Pastors Ponderings: Jesus is Already Here!

Posted by on May 29, 2020 in Pastors Ponderings | 0 comments

Jesus gives us hope in the here and now- even in the Spring of 2020.  Even in the midst of the pandemic which has turned our lives upside down, Jesus is with us!.   We don’t have to wait for the Second Coming to reach out to God.  Pastor Jim emailed the following devotional on 5/28/20 to remind us of God’s continual presence…

 

Greetings Friends:
 
PLEASE READ: John 14:15-18

“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

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I saw a sign on someone’s front yard which simply read, “Jesus is coming!”  FRIENDS, while I respect the enthusiasm of the message being communicated in that sign and as you know I have a very strong belief in the doctrine of the Second Coming of Jesus. But may I suggest some other exciting news: Jesus is already here!  

May I submit that sometimes we are so focused on the “Second Coming” (which is still in the future) that we forget that Jesus is already present with us here and now!  Jesus said in John 15:26, “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, He will testify about me” (NIV).   

Reread the passage from John 14:15-18 cited above for another example.  Jesus is clear throughout His life and teachings that although He would die on the cross and would return to Heaven after the resurrection (the ascension) and would return one day, He would still be with us.  Recall Jesus’ words from Matthew 28:20b, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” This message has been consistent throughout the pages of Scripture. Jesus is with us in through the person of the Holy Spirit.

Beyond this, we see the presence of Jesus through those who are working diligently on our behalf. His presence is felt through all of the members of the medical community, our first responders, working so diligently to keep everyone healthy and safe. Jesus can be seen in those who are providing food, providing any kind of benevolent assistance, providing hygiene items, and even in supplying a word of hope to a world which is looking for hope. 

Let’s revisit the Old Testament where Moses records in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” 

In his prayer at the dedication of the Temple, King Solomon said, “Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may he never leave us nor forsake us” (1 Kings 8:56-57). 

The Old Testament prophet Haggai reassures God’s people with these words, “Then Haggai, the LORD’S messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people: “I am with you,” declares the LORD” (Haggai 1:13). 

While the resurrected Jesus has ascended to Heaven, He has not abandoned the world. More importantly, Jesus will never abandon His people! Because of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians, Jesus is here!

Sisters and Brothers, even as we journey through this time of uncertainly, challenge, and even fear, Jesus is with us as we journey on this road. His care provides us with peace, hope, and even joy as we travel.

Trusting in and claiming God’s promises that He is with us now creates a new awareness, a new attitude, and that could literally change our lives, the lives of others, and enable us to have the strength and hope for this moment. Be of good cheer! Don’t give up! Keep the faith!  Jesus is here!

 

Shalom,

Pastor Jim

 

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