28 August 2022: To be in His presence

Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home

28 August 2022


“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”



“I am really missing you all so much, and struggling with being stuck here awaiting a place in a Rehabilitation Centre as I need to get strength back in my legs. I think of the lovely peace I experience whenever I walk into Bethel. From the first time, I always feel the Lord’s Presence there. Thank you all so much for praying for me as I have really needed your prayers. The operation was difficult and I am still in pain. The Lord allows us to be tested but “Never turn your backs on God.”

Wendy, in hospital

Interestingly, Wendy mentioned these words – “Never turn your backs on God” – a few times when I was visiting her on Sunday evening. Afterwards, in the lift, I got into a conversation with someone in his late thirties who said he used to be a “Christian”. He had now turned his back on God. We talked for over an hour about Jesus and the Christian faith. Something had happened in the past that made him bitter towards God – please pray for him – let’s call him Sajid.


Please read: Luke 10:38-42

Mary … sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.

Luke 10:39

Both sisters were in the Presence of Jesus but one sister was agitated, worried, and upset about many things. She was distracted, by the many things, from the one thing that should have been the number one priority at that time, spending time with Jesus, totally focussed on Him, shutting out all other distractions. Jesus once told the devil,

Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Matt. 4:4

Yes, we all have to eat, we cannot survive without food. However, a greater priority in our lives should be that daily uninterrupted time of devotion to Jesus, and this should increase as we grow in our relationship with Him. Jesus taught:

When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father.

Matt. 6:6

Of the two sisters we would say that Martha was the one who was stressed and in Jesus words: “worried and upset about many things”. The antidote to this is uninterrupted time in His Presence. For sure it is very commendable what Martha was doing, preparing a meal for Jesus and His disciples and we are exhorted to practice hospitality on a number of occasions in the Scriptures, e.g., Matt. 25:34-40; Luke 14:13-14; Acts 16:34; Romans 12:13; Titus 1:8; 1 Peter 4:9. However, we need to get our priorities right. It is said of John Wesley that the busier his day the more time he would spend in the Lord’s Presence. For us it might be the opposite as we allow busy-ness to distract us from sitting at Jesus feet.

Whether we kneel, sit, lie down, is irrelevant. What is important is we spend quality time with Him each day, and we will most certainly benefit:

(1) Hearing Him speak to us

Jesus loved Martha and her sister.

John 11:5

and in love, when Martha came to Him, He told her a difficult truth. If Martha put this into practice she would be liberated from a lot of stress, worry and anxiety and enjoy Jesus.

(2) Gaining insight into His will and ways

It was Mary, who, despite criticism from Jesus’ disciples, anointed Jesus with expensive perfume in preparation for His burial (John 12:1-8). Such insights undoubtedly gained as she spent time in His Presence. May the remainder of this year be a time of us spending more time in His Presence, Amen!

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, we praise You that You desire to have us spend quality time with You. Forgive us Lord that we get so easily distracted by the many things in life. Help us to draw near to You each day that we might bear much fruit in and through Jesus Christ, Amen!