Eternity in God’s Presence

Open Your Bible

John 10:1-30, John 14:1-3, Luke 23:32-43, Romans 6:23, Romans 14:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

“Hey, Patti! So glad you’re here.”

I’ll never forget how Sue, my high-school ministry leader, greeted me the first time we met. Even though I had heard a lot about her from my friends, I still felt shy as we walked up her driveway and they swung open the back door without even knocking. My friends made themselves right at home, searching Sue’s refrigerator (that she always kept well stocked) for soda and plopping down on her kitchen stools. In walked Sue, laughing at our unannounced arrival and welcoming us all. Before I could awkwardly introduce myself, she greeted me by name.

Hearing Sue call me by name spoke to my longing to be known and stirred my hope for belonging. It meant the world to my insecure, 15-year-old self, and it means the world to me now. Little did I know that we would spend hours together, that she would share her life stories with me, and that she would explain the meaning of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection to me. Little did I know that Sue and I would become friends for life.

Hearing Jesus describe Himself as the “good shepherd” also stirs my hope for belonging. His shepherd metaphor stops me in my hustling tracks and tugs at my solitary heart. “I am the good shepherd,” Jesus says. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). This shepherd doesn’t merely offer the bare minimum; He offers His life. He is ready and willing to die in order to protect His sheep from attack. Jesus also says that the good shepherd “calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (v.3). He doesn’t casually regard the flock as a random collection of animals. He leads them out to pasture where He satisfies their hunger and thirst. Not only that, but He knows each one intimately, and He calls them by name.

Do we hear Jesus’s voice? Do we hear His promises? Jesus promises the ultimate belonging: to be fully known and fully loved by Him forever. He says to every one of His followers, “I see you. I know you intimately. I know your deepest hunger and thirst. I love you. I will provide for you and protect you, even if it means laying down my life.” And, it did—it cost Him everything—Jesus died to divinely and decisively deal with the sin that separates us from God. He died once and for all so that we can be united with Him forever.

Even though it is hard for us to imagine life without end, this is His promise: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand” (v.28). Jesus protects His flock and seals the deal for those who hear Him and follow. “Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:8). He calls each by name to be with Him and to become friends for life—both now and for eternity.

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51 thoughts on "Eternity in God’s Presence"

  1. Casey Stewart says:

    ❤️

  2. Karen Breaux says:

  3. Mia Faith says:

    A little late… but…I love everything about this! He knows me and calls me by name. I have El Roi tattooed on my forearm as a visual reminder (feeling so unseen after my son died and now since losing my husband) that I am loved, seen, sought after!
    Praying for all the requests!

  4. Victoria E says:

    Lynne from Alabama, praying for you as you care for your husband. Praying for your husband as well. GramsieSue prayers for you and Steve as well! Mercy praying for your journey and your family interactions. I am grateful for the presence of God every single day

  5. Taylor G says:

    I love the reassurance the readings today gave. Jesus knows us and He calls us by name! I just loved from the devotional that “Jesus says to us, ‘I see you. I know you intimately. I know your deepest hunger and thirst. I love you. I will provide for you and protect you, even if it means laying down my life.’” Jesus knows us so deeply that He knows what we want and what we need and He will provide for us! I needed to hear this today as I have been struggling with having patience in my life and remembering to give control to God because in the end He will provide for me. I hope you all had a wonderful week! @ Lynne from Alabama, I am praying that God gives you strength during this time in you and Jack’s lives. I pray He provides you with peace when you feel like you may be overwhelmed with your situation. I pray that God not let Jack suffer but instead keeps him comfortable during this time. @ Mercy I pray that God protects you and your family as you travel and calms your nerves during the journey. @ Rhonda J I am praying God continues to guide Stacy. For anyone else I missed, know I pray for you wonderful women everyday ❤️❤️ Have a great weekend!

  6. Allison Bentley says:

    Amen @Julia C
    prayers to you @Lynne from Al
    Praying today that we all (sinners) have the heart of the criminal on the cross “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom” happy Friday she’s! ☮️❤️ as you go through your weekend!

  7. Mercy says:

    Happy Friday shes, what a lovely reminder we have (thank you JULIA C- I really enjoyed your comments, especially the CS Lewis one from yesterday or so). I have been quite busy so I was not able to comment daily. Thank you so much she’s for thinking of me. We are preparing for a long travel trip, we are flying out next week so I have been trying to finish up my work, and packing (my least favorite). It is a long haul international flight. I feel so nervous flying with three young kids who can’t sit still (it’s 25 hour total with 3 legs of flights). I would appreciate your prayers for a safe and a lovely experience for them, and peace for my mind. We are flying to visit my parents, and I just feel so nervous. Please pray that God would heal my mom’s narcissistic traits that has caused a lot of damage, may God bring reconciliation for us through this trip, and no more drama. Thank you so much shes. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I am praying along your prayer requests. I hold you dearly in my hearts, my lovely fellow sojourners in this narrow road journey. Be blessed dear sisters.

