Teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. —Matthew 28:20
In memorizing this verse, I thought of missionary-explorer, David Livingstone, who leaned on it repeatedly during lonely treks through deepest Africa. Here’s a sample from his journal on January 14, 1856, when threatened by hostile tribes.
I felt some turmoil of spirit in the evening at the prospect of having all my efforts for the welfare of this great region and its teeming population knocked on the head by savages tomorrow…. But I read that Jesus said, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth; go ye, therefore, and teach all nations… and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” I took this as His word of honor, and then went out to take observations for latitude and longitude, which, I think, were very successful.”
The promise of God’s presence is a potent reality for every Christian worker. It was originally given to the eleven disciples on a hillside in Galilee; and it so deeply impressed one of them—Matthew—that he chose to end His Gospel with these words rather than by recording our Lord’s ascension into heaven or the promise of His return.
What a joy to practice constantly the presence of the Lord!
Missionary Rosalind Goforth told of a time when she and her family were in extreme danger during the Boxer Rebellion in China. They were surrounded by a bloodthirsty mob, and Rosalind was seized with overwhelming fear—not of dying but of being tortured, which was a likely scenario. Her husband drew from his pocket a little book of Bible verses and read, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:27). He went on to recite several similar verses.
“The effect of those words at such a time was remarkable,” said Rosalind. “All realized that God was speaking to us. Never was there a message more directly given to mortal man from God than that message to us. From almost the first verse my whole soul seemed flooded with a great peace; all trace of panic vanished; and I felt God’s presence was with us. Indeed, His presence was so real it scarcely (could) have been more so had we seen a visible form.” This promise isn’t just for missionaries in dangerous times. The abiding presence of the Lord Jesus is a blessing to every child of God.
But I return without misgiving and with great gladness. For would you like me to tell you what supported me through all the years of exile among people whose language I could not understand, and whose attitude toward me was often hostile? It was this: “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” On those words I staked everything, and they never failed.—David Livingstone in an address at Glasgow University before returning to Africa
100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.
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