“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
Written by Pastor Randy Burbank for “Kingdom Pastor” @ https://kingdompastor.wordpress.com
(Final message in the series “YAHWEH–The I Am Sayings Of Jesus”)
The Eternal Name—The Name for all generations to remember—The Name that God has chosen to reveal to us all is YAHWEH—I Am! His Name says that He exists as Himself. He isn’t shaped or twisted by our own ideas and conceptions. Whatever it is that we may think about HIM, doesn’t change who He really is. Whatever you say about God doesn’t change Him. Whatever you may believe about God, does not change the identity and nature of our God.
He is who HE says He is; not necessarily who we think He is and not necessarily who others say He is. He exists as He truly is—
In Indescribable Glory,
Pure, Uncontaminated Beauty
And All This In Awesome And Breathtaking Majesty.
He has never been weaker nor stronger than He is right now in eternity, nor will He ever be. Think about the changes that have happened in the history of humanity. We have gone from walking everywhere to riding a horse to an automobile, to flying across the skies, even made the journey to the moon and back.
Think about all the changes that have happened just in your lifetime. Yet, God has never ever changed—not even a fraction. He Is Constant And Consistent To The Point We Really Cannot Describe All That He Is. This Is The Eternal Name For All Generations To Remember.
As we have been looking through John’s Gospel, Jesus has been publicly using His Eternal Name. And it has caused a lot of discomfort and anger with the Pharisees because we are not supposed to say that name—even though God wants His Eternal Name remembered by all generations.
They felt like, “We can’t have this guy going around calling himself God. We’ve got to put a stop to it. We’ve tried to be reasonable. We’ve tried to show that He’s a phony, but many don’t believe us. We must put an end to Jesus!” So they begin to formulate their plans, but what they don’t understand is that God already has a plan. They want to wait until AFTER Passover, but God has ordained that this Passover is THE time for THE perfect sacrifice that will end all sacrifices. And now, it is time for THE Passover. Jesus has gathered His inner circle in that upper room. Everything is in place and they think it’s just another Passover. They know the ritual; after all, they grew up with it. But Jesus now changes everything. In public He had been using the Eternal Name, and now in a very private moment, He uses it once more. Let’s turn to John 14:1-7 (NLT)
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”
“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am The Way, The Truth, And The Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
All that Jesus said He is–The Great I Am—The Living Bread, The Light Of The World, The Door, The Good Shepherd—is so true—truer than you may even realize. But here, in a private and intimate moment, Jesus reveals the Deepest Part Of The Heart Of God. He Doesn’t Say This In Public, But Rather To Those Hearts That Are Longing For God’s Heart.
This leads me to The one thing you need to remember: You Do Not Follow Jesus In Order To Love Him. You Love Him In Order To Follow Him.
Love comes first—before the following. But—If you follow Jesus in order to love Him, it becomes a list of rules and things to do. This way becomes legalistic. And after a while, you either love the rules more than you love Him; or you will give up.
But…if you love Jesus first—it gives you the desire to follow Him. Here is how it works: You see His beauty and that Beauty pulls you in deeper. Then You Begin Seeking His Beauty, And His Heart So That You May Be Transformed BY His Beauty INTO His Beauty. In Other Words, You Follow Him!
In this very sacred moment, Jesus says something to every heart. For inside every heart is that deep, deep longing to be near to and close to God’s very heart. The heart knows what the heart needs but the problem is we don’t always listen to it. Many try to ignore it, but the longing is still there. Others try to fill it with everything else, but the heart is still empty. Jesus Knows What Their Hearts Long For, Thirst For, Hunger For—So He Reveals What Every Heart Around That Table Longs To Know. And it is true in your heart. Listen with your heart what Jesus is saying to it.
1. He Is The Way!
When Jesus said He is The Way He means He is the ONLY way to find release from the guilt and shame of our sin. And we have to get rid of all that sin because it’s standing in the way of us entering God’s heart and God entering our heart. He Is That Entrance Into Freedom From All That Holds Us Back, All That Puts Us In Bondage, And All That Chains Us To Fear And Condemnation. Jesus is the only entrance to God’s heart. Contrary to the view of many, there are not many ways to discover God.
There is only ONE way and that way is Jesus. And The Way is a Journey, and The Journey is first to fall in love with God. Not what He does. And not by falling in love with His ways. Falling in love with God—with HIM! Being captivated by His Glory—which is His love for you. Until you see HIS Glory—you cannot love Him the way He deserves to be love Once we are in love with HIM, then He is The Way that leads us into that Holy Journey with God. The Way means that God invites us into this Journey with Him.
It Is A Journey Filled With Adventure And Excitement Where God Uses Us To Reveal Jesus To Our World.
It’s A Journey That Can Be Difficult At Times, Especially When Things Don’t Work Out Like We Hoped, And Even When We Can’t See Where This Journey Will Lead Us.
