DATE: July 15, 2019
TEXT: Matthew 28:20b _ ESV And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.
While there must be some people who like to be alone, I haven’t met many of them. The truth is most people like to have someone, some friend, they believe is in their corner. Which takes me to the place in this devo where I can introduce you to Robert Devereux, aka, the Earl of Essex.
Devereux was a bachelor, a man who was greatly admired by many, and some say loved by a Queen. That would be Queen Elizabeth the first of England. Whether or not the two were in love, I cannot say. I can tell you that once, in a moment of great generosity, she gave him a ring and said, "If ever you are in trouble, send this ring to me and your request will be granted."
The promise, made by a monarch, was far more valuable than the stone.
As their story unfolds, in time they quarreled. In anger she struck him and he left England. When he finally returned, he was arrested, charged with treason and sentenced to death. At first Devereux was too proud to appeal to the queen for mercy. Eventually, the loneliness of his cell, and the fear of dying took its toll.
As the time for execution drew near, he sent the ring to the queen.
The message, and ring, was entrusted to a countess. But, because this countess was angry with, and jealous of, the queen, she kept the ring to herself. The message went undelivered, and the sorrowful Earl was executed alone!
To be sure, there are great differences between the Earl of Essex and the Christ of the Cross. The Earl died for his indiscretions; while innocent Jesus went to Calvary for that which we have done wrong. While the Earl had a ring which should have procured his release; Jesus’ freedom would have meant eternal imprisonment for us in hell.
Nevertheless, both the Earl, and the Christ, betrayed by those they thought were friends, faced death alone. By the grace of God, and through the blood of Jesus, a lonely death is one agony that Christians shall never have to face.
After His resurrection on the third day; after His appearances to hundreds wherein our Lord showed that the grave is not the end; even as He ascended into heaven, our Savior said, “I am with you always.”
The Christian imprisoned for his faith has a Savior Who says, “I am with you always”, and he finds strength. The person dying of cancer, can rely on those same words. ” The senior citizen who has outlived both friends and family hears the Lord whisper, “I am with you.” It is a joy to all who believe.
It is a joy to hear the Lord say, “Because of me, sorrowful souls never have to feel alone.”
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I don’t know where life is going to take me. I do know that wherever I go, You are there. I especially pray for those who feel alone. Comfort them with Your love and presence. In Your Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html