Who Do You Say I AM?

There is Power in God’s Name and Power in Jesus’ Name. When the Two Names are used together, The Power is so strong humans fall to their knees.

When the soldiers came with Judas to arrest Jesus, “Jesus, knowing what was going to happen to Him, went out and asked them, ‘Who is it you want?’”
(John 18:4)

In order to answer Him, they had to say His Name.

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

(Get ready, because here comes the one, two punch.)

“I AM He,” Jesus said. (And Judas, the traitor, was standing there with them..)

When Jesus said “I AM He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
John 18:5-6

But Jesus was not done. Picture the scene. They were on the ground.

Again He asked them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

Jesus answered, “I told you that I AM He. So if you seek Me, let these men go.”
John 18:7-8

Jesus’ Mission was defined again at that moment. He was not a victim. He was there in All Power and Authority to save. He allowed the soldiers to take Him to the next stop on the journey to the cross.

Peter remained outside the door of the high priest’s courtyard, while Jesus was taken inside. A servant girl recognized him and asked,

“You aren’t one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
John 18:17

Peter had the opportunity to reply with all The Power of God’s Name. However, at that moment, satan had the victory. Remember how Jesus described satan.

“When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
John 8:44

Peter lied. Peter replied, “I am not.”
John 18:17

Peter said the same thing on two more occasions when he was asked if he was a follower of Jesus. “I am not.”

The stronger the lie, the weaker the man. Satan, having convinced Peter to lie, to deny and to desert, was standing ready to accuse Peter. His next step would be to try to convince Peter that Jesus had lied to him.

Peter remembered that day when Jesus had asked His Followers who people were saying He was. They told Him of the various speculations — Elijah, John The Baptist, Jeremiah, one of the prophets.

But then Jesus had made it personal.

“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I AM?”
Matthew 16:15

Peter remembered how the hair had stood up on the back of his neck when Jesus said, “I AM.” There was a kind of electricity in the air.

Peter remembered the moment he knew. He didn’t “think.” He didn’t “believe.” He knew! Time seemed to have stopped. The world became just Peter and Jesus. Peter had blurted out,
“You are The Messiah, The Son of The Living God!” (Matthew 16:16)

In the glow of Jesus’ Face that day, a miraculous thing had happened. Jesus had blessed him. And Jesus told Peter who he (Peter, then called Simon) was.

Jesus replied, “ Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed by flesh and blood, but by My Father in Heaven.

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 16:17-19

Peter had not understood it that day, but he knew it was true. It was true not because of what he thought. It was true because The One Who was Truth said it was true.

Later Peter had gone over all of it again in his head. He said “I AM Peter. I AM the rock upon which Jesus will build His Church. I AM given The Keys to The Kingdom.” Every time he said it, he felt Power flowing through him.

But satan was waiting. He was shaking the Gates of Hades and waiting for the right moment.

The opportune moment came right after Peter lied about being a follower of Jesus. When Peter attempted to disconnect himself from The Truth, satan was ready. He came against every Truth Peter had ever known.

He enticed Peter to think “I am not a rock. I am not strong enough for anything to be built on me. I am not the keeper of the keys to the kingdom. I am not in Jesus’ Favor anymore. I am not feeling His Presence. I have fallen so far I am not able to ever get back to Jesus.”

Peter might have perished under the weight of his “ I am not” thinking except for The One Who prayed for him and knocked the “not” away, so Peter could see the great I AM again.

At the last supper Peter had promised he would be the one who would never leave Jesus. But Jesus had told Peter The Truth. His heart was in the right place, but his spirit had some growing to do.

“Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Luke 22: 31-32

Jesus knew Peter would fall in his human weakness, but Jesus also saw the day when Peter would turn back and become everything God had created Him to be.

Perhaps you have fallen under the weight of satan’s lies and turned to “I am not” thinking. Repent for misusing God’s Name. Turn back.

Ask God to reveal Who you are in Him. Who did He create you to be? Begin a sentence with God’s Name of “I AM” and let Him finish the sentence.

When you know Who He is, you will know who you are and you will know why you are here!

