwardly at one another, they hugged and cried. He asked if she was ready to come home. Without saying a word, she grabbed her belongings and quickly placed them in the back of his truck.
As they were driving home, he said, “I just have to ask you…. I called and left so many voice messages. I sent you so many texts and no response. Why when I showed up did you suddenly respond so quickly and just simply come with me? Why now?”
She replied, “It was one thing to get your texts and calls. But when you showed up…..that’s what really made the difference. When you showed up, that’s when I knew you cared.”
Over the course of time God sent messages through His Word that one day things were going to be different. Messages are one thing, but what made the difference was when He showed up.
That’s what Christmas is all about…..God showed up.

Consider praying Spurgeon’s prayer
“Blessed IMMANUEL, we gladly obey You! In You our darkness ends and from the shadow of death we rise to the Light of life. It is salvation to be obedient to You (Jn 3:36). It is the end of gloom to the one that was in anguish to bow himself before You. May God the Holy Spirit take of the things of Christ and show them unto us, and then we shall all cry— “Go worship at Immanuel’s feet! See in His face what wonders meet! Earth is too narrow to express; His worth, His grace, His righteousness.” to which we add “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Amen