FFocusing on the I Am

Focusing on the I Am. Experiencing our Heavenly Father, Part 5



The Cross

 

Last time, in the “Experiencing our Heavenly Father” series, Part 4, we warned about the loveless state of most legalistic churches, where doctrines are emphasized over getting to know Jesus.

How different it is when we only follow Jesus, for when we focus on the “I am”, love is the norm.

Remember that Jesus is truly God.

We see that God calls Himself the “I am”: “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exodus 3:14 NIV)

In John 8:12, Jesus also calls Himself “I am”: “Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’" (NIV)

He uses this term again in John 8:58: “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’" (NIV)

God is always Himself. When Jesus calls Himself “I am”, He shows that He is God. No one else can call himself the, “I am,” for unlike humans, God never changes.

Jesus showed nothing but love. A good example is when Jesus was in the garden with His disciples, and the guards came to arrest Him: “Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way…’" (Mark 18:8 NASB)

Legally the soldiers should have imprisoned all of Jesus’ disciples, especially when, “Simon Peter drew his sword, and struck off the right ear of Malchus, a servant belonging to the high priest.” (John 18:10 NIV).

Still, Jesus was in control.

“So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?" (John 18:11 NIV). Jesus then healed Malchus’ ear (See Luke 22:51).

Jesus was headed for the cross, but He still did everything He could to show love. He healed the injured man, and He did everything so that his disciples could be freed, so that they would not end up on a cross as well. This was, “To fulfill the word which He spoke, ‘Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.’" (John 18:9 NIV)

Jesus’ love was palpable. He cared more about his disciples than Himself: “The cup which the Father given Me, shall I not drink it?" (John 18:11b NIV). No one could have this cup. No one in all of humanity had lived a sinless life. Only the “I am” could do that, and He offered His life freely so that we could be saved for eternity: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV)

Would a pastor be willing to save the lives of his audience? Would he be willing to die for the members of his church? Only One can show this kind of love, the “I am”.

The “I am” will always be with us, at all times. He loves us. We may do plenty of bad things, but the “I am” will love us, no matter what we do! In fact, Jesus even gave forgiveness to those who crucified the Him, the “I am”: “Jesus said, ‘Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.’” (Luke 23:34 GNT)

As humans, we so often don’t even know what we are doing! Yet Jesus gave His life so that we might realize that the “I am” love us!

Shouldn’t we try to mirror that love for our fellow mankind?

We have a member in our church. He is over 90 years old. He always greets people with a big embrace. I feel fortunately every time I am the recipient of his hugs, for I feel his love through his actions. When I am down, his hugs always make me feel that I’m important, that someone cares. He is truly focusing on the “I am”.

Do we focus on the “I am”? Do we try to make others feel comfortable? Do we try to make them feel worthwhile? Do we show them Jesus’ love?

Love is the only way!

Rob Chaffart

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