Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Our Crown of Rejoicing



Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV  And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.


Unconditional Promises

It is a whole lot nicer to have the Lord with us than against us.  He is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11).  The unbeliever is condemned already (John 3:18) and I don’t know anyway that can be “sugar-coated.”  But thank goodness, a believer can make mistakes and still know that the Lord is “with them.”  David said that goodness and mercy would follow him all the days of his life in Psalm 23, but he surely made a gross mistake by taking another man’s wife and then by murdering her husband to cover up his sin.  Abraham was the friend of God but surely producing Ishmael by Hagar was not an act of faith.  Neither was letting both Pharaoh in Egypt and Abimelech in Gerar think that she was his sister and not his wife.  This was so that they would not kill him in order to have her as a wife since she was beautiful.  Both took her in their innocence but the Lord preserved Sara in both cases.  One could wonder if Abraham really loved her.  But the Lord was with both of these men.


Why was He with them?  Apparently it was because of their faithful worship of the Lord.  David was a man after (or dear to) God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). David loved the LORD and never loved “other gods.”  He didn’t turn aside to idols like others did.  Abraham was called out of Idolatry when he was in Ur of the Chaldees and never went back to that worship.  He built altars to the Lord.  He walked by faith and not by sight.  When he got the call to leave Haran, he left not knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8). 


Believers today are sealed with the Holy Spirit upon believing (Ephesians 1:13).  They have the Lord in them so He obviously is with them.  But sometimes we hinder fellowship with Him by grieving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).  When the Holy Spirit is grieved or sad or distressed, it probably seems like the Lord is not with us even though He is.  He just can’t control or fill us like He want to fill us (Ephesians 5:18).  We have the angels of God serving us according to Hebrews 1:14.  The Lord promises us that with regard to His practical care He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  Believers are indeed blessed since we are promised the Lord’s presence and protecting care.


His Conditional Promise

While the Lord is with us and not against us once we are saved or truly worshiping Him and only Him, there is another practical promise that He has made us.  If we make disciples, if we baptize them, if we teach them then the Lord is with us even to the end of the age.  The apostles are not with us now at the end of the age so that promise must be ours.  I think it means that if we do what the Lord has asked us to do, He will use us to effectively spread the Gospel.  The work will be fruitful.  We may not always see the results immediately, but there will be results.  He says in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”  Sometimes it seems like the road is hard and the results are few for those trying to faithfully make disciples.  But the Lord has made us a promise and I believe that what the Lord promises, He will fulfill.  So let us take heart and continue with the business of making disciples.


There will be great joy when we meet people in heaven that tell us that they heard the Gospel and trusted the Lord through something that we did.  That will be our “crown of rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19).


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of January 7, 2018

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