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A Child Is Born: Christmas Presence

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Recapp
peace isn’t found in the absence of a storm but in the presence of God
never let the presence of a storm cause you to doubt the presence of God
Matthew 1:22–23 ESV
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
Psalm 46:10 ESV
10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
God whispers because He is close
_____________
Matthew 1:22–23 ESV
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
God whispers because He is close
God with us
Easy to feel the presence of God on mountain top
harder when in the valley
sometimes many good things happening but just one thing can take you into the valley
- good marriage but child is doing some terrible things right now
close to God but afraid lose job
spending time with family but found out bad medical news
Where is God in the valley?
Bible Valley:
battle
desperation
also time of growth
we may enjoy God on the mountain tops but we get to know Him in the valley
Psalm 84:5–6 ESV
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 6 As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
Psalm 84:5–7 ESV
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 6 As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.
:5-
valley of Baca: named after a tree
always dripping sap
called a weeper
looked like it was crying
the valley of Baca is translated different ways in Scripture:
valley of tears
valley of weeping
valley of loss
In valley’s in Bible there was often things like thorns, vicious cats, people waiting to rob you
difficult to get through a valley without something happening
That’s why he said
Psalm 84:5 ESV
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
blessed are those who strength is in You
for those who do not know Christ intimately:
what you have is what you have
for Christ followers:
we have a heavenly strength
In your pain, loneliness His strength is made perfect in our weakness
blessed are those who’s strength is found in you
NOT:
who can make it on their own
who will fight tooth and nail to get by
who never has to ask for help
We are not made to be independent but to be dependent on Him
maybe this morning that’s where you are:
you need to recognize and accept that you CAN’T do it on your own but that you need to trust in Him
read in another translation because we are not all familiar with Zion...
Psalm 84:5 NLT
5 What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
we are in the valley but we are on a pilgrimage to a city of REFUGE
place of peace
to get to the city of Refuge you must pass through the valley of tears/pain
to get to where you appreciate the presence and power of God you may have to push thru the pain and fight in the valley
Ps 84:5
Psalm 84:5 NLT
5 What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
SET THEIR MINDS:
on a pilgrimage to heaven
What you think about matters a lot
The Apostle Paul often spoke about this like when he said:
“Set your mind on things above not on things below”
“If anything is excellent or admirable or lovely: think about these things”
Where you are is one thing but what you think about is something different
2 Cor 4:7-
2 Corinthians 4:7–9 ESV
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
don’t allow your circumstances to consume your thoughts into a place of defeat
struggling financially
marriage falling apart
grieving
faith is drifting
BUT your mind is set on the journey to God
how are you going to handle the in-laws tomorrow
how will I pay for these Christmas gifts that I just bought
you may be in the valley but your mind is fixed
Psalm 84:6 ESV
6 As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
when we are in the valley it is not our destination
we are on a journey to a place of peace
David said in
even through I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me!
we are just passing through
pilgrims, strangers to this land
heaven is our home final destination
sometimes in the middle of the valley we just want out - ready to give up
God has shown me that the way to peace is through the pain not just a quick out
not next high, not at the bottom of a bottle, not in another relationship, not a quick fix
KJV
Psalm 84:6 KJV 1900
6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; The rain also filleth the pools.
while in the valley we should make a well
it’s currently dry of God’s blessings but if we create a place for God’s blessings to fill and have faith in Him then He will provide even in the valley
we must make room for the presence and provision of God
If we show God our faith in Him then He will show us His faithfulness
if we prepare for Him, He will show up
If you dig it He will fill it
If you plant it He will grow it
you must plant the seed before you see your harvest
If you pray it He will hear you
God’s IF statements:
If you draw near to me, I will draw near to you
- If you draw near to me, I will draw near to you
If you seek me, you will find me
If you draw near to me, I will draw near to you
If you make room for me I will show myself to you
We must make preparations for the powe
God rarely reveals Himself to people who are rushed
Imagine Moses galloping by on his donkey and notices that a bush is burning and not being comsumed
angel shows up to tell her that she is going to give birth to the Son of God
thinks that is so cool so he snaps a photo as he passes by to post on FB but never stops
God told him when he came up to the burning bush take off your sandals (stay a while) for the place where you are standing is holy ground
she is too busy looking up wedding dresses to stop and talk to the angel
be still and know that I am God
we don’t feel the presence of God because we are too busy buying presents
presents aren’t a bad thing unless they keep us from God’s presence
We must make room / time to experience God
we will begin to feel:
comfort/peace
direction
strength renewed
God never promised that you would go through a valley but that you will never have to go through it alone
Psalm 84:7 ESV
7 They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.
from strength to strength
experiencing more of God’s strength and then more… until we stand before God one day in heaven
we will praise Him one day for eternity on the ultimate Mountain top
we must also learn to praise Him while we go thru the valley’s and dig a well to experience Him there
This Christmas let us experience Jesus
Matthew 1:23 ESV
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
For some life might be good but you still feel empty
this will show us our need for more
Some you are in the valley and hurting
for those on the mountain top and those in the valley:
God will meet you there
Jesus came to be with us
sinless Son of God
for broken and hurting He died on the cross for us
on the 3rd day He rose from the grave
defeating death hell and the grave
ANYONE who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved
top and empty
bottom and hurting
HE WILL Forgive your sins
If you will dig a well He will meet you there
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