I AM… the Bread of Life

I amAll summer I have been writing about God’s names in the Old Testament seeing that God is our refuge, our glorious sword, our King, our provider and so much more. As we enter fall, I want to switch to the New Testament voice of Jesus and who He says He is to us.  He made 7 ‘I am’ statements that are equal in measure with God’s statement to Moses in Exodus 3:14  when he questioned God, asking who shall I say has sent me?  God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

Picture the scene that John portrays in John 6.  The crowds were pressing Jesus and asking Him for a sign to show that He was God.  They wanted a tangible sign from Jesus and reminded Him of the manna that God sent to the children of Israel while wandering in the desert.  Jesus told them God had sent them true bread from heaven to give life to john 6 35the world.  Of course, “They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”   Jesus replies with His first of the 7 I AM statements.  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:34-35  Jesus goes on to assure them further, 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.”     Jesus came to show us the Father, to do His will and hold us as His own.  We never need to fear what man can do as God holds us tighter than tight and sees to our needs.  Knowing Jesus brings satisfaction for your spiritual hunger to know God and to be fed by Him.  

Do you allow God to feed you daily from His Word?  Jesus, the very bread of life, is john 1ever present in God’s Word and John even refers to Jesus as the Word in John 1:1-4 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”   Jesus is the Word and has the very words of life for us in the Bible.  Read the Word today and let Him feed and nurture you as you seek to know Him.  He will sustain you with pure spiritual food that will always satisfy.   Jesus promises He is the true bread of life that we need for living an authentic life before Him.

Linda

King and Kingdom-are they yours?

King foreverOne of the images presented in scripture is of God as our eternal King.  This seems like an earthly title but when we consider His kingdom and what it is like, we realize that His reign is way beyond any earthly kingdom.  Jesus tell us in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  God’s kingdom is not territory driven but character driven.  Romans 14:17 adds more, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  His kingdom is a place of joy, peace and dwelling with God.  1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not based on talk but on power.”   His kingdom is based on His power and might.  Scripture tells us Jesus is  and will be our king.  Hebrews 1:8 “But of the Son he says,  “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.” 

Jeremiah 10 10David knew God was and is king forever.  Psalm 145:1 “I will extol you, my God and King,  and bless your name forever and ever.”   Jeremiah proclaimed God the living eternal King in Jeremiah 10:10 “But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King.  At his wrath the earth quakes,    and the nations cannot endure his indignation.” Daniel knew who God was as stated in Daniel 2:37 “You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory,”

Today question is:  Who is God to you?  Is He your King and if so do you desire to be a member of His Kingdom?  Meditate on Psalm 145:1, Jeremiah 10:10 and Daniel 2:37 and analyze your own thoughts about who God is and your relationship to Him.  If you find Him to be your King, then think about your life and ask yourself if you are acting like a member of His kingdom.  Are you driven by earthly desires or by wanting to be more and more like Jesus so your character counts?  Jesus desires to abide in us and be the driving force and power within our lives.  We have to relinquish ourselves to Him and desire to be citizens of His kingdom.  philippians 3 20Through salvation in Jesus, we are citizens of heaven, praise the Lord!   Take heart in Philippians 3:20, “ But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,”

Linda

Is God personal to you?

My-Lord-and-My-GodHow do you see the God of the universe?  Is He personal or impersonal in your life? The Bible is filled with proclamations of those to whom God is personal.  I have chosen a few testimonies in today’s blog to whet your appetite for what you can find in The Book!

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew God personally.  God guided, delivered and literally wrestled with Jacob.  David depended upon God and tells us in 2 Samuel 22:7 that He call upon God personally, “In my distress I called upon the Lord to my God I called.
From his temple he heard my voice,  and my cry came to his ears.”   In Psalm 31:14 David makes a bold proclamation:  But I trust in you, O LordI say, “You are my God.”   The list of those who called God their God continues with Nehemiah, Isaiah, and all the Old Testament prophets.  Daniel states in Daniel 9:4 about his own experience with God,  I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,”   Mary proclaims in Luke 1:47, “and Jn20 28my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,”  Thomas declares in John 20:28, “Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” when he touched the hands of the risen Jesus.  and Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:4 states, “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.