Who is He?
“I AM The Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have The Light of Life.”
John 8:12

Who are you?
“You are The Light of the world… let your Light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.”
Matthew 5:14 and 16




What’s In A Name?

Words are important to God. He spoke the world into creation by The Power of His Words.

God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit are One. When God spoke, All His Creative Power went forth by way of His Word.

His Word was that part of Him called Jesus. John 1:1 says,

“In the beginning was The Word and The Word was with God and The Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”

The Holy Spirit is The Breath of God. Our ability to speak is closely tied to our breathing. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all scripture is God-breathed.” The Holy Spirit works with Jesus, The Word, both flowing from God The Creator.

Not only are Words important to God, but also Names. From the beginning, He assured that Adam and Eve had names. He instructed Adam to name all the animals.

Psalm 147:4 tells us that not only does God determine the number of the stars, but He also “calls them by name.”

God knows your name. Isaiah 43:1 says, “Listen to the Lord, Who created you … The One Who formed you says … “I have called you by name; you are mine.”

God even gave Himself a Name. When Moses asked God what His Name was, God answered, “I AM Who I AM.”

God’s Name is short in terms of numbers of letters, but They are the two most Powerful Words in the Bible. If you want to know God, start with His Name.

The Bible is full of God’s Name of “I AM.” If there were ever a true Bible Code, it could be found by going through the Bible and finding all the places God or Jesus spoke, using I AM.

Here are some of the ways God revealed Himself through His Name.

“I AM The Lord Who heals you.”
Exodus 15:26

“I AM merciful.” Exodus 22:27

“I AM slow to anger and filled with unfailing Love and Faithfulness.”
Exodus 34:6

“Be still and know that I AM God.”
Psalm 46:10

“Don’t be afraid, for I AM with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I AM your God.”
Isaiah 41:10

“Yes, I AM The Lord, and there is no other Savior … I AM The Only God.”
Isaiah 43:11-12

“From Eternity to Eternity I AM God. No one can snatch anyone out of My Hand. No one can undo what I have done.”
Isaiah 43:13

“This is what The Lord says – your Redeemer and Creator: “I AM The Lord, Who made all things.”
Isaiah 43:13

“Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone AM God! I AM God and there is none like Me.”
Isaiah 46:9

“I AM a God Who is near,” says The Lord. “I AM also a God Who is far away. No one can hide where I cannot see him,” says The Lord. “I fill all of Heaven and earth,” says The Lord.
Jeremiah 23:23-24

“For I AM The Lord. If I say it, it will happen.”
Ezekiel 12:25

“I AM The Lord and I do not change.”
Malachi 3:6

Jesus, The Word, was also God. God gave specific instructions about what He was to be named.

“He shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

“They will call Him Immanuel, (which means ‘God with us.’).”
Matthew 1:23

“You are to give Him The Name Jesus, because He will save His People from their sins.”
Matthew 1:21

As Jesus, God continued to reveal Who He is.

Then Jesus said, “I AM He [The Messiah]— I, The One, talking to you.”
John 4:26

“I AM The Bread that gives Life.”
John 6:48

“I AM The Light of the world.”
John 8:12

“I AM The Good Shepherd.”
John 10:11

“I AM The Gate; Whoever enters through Me will be saved.”
John 10:9

“I AM The vine; you are the branches.”
John 15:5

“I AM The Resurrection and The Life.”
John 11:25

“I AM The Way, The Truth, and The Life.”
John 14:6

“Believe Me when I say that I AM in The Father and The Father is in Me.”
John 14:11

“The Lord God says, ‘I AM the Alpha and The Omega. I AM The One Who is and Who was and is coming. I AM The Almighty.’”
Revelation 1:8

“I AM The One Who lives; I was dead, but look, I AM alive forever and ever.”
Revelation 1:18

“I AM coming soon.”
Revelation 3:11

“I AM making everything new!”
Revelation 21:5

These are not all the scriptures that reveal Who God is. The Bible is packed with God’s Revelation of Himself. He wants us to come find Him in His Words.

His Words are not just a collection of Letters of the alphabet. His Words are actually alive!

