I AM

  • Post comments:0 Comments

by Graham Mol

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:11-14)

The above passage of Scripture comes from Moses’ calling to be God’s representative to deliver His people from the oppression of Pharaoh and Egypt. God spoke to Moses out of a burning bush that although it was on fire was not consumed by the flames. This is an important moment, as Moses asks God what name should he give should the people ask who is this God of their fathers. The Lord’s response is full of meaning: I AM WHO I AM. The saying could also be translated as “I will be who I will be”.

Last week I shared with our Church executive a wonderful perspective I had come across on what it means that God simply describes Himself as I AM. In the short devotion I had watched, the pastor suggested that in saying I AM God is saying to us that He is not any particular I AM because each day we do not know which I AM we will need Him to be. On Monday it may be “I am your Provider” on Tuesday it may be “I am your Protector”. The wonderful truth is that whatever we need God to be, He is.

In Genesis 17:1 God says to Abraham: “I am God Almighty”. In Hebrew this is the phrase El-Shaddai which also can be translated as “The All-Sufficient One”. In other words, whatever we need, God is enough. For every “Who is..?” God’s answer is “I am.”

To take inspiration from the words of the song This is Amazing Grace:

Who is able to break the power of sin and darkness? I AM

Who is the One whose love is mighty and so much stronger? I AM

Who is the One who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder? Who is the One who leaves us breathless in awe and wonder? I AM

Who is the One who brings our chaos back into order and makes the orphans a son and daughter? I AM

Who is the One who rules the nations with truth and justice, shining like the sun in all of its brilliance? I AM

Whatever we need, whatever our situation, God is always enough. He is the great I AM. He always will be.

 

God Bless

Graham

Continue ReadingI AM

Refreshed

  • Post comments:0 Comments

by Graham Mol

On a hot and humid day like today there is nothing so refreshing as a glass of ice and water. Cool and delicious especially when you find yourself hot and sweaty. If you are lucky enough, a dip in the pool or a bowl of ice cream can also bring that refreshment. And if you can have all three, well, that’s a little piece of heaven amid in this heat!

Each of these things bring us refreshment, they make us less hot and tired. To be refreshed is also to have your strength and energy restored. When you’ve been working hard, running around getting things done, there is nothing like that short break to bring refreshment.

This concept of being refreshed is actually a Biblical one. In fact it is one of the oldest principles set down by God.

“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’” (Exodus 31:15-17)

In taking our lead from God, the rhythm of work involves both working and resting. This is important both for our finite bodies, in both resting and sleeping in order to live, and for our souls. The cares, troubles, temptations and pitfalls of life can be wearying on our souls. We can find ourselves stumbling, dry and withered and so we need to receive much needed refreshment.

This refreshment can come through a number of ways. We can be refreshed by others (1 Corinthians 16:18; 2 Timothy 1:16, Philemon 1:7), finding quiet time to spend in the Lord’s presence (Psalm 23:2-3), reading God’s word (Psalm 19:7), directly from having a relationship with Jesus our Lord and Saviour (Matthew 11:28) and having the Holy Spirit poured into our lives (Isaiah 44:3; John 7:37-39).

Today as you refresh yourself with that cold glass of water, that bowl of ice cream or dip in the pool. Consider how the Lord refreshes your soul.

O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see
There’s light for a look at the Saviour
And life more abundant and free

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

God Bless

Graham

Continue ReadingRefreshed

Gentle Rain

  • Post comments:1 Comment

by Graham Mol

I love the sound of gentle rain. As I sit here typing up this blog post now that our load shedding block has passed (thanks Eskom!) I am delighted by the sound of rain falling. This kind of weather brings happy memories of my journey with the Lord. The drizzle reminds me of sitting on the porch of the mess hall at Heron Ridge where we were on a Church Family Camp. While the drizzle fell we each found a space to sit quietly to do our morning devotion before gathering inside to share in breakfast.

I also associate this kind of weather with the time I was in our Church youth group, meeting at our youth leader’s house for weekly fellowship. It must have been a rainy month and as a result when I think of this weather I think of the time we shared in God’s word, growing in wisdom and stature ourselves as we laughed, prayed and cried together.

There is a worship song that goes: “Mercy is falling, is falling, is falling. Mercy it falls as the sweet spring rain” The life giving rain that falls is often a reminder of God’s grace and provision. In the Old Testament we read of times that God brought drought as judgement against the wickedness of His people. The return of the rain would then signify His forgiveness and mercy.

In the book of Deuteronomy there is a song of Moses that begins this way:

Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;
    hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.
Let my teaching fall like rain
    and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
    like abundant rain on tender plants. (Deuteronomy 32:1-2)

God’s word is like the fresh rain that brings nourishment and life to us. Whether we receive this word through our own devotional reading of the Bible, or through the community of others as we teach, love and support one another, it soaks into our souls bringing refreshment and newness of life.

 

God Bless

Graham

Continue ReadingGentle Rain

Just As I Am

  • Post comments:0 Comments

by Graham Mol

As inevitable as the sun rising in the morning, we’re going to commit some kind of sin at some stage. Even the most dedicated and mature Christians get it wrong at times, we are not yet perfect and if we think we are, then our pride betrays us. What this means is that every time we sin we have a choice. How will this affect my relationship with the Lord? Do I let it push me away from Him, or do I swallow my pride and come humbly before Him, just as I am?

The classic hymn: “Just as I am” contains wonderful truths about coming to the Lord “just as we are,” acknowledging that we are not worthy, that we are sinners, but that He is good and merciful.

So let’s take a moment to look at each verse and appreciate the wisdom and truth contained in the lyrics.

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

We come to the Lord “without one plea,” that is, God does not owe us anything, we have not earned His favour – BUT that Jesus shed His blood for us, giving His life to save us from our sin – AND that He has called us to come to Him. These two facts are unchangeable and no matter how we are feeling about ourselves, we can still come to Him, just as we are.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

There is such an important lesson to be learnt in this verse. So often we let the shame of our sin hold us back from coming to the Lord to be cleansed of our uncleanness. We do ourselves a disservice in this. Let us rather not wait to be cleansed of that “dark blot”. The blood of Jesus that washes us white as snow is how this cleansing of our souls is often described. Allow His holiness cleanse you of the impurities you have allowed into your life through sin. Not only that, but be free of the shame. Don’t delay.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

We don’t need to have it all together to come to God. We find an internal battle going on in us between the old sinful desires and our new desires to obey the Lord. We do not have to have that battle concluded before we can come to Him. Rather, as we wrestle with such things we should go to Him our strength and refuge.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Not many of us would describe ourselves as “poor, wretched” and “blind”. But spiritually speaking that is what we are without Jesus. Look at the world around us, despite the incredible developments that have made our lives more comfortable than ever, we still find dissatisfied people. We still find greed and injustice resulting in oppression and exploitation of others. True wealth, true sight and true soundness of mind is only found in Him.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Why should we go to Jesus? Because He will receive us. His arms are wide open and stretched towards us. Jesus is calling each one of us to come to Him. In Him we will find forgiveness and healing. Let us trust in His promise and go to Him.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Finally, the incredible truth that we actually can go to Him just as we are. God made a way for us to be reconciled to Him. Out of love He sent His Son to die for our sin. Jesus paid the price for our rebellion and now we are made right with God and can freely enter into His presence, the barrier has been torn down. Not only that, we will be able to live in the presence of God for all eternity. We will be His people and He will be our God. Forever.

God Bless

Graham

Continue ReadingJust As I Am