Sermons

Summary: It is God’s desire to be with man, not separated from him. From Genesis to Revelation, He sought to be with man. This is His most frequent promise in the Bible. Are you willing to be with Him?

Matt 1:22-23 Immanuel – God With Us 28 Dec 2008 1796

There are many names given to Jesus in the Bible.

• Each one gives us a clearer & fuller picture of who He is and what He means to us.

• His name JESUS means “God saves!” He is God’s salvation for us.

• He is the Messiah, the Christ, meaning “Anointed One” – He is our King and Lord.

• Another name given is IMMANUEL, meaning God is with us.

This is His desire. He wants to be with us, not separated from us.

• When God created Adam and Eve, He was with them in the Garden of Eden.

• He walks with them and commune with them, until one day Adam and Eve hide from Him.

• God did not hide from man; man first hides from God, because man is guilty. They disobeyed and sinned against God.

• God was the One calling out to Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” (Gen 3:9)

The message of the Bible is not about the desire of man to be with God.

• It is all about the desire of God to be with man.

• Moses tells the people, “If …you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deut 4:29)

THE FATHER’S LONGING (from John Ortberg’s book God is Closer Than You Think)

A pastor was once travelling onboard a place. A businessman sat beside him, with a laptop switched on. The screensaver was the picture of a sweet little boy. The pastor got to know that was his son, his only child. It was taken 3 months earlier, when the boy was 11 months old.

The businessman went on to talk about his son, with great excitement. He talked about his first steps, about his first words. He showed the pastor pictures of the boy on his mobile phone, and then more pictures from the computer. He displayed them one at a time, given commentary to each one. The pastor was getting bored. Some pictures were quite ordinary.

“I can’t wait to get home to him,” the man said. “In the meantime, I could look at these pictures many times a day. They never get old to me.” The pastor was getting tired actually.

Why was this man so preoccupied with this boy? Was it because the boy’s achievements were so impressive? No. Millions of children at his age learn to do the same thing. (In fact, the pastor felt that his own boy looks cuter and can do better than his. Of course, he did not say it out.)

The man was so excited about the child because he looked at him through the eyes of a father. Everything the boy did was seen with wonder and joy. It did not matter that other children do the same things. “That’s my boy!”

The pastor said, “You obviously miss your son. How long ago did you leave home?”

“Yesterday.”

One day away from his son is one to many.

• He wanted to get home fast, to be with his boy.

• He did not want to love his son from a distance. He wanted to be with him.

• This is the father’s heart. This is our heavenly Father’s heart for you today.

We are on God’s ‘screensaver’, so to speak.

• The tiniest details of our lives never grow old to him.

• The Bible says, “Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matt 10:30)

God says, “I am WITH you.” This is God’s most frequent promise in the Bible.

• He was with Adam and Eve in the Garden. In Gen 5 we read “Enoch walked with God” (Gen 5:22).

• God made the same promise to Noah, to Abraham and Sarah, to Jacob and Joseph and Moses and David and Mary and His disciples, to Paul, and the list goes on.

When God asked Moses to go back to Egypt and free His people, Moses was hesitant but the Lord says, “I will be with you.” God was there with him.

• When they entered the desert, the Bible says in Exo 13:21-22 “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”

• When Joshua took over the leadership, he was younger and inexperience but the Lord said, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Josh 1:9)

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