Week Twenty One

Monday

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “ before Abraham was born, I am!” John 8:58

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

“I AM”

When Moses was called by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, he was not confident. He actually questioned God’s choice. Our verse from Exodus 3 today is part of that conversation between Moses and God. God promised to be with Moses, but Moses was not sure that Israel would follow him: “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God’s answer to them is Exodus 3:14: “I AM has sent me to you.” This name for God was a name that fully expressed who God is: the dependable and faithful God who deserves and desires the full worship and trust of His people.
People of Jesus’ day knew that “I AM” was God’s name. There was no question about it! So, as the educated Jews were speaking with Jesus (see John 8), they knew exactly who Jesus claimed to be when He said, “ before Abraham was born, I AM.” (John 8:58). He was claiming to be the eternal God! Some may say, “That isn’t really what Jesus meant when He said that.” Look at the response of these Pharisees: “They picked up stones to stone him.” (John 8:59). Blasphemy, which is claiming to be God, is punishable by death.
The point is clear: Jesus claimed to be God. He claimed to be EXISTENT before Abraham – “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus).” (John 1:1). He stated it clearly for the record in John 10. “I and the Father are one!”
Application: Jesus claimed to be God. As C.S Lewis said, “You either take him at His word or declare that He was either a liar or was insane. “You must make a decision in this life. It won’t happen passively. Either you believe on Jesus for forgiveness of your sins, resulting in eternal life or you don’t. There is no middle ground. Have you made the choice or have other things gotten in the way? This is the only decision that will affect your eternity. There are no second chances after death (see Hebrews 9:27 and the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31).
#we dare you to believe!


Tuesday

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 go thirsty.” John 6:35

“I Am the Bread of Life”

A group of people followed Jesus after the miraculous feeding of the 5000. Jesus accused them of pursuing Him because He satisfied their physical hunger. The conversation quickly shifts, under Jesus direction, from physical needs to spiritual needs. “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.” (John 6:27).

Then they asked what God would require of them. Jesus answered, “Believe in the one He has sent.” (John 6:29). In other words, God sent me – believe in me! But they asked for another miracle saying that God gave the Israelites manna in the desert and now what would He give them. Look what happened! Jesus told them that there is bread that lasts and gives true life. They wanted it! And Jesus said, “I am the bread of life!”

You see, Jesus claims to be the “Bread of Life” – the source of life eternal. “I am the living bread that came from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever!” (John 6:51). To the woman at the well (John 4), He similarly claimed to be the source of living water that leads to eternal life.

These are major claims! You either believe them or discount them, but by doing so you have made a choice! Do you know where you stand with God? Do you really know that you have been forgiven? A good life, good works or a good reputation won’t cut it. Jesus claims there is one way to God and that is through Him. (John 14:6). The bread and the living water that Jesus offers are for eternity. He is totally and unequivocally sufficient to meet our needs now and for eternity. It’s there for the asking!


Wednesday

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

“I Am the Light of the World”

It’s not hard to be convinced that the world in general is anti-God. In the United States, it is a big deal to consider allowing the Ten Commandments to be posted in public buildings. These are a set of edicts from the Creator that are the basis for judicial law, as we know it. What’s the problem? The problem is that people want to live in the darkness. The sad reality is that alone, none of us is righteous. None of us measures up.

Every person, whether they admit to it or not, is created with a “God-shaped vacuum.” Since the fall of man, people have selfishly and pridefully tried to fill this vacuum with everything but God. That’s why they are intolerant of the light. Anything that violates their sense of self-realization is painful. Think of how the bright sunlight affects your eyes when you come out of the pitch dark. It’s uncomfortable.

Well, Jesus claimed to be the light of the world. He is truth among a sea of lies. The Pharisees, who claimed to be good, were uncomfortable with Jesus. They challenged Him. “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.” (John 5:13). Jesus, the light, exposed them for what they truly were “whitewashed tombs” looking good on the outside but polluted on the inside.

Jesus is the light. What are you going to do about it? Will you flee into the darkness among others that don’t challenge you and just condone sinful behavior? Or, will you let the light expose your sin and repent – getting right with God? Remember that you cannot passively walk in the light. It doesn’t happen by accident.

#“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7


Thursday

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” John 11:25

“I Am the Resurrection and the Life”

Mary and Martha’s brother, Lazarus, was very sick. (Mary was the one who poured perfume on Jesus and wiped his feel with her hair.) Jesus truly cared for this family and went to minister to them. By the time He arrived, Lazarus had died and had been in the tomb for 4 days!

Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here my brother wouldn’t have died. But I know even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:21-22). What a woman of faith! This was the same woman who was busy doing household chores when Jesus was at her house earlier and criticized her sister, Mary, for sitting at Jesus’ feet. But now she has developed a deep spiritual maturity. When Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection and the life,” she replied, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” (John 11:27).

The scene further develops as Martha meets Jesus and falls at His feet weeping. Jesus subsequently goes to the tomb and raises Lazarus from the dead.

This was not a parlor trick! Lazarus had been dead for 4 days. Jesus demonstrated His power over death by raising him. This was such a profound miracle that many believed — so many that the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting and started plotting Jesus’ murder.

“Whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” What a profound promise! Jesus claims to have power over physical death and promises eternal life to those who believe in Him. He not only backs up this claim by raising Lazarus. He conquered death Himself and was raised on the 3rd day. In fact, according to 1 Corinthians 15:16, after the resurrection, Jesus appeared to more than 500 people and most of these people died professing Christ.

Do you believe His claims? Do you think that He can give you the gift of eternal life? All you need to do is ask.


Friday

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. John 15:1

“I Am the True Vine”

Branches cannot live without the vine. A vine is the life-blood of a plant. It sends roots into the ground for nourishment. The nourishment passes through the vine into the branches. The branches cannot be fruitful without the vine and the nourishment it supplies.

Who are the branches? Jesus said, “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 15:5).

Jesus is totally sufficient for us. Everything we need is in Him. We can rely on this truth. Don’t look at people around you. Focus on Jesus! Trust Him! If you can’t trust Him to be sufficient for you now, how can you trust Him for eternity?

You will never be truly fulfilled apart from Christ. He knows what we need. He has created each of us uniquely and understands us better than we understand ourselves. You will not bear spiritual fruit without the leadership of the Holy Spirit, given to us by Jesus. Don’t even try. Good works on our own don’t bear fruit. Have you ever seen a branch without the plant (or the vine)? It not only does not bear fruit, but it shrivels and dies.

Jesus claims to be “ our everything”. We are absolutely destitute without Him! All He wants from each of us is our lives. He asks that we trust Him for the gift of eternal life. This makes us right with God the Father. Then, it is our responsibility to obey Him by dying to self and being alive to His leading in your life. You will not lack anything. He is totally sufficient.

#Never forget that what God required, you couldn’t do. Christ did it for you. His grace is your hope

#So ,abandon hope in your own righteousness

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