God With Us
By Bruce Blakey on December 28, 2022
God With Us
By Bruce Blakey on December 28, 2022
I invite you to take your Bibles and open up to Matthew chapter one. Matthew chapter 1. In the Blakey house, when our boys were still at home, growing up, we had a Christmas morning tradition. And that is that we would have a brief Christmas message. Every Christmas morning before we opened up all the presents to make sure that these little guys kept the focus on the right thing. And as those little guys got bigger, they started participating in giving the message. So, one year it would be Bobby giving the message, and then Bill gave a message, and Ben gave a message. You can imagine what those might have been like on those Christmas mornings. Those are still to this day, some of the best sermons I've ever heard. And today, dad gets the turn to give the Christmas message. So, I'm thankful to be here and to be able to do this. I want to read from Matthew 1:18-23. As we come to God's Word, we're going to focus in on 23, verse 23, in the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14, Emmanuel, God with us, but I just want us to read the whole context. So, starting in verse 18, and I'm going to ask you to stand in honor of God's Word. As we read this here this morning, Matthew 1:18-23 says,
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us). Amen.”
You may be seated. Immanuel is a very common word that you hear at this time of the year, we sing it, and we hear it in songs, it's on cards, it's in devotions, you read it in the Scriptures. And it is a word, actually, it's a name, which means God with us. And I love that Matthew puts that in there, the “(which means God with us).” Because by translating that Hebrew word into the common language of the day, Matthew is telling us this is good news for all people, that God in Christ is with us. And you and I were invited to know Him. And that's what we're here to celebrate today. This is an incredibly wonderful truth. There's not a human on the earth who could adequately explain what it means that God is with us. All I can do is help. All I can hope to do is move you a little along the path here today, and then you can develop it further in your own study and meditation on the truth of God's Word yourself. But the incarnation of Christ, by that we mean God becoming a man, God taking on human flesh, coming into the world by means of a virgin birth. That's not just some kind of a theological footnote to the Christmas story. It's really a very practical truth. And it has a profound significance for all of us here today. Because you see, we are not as Christians trusting in a list of facts. We are not believing in truths and principles. In reality, we are trusting in a person and that person is with us. And that's the significant truth that's going to come out today.
And as we meet here today, Christmas 2022, we're living in dark times. I think we all know that and there can be times when you could feel like maybe God has abandoned us. But this truth here shines with a glorious light that is so desperately needed today. So, let's take our time and let's unpack what is said here, and we'll just go at it, word by word, starting with the first word “God”. Let's just think about that “God is with us.”
Put that down for number one if you're taking notes. I want to make sure I don't forget the my points here. Point one: God is with us. The Bible writers don't use the name Immanuel again after this, but everywhere you look, it is made perfectly clear that Jesus is God. And we don't want to ever forget that fact. This isn't just another baby being born. This is actually God coming into the world. In fact, just keep your finger there, but turn over to John's Gospel for a moment, John chapter 1. Just to see what John says about this. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So, the “Word” here is a reference to Christ. And it is saying that the Word was with God, face-to-face with God, and the Word was God. So that speaks to the deity of Christ. And John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” So, he's God, he is God in reality, and he took on flesh to come with us. So, God who was with God, God, who was face-to-face with God has become God with us. That might be something for you to chew on while you eat your Christmas dinner. God who was with God became God with us!
This isn't an angel that became a man. Jesus is the creator of angels. This isn't some subordinate deity that came to earth. He is fully God, and the Bible just makes that so abundantly clear. Let me just read you a couple of statements. Colossians 1:15-17 says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn,” the preeminent one “of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Him, the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” That's the amazing thing about Christmas is that God took on human flesh, that he came to be with us. In Hebrews 1:3-4. It says, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”
This truth just dominates the Bible that Jesus is God, and you find it tucked in all over the place. For example, when Thomas, the Apostle Thomas, when he sees the risen Lord, you remember what he said, My Lord, and my God, my Lord, and my God, Jesus is God. And what you see in him coming into the world, is God coming in Christ to bring reconciliation to the world. Second Corinthians 5:19 says, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself”; God was in Christ. He came on a mission, he came to reconcile hostile, rebellious enemies, to himself, are the one who was fully God became fully man, so that he could save men and be the mediator between God and man. When we think about what happened on Christmas, we should be amazed. The God who is eternal, the God who created all things, the God who holds it all together, and the God who knows everything about you and me, he came into the world, so that you could know him and walk with him. I don't know what do we give men on Christmas mornings? All right, okay, just checking. I mean, this news is worthy of the prophets foretelling. This news is worthy of the death of all the apostles and all the martyrs through the years this is worthy of our greatest efforts to spread this good news. This is worthy of a holy life to show the power of this good news. This is worthy of dying a joyful death and this tree which is worthy of the greatest songs. And we have enjoyed singing all those songs since the day after Thanksgiving, right? We've been enjoying singing those worthy songs and hearing them over and over. And you know, the Bible records, what some think, is the first Christmas song. It's in 1 Timothy 3:16, where Paul says, “great indeed, we confess as the mystery of godliness.” And then we believe that what he's quoting here is a part of an early church song. And maybe they sang this at Christmas time. Because it starts off with, he was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. A great song. And he's worthy of our greatest songs. Jesus is God, we must understand all that he is. And we must understand he is with me, he is with us. We should dwell on that truth. This is the truth that God is with us.
