We are never alone. God said He would never leave us or forsake us. Let’s be reminded today that God is with us.
Hello everyone. My name is Pastor Roderick caesar the third on the lead Pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica queens new york. And my prayer is that you would be blessed. You would be encouraged and strengthened by this word. Hope you enjoy God bless Amen and amen if you have your bibles, which I hope you do turned with me. Please to the book of Matthew chapter one verse 21 Matthew chapter one verse 21 The title of today’s message is God with us. God with us. Matthew chapter one verse 21 She will bear a son. You shall call his name jesus for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet Behold the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son and they shall call his name immanuel, which means God with us. Dear God, I thank you so much for your word. I thank you for your truth. I thank you for your power. I thank you for who you are. I thank you for who we are for whose we are. And I pray Lord that as I speak, you would be heard. You would be seeing you would be felt you administer to your people on the other side of that screen. Father, thank you Lord for your goodness in spite of turmoil. I thank you for your presence in spite of pain. Thank you and praise you in jesus name Amen and Amen and amen. Looking at the news today and throughout these past couple of weeks you would’ve think we, you know, dropped in a black mirror episode or twilight zone episode, You know, this this doesn’t seem real, but it’s all too real. And I know many of us I know I have asked, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that’s asked, you know, where is God in this? Where is God in this difficulty? Where is God when your world is turned upside down is turned on its side. We have instances like that in life, of course, this is an eclipsing moment that seems to change the trajectory of of where we’re going as a nation and as a people, but they’re instances like that in life as well. Where is God in difficulty? Where is God in lost? Where is God in pain? Where is God in sadness? Where is God in sickness? Does he just well, all right, I’m just gonna up and leave. You know what, what is his his position when we’re going through pain? Many of us, we have the mindset, Oh, if God, if you were just there, this wouldn’t have happened. If you were just there when this happened, then this thing that happened wouldn’t have happened if you were just there then then then perhaps you wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in right now. If you were just there, then things would not be so bad and it’s difficult to understand and to grasp in our situations in our life. But what I find is God will do one of two things. Sometimes he will be the miracle worker that we’re praying and wanting him to be And right in the middle of our pain, just scoop us right out of it. And that’s what we all want, option, a right right off the bat. We hear that, we’re like, yeah, I want that pain, I don’t know, I don’t want that. Take me right out and sometimes God will will do that. But most of the time, most of the time, but I find God doing is taking us through the pain, bringing us through the pain, keeping us in the fire, refining us in the midst of the storm, in the midst of what we’re going through, he’s able to bring us through. He sees us in our affliction and he’s with us in our affliction. So when we ask, where is God, where is God? He is with us. We see that the angel spoke to mary and joseph, now this is uh in the book of Matthew, we see that this is the story of jesus birth. And the angel speaks and says, don’t fear to take mary as your wife, he’s speaking to joseph because that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit is from God and it’s amazing because the whole this angel says she is going to bear a son call his name jesus because he will save his people from their sins. And this is to fulfill a prophetic word which says the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son and they shall call his name immanuel, which means God is with us, Jesus God in the flesh with us in the midst of our storms, with us, in the midst of life with us, in the midst of highs with us, in the midst of lows, God is with us, john chapter one verse four through five says in him was life and life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. There’s such beauty in that text because it shows us that jesus christ isn’t just a regular baby, a regular child that was born, but he’s God wrapped in flesh and in him was the light. And this light comes and shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it. Which means that Jesus is not subject to the same things or same results that we are in our circumstances, which means that the darkness is trying to overcome jesus, but it does not because the light of God is too bright and cannot be extinguished. God is no stranger to our affliction. God is no stranger to our pain. He’s with us to let us know, he’s going to keep us through the midst of it. He’s with us to let us know that he’s going to strengthen us in the midst of it. God is not one that just looks high and sit uh looks high uh looks high and and and seize our affliction from a foreign doesn’t intervene. He’s one that jumps in what we see here is in