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Friday, June 24, 2016

His Loving Presence

Made it to the end of the week it's FRIDAY! YES! As we are enjoying the first week of Summer lets take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom Read: Hebrews 13:1-6 Bible in a Year: Job 1-2; Acts 7:22-43 Never will I leave you. —Hebrews 13:5 Our hearts sank when we learned that our good friend Cindy had been diagnosed with cancer. Cindy was a vibrant person whose life blessed all who crossed her path. My wife and I rejoiced when she went into remission, but a few months later her cancer returned with a vengeance. In our minds she was too young to die. Her husband told me about her last hours. When she was weak and hardly able to talk, Cindy whispered to him, “Just be with me.” What she wanted more than anything in those dark moments was his loving presence. The writer to the Hebrews comforted his readers by quoting Deuteronomy 31:6, where God told His people: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). In the darkest moments of life, the assurance of His loving presence gives us confidence that we are not alone. He gives us the grace to endure, the wisdom to know He is working, and the assurance that Christ can “empathize with our weaknesses” (4:15). Together let’s embrace the blessing of His loving presence so we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid” (13:6). —Joe Stowell Lord, thank You for the promise that You will never leave me. May the reality of Your constant supporting presence fill my heart with comfort, confidence, and courage. During hard times, tough questions often arise such as “Where is God?” For help, read Out of the Ashes at discoveryseries.org/q0735 There is peace in the presence of God. INSIGHT: The opening verses of Hebrews 13 are among the most practical in the New Testament. The chapter begins with a reminder that as followers of Christ we are to love one another (v. 1). The writer then challenges us to show hospitality to others (v. 2), followed by a strong call to give mercy, help, and kindness to those imprisoned and those who have been mistreated (v. 3). Verse 4 challenges us to sexual purity in marriage, while verse 5 calls believers to a contentment that can defeat covetousness. These practical statements find their culmination in the challenge to rest in the never-failing presence of God (vv. 5-6). Bill Crowder

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