Monday, November 26, 2012

I AM the Way and theTruth and the Life

I'm curious.  What do you believe?  More specifically, in Whom do you believe?  There are many schools of thought regarding this topic.  Some encourage that you believe in yourself and your ability to do good.  Others espouse the idea of believing in karma, what goes around comes around.  There is even the idea to believe that the prayers of others will change your eternal destiny after you die.

It's important what you believe in this life because it does have bearing on your eternal destiny.  Jesus said it this way, 
 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe  also in Me. 
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; 
for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 
And you know the way where I am going.”  
John 14:1-4

It's a statement that says little but speaks volumes.  Believe that I AM.  That the Father sent me from heaven to "Seek and to save the lost."  That I have come to give you life, abundant and free.  I came to preach the gospel to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.  Believe in Me.

So simple, yet we try to complicate things.  Believe in Me -  Paul said it clearly, "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." [Rom. 10:9].  Believe = have faith that I AM who I say that I am.

Of course, you may know folks who believe sincerely in something other than Jesus Christ.  Sincerity -  This is a great quality to have.  When people are disingenuous, deceptive, or hypocritical in the way they live, they are negative advertising.  But the sincere are not always right. 

Let me share an imperfect illustration:  I have been driving since I was very young having been taught on my grandfather's tractors, so I have great confidence in my driving skills.  I have lived in Kansas City (where there is frequent snow and ice storms which I have learned to navigate) and in Montana (where the snow falls in early Oct. and stays until April or later) so driving on snow packed roads really doesn't faze me.

Anyway, you could say that I was sincerely confident in my driving ability on evening as I was taking Kaitlyn out to work and see her horse.  (Some of you already know where this is heading, don't you)  Yep, my sincere confidence was tested while I was talking with Kaitlyn we came over a rise and hit some ice which impeded my ability to stop, turn, or anything else.  Sure enough, we sailed right through the corner and into the field beyond.  The snow was so deep it took some time to get out.  Needless to say, I was sincerely WRONG.

Friends, you and I come across people every day that are headed to hell, SINCERELY! 

For the full message shared on 11-18-12 at First Church of God, Racine, WI go to:

Monday, November 19, 2012

I AM the Bread of Life

Here it is almost Thanksgiving and most of us have turkey on our mind.  This year I am participating with our congregation in my first Thanksgiving dinner serving 100+ folks from our community.

Perhaps you are doing something with your family or friends or maybe you are alone during this season.  Whatever the case may be, I would like to encourage you to consider shifting your focus from the table that holds the power to satisfy your physical needs to the One who can satisfy your spiritual needs.

Jesus said,    “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe."

This Thanksgiving, while serving those who visit our church, my desire is to place before them the Bread of Life.  Please pray with me that they make receive Jesus Christ as their Savior.

For the full message shared on 11-18-12 at First Church of God, Racine, WI go to:
I AM the Bread of Life

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I AM the Living Water

Jesus dealt with people that expected a lot from Him.But despite their expectations, He held true to who He was (and who He IS).

The whole reason for Jesus coming to earth was to reveal Himself to mankind and in doing so reveal God, and re-establish the relationship that was created when man rebelled and sinned against God.

Although water is not one of the “I am” declarations of Jesus He does clearly offer living water to those who thirst.  This was not His first public invitation to believe in him, nor was it the first time He used the metaphor of living water for salvation. 

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, 
saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 
‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”  
But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him 
were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, 
because Jesus was not yet glorified. 
[John 7:37-39].

For the full message shared on 11-11-12 at First Church of God, Racine, WI go to: 
I AM the Living Water

Monday, November 5, 2012

Who Do You Say That I AM?

Expectations.  You have them, I have them.  We all have them.

Christmas is less than 2 mos. away and already the stores are gearing up with EXPECTATIONS of pre-Thanksgiving Christmas sales.

Kristen, my wife, has EXPECTATIONS that I will participate in the hanging of the greens around the house, and I hate to let her down.

My kids have EXPECTATIONS that they will get what they want for Christmas, I have no problem letting them down.


People had expectations regarding Jesus as well.  Some never thought he'd amount to much "What good can come out of Nazareth."  (John 1:46) "Is not this the carpenter's son?  Is not His mother called Mary...?" (Matthew 13:55)  Others held a higher view Him - "Some say [you are] John the Basptist; and others Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." (Matthew 16:14)

C.S. Lewis had this to say regarding man's expectations of Jesus: “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” 

Jesus left no option with regards to "who I AM"; or what He came to do.  He said on more than one occasion that He was and is the Son of God and that He and the Father are one.  He said, "[I have] come to seek and to save the lost." (Luke 19:10)  Even with these clear statements, his disciples were looking for Jesus to use His miraculous power to establish His kingdom here on earth, but that was their EXPECTATION, not His (nor the Father's) plan.

In preparing the Twelve for His true reason for being here (the redemption of man), Jesus questioned them asking, "Who do the people say that I am?"  and followed up with the most important question every individual must answer, "WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?"

For the full message shared on 11-04-12 at First Church of God, Racine, WI go to: 
Who do you say that I am?