Monthly Archives: December2012

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Immanuel – God With Usbuildchurch

It is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew:
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”-which means, “God with us” (Matthew 1:22-23 NIV).

The angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph that Mary’s child was conceived by the Holy Spirit and would be a son. From the angel’s declaration, we learn this important truth about Jesus – He was both God and a human. The infinite, unlimited and omnipotent God of the entire universe took on the limitations of humanity so He could live, minister and die for the sins of a fallen world and bring salvation to all those who believe in Jesus.

Jesus literally means “the Lord saves.” Jesus came to earth from heaven to save us from sin and all of sin’s consequences. It was necessary because we cannot save ourselves. No matter how good and kind we are, we cannot get rid of the sinful nature we were born with that is present in all of us. Only Jesus can do that! Jesus came to die on the cross for our sins. He paid the penalty of sin. The precious Lamb of God, Jesus, shed His blood on Calvary’s cross to satisfy all of God’s righteous demands for the punishment of sin and disobedience to God’s will – all of them.

During this Holiday Season, let us remember to thank and praise Jesus for His life-giving sacrifice for our sins and iniquities. And ask Him, with the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, to take wholehearted control of our lives, work and ministries. Let Christmas and the New Year be the beginning of renewal, revival, and preparation for the return of Jesus for us and our families!

According to Matthew 1:23, Jesus was to be called Immanuel. This was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah:

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’) (Isaiah 7:14 NLT).

Jesus was God incarnated in human flesh. Consequently, God literally was walking among us here on earth. He was here “WITH US.” The name Immanuel actually means “GOD WITH US” or “GOD IS WITH US.” This is an enormously important reality for human history and civilization. The Creator of the entire universe, in Jesus – the Immanuel, was present in human society with all its limitations and weaknesses!

Just as impressive is the fact that, today, because of the Holy Spirit Jesus Christ is present in the life of every believer! God is present because Jesus requested the Father to send the Holy Spirit to every believer: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth.

The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17 NIV).

Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is present today in every Christian believer. Literally, God’s presence is dwelling within us in the form of the Holy Spirit!

What Does Immanuel Mean For Us Now?

 1. It means GOD’S PRESENCE is among us. HE IS WITHIN US.

The Apostle Paul recognized the importance of this reality when he wrote to the believers in Philippi:  I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13 NIV).

Because of the indwelling Holy Spirit in every believer, everything is possible with the help and strength of Jesus Christ. That should encourage all of us to continue the good fight of faith!

The Apostle John also counted on the indwelling presence of God in every believer when encouraging them to fight against the devil and his forces:

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4 NKJV).

2. God’s presence in us and in our PRAYERS is what anoints and empowers our prayers.

But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! (John 15:7 NLT)

God’s presence makes prayer lists alive and anointed expressions of God’s plans and purposes. It makes prayer more than a monologue. Prayer becomes a meaningful dialog between God and us, His beloved children.

God’s presence gives believers effectiveness in drawing near to God in order to sense and experience His heartfelt desires, plans, even His very heart.

His presence changes and transforms our hearts, minds and lives to become more and more like Jesus. God’s presence also can change marriages, families, churches and even entire communities. This should encourage us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the presence of God, and to pray and minister more and more with the presence of God!

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
(1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV).

Do we fully appreciate that God of the universe lives in us by the Holy Spirit? Shouldn’t that be a powerful source of strength and confidence!

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16 NIV).

3. God’s presence in us brings HIS POWER and STRENGTH!

We are really helpless without the power of God in our lives and in our prayers.

But the good news is that His presence makes the impossible possible for all believers. Listen to what Jesus said:

 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes”  (Mark 9:23 NIV).

It is a powerful reality – NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD! Immanuel reminds us again about God’s presence – GOD IS WITH US. And because He is with us and in us nothing is impossible.

It is the presence of God that brings earnesty, fervency and anointing into our prayers:

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
(James 5:16-18 NKJV).

Let us be empowered by the presence of God to pray with fervency, earnesty and Holy Spirit anointing. Pray with confidence knowing that with God nothing is impossible.

We bless you with a double portion of God’s presence today and every day during 2012 to see major breakthroughs and many powerful answers to your prayers and seeing “God’s kingdom come and His will be done!”