Thursday, September 10, 2015

“The Presence and the Promise”

     Truth fills the trusting heart with courage, the assurance of knowing that we do not face the challenges of life by ourselves, or of ourselves.

    "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1).

    Our spiritual enemies seek to inculcate the sense of aloneness in the hearts and minds of born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We know in principle that our Savior abides with us always - "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).  In practice, however, Satan and his minions seek to separate us from the Shepherd and the flock by tempting us to perceive ourselves as by ourselves.  "I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop" mourned the Psalmist, who in moments of greater spiritual clarity knew better - "Because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved" (Psalm 102:7; 16:8).  When we succumb to the temptation - and it is a temptation - to view ourselves as just ourselves, we detour down a dark path of deception and distraction that results in a heart led by fear rather than the truth of God's faithful and abiding presence.  

    Much was sacrificed to provide the eternal presence of our Lord both with and within us.  "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?!" (Matthew 27:46).  To the degree the Lord Jesus was abandoned as our sin-bearer on the cross of Calvary, we will never be forsaken.  The promise of "I am with you always" cost our Savior the unspeakably horrific price of His Father and the Holy Spirit leaving Him to die alone in the raging fires of Divine wrath (Matthew 28:20).  Thus, we must requite so great a sacrifice by embracing the Presence and the promise that emerged from the ashes of our Lord's lonely death on the cross of Calvary.  Never alone.  This is the courage of the saints, as provided by the cross of the Savior.  We cannot, we must not fail to avail ourselves of a life lived not by ourselves, or of ourselves.  The sacrifice was so much greater than can be imagined so that the Presence might be far greater than can be imagined…

"I will dwell in them, and walk in them."
(II Corinthians 6:16)

Weekly Memory Verse
    For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."
(Romans 5:10)

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