July 1, 2018
Pastor Bryan Watson
Good morning. Who else is enjoying this hot, dry summer that was foretasted?
The other night I saw a few fireflies. They were beautiful. At first, I thought the mosquitoes had installed landing lights! I used to enjoy fire-pitting, now I just put up pictures of other people doing it.
Normally, I’d be preaching about the next chapter of Daniel, and rest assured, we aren’t finished with Daniel yet. However, for today, since we are kicking off the summer memory program, I wanted to stay with the theme of “I AM.”
Our scripture passage for this morning is from Exodus 3:10-15. The context is that God is speaking to Moses from the burning bush, instructing him to return to Egypt and lead the Hebrews out from under Pharaoh’s cruel hand.
10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 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?” 12 So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” 13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 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.’ ” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’
There are many names by which God is revealed. To name just a few:
Elohim: God Creator
El Shaddai: God Almighty
El Elyon: Most High
Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Will Provide
There are many more names by which God is revealed. The thing about the names that God uses is that they all reflect something of His character or nature. He is Most High, Almighty, Creator, Provider, Lord.
This is especially true when God reveals His name to Moses at the burning bush. I AM WHO I AM. Tell them I AM has sent me to you.
The descriptive name above any other descriptive name, God is I AM. He has no beginning. He has no end. He was not created. He’s not the God who was and is no more. He’s not the God who is not yet. He is I AM. There has never been and never will be anyone like Him. Dr. Charles Stanley says that Jesus Christ came to give us a living example of who the Great I Am is.
Turn in your Bibles to Galatians 4:4-5. “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
Jesus Christ came in the form of a baby a little over two thousand years ago. Yet, in the form of The Son of God, the 2nd person in the Trinity, He existed from the very beginning.
Let’s look at John 1:1-3. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Skip down to verse 14: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
So it was by Him that all things were made, and yet it wasn’t until thousands of years later that He was born in the flesh. He was with God in the beginning, and yet he was a baby in Bethlehem. How can that be except that He is I AM? The truth of His existence is wrapped up in I AM.
Turn now to John 8:58. Here, Jesus is speaking with a group of Jews about who He is. The conversation turns to Abraham. In verse 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
Can you imagine how this would had driven the Pharisees insane? They knew the scriptures, so they knew God’s name was I AM. But they failed to recognize the Messiah, so when Jesus called Himself by this name, I AM, this would have been blasphemy to the utmost degree. They would have torn their clothes and plucked out their beards. They would have been picking up stones to stone this man.
They. Wanted. Jesus. Dead. Jesus was making the claim that He was God.
And in case there is any doubt about Jesus’ claim to be God, let’s turn to John 14:7-11. Here Jesus is speaking to His disciples about the Father. Beginning in verse 7: “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
So, Jesus is either a liar, or He is who He says He is. You can’t have it both ways. You need to choose for yourself. John 10:30 – “I and My Father are one.” Is He a liar? Is He crazy? Or is He God?
Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd.” He looks after us and protects us.
“I am the bread of life.” He is our sustainer. He gives us everything we need.
“I am the Light.” He shows us the way out of darkness.
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He is the only way. There is no other way. Every other path to salvation is false.
“I am the Resurrection and the Life.” He is the one who paid the price and took our place on the cross.
Turn in your Bibles to John chapter 18.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas and his thugs are coming to arrest Jesus. Beginning in verse 4: Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”
5 They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
When Jesus Christ, the very Son of God uttered those words from His lips, “I AM He”, the evil spirits present in Judas and his men immediately fell back from Jesus. They knew. James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!” It’s not enough to believe. You have to accept Him! And quite frankly, they physically could not have arrested Him unless He willingly gave Himself up. They fell to the ground at the mere mention of His name. It was all in His hands the whole time.
And finally, let’s look at the unveiled Christ. In Revelation 1:17-18, the Apostle John is speaking… 17 When I saw Him (referring to Jesus), I fell at His feet as though dead. But He laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
And again in Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
I AM. The beginning and the end. The Alpha and the Omega. The One who always was. How can there be a better name? This is who we serve. I AM. This is who Daniel saw in his visions. I AM. What better word to give to Moses?
“Just tell them I AM sent me to you.”
Friends, if Jesus was who He said He was; if He wasn’t crazy; if He wasn’t a liar or a deceiver, then you must believe in the Great I AM who came in the person of Christ and died on the cross so that we would not have to spend eternity separated from Him. If you’ve never made that decision, there is no greater time than right now. I AM is calling you. I AM wants to set you free from the bonds of this life. Why not make today the day that you choose to align with the Great I AM. Come and speak with me afterwards. I would love to help you. Or, there will be some people waiting in our prayer room, and they would love the opportunity to pray with you. Don’t wait. Let today be the day of the Great I Am.