Be sure of this: I am with you always;
even to the end of the age
– Matthew 28:19-20

Intro to this issue

Words have impact – they have power to change hearts and the course of lives, and to mobilize families, communities, and nations. Words can build up or tear down, bless or curse. Like the days of Noah, a flood of words have engulfed today’s world with fear, panic, confusion, and uncertainty. The world around us is shaking. Should we be alarmed or fearful? Or faithful and steadfast in pursuing what is good and pleasing to God?

Jesus, the Word of God and Author of Life offers us an unshakeable kingdom, an unquenchable love, and a lasting peace that cannot be broken or taken away. 

Our source of purpose and joy, identity and security is not grounded in transitory things that pass away, but in the certain knowledge and person of the Lord Jesus Christ who has called us by name and offered us an eternal dwelling place and home with the living God.

The Lord Jesus came to set us free from sin, Satan, and death and to offer us abundant life, peace, and joy through the gift and work of the Holy Spirit. He suffered for our sake, and cancelled the debt of our sin through his victory on the cross and over the grave so that we may know the power of his resurrection and live as sons and daughters of God. 

He will come again to take us with himself and raise our lowly bodies to be like his glorified body which knows no defect and will never die again.

Jesus knows our fears and burdens, trials and tribulations. He comforts and strengthens us with the message of hope and courage in the face of testing and suffering. He says,

“Do not fear, I am with you always.” 
“You are my disciples and I am with you. Set your mind on things that are above and not on things that are on earth. I want your eyes lifted and your ears opened because I am at work.”

Paul the Apostle reminds us that nothing can keep us from the love of Christ if we believe in him and the victory he has won for us:

If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31-39

Let us pray for God’s work to advance in our families, communities, churches, and nations so that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

Sincerely in Christ,

Don Schwager

Top image credit:  Christ Ruler of All, watercolor artwork by David Kurani

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