This morning I woke up with my mind spinning around and around and around. Like the horses on a merry-go-round, my thoughts were going up and down. My first thought was – I am tired – and then the swirling began. I am late. I am happy. I am a little too busy. I am excited. I am sad so many of my friends are hurting. I am incredibly blessed. I am overwhelmed. I am loved. I am behind. I am in need of coffee. I am ready for my quiet time. I am…I am…I am. Do you do that? Well, I sure did it this morning. It is not the best way to start the day. I had myself stressed out and overwhelmed before I even made it to the coffee pot. As I stood there pouring my first cup of coffee, I remembered a blog post I wrote months ago. It was about my need for Jesus. I had created a graphic with the poplar quote “I need a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus.” (http://masterwhatmatters.org/2014/07/23/need-jesus/#sthash.7l88rmCF.dpbs) Now every time I pour a cup of coffee and my mind thinks “I need this coffee”, I correct myself and say, “I want this coffee but all I NEED is Jesus.”
As soon as I remembered my need for Jesus – the spinning subsided. I turned on praise music, sat down with my Bible, devotional book and coffee - and peace met me there. I was instantly convicted by all of my negative “I am” statements and my self-absorbed thoughts. Then as I turned a page in the chapter of John an “I am” statement leapt off the page. I was reminded there are “I am” statements in God’s word. The words were in red print so I immediately knew it was Jesus speaking. I started digging and looking for each time He said, “I am”.
I found myself in Exodus. Remember the story of Moses? God came to him and told him He was going to use Him. Moses stood at the burning bush arguing with God. He asked God, “Who am I” that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt? What am I to say when they ask who sent me? God answered in Exodus 3:14…And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” As we study this story in the Bible we learn that God promised to be with Moses. This promise to be present with Moses foreshadows the Incarnation. Jesus would come to deliver us – me and you. He would be our “I Am – the Great I Am.”
Can you relate to Moses? Do you argue with God like that? Are there times when you feel God prompting you to do something and you are asking Him, “Me? Why me? I am not qualified.” Well, just like God had to straighten Moses out, we need to remember it is not about us. It is all about the One who died for us. And no matter where we go, no matter what we do – Jesus is with us. We can claim His promise to always be with us, to never leave us. Do you know who He is? Well, just in case you need a reminder, Jesus Himself said…
“I am the bread of life.” Jesus is the only One who can truly satisfy us. He is our nourishment. He is what sustains us during good time and during very difficult times.
“I am the light of the world.” Wow! We are living in a very dark world – wouldn’t you agree? We are overexposed to the evil of this world and it is getting so dark it is hard to find our way. But Jesus is our light. He is our constant guide. When we follow Him – His light shines the way we need to go. Without Him we are stumbling around blindly in the pitch black dark. His light also symbolizes His holiness. He is pure, clean, perfect. I Peter 1:15 tells us “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’”
“I am the door of the sheep.” You know, most of my life I never gave the word ‘shepherd’ a lot of thought. I just imagined a guy with a staff standing in the field being bored. But in my Bible studies I have learned about shepherds and all that they do. It is really amazing when you understand the term shepherd – and all that it implies that Jesus does for us. So, let’s look at this statement. Jesus said, “I am the door of the sheep.” What does that mean? As a shepherd was caring for his sheep, he would guide them into stone enclosures to keep them safe and protected. There was no door that could be closed to keep them in – so the shepherd would sit or lie down in the opening. He would prevent predators from attacking the sheep. So, in the same way, Jesus cares for us. He sits with us and protects us. He is devoted to us and is always with us.
“I am the good shepherd.” Jesus is good. He is all that is good – all that is right. This statement acknowledges that Jesus is committed to caring for us and watching over us. He is our good shepherd. He will come after us when we go astray. He will help us when we are attacked. He offers us peace that comes from finding security in Him.
“I am the resurrection and the life.” Because of Jesus and what He has done for us, we are no longer dead. We are alive in Him. We have been offered eternal life. And just like Him – we are to die to ourselves every single day. We are to be a new person – different – set apart. Because He is alive in us – we can live an abundant life. He is life. He is what our life should be all about.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus is the only way to the Father. He is the revelation of God. He offers life. Because of Him – we can communicate with God. Oh, how He loves us!!!!
“I am the true vine.” Apart from Him, we can do nothing that is of permanent spiritual value. Apart from Him, we cannot bear fruit. But because of Him – because of His life flowing in us and through us – we cannot help but bear fruit for Him. He is our Gardener, our Vine-dresser. Because of His care, His pruning, and His nourishment – we can bear beautiful fruit for Him.
So…now that I have read all of Jesus’ I am statements, mine seem so foolish. Why do I ever have a negative thought? From now on, let’s change our I AM statements. Let’s wake up and say, “I am loved. I am blessed. I am a Child of the King. I am His beloved. I am protected. I am secure. I am in love with Jesus. I am fulfilled. I am forgiven. I am nourished. I am not alone. I am cared for. I am full of joy! And most importantly…
I am His! I know the GREAT I AM - so there is no need to be stressed, overwhelmed or to worry. I am His and He is mine. Today I will have peace because my Good Shepherd is caring for me.
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