“The Word of God is alive and active.”
Hebrews 4:12

When you read the Statements of The Great I AM, you will know that not only is your Creator alive on the pages of The Bible, He is also alive on the inside of you.

Jesus said,
“I AM in My Father and you are in Me and I AM in you.”
John 14:20

“Be sure of this —I AM with you always.”
Mathew 28:20

Jesus’ Name confirms it. U are in His Name. And either direction U go, right or left, you find US. We are all in Him!



Why Was Jesus Killed?

According to historical documents, a man was publicly executed for a crime many years ago. He was not famous then, but now He is known all around the world.

Some think he must have committed a heinous crime because the method of his execution was reserved for the worst of the worst.

He was crucified on a cross. Unlike other common criminals, His Name was posted on his cross.

“Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the jews.”
John 19:19

You might have guessed right away Who the condemned man was, but do you know The reason He was sentenced to death? He claimed to be God.

Hear His Own Words.

“I and The Father are One.”
John 10:30

The beginning of the journey to Calvary began with church people, those who were identified as “keepers of the law.”

They believed they understood Who God was. In their eyes, Jesus was not God. They felt it their duty to silence Him. And when He could not be silenced, they felt it was their duty to eliminate Him.

Judas believed he understood Who God was. In his eyes, Jesus was not God. He was a great teacher. He was potentially the revolutionary who would free Israel. But He was not God.

Herod believed He understood Who God was. He was the lead keeper of The Law. It was his job to contain God for his people. He was no missionary. He understood God chose his people and he wanted to assure no one trespassed the limits. No one in. No one out.

Pilate was not sure Who God was. He knew about kings and while this man standing before him intrigued him, it seemed unlikely he was king of anything.

Pilate asked the right questions, including “What is Truth?” (John 18:38). But he didn’t wait to hear the answer.

And then there was the crowd, made up of people just like the teachers of the law, Judas, Herod and Pilate as well as those who had no opinion, but were just lured in by all the action.

Many in the crowd did not know God or Jesus. But if so many wanted this man crucified, they concluded there must be a good reason to support their call. They were the crowd and they followed the crowd.

Herod and the teachers of the law could not contain or limit Jesus. Judas could not get Jesus to do what he wanted him to do. Pilate could not find any charge to condemn Jesus, but also found no grounds to free Him.

Pilate did not want to make a decision, but under the influence of the crowd, he cast the final vote. And his sentence was carried out.

What was the real reason for the sentence? Jesus Himself revealed The Answer.

“The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.”
John 16:2

Why would anyone think that? Jesus explained.

“They will do such things because they have not known the Father or Me.”
John 16:3

They did not know God or Jesus. They did not know They were One. They did not know that the same God created all of them. They did not know that The One standing in front of them was their Creator.

“In the beginning was The Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”
John 1:1-3

They did not know that
The Word had become flesh and had made His dwelling among them.

They did not see His Glory, The Glory of The One full of Grace and Truth. (John 1:14)

But Jesus knew them and He loved them as He had from the beginning.

“When He (Jesus)saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
Matthew 9:36

Even from the cross, Jesus forgave them because He said they did not know what they were doing. (Luke 24:34)

The One knows you and loves you. He wants you to know Him and love Him.

When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus answered,
“The Lord our God, the Lord is One.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
Mark 12:29-30

Do you know The One?









Do You Smell?

Do people smell you? Before you grab your deodorant, consider another question. Did people smell Jesus?

John 12:1-11 gives the interesting account of Jesus’ last visit with His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus, who He had earlier raised from the dead.

They were sharing a meal when “Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped His Feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
John 12:3

What was the significance of this act? Everywhere Jesus went after that moment of His Anointing, the sweet fragrance of nard could be detected.

As He went through the streets of Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday, His Fragrance filled the air.

As He ate at what we have come to call The Last Supper, His Fragrance filled the air.

As He spent time in The Garden of Gethsemane, the breeze carried His Sweet Fragrance through the trees.

The nard rose from the pores of His Skin, its smell reaching Herod, Pilate, the crowd, and the soldiers who were crucifying Him.

