“Always with Me”
—Home Church Sermon—
Last Wednesday's Devotion was about how God promises to P.R.O.T.E.C.T. us because of his
E ternal nature
C aring nature
Today we look at God’s promise to be with us always.
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."
From the time that you were a child
(up to whatever age you are today),
you have wanted to be supported.
We all need support.
Everyone, without exception,
needs the strength and peace that comes from it.
We need it physically, emotionally, relationally
We all love to know that someone is
“beside” us, and “behind” us.
Regardless of how one may act,
we are born with the need to know and feel
that we do not have to face things.
God has placed the blessing and promise that he will be “beside” us and “behind” us.
It is easy to say,
“I’m here for you.”
But it is more difficult to trust that others will really “Come through for us” when things get tough.
In one way or another God seeks to draw all people towards him.
He demonstrates the truth that;
"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
A great evidence of God’s presence is
the evidence of the Devil’s presence.
If we think about it, isn’t it interesting that we actually never wonder where the Devil is?
We see his handiwork everywhere, don’t we?
Yet we may often wonder,
Where is God?
Look at the news of the day.
We can see the presence of evil.
We can see the presence of the Devil
Because he sows and cultivates the
seeds of chaos everywhere.
Yet, evil has not taken over the world.
God is still in control.
God is everywhere.
He is even working in the
of your life.
Let’s daily evaluate that truth in our lives.
Quote about Preparing for Hard Times
Rick Warren writes in “The Purpose Driven Life,”
“I have been at the bedside of many people in their final moments, when they stand on the edge of eternity, and I have never heard anyone say,
“Bring me my diplomas!
I want to look at them one more time.
Show me my awards, my medals, that gold
watch I was given.”
When life on earth is ending,
people don’t surround themselves with objects.
What we want around us is people – people we love and have relationships with.” p. 126
We can see God’s presence if we look for it through people and through circumstances.
God shows his presence through PEOPLE.
Someone said that Jesus was “God with skin on”.
That is true.
Jesus was the exact representation of God.
God showed his presence through the person of Jesus as God’s Son come to earth.
“The Son [Jesus] is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being,
sustaining all things by his powerful word.
After he had provided purification for sins,
[His sacrifice on the cross]
he sat down [Signifying that his work was complete. No more sacrifice for forgiveness is needed. God accepts the blood of Jesus as final and complete. That is why the Bible says that we should not try to good-work our way into heaven]
at the right hand [Place of honor]
of the Majesty in heaven.
Notice the people that God provided to represent his presence in our lives.
“So, Christ himself gave the apostles,
[In Jesus’ day]
[People who speak God’s word]
[Those presenting the message of Jesus and forgiveness by Grace through faith]
the pastors and teachers,
[Shepherds that walk with us and teach us through word and action]
to equip his people for works of service,
[Equipping us to be Jesus to others as well]
so that the body of Christ may be built up
[When God is present in your life you will be maturing and being built stronger every day]
until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature,
[That is the end goal for God using people to represent himself and be with you always]
attaining to the whole measure [to be like Jesus]
of the fullness of Christ.
We have all of these positions that constantly remind us of God’s presence, strength, love and forgiveness.
It is personally a privilege to be in the role of pastor to you. I pray that you see him and his presence in and through your interactions with me, through the things that you see me do and hear me say.
I also thank God for showing me his presence through you, through any of the love and support that I have experienced from you.
I wonder who God has used to make himself known to you in your life?
I wonder how many others God has used to make himself known through your life?
People can really be a blessing to others for God.
It is also true however, that all people are not a blessing to us on the surface.
Just as God shows us his presence through people, so does the Devil.
So, don’t think that just because someone is in your family or in your church, that they will act like a Christian family-member that is a humble representation of Jesus that you welcome their encouraging, supportive, presence in your life… because they might not be.
You may not welcome their presence in your life.
But even in these cases, God’s presence in your life will help you to be able to wisely deal with them.
In addition to God showing us his presence through people,
God also shows his presence through CIRCUMSTANCES that may seem like they are only “Coincidences”.
But with God, there are no coincidences.
A coincident is two or more “incidences” happening at the same time that seem to “cooperate”
with one another to make a certain point.
Some examples of, No-Coincidences in the Bible:
· It is not a coincidence that Moses accidently came upon a burning bush that was talking to him. (Exodus 3)
God was present, preparing Moses to lead the people out of bondage in Egypt.
· It is not a coincidence that Abraham came across an alternative sacrifice that would
“take the place” of his son Isaac.
It was a ram caught up in a thicket.
“Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram [a male sheep] caught by its horns.
He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.
[That is “grace”]
So, Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide.” -Genesis 22:13,14
· It is no coincidence that centuries later
Jesus would become that Passover Lamb that would be the sacrifice “taking our place” like the Lamb did for Isaac.
· It is not a coincidence that Jesus was at a wedding that happened to run out of wine.
That was Jesus’ first recorded miracle
in the Bible.
He miraculously turned the water into wine.
· It is not a coincidence that Jesus was crucified on the day of the Jewish Feast of Passover and rose on the Jewish Feast of Firstfruits.
He is our Passover Lamb and the first of those resurrected to everlasting life.
“Christ, our Passover lamb,
has been sacrificed.”
-1 Corinthians 5:7
“Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruitsof those who have fallen asleep.” [Died as a believer]
-1 Corinthians 15:20
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
“Remember the former things,
those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.”
“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. – Albert Einstein
But God is actually not trying to stay anonymous.
He wants us to see him.
He wants everyone to see him,
think about him, and
trust in him in all things.
He is present in your life even though you may not think so or feel so.
We may especially feel his absence during times of trouble.
But God says;
“Call to me in times of trouble.
I will save you,
[I will be there]
and you will honor me.”
We will see him and feel him when we look for him and listen for his voice.
listen to my voice;
[This includes seeing with their eyes and perceiving in their minds]
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life,
and they shall never perish;
no one will snatch them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me,
is greater than all;
no one can snatch them out of
my Father’s hand.
I and the Father are one.”
One of the names for God in the Bible that describes his nature
“The name of the city from that time on will be: [Jehovah-Shammah] ‘The Lord is there.’”
Jehovah-Shammah = The Lord who is there, present, now.
Please believe that He is present,
because he is.
He is “now” in your life, not “used to be”,
or “will be” if you straighten up in life.
He is present and always will be.
"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Let’s look to the PAST
and ask God to show us the ways that he was present with us,
even though we may not have felt it.
Let’s live in the PRESENT
with the confidence that he is active right now
in our life.
Let’s anticipate a FUTURE
with the certain hope that God will be present all the way until we meet him face to face in heaven.
Our lives and the lives of those around us will be richly blessed when we do.
Remember that though we may feel lonely,
We are never alone.
“Be Jesus to others”
[Represent God with “skin on” to others]
“He is always Jesus to you.”
[Always Present with you]
Lord, I thank you for your promise to always be with me. I need you. I always need you.
Forgive me for the times that I have not looked for your presence in my life.
And forgive me when I have not let others experience your presence in and through me.
Give me eyes, ears and a heart to see you everywhere in my life.
Let others receive the joy that I will feel knowing our presence and your promise to “be with me always” which was the last thing he said before ascending forty days after Easter-Sunday, resurrection day.
In Jesus’ name.
Word of Life Church 17525 W. Bell Rd. Surprise, AZ 85374