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Leading people into a maturing new life in Jesus Christ

The Presence

The great void in every human life is filled by only one reality — a growing experience of our Creator’s presence. How odd that since Adam and Eve were deceived in the Garden we have been hiding from God rather than seeking his presence (Genesis 3:8).

Some have known the value of God’s presence. The Psalmist exclaims, “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Psalms 84:2). Amazing. Even his body desires God.

Moses replies to God and asks, “How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

(Exodus 33:16). Interesting, isn’t it? The primary identity marker of people who represent God is not the Law, but the presence of a good and holy Lawgiver who gives them power to love one another.

Of course the most mysterious, unique and wonderful revelation of God’s presence on earth is the divine becoming human in Jesus of Nazareth. His name is Immanuel — which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). It is he who promises his students, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” — a promise kept through sending the Spirit to dwell “with” us and “in” us (John 14:17-18).

And today we experience Jesus’ presence through the Spirit in our hearts, in our lives and in our relationships with others. When we gather in Christ’s name he promises his presence.

It’s amazing to realize that the body of Christ, the church, is given the privilege and responsibility of hosting God’s presence on this earth. That’s one reason why the apostle Paul asks, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple” (1 Cor 3:16-17).

We can join with the Psalmist and exclaim, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalms 16:11).

All Scripture texts are quoted from the NIV.

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Contributed by Pastor Larry Zuchowski


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