exodus. If we look in the book of Exodus, Chapter two Israel is enslaved and during those many days the text says the king of Egypt dies and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and they cried out to help, cried out for help. Their cry for rescue was heard from God. And the text says Exodus chapter 2 24, God heard their groaning. God remembered his covenant with Abraham with Isaac with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel and God knew God remembered his covenant but he heard their groaning, he heard their moaning, he heard their their agony, he heard their pain and said, I’m working on a problem solver. I’m working on a deliverer to help free them from their oppression and right in the midst of their pain. What they did not know was that when they cried out to God moses was being prepared. What they did not know was that when they cried out to God moses was being prepared from among them. His journey was difficult. His journey was not easy. But God took him another route to prepare him. And many of us, we want to get out our way, we want to get out on our time. But God says look this deliverance, this new way of doing things this way out, this open door is coming in, my timing and moses had to be prepared to lead Israel out of Egypt and that’s what God was doing. God was refining him and helping him learn about himself on the journey. So we see Jesus as God in the flesh. God is not one that just sits high and looks low, but he intervenes and he helps on behalf of his people. And now let’s take a look at the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit in John Chapter 14, he says, I will ask the father and he’ll give you another helper who will be with you forever. Not for a limited time, only right forever. And even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him, you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you, Aren’t you so glad you serve a God that thinks enough of us not to just dip and leave and say, all right, I’m doing my mission by deuces her. No, no, no. He says, I’m going to send a comforter to you. Look what what jesus says again in john 16, he says, it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the helper will not come to you. Now Think about how his disciples probably felt hearing this, jesus christ, the son of the living God, this messiah that they left everything to follow says it’s to your benefit that I’m leaving. This doesn’t make sense. This is preposterous. How could we be better off without you? How could we be better off without you? Jesus says it’s to your advantage that I leave because I’m God, but I’m also man, I’m God, but I’m also man, I can’t be everywhere at the same time. I’m wrapped in this, this flesh. I’ve I’ve had these limitations, so I have to leave. So the helper can come, I have to leave so the Holy Spirit can descend. I have to leave so you can receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and be my witnesses and share my testimony and share my story, I have to leave. I have to leave it to your advantage that I go away. I’m thankful today for the presence of the Holy Spirit. I’m thankful today for the power of the Holy Spirit. I’m thankful today for the authority of the Holy Spirit. Last week we celebrated Pentecost sunday when the Holy Spirit descended on the lives of the apostles and the world was forever changed. I’m thankful today for the presence of the true and living God? So what is the remedy for our situation? What is the remedy for our pain? What is the remedy for our problem? What is the remedy for our uncertainty? What is the remedy for some uh some of us are our hesitation. What is the remedy? The remedy is his presence the presence of the true and living God abiding on the inside of us. Something on the inside, working on the outside or with a change in my life. His presence on the inside of us moses. You see when he was called to speak to pharaoh had some doubts. Had some deep concerns. He said, look, I’m not a good, I’m not a good public speaker man. I’m a porn you want. I got a little bit of a stutter. Is doesn’t stutter. I stammer. I stumble over my words. I’m not really confident. I’m I’m fine being a shepherd, I’m fine being right here, this is comfortable for me and God calls moses out of his comfort back to the place where he ran away from. How many of you know, sometimes going back helps you to go forward. Going back helps you to go forward. You see the reason why we’re in the situation we’re in in America in this country is because we didn’t go back and properly heal the wounds that that that were so systemic and baked into the fabric of this country. And what we see is moses went back to go forward. He went back to Egypt and spoke to pharaoh, but before he did that? He had the wrong perspective? He looked at God at the burning bush, who was speaking to him and he said who am I that I should go to pharaoh. He was looking at himself, he was looking at his inadequacies. He was looking at his limitations, Who am I that I should go to pharaoh and bring the Children of Israel out of Egypt. God totally dismisses his question. God doesn’t even answer his question. He says, I’ll be with you moses Like excuse me uh you didn’t answer my question. Who am I? He says don’t worry about all that. I’ll be with you. I’m good, I’ll be with you. I got you and moses. It