Lo, I Am With You Alway (Scripture)


Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

Amen.

Matthew 28:20 KJV


66 Assurance Way

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Sermon Says: Alway, Always, & Forever (Part 1)

As I personally witnessed an eloquent, spirited Minister, during a Revival in Winston-Salem last Summer, I knew I was being blessed!  Have you ever had that spiritual feeling while seeing a fine, well-delivered Sermon?

  • What’s more central to Christian Assurance than this: I’ll be with you always to the end.

Dr. Rev. James D. Ballard preached on the second half of the last (20th) verse of the last chapter (28th) of the Book of Matthew.  While this chapter is perhaps best known for the Great Commission, which he powerfully covered in the Sermon, Ballard’s skillful exploration of the ‘I’ll be with you’ principle is what still lingers in my soul.

In this post I will offer three excerpts (below Scripture) from Ballard’s Sermon; an audio of same Therefore sermon, delivered at Springfield Baptist Church (January 2017), is source of quotes.  In Part 2 post I will expand on what Dr. Ballard said (and provide a link to the audio of the entire Sermon).  His own words, however, are provided below and speak volumes.  I’ve chosen to let you read and reflect on them . . . before I offer my own thoughts on the sovereignty and power of God.

Place:  New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, Winston Salem NC (Pastor Ronald E. Speas, Summer Revival)

Date:  August 29, 2018

Minister:  Dr. Rev. James D. Ballard

Scripture:   Matthew 28: 16 – 20 KJV

Title of Sermon:  “Therefore” (three excerpts below Scripture)


16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.  17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.  18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


  • “This little word, Lo, means look, observe, pay attention, take notice. That’s all it means.  It means that I’ll be with you.  I’ll be with you when you realize it and I’ll be with you when you don’t.  I’ll be with you when things go well, and I’ll be with you when they don’t”.

  • “Let me just suggest that because a person is beside you, it doesn’t mean they are with you. Being with someone has nothing to do with geographic proximity or personal location.  A lot of folks beside you are not with you, and a lot of that are no where near you are praying for you right now”.

  • “Alway denotes distance. Always denotes time.  So it doesn’t matter how far you go, or how long it takes you to get there, he’s still with you.  God does not give up on us like we give up on each other.  When we stumble sometimes, God keeps us from falling.  And when we fall, God picks us up, because he’s always with us”.

(to be continued)

66 Assurance Way


Photo credit: ford_paul/flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

My End of the Year Testimonial

To say I discovered the true meaning of spiritual warfare in 2018 would be an understatement.

John14

I am grateful, it’s important to say, that my triumphs served to dwarf my trials and tribulations!  Every time I made a major step in my spiritual journey I was faced soon thereafter with a storm.  To put this in proper context folks, when I (on God’s direction) was working to change churches, the Devil thought (falsely) that he could get me to honor him, not the Lord.  Fat chance!

Just six days after I joined my current church (which I love) I had to go to Urgent Care.  I had a strange pain in my lower back.  I knew in February that I was on the battlefield for the Lord . . . whether I liked it or not.  Smile.  I foolishly assumed this medical storm that lasted into the Summer was my last battle.  No such luck.  Less than three weeks after joining the Mass Choir of my Winston-Salem Missionary Baptist Church (August) I took on some more ‘enemy fire’.  I was unexpectedly fired from my job . . . just 11 days before Labor Day.  Guess what?  I had a comparable job (in pay) less than 3 business days after my last day of work!  In a potentially fiery financial furnace God showed up and showed out.  I had to smile, knowing my Real Boss hadn’t forsaken me.

My sub par health from February to mid-November (two different health storms btw) basically drained my energy to blog and express my spiritual thoughts.  However, many blog ideas and rough drafts for posts were written down.  They will bear fruit in the days and months ahead.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,but the Lord delivers him out of them all.  Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.  Psalm 34:19, 21 ESV

Hold on / Mississippi Mass Choir

 

  • The video above conveys well the essence of my year. BTW the lead singer for this choir was spotlighted in one of the top viewed posts this year.  She’s Got the Anointing, They Got the Word: Mosie Burks; the video in this popular post is a true gem, highlighting a truly anointed singer.
  • This Biblestudytools.com article, Spiritual Warfare: Understanding the Battle.  , provides a good overview of this area of spiritual growth that many Christians, including myself this year, face.  To state the obvious, it’s only an issue for those who are ‘on the battlefield for the Lord’.  Are you marching in God’s army too?
  • Look for 2019 to be much more fruitful and prolific than this year. Putting on ‘the full armor of God’ worked wonders in 2018.
  • Look for a guest blogger in the new year. Early last Fall I, after meeting her in late September, realized that she had something really special that she could share on this blog.  Stay tuned!
  • To begin the new year on a strong note, I will be publishing a post, based on a Revival Sermon (Matthew 28:20, 8/29/18) I heard four months ago, in a few days.

