The Big “I Am” Statement of Jesus

Exodus 3 v 14 correct verse

I just published a piece called “Jesus & His 7 “I am” Statements.”  However, there is one more big “I am” statement that I did not mention, but it is vital in fully understanding who Jesus is.

In the beginning of His ministry, the ruling Jews tried to accuse Jesus of being possessed by a demon because of the claims He was making about Himself.  This accusation prompted a fascinating conversation through which Jesus was able to explain who He really is.

“The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”

“I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me.  I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge.  I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

At this the Jews exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed!  Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death.  Are you greater than our father Abraham?  He died, and so did the prophets.  Who do you think you are?”

Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing.  My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.  Though you do not know him, I know him.  If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word.  Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

“You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

John 8:48-58

Folks, that is an incredibly bold statement!  Why?  Because Jesus was telling them that He is God!  Jesus was born through the lineage of Abraham through the covenant of Isaac.  I wrote a piece about that titled “Nothing Is Impossible” just a few days ago.

“Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.”

Matthew 1:17

Nobody else on earth has ever said “I am” when speaking about themselves, except for God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, and we learned that way back when God spoke to Moses through the burning bush!

“God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.  This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

Exodus 3:14

The ruling Jews of the day knew exactly what Jesus was saying about Himself when He said, “before Abraham was born, I am!”  They knew who Abraham was and they knew who I AM is, and since Jesus is before Abraham and called Himself I am, then He is God!  This was an infuriating statement to the ruling Pharisees of the day.  What was their response?  Well, they wanted to kill him!

“At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.”

John 8:59

They were not able to touch Jesus yet because He is God and it was not His time to die for us yet.  God decided when it was time for that, not men.  He is I AM!

“..while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

Titus 2:13-14

Remember who Jesus is and what He did for us!

Grace and peace to you all!

Romans 5 v 8

Jesus & His 7 “I am” Statements

John 10 v 9

Jesus made some very bold and amazing statements while He was on earth.  I would like to take a look at 7 major statements that Jesus made to tell us who He is.  These statements still stand today, and they will for eternity!  This post will be a longer and more in depth Bible study of these statements.

In the Gospel of John is where we will find these 7 life changing statements.  After Jesus performs the miracle of feeding 5,000 people with only “five small barley loaves and two small fish” (John 6:1-15) and after He walks on water (John 6:16-21), He begins to explain who He is in a unique way the next day.  The crowd of people who enjoyed the miracle of the bread and fish take their boats to find Jesus in Capernaum on the other side of the Sea of Galilee (the lake), and Jesus begins to preach to them.

Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee
Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee

“Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.  Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.””

John 6:26-29

Notice that Jesus said “the work” not “works.”  There is only thing God requires to be saved, and that is to believe in the One He sent, and that is Jesus.

“Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”

John 6:32-34

I love that!  They were just like us.  They must have looked at each other and said, “well that sounds good to me, give us that bread then!”  I love the answer Jesus gives them even more!

He is the Bread of Life!

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

John 6:35

What Jesus means is that He is living food and water for our souls!  When we believe in Him, our souls will never go hungry or thirsty again!

In John chapter 8:1-11 we find the beautiful account of Jesus forgiving the woman who was caught in adultery.  Jesus was teaching in the temple courts at the Mount of Olives when the ruling Pharisees brought the woman in to stone her to death according to the law.  They were also using her to test Jesus and make Him look bad and challenge His authority.

“But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

John 8:6-7

Everyone ends up walking away and not a single person throws a stone at her!  After this amazing scene of forgiveness and authority from Jesus, He speaks to the woman.

“Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?”

“No one sir, ” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.  “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

John 8:10-11

Jesus can and will forgive any sin of every sinner on this earth.  That woman had just been caught “in the act of adultery” and was literally pulled out of bed and dragged into the temple courts to be judged and killed, but Jesus forgave her and saved her right in the midst of her sin.  He loved her and set her free to live a life of righteousness!  He then turns to the people and gives them another piece of who He is.

