My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
God has promised us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
The phrase “very present” means “always here, always available, with unlimited access.” In short, the abiding presence of the Lord is always in us. And if he’s ever present in us, then he wants continual conversation with us. He wants us to talk with him no matter where we are: on the job, with family, with friends, even with non-believers.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
In the midst of this worldwide “shaking of all things,” what is God’s great concern in all of this? The Bible tells us God’s vision is trained on his children: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy” (Psalm 33:18).
Our Lord is aware of every move on the earth, by every living thing. And yet his gaze is focused primarily on the well-being of his children. He fixes his eyes on the pains and needs of each member of his spiritual body. Simply put, whatever hurts us concerns him.
What does the cloud of witnesses from Hebrews 12:1 have to say to you and me? Simply this: “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers” (1 Peter 3:12).
I don’t believe this great crowd of heavenly witnesses would speak to us about holding to complicated theologies or doctrines. I believe they would speak to us in the simplicity of truth:
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Christ described the last days as a troubling and frightful time. What did he give us to prepare us for these calamities? What was his antidote to the fear that was going to come?
He gave us the illustration of our Father watching the sparrow, of God numbering the very hairs on our heads. These illustrations become even more meaningful when we consider the context in which Jesus gave them.
Luke 15:3-7 talks about the shepherd who leaves his flock of 99 sheep in order to search for one lost sheep, and we usually focus on the lost sheep, but what about the others who were left behind?
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.