He Is Ever With Us (Matthew 28:20)
By the time you receive this first edition of the 2007 North Valley News, one month will have already passed into the chronicle of this new year. The Quaker/Founder of the Keystone State, Pennsylvania, William Penn said, “Time is what we want the most, but alas! we use the worst.”
The days after Jesus’ resurrection were certainly some of the most important in the life of Christ. It was during these forty days that Jesus “showed himself alive by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3). Jesus was visibly present with the disciples during these days, but instead of remaining continuously with them, He would suddenly appear and then be absent from them. One such appearance is found in John 20:26-29, and it is surely one that Thomas would wish was not entered into the cannon of Holy Scripture. In this passage, Jesus suddenly appeared and, though unseen, was an observer of our doubting and church-missing brother!
“He promised to be with us always, and we can well take Him at His word.”
Jesus finished the forty days of proofs and demonstration with the assuring revelation found in Matthew 28:20, “Lo, I am with you alway.” The disciples needed this assurance, for the same Jesus they had grown to know and love by face would no longer be seen of the mortal eye but only by eyes of faith. The work of the gospel must be carried on by those who are convinced by His everlasting presence and not by proofs alone. “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” reminds us all that the watchword for us all is believe. It may be this year that we see His lovely face, but we must believe. Believe even though He seems far away, or distant from our circumstance. He promised to be with us always, and we can well take Him at His word.
“Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God” was the reply of the repentant and faithless Thomas in Matthew 28:28. He caught the vision of the ever-present Savoir, as we must today. Why not pause and recognize the everlasting presence of God in your life? January has already passed, and time marches forward. Before you make any decision or attempt at self direction, be reminded of this glorious benediction, “Lo, I am with you alway.” When contemplating some secret act that would not stand upright in the gaze of Him who seeth all, hear His echo, “With you alway.”
“In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1). We can say with certainty that, from that point to eternity is God. He is ever with us. Make the following hymn your daily prayer as you move on through this year of 2007.
Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
Draw me, my Saviour, so precious Thou art;
Fold me, oh, fold me close to Thy breast,
Shelter me safe in that haven of rest,
Shelter me safe in that haven of rest.
—Leila N. Morris