1. Life is a journey.
2. Sometimes we feel like travelling with a great company (family, spouse, children, bff, great team, etc).
3. Sometimes, it feels like life is all against us and it’s like receiving a magnificent vision and journeying with it alone.
4. And in our quest for something to hold to for assurance, we thread the path with our two feet, moving along life way, fighting against all fears, and sometimes in desperation, having a tongue unguarded, we say, “I am all alone”.
5. Today, before we turn the pages to 2014, may we all not be so caught up with how rough the texture of life has been in the surface, but we close its pages gently seeing mercy and grace underneath.
6. And so when we begin to step in on a clean slate and hopeful 2014, may we will not be carried away into thinking that we travel all alone but that we can fully grasp a powerful truth and a beautiful revelation, that we have Immanuel on the inside of us, which means God is with you, God is with me, God is With Us (Matt 1:23, Isaiah 7:14)
Isaiah 7:14 NIV
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel.
Matthew 1:22-23 NIV
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a Son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means “God with us.”
Transition: What happens when God is with us?
I. WHEN GOD IS WITH US, THEN, WE ARE HIGHLY FAVORED.
A. Mary found favor with God.
Luke 1:28 Holman Christian Standard Bible
And the angel of the Lord came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.
Luke 1:30 NLT
Don’t be afraid Mary, the angel told her, for you have found favor with God!
1. Mary was just an ordinary, simple woman.
Luke 1:27 NLT
..to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.
2. Mary even described herself as a lowly servant girl.
Luke 1:46-48 NLT
Mary responded, Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
B. When we begin to make Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then we have found favor with God.
1. No matter what we have done in the past, we matter to Him.
2. No matter how vast the population is, He looks at us as an individual.
3. No matter how many people applied for a job, an employer can’t help it but hire us.
4. No matter how good looking and talented others maybe, we will have preferential treatment.
5. No matter how difficult a situation may look like, but it is something we can conquer because God is with us.
II. WHEN GOD IS WITH US, WE WILL RECEIVE AN EXTRA ORDINARY ASSIGNMENT.
A. Mary the mother of Jesus was just a teenage girl living in a town called Nazareth (one of the poorest, run down cities of the that region).
1. We would think that if God was going to choose someone to give birth to His Son, surely He would choose someone from a better location or a more prestigious environment.
2. But once again, God went outside the expectations of man.
3. He didn’t choose a prominent, influential young lady.
B. Mary was just a common girl living in an average family in a lower income neighborhood.
1. She just had everything simple and ordinary.
2. She just had a normal life like you and me – growing up, falling in love, getting engaged, serving God.
C. But WITH GOD, Mary, receive an extraordinary assignment.
Luke 1:30-33 NLT
Don’t be afraid Mary, the angel told her, for you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end
1. She carried with her an extra ordinary assignment – becoming a mother of Jesus.
2. She was presented with options: to carry an ordinary dream or to receive an extraordinary assignment.
D. Our extra ordinary assignment might be:
1. Healing ministry.
2. Writing an inspirational book.
3. Global kind of business.
4. World wide ministry.
5. Having children at 60.
7. Having a position in our nation
8. Motivational speaker all over the world
E. When we begin to make Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are a new creature.
1. Our life change from being a commoner to royalty.
2. Our mindset changed from I can’t to I can through Jesus Christ.
3. Our personal dreams will be replaced with His dreams for us, way bigger than our own.
4. Our garment changed from a spirit of despair to a garment of praise.
5. Our assignment changed from ordinary to extra ordinary, something beyond what we can think or imagine.
6. Our assignment is something that will startle us but something that we can do because God is with us.
III. WHEN GOD IS WITH US, WE CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE.
A. When Mary was told about her significant role over the birth of Jesus, she first saw how impossible it could be.
Luke 1:34 NLT
Mary asked the angel, but how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
1. Mary was looking for the physical.
2. Mary was once limited to what she can only see in the natural.
B. When we have Jesus on the inside of us, we become limitless with our vision.
1. We don’t have certain people in our lives to see our dreams come to pass.
2. Our friends may not believe in our dreams.
3. Our co-workers may not think that we have what it takes.
4. Our family may just think that we are wasting our time, but the good news is, God does not need them to bring that promise to fulfillment.
5. We should not allow people to talk us out of what we know we feel on the inside.
6. Our dream is not dependent on people.
7. God is saying:
a. It can happen without a man.
b. It can happen without a doctor.
c. It can happen without a banker.
d. It can happen without he right boss.
e. It can happen inspite of what people are saying.
8. We simply have to trust on the ONE who is with us for nothing is impossible with him.
Luke 1:37 NLT
For nothing is impossible with God.
1. When God is with us, we are highly favored.
2. When God is with us, we receive an extra ordinary assignment.
3. When God is with us, we can do the impossible.
4. We have to be conscious of His presence instead of being trapped with the enemies tactic in the form of intimidation telling us what we can’t.
Psalm 139:1-10 NIV
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
You know it completely O Lord
You hem me in behind and before;
You have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
If I make my bed in depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea
Even there your hand will guide me
Your right hand will hold me fast.
5. And so when our flesh make us believe that we are all alone, when our circumstances tells us that we are alone, when the people we hold so dear may reject us and make us feel that we are alone, when a project maybe so overwhelming and it looks like we are all alone, KNOW that IMMANUEL, God is with us through out eternity.
6. God is with you, you are not alone.