Lecture

What’s good with it? Now, look, we already established the reality that we believe God exists, and we looked at the Scriptures that prove the reality of God’s existence, and then we talked about the truth of creation basically being the art gallery that puts on display God’s creation, and at the same time that God is involved in our lives. He didn’t just create us and then walk away.

I love the story in Exodus chapter 3 about Moses, who God rose up to basically be the deliverer of His people who were living as slaves in the land of Egypt. Moses was confronted by God in a unique way. It was kind of crazy; think about it, because he was just out there chilling, doing his job, and all of a sudden this bush catches on fire. And Moses is kind of bugging because he’s like, “Man, what the heck is going on?” But here’s the crazy thing about it; that bush was not being consumed by the fire. All of a sudden this voice comes out of heaven and starts talking to Moses. It says, “Moses, take your shoes off, bro. The place you’re standing on is holy ground.” Moses is like, “What now?” If I’d heard that, I’d have flipped out and ran away, like I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know if it was that burrito I ate, if it’s talking to me, I don’t know what’s going on.

But Moses stayed there and talked back with God, and here’s what God basically said: “I’ve heard the cries of My people, and I’m going to free them and I want you to go to the Pharaoh,” which was kind of like the leader of the nation of Egypt, and He said, “I want you to go to him and tell Pharaoh, ‘Let My people go.’” Moses was like “Shee, I can’t just roll up there and talk with Pharaoh face-to-face on the strength of the fact I’m saying God sent me. So basically if this is going to be a reality, God, I’ve got to tell, first of all, Pharaoh, but then also your own people, who the God is that sent me,” because Moses knew because he grew up in Egypt that Egyptians worshiped all kinds of gods. But the reality of it is, God said, “Okay, you want to know My name. You want to know who I Am is, right?” So here’s what He said, “You can tell them, I AM.” That was His response. God said that His name is I AM.

Now to us, we think that “Will, I am?” Nah, He ain’t saying that. What He’s saying is this: in Hebrew that phrase is better translated: “I’m going to be who I said I’m going to be, because that’s who I’ve always been.” Let me kind of explain it this way. You see, in the Bible times when a child was born, the parents thought greatly through the name that they would select. Names in the Bible had very, very deep and passionate meanings. Now, sometimes people today may name their child after an emotion they feel or somebody that meant a lot to them or sometimes it’s just a name they thought was cute. You just have different types of reasons why people named their people the way that they named them. But in the Bible it wasn’t like that. So when God said His name is I AM, what He’s basically saying is that, The name that I just gave you, Moses, tells you about My character and it tells you about My actions. And it’s a very, very powerful name because it separates Me from every other false god out there in the world because I am the only true and living God who will be who He has always been. So God’s name reveals three truths that we need to take time to think through.

First, that name I AM reveals a snapshot to us of who God is through His character. Now, in Psalm 92, the Bible tells us that God is always holy. Everything He does will always be without sin. He’s perfect. He cannot do anything sinful. Psalm 115 then tells us that God can do whatever He wants because He’s all-powerful. So because God can do whatever He wants and because what God does is always right, perfect, and holy, we can rest assured that when God says, I’m going to do what I said I’m going to do, that means it’s always going be the right action that God always takes for His glory and for the benefit of His children who He is acting on the behalf of.

But at the same time, the second reality that the name I AM helps us understand is the actions of God. You see, in Psalm 139 it clearly tells us that God wants to be involved in our life. It’s one thing to worship a god that you never hear from, that you never see, that is never involved with you. Sometimes it’s hard for us to relate to God being Father because in some of our lives, our fathers weren’t there for us. So we think God/Father, God the Father, what’s that got to do with me? That means He’s going to leave me. He’s never going to be there for me. That’s not what it means. See, we can trust that God is the perfect Father. Remember, everything He does is always absolutely perfect.

So we look at a passage like Romans 8:28. It says, “All things work to the good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” If we have embraced Jesus Christ as our Savior, that means everything that we have gone through in life, every situation of pain, every situation that we’ve endured, every crisis moment that God has allowed us to live through, if we know Christ as our Savior, God is working those circumstances and situations out for His glory, but also for our good. And I know that to be true in my life because there’s things that I suffered through early on in life that didn’t make sense. But now it has allowed me to basically sympathize with the struggles and the hurts and the pains of other young people who have gone through similar things that I went through. I can show them like a big homie what it’s like to live on the other side of that struggle and that crisis and know Jesus as Savior and to make it through, so I can sympathize with them through the struggle they’re currently in. I’m a living example of one who put his trust in Christ, who Christ brought out of that circumstance and that situation. So we can understand that God’s actions will always be good and we can trust Him perfectly, knowing that even when times get tough, He’s working it out for our good.

And the third truth is Jesus Christ Himself. See, in John chapter 8, the Pharisees tried to corner Jesus, and Jesus just put them on Front Street. He basically said this reality. He said, “Look, Abraham himself would rejoice to see My day, and ya’ll are sitting here questioning me, giving me the third degree about my ministry, doubting who I said I am.” They said, “Abraham, man, you tripping, bro, you ain’t even fifty years old right now. Abraham died thousands of years ago. How you gonna say Abraham would rejoice when he had no knowledge that you would exist?” And that’s when Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”

Jesus dropped the same name on the Pharisees that God put Moses up on at the burning bush. So what does that tell us? That tells us that Jesus Christ is equal with God because He is God, and the Pharisees knew that. The reason they knew that is because by Him saying that phrase in the Greek, Ego Eimai, that’s the phrase that He said in Greek. It’s an emphatic statement that says, “I AM,” meaning, I am the same one who talked to Moses in the burning bush. And how do we know that they didn’t like that? They picked up stones and they were ready to kill Him right there on the spot, because the law in Leviticus mandates that if anybody blasphemes the name of God or they try to make themselves out to be God, the immediate sentencing for that sin is death. But Jesus wasn’t killed because He wasn’t lying, and He wasn’t blaspheming. He was and is and will always be God. That’s why we turn to Him as our Savior.

So the God who has always existed, is existing, and will always exist, wants us to know that He is all-powerful, that everything He does is always right. Through the ministry of Jesus Christ, we can embrace Christ as Savior and know our God intimately so that everything we go through in life will actually turn out for our good and for God’s glory.

So as you go into conversation with your leaders, unpack some of the things in your life that you’re working through that you’re like, How can God use my mess and turn it into a message that proclaims the salvation message of Jesus Christ?

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