With. It’s a good word. Think about it. When someone says “I’m WITH you”, we feel accepted, supported, cared for, and loved.
Bob Goff says “with” sums up the whole message of the Bible in one word. I’ve been pondering that statement for weeks.
Jesus is Emmanuel – God WITH us. He came to earth as a man to be WITH us, then died and rose again so we could be WITH Him for eternity.
Even in the Old Testament, God was WITH His people. He was WITH the Israelites as a pillar of fire and a cloud when they fled Egypt.
In the New Testament, Jesus appointed 12 disciples to “be with” Him (Mark 3:14). This is God’s idea of effective discipleship.
He didn’t give us a formula.
Jesus was WITH sinners – going to the home of Zaccheus, a despised tax collector; associating himself with Mary Magdalene, a woman of questionable repute; touching the woman with the issue of blood, an “unclean” outcast; welcoming children to be WITH Him… He was WITH “the least of these”, the untouchables, the people others chose to ignore.
His disciples learned about God and became fruitful for Jesus by being WITH Him. They watched Him, listened to Him, laughed with Him, worked with Him, ministered with Him, ate with Him, traveled with Him…
We become like those we’re with. Are you someone others would benefit from being with? Who are you intentionally “with” these days? And are you spending time with Jesus?