Tag Archives: I AM

July 18; Who Is God?

Isaiah 43-46

Some days you just have to let God speak for Himself.

“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.” (43:10-11)

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” (43:25)

“I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” (44:6b)

This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: “I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself…” (44:24)

For this is what the Lord says – he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited – he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other.” (45:18)

“Even to your old age, and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (46:4)

“Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.” (46:8-9)

I bear witness: God is who He says He is. The Bible tells me that. And He has shown Himself to be true in my life. There is no other god. None.

These are only a few verses I read today that declare the identity of God. I hope you’ll read all that He has to say about Himself, and His relationship to you. Listen to His heart.

I love God, who tells me not to fear, that He is with me, that He saves me. And He never fails.

How can such a great, awesome, powerful God be so personal? Because HE IS!

January 14; Worthy

Job 32-34

Chapter 32 starts out by saying Job’s three friends are done with him because he continues to persist in being “righteous in his own eyes.” This gave the younger man, Elihu, the opportunity to put in his two cents. But Elihu is really no different than the other three, or even Job. There is a kernel of truth in what he has to say. But, overall he doesn’t understand any better than the rest.

The thing is, Job did hold on to his own righteousness. He continued to say he didn’t deserve what was happening. But remember, if Job was righteous in his own eyes, he was also righteous in God’s. “Righteousness” has nothing to do with what happened to Job.

The best of us, the nicest, most generous of us, those whose morality is without question, are owed nothing of God. What all the men we read about here in the book of Job, and what many of us fail to realize is that God is not bound to circumstances. He is above it all.

If we connect our worship of God to our comfort, or our trials, we are not worshiping God. God identified Himself in the Old Testament as “I AM.” Jesus did the same in the New Testament. “I AM,” not “I WILL.”

I do appreciate what Elihu says in chapter 33. The Great I Am. speaks. He pleads. He nudges. He whispers. He shouts. He doesn’t stop trying to get our attention. I love that so much. God won’t stop revealing Himself to people while we still have breath.

God wants me to worship HIM. He wants you to worship HIM. Not for what he does. Lay that aside. He is worthy of our worship because HE IS.

 

John 12-17; What Would You Say?

We get a glimpse of the table conversation at the Passover Feast by one who was actually there in the upper room. John, who identifies himself as loved by Jesus, shares this last, intimate exchange between Jesus and those closest to Him.

Jesus knew He was about to die. What did He want his disciples to know before everything changed for them? Let’s take a look.

Jesus keeps reinforcing the fact that He is the Son of God, that He is on a mission from the Father, that what He says comes out of the Father’s mouth, that He and the Father are one. “Don’t ever forget,” He seems to say, “I AM who I say I AM.”

Jesus not only spoke to them about being a servant, He demonstrated His role as servant by getting on His knees and washing their feet. He showed them that He came to serve. Now it was their turn. “Love one another as I have loved you,” He tells them. They would need to love each other fiercely in the days and years ahead.

He encouraged them to trust God, knowing their faith was about to be tested. He told them He was going to lay down His life, but they would see Him again. In fact, He spoke about heaven, and told them they would join Him there some day.

We’ve already looked at some of the “I AM” statements that Jesus spoke during His ministry. Here, in this last conversation before the cross, He tells His disciples:

I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him. (John 14:6-7)

One of the last things Jesus says to His disciples is I AM the only way. Don’t ever forget that.

Jesus went on to tell his disciples about the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth. He wanted His disciples to know He was not leaving them alone. “I’m sending help,” He tells them. “One who will never leave you!” (or me!)

Then, to draw one last picture, Jesus says;

I AM the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. (15:1)

The Spirit within us produces fruit that is straight from God. Our lives in Him bear fruit. Lives apart from Him can do nothing.

Jesus goes on to talk about love. I think I’d want to tell my loved ones how much I loved them, too, if I knew I was going to die. “I love you like the Father loves me,” He tells them. “Love each other.” And then Jesus called them His friends. Imagine. The Savior of the world said, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

Then, before making His way to the garden where He would be arrested, Jesus did something amazingly beautiful. He prayed. He prayed for those men sitting at His feet. And He prayed for us. For you. For me.

If you knew you would die tonight, what would you want to say to your loved ones? What would you leave them with? In these chapters in John, we read what Jesus said to wrap up His earthly life. We hear His love, feel His passion. And we know He didn’t leave there before He prayed. Not a prayer that focused on what He was about to experience. He prayed for us.

What I have shared by no means covers everything Jesus said in these chapters of John. Please read them for yourself. Let God speak to your heart about the things that are on His. What Jesus said to His disciples that day, was meant for your ears, too.

Dear Father, thank You for inspiring John to let us in on that last, intimate conversation Jesus had with His disciples. We get to hear Him put a cap on His ministry, find out what He wanted us to remember. Thank You for Jesus. Thank You for Your Spirit that lives in those of us who call You Lord. And thank You for this precious Book that allows us to know You in such a personal way.

 

 

John 8-11; Who Is This Guy?

He healed a blind man. He raised his dead friend to life again. He forgave a sinful woman. He not only said He was God, He backed up His claims with action.

Who is this guy? Let’s look at who He says He is.