The sweet smell covered the smell of sweat, blood and decaying bodies. It lingered in the air even after Jesus was taken to the tomb.

Why was the smell important? Smells trigger memories. God uniquely designed our bodies in such a way that smells are processed through our noses to a part of the brain directly connected with memory and emotion.

Interestingly, visual, auditory (sound) and tactile (touch) information do not pass through these areas of the brain.

When Jesus was not present in His earthly body and could not be seen, heard or touched, memories would fade. But the smell would not fade in their memory.

Once triggered, those who had once been enveloped in the sweetness of His Presence would feel His Presence once again.

Jesus wanted all who were in His Presence to remember the day when the sweet smell of Life triumphed over the stench of death.

Would that smell last forever? Yes, it does. Jesus gave up one body to live in our many bodies. It is His desire to fill the world with the knowledge of His Presence.

How will He do that? Through us. What fragrance are you sharing?

Take a few moments and breathe in His Presence. And then share it with the world.

“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.”
2 Corinthians 2:15-17



Why The Cross?

In my last post we looked at the wonderful news that God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit are One.

They won the battle of good and evil at the cross. But the question still remains “why the cross?”

Why would God choose the cross as the doorway to such a Wonderful Gift?

The answer was given by Jesus.

(Jesus speaking)
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness,
so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
John 3:14-15 (NIV2011)
What do Moses and snakes have to do with Jesus and the cross? In order to understand what Jesus was talking about, we need to go back and join the Israelites, on their journey to The Promised Land.

God provided for them at every turn, but they were still not satisfied. They were not interested in learning the lessons of the journey. They wanted The Promised Land now! Numbers 21:4-5 records the people became “impatient.”

Often when we are delivered from a bad situation, we are overjoyed. Part of the joy comes from our anticipation of the wonderful things that will come next.

When we keep getting farther and farther away from where we left, but the “Promised Land” is no where in sight, we often start getting impatient.

That is the very time satan will strike. He will tempt us to question whether we heard God right. Maybe we are not on the road to the Promised Land at all.

As we continue to try to connect with God and things remain the same, satan will take it up a notch and tempt us to doubt God.

Does God have a Plan for us? Is it a good plan? If it is a good plan, then why are things not working out the way we expect?

Satan continues to draw us farther and farther into his trap. He will tempt us to consider whether God is good at all. Maybe God has lured us out in the desert just to torment us for His own enjoyment. Maybe where we just left wasn’t that bad after all. Maybe we should go back.

Satan is then poised for the next step. He will tempt us to consider whether God is really there at all. Maybe He has abandoned us. Or maybe He was never there. Maybe we imagined Him.

In the deserts of our life, things get reversed in our minds and in our spirits. Bad begins to look good and good begins to look bad. God begins to look evil and satan starts to look good.

The Israelites fell prey to every temptation of satan. They defected to his army and began to criticize and accuse God.

Then a curious thing happened. God sent poisonous snakes into their midst and the snakes began to bite them. This is the point in the story where some might be tempted to say, “See, that just confirms God is bad. God is against us. He is vengeful and punishing.”

But that was not the case at all. Satan, who was identified from the beginning of the Bible as a snake, was simply unmasked by God. He and his demons were brought out into the open where they could be seen as they were — evil and poisonous.

God’s Light not only revealed to the people that satan was evil, but He also revealed the evil that had crept into their hearts.

God allowed the people to feel their powerlessness to save themselves. He directed them back to understanding that He alone was God. He alone had The Power to remove death and restore Life to them.

So Moses prayed for the people.

The LORD said to Moses,
“Make a snake, and put it on a pole.
Anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole. People looked at the bronze snake after they were bitten,
and they lived. 
Numbers 21:4-9 (GW)
Why would God do such a thing?  Wasn’t He opposed to idols?  Didn’t He say not to make any graven images?  Why did He want the people to look at the symbol of satan?  Most puzzling of all, why would staring at a bronze snake bring about their healing?

God wanted the people to stare at the snake and remember the agony it had brought them. It had poisoned them. It had brought pain, illness and death. It had brought grief and loss. And now it was powerless to do anything else.