He is the Light of the world!

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.””

John 8:12

Again, Jesus means that He is the light for your soul!  When you believe in Jesus, you will no longer walk in the spiritual darkness of this world.  You will have the light of life!

Jesus also says “I am the light of the world” in John 9:5 just before He heals a man who was born blind and restores his site!

“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.  “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent).  So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.”

John 9:5-7

In John 10:1-18 Jesus uses a parable of a shepherd and his sheep to explain who He is:

“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.  The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.  The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

John 10:1-3

He is The Gate!

“Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  He will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:7-10

What Jesus is saying is that He is the only way to Heaven.  He is the gate by which you must enter.  There is no other way inside.  He is the full life we desire in our hearts!

He is The Good Shepherd!

“I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

John 10:11

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me–just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

John 10:14-15

Jesus most definitely laid down His life for all of us when He willingly died on that cross to forgive the sins of all mankind!  John 3:16 is a famous verse for a reason folks.  Read it and believe it, it is the truth!

John 11:1-44 records the amazing miracle of a man named Lazarus being raised from the dead by Jesus!  He was the brother of Mary and Martha.  This Mary is the one who wiped the Lord’s feet with perfume and her hair.  Jesus knew this family well and he loved them.  Mary and her sister Martha send someone to tell Jesus their brother is sick because they know He can heal him.

“When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.”

John 11:4-6

By the time Jesus gets back to Judea to help Lazarus, he has been dead lying in a tomb for four days.  Mary and Martha are upset that He didn’t come earlier to prevent their brother’s death, and Martha questions Him about his delay.

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

John 11:21-24

He is The Resurrection and the Life!

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26

That is a huge statement and a huge promise!  Praise God!  Mary’s answer to Jesus is spot on too!

“Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

John 11:27

Good answer Martha!  Right after the conversation, Jesus gets up, goes to the tomb where Lazarus has been laid to rest, and He raises him back to life!

“When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.”

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

John 11:43-44

If you want the grave clothes of this dark spiritual world off of you, then turn to Jesus and He will set you free!  He will take them off of you and let you go in peace!  By the way, the Lazarus miracle still happens in our time.  Ask me about what happened when I stopped breathing in 2012!  I’m still here because of Jesus!  Hallelujah!

Before Jesus was crucified, He spent time with His disciples comforting them and praying for them.  He let them know that He would be leaving them soon and He did not want them to be troubled.  In this moment, we learn more about who Jesus is.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

John 14:1-5

Yes, that was Thomas the doubting one.  I love his childlike heart though, asking a straightforward question with his finite human understanding.  He is like us.  We all like having good directions, so we can arrive at our destination safely.  The answer Jesus gives Thomas is the Gospel, that is, the good news of Jesus Christ.

He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life!

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

That, my friends, is the way you end up in Heaven safely!

He is The True Vine!

In John 15:1-5 Jesus uses an analogy of a vine and the branches to illustrate who He is:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:1-5

If you want to bear righteous fruit in your life that pleases God, then believe in Jesus and remain in Him.  He is the vine, we who believe are the branches, and we bear that fruit because of Him!  Amen!

Here are those 7 statements that Jesus made about Himself:

I am the bread of life.

I am the light of the world.

I am the gate.

I am the shepherd.

I am the resurrection and the life.

I am the way and the truth and the life.

I am the true vine.

For those of you who don’t know Jesus yet, please consider these statements in your heart and just imagine what Jesus can do for your life and your soul!  He proved that He is indeed all of those things, and those are not only statements, they are promises!

Grace and peace to you all!

“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Jesus speaking in Matthew 7:13-14

John 3 v 16 big

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wise Advice

1 Peter 3 v 8

That is very good advice from the Apostle Peter!  I pray that all of us who know and love Jesus will live like that in the power of the Holy Spirit!  No, we are not perfect, but we can live this way in God’s love and power every day.

