The Sublime Significance of Simply Being There [Brochure]

The Sublime Significance of Simply Being There by John A. Kaiser
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6 pages
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Full Text of This Product

The Sublime Significance of Simply Being There

“And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him.” Luke 23:33.

“And sitting down, they watched Him there.” Matthew 27:36.

What if He had not been there?

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3.

Had He not been there (on Calvary’s cross) for us, we could never hope to be with Him there (in His Father’s house)!

The significance of “there” and of “being there” was impressed upon me years ago when our young son was fatally injured. News that Joey had collided with a car while riding a bicycle circulated quickly. My wife and I followed the ambulance to the hospital. When we arrived, we were met by sympathetic friends who kept us company while we waited and prayed. I do not recall anything those dear ones said to us, but the memory of their being there remains—fragrant and precious. Similarly, the presence of our friends at other occasions such as weddings and funerals is appreciated just because they care enough to come—to share our joy or our sorrow.

Does our Lord appreciate our presence any less? Consider what He says:

 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” “If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be.” Matthew 18:20, John 12:26.

What first characterized the early believers when the Church was in its infancy and first love, and freshness and power? “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42. The “apostles’ doctrine and fellowship” is about authority. The “breaking of bread” is about communion. And, “prayers” is about power. And they continued steadfastly in these wonderful things—with wonderful results.

If, as believers in Christ, we have become indifferent to being at the assembly meetings where He is, is it not because we have left our first love? If we have left our first love, what are we to do? The assembly at Ephesus (as seen in Revelation 2) had high truth and much to commend it, but it, too, had left its first love. Consequently, it was a “fallen” church. It was admonished to “remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works”. What were the “first works”? No doubt they were the first works of the early church recorded in Acts 2:42, quoted above.

The works alone are not enough. Remembering and repenting are prerequisite. When the Holy Spirit has His way in us in remembering and in repenting, and then in “the first works”, we may expect that the blessing which the early Church experienced may be our own experience as well.

But, if we want this blessing, we must not wait for others. Our Lord’s admonition to the Ephesian church ends with the call to the individual: “He that hath an ear let him hear.” God’s remedy for collective failure is individual faithfulness.

Nor should we make excuses. See Luke 14:18.

Some say, “But I have such a hard time staying awake”. So did the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane. But our Lord, knowing they would sleep, still wanted them there; and, although He chided them for their sleeping, He expressed His appreciation of their willingness to be there with Him, saying, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41. Some cite the example of Eutychus, (Acts 20:9) who slept and fell from the window while Paul preached. But I believe that if you had afterward asked Eutychus and his local brethren if he and they were glad that Eutychus had been there, both he and they would have exclaimed “Yes!” That occasion became an unforgettable and rich experience which both he and they would not have wanted to miss.

Certainly it is desirable to be awake and alert during meetings—and to be prepared to participate as led by the Holy Spirit. But it is impossible for us to be awake or alert or active in meetings if we are not firstly there! Remember Gethsemane.

It is often difficult to make it to the assembly meetings. Obstacles may abound and increase. Satan, the world, and the flesh are not sympathetic to the Spirit’s prompting: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25.

“So much the more”. Not less!

Think again: What characterizes “first love’? Is it not the desire for the company of and for communication with the one who is precious? And is our Lord really precious to us? Do we desire to see Him honored “in the midst”? A true indicator of our love for Him is our love for the company of His own (our brethren) and for the hearing of His word.

Our Lord knows what hinders—legitimately and illegitimately. He does sympathize, and His grace is sufficient—for anything and everything. If anything hinders you or me from being there, we should go to Him about it. It was after Paul “besought the Lord” that he was promised the “sufficient grace”. Pray about it. Pray again. And again.

He was there (on the cross) for us. Matthew 27:36. He is there (in glory) for us. John 14:3. Are you and I willing to be there (where He is in the midst) for Him? Matthew 18:20.

And He looked round about on them which sat about Him, and said, “Behold my mother and my brethren! Mark 3:34.

JAK