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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

I Am

Wow, "I Am" is mentioned 719 times in the Bible. 508 in the Old Testament and 211 in the New Testament.

In John's Gospel Jesus keeps informing his people that he is the 'I Am'.

John 4:25-26 The woman said, "I know the Messiah is coming - the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us".
Then Jesus told her, "I Am the Messiah!" 

John 6:19 They rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called out to them, "Don't be afraid. I am here.

The unbelieving people heard Jesus say in John 8:23-24 Jesus continued, "You are from below, I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not. That is why I said that you will die  in your sins; for unless you believe that I Am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins."

John 8:28 Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man on  the cross, then you will understand that I Am he. 

John 8:58 Jesus answered "I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am! At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.

John 13:19 I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I Am the Messiah. I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me. 

John 18:4-8 Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. "Who are you looking for?" he asked.
"Jesus the Nazarene," they replied.
"I Am he," Jesus said. (Judas who betrayed him, was standing with them.) As Jesus said "I Am he," they all drew back and fell to the ground! Once more he asked them, "Who are you looking for?"
And again they replied, "Jesus the Nazarene."
"I told you that I Am he," Jesus said. "And since I am the one you want, let these others go."

For me reading these sacred texts it is easy for me to see the link. The "I Am". We have the written word to view and masticate on. We can underline the "I Am" but the people of the time didn't have hindsight, nor this visual delight of the New Testament. Although they did have 508 mentions of the name "I Am" in the Old Testament. That repetition like a 'light bulb' was there for them to encounter as Jesus revealed His Divine Nature.  

How often do we say  the words "I am". 

I am hungry. I am tired. I am bored. I am fed up. I am depressed. I am alone. I am lonely. I am sad. I am distressed. I am worried. I am awful. I am frightened. I am trapped. I am desperate. 

I am happy. I am alive. I am grateful. I am joyful. I am loved. I am content. I am satisfied. I am attractive. I am peaceful. I am fed. I am full. I am wonderful. I am saved. I am restored. I am released.

Just as Jesus revealed Himself to us so we reveal ourselves to those around us. Are our "I am's" revealing a joyous love of God's nature uniting us with His revelations and guiding them to the Truth? Or are our "I am's" distorting God's nature and deserting His revelations and leading others away from the Truth? 

Can I say in Truth as revealed in John 13:19 anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me. 

We are messengers of "I Am." We have a responsibility to the Divine Nature to honour His "I Am" in our lives, so that others will see who the Greatest "I Am" is, in our lives.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Pray without ceasing

In the King James version prayer is mention 114 times. Pray 313 times. Prayed 65 times. Praying 20 times. Thus a total of 512 times.

The first recorded mention of prayer is, as I perceive it, a conversation between the first man and God. God would come and talk with Adam and Eve. Hence the beginning of prayer, of the conversation between God and man before the fall. What is important is that God made the first move to communicate with us. God extended his compassionate nature towards us. 

That first prayer/conversation, God started was in a friendly, relaxed, uninhibited manner. He wants to do the same with us today.  

From then God's compassion reached its height by giving us His son Jesus to be our personal gateway to the Father. Therefore the greatest prayer to say must be simply, 'Jesus'. Through the Holy Spirit born in us through God's compassion we can confidently pray 'Jesus' as a complete prayer. This is our response to God's conversation with us. To his calling our name just as He did in the Garden of Eden. We respond to Him and to His help. 

How awesome then, to be given the name of our Saviour, to be able to say His name in reverence every waking moment. How humble it ought to make us, knowing His Name and to be allowed to say it, pray it, breath it and live it. This is so personal, so intimate. It is Love. It is Compassion. An incredible freedom that we have been given. 

The name 'Jesus' can and will change our lives. We need to be weary of misusing it as it is a direct line through the Holy Spirit to God. The name will protect us, heal us, satisfy us, embolden us, answer us, fulfill us. It is not a name to be taken lightly. 

Ecclesiastes 5:2

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty with your heart to utter anything before God. God is in Heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.

God knows our needs and His name will carry our requests. We are told that in
Matthew 6:7

When you pray don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again.

Believing in the name and power of Jesus is our freedom. His name is our prayer, to say it prayerfully, is to pray without ceasing. When we pray the name of 'Jesus' we come away from the distractions of other voices, and we listen to the One voice that can help us. It is our response to God's calling, to his arms outstretched coming towards us. This is our reminder that He first called us. 

1 Peter 5:10

In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

Thank you God for loving us first.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Don't judge, be merciful as God is merciful towards us.

