Dear Fellow 1.5-ers,
If God had a favorite word, a case could be made for that word being love or grace or believe. But, there’s a word in the Bible that communicates more about the character of God and His priorities better than the three words listed above.
Before time began, God the Father was with God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In the garden of Eden, God was with Adam and Eve, and even in their sin, God came close (Gen. 3:8). During the Exodus, God was with His people day and night (Ex. 13:21). In Joshua 1:9, God promised to go with the new leader of His people “wherever” he went, and He was with David from his anointing to the end of David’s days (1 Samuel 16:13). During David’s reign as Israel’s king, he would remind God’s people that they needn’t fear anything for God is with them (Psalm 23:4). In Isaiah 7:14, Immanuel is promised, and Matthew reminds us that this name for Jesus means “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). Jesus himself promised his never ending presence with his people when he wrapped-up the Great Commission by saying, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Paul reminds us that the Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to be with us. Paul writes, “…the Spirit of God dwells in you” (Rom. 8:9). And John, the apostle, tells of a future time when the spiritual reality of God with us will become a physical reality of God with us.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God’” (Rev. 21:3).
With covers a multitude of sins. A multitude of circumstances. A multitude of disappointments. A multitude of face-palms. A multitude of heartaches.
With brings security and peace. Boldness and humility. Casting off and taking on. Service and sainthood.
With eliminates the chasm sin has created, and it puts you in the arms of your perfect, heavenly Father, and with means you’ll never know without – not now and not ever.
With guarantees your tears will be wiped away – not just today or tomorrow but for eternity.
With means you get the very thing you were created for – God. That’s a big with. That’s actually the ultimate with.
God was with you before you breathed air. God is with you wherever you are right now. God is already with you in your future. God will never leave you nor forsake you.
Because God gave His own son to be punished for our sins, and because God ceased to be with Jesus in that moment on the cross, you will never have to cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” You’ll NEVER have to ask that question.
God is with you.
ALWAYS, FOREVER, ETERNALLY…
God loves with. He especially loves with with you.