In the hands of God through Moses, the snake was nothing. It was defeated. The healing of the people came not from following the ways of the snake, but in choosing to obey God.

Jesus’ Life was a study in obedience to God. Satan’s life was a study in rebellion against God.

God is good all the time. Satan is evil all the time. The cross unmasked for all to see the evil that satan could bring. But it also brightly illuminated the Joy that comes from obedience to God.

The cross should remind us that satan has been unmasked. He is out in the open challenging The Lord of The Universe. He wants to win the battle by luring us to his side.

But he is made powerless by our obedience to our Creator. When we look through the cross, we see what Jesus saw.

“For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of The Throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:2

He is our Gateway to the Joy of Eternity!

“I am The Gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

“I have come that they may have Life and have it to the full.”
John 10:9-10

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
Deuteronomy 30:19





Would You Let God Pick Up Your Pay Check?

I hate suffering, mine or anyone else’s. Jesus’ suffering on the cross especially troubled me.

Over the years I heard many teachings about Jesus’ crucifixion.

God was usually presented as an angry God, Who sent His Son to do a dirty job, refused to let Him out of the deal, and then turned His back on Him while He was suffering.

Worse than that, it was implied that all that happened to Jesus was exactly what God wanted to do to us because of our awful sins. The only thing that stopped His Rage and Fearsome Judgement was Jesus taking our place.

Year after year, I heard the Easter Story told that way. I felt shame in my sins. I felt God’s Anger toward me. I felt relief that Jesus was willing to take my place.

When I was told I was saved, I thought Jesus saved me from God because I was bad and God hated me. It made me want to run to Jesus, but stay away from God.

I did not understand how torturing and killing your children could possibly be God’s Good Plan.

God said His Plans were good. I wanted to believe what He promised, as recorded in Jeremiah 29:11.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

But if what God supposedly did to Jesus was His Good Plan, I was afraid of what kind of “good plan” He might have for me.

I began to ask Christians to explain the cross to me. Many simply recited, “Jesus died on the cross for my sins.” Some said I needed to be grateful and not overthink it.

But I wanted to know more. I believed there was more to know. Finally I found one who could answer my questions. It was someone who had been there. It was The One.

The answer to my uneasy questions about Easter began with one simple revelation. What I had been taught about God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit was true. They were Together One God, The Trinity. And there was never a moment when They were apart.

The evil placed upon Jesus at the cross was part of the ultimate battle of good and evil. The simple answer to the cross was revealed to Paul.

“For the wages of sin is death, but The Gift of God is Eternal Life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23

Satan is a reliable pay master. When we sin, he wants to be sure we get paid what we earn. He wants us to experience death in every way possible.

We would all be in satan’s pay line, except for the Amazing Gift of God. God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit United were all at the cross together as One to save us. We did need saving … but saving from satan, not God.

Isaiah long before the crucifixion of Jesus foretold that people would get confused and think God was to blame for Jesus’ suffering. But Isaiah pointed out it was The One Who chose to take on the evil being dispensed by satan.

“He certainly has taken upon Himself our suffering and carried our sorrows, but we thought that God had wounded Him, beat Him, and punished Him.”
Isaiah 53:4

Jesus chose to take everything satan would dish out for a very important reason, which He revealed ahead of time. However, that reason is rarely included in The Easter Story. I’ll discuss it in my next blog posting.

The Glorious One God is with us today. When satan drives another nail into the list of our sins on the cross he is preparing for us, he laughs in anticipation of paying us.

And The One God, Who is with us always, will ask us, “Would you like Me to pick up your pay check for you?”

Jesus Himself explained it.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
John 3:16-17

God is not here to condemn you. He is here to save you.

But you get to choose whether to receive the wages you earned or The Gift God wants to give you.

It turns out there was much more to tell in The Easter Story. I shared what I learned in my book, “If You Only Knew … Who I AM!”

And in celebration of The Gift, I will share more in my upcoming blog posts. Please pass it on!







What Is A Lie?

In a recent blog posting, we considered the question, “What is Truth?”

