Summary: I hope you're hearing the I Am today. He loves you. He knows your needs. He's interested in you. The I AM freed the slaves in Egypt and today wants to free you from the slavery of death.
Moses was walking, minding his own business, tending to sheep when he heard a voice from a bush that looked like it was on fire. When Moses woke up that morning he had no idea he was going to have a conversation with a plant that day. Who would? But there he was, in the middle of the day, talking to a plant. Well, he was talking to God, really, and God told Moses to go to the Pharaoh of Egypt and demand the release of the Israelite slaves. But Moses wasn't too keen on the idea. After all what would it sound like to go to a major world leader as dangerous as Pharaoh and tell him that God said to release the slaves?
Why would Pharaoh listen to some weirdo claim to speak for God? That was Moses' concern. I think I would've felt the same way. If God told me to go to Putin, the Russian leader, and tell him that God said to leave Ukraine and Crimea, I would probably have the same concern as Moses. I would be very nervous about doing that. And for good reason. Moses asks to know the Name of the One who is talking to him. "Who should I say is demanding the release of the slaves?" Moses asks. And God replies, "I Am who I Am."
The same God who had a conversation with Moses through a burning bush and defined Himself as "I AM" expressed the "I Am theme" through a series of statements found in the Gospel of John.
Here's a few: I am the bread of Life
I am the light of the world
I am the Son of God
I am the resurrection and the life
I am the way, the truth and the life
There is no other person talked about more on earth than Jesus Christ. There are literally millions of people who discuss Him, define Him, and argue about Him every single day. If you want to know who Jesus is, really, if you want to know who God is, you simply need to listen to Jesus. He defines Himself. God goes out of His way in the Bible to make it clear who He is. I Am.
In John 6 Jesus defines Himself to His followers as the "Bread of Life." The day before Jesus had fed some 15,000 hungry people. Many of these folks were hungry again and wanted another free meal. Here's what Jesus said, "...you want to be with me because I fed you...But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you."
Here's what I take away from the I AM.
He is the only source for all my needs.
John goes on to relate in chapter 6 that many of Jesus followers left Him that day because they realized that Jesus wasn't going to give them another free meal. Have you noticed that people show up when we offer free stuff? For example we see a lot of kids during the week of VBS that don't show up any other time. In the summer some parents see our VBS as a source of free child care. I'm not saying we shouldn't do VBS because I think it's important to teach kids about Jesus. But, people take advantage of the free stuff. When we offer a free meal there are folks who show up just for the meal.
There are also those who like the idea of heaven. They like the miracles. They like the free bread. They like the worship and the free show. They might even like the idea of grace and mercy and the excitement of others who share their stories. They like the grace and mercy part of Jesus. But when the discussion turns to surrender. When we point out that Jesus demands doing life His way they turn away.
The last two weeks on 6link at the IWK have been very difficult. Two children passed away fighting cancer. One of these children was next door to our room. Kristi and I had several conversations with her grandpa. I caught up with him outside the IWK after I was returning from a walk the day after his granddaughter passed away. We had a conversation the day before about visualizing Jesus in the room with our babies. I told him that it helps me to visualize Jesus standing next to Jared's bed and asked him if he had ever tried to do that.
He hadn't thought about it that way, so, when I talked to him outside the hospital that day he gave me a hug and he said, "I did it. I had the picture in my mind of my granddaughter leaving her bed and being picked up by Jesus. Thank you for giving me that picture."