I am, therefore You are
I am a father. I have one daughter and one son. That is what they are. They each possess certain traits or characteristics like mine because they are each partly the result of my genetic make-up. Because of who and what I am, so they each are — at least partly — who and what they are.
In his message this past Sunday Pastor Andrew referenced the seven “I am” statements of Jesus.
1. “I am the Bread of Life.” (John 6:35)
2. “I am the Light of the world.” (John 8:12; 9:5)
3. “I am the Gate.” (John 10:7)
4. “I am the Good Shepherd.” (John 10:11, 14)
5. “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” (John 11:25)
6. “I am the Way, Truth and the Life.” (John 14:6)
7. “I am the True Vine.” (John 15:1, 5)
Jesus also made several “You are” statements about us. I found seven of these also. He said…
1. “You are the salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13)
2. “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14)
3. “You are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matt. 10:31; Luke 12:7)
4. “You are witnesses…” (Luke 24:48)
5. “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” (John 8:31); “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
6. “I am the vine; you are the branches.” (John 15:5)
7. “You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:14)
And just as Jesus did NOT say He was “the way to” the Bread of Life, the Light, the Gate, etc… so too with us. Jesus does NOT ask us if we would “like to be” salt, or light, or witnesses, etc. He simply says that we ARE these things. So, since we are these things, we had better see to it that we ARE them well.
So, how do we ensure that we will demonstrate these things? We “lay hold” of Jesus. We pursue Him, though He seems to be somewhat further ahead. We run on a bit, we “press on” though now there may be muck or storm or wind against us… even bullies — or bullets.
Others have done as valiantly
“…others who were tortured… Some faced j6eers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.” (Heb. 11:36-38).
Aggressively pursue Jesus! It is a simple thing, so simple a child can do it… in fact a childlike trust is required. He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3)
Cry out to Jesus, “Abba… Father!” Bawl and shout as a child in distress calls to its parent. As Jesus did in the garden to His Father. “Lay hold” of Him. And once having laid hold, never let go. He will bring you safely through, and home.
You too, if you place your hope in Christ, whatever you currently feel like, you ARE a child of God.
To hear Pastor Andrew’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Media’ for the Aug. 18 message.