The Presence of God…think about what a profound gift this is. Both of today’s Psalms celebrate his Presence… Psalm 23 is the familiar Psalm of comfort – promising God’s presence to the individual. While Psalm 24 celebrates God’s presence among the people. It was probably sung as David led the people in worship when he brought the ark (the symbol of God’s presence) back to Jerusalem.
Experiencing God’s presence both individually and corporately is one of the greatest gifts given to the Christian on this earth. Paul must have rested in the sure presence of his God as he waited to be executed…chained as a prisoner in Rome.
Paul’s circumstances elevate the urgency of his words to his beloved Timothy. We are given the privilege of listening to this intimate exchange, and Paul’s final instructions to TImothy are powerful.
Paul gives Timothy the strategy for world evangelization:
what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2).
This was Jesus’ strategy…focused discipleship resulting in spiritual multiplication. This is how Christianity spread over the whole earth – by entrusting the truth to faithful men (and women :)!
Paul had more to say to Timothy… He called Timothy to “share in the suffering of Christ” (2:3), to “Remember Jesus Christ” (2:8), and finally to handle the word of truth cautiously, increasing in kindness and not inciting quarrels (2:14-26).
These are profound instructions! …but impossible to accomplish without the constant presence of God in our lives.
It is the experience of His presence that affirms our salvation – that we are His. And encouraged by His preserving presence, we are given the strength to persevere… “as good soldiers of Christ Jesus” (2 TImothy 2:3).
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me (Psalm 23:4).
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