Emmanuel – ‘God with us”

21 December 2008


1.      Introduction:

·   Matthew 1:23b  -  “… they shall call His name Emmanuel…”  which is translated – “God with Us”.

·   The key message of Christmas – “God with us” – God is personal and present with us.

·   God’s desire for relationship – a key aspect of relationship is personal presence.

·   Names in Bible  = nature of a person   = destiny or work of a person.

·   E.g. Abraham = Father of Nations      Jephthae = One who break through.

·   Jesus name = Emmanuel – God with us.

·   “Fear not, for I am with you” -  God with us.


2.      The Presence of God brings refreshing: 

·   Acts 3:19  -  “…times of refreshing that will come from the presence of the Lord…”

-    Refreshing = 403 = to revive, recover breath, rest from pressure or work, restore vitality.

-    The presence of God (tangible) brings reviving; restore vitality.

·   Omnipresence = God is present anywhere.

·   Tangible presence   = God make His presence felt, experiences, tangible.

= This tangible presence causes us to feel connected, revived.

= You can feel and experience the reality of His presence. 

    Live, carry and experience the presence of God.

·   Personal example:

a)     Visiting a parent who experienced cot death = comfort, refreshing.

b)     My Mother’s funeral – presence of my Pastor = comfort, value.

·   2 Key parts of God’s plan for us:

a)     We personally experience constantly the tangible presence of God – John 14:17-18

b)     We carry the tangible presence of God into the community – 2 Corinthians 6:17

·   It is the tangible presence of God that causes our lives to stand out.

·   Exodus 33:14-16  -  “How will it be known that your people and I have found grace in your sight except you with us!”


3.      People Struggle with Loneliness:

a)     Loneliness and Solitude are not the same:

·   Solitude: Drawing aside from business to be alone and refocus on life – Mark 1:35

·   Loneliness: feeling of sadness or heaviness arising from being aware of not being bonded connected or close to anyone.

·   There are many reasons people experience loneliness.


b)     David experienced Loneliness:

·   Psalm 142  -  Prayer of David - in a cave.

·   Cave: dark cold place people retreated for refuge from enemies.

·   Feelings of no one cares, isolated.

·   Acknowledge = have respect for, place value on, express recognition of.

·   Refuge = offer shelter, comfort, relief, escape.

·   Cave = to ask for, search for, feel concerns for.


c)     Typical feelings in times of loneliness:

*  Emptiness – something missing                    *    No value – loss of value or esteem

*  Unwanted – no one willing to connect      *    Shame – something wrong with me

d)     Typical spiritual attack during loneliness:

Demonic spirits surround a person and increase their pain.

*Abandonment       *Loneliness       *Rejection       *Despair

·   People who are lonely want someone to meet a need, connect – present! Just to be there with them.


4.      How to Handle Loneliness:

a)     Typical actions people take:

i)        Isolate themselves – withdraw and further disconnect (Elijah)

ii)       Distract themselves – TV, busyness, work, tasks  (Zaccues)

iii)     Dull the pain – alcohol, drugs

iv)    Try to fill emptiness with relationships;

·   Ungodly relationships increase loneliness

·   Dependent relationships – life draining and will eventually fail.

·   No person can meet all your needs, only God can satisfy the longing.

·   E.g. woman at the well – John 4:14-15  - Water I will give will become in him a fountain.


b)     How to handle loneliness:

·   David reached out to the Lord – initiated a response to loneliness.

·   His response in loneliness deepened his connection with God.

·   Key: Refocus your attention!

            Loneliness = person is focused on self.

                               = we are not designed to live like this.

                               = person wants someone else to come through for them.

i)        Focus Upon the Presence of God:

·   Hebrews 13:5b  -  “I will never leave you or forsake (abandon) you” = is a promise of God.

·   John 16:32  -  Example of Jesus – “I am not alone”

·   Must be proactive – must do something!

·   He poured out his emotions

·   Praise – Pray in tongues

·   Focus your thoughts on this promise – ‘Emmanuel – God with me’ – presence with me, my Father, I am your child.

·   Gaze upon the Lord and embrace Him, become aware of the Lord.

·   Confess – declare the promises of God. “God is with me”.


ii)       Step out and connect with other people – initiate!  -  Proverbs 18:24.

iii)     Help someone else:

·   Shift your focus from self to others.


Don’t wait until you are lonely to ask the Lord God to help. Focus daily: “God is with me”.

Be consistently conscious of this as you connect to others and the community.

Emmanuel = when we touch, smile, look, speak to others they should feel that God   with us. Bring God to someone.

                    = The risen Lord, conquering King with us.

                    = His anointing upon us.