Thursday, December 25, 2008

Emmanuel - God WITH US!!

Most bloggers tend to customarily write something especially on Christmas Day. Some thanks to readers usually. Maybe some plans for the future - to continue to blog or not. Maybe a reflection on the past (although that's often more New Years Day). It's very strange. Some of my parent's generation still can't get their head round blogging and find the words of a post as objective as a published book - but already we are talking about the "customs" of blogging! How quickly does the world develop!

I wasn't going to write anything necessarily unless I really felt inspired to. I don't like following customs very much - and I must confess I don't particularly like Christmas Day because I think a lot of sight has been lost about the true meaning of the day. I heard an early sermon by my former pastor Dr Stanley Jebb and he commented how little Easter Sunday and the celebration of the Resurrection - the most glorious moment of all history - is celebrated compared to Christmas.

But my attention was caught by the sermon Rob Rufus preached in Hong Kong last Sunday:

I must confess I haven't heard the sermon yet. I'm currently taken up with transcribing and rapturing in the previous message to the CCI prayer meeting: "Pulling Heaven Down". Once again Rob reminds me so much of my hero Dr Ern Baxter! It's so thrilling.

But that matter aside - it was just that simple statement: "God WITH US" that has had me thinking all this Christmas Day. The theme of God being with man is present throughout the whole Bible. God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden. The crowning moment of glory at the Tabernacle was when the cloud of glory filled the Holy of Holies. And again in Solomon's temple - when the preparations were complete, the cloud of glory filled the place so that the priests could not continue ministering! God was with us!

And then in the New Testament - on Christmas Day - the birth of Jesus Christ, He was called "Emmanuel" - God with us! But that wasn't even it - God was not finished pouring out His Presence upon man. On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out on all flesh and still is poured out to this day! God is WITH us! If I have one wish and one desire as we advance into 2009 is that I will stop thinking like a Christian and live in spiritual schizophrenia that one day God may be pleased with me due to my good works and the next angry with me due to my mistakes and my flaws.

My wish is that rather I will start living like a son and realise that God is with man. God has shown faithfully throughout His Word that despite man's sin - His desire is to walk with man and commune with man and have relationship with man! And to realise that as His son, His heart will never change towards me! I do sincerely thank from the bottom of my heart each and every person who reads this blog and takes time especially to comment and support and encourage me. I feel so blessed and it's my prayer that 2009 sees a greater advance of the Kingdom of God - as a Kingdom of sons than ever before!


lydia joy said...

AMEN DAN! Not only is God with us, for every believer Christ lives IN us, He has become the identity of every believer, it is Christ in us that is our hope of glory!!! May you be so richly blessed this holiday season, resting in who you truly are!! Much love ~ !!

Sheila said...

Guess what I got for Christmas, Dan! Go on...guess.


Yup. Mine, all mine. How exciting is that??? My family spoils me. GOD spoils me.

May your 2009 be a year of victory! Peace! Hope! New beginnings!

Dan Bowen said...

Awwww wow Sheila that's FAB news - you are going to love it!! My family also AMAZINGLY spoiled me as well - they brought me Jonathan Edwards "Notes on Scripture" that is kind of a companion to the Blank Bible and is incredible! :)

Here's to a great 2009!!

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Christine Ben and I have just done something different for Christmas, now Jenny is tending to do her own we spent it in Austria in Sound of Music country. Guess I'll be sharing about that. We went by coach which involved 2 days there and 2 days back...overnighting in Germany.
So I was immersed in Rob Rufus downloads and Bill Johnson's book that everyone's read when Heaven invades Earth. I find it all filling out things I have discovered...but no one used to share. I tell you's a whole breathe of fresh air for me. Bill has done a list of things for us to do as we pursue moving forward in all the manifestations and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Since we are all doing some of them anyway...I recommend that as bloggers we purposefully follow this it is in line with what Rob Rufus is encouraging too.
It is great you are hammering out stuff on Todd Bentley.OK, I'd never led 1 million to theLord...but I fell continuously in a big way...and far from liquidating me, the Lord handled me firmly , supernaturally through Alan Vincent ( David and Nathan style)moved me to Emsworth, where partially broken, I was able to start taking in 3rd level stuff through Ed Miller and Jorge Pradas. So , like in the Bible, far from the end...sometimes it is only the real beginnings of God's dealings with us.
On the coach we watched some films too. One was Mama Mia. Hey...I never expected the plot to be so cleverly and intricately worked round the songs. And this Streep girl she does everything.
I think it excited me...because I was seeing the potential of putting visuals to my own "old recorded stuff" make it live and fresh just like Sheila wrote in my comments.
All the best for this new year 2009 and never underestimate what we are all doing here as we share God's stuff with one another ...and any who choose to read. As I said in the summer....your blog is more significant han you will ever know...a sort of gathering ground!!!

Dan Bowen said...

Thanks Chris!! I see your comments as not merely just comments but amazing teaching opportunities and I learn so much from your experience and your vision for the future. You truly are a Caleb and Joshua leading us into the Promised Land!