All in Salvation

And Jesus said, “I Am” … life, forevermore

Jesus’ “I am the gate”, and “I am the good shepherd” metaphors bewildered His listeners. At the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) their questions continued: “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly” (John 10:24). Again they tried to stone Him, and again He slipped away, across the Jordan, where many believed (10:31-42). He was there when news came that His friend Lazarus was sick.

And Jesus said, “I Am” … life, to the full

The Pharisees bombarded the “light of the world” with questions, in total denial of His “I am” claims. When Jesus stated, “before Abraham was born, I am!”…they picked up stones to stone him (John 8:58-59). They knew He was claiming to be God; but it was not yet His time so He slipped away, continuing on to heal a man born blind. The man believed and worshipped Jesus; the Pharisees remained in their sin (9:1-41).

And Jesus said, “I Am” … your sustenance, and your light

The crowd by the Sea of Galilee was mystified. First, they had been fed well the previous evening, all 5000 plus of them, from “five small barley loaves and two small fish” (John 6:9). Then Jesus had sailed across the lake without a boat—how in the world (6:22)? Miracles were foremost on their minds. Give us more they said, manna for this day too, "bread from heaven”, so we can believe you were really sent by God (6:29-31).

And Jesus said, “I Am” … the Messiah, called Christ

Imagine the surprise of the Samaritan woman when Jesus talked to her by Jacob’s well that day, for Jews do not associate with Samaritans (John 4:9). When He told her He had living water to offer, “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (4:14), she was intrigued. That He knew about her five husbands, and that “the man you now have is not your husband” (4:18), she saw He was a prophet. When He revealed that “salvation is from the Jews” (4:22), she indicated she was aware of the expected Messiah who would make all things clear.

The Simple Things: Love

In 1961 the Broadway show Carnival opened, its theme song, Love Makes the World go ’Round by Bob Merrill, an immediate hit. Such legends of my day as Paul Anka, the Everly Brothers, Bing Crosby, and Johnny Mathis included it in their repertoires. Of course it was about romantic love: “a silver song, making the earth whirl softly”.

The Simple Things: Grace

In 1948 A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) wrote in his classic, The Pursuit of God: “Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us.” Imagine how Tozer would feel if he were alive today. Nothing is simple--our schedules are loaded, our deadlines frantic, and the world distracts, not to mention the complexities of the “religious”.

The Shepherds: Go and See

God interrupted the commonplace. The glory of God shattered darkness. A message from an angel broke the silence. The Savior, Christ the Lord, had been born! As shepherds in the field beheld the angel, their initial response was fear. But with the announcement of the birth of the awaited One, fear turned to determination. The shepherds said, Let’s go…and see...(Luke 2:15). They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the heralded baby lying in a manger.

Messages from God

With these words a 400-year silence of God was broken. Zechariah received God’s message from the angel, Gabriel, who announced the birth of a son filled with the Holy Spirit. He would be used of God to prepare the way for the Lord. Another message came from Gabriel shortly thereafter. He proclaimed to the virgin Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God.

Too Late

I noticed a For Sale sign in a yard yesterday. Written at the bottom of the sign in bold red letters were the words TOO LATE. I remarked to Jerry that life is full of those signs. I think we all experience them.

The Other Brother

Judith Viorst wrote a poem called, The Good Daughter. It describes a daughter who follows rules and does her chores. On the other hand, her pesky brother rarely does and usually involves himself in some kind of shenanigan. In the end the sister declares that she really believes her parents always liked her brother better.

Growing Up

He insisted on creating a garden beside his new country home, but the iron ore boulders stood in the way! Daddy persevered. He’d already sold off the largest ones for the iron, but he had to heave the mid-sized ones over the fence one-by-one.