Read His Words Before Ours!
It was a quid pro quo arrangement with God.
My part was excellence on all points in Christian living;
His was to deliver my version of the blessed and beautiful Christian life.
Despite my quest for perfect performance, my only consistent accomplishment was failure. I was caught in a self-defeating, self-inflicted trap. My expectations and reality were worlds apart, resulting in a brutal head-on collision. I slumped in the wreckage of disappointment, a casualty of my own deception. Had I misunderstood Him; did I even truly know Him?
My disillusionment led me to Scripture, where I encountered the tender, yet terrifying God Who Is.
I found God reveals Himself in seemingly-opposing ways.
He honors humans with intimate friendship, yet acts independently,
delineating His realm of existence; we are creatures, He is Creator.
In divine wisdom, He takes action, reinstating order where humans create chaos,
all the while working out His redemptive plan for humanity.
In Noah, He confided His regret in creating mankind, and His plan to decimate creation with a deluge, restarting with Noah and his family. He dictated instructions for their ark of rescue, then proceeded with the deluge. (Genesis 6, 7, 8, 9)
He chose a pagan named Abram, renamed him Abraham, and honored him with covenants and promises. God called Abraham His friend, yet clearly illustrated to Abraham that his Friend was the Divine Power. God made shocking demands of Abraham, yet in the process, sketched His overarching plan for humanity’s redemption. (Learn more about Abraham in Genesis 11-25)
He shepherded Abraham’s descendants through multiple generations, revealing Himself by the name “I AM” to Moses, and honoring Moses with the first character description of Himself. (Exodus 3) Once again, when the evil of mankind had reached His limits, “I AM” stepped in, restoring order, wielding judgement, and delivering Israel by His bared, holy arm. (Learn more about God’s rescue of Israel in Exodus 1-14)
“I AM” guided Israel by a pillar of cloud and fire, protected them, and established them as a nation. He called men and women who followed Him for bold missions, feats of valor, and fearless preaching. Prophets foretold “I AM” would come in human form. His mission would be to redeem fallen humanity. (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)
Weathered sages scratched truth-filled messages and prophetic visions onto sacred scrolls. Once again, they told of “I AM,” Who seeks tender friendship with mankind, yet, remains “in a high and holy place.” (Isaiah 57:15)
He speaks comfort, extends lovingkindness, and powerfully protects. (Isaiah 41:8-11)
In the same breath, He holds mankind accountable for their choices. Once again, “I AM” emblazons the distinction between mankind and Himself. (Isaiah 40–41)
Prophetic words came true; “I AM” arrived as “God with us.”
The Holy Spirit divinely fathered Jesus in Mary’s womb. (Matthew 1:18-23)
He lived a common, yet wholly uncommon life; fully human, fully God. Jesus championed authentic religion marked by ongoing compassion for the helpless and hopeless while offending the elite with truth. He revealed His divine power and identity simply to undergird the tenderly flowering faith of His followers and underscore His bold assertions, He was eternity’s “I AM” in human form.
He was “I AM” submitting to the slashing whip and criminal’s crucifixion.
God, slaughtered as the unblemished Passover Lamb. (Matthew 26-27)
“I AM,” “a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth” (Exodus 34:6), so accessible and relatable— so killable. He was born to die, all while remaining God and conquering death. Resurrection Day both seals and celebrates His resounding victory! (Matthew 28)
Following Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, His disciples were freshly empowered by the truth and His indwelling Holy Spirit. (Acts 2) So, they turned the world upside-down with the gospel. In a stunning vision, the aging Apostle John received a glimpse into Heaven’s throne-room where his Friend awaits. It was Him! Israel’s Passover Lamb; Judah’s warring Lion; his Friend, Jesus of Nazareth, the Great “I AM”! (Learn more about John’s vision in the book of Revelation)
Dwelling in holy friendship with such other-worldly majesty—how can it be? What does He want with us?
Simply, He wants us.
The stunning truth is that dwelling amidst His holy thunder, communing with “I AM” as Friend with friend, is a reality available to all who are unafraid to press in and follow Him in trusting obedience. (Isaiah 57:15-21, Micah 4:1-8, James 4:4-10)
We will never understand Him; He is incomprehensible.
We will never grasp the magnificent condescension of His redemptive work on our behalf. However, like the heavenly throng, the unnerving eye-covered creatures and the Apostle himself, we too can gaze transfixed upon the Victorious Lamb, joining the unending chorus, crying, “Blessing and honor and glory and power [. . . ] be to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5: 9-14)
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!