has to just be comfortable with the fact that the I am says I’ll be with you. The I am says I’m all you need. The I am says I’ll be with you. And then God has the nerve to say this shall be the sign for you that I have sent you when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain. Wait a minute. Excuse me. Uh Lord give me a sign. Usually the sign comes before the mission, you know. But but God says no, no your your confirmation is going to come after you’ve completed it after you’ve completed it. That’s how you you’ll know it was me. Sure God gave him other signs of the miracles with the leprosy in the vest and in his hand and the snake turned the staff turning into the snake. Those are smaller signs of the miracle, but the sign that God actually called him. God said you’re going to worship here on this mountain. That is how you’ll know when the mission is completed, when the mission is done. When you bring my people out of Egypt, that’s how you’ll know that it’s me. That’s how you’ll know that. I’ve called you when you serve God on this mountain, moses was looking at the wrong. Who moses was looking at him instead of God. And so often with our situations, our circumstances are our challenges. What God calls us to. We tend to look at ourselves and say, I’m inadequate, I’m disqualified because of this. If you only knew my past. If you only knew what I’ve done. If you only know where I’ve been. You see moses moses, successor, Joshua had a similar circumstance. We see that after moses died, Joshua has to rise up and lead the people of Israel forward, lead them to the promised land. And we don’t see Joshua asked these questions. But I know he asked these questions because he followed moses who talked to God face to face as a man talks to his friend moses, the one that God used to part the Red Sea and deliver Israel from Egypt. He has to follow moses in leadership and God speaks encouraging words to him about three or four times in one chapter, he says Fear not moses. Excuse me. Fear not Joshua. Just as I was with moses. So will I be with you? I will not leave you. I will not forsake you. Be strong and courageous. For you shall cause these people to inherit the land that I swore their fathers to give them Joshua. Chapter one, verses 5 and six. Have I not commanded you again? In verse nine. Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened. Do not be dismayed for the Lord. Your God is with you wherever you go. God says, look, I’m not gonna leave you. I’m not going to abandon you. I’m not gonna forsake you. I know it’s difficult, but I am with you every single step of the way. Even when it’s rough, even when you’re going through the bristles and the thorns, it’s rough. But I’m with you. Our problem is we equate God being with us too bad things not happening? You say? All right, God is with me. So I’m good favor. Open doors all the way, Rose lilies as I’m skipping through. And I’m avoiding all the thorns. I’m good. We avoid God. We equate God being with us too bad things not happening. But if we examine scripture, we see that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, sometimes the more God is with you, the more opposition you face. David was called anointed to be king chosen before God Exalted among men. And you would think, okay, I got it easy. I’m king. I’m good. Let’s go, Where’s my throne? Where’s my sector? Where’s my crown? Let’s go. Let’s get to these decrees. Let’s get it going. But that’s not true. What we see is before, after day. Excuse me? After David was anointed king, he had a very turbulent time to get to the throne. His life was attacked again and again and again by the very one that was trusted to mentor him. We see Stephen, the one of the apostles, excuse me, One of the uh deacon’s after jesus ascended during the First Church in Acts in the Book of Acts. Chapter six, we see that steven was one that was full of wisdom filled with the holy spirit, but individuals did not like him and he ended up becoming the first martyr of the early church. And what we realized is that even in his season of becoming a martyr, God’s presence was so heavily on him that his face radiated like the face of an angel. Text, as in Acts Chapter Six, verse 15, all gazing at him. The council of Those, He had to speak to you. They saw his face and his face was like that of an angel and then he speaks facts. He drops bombs. He basically points them out and tells these people about their sins and lets them know that they’re being unjust to him and putting him before a wrong trial. But they’re the ones who should be condemned and they get angry, they gnashed their teeth at him when they hear these things and acts. Chapter seven says that they stoned him, but before they stoned him the text says Stephen full of the Holy Spirit now he’s right at death’s door, literally the stones are hitting him, but he’s filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus sitting at the right hand of God, welcoming, welcoming him, saying, come on home, my son, now he’s in some deep trouble, but God is still with him. The disciples that see, Jesus didn’t say, oh man, this storm is raging. I guess I get up from my sleep and go walk on water now. No, no, he said, I’m going to be with you in the storm. I’m gonna calm to see when it’s time paul was shipwrecked, but yet God was still with him, paul