What is your statement about God?  Is He personal to you?  Can or do you call Him, My God?  Knowing Jesus personally  is what faith involves.  Our relationship with the Almighty God is one on one.  He is there for me, knows my ways.  He even knows the number of hairs on my head as Jesus said in Luke 12:7 “Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”  He knows me intimately and desires good things for me and desires that I grow in good character as I walk with Him daily.

god-is-personalWill you step out in faith today and call Him, My God?   If you do, He will meet you there and walk beside you each day bringing comfort, joy, growth and well being to your hungry soul.  Invite Him today, just say, Come in Lord Jesus and be with me.  He will answer.

Linda

The Amazing Creator

creator godGod refers to himself as Creator in Isaiah 43:15 “I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”   In Isaiah 40:28 Isaiah speaks of the hope that this Creator brings to us, Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.”    This Creator of heaven and earth, the one who made us and everything in the universe wants to be our King.   Isaiah’s passage tell us this creator is eternal, has unlimited energy and power, is not subject to human weaknesses like being tired, weary or falling away and His knowledge is beyond end.  

Have you ever spent time gazing at God’s creation?  Those things that we make reflect on our abilities, ingenuity, creativity, dexterity, resources and perseverance.  How much more so with God and His creation of the universe.  It speaks of His majesty, unlimited knowledge, sense of humor and creativity, grandeur and power.  Psalm 19:1-2 puts it so psalm 19 1-2eloquently, The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above  proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.”

I hope you have had some time this summer to go out and about in God’s grand creation.  Did you reflect on the Creator as you gazed at His marvelous creation all around you?  As summer wanes and we head into the busy fall season with school and multiple activities, I pray you will take some time to think about how awesome our God is and all He has created for you to enjoy.  All creation, including you, is made to bring glory and honor to God, the Creator.  Let us strive today to bring glory to Him in what we say and do.

Linda

Place or person, who is your refuge?

God refugeHow many times have you said, “God is my refuge”?   These are words that David repeatedly spoke about God.  By definition a refuge is a place of shelter or protection from danger or difficulty, or it can be a person who gives shelter, help or comfort.  David spent 14 years running from King Saul after being anointed the future king  by Samuel.  He was hunted, attacked and driven into the wilds away from friends, family and others.

David refers to God as his refuge, a place of safety,  in Psalm 91:1-2 and 91:9-10.                    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say  to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”                                                                                                             91:9-10  “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge —
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.”                    Abiding with God in your heart, soul and mind each day gives you a refuge, a safe place where you can depend upon God to shelter and protect you.     

David also saw God as his refuge, a person who brings protection, help or comfort.  In Psalm 62:5-7 David describes his refuge relationship with God.                                          psalm 62For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.       David sees God as the one who keeps him secure, steadfast and is his provider of salvation.

Psalm 59:16-17 “But I will sing of your strength;
    I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
    and a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
    for you, O God, are my fortress,
    the God who shows me steadfast love.     David is so thankful that God is his refuge providing him with protection, steadfast love and comfort.       

Is this the lens through which you see God?  Is He your place and person of protection, safely, love and comfort?  He can be that and more.  Look to Him today and ask Him to draw near to you and He will just as he promised in James 4:7-8. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, psalm 91 2 NLTand he will draw near to you.”   David repeatedly resisted the desire and opportunity to kill Saul which would have ended his running,  but he did not yield to that temptation and kept drawing nearer to God depending upon Him for refuge.      God can do the same for you.     

Linda                                              

God is mighty in battle!

