Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I had heard this for years, and not really heard it. It says to “go and make disciples”… not “go and make believers”. Big difference. If simple belief were enough, Satan would be home free. Scripture says that even Satan believes… and trembles.
I really like the part about him being with me always! After my miscarriage, someone gave me this Scripture. I didn’t even know where it was, but it felt good.
This is one of those psalm full of little nuggets full of big truths. Part of it was in yesterday’s reading, but I’m going to highlight verses from both days..
1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
Oh, that my I would not grumble, complain, or speak negatively. But should I glory in the LORD in the presence of the afflicted? I think so. Crawling down into the pit with them and going over and over their unfortunate circumstances, doesn’t help them. I shouldn’t act “holier than thou” but I believe talking about the LORD’s faithfulness and goodness, while still being compassionate, can build their faith and help them have hope.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Often, we fear things that never happen. Fear robs us of joy and peace, even when we are doing well. We fear so many things that never happen, or are never as bad as we imagined. Fear is paralyzing. But the LORD delivers us from all fears – big and small.
5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
The LORD doesn’t just hear our prayers, he acts.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
This is the same thing the angel of the LORD did with the Hebrews in the desert for forty years. He encamped around them, either in a pillar of fire or a pillar of cloud. When the Egyptians attacked, the pillar of fire moved between the Israelites and the Egyptians. He goes before us and He has our backs!
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Do you remember the Turkish Delight in The Chronicles of Narnia. Once Edmund had tasted it, he would do anything for more. Once we have tasted of the LORD’s goodness and His Presence, nothing else will satisfy.
11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.
I really worked to teach our children lots of things, but did I teach them to fear the LORD? Not that they should be terrified of God, but the Bible says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” (Proverbs 9:10) Wisdom is rightly applying knowledge. That is needed if you “love(s) life and desire(s) to see many good days.”
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
We have a loving, good, compassionate Father, who really cares and understands. And the Holy Spirit is our Comforter.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have oversome the world. (John 16.33) Yes, we will have troubles and hard times. But He will never abandon us there. He will rescue us.