Tuesday, March 8, 2016

disciples & the presence of God

Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

God knows it all and when we are afraid.  He knows when darkness is surrounding us and we are paralyzed by fear and anxiety.  Having someone we trust with us makes all the difference.

Jesus taught His followers about the power of presence.  There are times when having some one with us makes a difference.  Think about the change when a parent is present when their child is scared.  When we feel alone, we need confidence that we have a protector and encourager.  We ought to know the presence of God and what this truth to us.

Move forward.  Take it to the next level with the last words Jesus shared before leaving the planet.  He had already gone to the cross and endured the pain of death.  Jesus had been in the tomb and walked out of the grave alive.  Even in His last sentence is vital to that fact, to knowing that the power of presence, the presence of God in particular, is life changing personally now and forever. 

In what we call “the great commission” we find facts that God gives us that ought to renew our confidence through His presence:

FACT: the people closest to Jesus even doubted even when they were with Jesus. (Verse 17)

FACT: Jesus has and shares all authority.  He is completely God, and what He says is 100% true. (Verse 18)

FACT: As we live, Jesus said, we make disciples of the people we meet. (Verse 19)

FACT: Jesus reminded us that He is always with us. (Verse 20)

What was it like for the disciples?  They were the people closest to Jesus.  They knew Jesus very well.  But they were still men, like us, with fear, joy and more.  They went where Jesus told them to go and where He took them, and this was not the first time that they went where Jesus led them to. 

Like many other times they had doubt.  I am talking about the life giving that Jesus gave to us and to others.  What they heard and experienced would suffice as proof as well as direction for all the future. 

This is our future as it was the future of the disciples.  God gave us the power we need to be disciple makers and to make a difference.  Nothing can change that fact.

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happy birthday, Julie

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