  1. I AM the light of the world. (8:12) He said in verses 31-32, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The Truth of Jesus Christ is the light in a dark world. Chapter 8 is full of Jesus’ deity, ending with His bold pronouncement in verse 58: “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I AM!”  That’s the Light; the knowledge that makes everything clear, makes the world make sense, frees us from the chains of sin. Jesus is God!
  2. I AM the Son of Man (9:37) Once again Jesus is proclaiming His deity. Then He says to all of us, “Now that you know that, what you do with the Truth is on you. You will be held accountable.” (vs 41) Once you’ve read these words here in God’s Word, once you have heard it proclaimed, you can no longer say, “I didn’t know.” Because now you DO know. Jesus is God!
  3. I AM the gate. (10:1-10) Jesus is not only God, He is the ONLY way to the Father. There is no other way into the fold. Jesus is the protector and defender who knows His sheep by name. Which means He also knows who are NOT His sheep.
  4. I AM the Good Shepherd (vv 11-18) And not just for Jewish sheep! All of us who listen to His voice are part of His flock, loved and secure. Our Shepherd laid down His own life so we can live eternally! His sheep! Our Savior!
  5. I AM the Resurrection and the Life (11:25) From creation to the end of time and into eternity – Jesus IS.

The Great I AM.

Yes, Jesus made some bold claims, did some unexplainable things while He walked in human form here on planet Earth. And He did and said those things so that you and I could know Him.

If Jesus had been crazy or delusional like some have claimed, the Pharisees would have killed him the first time the words “I AM” came out of His mouth. I don’t believe a mere man would have been able to survive their attempts. They certainly thought about it often enough. They just couldn’t wrap their minds around what they heard and saw.

Can you? Who is this guy? Martha knew:

“Yes, Lord,” she told Him, “I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” (11:27)

He is that guy!

 

If you say it often enough…

Saying something doesn’t automatically make it true. In Acts 19 we see that during a riot, the city clerk stood up and said:

“Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of Ephesus is temple guardian of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Zeus? Therefore, since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rashly.” (NKJV)

Is it a fact that some god named Zeus fashioned a statue in the clouds and dropped it in Ephesus? Is that what the city clerk said cannot be denied? Do you believe that to be true?

How often have you heard the earth is billions of years old stated as a fact that can’t be denied? What about the statement that life does not begin at conception? Or that homosexuality is a viable lifestyle? Have you heard it is possible to change your gender stated as fact? Or that marriage isn’t restricted to a union between a man and a woman? Some people even preach God is a god of love and accepts all of us just the way we are.

And they keep saying it, and saying it, and saying it.

The sad truth is, if you tell someone something often enough, very often they’ll begin to believe it.

But I’m here to tell you I can certainly deny that city clerk’s story about the statue. I know for a fact that the earth is thousands, not millions of years old, that there is nothing normal about homosexuality, and abortion is murder. I stand on the truth that God is not only a God of love, he is Holy and demands holiness of his children.

And none of that is true just because I say it is.

I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover several times. And each time I do, the more I realize I cannot deny it is true. It has so many checks and balances. This book, written by many writers over many years, clearly presents God as Creator, Almighty, True, a God who loves each and every one of us, a God who demands our obedience and deserves our worship.

In its pages we see Him proving He is who He says He is. And not just once. He chose the physical nation of Israel, and then the Church, to show us exactly what he expects, the consequences of disobedience, the blessings of faith in Him, and the grace that is ours through Jesus. You have to admit that the fulfilling of so many prophesies is hard to deny. Who else but God could bring that about?

I have learned to check what I am hearing with what is written in God’s Word. The voice of Satan is loud and repetitive. And if I’m not carefully guarding my heart, I might begin to assume he’s telling the truth.

Dear one, let’s determine to depend on God’s Word to be our plumb line. Let’s allow God to be the Cornerstone from which everything is measured. Don’t fall for “popular opinion” or you might start believing a statue fell from heaven…

OCtober 23

John 7:53-9:34

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” Think for a minute about the enormity of that statement. Later he said, “Before Abraham was born, I AM,” which every good Jew at the time knew was the name God gave himself. I AM.

Now he’s really making the Jewish leaders mad. This Jesus is nothing like they expected. He was not the Messiah they  had pictured. He didn’t fit into their religion.

As I wrote that this morning it occurred to me Jesus still doesn’t fit into religion, does he? In fact, Jesus had little use for religion. How many times did he call the synagog leaders out for their hypocrisy? How often did he say their prayers and sacrifices were worthless, their faith misdirected? 

Jesus did not come to make us feel good about ourselves or so we could feel powerful and worthy. He came to break us down, to force us to our knees, to recognize our helpless condition and our total need of him. Although he is the cornerstone of the church and blesses the corporate worship of his people, church attendance is not a ticket into heaven. Being a good person with good intentions is not good enough. And that doesn’t fit into some of today’s religions or beliefs.

The Light of the World, the great I AM, is not a religion. When you give your heart to him you realize the relationship you gain with Creator God is more than any list of rules or regulations. I am not advocating we stop going to church. In fact, I believe it is an important part of our walk with the Lord. But I am saying that our focus, our reason for living and serving, is not on church doctrine but on the One who is the Light of the World.

When the blind man was grilled about his healing he said something that is so simple, yet so profound. He said, I don’t know the details about my healing but this I know for sure. Once I was blind. Now I see.

If you are a Christian, you understand that. We might not be able to explain the details of our salvation or expound on the incarnation. We might not have the ability to recite church doctrine or list all of the Ten Commandments in order. But if you have asked Jesus into your heart, to forgive your sins and become Lord of your life, you can say with confidence: Once I was blind. But now I see. Once I was lost. But now I am found. I walked in darkness but now the Light of the World directs me.

Holy God, the Light of the World, the Great I AM, I thank you that you offer a relationship with you to any of us who call on the name of your precious Son, Jesus. May we not get so caught up in religious activity that we neglect that beautifully intimate, personal relationship with you. Thank you opening our blind eyes and lighting our way when we give ourselves to you. You are everything we need and more.