Today we shall consider the opposite of Truth. What is a lie?

To answer this question, we can look at the “subject matter expert.” Jesus identified satan as an expert liar.

“He [satan] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
John 8:44

Some of us might admit to to “bending the truth” sometime. Most of us would not like to think of ourselves as liars. See how you do on this mini-test.

1. Have you ever told a “little white lie?” Something that was mostly true, but not completely.

2. Have you ever told something that was true, but left out a big part of the whole story? You did not tell the whole truth.

3. Have you ever told a lie for “a good cause?” Someone asks you if their dress makes them look fat. You definitely think it does. But you don’t want to hurt their feelings. So you say, “Oh no, it’s beautiful!”

4. Have you ever “technically” told the truth, but did so with the intent to deceive? Get a family member to go ring the doorbell and then tell the person you are talking to on the phone, “I’ve got to go. Someone is at the door.”

Now for the hard questions.

5. Have you ever lied to yourself? You told yourself what happened to you didn’t matter, but it did, very much. You told yourself you were not addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, bad relationships, but you were.

6. Have you ever told yourself that lying this one time would not be that big of a deal?

Is lying a big deal? Yes! Why?

When a person lies, they are acting against God Himself. God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit are One. They All are The TRUTH.

“Now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your Words are TRUTH.
2 Samuel 7:28

Jesus answered, “I am the way and The TRUTH and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6

“But when He, The Spirit of TRUTH comes, He will guide you into all the truth.”
John 16:13

If you were to take a survey and ask what sins would send someone to hell, you might get a variety of responses. But many would not list lying among them.

However, read the following chilling pronouncement.

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and ALL LIARS —they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Revelation 21:8

That warning should bring us all to our knees. Lying is serious. It is addicting. One small lie leads to another, and before long, it has become a way of life.

The sad truth is when we lie, we may reach a point where we no longer recognize we are lying.

What can we do? We can begin with a sincere desire to know the One Who is The Truth.

We can ask God to reveal to us any times we have not been truthful. We can repent.

We can ask God to put a guard on our thoughts, so we can resist any future temptation to lie.

At least daily we can ask God, “Have I told Your Truth today?”

“Guide me in Your Truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior,
and my hope is in You all day long.”
Psalm 25:5

“You will know The Truth and The Truth will make you free.”
John 8:32

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in The Truth.”
3 John 1:4


What If You Don’t Like God’s Plan?

God assures us He knows The Plans He has for us and they are Good Plans.

God does not always reveal all the details of The Plan ahead of time. But what if you have seen enough of what appears to be The Plan and it does not sound good to you? Is God open to negotiation?

Jesus knew The Whole Plan. Kneeling in the garden of Gethsemane, He reflected on the path ahead of Him.

Even though He was God, Jesus gave Himself no special privileges in being human. A whip across the back or nails driven into His Body felt the same way as it would for you.

As a human, Jesus showed us up close and personal what it was like to suffer. He showed us by suffering physically. But He also shared with us the mental anguish that can come by staring into the abyss in anticipation of what is to come.

Jesus said to His Followers, “My Soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”
Matthew 26:38

Have you ever been there, so overwhelmed with sorrow, you felt like dying? Jesus asked His Friends to keep watch with Him.

But He knew His Friends could not change God’s Plans for Him. As many prayer partners as any of us might have, all of us together cannot change God’s Plans.

The battle between our will and God’s Will is personal. Jesus went apart from the group and talked to God alone.

I think of the many times in my life I’ve said, “I surrender all to God.” But then I am presented with something really hard and I want to say, “I surrender all, but that.”

Can we ask God to change His Plan? Jesus did. However, note, He fully acknowledged it was God’s Call. He was just asking.

He fell with His Face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”
Matthew 26:39

I have been there, trembling in the darkness, considering all the plans I had that might never come to be. I have felt God patiently waiting for me to lay them down and come to Him, empty handed, trusting that He will replace my tiny plans with His Glorious Plans.

Jesus waited for God’s Answer. God was silent. Jesus turned to His Friends while He waited. They were sleeping. He gently chided them, perhaps reflecting His Own Thoughts.

