Tuesday, July 19, 2011

There's something about Immanuel


Have you ever just felt like you were distant from God? Like he just wasn't there anymore...or like you were talking to him but he wasn't there? In Matthew, it shows us that even the Son of God - even the image of the invisible God...felt distant.
Matthew 27:45-46 - At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
At that moment, Jesus felt distant from God. What we go through in our lives, He went through it in his life...he knows the pain of feeling separated from God. But just because you feel distant, doesn't mean you aren't important to God or that you are just another name in the crowd. You are not alone....if God's own son felt it, then there is nothing wrong with you. Just because you feel distant doesn't mean he is far away.
Isaiah 7:13-14 - Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
Immanuel = God with us. He could be called a million other names...Holy, Majesty, but God chose Immanuel for his son - God with us. God with us even when you don't feel him. If you let feelings dictate your life, you'll be a depressed, lonely, messed up person. The bible says to "be still and KNOW(not be still and feel) that I am God"...knowledge goes further than feelings. The NAME of Jesus declares that he is with us when we feel him AND when we don't. Not when it's convenient for him to be there or when we do everything right. God is with us...all the time.
What's also cool about the verses in Isaiah, is that Isaiah was a prophet who lived more than 700 years before the birth of Jesus...and in Matthew 1:21-23, it says:
"And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
Jesus is the promise fulfilled. He is always with us. When he was alive, he was here in person...now he is here in Spirit and always living through us.
John 14:16-20 - And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
Through the Holy Spirit, God with us becomes God in us and God through us. In the Old Testament, God was with us, before us, behind us, beside us, and in front of us. In the New Testament, God is with us, in us, and through us, in addition to before us, behind us, beside us, and in front of us. The Holy Spirit is our counselor, our advocate and our encourager.
John 14:10-14 says "Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!"
If we believe in him and the works that he did, we will do all those works and greater because we are sons and daughters of God. When we have his Spirit alive in us, he can use us. He can accomplish great things through us. Just because we pray and something happens doesn't mean we did anything though - it's God's response to our faith.
When it says that we can do the same works Jesus did and even greater works...it's hard to imagine doing anything greater than what Jesus himself did. But what's greater than anything that happened in Jesus ministry? The greater work we can do - is preach the gospel to the lost...to see humanity redeemed. You can pray for healing but the body is still going to the grave. It is so much greater to be able to tell the story of salvation and complete the work he started. Jesus never shared the gospel because the gospel because it wasn't complete yet...he hadn't shed his blood.
Whenever you feel distant from God...all you have to do is remember his name. He is always with us...and he knows what you're going through. Just remember his name...there's something about Immanuel.

Running in Circles
by United Pursuit Band
I'm so forgetful, but you always remind me
You're the only one who brings me peace
You're the only one who brings me peace
So i come, lord i come, i come, lord i come
To tell you i love you
To tell you i need you
To tell you there's no better place for me than in your arms
To tell you I'm sorry for running in circles
For placing my focus on the ways and not your face
You're the only one who brings me peace
You're the only one who brings me peace

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