It’s The Journey That Requires We Surrender Control To Him. It’s The Journey Where We Will Be Stretched At Times.
It’s That Journey Where At Times The Only Thing We Can Hold On To Is God Himself. It May Even Be Frightening To Some.
But It’s Not A Journey We Make Alone. Jesus Is Right Here With Us Every Step Of The Way.
Jesus didn’t say “I am the pew.” But many treat Jesus that way; confident and comfortable in the pew. But Jesus didn’t say that, He said, “I Am The Way!” He invites us to travel this road called Grace, and it’s a road that is meant to be a life time journey. Along the journey we will see, do and experience so many things. The journey at the end will be different than at the beginning. But one thing will remain throughout this lifetime journey: Jesus walks every step with us. It’s the journey with Jesus where He leads us to wherever and whatever He wants for us.
2. He Is The Truth
Since it is The Journey that Jesus invites us into, we need some guideposts, road signs that help us keep us on the right path for The Journey. And here is what it looks like to call Jesus The Truth.
The Truth Is He Has Saved Us And Forgiven Us Completely And Not A Single Sin Brought Under His Blood Exists In His Heart Or Memory.
The Truth Is He Lives In Us To Empower Us.
The Truth Is He Gives Us A Holy Calling And Task That He Wants And Expects Us To Do.
The Truth Is He Holds Us Accountable To Share The Grace He Has So Extravagantly Given To Each Of Us.
Truth Is We Live Each Moment Of Each Day By And IN The Truth.
The Truth Is That People Are More Important Than Things—Jesus Did Things For People Even If It Violated The Way Things Had Always Been Because People Are More Important Than Things.
The Truth That We Must Grow In This Grace—Grow More Confident—Grow Wiser About The Truth—Applying The Truth In Real Life Situations. “What Would Jesus Do?” is more than a cute saying for shirts, bracelets and bumper stickers, it’s the way we live and respond to every situation life throws at us.
The Truth Is Persistent And Consistent For All Times, Places And People. It Doesn’t Change Or Fluctuate With The Times, Nor The Culture.
The Truth Is That Service And Sacrifice Are Part Of The Way. Service And Sacrifice Are What Truly Marks Us As Disciples Of Jesus And Members Of The Body Of Christ.
This Truth—Lived By Jesus Every Day He Walked This Earth As One Of Us—Is The Anchor For Every Age, Every Generation, And Every Moment Of Every Day We Walk This Earth.
Jesus As The Truth Is More Than A Creed Or Belief. It is the convictions that hold us, hold us closely when we need assurance of God’s love—and that challenges us to follow Jesus in The Way! The Truth Is That Jesus Is The Alpha And Omega, The First And The Last, The Beginning And The End. And whatever it is we do as believers in Christ, makes each day all about him and not anything about us!
Truth isn’t a weapon we use against others. It’s the discipline that reminds us that we are in love with God—and that God is in love with us.
3. He Is The Life!
The Life gives the journey meaning. It is The Life that should be the force that makes our feet hit the floor every morning. Jesus is The Life that brings us to life with a passion and excitement to be a part of what God is doing in our world.
Some people are waiting to die. They have given up on the excitement and adventure of life. If Jesus is really in your heart, you don’t have to wait to die to experience life, but you can start living, really living with that sense of joy, purpose and anticipation of all that God wants to show you every day. Jesus didn’t suffer and die on that Cross for you to be sad and miserable; cranky and whiny; to grumble and complain.
His Life Is About Life That Has An Eternal Meaning In The Here And Now. Jesus wants you to live and breathe, not exist. And The Life is offered to you through The Gift—the Gift of Perfect Love when Jesus went to the Cross to die for you. But He didn’t just die for you—He conquered death for you, too.
And the Resurrection Life isn’t just for that day when the body dies. The Resurrection Life Is For Here And Now. It begins with the Journey. And the Journey begins with falling love with God. God is in love with YOU. Not with what you can do or ought to do. He is in love with YOU right now! Jesus is The Way into that love. Truth reminds us of this—that God is in love with us. Truth isn’t a set of creeds—it is more—Truth is a Person—Jesus Christ—And this makes Truth a Love Relationship. This Is The Life!
Life is knowing we are loved by God—being in love with God—in the way that causes us to be His Agents, Agents of Redemption for the world.
Are you simply waiting to die? Do you feel that life has become too hard to do anything significant? Do you think it was easy for Jesus to forgive the crowd while hanging on that cross? Stop waiting to die—decide today to begin living.
What are you doing that is life-giving to others? Have you heard of that TV series The Walking Dead? It’s about the Zombie Apocalypse. Some call it science fiction. It’s truer than you may realize. The Walking Dead are all around us. The thing is they don’t look like those zombies on TV—they look like us. But they are dead on the inside.