Saturday, 23rd Jan 2021
Title: “Immanuel” is the greatest new
Author: Pastor Andrew Lim
Translated by: Lucy Ling
“Immanuel” is greatest message for all mankind. It is for everyone. It would be a shame for NOT receiving the message.
The angel of God appeared to Joseph and said: 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus Christ, because he will save his people from their sins.’ 22 All this took place to fulfil what our Lord had said through the prophet: 23 ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).
In the era of the Old Testament, the Israelites needed to strictly abide by God’s laws, regulations, and commandments in order to enjoy God’s presence, but when they failed, God left them. At that time, God was not always with man. If God wanted to use a certain prophet, God would be with him, but if he failed, stumbled, or was greedy for money, God would leave him and stopped speaking to him, God would rather use a donkey than use him to speak. Or a visible object such as the tabernacle, ark, temple, etc., is used to show the presence of God. When it is lost or destroyed, the Isrealites deemed God has left them. Once and only once since exodus, the Ark of the Covenant – the Israelites’ “national treasure” or “soul of the nation”, was snatched away by the Philistines in broad daylight! The Israelites believed that “Glory left Israel”, as the Ark of God was taken into captivity.
But it is different in the era of New Testament! God’s salvation achieved through Jesus Christ fulfilling His righteous requirements, so when God dwell within, it is based on our faith that we accept Jesus Christ as our saviour, and He will always be with us. The tabernacle and temple are just representations and images of the true God who wishes to dwell within us. Ephesians 2: ” 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Don’t you know that you are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God lives within you? …Because the temple of God is holy, this temple is you. “
From then on, regardless of your spiritual situation, God is with you. The important point is whether you have accepted Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ is called Immanuel, whoever has Jesus Christ in his life, they have the presence of God. As our Lord Jesus Christ became flesh, experiencing the presence of God through Him is made possible. Since Jesus Christ fulfilled this salvation, at the instant of receiving Christ as your personal saviour, the presence of God is with you.
When we open our hearts with humility and plain faith to accept Jesus Christ as our saviour, He will lead our lives and be with us forever. What a blessing! Jesus Christ will never reject us due to human corruption, sinfulness, and weaknesses; as long as we repent, believe and accept Him, He will forgive our sins. Although our Lord is the supreme and holy God, but He loves us. You and I are chosen as God’s dwelling place and He is willing to be with us forever and never leave us.
1) With our Lord, there is peace in adversity. There are increasing ailments and sufferings in the world. Do not be afraid. Our Lord Jesus Christ said: John 16:33 ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’.
2) With the presence of our Lord, He comforts when we are sad. In this world, no one is spared from sorrow. But He promises in Revelation 21:3 “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. “
3) With the presence of our Lord, we are victorious over all sins. Jesus Christ came to the world to save sinners and overcome sins. In today’s world, overcoming sins is the hardest act. Roman 7:18: ” For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find”. Philippians 4: Thanks God, “13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
4) With our God’s presence, our direction of life is very clear. People living in the darkness have no peace or rest, they are full of sorrow, fear, pain, depression, and despair, and because their deeds are evil, they do not love the light but love the darkness, but those who follow the light, God’s word is the light at your feet, the light on the road to give you strength and guide your way and enable you to overcome all difficulties. ” Then Jesus Christ spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk-in darkness but have the light of life.” John 8:12
5) With the presence of our Lord, we have the truth, so we can distinguish between right and wrong. God led the Israelites with the tabernacle, the pillar of cloud and fire, which represented the presence of God. Today, the spirit of God lives in our hearts. Our hearts are always in communion with God and be able to distinguish right from wrong. Jesus Christ is the truth: If Jesus Christ is in your life: you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
6) With the presence of our Lord, we have eternal life. The wages of sin is death. Only the gift of God is eternal life in our Lord Jesus Christ. People who have not been forgiven by God, with NO eternal life. Without God’s presence, we cannot go to the place He has prepared. “I am your God and you are my people” “Do not be afraid, because I am with you”. The presence of God enable us to experience His blessings in every aspect of our daily lives and our serving in the church. The God of Immanuel is an important message that God proclaims to the world and the most precious gospel in our lives.
Prayer: Oh God, it is not our strength that we can face suffering and happiness, but Christ Jesus who can truly sympathize with our suffering and happiness, HE lives for us, died for us, and finally resurrected. Jesus Christ our Lord, you promise to live among us and accompany us to face all the difficulties, challenges, storms, tensions, and difficult moments. Thank you Lord God, for being with us so that our spirit can rest and be satisfied! Prayer of thanksgiving is in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!