  8. AZ Walker says:

    It’s a beautiful day in Arizona and I’m on the patio listening to the little girls next door playing, and so grateful for my quiet little neighborhood and sweet back yard full of flowering plants and happy birds. Praying for loving comfort over Searching’s friend Shannon and family during such a hard time, Lynne’s Jack and his suffering, and all of our well-being and for peace in our homes. As always I am praying for the saving of our dear loved ones who don’t know you and our protocols (Aleida’s son Victor, Laura’s daughter, and others).

  9. Cee Gee says:

    PATTI SAULS – Thank you for this beautiful and final devo in this study. May we all strive to be Sue to someone in our lives!

    “This shepherd doesn’t merely offer the bare minimum; He offers His life. He is ready and willing to die in order to protect His sheep from attack. Jesus also says that the good shepherd “calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (v.3).”

    16 But I have other sheep that are not from this sheep pen; I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd. Joh 10:16

    A few of you have already shared my other chosen quotes so I only have this to add –
    Mic drop moment:

    :… and so we will always be with the Lord.”

    Thinking of the contrast of Him being HERE with us and us being with Him in HEAVEN!

    SEARCHING – I haven’t heard that song in years but I am listening to it now! My heart goes out to Shannon and her family and friends, including you, sister! Continued prayers for wisdom, guidance, and compassionate cooperation with those in power to help your elderly relative. Praying that one right person steps forward to intervene!

    LYNNE FROM ALABAMA – Praying for strength of heart and endurance for you and comfort and peace for Jack. Praying for protection from pain and fear for him and for God’s peace to flood your soul. Continued prayers for you both!

    I am on my laptop so no heart emojis today, but you all know where I would put them if I could!

    Yesterday I shared a song by Mandisa with lyrics that fit so well. Sadly, she passed away last week, but her music will live on.

    HE IS WITH YOU LYRICS:

    There’s a time to live
    And a time to die
    There’s a time to laugh
    And a time to cry
    There’s a time for war
    And a time for peace
    There’s a hand to hold
    In the worst of these

    He is with you when your faith is dead
    And you can’t even get out of bed
    Or your husband doesn’t kiss you anymore
    He is with you when your baby’s gone
    And your house is still, and your heart’s a stone
    Cryin’ God, what’d You do that for
    He is with you

    There’s a time for yes
    And a time for no
    There’s a time to be angry
    And a time to let it go
    There is a time to run
    And a time to face it
    There is love to see you
    Through all of this

    He is with you in the conference room
    When the world is coming down on you
    And your wife and kids don’t know you anymore
    He is with you in the ICU
    When the doctors don’t know what to do
    And it scares you to the core
    He is with you

    We may weep for a time
    But joy will come in the morning
    The morning light

    He is with you when your kids are grown
    When there’s too much space and you feel alone
    And you’re worried if you got it right or wrong
    Yes He is with you when you’ve given up
    On ever finding your true love
    Someone who feels like home
    He is with you

    When nothing else is left
    And you take your final breath
    He is with you

    Love and prayers to all!

  10. Donna Wolcott says:

    Dear Lynn, prayers for you and Jack in this difficult period. May you find some moments of rest and may the doctors keep Jack comfortable in this transition. Praying as I read, praising in the joys and for comfort in the trials.
    Julia, thank you for your beautiful daily prayers.
    Have a blessed weekend sisters!

  11. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    “He calls each by name to be with Him and to become friends for life—both now and for eternity.” In a world where we long to be seen and known – and so often we are unseen, unknown, lonely and sad – it is refreshing and heart warming to be reminded that God not only knows me by name, He calls me by name and leads me. He goes ahead of me chasing away danger, protecting me from the stranger. This account of the Shepherd and His sheep is such a picture of the tenderness and love of our caring compassionate God. I am blessed and honored to belong to Him. Forever and ever. To Him be the glory.

    @Searching – I am so sorry to hear that Shannon’s mom passed away. Prayers of peace and comfort for her and her family.

