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Lo, I Am With You Alway

Lo, I Am With You Alway

     Some Scriptures or portions of passages “stick” in your memory for various reasons.   This one sticks in my mind for two reasons. 1) a friend and brother in Christ said this was his dad’s justification for not flying – “Low”- I am with you alway”.   2) Most importantly, this is assurance from the Lord Himself that He would never “leave” those who love Him, and continue to follow Him. This was said directly to His apostles. The same applies to faithful Christians today.

     Most will readily recognize the title of this article as the Words of Jesus in the final conversation He had with His apostles at the close of the gospel of Matthew. I think few have truly considered the “how” of this statement.   As we read of the ministry of Christ, surely, we are aware that He was with those of His day in the flesh. In Luke 22:44 we read Jesus’ Words. These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. We also know from John 7:33, He told the Pharisees: “Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. ” How could Jesus be “with them alway”, and at the same time go to the Father “that sent Him”?

     From the Word of God, this is easily explained. While Jesus was with these apostles, He had been their “Comforter”.   He had taught them, instructed them and had given them much of what they would need after His departure.   There were also some things He did not teach them at that time, as they were not yet ready to receive them as John 16:12 shows.   I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. But, in John 14:16 we see how the Lord would provide them the needed information at the appropriate time.   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;     This was not to take place until after the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.   We know from Acts chapter two that this indeed occurred just as Christ promised.

   As we return to John chapter 16, we can see from verse 13, the manner in which the Christ, as well as the Spirit would “alway” abide. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.   These “Words” which the Spirit brought are the Words of God.   These we have with us “alway”, and are provided for our benefit.   From John 6:63, we know that even the “hard sayings” put forth by the Lord are designed to provide “spiritual life”. He said: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

   The Lord was with them alway, as the Spirit guided them. In John 14:26 we again read the Words of Christ to His apostles. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.   And NOW, we come to the HOW He is with us alway. We read in Hebrews 1:1-2 how God has spoken to man down through time. God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;   God once spoke to man directly, then sent His Son. The Son lived, served God without fault under that Law, died, was buried and resurrected, and ascended back to the Father.   The Christ then, as promised, sent the Spirit, the Comforter, to the apostles. They “penned” the inspired Words of God as they were given, and sent them to the church in various places.    

     In this way, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are with us “alway”. The apostle’s minds were “stirred up” to remember as the Spirit brought all things the Lord had taught them to their remembrance. Now, we have the Written Word of God. We also need to be stirred up. The Spirit had the apostle write of this need, and how he would do this in 2Peter 1:13. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;.   Through the Spirit, God was “speaking” to them and Christ was “alway” with them.   He is now “alway” available to all through the written Word.

     Today, we have that complete written Word of God. He sent it through the Spirit as promised.   Then why is there such a “disconnect” between many people and God today?   It is because they are not “listening” to His Word. If one will not read, study and meditate on God’s Word, they are not “hearing”. Neither is the Lord “with them”. John 1:1-2 are familiar verses to many. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. Christ, before coming to earth as the Son of God was known simply as “the Word”.  

     Man, and his words will fail and perish. 1Peter 1:25 tells us: 1) The Word of the Lord will last forever. 2) That “Word” is proclaimed as the gospel is preached. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.  The Lord is now among mankind “alway” through His Holy Word.   In that Word He calls all to obedience.   One cannot be “in Christ” or belong to God, unless or until they obey the gospel. Why not prepare now to be with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit “alway” and for eternity? Obey the gospel, then faithfully serve God the rest of this life.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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