I AM the God who is There

glory of GodDo you ever think about where God is?  In the Old Testament God came to dwell in the wilderness Tabernacle filling it with His Shekinah glory.   As they traveled in the wilderness God went with them guiding their way with a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night.  When they had their camp set up, God dwelt in the tabernacle in their midst.  Exodus 40:34-35 “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lordfilled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”  It is a beautiful picture of God’s abiding presence and guidance.   Ezekiel had prophetic visions of the future and closes his book with the rebuilt temple and city of God in the future.  Ezekiel 48:35 “The circumference of the city shall be 7-jehovah-shammah18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord Is There.,”  Jehovah-Shammah.     John’s prophetic vision of the City of God in Revelation 21:3 also speaks of God’s abiding presence there.  “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.”

It is God’s intention to live with us.  He is Personal and desires a relationship with each and every believer.  In the past God dwelt in the tabernacle and temple, in the future, God will dwell with us as described in Ezekiel and Revelation,  but what about now?  Jesus speaks of the benefits of abiding in Him, living with Him.  We will be living free in His Word, John 8:31.  We will be bearing much fruit for God, John 15:4.  We will have the power to live for Him, John 15:5.  We will be connected to God and see answers to our prayers, John 15:7.  We will be surrounded by His love, John 15:9.  We will be able to honor God by keeping His commandments, John 15:10.   Jesus promised to send the comforter, counselor to guide us and abide with us after His death.  Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”   Acts  2 records the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and how God’s Spirit indwelt the believers giving them power to live for Him.  Peter preached to the crowd that day,  And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”Act 2:38.    Later in Acts Paul and Silas were in prison and the Lord shook the prison and opened the cells.  The jailer rushed in thinking they were gone and found them in their cell. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  Acts 16:30-31  Just like the Philippian jailer we can experience that indwelling power of God’s Holy Spirit and have God abiding, living within us.  We can follow his example and believe in Jesus. When we abide in usdo,  God promises He will send His Holy Spirit to abide or live with us.  He will be with us to guide and comfort, strengthen and love us from the inside out.  God is There with us.

Abide in Him,

Linda

 

I am a branch on Christ’s vine.

john 15 5Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am a branch on Christ’s vine.   In John 15:1 Jesus referred to himself as the true vine and His Father as the gardener.  Then in John 15:5 He includes our place on the growing ‘tree’ of faith.  “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”   Jesus made these statements to His closest disciples and used analogies they were familiar with to be sure that they got the point.  In the Old Testament the nation Israel was often referred to as the vine so Jesus wanted them to know He was the true vine of Israel, the Messiah.  He also wanted them to know that if they disconnect from Him they would be powerless and their lives would be fruitless.  Connected to Him they would live very productive lives that would accomplish great things for God.

abidingThe same analogy is true for us today.  We need to stay connected to Jesus and many translations use the word abide.  1 John 4:13-16 speaks of major benefits of abiding in Jesus. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”   Being connected to Jesus, is a privileged position.  His Spirit lives within us testifying to us that He is with us.  God dwells within us and shows us His love so we can love others in His name.  That is why being connected to Him we will be able to bear good fruit in our lives and accomplish much for His Kingdom.  Jesus is the source of our power and by faith we are connected to Him.  

john 15 5 stayConnected to Jesus today,

Linda