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Matthew 28:20 ‘I am with you always’

January 17, 2019

My final advent reflection is a little late but perhaps it is better as a New Year promise. We have been looking at Matthew 28v18-20 – The great commission. But the great commission comes with a great promise ‘I am with you always’. What difference would it make to you if you believed this was true. And for those who have come to faith, been baptised and are living in a church community it is true.

So my question to you today and for this year is how will it change your attitudes and actions if you were to start living in confident expectation of what Jesus can do and that Jesus is with you.

The promise of the presence of Jesus with us echoes the promise to all the saints down the ages. God made this promise to Isaac, to Jacob as he fled in fear at Bethel, to the fearful, doubting Moses at the burning bush, to Joshua on the death of Moses and the challenge to win the land, to the people through Haggai who returned to rebuild the temple that seemed so small and insignificant , to Jeremiah the prophet….we could go on but through the lives of these saints we see what can be accomplished through faith, how the most challenging obstacles to faith can be overcome, what mighty deeds and miracles can happen all through faith in the presence of God with them.

Let us read these stories to inspire us to attempt much for the Lord and to have courage to face our challenges. The Lord reminded the people many times in Isaiah that with the presence of God we can overcome all fears, challenges and obstacles – ‘When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze…..Do not be afraid, for I am with you‘ Isaiah 43

How will this promise change your attitudes and actions if you were to start living in confident expectation of this truth.

The writer to the Hebrews reminds us as well of the promise of the presence of Jesus in Hebrews 13:5. The presence of Jesus he writes helps us to learn to be content with what we have and to commit faithfully in our relationships and not shy away from suffering, hard work… What great New Year resolutions. But we don’t have to try in our own effort, as the writer to the Hebrews exhorts us let us say, proclaim with confidence

The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me.’

We can do this because ‘Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever‘.

So let us read the gospels in confidence that Jesus is the same today, what he did then he can do today and let us put ourselves and our situations into the gospels and know that this Jesus is with us today. That he is our helper.

So as you start this New Year whatever this year may hold know that Jesus is with you. How will this change your attitude and actions TODAY.

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