Matthew 28:20 - Comfort in Christ!
Matthew 28:20 - Comfort in Christ!
Matthew 28:20 (NLT) Be sure of this: I am with you always, even
to the end of the age.
I am with you always. These were the last words I spoke
before ascending into heaven. I continue to proclaim this promise to
all who will listen. People respond to My continual Presence in
various ways. Most Christians accept this teaching as truth but ignore
it in their daily living. Some ill-taught or wounded believers fear
(and may even resent) My awareness of all they do, say, and think. A
few people center their lives around this glorious promise and find
themselves blessed beyond all expectations.
When My Presence is the focal point of your consciousness,
all the pieces of your life fall into place. As you gaze at Me
through the eyes of your heart, you can see the world around you from My
perspective. The fact that I am with you makes every moment of your life
meaningful. (Mat. 28:20; Psa. 139:1-4) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Close your eyes (after you've finished reading this, of
course). Picture Jesus sitting in front of you - His eyes looking gently
into yours, His smile as encouraging and patient as you need it to
be, His posture calm and unassuming. Hold this image on the screen
of your mind as long as you'd like to. Then open your eyes and ask
yourself, Was that an escape from reality or an escape into it?
That's just my imagination, you might think. It wasn't real.
But consider this question: When are you closer to reality - when
you're holding a picture of Jesus' Presence in your mind, or when you
are going about your day, forgetting that He is with you? Never mind
whether you got the details of His face right; that isn't the point. The
point is that when you picture Him with you, you're holding on to
biblical truth. And when you're busy and bogged down in the details of
life without consciously thinking about Him, you've forgotten what's
true. Your sanctified "imagination" is more in touch with reality than
your preoccupied mind is.
You'll find that if you do this enough - if you get familiar
enough with this Jesus - He will probably speak to you at some point.
Those words, if consistent with Scripture, can be very real too. Sure,
you'll want to measure them against His written Word and avoid making
major decisions based solely on the voice you hear, but you can
certainly hear His encouragement and love anytime you need to. He has
promised to speak (John 16:13), and He has promised to be with you to the
end of the age. Assuming and envisioning the truth of these words is
the privilege of any child of His.
Thank you, Jesus, for being with me. Help me see You more
clearly, hear You more certainly, and trust You more fully - in every
moment of my life. [The One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional
by Chris Tiegreen]
Refresh yourself in the Peace of My Presence. This Peace can
be your portion at all times and in all circumstances. Learn to
hide in the secret of My Presence, even as you carry out your duties
in the world. I am both with you and within you. I go before you to
open up the way, and I also walk alongside you. There could never be
another companion as devoted as I am.
Because I am your constant Companion, there should be a
lightness to your step that is observable to others. Do not be weighed
down with problems and unresolved issues, for I am your
burden-bearer. In the world you have trials and distress, but don't let them
get you down. I have conquered the world and deprived it of power to
destroy you. In Me you may have confident Peace. (Psa. 31:19-20; John
16:33) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
"I will listen to you talk for 30 minutes without comment for
The one-sentence classified ad appearing in a Des Moines
newspaper brought in 10 to 20 calls a day.
The gnawing agony of loneliness is so intense that some of
its victims frantically grasp at any promise of companionship - even
if they have to pay for it.
We live in a crowded world, but in spite of the sheer
numbers, many are lonesome. They desperately wish there was even one
person who cared and to whom they could turn.
There is no substitute for companionship. Palliatives such as
drugs, alcohol, and sexual license provide only momentary relief.
Nothing can replace even one understanding person with a listening ear.
Each of us has a deep, abiding need for a companion who is
unfailingly available, who is absolutely reliable. But to expect that of any
mortal is unrealistic and unfair.
That friend, though true and caring, may become ill,
preoccupied with personal concerns, or unavailable. And death can intervene
to snatch away that truest friend.
The human heart longs for someone who can guarantee us, "I
will never, fail you. I will never forsake you." And that's exactly
what God promises in his Word (Hebrews 13:5). Those who respond find
that he keeps his word. They would testify with the psalmist: "Even
if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close"
That relief from loneliness is without limits and always
available. Jesus' assurance to his followers is his iron-clad guarantee:
"And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the
age" (Matthew 28:20).
The guarantee is yours only if you respond to it. He is more
eager to dispel our loneliness than we are to ask.
Jesus' word to you is clear: "Look! Here I stand at the door
and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in,
and we will share a meal as friends" (Revelation 3:20).
The answer to loneliness is to throw the door of your life
wide open and invite Jesus in. You can decide right now, right where
God's promise: "When you pray, I will listen. If you look for
me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me" (Jeremiah 29: 12,
13). Taken from Have a Good Day by Tyndale House Publishers.
RELATED ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE COMFORT (PEACE) IN CHRIST
Edith Burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San
Antonio, Texas. She was the patient of a doctor by the name of Will
Phillips. Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as people.
His favorite patient was Edith Burns.