To God be the Glory.  I hope you have a happy and blessed New Year.

Peace be with you,

Greg

66 Assurance Way

Jesus Christ Was Born: “Go Tell It on the Mountain”


While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2: 6-14 NASB


Merry Christmas from 66 Assurance Way

Thanksgiving Devotional (Part 3)

 

Don’t Complain, Praise and be Thankful

Christian life offers joyful and unjoyful dimensions.

Surely enjoy the joyful aspects of your life as a follower of Christ, but appreciate that you’ll encounter trials, storms, and challenging paradoxes along the way.

Remember all things work together for the good for those who love the Lord.


Paul Morton’s classic song “I Won’t Complain” flows from the good and bad times that all, including Christians, face.  Despite all you endure in life, knowing that you’re not ‘in the fiery furnace’ alone (Daniel 3: 19-30) should give you great comfort as an abiding Christian.



  • A post I published on this blog a few years ago, Nine Paradoxes of Christian Living may offer spiritual food for thought.  It isn’t a long form post, but I believe you will see an aspect of your walk with Christ that will make more sense after reading it.
  • 30 Thankful Bible verses from one of my favorite websites, biblestudytools.com is a resource well worth tapping. As they state in that piece: “Read through these Bible verses to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Find some quiet time to pray and thank God, read Scripture out-loud, and find a renewed heart that is filled with peace and joy!
  • Need to dive into another timely Devotional? A YouVersion blog post, Why Gratitude is Great for You, offers other Thankfulness and Thanksgiving Devotionals.
  • Miss the first two parts of this Thanksgiving Devotional?  Part 1.   Part 2.

To God be the Glory.  I’m thankful he’s always with me and that he can do more than I can ask or imagine.  What a friend I thankfully have in Jesus.

Peace be with you.  Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.


SCRIPTURE

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.  Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23 (NASB)

 


Happy Thanksgiving from 66 Assurance Way


Photo Credit (Cross): Dave King / flickrCC

Thanksgiving Devotional (Part 2)

The first step to showing gratitude, to God or another person, is one’s thankfulness. A person who isn’t thankful can’t show gratitude either.  Let your Thanksgiving be one of thankfulness AND gratefulness



As I expressed last Spring in Christians: Do You Have a Gratitude Attitude? (Praise)

Your Praise is literally music to God’s ears.  It pleases him and drives the Devil crazy!  To put it simply, the God-exalting Praise of a Christian man availeth much!  Having a ‘gratitude attitude’ in your thankfulness towards the Lord is as valuable as your faith and prayers. 



SCRIPTURE

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:3-4 ESV


  • If you missed the first part of this 3-part Devotional / Link
  • Need another Praise song to get you in the spirit?  Lord, I’m Available to You may be just what you need – a gospel classic.
  • Hoping your Thanksgiving is full of people with a ‘gratitude attitude’.  If it is, know that you are truly blessed.

66 Assurance Way


 

Sadly Tomorrow Wasn’t Promised: Gideon M. Leaks


A fellow alumnus of mine, Gideon M. Leaks, passed away suddenly yesterday.  We both attended Brown University in the eighties.  While we weren’t close, he was a kind person who had a smile you’d never forget once you saw it!  His passing hit me like a ton of bricks.  I just saw him last month in Providence, RI at a Reunion . . . he was about two years younger (55) than I am.  I am greatly saddened.

As I visited Gideons’ Facebook page today, the words at the top of his page jumped off the page:

May I deal with Honor

May I act with Courage

May I achieve Humility

Scripture tells us a lot about these three qualities.  The Bible also tells us that tomorrow is not promised.

Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.

Proverbs 27:1 ESV


 SCRIPTURE

Proverbs 27:1; 2 Corinthians 8:21; Matthew 23:12; 1 Peter 5:6; Isaiah 40:31


Guess what?  2 things this 57-year old Christian knows. 

  • Your good health isn’t guaranteed.
  • Tomorrow isn’t promised either.

If you act like that ‘final exam’ is way off in the future, you may have to be divinely evaluated (or have a medical storm) earlier than you anticipate! 

As I read the comments about Gideon, from those who knew him, it was clear why he strived to ‘deal with Honor, act with Courage, and achieve Humility’.   My late fellow alum would want everyone he knew (or crossed paths with) to: Live honorably; Vote in the mid-term elections.  Regarding the former, frankly, honorability is in the eyes of the beholder.  Smile.  I voted early btw, so I think Gideon would be pleased.  I will miss him.


Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. 

For we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.

But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.


Rest in peace Gideon Leaks.

Greg Silverthorne