There is another piece of advice in this passage of Scripture that I had to live out during a very difficult time in our lives:

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

1 Peter 3:9

Have you ever been so mad that you wanted to take revenge?  I have, and it was just a few years ago.  The Lord intervened and held me back in the Holy Spirit.

The event that made me angry took place at the old school my wife used to teach at.  The principal was a bitter woman full of hate, and she had it out for several of the great teachers in the school.  To cut right to it, this lady did my wife wrong and my wife had to leave the school.

We were unemployed yet again at the worst time for it!  I was suffering Celiac so badly and had no way to earn an income, and now my wife was out of work too!  This was back when I was wrestling God about my disease too.  The world was crashing down around us and I couldn’t take it anymore.  The anger boiled in me like never before in my adult Christian life, and I went into what I call “old school 303 style from the old neighborhood” mentality and I wanted revenge.  I wanted to put in work and I wanted her to pay for her sin and evil against my wife that put us in such a bad situation!

brick

As I was driving to the principal’s house to brick her front window, the Lord came down on me powerfully in the Holy Spirit.  It was like a physical wrestling match as I tried to continue down the road.  I could hear him saying, “Do not take revenge, it is mine to avenge says the Lord.”  I tried to keep driving and ignore Him, but it was no use for me to fight Him, so I submitted to God and drove back home.

“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, ” says the Lord.”

Romans 12:19

I prayed a heartfelt prayer that the woman would be convicted of her sin and the Lord would save her.  I prayed she would be removed from power at the school.  I also asked God for forgiveness and I forgave her.  In that moment, I completely lifted it up to God and let it go, and my heart was free.

You know what?  I’m really glad I did!  I’m really glad I have the Word of God flowing in my mind and heart, and I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit helping me live life wisely!  The Lord took care of it, and that lady ended up getting fired from that school within a few months!  I pray the Lord saves her and I forgive her in the Name of Jesus!

What happened next in our lives is so incredible that I praise God for it every day!  My wife ended up getting a teaching job at the best new charter school in town!  We moved our kids out of their old school and they have attended the charter since my wife started!  It is such a blessing knowing my wife and kids are together all day, and our kids love the new school even better!  My wife has been there for several years now and she is an integral part of building the curriculum and the Lord has blessed her with great success and victory!

She makes more than she did at the old school and the staff she works with our passionate people who care about kids!  The principals are supportive and helpful, and she is doing great!  Glory to God!  He took care of it in His mighty loving way!

So, I praise God!  He worked it all out even better than I could have ever imagined!  I am so glad she is not working at that old school anymore.  We thought when she got that job that it was going to be for a long time, but it was just a stepping stone to even greater blessing!

Yeah, it hurt getting there a few times, but the Lord is faithful to us and He led us through it with victory!  I am so glad I did not brick that lady’s house!  Please forgive me for even thinking such things Lord.

Follow the Word of God and do what it says, and you will be blessed.  I can promise you that with all my heart!

“For,

“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil

and his lips from deceitful speech.

He must turn from evil and do good;

he must seek peace and pursue it.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous

and his ears are attentive to their prayer,

but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.””

1 Peter 3:10-12

Put the brick down brothers and sisters!  Keep your tongue from evil and lies.  Turn from evil and do good.  Seek peace and pursue it!  In the Powerful Name of Jesus, Amen!

Grace and peace to you!

Romans 10 v 9

 

Known by Tauren Wells

Tauren Wells

This will be my shortest post yet.  I want to share a song with you that the Lord used to comfort me many times through my suffering.  The song is called “Known” off the album “Hills and Valleys” by Tauren Wells.  I know many of you feel alone.  Please know that you are not alone!  You are fully known by God and He loves you so very much!

If you have never heard of Tauren Wells, please listen to this young brother sing to the Lord and may your heart be lifted up a thousand times over, in the Precious Name of Jesus, Amen!

Known by Tauren Wells

1 John 3 verse 1

 

 

 

TobyMac Encouragement!

TobyMac quote 2

I was so encouraged by this today that I wanted to share it with all of you!  I first saw these TobyMac #SpeakLife quotes on David Fischer’s site!  What’s up brother David!  I found this one searching the net this morning, and it is a gem!