But there's more than that, because going back to our text, the second word there is significant to the with its God with us. And the word there in the original that's translated with in our translations is a very strong form of the word. And it's in an emphatic position. In fact, if you were to translate this literally, it would read with us God. He is together with us; he came and shared life with us. He experienced life like we do, he can sympathize with us. Were you born, so was he. He was born just like you and me. He lived under his parents’ authority. And he had brothers and sisters. And the indication we get is that there was some friction between brothers and sisters, you might be able to relate to that. He worked. His dad was a carpenter, he worked as an apprentice no doubt to his dad. He worked. He got tired, he got hungry, he slept, he prayed. He did all the things that we do. And there were times when he was very much alone. 40 days in the wilderness, all alone. The Bible tells us, the Gospels tell us that frequently, he would go off to barren places by himself, and spend extended periods of time out there all by himself. And certainly, he felt all alone in the garden, the night before he was crucified. He knows what it's like to be alone. And that is a big issue this time of the year.
In fact, I did an internet search last week, I just typed in loneliness at Christmas. And I got pages and pages and pages of links to articles dealing with this topic of loneliness at Christmas time. And you know, they, some of them had titles like eight tips, or 10 hints. You know, but the reality is for you and me if you know that Jesus is with us, he knows what it's like to be alone. None of the articles I saw said, Jesus can sympathize with you when you're feeling alone. He knows what it's like to be lonely. He also knows what it's like to be in a big crowd with that crowd pressing in on him. He knows what it's like to be tempted. He was tempted in every way just like we are. He told one person, hey, I got nowhere to lay my head. You want to follow me? Here's one thing you need to know. I got nowhere.
And he knew sorrow. He knew sorrow. He wept at Lazarus’ tomb. He wept over the city of Jerusalem. He was abandoned. He knows what it's like to be abandoned. He was abandoned even by his disciples. He knows what it's like to be betrayed. He was betrayed by a friend. And you know his Joseph, Joseph and Mary, Joseph disappears. From the account, and all during his ministry, you hear about Mary and his brothers and sisters, you hear nothing about Joseph, it's most likely Joseph had died by then. So, he experienced the death of the man that he knew physically as his father. He knows what sorrow is like. He experienced all the things that you and I experience. And he was slandered. He was hated, hated for righteousness’s sake, there was no good reason for anybody to hate him. But Jesus knows what it's like to be hated.
