Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Now to me that's one of the greatest Scriptures. Some of the best news of the Good News is that God is with us.
To hear that He came is Good News. To hear that He arose from the dead is Good News. To know that He ascended back is Good News. But the best news of all is that He is with us.
God is with us today by His Spirit. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead now dwells in His people (Romans 8:11).
When I am in trouble, when my flesh is trying to be sick, when my money is gone, when trials burn hot on my path, I am glad I don't have a God that is absent, but One that is with me.
But I hear Him preached about today like He is an absent God.
A God that used to heal, but doesn't anymore.
A God that used to do miracles.
A God that used to use prophets.
A God that used to deliver His people.
Some people are going to be held accountable for preaching an absent Jesus.
Jesus said, "I'll never leave you nor forsake you."
My great joy is the fact that I have a present Jesus and that God is with me.
I don't understand people who want to worship the moon or some distant thing.
I need a God I can reach, One I can touch, One I can talk to, and One that will talk to me and touch me.
People think it's odd sometimes because I tell them God speaks to me. But I think it's odd if they (Christians) don't hear God. I had a Christian tell me they never hear God. I said maybe they should
check their connection.
If the electric goes off I don't quit believing in AEP. I check the connection.
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice. In John 10:4-5 He said My sheep know My voice and a stranger
will they not follow.
Hebrews 3:7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
Heb 3:8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
It goes on to say that by unbelief there is danger of departing from the Living God. God even speaks to the lost.
In Revelation 3:20 He says, Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Emmanuel God with us.
I knew a man who went to church and claimed to be a Christian but he didn't believe that God would speak to you. He didn't believe that you should bother God with the trivial things in life. One day the trivial things of life piled up on him. He listened to the wrong voice and that man took his own life.
Believe me God has a voice and so does the enemy. I want to learn God's voice and I believe He wants us to know His voice. He wants to be with us.
Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
We live in a generation that thinks that Christmas is all about presents. But the first Christmas was all about Presence: About the fellowship between God and man being restored: About God being able to walk with His man again.
Remember in the beginning God walked with Adam in the cool of the day. Later God walked with Enoch. But sin grew in this earth and sin separates God and man.
Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked.
In Ephesians chapter 2 Paul gives us the true Christmas message in a nut shell.
Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye 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:
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Eph 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
The problem between us and God wasn't Greek, Jew, or Gentile. The problem was sin. Sin was the enmity. Look at verse 18.
Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
God with us. The Presence is the greatest present ever known.
I am asking you this Christmas and every day to become more Presence minded.
Be aware that Jesus came and lived, preached, suffered, and died.
He did all that so you could have the Gift of God's Presence living and abiding in you and with you always.
I am asking you that if you haven't already, why not give Jesus the gift of your presence today.
He came and suffered untold pain and shame just so the wall could be torn down.
He did it to restore the fellowship between you and God.
Can you say, "God is with me?" Do you have a personal relationship with Him?
If you don't you can. It's God's Christmas gift to you.
PRESENCE NOT PRESENTS