Daily Devotional

Matthew 28:20 - “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)

There are a lot of wonderful promises in the Bible, but one of my favorites has to be the promise of God’s presence.  The ESV translation contains the phrase “I will be with you” eleven times and “I am with you” fifteen times.  In all of those cases, God (or Jesus) comforts believers with the promise of his presence.  He speaks those marvelous words to Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Jeremiah, and the apostle Paul, to name a few.  

When they were afraid, when they needed direction, when they were facing an enemy or persecution or opposition, when God commissioned them for a special mission, time and time again God comforted them with those special words, “I will be with you.”

Isaiah 43:2–3 – “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

If it wasn’t for Matthew 28:20, I would be tempted to think those words were intended for giants of the faith like Abraham or Moses.  But Jesus said to his disciples: “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Since I am a disciple, it means that Jesus spoke those words to me.  And he promised to be with me always, even to the end of the age.  

So what does it mean that God will be with us?  

First of all, it means that we are never alone.  No matter how lonely we may feel, there’s never a moment God is not with us—even when we can’t feel his presence.  We are never alone because God is faithful, and he promised that he will never leave us or forsake us.  He is our constant companion, our forever friend who walks with us every step of the way.  And not only does he walk beside us, he lives within us.  A lot of theologians teach that God indwells us through the Person of the Holy Spirit.  That is absolutely true!  But I believe all three Persons of the Trinity indwell us.  Jesus didn’t just teach that the Holy Spirit will be with us.  He said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” In John 14:23, he said: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Second, for God to be with us means that he is actually for us because he doesn’t just give us his presence; he gives us his power!  He gives us all of the benefits and blessings that flow from his generous, benevolent heart.  There’s an old saying: “One plus God is a majority.”  That’s so true.  If God is for us, who can be against us?  With God all things are possible.  When God says he is with us, it means that all the resources of his divine nature are at our disposal—his guidance, his protection, his power and provision, his wisdom and grace.

If that’s true, how should it affect your life today?  How should it shape your attitude?  How should it determine your level of confidence?  How should it inflate your faith, lift your spirit, and lighten your burdens?

Spend some time praising God for one of the greatest promises in the entire Bible: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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