“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:41

Jesus returned to The Father to try one more time. But this time, His Prayer was different from the first time. The first time Jesus prayed, He had said, “If it is possible …”

This time, He said, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your Will be done.”
Matthew 26:42

We have often fallen prey to the notion that we can “name it and claim it” and if we do so in what we think is absolute faith, God ought to fall in step with us.

When we are willing to consider that our plan may not be God’s Plan, and we are willing to lay it all down before Him, True Trust is born.

We begin to understand it is not about Him falling in step with us. It is about us falling in step with Him.

In the moment of complete surrender, Jesus not only heard God’s Answer, He saw God’s Answer. He knew what He had to do. And He did it for you and me.

“For The Joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at The Right Hand of The Throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:3

“I pray that out of His Glorious Riches He may strengthen you with Power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have Power together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is The Love of Christ, and to know this Love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all The Fullness of God.

“Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His Power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Ephesians 3:16-21



How Much Do You Trust God?

How much do you trust God? Jeremiah 29:11 records God’s Promise to us.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

God knows The Plans, but He does not promise to tell us all of His Plans in advance.

He does not promise that everything will appear to be good for us all the time. In fact, Jesus said in this world we would have trouble. But He promised more than trouble. Read all of what He said.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

So what do we do when things seem especially bad and really scary?

Daniel 3 tells the story of three young men who refused to obey a king’s order to worship a graven image. The king threatened to throw them in a fiery furnace if they did not obey.

Their answer to the king says it all.

“If this be so, our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.

“But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Daniel 3:17-28

Whatever is frightening you is not from God. It is a graven image. I have to remind myself of this Truth over and over again, as I feel the heat of the flames.

We realize God has All Power and Authority. We realize He can deliver us. But then we look around and see all the places where it appeared He did not deliver. We don’t understand.

And then comes the nagging thought. What if He does not deliver? The Truth is that He will deliver, but not always in the ways we expect.

The young men were indeed delivered from the king’s hands, just as they proclaimed. They knew God had a Plan for them, either on earth or in Heaven.

God also has a Master Plan of which we are only a part. How we handle being in our “fiery furnaces” affects others around us.

The young men were thrown into the fiery furnace. But as the king’s servants reported to him, there were four men in the fire, not three. The God they served was with them and in the fire became visible to others as a Profound Witness.

Whatever fire you are in, know this. You are not alone. There are four of you together. There is God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and you.

And you will be delivered. Trust God!

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

“When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Isaiah 43:2

“There is no fear in love. But Perfect Love drives out fear!”
1 John 4:18



Tell Me The Truth!

Pilate asked perhaps the most significant question of all time when He asked Jesus, “What is Truth?”

Pilate’s question came at the end of an interesting question and answer exchange between Pilate and Jesus.

The Jews had delivered Jesus to Pilate for the final necessary sanctioning of His Crucifixion.

Pilate began his questioning of Jesus by asking, “Are You the king of the Jews?” (John 18:33)

“Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about Me?” (John 18:34)

Jesus had asked His Disciples a similar question, as recorded in
Matthew 16:13-20.

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His Disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Jesus asks us the same question. He is not so much interested in what others have told us about Him. He wants us to come to our own conclusions.

He wants to know Who we say He is. He invites us to be participants in Life, not just spectators of how others try to live life.

So now let’s go back to Pilate.

After more questions and answers, Jesus told Pilate why He had come into the world.

“In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to The Truth. Everyone on the side of Truth listens to Me.” (John 18:37)

Pilate, who was standing in The Presence of All Truth, retorted, “What is Truth?” (John 18: 38)

But he didn’t hang around long enough to explore it further with Jesus. He thought he knew what the truth was. And what he believed was the truth was not giving him peace. It was giving him indigestion.

How are you doing with The Truth? Are there truths you have come to know that you would stake your life on? Do your beliefs bring you anxiety or Peace?

Let’s start with the question Jesus asked. Hear Him talking directly to you.

“Tell Me the truth, (insert your name). What about you? Who do you say I am?”