One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it
was because of Edith Burns. When he walked into that waiting room,
there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly talking
to a young mother sitting beside her.
Edith Burns had a habit of introducing herself in this way:
"Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?" Then she
would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people would be
Dr. Phillips walked into that office and there he saw the
head nurse, Beverly. Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking
her blood pressure. Edith began by saying, "My name is Edith Burns.
Do you believe in Easter?"
Beverly said, "Why yes I do." Edith said, "Well, what do you
believe about Easter?" Beverly said, "Well, it's all about egg hunts,
going to church, and dressing up."
Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and
finally led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Phillips said, "Beverly, don't call Edith into the office
quite yet. I believe there is another delivery taking place in the
After being called back in the doctor's office, Edith sat
down and when she took a look at the doctor she said, "Dr. Will, why
are you so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?"
Dr. Phillips said gently, "Edith, I'm the doctor and you're
the patient." With a heavy heart he said, "Your lab report came
back and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you're not going to live
Edith said, "Why, Will Phillips, shame on you. Why are you
so sad? Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me
I'm going to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends.
You have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter Forever,
and here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!"
Dr. Phillips thought to himself, "What a magnificent woman
this Edith Burns is!" Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips.
Christmas came and the office was closed through January 3rd.
On the day the office opened, Edith did not show up. Later
that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would have to
be moving her story to the hospital and said, "Will, I'm very near
home, so would you make sure that they put women in here next to me in
my room who need to know about Easter."
Well, they did just that and women began to come in and share
that room with Edith. Many women were saved. Everybody on that
floor from staff to patients were so excited about Edith, that they
started calling her Edith Easter; that is everyone except Phyllis Cross,
the head nurse.
Phyllis made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with
Edith because she was a "religious nut". She had been a nurse in an
army hospital. She had seen it all and heard it all. She was the
original G.I. Jane. She had been married three times, she was hard,
cold, and did everything by the book.
One morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were
sick. Edith had the flu and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a
shot. When she walked in, Edith had a big smile on her face and said,
"Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, and I have been praying for you."
Phyllis Cross said, "Well, you can quit praying for me, it
won't work, I'm not interested." Edith said, "Well, I will pray and I
have asked God not to let me go home until you come into the
Phyllis Cross said, "Then you will never die because that
will never happen," and curtly walked out of the room.
Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into the room and Edith
would say, "God loves you Phyllis and I love you, and I'm praying for
One day Phyllis Cross said she was literally drawn to Edith's
room like a magnet would draw iron. She sat down on the bed and
Edith said, "I'm so glad you have come, because God told me that today
is your special day."
Phyllis Cross said, "Edith, you have asked everybody here the
question, 'Do you believe in Easter?' but you have never asked me."
Edith said, "Phyllis, I wanted to many times, but God told me
to wait until you asked, and now that you have asked..." Edith
Burns took her Bible and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter Story of
the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Edith said, "Phyllis, do you believe in Easter? Do you
believe that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your
Phyllis Cross said, "Oh I want to believe that with all of my
heart, and I do want Jesus in my life." Right there, Phyllis Cross
prayed and invited Jesus Christ into her heart. For the first time
Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried out
on the wings of angels.
Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, "Do you
know what day it is?" Phyllis Cross said, "Why Edith, it's Good
Edith said, "Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. Happy
Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came into
work, did some of her duties and then went down to the flower shop and
got some Easter lilies because she wanted to go up to see Edith and
give her some Easter lilies and wish her a Happy Easter.
When she walked into Edith's room, Edith was in bed. That
big black Bible was on her lap. Her hands were in that Bible.
There was a sweet smile on her face. When Phyllis Cross went to pick
up Edith's hand, she realized Edith was dead.
Her left hand was on John 14, "In my Father's house are many
mansions. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive
you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."
Her right hand was on Revelation 21:4, " And God will wipe
away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death nor
sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former
things have passed away."
Phyllis Cross took one look at that dead body, and then
lifted her face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down her
cheeks, said, "Happy Easter, Edith - Happy Easter!"
Phyllis Cross left Edith's body, walked out of the room, and
over to a table where two student nurses were sitting. She said, "My
name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?" ~Author Unknown~
found at: http://www.mountainwings.com/
It was an unusually cold day for the month of May. Spring had
arrived and everything was alive with color. But a cold front from the
North had brought winter's chill back to Indiana. I sat with two
friends in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner
of the town square.
The food and the company were both especially good that day.
As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street.
There, walking into town, was a man who appeared to be carrying all his
worldly goods on his back. He was carrying a well-worn sign that read,
"I will work for food." My heart sank.
I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed that
others around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved in a
mixture of sadness and disbelief. We continued with our meal, but his
image lingered in my mind.