If you don’t know who TobyMac is, well, he is one of the old school Christian music artists (DC Talk) and he is still making some great music for the Lord!  Not only that, he has helped many other Christian artists like Jamie Grace and Hollyn in their careers as well.  He is one on fire brother in the Lord and God has been using him to encourage all of us for a long time!  So, big shout out to TMac–we love you brother!  Be sure to check him out on YouTube!

Here is a great song of his:

Feel It

Here is the Scriptural Truth that TobyMac’s encouraging note comes from:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

Praise the Lord forever!  God is always working for the good of His people!

“For he will command his

angels concerning you

to guard you in all your

ways;

they will lift you up in their

hands,

so that you will not strike

your foot against a

stone.”

Psalm 91:11″

Amen and Hallelujah!  This one about angels is literal folks!  Ask me about it sometime!

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.”

1 John 5:13-15

God hears us and Heaven is most definitely holding conversations about you…for your good…for all eternity!  We truly can rest in that!  Amen Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace to you all!

Heaven sign

 

 

 

Jesus Prayed For Us

John 17 v 17

Did you know that before Jesus died He prayed for us?!  Yes, Jesus prayed for all the future people who would believe in Him!  His prayers are still being answered in our time!  That is pretty cool if you ask me!

Just moments before Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested in the olive grove, He prayed a mighty prayer for anyone who would believe in Him.  His prayer is also a promise and the Lord always keeps His promises.

“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.”

Psalm 145:13

Garden of Gethsemane Olive Grove
Garden of Gethsemane Olive Grove in Israel

So, what did Jesus pray before He was arrested to be crucified and slain to forgive the sins of the entire world?  It is a mighty prayer and it echoes throughout eternity impacting our lives even today!

“My prayer is not for them alone.  I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.  May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me.  May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.  I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

John 17:20-26

Amen Lord Jesus!  There is a lot of power in that prayer and there are a lot of deep ways God answers that prayer…even today!

He prayed we would be one just like Him and the Father!

He prayed that we would be in Him and the Father, so the world would believe God sent Him!

He gave us His glory, and prayed we would be brought to complete unity, so the world would know God sent Him, and we would know God loves us just like He loves Him!

He prayed that we would be with Him where He is (up in Heaven) and see His glory!

He prayed that He will continue to make God known to us, so that the love God has for Him will be in us, and that even He will be in us!

Amen, Amen, and Amen to everything Jesus prayed for us!  May it be so Lord Jesus and may Your will be done!

Grace and peace to you all!

Romans 6 v 23

Romans 10 v 9

 

 

 

 

Ask the Squirrel About God

Squirrel 1
Ruby the Squirrel (Picture by Rhonda Callahan)

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?  In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”

Job 12:7-10

That is Ruby the squirrel in my Mom’s backyard in Illinois.  My Mom emailed me about her this morning.  Look at how peaceful she is in God’s loving hands.  She knows the Lord takes care of her and just by watching that little squirrel, we can see a testimony of God’s love!

Here is my Mom’s email:

“The other day, after doing a little yard work, I decided to get some ice tea and go sit in the swing.  I was swinging when a young squirrel approached me and kept getting closer, too close for my comfort, so I moved to the lawn chair.  It climbed up to a tree branch and immediately chattered at me, then walked over to the beam of the swing to lay down. It laid there for over a half hour and even fell asleep!  It did the same thing later that day and your Dad saw her do it too  Yesterday it walked to me again!  Cute!”

Squirrel 2
Ruby takin’ a nap (picture by Rhonda Callahan)

That little squirrel sure let my Mom know she wanted to take a nap on her swing!  Awww, little Ruby–she’s good!  She knows who takes care of her and she is at rest.  Let that be a testimony of God’s love and provision for all of us!  As the Word of God says, “But ask the animals, and they will teach you.”

Grace and peace to you all!

Romans 11 v 33

John 3 v 16 big