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EMMANUEL

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A decade or more ago a hit Christmas movie became an iconic annual tradition for many families -
HOME ALONE!
A child fed up with feeling like being the low man on the totem pole wishes away his family at Christmas to realize being alone isn’t all its cracked up to be.
One of the most common mental battles for many today is LONELINESS!
Who wants to feel alone.?
Existentialism is the philosophical belief we are each responsible for creating purpose or meaning in our own lives. Our individual purpose and meaning is not given to us by Gods, governments, teachers or other authorities.
This attitude in our ever increasing agnostic society permeates human mindset - and increases loneliness leaving people who feel detached from others to feel isolated.
It is perhaps a leading cause for increase in suicide in our world today.
Social loneliness is the sense of having no social circles
People can be active on social media and yet alone - facebook and instagram actually can lead to depression and isolation.
The reality is existentialism detaches us from the greatest HOPE there is ---
WE ARE NOT ALONE!
Matthew 1:23 NLT
23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’ ”
Matthew 28:20 NLT
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.”
Jesus came to be with us!!!

1. Jesus Moved Into Our Neighborhood

John 1:1 NLT
1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 NLT
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
John 1:14 M:BCL
14 The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
Jesus came to be with us where we are!!!
Realize today, Jesus did not come to a nice neighborhood -
It was one filled with Roman dominance and oppression, where His people were a step off of slavery...
A neighborhood where all the baby boys under 2 were being slaughtered...
Nevertheless - He stepped down into darkness, the creator of all things - light himself - to be like his creation!!!
I have seen a facebook meme circulating this week
Christmas - when the Great Creator became my Savior
That required Him to move into our neighborhood and hang with us.
I guess the reality of this is - are there any other proclaimed deities that left eternal perfection to come down to be with those that rejected them?
This is how far Jesus came to be with us!!!
2 Corinthians 6:16 NLT
16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Jesus came to live in us and walk with us in this life so we would not have to be alone!!! So we can be HIS PEOPLE!!!
He is with us in our struggles with sin, sorrow and even death — He is there beside us!!!
Hebrews 13:5–6 NLT
5 Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” 6 So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”
Interesting that when we feel unsatisfied (often money is at the root of creating insecurity - Jesus says I AM HERE!
On your best day and on your worst day
JESUS - GOD IS WITH YOU!!!

2. Are We Friendly Neighbors?

You may say, well - I am a Christian, I have received Jesus into my life, but I still feel lonely...
My question then is what neighbors are you hanging out with???
I live on a cul de sac - and there are about 10 houses on it. When we first moved in everyone was trying to connect with one another - but not everyone was worthy hanging out with --
During Covid you would see the a communal firepit and outdoor block parties, but that quickly disseminated when Covid was over.
There was two neighbors in particular that were controlling and mean - thankfully the worst of the two moved away - and oh the peace in the hood!
The reality is we can live in the neighborhood and not connect to anyone!
Jesus can move in next door and you can ignore Him and never spend time communing with Him.
Revelation 3:20 NLT
20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
When was the last time you didn’t drop off a to do list, or demand of your neighbor to meet the HOA standards, and you stopped to have a meal together!
Christian, we need to invite Jesus in to fellowship!
We need to take time to commune!!!
Not just communicate, COMMUNE!
Listen to His heart and His plans - they include you!
But we are too busy with all the other neighbors or the people on the other street!!!
We are too busy doing our own thing and then when we are left out of the other neighbor group - because they don’t love us like Jesus does — we feel empty and alone.
I read this week how when God gave the Promised land to Israel to possess - they took ownership but not possession.
They did not always drive out the inhabitants of the land...
In fact, when God said to drive them out, they turned and made some of them their slaves - but that turned around and eventually worked against them and brought evil and destruction in their midst...
They owned the land - but they didn’t possess the land...
Christian, God has given you ownership in this life of all His promises, but you are not possessing the fulfillment of those promises because you are still hanging out with the previous inhabitants/ neighbors in the land ---
This is leaving you empty inside --
Jesus is calling you to a deeper relationship with Him - are you opening the door to the best neighbor possible?

3. Our Neighbor Gets Us

No one will ever understand you like Jesus!
He has experienced everything we have and gets it!
We mentioned this last week...
Hebrews 4:15 NLT
15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
He knows our struggles and overcame!
He came to earth to experience our struggles so He could identify with us and give us a path out!
I don’t know about you, but I connect easier with people who get where I have been and get me!
To be understood is half of the lonely battle.
We can be in a room full of people, but if we don’t feel like any of them understand us, we still feel alone!
not Jesus - He came to be with us, to get us, to save us!!!
The same God who is by our side, understand what we are going through.
He gets loneliness
He gets betrayal
He gets abandonment
He gets being denied
He gets being lied about
He gets having his friends not support him
He gets all of it!!!
AND HE WANTS TO BE WITH YOU!!!
In fact - HE IS BESIDE YOU and even IN YOU — but you may be ignoring HIS FRIENDSHIP
He is the faithful friend you may be taking for granted! Instead of flourishing in the abundant relationship waiting for you!

CONCLUSION

Here is the reality church...
Jesus intentionally came to earth to be with us eternally....
His physical presence - GOD ON EARTH, CREATOR MANIFESTED
But more than just that - His Spirit resides in us to be with us!
He is asking you the question...
“WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?”
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