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Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net. Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net.

Daily Devotional | Assurance of God’s Presence

If you’ve ever gone on a hike through a state park, you know that the way can sometimes be unclear. You come to a fork in the trail and wonder if you should head left or right. Maybe you consult your trail guide or look for a marker that will indicate the right direction.

As we come to the end of Matthew’s Gospel, we see the resurrected Jesus gather His disciples on a mountain in Galilee (v. 16). Here He delivers what has been called the Great Commission. This was a significant crossroad for the disciples, and they would rely on Jesus to help them with their next steps.

Jesus challenges them to step out of their comfort zone, to “go and make disciples of all nations” (v. 19), and then, He gives them the assurance they need. He promises His presence: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (v. 20). Jesus’ promise brings both comfort and strength to His disciples. He assures them, and us by extension, that no matter what challenges we face in following Him, we are not alone.

Matthew at the beginning of the Gospel stated that Jesus is Immanuel, “God with us” (1:23). Now in the last verse we come full circle. This last chapter about Jesus’ death and resurrection echoes many of the themes that were introduced in Jesus’ birth narrative—not only that God is with us, but that Gentiles would be included in God’s plan (v. 19).

As Christ’s followers, we are to venture out into the world, to make disciples and to baptize in His name, all with the comfort of the Lord’s unending presence. As we step out in obedience, let us take to heart the blessing of the Lord’s presence “with us” not only for today but for all our tomorrows as well.

Go Deeper

Are you ready to obey God’s command to “go and make disciples”? How does the assurance of His presence help you to take your next step?

Pray with Us: Equip us, make us ready, Lord God, to go and make disciples as You have commanded in the Great Commission. Your assurance to be with us always, “to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20), gives us hope and strength to do it.

BY James Coakley

Dr. Jim Coakleyis professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute. He earned his BA in Pastoral Studies from Calvary Bible College, his M.Div. and Th.M. in Old Testament from Grace Theological Seminary, and his doctorate from Covenant Theological Seminary. Jim is the author of 14 Fresh Ways to Enjoy the Bible (Moody Publishers). He and his wife, Gayle, live in the western suburbs of Chicago and have two adult children and three grandchildren. 

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