    @Lynn from Alabama – I am also sorry to hear that Jack’s condition is worsening. I can’t imagine what it must be like for you to have to stand by, helpless, and watch it happen. Praying God gives you the strength each day – step by step and that He will extend His mercy and grace to Jack in that he not suffer. Hugs. ❤️

    @Rhonda J. -praying for Stacey as she begins life anew. She is blessed to have you in her life – praying that you will bond well and be able to mentor her. Prayers for your back pain, I know what that’s like… and that you will be pain free by Sunday so you can fully enjoy the worship with Brandon Lake – as you might recall, I saw him and Phil in August this past year – it was the BEST concert I have ever attended, SO Spirit filled! Enjoy!!!

    Ladies have a wonderful Friday – may we all be a blessing to someone today! ❤️❤️

  12. Sophia Ayres says:

    I don’t need to worry about the future because I have his voice to follow and he will never forget me. He knows me by name and knows all I need.

  13. Mari V says:

    @ Rhonda J, I love your description of your sweet friend as a beautiful butterfly! Speaking of which we did the butterfly Life Cycle with the kindergartners. we You should’ve seen their little faces when we let them go outside. I love kindergarten!

  14. Mari V says:

    Lynn from Alabama… Praying for you, sweet lady! May our father God give you strength, extra strength! We, your SRT sisters love you very much!

  15. GramsieSue says:

    Prayers for you Lynne from AL- you are in a difficult season and I lift you up for all of your needs during this time. Praying Jack doesn’t suffer

    Lifted so many in prayers as I read thru the comments. Life is tough sometimes…I went to bed thinking, “I need a vacation!!!”

    Hugs and blessings to all. ❤️

  16. Traci Gendron says:

    Do we hear Jesus’s voice? Do we hear His promises? Jesus promises the ultimate belonging: to be fully known and fully loved by Him forever.

    KRIS – I like your comment and can relate. About 30 years ago I was begging God to change me. To forgive me for all my bad choices. Reading your comment reminded me that God’s promises are real. That He did come to me with forgiveness. He gently took my hand and lead me to a much better way of life. Sometimes we need to look back to see how far God has lead us.

    LYNNE FROM ALABAMA – prayers that God will not let Jack suffer. And that you will find strength, perseverance, and comfort.

  17. Cindy Hanna says:

    The Good Shepherd passage has long been a favorite of mine. Listening for my Savior’s voice AND knowing it when I hear him. Our study book shares an old quote from Brother Lawerence that I enjoyed…”There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.” Deep sighs of longing fills my heart. I want that for all of us. May our lives be filled with continual conversations with our God!

  18. Meme Faye says:

    day 25 scriptures

    Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:16-20, John 14:15=31, John 15:1-8, John 15:26, John 16:13-15, John 20:19-21, 1John
    3:24, Ephesians 1:13-14.

  19. Meme Faye says:

    i’m not sure i can do this, but here is day 25 devotional…
    A few years ago, we planted two blackberry bushes in our backyard. Since he didn’t quite understand the concept of “ripeness,” my two-year-old son often walked to the plot and picked off a green or yellow berry, only to drop it with disappointment into the soil. “You can’t pick them when they’re green,” I told him. “They need to stay on the vine.”

    God’s presence is a mysterious concept. At times, I’ve felt His closeness like a breath on my cheek. Other times, I’ve had to trust that His nearness is truth—regardless of my emotions or circumstances. If I trust Jesus, then I must take Him at His Word, and He tells me over and over again through Scripture that He will not leave me behind, He will always be present, and even when He is not physically present, the Holy Spirit will stand in the gap. God’s presence in my life is like the nutrients that move from soil through the vine into an unripe raspberry. Cut off from the source, nothing blooms. Cut off from His presence, I will be nothing but wasted potential.

    Often, I can be tricked into believing that in order for me to experience God’s presence, I need a plush upholstered chair, a window that emits plentiful natural light, a cup of just-brewed coffee, a journal, and a good pen. Silence. But God is present with me, even when I am not aware of Him. And if God is always with me, then He is with me in the chaos of the day, just as much as He is in the precious moments of morning quiet. In the Great Commission, Jesus is sending His closest friends into oppositional territory, to places where they will be persecuted, hunted, and ultimately, killed. And despite that terrifying reality, Jesus promises them: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

    Jesus is with you too—today, yesterday, and forever. No matter what you’re facing. No matter the sorrow, past or present, He is here—grieving with us, celebrating with us, growing and filling us with His Spirit, and helping us take steps forward with hope.

    There is no check-list of calm or solitude required for God’s presence to attend to your weary soul. He is here now. He is with you, always. His presence flows into your heart, whether you feel it or not, whether you see it or not. All you must do is stay on the vine.

