God With Us
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God With Us

I want to do something a little different this week. I found this tucked away in my files on my computer. It’s unedited—I want you to sense the freshness of the moment.I needed to read it. Maybe you will too.

So, I invite you to go back with me to a humid, summer July evening in 2018:

There are times that we all need reminders.

I’ve found that to be true in ministry, in life. I’m sure most – if not all – would agree. And, it’s good when those reminders come. I had one of those reminders last evening.My summer schedule is in full swing. (For those of you who don’t know me, I live my life singing and preaching the Gospel and, currently, I’m in the middle of a 3-week trip.) I’m very blessed to do what I do. And, I love it! But sometimes the road can become long and tiring. Back to last night.

It was the beginning of an open-air, old-school camp meeting in East Central Pennsylvania. Oh, did I mention it’s a 10-day camp? By the time it closes, I will have preached 15 different times and, then, leave the next day for North Carolina to start all over again.

Can you tell this is on my mind? It was last night as well.

As I prepared, I couldn’t get the simple, yet profound thought of “God with us” out of my mind. So, I chose the above verses as my text. Let’s step out of the story here for a moment.

I am well aware that many feel alone. Many are overcome with feelings of inadequacy. Look around, and you will see the outcasts, the unwanted, the seemingly unloved. Hopelessness seems to abound.

Melancholy controls.
It’s all around us.

You can see it in . . .

. . . the 24-hour news cycle . . .
. . . the beggar on the exit ramp . . .
. . . the estranged spouse sitting on the church pew . . .
. . . the broken looking for love wherever it can be found . . .
. . . the list could simply go on, and on, and on.

I’ve learned that good people have hard times. And, even while you read this, you may be in a circumstance that you’re not sure how it will resolve. Or, perhaps you’re on the verge of giving up – believing life will always be this way.Will you hear my heart?

I believe God wants me to remind you of this: The sun’s coming up! DO NOT allow your present circumstance to name your tomorrow.

Let me repeat it. DO NOT allow what you are going through at this moment to determine your future.

Here’s your reminder:
You are not alone.
God is with you.
God is in you.

Feet that walked down golden avenues trod through manure for 33 years so you’d never be alone. Toes that dangled in the crystal sea got dirt under their nails to prove how special you are.

Here’s your reminder:
You are loved.
You are wanted.
You are an outcast no more!
Because of what He has done.

Now, about last night . . .

As service began, the worship leaders had technical difficulties and had to scrap everything that they had planned. New songs had to be thrown together on the fly. An entirely different direction was embarked upon.

Instead of the previously selected songs, we sang… “Jesus Messiah, name above all names . . .. . . My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. . .. . . Jesus you are loving . ..”

The offering is taken. A special is sung . . .
. . . Jesus, only Jesus.
Then, the spoken Word: God is with Us!
. . . His name is Jesus, Immanuel . . .

And, that changes everything.

God orchestrated the service and lives were changed. A young man was delivered from pornography because he realized he’s not alone. An older lady left her worries at an altar because she realized she was not alone. A marriage was reconciled because they realized they were not alone. A preacher was encouraged, strengthened because he realized he’s not alone.

God is with us.

And, He’s strong enough to meet every need.

Be reminded. Be encouraged.

1 Comment

  1. susie shellenberger

    Love it! GOD WITH US.
    Thank You, Jesus, for Your holy presence.
    For Your promise to meet our needs.
    For never walking away.
    God With Us.

    May 11, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Reply

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