God is the Great I AM
Exodus 3:14 And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.
Matt: 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.
10:27 And Jesus looking on them said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible to you; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what you will.
Luke 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
I grew up in churches that taught that miracles did not exist any more. They were only for a time during the 1st Century Church as a way to ‘attract’ people to the teaching and preaching of the Gospel. That there was no need for miracle healing anymore because we had modern medicine. There was no need for tongues anymore, we have the printed Bible and modern communication techniques. We have no need for the ‘spiritual’ as we have the ecumenical.
We replaced God’s healing with man’s science.
We have replaced real prayer with begging.
We have replaced hope in God with acceptance of infirmities.
We have replaces the Holy Spirit with robes, choirs and the Doxology.
We have replace Christ with Religion.
We have extended that to the modern Church as too many churches feel they only need to meet once a week. There is little teaching, the preaching is often watered down or pablum preaching, or God forbid, a politically correct lecture trying to make God’s word fit what is going on in society making everything okay. Our pastors are ‘too busy’ to visit the sick.. they so busy they have to take a vacation every 3-4 weeks to recover.. God will hold them to account. While I think a pastor should have some vacation time, this should not be abused.
Where is the teaching in the church? There is no more ‘Sunday School’ or ‘Learning Hour’ in the church. Do we not have qualified teachers? Or is it difficult to listen to those trying to get us to eat meat when pablum goes down much easier.
Where is the burden for the lost? Does not the Church bear the responsibility of seeking and teaching and preaching to the lost? Of course it does. Nowhere in the New Testament did Jesus ever send out the disciples to do ‘caroling’.. or to ‘hold a vacation Bible School’ or to ‘have a swimming party’ or to ‘Meet at Hardee’s for coffee’.. Jesus sent them to PREACH and TEACH the Gospel to the LOST. That is the whole purpose of the Church being left behind after being saved.. to seek and save that which is lost. Anything that gets in the way of that is the Church not doing its mission.
When a church is using ‘praise and worship’ music, or ‘fresh worship’, be careful. In the old hymns of the Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals, there is scriptural teaching at the same time praise to God is going on. We have replaced that inspired music with a form of Rock N Roll, bringing the world into the Church and doing away with the one area that was left for the Church of Once A Week to do any teaching. Some of these modern songs are based on scripture, many are not. Too often the ‘worship team’ is built on ego and not on service. One of the things I have found most decent worship teams have in common is, they can sing and play on key. If your worship team is not doing that, ask the question, ‘Is that the best God can do?”.
44 All who believed were together, and had all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and goods, and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need.
46 Day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. The Lord added to their number * day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 5:35 He said to them, “You men of Israel, be careful concerning these men, what you are about to do. 36 For before these days Todah rose up, making himself out to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were dispersed, and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the enrollment, and drew away some people after him. He also perished, and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered abroad. 38 Now I tell you, withdraw from these men, and leave them alone. For if this counsel or this work is of man, it will be overthrown. 39 But if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them * , and you would be found even to be fighting against God!” 40 They agreed with him. Summoning the apostles, they beat them and commanded them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 They therefore departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name * . 42 Every day, in the temple and at home, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming Jesus, the Messiah.
We are in the midst of the Age of Apostasy as identified in
Rev. 3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: “The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Head of God’s creation, says these things:
15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot.
16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.
17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing;’ and do not know that you are wretched * , miserable, poor, blind, and naked;
18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich; and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to put on your eyes, that you may see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. Be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.
21 He who overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on his throne.
22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Our churches ought to be hubs of activity. Teaching, Preaching, Praise, Fellowship and other Godly activities. The most important is to have a burden for the lost. Things that real families do. The difference is the blood our families are based on. Our earthly families are based on a blood line passed from parents to children. Christians base their families on the Blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for the remission and forgiveness of sin.
Religion is man’s way of trying to find God. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, you name it, whatever the religion, it is man trying to define and find God in man’s own terms. Judaism and Christianity are NOT religions. They both are a relationship. They both are God reaching down to man. God started reaching down to man when he came to Abram. God started reaching down to man when he sent Noah to build the Ark and preach for 120 years of the impending doom and God’s way of salvation. God reached down to man in the Garden, when his creation had stumbled on the words of Satan, God still called for them, looking for them. All through history, through the Jewish people and later the Christians, God has been reaching out to mankind. The ultimate act was when he sent his son to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sin.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 18 He who believes in him is not judged. He who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God.”
Jesus Christ demands a relationship. Christianity is NOT a religion, but a relationship. Christianity is not something you do but who you are. Christianity is not a Church meeting but a way of life.
Francis Schaeffer, a popular Christian author of the 1970s, wrote a book called “How Should We Then Live?” He even produced a 10 episode series based on that question. It was a bit controversial at the time, but many of the predictions about our nation have come true. The question becomes, what is a Christian supposed to do? God did NOT call you to DO something, but He called you to BE something. He called you to BE a child of the great I AM. Son/Daughter of God Almighty. That is a relationship, not a task. That is something you are, not something you do. Once you have the relationship established, He will ask you to do certain thing. If that relationship is not established, there is nothing you can do that will please him.
That relationship is based on FAITH in his word. In Hebrews, we are told, ‘without FAITH it is impossible to please God.’ Faith is the cornerstone of your relationship with God. Your salvation is based on Faith in Christ. Faith in the Word, Faith in God.
15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
13 It shall happen, if you shall listen diligently to my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
14 that I will give the rain of your land in its season, the former rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, and your new wine, and your oil.
15 I will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full.
16 Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
17 and the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and he shut up the sky, so that there shall be no rain, and the land shall not yield its fruit; and you perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord gives you.
18 Therefore you shall lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul; and you shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for symbols between your eyes.
19 You shall teach them your children, talking of them, when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
20 You shall write them on the door posts of your house, and on your gates;
21 that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as the days of the heavens above the earth.
22 For if you shall diligently keep all this commandment which I command you, to do it, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cling to him;
23 then will the Lord drive out all these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves.
4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.
5 Thomas said to him, Lord, we know not where you go; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
7 If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from now on you know him, and have seen him
It is a 4 step process:
Are you willing to do all Four? It is the only way we can find our way out of this mess, put God back first in our lives and our nation. Turn from our Wicked Ways (repent)… and continue to pray and seek His face. But it takes Humble people to do that.
The God of Then is the God of NOW. We cannot change God. He never changes. That is why his name is I AM.