Monday, September 08, 2014

God with Us!

 "Behold the virgin shall be with child 
and bear a son and they shall name Him 
Emmanuel which means "God with us". Matthew 1:23

"God with us". 
As I ponder this I think 
what am I without God? 
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 
"Man is a god in ruins.
Indeed, without God what is the purpose of my life, 
who would give me the joy in my heart 
even in the midst of challenges? 
Who would surround me with a palpable peace 
even as my heart breaks as I see peoples 
being massacred and beheaded on CNN?



The past weekend I attended 
The Harvest Conference along with 
about 2,000 other brothers and sisters. 
God was with us as we listened to talks, 
as we discussed, prayed, worshiped, sang together. 
He was with us as we made plans and commitments. 
And I think about how all around the world, 
God is with families, parishes, churches, 
organizations, fellowships, sending His Spirit, 
His wisdom, His refining fire. 
Yes Lord, send a mighty wind across the earth. 
Move among us! Your people are in battle!

 Just as You sent Your son, 
an innocent, powerless babe in the arms 
of an equally innocent and insignificant woman, 
to infiltrate the enemy's battle lines, 
so you now send Your people. 
We are only powerful because You are with us! 
We are only wise because You are with us! 
We are only committed because You are with us! 
We are only victorious because You are with us!

Exodus 14:13-14 says, "Do not be afraid. 
Stand firm...the Lord will fight for you. 
You need only to be still." 

 "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." Luke 6:5

If you've watched Fiddler on the Roof 
like I have (many times!!!), 
you've seen how the Jews kept 
the Sabbath holy as God 
commanded them to do in Exodus 20:8-11. 
"Remember the Sabbath day, keep it holy. 
Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 
but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord God, 
in it you shall not do any work...
The Lord blessed the Sabbath and hallowed it." 
In the movie, we see how the family gathers together 
and Tevye and Golde lead the prayers.

It's funny how most of us, including me, 
find it so hard to follow God's teachings and laws 
when it is actually for our own good. 
Consider when God wants us to 
forgive those who have wronged us. 
Forgiveness sets us free from bondage. 
And when God teaches us to work on 6 days a week 
and set aside one day for rest, 
it is also for our good! 
It is a gift to us, a day in which 
to celebrate His goodness and faithfulness. 
If we learn to focus on God one day a week, 
we will be restored, refreshed and strengthened. 
"The joy of the Lord is our strength!"

 We should gather as a family, 
as a community, as a parish, 
and recognize our God as 
the giver of every good gift. 
God wants to bring us into His rest. 
What God finds good, 
He wants to share with His people He calls as His own. 
Just as on the seventh day He rested and 
enjoyed the work of His hands (Genesis 2:1-2), 
seeing how good it all was, 
so too does God want us to stop 
and experience that same joy. 

If we set aside one day a week to 
follow God's 4th commandment, 
it is like saying, "Lord God, I put You first, 
not the things my hands have made. 
I recognize that everything 
comes from you and I honor you. 
I want to receive every blessing you have in store for me!"

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, 
there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20

I have often quoted this verse when 
interceding for someone in a group. 
It's a comforting verse that says 
when there are two or more of you, Jesus is present. 
But we know that we don't need other people 
for Jesus to be with us! 
He is with us whether we are in a huge prayer rally 
or when we are alone in our prayer room at dawn.
He is with us even when we are busy working
or when we are asleep!


So what is this verse about? 

Apparently it's about judgement against sin. 
We need to be very careful about accusing others of sin. 
"Take one or two others with you, 
so that every fact may be established 
in the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses," 
it says in verse 16 of the same passage. 
If you can't work it out between just the two of you, 
get other brothers and sisters to help out! 
Sound teaching! 


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5 comments:

  1. Patsy,
    To this post I can say a hearty AMEN. The art is so reflective of these wonderful verses.Praying you have an awesome day filled with joy. Thank you for joining our 148th challenge.

    Carole and the DT team at Word Art Wednesday.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this! The art is gorgeous and the truth... yes and amen! The Good News - He is with us! Stopping by from Holly's today!

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  3. "God with Us" is one of my favorites. Thanks for linking with Unforced Rhythms.

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  4. All the drawings in this post are phenomenal with perfect colors and design. We appreciate you joining us last week and would love for you to play along with us again this week at Word Art Wednesday. Leaving you with God's Word in Hebrews 12:2---"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hugs and blessings!

    JO ANN
    http://jatterburycreations.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy