Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
Last week, we spoke about God’s plan for His creation and His involvement. We discussed that His creation was for each of us. He is the One who performs miracles for His people.
God makes Himself evident to His people through his miracles. God comes to us, and He always has historically come to His people. We are unable to go to him in our state of sin. He must provide the path of fellowship for us, including a desire to seek Him. Because He loved us, He wants us to have the desire to love Him.
God was involved with His people from the very beginning–at the time of creation. His desire was to reveal Himself through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Reveals the Father
“If you know Me, you will also know My Father. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”
The word “magnify” is to reveal oneself in a very practical way. God has indeed revealed Himself and magnified Himself. It is God’s desire to be involved with us–do we have the desire to be involved with Him?
26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 30 Then the angel told her:
Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
31 Now listen:
You will conceive and give birth to a son,
and you will call His name Jesus.
32 He will be great
and will be called the Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give Him
the throne of His father David.
33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
and His kingdom will have no end.
34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?”
35 The angel replied to her:
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore, the holy One to be born
will be called the Son of God.
36 And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
38 “I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.
Shekinah glory – this is a word that was brought into the Hebrew language and developed over time. It speaks of the manifestation of God’s glory.
God walked in the garden with Adam. He made Himself evident to Adam, and note that Jesus did the same thing when He came to minister to His people and declare that He was the Messiah.
God will never leave us nor forsake us, but He must deal with our sin each day. Sin causes a broken fellowship with Him. He will not magnify Himself with us in the midst of a broken relationship.
The Lord’s Glory
34 The cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses was unable to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud rested on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
36 The Israelites set out whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle throughout all the stages of their journey. 37 If the cloud was not taken up, they did not set out until the day it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and there was a fire inside the cloud by night, visible to the entire house of Israel throughout all the stages of their journey.
The glory of The Lord filled the tabernacle. The cloud represents God’s glory.
God spoke to Moses from the tabernacle and speaks with Moses and the people.
Solomon, many years later, built the temple that replaced the tabernacle. God would speak to His people from there, where the Ark of the Covenant was located.
2 Chronicles 5:13-14
13 The trumpeters and singers joined together to praise and thank the Lord with one voice. They raised their voices, accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and musical instruments, in praise to the Lord:
For He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
The temple, the Lord’s temple, was filled with a cloud. 14 And because of the cloud, the priests were not able to continue ministering, for the glory of the Lord filled God’s temple.
The cloud is God’s shekinah glory.
God with Adam
God with the tabernacle
God with the temple
God is demonstrating that He wanted to have a relationship with His people.
After the temple was destroyed, it was rebuilt around 515 B.C. The glory of God returned to the temple even greater than in the past, and note that Jesus spoke to the people from that very temple. God sent His son to be involved in our lives. God’s glory and presence is there. The shekinah glory is the very presence of the living God.
Shekinah is a resting place in God’s presence.
For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people.
1 Timothy 3:16
And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated in the Spirit,
seen by angels,
preached among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
He was manifested in the flesh–he appeared in the flesh. This is a form of God’s shekinah glory.
In Luke 1:31, note the declaration of Jesus’ name represents Jehovah saves–He delivers–He saves us from our sins. God is involved in our lives through His Son, Jesus. It is a great and glorious name. All throughout the world, the name of Jesus is known. The name is from the Greek word Yeshua , which means that He will save His people from their sin.
The Nativity of the Messiah
18 The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.
20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”
22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
23 See, the virgin will become pregnant
and give birth to a son,
and they will name Him Immanuel,
which is translated “God is with us.”
In Luke 1:33, it is noted that Jesus will rule over the house of Jacob…why? The meaning of Israel means “to contend with” or “to wrestle with.” If you look at Israel, they were often fighting with enemies, and often they were at odds with God. God was trying to communicate that there was no more wrestling or fighting with Jacob. In the same way, Jesus Christ was declaring that He was no longer wrestling with His people. God has a standard that His people have continually struggled with.
Jacob Wrestles with God
24 Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that He could not defeat him, He struck Jacob’s hip socket as they wrestled and dislocated his hip. 26 Then He said to Jacob, “Let Me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me.”
27 “What is your name?” the man asked.
“Jacob,” he replied.
28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” He said. “It will be Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.”
29 Then Jacob asked Him, “Please tell me Your name.”
But He answered, “Why do you ask My name?” And He blessed him there.
30 Jacob then named the place Peniel, “For I have seen God face to face,” he said, “and I have been delivered.” 31 The sun shone on him as he passed by Penuel—limping because of his hip. 32 That is why, to this day, the Israelites don’t eat the thigh muscle that is at the hip socket: because He struck Jacob’s hip socket at the thigh muscle.
The word “Jacob” means “to take by the heel” (Genesis 25:26). The word means to supplant, or take the place of something. Lord, are you saying that Jesus will take the place of the God of this world? Are you saying that Jesus is the God we are to follow after instead of the God of this world? Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophesy stated in Genesis 3:15:
I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.
The story of Christmas being shared is much deeper than what we know about each year. The story is really the fulfillment of God’s promise that He will always be with us. The story is the understanding of the depth of meaning with God’s presence–everyday in our lives. He came to us while we were yet sinners to draw us near to Himself.