These last few weeks have been a trial of strength and endurance as I have moved from one place to another.  Gathering, boxing, hauling, pondering where to put things, deciding what I need and what should go are all actions filled with stressful joy.  I have found strength in the Lord and in His people.  The Bible often speaks of the mighty hand of God, His mighty deeds or works, His mighty arm, power and strength but the psalm 24 8description I held onto is God is mighty in battle.  He was right there with me seeing to the details of this move that brought people to help at just the right time with just the resources that were needed!  Psalm 24:8 Who is this King of glory?   The Lord, strong and mighty,     the Lord, mighty in battle!”  David saw God as mighty, strong and one who would go with him into battle.  He goes on in verses 9-10 to tell us that God is strong and mighty and He will help us in our battles if we will let Him in.  Lift up your heads, O gates!     And lift them up, O ancient doors,  that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is this King of glory?     The Lord of hosts,  he is the King of glory!”

How are you doing in the battles life is bringing your way?  Are you trying to go it alone or are you willing to open yourself to the mighty helping hand of God?  We need to let Him come into our lives to receive His help and blessing.  He is all around us and standing in wait, won’t you ask Him to come into you today?  Revelation 3:20 promises Jesus’ availability at all times, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”   Ask Him into battle is Lord'syour battles, He is strong and mighty and will give you strength, guidance, help and courage to prevail in whatever circumstances you find yourself.  Cling to Him, He is mighty in the battle of life!  Have Him by your side and on your side and you will be victorious. Be of good courage the battle is His!

Linda

God is my strength!

God is my strength!  Are these words you would speak freely, often and with great conviction?  The Bible is filled with words of praise to the Father for the strength that God provided to His beloved people in both the Old and New Testaments.  Moses proclaimed in Exodus 2:15 after crossing the Red Sea and seeing the Egyptian army defeated. “The Lord is my strength and my defense;  he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,  my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”  David proclaimed praises to God for delivering him from Saul in Psalm 18:32 “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”  Proclaiming praises to God for His psalm 28 7 strengthdeliverance and strength uplifts our spirit and pleases God.  David penned in Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
    and with my song I praise him.  
Do you have praises for Almighty God today for the strength and deliverance He has provided in your life? Or maybe you are struggling to find strength.  David prayed for strength as he pleaded with God in Psalm 71:9  “Do not cast me away when I am old;  do not forsake me when my strength is gone.”  Whether it is due to age or overwhelming circumstances, we can pray and ask God for strength to face our challenges.   Paul often directed believers pray for spiritual strength, Ephesians 3:13-14 “So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. For this reason I kneel before the Father,”  and gospel power strength in doing God’s work, 2 Timothy 2:1-2 “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”  

The Bible teaches we can pray and ask God for strength but then we need to trust in  God’s strength as it has amazing power.  He can not only give us physical strength but He can dispel fear.  Isaiah 41:10 gives me great hope.  “Fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”   God promises to be with us and hold us in His righteous right hand which is another name for Jesus.  Jesus will hold us!   We also find in Habakkuk 3:19 that God’s strength can enable us do do habakkuk 3 19things we cannot do on our own and will renew us in the process!  God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.”

So today, I really need this message as I am facing a move for good and pleasant reasons but a move nonetheless.  I need physical and spiritual strength,  and I know God can and will provide for me.  I only need ask Him.  I pray you can trust God enough to call upon His strength today for your needs.  He will be with you and give you just what you need for strength, renewal or comfort.

Have a blessed day.

Linda

Redeemer, I’m so thankful God that You sent Jesus.

Do you know God as your Redeemer?  In the Old Testament God refers to himself as Redeemer in Isaiah 44:24 “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,  who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who made all things,  who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,”   Because God is creator of all things, only He has the power to redeem, buy back or save His creation.   If you know God as your Savior and Redeemer you are in the know just like Job, David, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Zachariah and Paul who referred to God as their Redeemer.  Read their powerful words and claim them for yourself today.

i-know-my-redeemer-livesJob 19:25-26 “For I know that my Redeemer lives,      
    and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I shall see God,”      Job knew the eternal God as his Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight, Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”     David knew God was his Redeemer and desired to be humble before Him.

