Dad found the following message (given by Charles Spurgeon in 1875) a few weeks before the Christmas season this year, and shared it with us at dinner one evening. Realizing that it would correspond nicely with the music program we were planning to present in several churches throughout the holidays, we added it to the plan. (As a result, we had the privilege of hearing him read it numerous times.) Throughout the days since then, the LORD has used these thoughts to encourage and bless me repeatedly.
God With Us
“They shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23
If Jesus Christ be “God with us,” let us come to God without any question or hesitancy. Whoever you may be, you need no priest or intercessor to introduce you to God, for God has introduced Himself to you.
Are you children? Then come to God in the child Jesus, Who slept in Bethlehem’s manger. Oh, ye grey heads, ye need not keep back, but like Simeon come and take Him in your arms, and say, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation” (Luke 2:29)… Oh man, God comes to you as one like yourself. Do not be afraid to come to the gentle Jesus. Do not imagine that you need to be prepared for an audience with Him, or that you [lack] the intercession of a saint or the intervention of priest or minister. Anyone could have come to the babe in Bethlehem. The horned oxen, I think, ate of the hay on which He slept and feared not. Jesus is the friend of each one of us, sinful and unworthy though we be. You, poor ones, you need not fear to come, for, see, in a stable He is born, and in a manger He is cradled. You have not worse accommodation than His; you are not poorer than He is. Come and welcome to the poor man’s Prince, to the peasants’ Savior. Stay not back through fear of your unfitness; the shepherds came to Him in all their dishabille. I read not that they tarried to put on their best garments; but in the clothes in which they wrapped themselves that cold midnight, they hastened just as they were to the young child’s presence. God looks not a garments, but at hearts, and accepts men when they come to Him with willing spirits, whether they are rich or poor. Come, then! Come, and welcome, for God indeed is “God with us”…
Now, my brethren, to you is the last word: let us be with God since God is with us. I give you for a watchword through the year to come: “Emmanuel, God with us.” You, the saints redeemed by blood, have a right to this in its fullest sense, drink into it and be filled with courage. Do not say, “We can do nothing.” Who are ye that can do nothing? God is with you. Do not say, “The church is feeble and fallen upon evil times” – nay, “God is with us!” Whatever is possible or whatever is impossible, Christians can do at God’s command, for God is with us. Do you not see that the word, “God with us,” puts impossibility out of all existence? Hearts that never could else be broken will be broken if God be with us. Errors that never else could be [proven false] can be overthrown by “God with us.” Things impossible with men are possible with God… Let us live with it upon our hearts: “The best of all, is God with us.”
There is a new year ahead. The days will, undoubtedly, hold uncertainty, pain, joy, difficulty, triumph, and blessing. May we walk forward with confidence in our loving Emmanuel… remembering that God is with us.