Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Matthew 1:23 KJV
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
The preacher was reaching an integral part of his sermon. He’d read his text, provided his introduction and methodically worked through three points. Everything fit together neatly. He had “rightly divided the word of truth” just as the Apostle Paul instructed in 2 Timothy 2:15. Most important, the Holy Spirit’s anointing was upon him, and the word was going forth in boldness, clarity and power. Even though the audience was receptive, he knew they would miss the crux of the message if their hearts weren’t open. “I need you to get this,” he entreated. “Are you with me?”
Because the groundwork had been laid with fasting and prayer by the evangelist, the pastor and several dedicated prayer warriors, the Holy Spirit swept through the service. Souls were saved and reclaimed, and great portion of the membership in attendance rededicated themselves to the Lord. The word fell on good ground and yielded spiritual fruit, made possible because more than the people being “with him,” God was with him.
After the altar service, I replayed this scene in my mind. I couldn’t help to think of the One who came to be “with us” more than 2,000 years ago. Jesus didn’t come with a lot of pomp and circumstance. Instead he came in the lowliest, most humble fashion imaginable: His earthly parents Mary and Joseph sent to share space with animals in a cold, smelly barn. Determined to be “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15), He experienced physical hardship even with the manner of His birth.
Our Savior did not intend to be remote, distant and aloof. No! In every respect, from conception, birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and intercession at the Father’s right hand, He is fully and completely, “God with us!”
Armed with the good news that God is with you, how would you respond if Jesus asked, “Are you with Me?” In what areas of your life do you need to surrender completely? Where do you need to die to self? What things are you holding on to – things you know you need to let go? As we move forward into this the very last month of 2016, resolve to answer Jesus’ question in the affirmative. He is God with us – let’s be determined to be with Him! Be Blessed.