And finally, he was cruelly treated, and beaten, and crucified, and he died. He is with us, and he knows what it's like, and the Bible makes the point out of the significance of that in Hebrews chapter 4, you might want to take a look at this Hebrews 4:14-16. Here the writer makes the connection between the experiences that Jesus had and how he can relate to us how he can help us. Hebrews 4:14 says, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
You can draw near to him, he's with you. He's been there. He's experienced these things. He can sympathize with you. And the fact that he was tempted as we are, he experienced all the temptations that we experienced yet without sin means that he knows temptation to a far greater level than any of us will ever know. Because at some point, we bail out and sin. He never did. He never sinned. He lived in a flesh and bones body just like you and me. It was subjected to the same kind of temptations that we’re subjected to. He never ever gave in to those. You think you're going through some temptations? He's gone through greater temptations than you. He can sympathize with you. You can have confidence to draw near to him, and find help, help from him. And that was Jesus' constant call for people to come to him, come to him and he can give them comfort and peace. In Matthew 11:28-30, he says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Jesus promises rest to those who come to him, he encourages people to come to him, and he can give them rest. Look over at Matthew chapter 12. Starting in verse 15. Look what it says about Jesus here and how he can help us because he's with us. And he knows what it's like for us. It says in Matthew 12:15-17, Jesus “Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah.” This is from Isaiah 42 Where it says, “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
Those are some great statements there about Christ and it describes the kind of ministry he had, and particularly there in verse 20. I want you to think about it where it says, “a bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not quench. Now, just think about that is talking about reeds, reeds were very common in Israel. They grew by the millions in every marsh and riverside. And they had many uses these reeds, shepherds often would use them as a flute to play while they were watching their flock. But when they got worn out, they just threw it away, because they can easily get another one. These things are fragile, they don't last. Nobody pays much attention to them; they just throw them away and get another one. And then it mentions a wick, “a smoldering wick he will not quench,” he's talking about a wick and a candle, which would have been made of common material. And when it's used up it smolders, it makes smoke, it becomes a nuisance in the room, so it'd be snuffed out and thrown away. It's easily replaced. It's cheap, it's insignificant. And the point that's being made there is Jesus does not break battered reeds, and he doesn't put out smoldering wicks. What that’s saying is that these two common cheap, insignificant items are pictures of the kind of people that Jesus would minister to people who are broken and worn out, people who had been discarded by the world, people who are cast offs from society, people who had been neglected by the religious people, who were looked down on by the Pharisees. And those are the kinds of people that were drawn to Jesus. They would be looked down on by others, but not by Jesus because he's a merciful Messiah. These are the kinds of people who can't make music and they don't give off any light. But Jesus doesn't discard them because he can restore them. Christ consoles, Christ strengthens people. He's with us. And you know, there might be many ways that a heart can be broken. Jesus can heal all of them. Because he is the God of all comfort. He is the God of all comfort. He's with us. He is with us. And he can do a lot more than just sympathize with people who are hurting. Because he has eternal power to minister to people. And as you read through Matthew's Gospel, you'd see that power on display. He healed the sick, in fact he healed the sick in such abundant numbers that it's like Israel, there was no sickness in Israel, doctors are going out of business. He liberated the demon possessed. He blessed the poor in spirit. He took away the anxiety of the anxious. He cleansed the leper, he cured the diseased, he fed the hungry. He cared for people. I want to show you one example.
Turn over with me to Luke chapter 7. Because this is just a perfect example of how Jesus can help those who are hurting the most. In Luke 7:11, we read an account that's only in Luke's gospel. But it says here, “soon afterward, he went to a town called Nain. And his disciples and a great crowd went with him. And he drew nearer to the gate, as he drew nearer to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable crowd from the town was with her.” So, this is a funeral procession, leaving town going out, outside of town to the graveyard to bury this man, who's the only son of a widow. We may not appreciate the significance of that. But a woman in that society, she's dependent upon her husband, to provide for her. And if something happens to the husband, like he dies, then she's dependent upon her sons to take care of her. Well, she's only got one son, and now this son is dead, they don't have social security. They didn't have insurance. And so, all of her means of support are gone. Her husband's gone. her only son is now gone. That's what Jesus walks into, that kind of a situation. And look at what he does. Luke 7:13, “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus[d] gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has arisen among us!’ and ‘God has visited his people!’ And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.” Well, I guess so. They've never seen anything like this before. Because this is evidence that God is with us. He's with us, He felt compassion for this person. And you know, most of all, he came, as we talked about yesterday, to seek and to save the last, to reconcile us to God, he looks upon our last condition, and he can give eternal life. Everybody who comes to him receives eternal life, which only he can give. There's amazing help for you and me and knowing that God is with us. This is why what you think about Christ makes so much difference in your day to day life. We know what you think on Sunday morning, it's what you think on Thursday afternoon that really matters. Is God with you on Thursday afternoon? That's what really matters. And that's an important thing for all of us to learn.
I know this was really came home to me a few years back when my dad, who was in his 90s was in a physical rehab facility, and we would go visit him and then at nine o'clock, you leave, and I could remember walking out of the room. He's in there all by himself. He's in a strange building. Although he doesn't know any of the other people in there. He is very much alone, at that time. And I started thinking, you know, someday, that's going to be me, probably, probably sooner than he was there. I'm going to be there all alone. And I started asking myself, is having Christ with me going to be enough at those time? I’d better start learning now what it means to walk with Christ, and to know that he is with me. Because times like this are common. I need to know that he is with me. This is what makes so much difference and how we think about Christ. If on Christmas Day, you're just seeing him as a special baby. Or if you see him as somebody who became a good teacher or someone who even was a humble sacrifice, then you don't see him for all that he is. He's God. And he's with us. He's with us. He's the one who can do exceedingly beyond all that we could ask or think; he can sustain us. I might be another good time for like a Christmas, amen. He is with us, and he can sustain us. And we get to commune with him. He's not like distant out there somewhere. He is with us, and we’ve got to commune with him. We’ve got to commune with him through his Word. And we get to commune with him through prayer. We get to commune with him together here at church. He's with us. He's with us. This is a basic Christmas truth. And it's powerful. And it's life-changing and it's sustaining for all of us.