    Written by Claire Gibson

    i will try to post the scripture readings also…

    1. Kebrina Vinglas says:

      ❤️

    2. Taylor G says:

      @ Meme Faye Thank you for posting this!! I was unable to read it yesterday, so I appreciate it.

  20. Kris says:

    John 10:10 changed my life about 4 years ago. I was readying that passage, and finally stopped and thought, “If Jesus came to give me life in abundance, why don’t I have an abundant life?” And I went on a quest to find “abundant life” in Jesus. I had been a Christian for years, raised in church, all of that…but I did not have an abundant life. So began my journey with Jesus to find His abundant life for me. And it’s been quite a journey. Jesus has been very gentle with me, often needing to show me errors in my thinking that produce everything but joy and peace. He’s showed me places in my heart that needed healing and restoring. He led me to places where I needed to forgive others and even myself. He’s shown me that I need to think more of others, and less often of myself. He’s shown me that I need to make the bible personal – like it’s just for me. He has restored so many areas in my heart, brought fullness of joy. It’s been a beautiful ride, and I hope I never stop this journey. If you don’t have an abundant life that Jesus offers, please talk to Him about it, ask Him to take you on a journey to find it.

  21. Cheryl Blow says:

    We truly find our place to belong in Jesus. No one else can fill that void. So thankful for our Good Shepherd! He’ll go after the “1!”

    Praying for all!

  22. Lynne from Alabama says:

    Good morning, sweet SRT sisters! I am so sorry I haven’t commented lately. I am here every morning reading each of your comments from that day and the day before and praying for each of you by name but caregiving is so time consuming. I try to get all my praying done before Jack wakes up. :) After he gets up, that’s it. I love you all and thank you so much for your prayers. Yesterday I had a strong feeling from the Lord that things are about to change. Jack’s tumors on and around his neck are growing and the oncologist told me that it would eventually cut off his breathing and swallowing. It has been three months since they told me that and things have been the same except for the obvious growth of the tumors. Please pray that I can be strong and that Jack won’t suffer.

    KELLY (NEO)—Thank you for asking about Gina! She got a cancer-free report from her pet scan! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!

    Love you all!! ❤️

  23. Gwineth52 says:

    Good Morning Sister Shes
    May we not be troubled today by technology hiccups & glitches.
    As writer Patti Sauls concludes in the devotional we do have: “He calls each by name to be with Him and to become friends for life—both now and for eternity”. We, the SRT community, prevail & participate, for we know His presence & persistence far exceed all things temporal. He calls each by name to be with Him and to become friends for life—both now and for eternity. There is profound Grace in whatever waiting. Then may we patient. He has never left us hungry or thirsty. Or lacking His Word. Written not in “code” but on our hearts. Thanks be to God. Not algorithms!!

  24. Rhonda J. says:

    GM She’s!

    Today’s reading is SO GOOD! He loves us, and knows us by name! Not only that BUT His presence is with us..always!! He is patient…not wanting any to perish, but come to the gate and enter in, and there he keeps watch over us, in safety and protection. Isn’t that just WOW..that we don’t have to trek to a temple somewhere and sacrifice animals to receive his love and protection…He has made it so easy, yet so unfathomable! Crazy love! Loves me through and past my failings and mistakes. I just want to be wrapped up in his love.

    I am going to meet with one of our beautiful butterflies that has transformed through the love of Jesus today! I can’t wait to spend time with her “outside” of Wednesdays groups. It has been months since I have seen her and she begins her life anew now! Please pray for Stacy that she breaks every chain, resists the many temptations that will come her way, and that we can bond and I can continue to mentor her! She is a special lady that I see God doing great things for!

    Blanket prayers for you all every night and morning and for those special requests! Prayers for my back please, it is worse than ever…..and I have a busy wkd and a Brandon Lake concert I MUST GO to Sunday night!!!!

  25. Mari V says:

    He KNOWS my name! HE knows YOUR name! What comfort that WE are known to HIM. OUR JESUS KNOWS US! Even when we are sad, or want to cry and feel like no one understands, HE DOES! And sometimes that’s all we need. Sometimes HE reminds us by the sweet words from a child saying….”I love you Ms. Valdez” (its what the kinders call me). HAPPY FRIDAY sweet She’s! Our substitute teacher (a fellow Christian, I am BLESSED) and I were just saying yesterday that we are SO glad today was going to be FRIDAY! It was a long week. BUT GOD….I am SO blessed by her as we have common ground and we are already praying for one another!

  26. Rhonda J. says:

    @Leah–Go to the options at top right of page, and click on “Today’s Reading!”

  27. Leah BrooksCondron says:

    Day 25 didn’t load for me but Day 26 did? I have this problem sometimes where some days just don’t show up.. does anyone know how to fix this?

