• Matt Beaney

#504 (16/12/21) IMMANUEL



This week’s devotions are based upon Jem’s message from Matthew 1:18-25.

‘All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).’ (Matthew 1:22-23)

We’ve seen earlier in the week that Joseph was told to name Him ‘Jesus’. Jesus means ‘Yahweh saves’. Here we are told that He is to be called ‘Immanuel’. Jesus is God with us to save us. Jesus was with us and went to the cross; however, He also remains with us as Saviour and the strength of our lives. God is with you today! God keeps His word. If He calls Jesus Immanuel, you can be sure that He is exactly that.


Jesus promises us,

“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b)
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)

How can you and I walk with Jesus is a more intimate fashion each day?

Firstly, we need to trust the promise of His presence. Our sin has been removed by Jesus and so we can inherit the promises of His abiding presence.

Secondly, we must actively abide in Christ. Abiding is about faith. It’s trusting that He is with us as He has promised. Abiding involves speaking to Him through the day. Abiding involves an active reliance on Him. Abiding is responding to the Spirit’s promptings through the day. May we do what David did,

‘I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.’ (Psalm 16:8)

Light dawns on every circumstance when we remember and experience the presence of God who is with us.


OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text.

‘All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).’ (Matthew 1:22-23)

I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).


1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU!


On Sunday, we continued with our Christmas themed messages. We looked at the message of God to Joseph.

'This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.' (Matthew 1: 18 - 25 )

We can all become cynical to the news, adverts, governmental statements... for all sorts of reasons. However, it's so important that we don't become cynical toward God's good news and His word.


Joseph and Mary both receive incredible news from God. Mary is told that she is to give birth to the Son of God. Joseph is told that Mary's child is God's child and he is to marry her against his initial suspicions and his cultural way of doing things. Joseph listened and obeyed this news that came from God. We read that 'he woke up, and did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.'


Like Joseph, we are to listen to God in His word. We are to wake up. We are to obey, even if it is costly.


Discussion questions

1. What are the various things that God says about Jesus in this text?

2. Have you had the experience of God telling you to do difficult things in your life? (How did He speak and what was the outcome?)

3. Were you struck by or did God speak to you about anything from Sunday's message?

4. SIV - God wants to share His good news through us. How would you like prayer in this regard? Is there anyone for whom you'd like to pray in particular?











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