September 12. 2021
Prayer: Come Lord Jesus. Fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Message: Revelation 6-8 and 13-14 Then he said, “It’s happened. I’m A to Z. I’m the Beginning, I’m the Conclusion. From Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty. Conquerors inherit all this. I’ll be God to them, they’ll be sons and daughters to me. But for the rest—the feckless and faithless, degenerates and murderers, sex peddlers and sorcerers, idolaters and all liars—for them it’s Lake Fire and Brimstone. Second death!”
“I’m A to Z, the First and the Final, Beginning and Conclusion. How blessed are those who wash their robes! The Tree of Life is theirs for good, and they’ll walk through the gates to the City.”
Daniel stated at the last Sermon in the park that he was seeing a theme in all these “I am” statements. I too have heard a theme. I am- the name God called himself is also the words that Jesus used to explain who he was. Who he is.
I am the good shepherd-Jesus came to lead us. His love for us was so great he came that we might find our way.
I am the true Vine-Staying connected to Jesus we learn to abide. Abiding leads to growth through a relationship with God. Thru Prayer and Study.
I am the bread of life-Daily fellowship with God will feed our souls and help us to grow close to Him. God’s desire is ‘us with Him.’
I am the way and the truth and the life-Jesus came that we would be able to be with God. In believing in Jesus we receive the Holy Spirit. God in us.
I am the gate, whoever enters through me will be saved. In Jesus we are promised safety, Security, Life. God’s plan is being fulfilled. He sent Jesus, providing a way for us to come close to God. We choose.
I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live. In Jesus we are promised eternal life. God loves us, you and you and you, so much that Jesus came that we might live. McCall reminded us that God feels what we feel.
I am gentle and humble in spirit. Come to Jesus and learn from Him. Jesus does not exclude anyone-all who come to him will grow closer to God thru him.
I am the alpha & omega-the beginning and the end. I will give your spirit the water of life. As I shared with the kids earlier, this concept of Alpha & Omega is a tough one to grasp. One that I will not fully get until I meet God. Before there was anything there was God, in Three and after there is nothing; there will be God, in Three. My mind can’t grasp the concept of Alpha & Omega any better than it can truly wrap my mind around the idea that God is three. I do trust God’s word and know that one day God will reveal more to me. For now, I will hold onto the ideas of the rocks. Rocks have existed for a very long time and will continue to exist for a very long time.
As I have been reflecting on the I am statements these past couple of months, what came to me during my quiet time with God was this. “All the I am statements are helping us to grasp the unconditional love of God and His plan for us. The truly exciting part of all of this...we are part of His plan.
The concept of unconditional love is really hard for me to grasp. For me a few shows help me to understand it: Somewhere in Time or Notebook to name a couple. Or closer to home, Larry and Owana. Or Ron’s dedication and love for his patients. All of these are good examples and yet seem to fall short of how God loves us. God loves us so much that in the beginning he had a plan-to create us to desire Him. That plan was never one that had contingencies. There has never been an I will love them only if...He gave us free will so that we could choose Him. He knew that human beings would struggle to do that and do that well (first man and woman proved that and we have been proving it ever since). So he sent Jesus so we could find our way to him. And in the decision of choosing to follow Jesus we receive the Holy Spirit to guide us back to unity with God.
The “I am” statements are a love promise-If you desire me (God) then Jesus is the way.
It really is as simple as that and truly is as difficult as that.
So now what? Perhaps you are sitting there right now and are saying to yourself :If I don’t get it then does that mean I lose out?” Absolutely not. You are here, that means you desire, you are seeking, you want to know more. There is no place that God is not and there is no place where God won’t be. God will meet you where you are. So abide in Him. Sit and talk with Him. Listen for Him to answer you. Grow in Him. Spend time in His word and in fellowship with others who are wanting to learn and understand Him. It is in the abiding and growing that then, we can shine Him into our world.
It was the first day of church school. Cindy was concentrating hard on her art project. The teacher asked, “What are you drawing, Cindy?’ Cindy replied, “I am drawing Jesus!” The teacher paused and said, “You do know that we don’t really know what Jesus looked like, right?”
Cindy, without hesitation said, “You will when I get done drawing Him!”
I chuckled when I heard this story the other morning. I believe it was being shared by Dr. Jeremiah. He then went on to say, “Wouldn’t it be great if I approached my walk with Jesus with this child’s faith and my life would reflect what Jesus looks like?’ A sobering question for sure and one that I found inspiring. I believe that is God’s will for us. Love me as much as I love you and then the world will see me in you.
So, I am back to the beginning. I am The Alpha & Omega. God is sovereign of the universe. Absolutely nothing is too difficult for Him and all is accomplished out of his perfect, sacrificial love for us. He promised to send us a savior. He faithfully accomplished this and did so with a detailed list of specifications in our creation.
With that foundation we can begin to understand his promises. Love me as much as I love you and then the world will see me in you.