Today, we’re talking about this unbelievably beautiful promise that the God of the universe, who made everything including us, with our complex systems that keep us breathing and moving and talking every single day, this God who made everything we can see… This God says, I am with you. I want to invite you right now to turn that promise over in your heart like you would a diamond in your hand. Think about what it means. There is nothing you are going to face today or tomorrow or any day ever without him. What peace and joy there is in this! Let’s get started.
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Don’t be afraid for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
The words of Isaiah the prophet kicking off today’s episode of the Bible for Busy People. Hi, I’m Erica, your host, and if you’re looking for those words, you can find them in the book of Isaiah chapter 41 verse 10. Those words are priceless. They make me think of this one scene from a Mission Impossible movie. It was the one where Tom Cruise climbed that really tall building in Dubai and there was this scene where one of the characters was holding loose diamonds in her hand and she was examining them to make sure they were real. Well, you and I are examining the promises of God this week.
Last time we talked about heaven. Today, we’re talking about this unbelievably beautiful promise that the God of the universe who made everything including us, with our complex systems that keep us breathing and moving and talking every single day, this God who made everything we can see, everything that stirs our hearts to wonder like mountains and oceans and rainbows and sunsets. This God says, I am with you. It’s a promise that’s more precious than a diamond, but I want to invite you right now to turn that promise over in your heart like you would a diamond in your hand. Think about what it means. There is nothing you are going to face today or tomorrow or any day ever without him. If you have accepted the love of Jesus into your heart. If you have asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins, this promise is for you. God is with you.
Join me now in Matthew chapter one, verse 18. We’re going to find out one of the most precious names of God. That is actually the promise itself. Okay.
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
Now, can we just pitch a small tent here because it’s so easy to just keep going, but whoa! The apple cart of Joseph’s life just got knocked over and he can’t figure out what’s going on. It’s almost like he’s been stunned. He fell over with the apple cart, but he’s such a good man. He’s like, I love this girl, but I can’t marry her. I don’t want to disgrace her, and he’s thinking about all of these things when God sends an angel into these circumstances. Now, lemme tell you something. It’s highly unlikely that an angel is going to enter what’s going on in your life right now, but God promises to be with you in it. There is not a fire or a flood. He’s not going to walk through with you. God is with you right now. This is a promise to hold onto with both hands. Okay. Verse 20 now.,
As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
The prophet Isaiah, by the way,
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him…
Wait for it.
Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
Maybe you’re familiar with the word “Immanuel” because you’ve heard it in a Christmas song. You hear it in your car, you hear it at the mall, you hear it in a grocery store, wherever they play Christmas music all throughout the holiday season. It’s one of the most powerful words in the world because of what it means. Immanuel, God is with us. Just soak that up. Look at those diamonds in your hand today. This is a promise for you. Verse 24 now.
When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.
What an adventure. Those two would have many years, of course rolled by and you may know the story or at least parts of it. Jesus was of course born on that very first Christmas. We don’t know if it was day or night, we’re not sure if it was a silent night because there were many animals in that barn where the Savior of the world was born. And then he grew up the son of a carpenter. At the age of 30, he began his ministry, and for three years he went around healing people, doing miracles, turning water into wine, deepening the friendships with his closest followers, telling them stories, telling them what he was going to do, the reason why he was born: to die for the sins of the world on a cross. If you’ve ever seen a cross necklace, it’s so much more than a piece of gold on a chain. It’s a symbol of the greatest love that’s ever been expressed in the history of the world. Jesus dying on the cross for my sins and your sins, and the best part is that that’s not the end of the story. The love went on because three days later on that first Easter, Jesus rose again defeating death hell and the grave. Taking away every fear humankind has ever known, and that’s what you’re invited into today. I invite you to accept the love of Jesus into your heart. To tell him you’re sorry for your sins and that you want to start a new life with him, a friendship with him. He’s the best friend I’ve ever had, and just like the Bible says, the friend who sticks closer than a brother, the God who is with us.
I want to end today with some beautiful words from Jesus. This passage in scripture is famously called the Great Commission. You might’ve heard that phrase before. This is after Jesus rose. He’s giving them a mission, an assignment in life. Matthew chapter 28, verse 18.
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
You are not alone. It’s a promise from God… and you are so loved.
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