    1. Susan Joiner says:

      I couldn’t get Day 25 yesterday or today when I went back. Day 26 was up this morning. SRT has glitches sometimes. It usually gets fixed, but may take awhile.

      1. Leah BrooksCondron says:

        Thank you!

    2. Peggy Pappas says:

      SRT dies have glitches sometimes. When it doesn’t load I go to their website where it always loads. I read Day 25 there.

    3. She Reads Truth says:

      Hi! Our team is looking into this and we hope to have Day 25 up very soon on both shereadstruth.com/plans and in the She Reads Truth App!

      We’re so grateful for you!

  28. Ada McCloud says:

    The power of one Man’s death. The love of the one and only God.
    Amen

  29. Michelle Patire says:

    Searching – will pray for Shannon’s family… ♥️ Thank you for sharing.

    I posted last night at 7pm in response to some prayer requests posted yesterday…

    Going to pray a covering again for those in need. ♥️

    God bless you ladies. ♥️

  30. Aimee D-R says:

    Lord You are my Shepherd, I shall not want! Thank you for your peace and presence. Thank you that You are always with me and Your goodness and blessings follow me always. Let me always hear Your voice and feel Your presence. In Jesus name, Amen

  31. Searching says:

    Tears again this morning as I read those letters in red, the words of my Jesus (as MARI V has taught me). These verses tell me of His sacrifice for me, for us, for all who will believe. The verses from Thessalonians brought the song Midnight Cry to mind.

    Yes, KELLY (NEO), thanking those reaching out to the lost.

    Thank you to CEE GEE, KELLY (NEO), MICHELLE PATIRE and others whose names are lost with yesterday’s missing devo – those who prayed for Shannon’s mom. Sad news for their family as their mom passed away yesterday. Please continue to keep their family in your prayers as they walk through the painful, difficult days, weeks and months ahead.

    CEE GEE ❤️ you mentioned the song, Walk With Jesus, the other day. One of my favs!

    Continuing to work through issues and logistics for elderly relative as deadlines loom, appreciate all who are praying for wisdom and guidance.

  32. Char Hight says:

    Today was so good. Jesus is the GOOD SHEPHERD! He knows me by name. NO ONE can take me from his hand. THE PROTECTION PROCLAIMED IN TODAYS VERSES. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ The passion, the love, the intimacy, the sacrifice. He knows me by name. This. This is it.

  33. Kelly (NEO) says:

    Thank You, Lord for faithful people like Sue, whose love and hospitality draws the lost sheep to Your fold.

    DANIELLE B – prayers for your dad’s recovery

    LYNN FROM AL – how’s Gina? Did she have the PET scan yet?

    THERESA – how is Sydney?

    SEARCHING – prayers for Shannon’s mom and wisdom for her medical team. Continuing to pray for God’s guidance wth your elderly relative’s care.

    CHERL BLOW – praying you have patience as your shoulder heals. How’s Landry’s eye?

    CATHERINE MCVEY – how ate your treatments going?

    MADELINE – continued prayers for your son’s recovery

  34. Julia C says:

    PATTI SAULS – Thank you for this beautiful devotional! “Do we hear Jesus’s voice? Do we hear His promises? Jesus promises the ultimate belonging: to be fully known and fully loved by Him forever.”
    SRT – Praying for technical issues to be resolved quickly❤️
    DEAR ALL – I wanted to respond to yesterday’s comments, but they are gone… Grateful that He sees, knows, and loves every one of us!

  35. Julia C says:

    Dear Father,

    Today I am struck by the humble yet powerful ways You present Yourself to us:

    – You are the Gatekeeper, who brings us salvation (John 10:9)
    – You are the Good Shepherd, who protects us at the cost of Your own life (John 10:11)
    – You are the Good Shepherd, who has a relationship with us (John 10:14).
    – You are the Housekeeper, who prepares a room for us in Your house (John 14:2)

    These are in striking contrast with Luke 23:35-38 where the people and leaders were scoffing at You at the cross: God’s Messiah, The Chosen One, King of the Jews…

    But Jesus, in His perfect obedience to You, chose to lay down His life (John 10:17-18) so that we might receive Your gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

    We belong to You, Lord (Romans 14:8). As PATTI SAULS so beautifully said “You call us by our name to be with You and to become friends for life —both now and for eternity.”

    I pray that we may hear Your voice, be known by You and follow You (John 10:27) until the day we will finally meet You and be with You always (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

    In Jesus’ name,

    AMEN.

  36. Mary Ann Graves says:

    Hallelujah and Amen