i am not I AM!

i am not I AM! July 24, 2017

Moses and the Burning BushJohn 18:12-27

 “Whom are you seeking?”

They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus said to them, “I AM.”  Now when He said, “I AM,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?”

And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus answered, “I have told you that I AM.”

Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples are you?

“I am not.”

Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself.  Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?”

He denied it and said, “I am NOT!”

How vividly, how simply John portrays the two paths set before men: the way of the righteous and the way of the fool.

Jesus elegantly incarnates the way of the Righteous.  God is the great I AM, a statement about Himself so primeval and simple that it seems almost like the beginning of all language.  I AM is all God needs to say because He simply is.  He is not created and stands before His Creation.

The simplest, shortest sentence possible is the name of God: I AM.  I am the subject of all subjects, the Noun who has created all other nouns and set all verbs into motion.  I have created all objects, which make sense only in relation to ME, the Subject.

I am also the verb.  I am the helping verb that needs no help because I stand by myself.  I AM.

I am the verb whose existence has hurled every other verb into motion in orbit around ME.  I AM.

Jesus, being God, rightly says, “I AM.”

Jesus, being man, when questioned by man, rightly says, “I AM.”

As God He merely asserts it; as man, He has to make a choice to faithfully proclaim it.

And every one of you has a choice to follow Jesus or not in His proclamation of Who HE IS.  You may choose to faithfully proclaim Him, as He did, or to deny Him, as Peter did.

There are two choices in life: I AM or i am not.  Choose carefully!  These are not merely philosophical statements about the existence of God: these are religious statements proclaiming which God you will serve.  They are also statements about your eternal destiny, for to proclaim that Jesus is I AM is to choose to live, to be.  And to proclaim that Jesus is not is to choose to die, to not be.

Throughout man’s history, there have always been those who faithfully chose God, who chose life because they chose I AM.  They are easy to spot because when God calls them they say, “Here I am.”

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah [where the Temple was later built], and offer him there as a burnt offering, on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

So he said, “Here I am.”

And He said, Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”  (Genesis 22).

Then the Angel of the God spoke to me in a dream, saying, “Jacob.”  And I said, “Here I am.”  (Genesis 31:11)

Then his brothers went to feed their father’s flocks in Shechem.  And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem?  I will send you to them.”

So he said to him, “Here I am.”  (Genesis 37:12-13).

So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.  Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

So He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there” (Genesis 46:2-3).

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

Then He said, “Do not draw near this place.  Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”  Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

“Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

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’” (Exodus 3.)

And it came to pass that before the lamp of the Lord went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, that the Lord called Samuel.  And he answered, “Here I am.”  So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called you.”

Now the Lord came and stood and called as at the other times, “Samuel!  Samuel!”

And Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant hears.”  (1 Samuel 3.)

Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send,

And who will go for us?”

Then I said, “Here am I!  Send me!

And He said, “Go, and tell this people” (Isaiah 6:8.)

But when he came to himself, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and say to Him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”

And he arose and came to his father (Luke 15:17-20.)

Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus name Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”

And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”

So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus” (Acts 9:10-11.)

“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—in the book it is written of Me—To do your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7, in which Jesus quotes Psalm 40:6-8.)

Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).

On the other hand, when God calls Adam to account, after he has sinned, he hides from God.  And when Peter is asked if he is one of Jesus’ disciples, he says, “I am not!”

Which path will you choose today?  Will you hide from the Lord or deny Him?

He may come to you in small ways today, but it still works the same way.  Will you say to the Lord, “Here I am!”  Or will you ignore Him and go your own way?

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I had one of these “Here I am” moments several years ago.  In fact, the entire reason you are reading Daily Bread today is because God called my name one day, saying, “Charles, Charles!”  I answered, “Here I am.”  And He said, “Now is the day to begin writing your daily Bible devotional.”

So I started.  I opened the door when He knocked and answered Him, and He’s been dining with me as we eat our Daily Bread together ever since.

Listen today for the voice of God.  Answer Him when He calls your name today.

Answer and say, “Here I am!”

And then hold on for the adventure of a lifetime as you proclaim the I AM to a world that desperately needs to hear!

Prayer:  Here I am Lord, send me!  My heart is open and willing before You.  Speak, and Your servant will answer; command and Your servant will obey.  Show me Yourself, and show Me Your will, and then give me the grace and strength to obey, through Jesus Christ, Your Son and my Lord, Amen. 

Points for Meditation: 

  1. What has God been asking you to do recently? How have you responded?
  2. What might God be asking you to do?
  3. What might you do to be able to listen more attentively to what the Lord is saying to you in your life?

Resolution:  Choose one way you know the Lord has been calling you and vow to listen carefully, say “Here I am,” and the go do what He has said. 

 

Moses and the Burning Bush – U.S. Public Domain


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