We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had
errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them. I glanced toward
the town square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange
visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again would call for some
response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made some
purchases at a store and got back in my car. Deep within me, the Spirit of
God kept speaking to me: "Don't go back to the office until you've
at least driven once more around the square." And so, with some
hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the square's third corner,
I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the storefront church,
going through his sack. I stopped and looked, feeling both compelled
to speak to him, yet wanting to drive on. The empty parking space
on the corner seemed to be a sign from God: an invitation to park.
I pulled in, got out and approached the town's newest visitor.
"Looking for the pastor?" I asked.
"Not really," he replied, "Just resting."
"Have you eaten today?"
"Oh, I ate something early this morning."
"Would you like to have lunch with me?
"Do you have some work I could do for you?"
"No work," I replied. "I commute here to work from the city,
but I would like to take you to lunch."
"Sure," he replied with a smile.
As he began to gather his things. I asked some surface
"Where you headed?"
"Where you from?"
"Oh, all over; mostly Florida."
"How long you been walking?"
"Fourteen years," came the reply.
I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from each
other in the same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was
weathered slightly beyond his 38 years. His eyes were dark yet clear, and
he spoke with an eloquence and articulation that was startling. He
removed his jacket to reveal a bright red T-shirt that said, "Jesus is
The Never Ending Story."
Then Daniel's story began to unfold. He had seen rough times
early in life. He'd made some wrong choices and reaped the
consequences. Fourteen years earlier, while backpacking across the country, he
had stopped on the beach in Daytona. He tried to hire on with some
men who were putting up a large tent and some equipment. A concert,
he thought. He was hired, but the tent would not house a concert
but revival services, and in those services he saw life more
clearly. He gave his life over to God.
"Nothing's been the same since", he said, "I felt the Lord
telling me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now."
"Ever think of stopping?" I asked.
"Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me.
But God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles. That's what's
in my sack. I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them out when
His Spirit leads." I sat amazed.
My homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a mission and
lived this way by choice. The question burned inside for a moment and
then I asked:
"What's it like?"
"To walk into a town carrying all your things on your back
and to show your sign?" "Oh, it was humiliating at first. People
would stare and make comments. Once someone tossed a piece of
half-eaten bread and made a gesture that certainly didn't make me feel
welcome. But then it became humbling to realize that God was using me to
touch lives and change people's concepts of other folks like me." My
concept was changing, too.
We finished our dessert and gathered his things. Just outside
the door, he paused. He turned to me and said, "Come ye blessed of
my Father and inherit the kingdom I've prepared for you. For when I
was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a
stranger and you took me in." I felt as if we were on holy ground.
"Could you use another Bible?" I asked.
He said he preferred a certain translation. It traveled well
and was not too heavy. It was also his personal favorite. "I've read
through it 14 times," he said. "I'm not sure we've got one of those, but
let's stop by our church and see." I was able to find my new friend a
Bible that would do well, and he seemed very grateful.
"Where you headed from here?"
"Well, I found this little map on the back of this amusement
"Are you hoping to hire on there for awhile?"
"No, I just figure I should go there. I figure someone under
that star right there needs a Bible, so that's where I'm going next."
He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity of
his mission. I drove him back to the town square where we'd met two
hours earlier, and as we drove, it started raining. We parked and
unloaded his things.
"Would you sign my autograph book?" he asked. "I like to keep
messages from folks I meet." I wrote in his little book that his
commitment to his calling had touched my life. I encouraged him to stay
strong. And I left him with a verse of scripture, in Jeremiah, "I know
the plans I have for you," declared the Lord, "plans to prosper you
and not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope."
"Thanks, man," he said. "I know we just met and we're really
just strangers, but I love you."
"I know," I said, "I love you, too." "The Lord is good."
"Yes. He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?"
"A long time," he replied.
And so on the busy street corner in the drizzling rain, my
new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that I had been
changed. He put his things on his back, smiled his winning smile and
said, "See you in the New Jerusalem."
"I'll be there!" was my reply.
He began his journey again. He headed away with his sign
dangling from his bed roll and pack of Bibles. He stopped, turned and
"When you see something that makes you think of me, will you
pray for me?"
"You bet," I shouted back, "God bless."
And that was the last I saw of him.
Late that evening as I left my office, the wind blew strong.
The cold front had settled hard upon the town. I bundled up and
hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached for the emergency brake, I
saw them....a pair of well-worn brown work gloves neatly laid over
the length of the handle. I picked them up and thought of my friend
and wondered if his hands would stay warm that night without them. I
remembered his words: "If you see something that makes you think of me,
will you pray for me?"
Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office. They help me to
see the world and its people in a new way, and they help me remember
those two hours with my unique friend and to pray for his ministry.
"See you in the New Jerusalem," he said.
Yes, Daniel, I know I will.... [source unknown]
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
ONE OF THE GREAT HYMNS OF PRAISE:
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross [Live]:
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON EXPERIENCING GOD:
RECENT BIBLE PROPHECY SERIES ON REVELATION:
LINK FOR PERSONAL BIBLE STUDIES:
Send request to: fggibbs@aBible.com