Recently I have felt really upset by being attacked by another Christian who decided that my beliefs were contrary to God's word. The person who attacked me does not know me nor of my journey with God. This is where I find social media an unpleasant place to be at times. 

I find it sad that Christians feel the need to convert other Christians especially on sites that are for Christians. 

This incident has troubled me and I found it hard to find peace from their words. 

Then when reading a trusted pastors comment on another site I realized that as Christians we above all must adhere to the words:

"Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy." 

It is so important whether we know a person or not to be merciful towards them because God is merciful towards us. 

At last I found my peace. I have prayed for this person, who feels the need to tell me that I am not saved and offer the words, "be merciful towards me because God is merciful towards you."

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Women and midlife change. Where is God in this?

Recently things have been troubling me and although I have chatted to God about this the feelings have started to overwhelm me. It is not that I think God has forgotten me as I know how close he is, rather it is the hormones of mid life that have taken over. 

I still have so much to live for, I still find pleasure in the small things as well as the big things. However my hormones are telling me differently. They are clashing in an unorganized orchestra. It is as though the conductor has left the scene leaving each instrument in a state of flux. 

The feelings are overwhelming at times and can be frightening. I know that this is a normal stage of life, but it is a distressing one. I can't control it as it is a process that the body must go through. 

So where is God in this change, in my unsettled mind and hormones? I am beginning to think that He is in the funny side. This mid-life thing can be serious as it affects the mind, however that aside when I look at some of the things I do as a result of these chemical changes I have to laugh. 

Sometimes when one of my daughter's relays a comment I have made or an action I have done I stand amazed at the silliness of it, and question if I really did say or do such a strange thing. Of course the answer is yes I did. 

Did I really put the cat in the washing machine thinking it was a jumper?

Did I really turn on the electric hob under a plate causing it to heat up and explode?

Did I really park in a car-park and later try to unlock someone else's car convinced that it was mine and then have an argument with the owner stating categorically that it was mine? 

I think this is where the verse from Proverbs 3:5 comes in:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

At the moment my own understanding is all over the place. But God will see me through this as He has everything else in my life. Hanging in there and laughing at the odd scenarios seems the only way. Well I am sure God is laughing too. So hand in hand we will walk this path of wild hormones and see the funny side. And when the overwhelming thoughts come and go I shall pray:

Heavenly Father, into your Hand I place my worries cares and troubles. Into Your Wisdom I place my path, my direction and my goal. Into Your Love I place my life.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Habakkuk 1:5

Arise and believe this truth, bring it on Lord Jesus.

The Lord replied,
"Look around at the nations;
look and be amazed!
For I am doing something in your own day,
something you would not believe
even if someone told you about it.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Front page news

God's express news:

We came from God and through His Grace we are going back to God. How awesome is that.

Look forward

The only time you should look back is to see how far God has brought you!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

No matter how difficult of a situation you may be facing, God has a solution. He has your victory!

When we are tired, hungry, thirsty and exhausted we are not alone.

As a mum, wife, daughter, sister, and friend I feel loved out. I feel exhausted having given all my love to everyone else. 

It appears that I am in good company. Jesus regularly denied His needs for the needs of others.

Jesus was exhausted at the well in Sychar (John 4:6), thirsty and in need of a drink. It was noon. He was a stranger and he sat down on his own, dusty and disheveled. This was a pit stop so to speak, as he was en-route to Galilee from Judea where he had been extremely busy with His Father's work. His demeanor probably was more like a vagrant than the Son of God. 

Jesus was tired, hungry and needed rest in Galilee after ministering to large numbers of people, he had not even had time to eat. (Matt 6:30-44) When He and the disciples left for rest the crowd followed them. Even though Jesus was tired and hungry he chose to feed the crowd that had followed Him. 

Jesus was dangerously dehydrated on the cross (John 19:28) but he comforted the thief and proved for His mother's needs.

How easy it would have been to use his miraculous powers to feed and nourish his flesh. To keep himself warm and comfortable. His sacrifice was selfless and fed by God. He was completely centered on the One and not on his own needs. He didn't try to make things easy for Himself. He understood sacrifice. But in order to replenish Himself Jesus had to take breaks away from his ministry to be with His Father. 

Like Jesus we need to take breaks from our ministry, whether it be as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, counselor, minister, paid employee, etc. We need to just be. We need to find a silent, secret place to be with God where we can refill. Otherwise we will run on empty and soon our engines will cease up and stop working. Unless you have a divine nature, you cannot go on giving past your 'empty' prompt. 

We need this reminder to keep us on track as to who is the Saviour of the world? Who is the Saviour of our household and who is the Saviour of our life? When we can no longer give:

Stop and venture into Oneness until restored.