…”and, lo, I am with you alway,”
by Seattle ALC
Matthew 28:19 – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: “
Matthew 28:20 –“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.“
These few words at the end of Matthew’s gospel, are such words of comfort! Jesus directed His disciples to the work of the Kingdom of God, but did not leave them to their own strength or devices. He tells us the He is going to remain with us. He entered into this world we live as True God and True Man. Hebrews Chapter 4 reminds us that He was tempted in all the points we are are.
Hebrews 4:14- “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.”
Hebrews 4:15 – “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
Hebrews 4:16- “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Fear is a reality of fallen humanity not a test of our faith. The reality of fear is a topic from Genesis to Revelations. The Scriptures are the account not only of our history, but of God entering into our reality in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the one we need to look to, and “come boldly unto”, because He is the source of that “throne of grace”.
We are living in a difficult period of time. With so many things that are unknown, it does engender fear. Whether it is personal or world circumstances, they are the same, we all have our fears. What is so amazing about our God is that he has known our circumstances before they occur! I read a recent post from a fellow believer, about an encouragement he had received during his battle with medical issues. In the Scriptures we are given encouragement to “fear not” 366 times. God even included the leap year we are currently in.
The Holy Spirit creates in us the desire to gather together. That is currently being disrupted by the necessity of the quarantines that the medical profession has deemed prudent. Yet we can be and in fact are united by the common prayer we offer toward our God, in behalf of those that are suffering with the current Covid 19 virus or other medical issues. We are united in our concern for the life situations that are changing around the world. These are good and honest concerns. May we unite in praying on this National Day of Prayer, for the souls of neighbors. This is an eternal concern!
Jesus expressed the sum of the law as love. The first, love to God and the second as love to our neighbor. This is where the work of the Holy Spirit is paramount in our lives. We could not nor can we still, fulfil the first, much less the second one, with our own strength. Hence the direction that Jesus gave to teach or make disciples of all nations and to baptize in the “ in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: “. We become partakers of a gift that God gives to us, we receive strength from Him, for each of the 366 days of this year. Jesus remains with us! He alone was able to fulfil the law of God. He satisfied the righteousness that the law demanded.
The Apostle Paul expresses it in these verses:
Romans 6:3 – “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”
Galatians 2:20 –” I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 3:27 – “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
How marvelous is His Love and Grace toward us! Jesus accomplished the plan of God for our Salvation. Paid in full is the debt we owe to God because of our sins. May we focus our eyes to where the Scriptures teach us: “Hebrews 12:2 -” Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. “
Our Lord knows that isolation is not easy for us. That is why He reminds us, that He remains with us, even though He ascended into heaven as those disciples watched and testified to that fact. He remains in us by through the “Comforter”. John 14:26 -” But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. “ The Word of God is going to abide forever and will never pass away, but remains a living Word.
Let us remember that we are never alone. We have the Spirit dwelling within, and a host that join us in prayer. Best of all, living because He lives!
Colossians 1:26- ” Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: “
Colossians 1:27- ” To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: “
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