Jesus came to them and said

God always meets us in the in-between. That’s where life happens, shaping the hills and the valleys. Our character is formed, our calling is reinforced, and our confidence is established in the events that connect the big defining moments together.

While reading one of my favorite, and also extremely familiar passages in Scripture, God reminded me that what we may not have memorized in Scripture is still significant, even though the words may not get posted on the bulletin board.

All Scripture is God-breathed. Every single word is meaningful, because God made sure it was there.

Life begins in God’s very Word. His very breath gives us life, meaning, purpose and direction. His Words matter.

The last God-inspired words Matthew wrote in his Gospel were also some of the last words Jesus spoke on earth before He ascended into Heaven. 

Matthew captures the moment in Chapter 28:16-20.

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 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.”

While reading this passage again this past week, it was the in-between words that caught my attention.

Jesus came to them and said

The disciples had come to the place Jesus had told them to go, and He showed up. In the midst of their worship and their lingering doubts, Jesus came to them and spoke life, purpose and love.

Jesus came.
Immanuel, God with us, came. He had defeated sin, death and hell, and He came back. He drew close.

Jesus came to them.
Here were the 11 disciples, going to where Jesus had told them to go. The whirlwind they had just gone through the last 40 days was unimaginable. The arrest, crucifixion, death and burial, then resurrection of the man they had followed and given their life to was like whiplash to their souls. Maybe in this moment, they were hoping for an Elijah experience, and to hop a fiery ride up to heaven with their Risen Lord. As they knelt to worship, fear and doubt crept into the corners of some of their hearts. And yet, even in their weakness of faith, Jesus came to them. He came for them.

Jesus came to them and said.
Jesus came for them to experience His presence and His purpose. The Word of God spoke. The life-giving Savior, THE Word, opened His mouth and gave them the commission, command and confidence that only The Word could.

Jesus comes to me, and to you, too. He wants us to be close to Him, and draws us near because He loves us and wants us to know Him. He wants us to hear His voice, His call, and be changed in our response.

In that context, The Great Commission resonates even more deeply.

Because Jesus has ALL authority,
I will go:
make disciples,
baptize,
teach obedience.
And, I am sure
Jesus is with me
ALWAYS.

Jesus came to them and said.

Lord, come to us, even now, and speak.

Thankful: God’s word will stand forever

One of my calendar devotions this month

One of my calendar devotions this month

The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever.

– Isaiah 40:8

Today I am thankful that the Word of God will stand forever.

Much in this life fades. Colors fade in our furniture. Clothes wear out. The grass yellows in August. Petals fall. Our skin wrinkles and bodies tire.

But the Word of our God remains – its potency never dilutes.

The word “remain” means to abide, accomplish, confirm, continue, endure, make good, help, hold, lift up, rise up, stand, strengthen, succeed. God’s word will abide, will be forever. God will accomplish what He says. We can always trust Him, and He constantly confirms in our hearts His truth. God’s Word will continue and endure. He will make good on every promise. God’s Word is effective, helping us, holding us, lifting us up so we can rise up and stand, firmly planted. God’s Word will forever strengthen us. God will succeed in His mission. He has already won the victory!

My patience may wear out. My courage may weaken and my passion fade.

Yet, the word of my God will stay strong. It will stand forever.

God’s word is my hope.