Isaiah 47:4 “Our Redeemer—the Lord of hosts is his name— is the Holy One of Israel.”    Isaiah knew God as his Redeemer and revered His name.

Luke 1:68 ““Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people.”    Zachariah prophesied the coming of Jesus as our Redeemer.

Galatians 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”   Paul knew that Jesus’ death on the cross redeemed us from the curse of sin.

What about you?  Can you say that God is your Redeemer?   We like to save money by using coupons as we shop.  They help us to redeem more money than we deserve.  Jesus did that for us by paying the full price for sin on the cross.  We are able to be redeemed as we put our trust and faith in Him knowing He is always faithful to carry out His work ephesians 3 20within us.  This is my prayer for you today from Ephesians 3:17-20 “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”   Amen.

 

Linda

Our Righteous Judge, you can count on on Him!

God-is-our-JudgeBoth the Old and New Testaments, present God as Judge.  He is the ultimate authority of all the universe He created both now and in the future.  In Psalm 7:10-11 David tells us that God is a righteous judge who defends those who love Him and grieves over the sin of those who reject Him. My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. 11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.”   All creation speaks of God’s righteousness and place as judge, Psalm 50:6 “The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! Selah   Solomon in his wisdom knew God’s place as judge, Ecclesiastes:3:17. “I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.”    Paul reminds Timothy that Jesus will be our eternal judge in 2 Timothy 4:1 “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:”  Peter also wrote to Christians who were struggling with holiness in their lives.  He reminds them of who God is and who they can rely upon in Christ. “1 Peter 1:17-20 “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”   

2 peter 2 9We can trust God as the righteous judge as we know He is just, impartial and loves all those He created.  God knows what He is doing and has proved himself to mankind in the past, 2 Peter 2:9 “ then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.”  Peter was referring to God rescuing righteous Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  If he could do that for Lot, He is capable of handling anything.  He is righteous and sees who we really are in our deepest being.  We can rely upon His mercy, compassion and justice.

Many people like to only think of God as loving, holy and righteous, but God is so much more,  and as creator He has the right and authority to judge all sin.  He made a way for us to escape the judgement of sin in our lives through Jesus and His work on the cross.  1 John 9:11 tell us how we can find freedom from the judgement that is upon all the world because of sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   Confess your sins today, keep short accounts with God and do not let sin stay in your heart and reject it from your life through power of Jesus.  He is the perfect judge, just in all things and He desires for us to stand righteous before Him.

Linda

Do you need a fortress in your life?

God-is-my-FortressDavid uses the image of God as his fortress as he describes who he feels and sees God is in his life.  By definition a fortress is a fortified place for protection.  David praised God for his deliverance from his enemies and from the murderous pursuit by Saul his king.   “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,” 2 Samuel 2:22  Repeatedly in Psalms David refers to God as his fortress.  Psalm 31:3 “For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;”  Psalm 59:9 “O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress.”   This psalm was written when Saul sent men to watch his house in order to kill him.  Later in verse 16-17 David writes, “But I will sing of your strength;
    I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
    and a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
    for you, O God, are my fortress,
    the God who shows me steadfast love.

psalm 91 2The beautiful and uplifting words of Psalm 91:1-4 resonate with David’s love, trust and complete confidence in the God, who is his fortress.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”

David knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was his fortress, safe haven and refuge from all the evil men and deeds that came at him.  He lived with confidence in God’s merciful protection that would cover him as he walked through each circumstance.   Do you have that kind of trust in God?  Have you walked with Him through hard times and seen His hand upon your life?  The more we know God day to day and walk with Him, study His Word, pray, praise and worship will we grow in trust and confidence in God’s God fortress trusteternal protection of our souls.  He is indeed our fortress, our safe place in this swirling world but also our safe haven for eternity.  Praise God for His great name and character today as you seek to walk with Him.  Claim Him as your fortress.  He is solid and can be relied upon at all times in all places.

Linda