Summary: A Christmas sermon illustrating the reality of God’s presence in our world and in our lives.
IMMANUEL: GOD IS WITH US
Matthew 1:18-23; Text: v.23
SCRIPTURE: 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.
TEXT: 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,which is trans-lated, God with us.
I. THE FACT OF GOD’S PRESENCE IN OUR WORLD
"... they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us."
Acts 17:25b-28a [God] gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being,
Colossians 1:15-17 [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
II. 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.
A. Those Living Without An Awareness Of God’s Presence Are Living Their Lives In Search Of Hope And Meaning
Application: Jesus said that they were living in darkness:
Ephesians 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.
B. Those Living Without An Awareness Of God’s Presence Are Susceptible To Being Drawn Into Things That, In The End, Leave Them Feeling Even More Empty And Confused.
Ephesians 4:14b [Those who live their lives oblivious to God’s presence are like] children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
C. 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.
III. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE GOD WITH US?
A. Living In The Awareness of God’s Presence Means That I Can Face Every Situation Of My Life With Courage And Assurance
Joshua 1:9 Have 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.
B. Living In The Awareness of God’s Presence Means That I Don’t Have To Worry About Being Overcome By Failure
Isaiah 41:10 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.
For I am with you to save you and deliver you,says the Lord.
C. Living In The Awareness of God’s Presence Means That I Can Be Spiritually Successful Even In the Difficult Places Of My Life
Isaiah 43:1-3a But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 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;