God with US
Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
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 translated, “God with us.”
There are times that we all need reminders
I’ve found that to be true in ministry, in life. I’m sure most – if not all – would agree. And, it’s good when those reminders come. I had one of those reminders last evening.
My summer schedule is in full swing. (For those of you who don’t know me, I live my life singing and preaching the Gospel and, currently, I’m in the middle of a 3-weektrip.) I’m very blessed to do what I do. And, I love it! But, sometimes the road can become long and tiring.
Back to last night.
It was the beginning of an open-air, old-school camp meeting in East Central Pennsylvania. Oh, did I mention it’s a 10-day camp? By the time it closes, I will have preached 15 different times and, then, leave the next day for North Carolina to start all over again.
Can you tell this is on my mind?
It was last night as well.
As I prepared, I couldn’t get the simple, yet profound thought of “God with us” out of my mind. So, I chose the above verses as my text.
Let’s step out of the story here for a moment.
I am well aware that many feel alone.
Many are overcome with feelings of inadequacy.
Look around, and you will see the outcasts, the unwanted, the seemingly unloved. Hopelessness seems to abound.
It’s all around us.
You can see it in . . .
. . . the 24-hour news cycle . . .
. . . the beggar on the exit ramp . . .
. . . the estranged spouse sitting on the church pew . . .
. . . the broken looking for love wherever it can be found . . .
. . . the list could simply go on, and on, and on, and on.
I’ve learned that good people have hard times. And, even while you read this, you may be in a circumstance that you’re not sure how it will resolve. Or, perhaps you’re on the verge of giving up – believing life will always be this way.
Will you hear my heart?
I believe God wants me to remind you of this: The sun’s coming up!
DO NOT allow your present circumstance to name your tomorrow.
Let me repeat it.
DO NOT allow what you are going through at this moment to determine your future.
Here’s your reminder:
You are not alone.
God is with you.
Feet that walked down golden avenues trod through manure for 33 years so you’d never be alone. Toes that dangled in the crystal sea got dirt under their nails to prove how special you are.
Here’s your reminder:
You are loved.
You are wanted.
You are an outcast no more!
Because of what He has done.
Now, about last night . . .
As service began, the worship leaders had technical difficulties and had to scrap everything that they had planned. New songs had to be thrown together on the fly. An entirely different direction was embarked upon.
Service began . . .
. . . Jesus Messiah, name above all names . . .
. . . My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. . .
. . . Jesus you are loving . . .
The offering is taken.
A special is sung . . .
. . . Jesus, only Jesus
Then, the spoken Word: God is with Us!
. . . His name is Jesus, Immanuel . . .
And, that changes everything.
God orchestrated the service and lives were changed.
A young man was delivered from pornography because he realized he’s not alone.
An older lady left her worries at an altar because she realized she was not alone.
A marriage was reconciled because they realized they were not alone.
A preacher was encouraged, strengthened because he realized he’s not alone.
God is with us.
And, He’s strong enough to meet every need.
Until Next Week……..