Well, let's go back to the text there in Matthew chapter 1. Because we’ve got one more word that I'm assuming you got one more line on your handout, are you the person who goes home with all their outline filled out. So, number one, point number one is it's God with us. Point number two is God is with us. And now, point number three is God's with us. How about that? He's with us. Note that it says there in the middle of verse 23. They shall call his name Immanuel. Who are they? Who is the they that are calling him Immanuel? Well, the they would be referring back to the people in verse 21. His people whom he came to save from their sins. The people that he has saved from their sins are the people who are calling him Immanuel. God with me. They are the us who believe in Christ and benefit from his presence with us. And here's something for all of us to think about. He came to us. He came to us, that's what we're remembering today. He came to us, it would be unthinkable if we did not come to him. Have you come to him? He came to us, have you come to Him? Have you turned away from everything else? And come to him? And put everything you've got into him? You're trusting completely in him? You're recognizing, yeah, I'm the sinner that needed to be saved. And I'm trusting in the one who came to save sinners. Are you with him? He came to be with us in order to save people. Are you with him, is the question. And the they who will call his name Immanuel includes all kinds of people. I mean, that's the point of Matthew saying, which means God with us. That would include young people who could call out to him. It certainly includes old people. For example, in the Christmas story, you read about a couple of older people Simeon and Anna, and Luke chapter two, they'd have been clubbed 60 fibers. The rich can call out to Him, the Magi would be examples of the rich. And the poor. Those would be the shepherds. This is the they includes all kinds of people, whoever comes to him, he won't turn any of them away. Is not just the God of the Jews. He is the God of all that he saves. And all of them can know that he is with you. He is with you. And this has been the claim and the comfort of God's people all through the centuries. Let me just give you a couple of references in Psalm 46. And Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Yeah, cuz he's with us. He's a very present help because he's with us. And Psalm 46:7 says, “the Lord of hosts is with us.” He's with us. The God of Jacob. He's our fortress. He's our hope. He's our refuge, our Rockies, our fortress, because he is with us. He's with us. Hebrews chapter 13, draws out a couple of Old Testament passages and brings them together Hebrews 13:5-6. The writer says, “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have for he has said, I'll never leave you nor forsake you.” There he's referring to Deuteronomy 31:8 and Joshua 1:5, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So, verse 6 says, we can confidently say the Lord is my helper, I will not fear. What can man do to me? Because God is with me. He's never going to leave me. He's never going to forsake me.” A lot of other people might leave me, a lot of other people might forsake me, God's never going to leave me or forsake me. He's with me. He is with me. And the God who was, is with us who believe has many more of us, that he's going to save from God's wrath, and he has sent you and me to reach them, and to present this good news to them. And he gives us this command to do that. And he gives us a promise that goes along with it. In Matthew 28:18, Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” That's the Great Commission. And you think of that group of people he's given this commission to. What you want us to reach the whole world, all the nations? So he gives them this encouragement at the end, and says, Behold, I am with you. Always. even to the end of the age, I'm going to be right there with you all the way to the end of the age. What a great promise. That is, and, and he was, as you read the book of Acts, you see that he keeps that promise and he was with the people who were spreading the good news. In fact, in Acts 11:21, it talks about people who came to Antioch and were speaking the gospel to people there. And it says, the hand of the Lord was with them. And a great number who believed turn to the Lord. Because “the hand of the Lord was with them.” Apostle Paul certainly knew the encouragement that the Lord was with him. And he's in Corinth, and he's preaching there, and he's already been kicked out of the synagogue. And Paul knows how this works. At this point, first I get kicked out of the synagogue, and the next thing you know, I'm in jail. Or maybe I'm being run out of town and stoned and left for dead. The so it goes. So, the Lord showed up to Paul in Acts 8:9. It says, “The Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, do not be afraid. Why did he have to say that to him? He's getting afraid. Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent. Why? For I am with you. That's what he needed to hear. I'm with you. I'm with you”. And he was with Paul all the way to the end. Look with me at 2 Timothy for a minute, Paul's last letter. And you see what it was like for Paul at the end of his life, the end of his ministry, before he's executed before they chop his head off in Rome. This is what it was like for Paul. 2 Timothy 1:15 says, and this is an amazing statement. He says, “You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.” They've all turned their back on you, Paul. That's what he's saying. This is what's happening is as Paul becomes kind of a hot material, and he's a like a lightning rod and people are afraid to associate with him anymore. So, they start distancing themselves from him. And then in chapter four, verse nine, it says, do your best to come to me soon for Dimas who had been a ministry partner of Paul's mentioned in some of his letters he says Dimas in love with this present world has deserted me. You got to know that these things have got to hurt. Everybody's turned their back on me. Dimas who was part of my team, he's deserted me. He's gone after the world. But look at what he says. Go down to verse 16. “Which is my first defense. No one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them?” How does somebody say that? How can somebody in that situation say that? Because of what he says next. But the Lord stood by me and strengthen me so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Everybody else is walking away from Paul, everybody else is deserting him but he says, hey, the Lord was with me. And that was good enough. That was good enough. Is it good enough for you? If all you got is the Lord with you? It Jesus prepared his disciples for this time. He told them he was going to be departing he's going back to heaven, but that doesn't mean he's deserting them.
In John 14:6 he makes this great promise to them. It says he says, “I will ask the Father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever. Another helper another have the exact same kind, the spirit is going to come. He's exactly like me, and he's going to be with you forever. He's the Spirit of truth, who in the world cannot receive because it neither sees him or knows him, you know him for a dwells with you and will be in you. I'll not leave you as orphans, I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you'll see me because I live, you also will live. In that day, you will know that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you, whoever has my commandments and keeps them he is the one who loves me and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. And Judas Iscariot said, and Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us and not to the world, Jesus answered, If anyone loves me, he'll keep my word and my Father will love him. And we will come to him and make Our home with him with him. I'll be with him. One who loves me, one who follows me, the one who trusts me, I'm going to be with him. With him. These are great, great promises, great Christmas promises, God with us. So, we think that we can't go on or we can't do what the Lord has given us to do. You just got to remember that God is with us. And he is with all whom he saves. And it's important for you to know that he's not like more with some Christians than he is with others. He's with all of his people. And in Psalm 23:4 David says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of the death of death, I will fear no evil.” Why? Because you are with me. You are with me. This is great Christmas truth, this Christmas season, I would encourage you to dive deep into this truth. And to think about what does it mean really, that God is with us? It's more than just a story about a baby that was born. This is God coming to be with us. And Jesus is God. And Jesus is with us. He became a man, he understands, he lived the life like we live. And he came so that he could reconcile us that he could reconcile men to God, and he is with us all who believe in him, have the confidence that he is with you. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. Is that good news? Great joy. Yeah, I'd say so. This is a reason for us to rejoice. This is a reason for us to say how much we love him as our Savior. Let me pray for us
Lord, we thank you that we can spend this time together on this day. And we can turn our eyes towards you and towards your Word, and be encouraged by the great truth. We might be a lot of things today competing for our attention. There might be a lot of things today that would distract us from you. Although we're thankful that we have your word to open up and to read these words of great truth that you are with us that they shall call his name Immanuel, which means God with us. So, Lord, we're thankful for that great truth. We're thankful that Christ came to save us from our sins. We recognize, Lord that on our own we have nothing to offer. We are the poor in spirit. We are the ones who are spiritually bankrupt. We need a Savior, and you sent your Son, your only Son, to be that Savior, and he came to be with us. Thank you, Lord, that you are with us always. We can trust in you every day for everything. And I pray that this might be a great encouragement to many people. Many people, Lord who are feeling lost and feeling overwhelmed by their sin. I have faith that they might be encouraged to know that Christ can take away all their sins. I pray to be a great encouragement for those who are experiencing a broken heart right now for whatever reason to know that Christ he can fix a broken heart. Pray for those who might be low only Lord, which we understand this time of the year. There's a lot of things, we might miss some people over as we celebrate the normal things, but without the normal people, but to know that you are there that you never leave we can trust in you all the time I prayed, this might be a great encouragement, where I pray that this would draw us closer to you, and that we would be so thankful, so grateful that you've been so good to us. So we thank you for this time, Lord, and we just want to praise your name forever. Amen.
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