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Archive for June 17th, 2017

It is said that John 3: 16 is the Gospel in summary.  I think there are other such summaries, such as,  “I am with you”. This is said in other ways in God’s Word but here are the Scripture texts of the literal promise of the Lord:  I am with you:

Genesis 26:24: And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 

Genesis 28:15: Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Isaiah 41:10:  fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 43:5:  Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.

Jeremiah 1:8:  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”

Jeremiah 1:19:  They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.”

Jeremiah 15:20: And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 30:11:   For I am with you to save you, declares the Lord; I will make a full end of all the nations among whom I scattered you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.

Jeremiah 42:11:  Do not fear the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Do not fear him, declares the Lord, for I am with you, to save you and to deliver you from his hand.

Jeremiah 46:28:  Fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the Lord, for I am with you. I will make a full end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.”

Haggai 1:13:  Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord’s message, “I am with you, declares the Lord.”

Haggai 2:4:  Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts,

Acts 18:10 :  for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”

Matthew 28:20: teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

How we need to hear this Word of Promise!  Note that the Lord said this to the prophet Jeremiah the most.  Jeremiah lamented the most:  Jer 11:18-20; 12:1-6; 15:10-21, 17:14-18; 18:18-23; 20:7-13.  He even wish he had not been born.Maybe Jeremiah needed to here the blessed assurance more than others: I am with you.  The Lord repeated His promise as He did to Abraham.  We need to hear this from the Lord as well.  He says so when we hear the Name of the Holy Trinity in our Baptism as He sent out the disciples to baptize in the  Name and Baptism is connected with the promise, I am with you.   He says so when we are absolved of our sins in contrition and confession.  He says so when He said over the bread and the wine: This is My body and This is My Blood. And in the end of St. Matthew’s Gospel is the only time the Lord adds “always”:  I am with you always (literally from the Greek:  “all the days”) until “the end of the ages” or the “fulfillment of the eon”.  This is a staggering promise and here we are. His Ascension is so He can rule His Church even now as His reign breaks through in the preaching of the Apostolic Word: I am with you always.  

 “Do not speak to me, he says of the difficulties you will face, for ‘I am with you,” as the one makes all things easy.” (St. John Chrysostom)

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