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God's Words For US

    by Cecelia Lester

"I AM"
Date Posted: May 27, 2022

In my reading, I happened upon a fact I hadn’t realized before. In Exodus, God instructs Moses that He has a very special name, “I AM WHO I AM”. (Ex.3:14a) God then goes on to advise this hesitant emissary, “This is what you are to say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent you’.”

During my freshman year of college, I took an introductory religion class. One thing I remember from that class is the early Hebrews did not say God’s name. They wrote the letters YHWH that have become the name Yahweh. What I learned this week is Yahweh comes from the Hebrew verb “to be”, the first person form of which is “I am”.

In the book of Exodus, I, through my study Bible, found 16 different verses where God uses this special name for himself. There is something significant in God’s calling himself, I AM.

In high school Latin class, we learned that a verb has several tenses, past, present, future, past perfect, present perfect, and future perfect. The phrase God chose for his name is “I AM”, the present tense. The Discovery Study Bible(Zondervan,©2004) states that “. . . the name does far more than affirm God’s existence. It also affirms God’s active presence with his people. We might translate the name as ‘The One Who is Always Present.’”(page75)

In Exodus chapter 20, God gives Moses the Ten Commandments; we know them. At the beginning of the chapter, God lays groundwork for what follows. “I am the Lord your God.”(Ex.20:1) As a child and even as a teenager, I sometimes got a reminder from my mother, “I am your mother.” It meant that I had better listen and act accordingly. I revived the phrase with our son. But my rendition goes like this, “I am Mom, it’s my job to do that.” Or “I’m Mom, I can do that.”

I have learned that when I read or hear “I AM” or “I am” in either the Old Testament or the New Testament that I should take note because what follows is important.

The book of John has numerous examples of who Jesus is: “the Bread of Life,” the sustenance of what we need- “the Light of the World,”- the One who leads us out of darkness of sin into the warm light of His goodness Good Shepherd,- the One who guides and protects those under His care.

“the Resurrection and Life”- He allows His children to live in heaven with Him eternally when their time on earth is completed, “the Way, the truth, and the Life,”- He shows His children how to live, instructs them in the right way to go and guides them through the tough times-The True Vine- Jesus, like a vine, is the source of our strength. Everything that happens in our lives goes through Him first.

As I processed these thoughts, I found myself thinking about certain of my favorite passages:

*Isaiah

*Isaiah 41:10- “I am your God.” Because of what I have learned I believe that God tells me that He is there for me whatever the need.

*Matthew

*Matthew 28:20b- “And surely I am with you even to the end of the age.” God guarantees His presence with us forever.

Prayer:

Dear Father God;

Thank you for Your Word and the lessons You teach us. Thank you for Your steadfastness, for giving us the strength we need. Please guide us as we travel through this world. Help us to remember that you are always present in our times of distress. We will give You the glory. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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Biography Information:

Cecelia Lester has been serious about her writing for over two decades..

She composes Christian essays and posts them to her blog quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/

She has  served in a faith-based organization, Grace In Action  by writing two newsletters and searching for possible grants.

In July 2017, she published her first book, 'Times of Trouble Bring Rays of Joy.'

She and her husband of 53 years live in central Indiana. They have one grown son.

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