|James 2:26 tells us, “Faith apart from works is dead.” If we are going to experience the fullness of life offered to us through our faith we must be those who put our words into action. We must not profess to love God on Sundays and live as if he isn’t present, real, or good on Monday. May your faith come alive this week as you seek to be a doer of the word.|
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” PSALM 139:7
This Close | Steffany Gretzinger
One of the most comforting aspects of God’s character is that he is present. Jesus made clear God’s desire to be present when he left his throne and took on humanity. God has never desired distance with his children. He fights to have close relationship with us every day. This week we’re looking at how we can not only receive God’s word, but experience more of God through being doers of his word. So, today let’s explore how we can follow the example of Jesus and be present for those around us.
Being present in people’s lives always requires sacrifice. It requires stepping outside of what will solely benefit you in order to live for the benefit of others. Philippians 2:3 teaches us, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Jesus counted you and me as more significant than his own life. He died so that we might live, and he calls us to do the same. Luke 9:23 says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” John 12:24 makes it clear that in order to bear fruit in this life we must die to ourselves: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Choose today to be a doer of the word, and die to yourself that you might better love others.
You see, before people need your advice they need your presence. Before our need to be fixed we simply need to know we are loved and cared for. It’s in the giving and receiving of love that healing takes place. Being present creates space for them to thrive, heal and be transformed.
Who in your life needs you to be present for them today? In what ways has God been present in your own life? In what ways has he demonstrated his nearness to you? And in what ways could you be his reflection today? I promise you there is someone around you that just needs you to be present in their life. There is someone who simply needs to know that somebody would love them enough to think about them—to be near to them. Take time today to let someone know you are there for them. Listen, love, and watch as God works through you simply being present in the lives of others.
1. Take a moment to reflect on God’s nearness to you. Receive his presence. Encounter his closeness.
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”Psalm 139:7-12
2. Now ask the Spirit to show you someone who needs you to be present for them today. Spend some time thinking about and praying for that person.
3. Ask God how he would have you be present in their life. How can you be a reflection of God’s love to them today?
Have the courage to humble yourself before people around you. Count them as more significant than yourself. You being present isn’t about what they can give you in return or even how they appear to receive your love. Love selflessly today the way Jesus did, and experience the joy and peace that comes from serving rather than seeking to be served.