Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 14 No. 3 March 20121
Page 11

The Great I Am

Dean Kelly

Dean KellyThe Great I Am is the topic in this article.

Then Moses said to God, If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, What is his name? what shall I say to them? God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM. And he said, Say this to the people of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. God also said to Moses, Say this to the people of Israel, The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. (Exodus 3:13-15 ESV)

God Is Holy in the Complete Sense of the Word. God is totally without sin. Sin is conflict with His very nature; He cannot tolerate sin. We are called to imitate that holiness. “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44).

God Is to be Honored and Glorified.

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; And holy is his name. And his mercy is unto generations and generations on them that fear him. He hath showed strength with his arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart. He hath put down princes from their thrones, And hath exalted them of low degree. The hungry he hath filled with good things; And the rich he hath sent empty away. (Luke 1:49-53 ASV)

Jesus began His model prayer for His disciples: “Hallowed be Thy name.” God is far above mankind. We should approach Him, and even though we do so boldly (Hebrews 4:16), we must come with honor and respect.

God Is to be Loved. It is interesting that the Scriptures clearly teach us to love the Lord with all of our hearts, and the clearest statement about how that is done is actually made by Jesus in John 14:15 ESV. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” We should love God so much that we will do whatever He tells us to do. Satan claimed that Job only loved God for what He did for him; God proved that Job could love Him for no reason at all, except faith and reverence.

God Is Both Good and Severe. “Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off” (Romans 11:22). God’s wondrous promises of reward and good will be fulfilled without fail. We can be “standing on the promises” because they will not fail. On the other hand, God’s promises of punishment have always been fulfilled (see Israel of old), and will be fulfilled. God is “longsuffering toward us” but the judgment will come upon those who fail to obey the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

God Cares about Me. “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NKJV). God does care about me. Even though I am sinful and seemingly insignificant in this great universe, God knows me, and cares about me. His expectation is that I return that caring and concern, and follow in His paths to righteousness and heaven.

God is now, has always been and will always be The Great I Am. May we prayerfully and carefully look to this Majestic Creator of all that is, and may we humbly bow before Him in spirit, attitude and action. May we hold Him up in our hearts as The Great I Am, to Whom we are indebted for our very existence and hope for eternity. May we love Him, obey Him and spread His message to a lost and dying world. “How Great Thou Art” is a song that should ring true in our relationship to Him, forevermore, world without end.

Fan the Flame of Your Faith

Phil Sanders

 Phil SandersThe fire began to burn low, so he got another log and put it in the fireplace. Those who wish to remain warm normally do this. Flames burn their fuel and, without additional fuel, they will go out.

 Timothy needed a boost; his zeal to use God’s spiritual gift had declined. We do not know the specifics of this miraculous gift, but it had come from the Holy Spirit through Paul for a purpose. Paul gently advised Timothy, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6 ESV). While miraculous gifts are no longer available, God’s grace still endows each of us with opportunities and abilities to serve, to evangelize saints, and to show our love for God. Our Father will always provide what is needed for those who are willing to give and to serve as seen in 2 Corinthians 9:8-10. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (as it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; He hath given to the poor; His righteousness remains forever. Now He that ministers seed to the sower both ministers bread for your food and multiplies your seed sown and increases the fruits of your righteousness).” “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees and make straight paths for your feet so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed” (Hebrews 12:12-13). We are not growing because we are not working! We cannot entertain souls into the baptistery; we must teach them. We cannot mature souls with couches; we must urge them to bear their crosses.

It is time to rekindle our passion for winning souls to the Lord. It is time to rekindle our pulpits with boldness, speaking as we ought to speak as Paul said in Ephesians 6:19-20, “That utterance may be given to me that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in bonds that therein I may speak boldly as I ought to speak.” It is time to challenge our young men to give their lives in the service of the Lord as Gospel preachers.

We cannot satisfy God with low expectations, half-hearted attempts, laissez-faire attitudes, dwarfed goals and mediocre ministries. We must once again fan the flame of our faith and passion to serve God. The love of God should control our hearts and constrain our spirits so that we may live for the Lord Who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). The rousing, spiritual song cries out, “Rise up, O men of God; have done with lesser things. Give heart and mind and soul and strength to serve the King of Kings.” “We must work the works of Him Who sends us while it is day for the night comes when no man can work” (John 9:4).

What can we do? We can pray for God to open doors for the Word as Paul said in Colossians 4:2-4, “Continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving; while praying also for us that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ for which I am also in bonds; that I may make it manifest as I ought to speak.” We can invite the lost to our Bible classes and worship or study with them privately. Let’s go to work for the Lord! "It is high time to awake out of sleep for now is our salvation nearer than we believed” (Romans 13:11).

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