I AM

The true meaning of Jesus’ words might get a bit lost in translation for US. But His Jewish audience would have understood exactly what He meant. Jesus was claiming to be GOD. He also laid out the way to salvation when He said, “…unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins.” (v.24)

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God Hears Us

Notice that Jesus did not excuse or downplay her sin. He told her, “Go. From now on do not sin any longer.” BUT He enveloped that admonishment within compassion and forgiveness. Instead of pointing at HER sin with condemnation, He pointed at the sin of all the others who were condemning her. He reminded us that we are ALL sinners worthy of death. But that death sentence has been wrapped up within His forgiveness. The penalty for our sins has been fulfilled by His sacrifice.

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The Holy One of God

Thank God, there is always a remnant. Then and now, there has always been a handful of believers threading us together throughout all of human history… spiritually hungry people who see beyond their temporary physical circumstance, those who feel God’s call on their life, people like Simon Peter, to whom God has revealed that Jesus is the “Holy One of God,” who has “the words of eternal life.” We know that there really is nowhere else to go.

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Hang Onto God

We are so surrounded by all sorts of evil that it doesn’t even phase us. But we are called to be a separate, holy people. It is often so difficult to navigate that balance of being in the world but not of the world. May we learn from the foolishness of the Israelites and not make the same mistakes. Don’t forget about God when life is comfortable. Don’t let the wickedness of our culture seep into our own hearts. Hang tightly onto God through ALL the seasons of life!

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God’s Will WILL Be Done!

Jesus WILL meet our needs one way or another, according to His perfect plan, according to the riches in glory in Christ Jesus. But He’ll often first direct us to a place where there appears to be no possible solution, where the physical obstacles appear too great. He’ll often let us sit there for a while, to teach us, to test our faith. If He let us know at the very beginning what amazing way He was going to provide, then we wouldn’t need to trust. It is only when we DON’T KNOW that we can learn and grow our faith.

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Steadfast

I actually find this comforting. Gideon was afraid to do what God told him to do, but he did it anyway. And God blessed him. When we are following God’s direction, we don’t NEED to be afraid. But it’s okay if we are!

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Choosing Relationship

Thank God, He eventually grabbed my soul and pulled me back to Himself. He showed me that real Christianity, really following Him, is about RELATIONSHIP, not rules. A true relationship with Christ is ALIVE, dynamic, full of joy and thankfulness. A true relationship with Jesus seeks to spend time with Him regularly, to always be growing closer to Him. True relationship with Jesus recognizes how good He is and how much He loves each of us and longs for us to know Him intimately. Now THAT is something wonderful!!!

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May We Not Forget

Remember in Judges 1 when the angel predicted that all those people the Israelites had NOT removed from the promised land were going to be “thorns in your sides” and “a snare for you?” Well that was exactly what happened. When the Israelites forgot about all the amazing things God had done for them, those surrounding peoples started looking might nice. They adopted their evil culture and started worshiping their gods (keep in mind, this means they began sacrificing their children and other atrocities as those foreign gods required).

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Sanctification

Sanctification is one of the most important components of the Christian life. But many churches have forgotten or just stopped teaching about it. As a result, many church goers today have no concept of this most important process of sanctification. Our church has in many ways become just like the Israelites who did not drive out all of the inhabitants of the land. Instead they made covenants with the other peoples, adopted their practices and worshiped their gods. Much of the Christian church today has done exactly this. We have made covenants with the world and with our own sinful natures by overlooking, adopting, and practicing the world’s wickedness.

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