Devotion for May 14, 2020

“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)

The world expects Christians to be different from those who don’t profess to know Jesus, and that’s as it should be. Believers should set an example when it comes to serving others and showing love. Jesus said, “People will know … you are my followers if you love each other” (John 13:35). In the Old Testament when the Israelites broke God’s covenant by worshipping a golden calf, Moses pleaded with God not to give up on them. His argument was this: “How will anyone know that you look favorably on … your people — if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people … apart.”

What made Israel unique among the nations was the evidence of God’s presence as He journeyed with them. And God’s presence should set you apart too! When Jesus told His disciples, “I will be with you always” (Matthew 28:20), He demonstrated His presence through the Holy Spirit who dwelt in and empowered them. So much so, that their enemies said they had “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). But as pastor and author Mark D. Roberts observes: “This doesn’t give us grounds for pride or boasting. God’s presence is an expression of His grace, not our worthiness. In fact, our confidence in God’s presence…gives us a strong conviction of our high calling to serve Him in every capacity of life. It gives us courage to live according to His kingdom…to serve others in His name … if God is with us on our side, what do we have to fear?” So today thank God for His presence in your life, and decide never to take it for granted.

Heavenly Father, thank You for being PRESENT in my life and with me. Help me reflect Your Presence to those who know or meet me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!
Pastor Mike

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