Anglican Morning Devotion, 13 February 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD. 13 Then spake Haggai the LORD’S messenger in the LORD’S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD. 14 And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, 15 In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.” (Haggai 1:12-15; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
There is nothing that brings our Lord closer than obedience through love. Like a doting parent, our Lord yearns to experience His mighty love for us echoed back to Him from the love of those who are His elect people. Many Christian laity, clergy, and even theologians are constantly trying to find some formula of incurring the favor of God by means of something they must DO; but the formula for inducing His favor does not arise from our works alone. In fact, salvation is granted by no part of man at all. He is already dead in trespasses and sin, and the dead can do nothing to help themselves. They can neither see nor hear. Neither can the spiritually dead as described in, among many other passages, Ephesians – chapter two, Salvation is by the grace of God through faith evoked by the moving of the Holy Spirit.
The new man must love the Author of his new birth as a baby will love its nursing mother. It is the magnitude of love that empowers the elect to obey God. In the above passage from Haggai, please observe that it was the Holy Spirit that compelled the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, and all his cohorts to perform the work of rebuilding the House of the Lord at Jerusalem. The Lord assured them of His abiding presence with them.
“I AM WITH THEE,” what a comforting realization that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is with us in our troubles and struggles. There can be no weapon devised by man that can stand against such a man or people.
The Lord was with Joshua and the Children of Israel on the plains of Jericho at Gilgal where Joshua , in surveying the coming field of battle, .spied a man with drawn sword. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? 15And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:13-15)
The Lord is with us, His sheep, as the Shepherd of our souls: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” (Psalms 23:4)
The Lord is with us always and forever. He ABIDEs with us – not as a sojourner, but as the head of our family – the Church. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)
He is our constant Guide: “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21)
Like a father holds the hand of his child for protection, so does the Lord hold the hands of His people: “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13
He is with us as a Teacher just as He was with the two men on the Road to Damascus: “And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.” Luke 24:30-31 (KJV)
What a comfort to the believer to know that he is under the protection and presence of the Lord in all walks of life and in every tribulation: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 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. Matt 28:19-20 (KJV)