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Presents or Presence

August 16, 2023

Psalms 16:8,11
(8) I have set Yahweh always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. (11) You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy. In your right hand there are pleasures forever more.

(For everyone born on the 16th or 2016 or 1916)

This week I have been pondering the answer to a question.  Which of Jesus’s promises do I treasure the most?  That is a hard question to answer.  Each one is important.  The promise that no one can snatch us out of His hand is so comforting.  But as of this moment I am so thankful for His promise to never leave us.  His presence is always with us.

  Do you remember the feeding of the multitudes?  Many people followed Him because of the gifts He gave them.  They were not particularly interested in His presence.  Now Mary wanted to be with Him, leaving her sister Martha to do the cooking.  Some wanted His presents and some really wanted His presence.

Sadly, in some families, the children care more about their father’s presents than they do his presence.  Especially in divorce situations.  “I need money for this.  I need money for this, too.  But I don’t need you.”  But are we any different when it comes to our heavenly Father?  We love His presents, but do we enjoy His presence?  Do we treat him like Santa?

Do we seek Him as Mary did or do we follow after Him because of the good things He gives us?

God’s promise to Joshua to be with him gave him the courage to lead the Israelites into the promised land.  God was with Joseph.  He could be patient while waiting.  He was with Daniel.  Daniel could be at peace sleeping in the midst of a den of lions, all of whom had closed mouths.

So, His promise of His continual presence gives us courage to do the hard things.  Those of us who are aging seem to face many hard things.  His presence fills us with peace during difficult times.  We can wait patiently because the One who is sovereign, all powerful, and holy is the One who will never leave us nor forsake us.

David knew contentment because of His presence.  Psalms 16:8,11. “I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  In your presence is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forever.”  Psalms 17:15 “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness, I will be satisfied with your likeness when I awake.”

What hymns give us comfort?  ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ ‘No one understands like Jesus.’  His promises are the same today as they were yesterday.  As they will be the same tomorrow.  He indeed will never leave us nor forsake us.

Edie R

 ’43 / ’55   New Holland PA

Doris Jean H

’44 / ’55 Manheim PA

Birth year / spiritual birth year / hometown

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