Paternus told his son:
"First of all, my child, think magnificently of God.
Magnify His providence; adore His power; pray to Him
frequently and incessantly. Bear Him always in your
mind; teach your thoughts to reverence Him in every
place, for there is no place where He is not.
Therefore, my child, fear and worship and love God;
first and last, think magnificently of God."
God has revealed Himself
to men. The great names of God in the Old Testament
are self-revelations of the LORD God to men and
women who were in helpless situations. "Man’s
extremity is God’s opportunity." In each case God
saw their need, demonstrated that He alone could
perfectly meet the challenge and in that experience
taught the individual or the nation some special
characteristic or attribute of His person.
THE I AM WHO I AM
To Moses He revealed
Himself by His personal name, "I AM" or "I AM THAT I
Moses failed in his first
attempt to deliver Israel from their Egyptian
slavery, and was placed on a shelf for forty years
on the backside of a desert tending his sheep. Then
God called Moses to deliver His people Israel out of
slavery in Egypt.
Exodus 2:23-25 tells us
God saw the bondage of the children of Israel, and
heard the cry of His people for help. "So God heard
their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And God saw the sons of
Israel, and God took notice of them" (vv. 24-25).
Had God forgotten His people? Indeed not, for "God
heard . . . God remembered . . . God saw . . . God
took notice . . ."
God called Moses in the
desert wilderness when "the angel of the LORD
appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of
a bush" that refused to burn up (3:2-4). In this
call God told Moses He was going to send him to
Pharaoh, the king of Egypt (v. 10). Moses, who had
failed in his previous attempt asked, "Who am I?"
(v. 11). He was like many of us when we sense our
inabilities and failures we focus on ourselves and
our weaknesses. "Who am I?" is the wrong question.
The issue is not "Who am I? but "Who are You?" (v.
The God of Israel
revealed Himself as the great "I AM THAT I AM," or
"I AM WHO I AM" (v. 14). He is the self-existing
One, the "I AM" and there is none other. He is the
One who in Himself possesses life, permanent
Can He take care of such
a tremendous task as delivering millions of slaves
out of their bondage in Egypt? Can He be depended
upon when we need Him? His very personal name
reveals that He can be trusted and that He is
completely adequate for the task at hand. His name
reveals that He is "the I was, I am, and I shall
always continue to be." He is the Eternal One—the
Beginning and the End. He is the One whose years
have no end. "I am the same yesterday, today and
forever. I change not." He is the self-existent One
beside whom there is no one else. He is without
beginning, and without ending from everlasting to
everlasting. By the name of the I AM, Yahweh,
Jehovah, or LORD, He has revealed Himself as
eternal, personal, continuous, absolute, uncaused,
unconditioned, independent and self-sufficient One.
As the God of grace He becomes whatever His people
need. He is the "Becoming One." He is the "I will be
that I will be." He is the One who always exists,
the eternal and unchangeable.
You find this magnificent
name Yahweh, transliterated into English "Jehovah"
in the American Standard, "LORD" in the King James
Version and the New American Standard Bible. "LORD"
in all four capital letters is used to distinguish
from Adonai also translated "Lord" in small letters
in the Old Testament. Whichever translation you are
using, Yahweh, LORD, or Jehovah, the same deity is
being referred to some 6,823 times in the Old
Jesus is the I AM
The LORD God made His
greatest and most complete revelation of Himself in
the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
The writer of Hebrews
says, "God after He spoke long ago to the fathers in
the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in
these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He
appointed heir of all things, through whom also He
made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory
and the exact representation of His nature, and
upholds all things by the word of His power. When He
had made purification of sins, He sat down at the
right hand of the Majesty on high" (1:1-3).
The apostle Paul
succinctly writes of Jesus Christ saying, "He is the
image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all
creation. For by Him all things were created, both
in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or
authorities—all things have been created through Him
and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all
things hold together. . . For it was the
Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell
in Him" (Colossians 1:15-17, 19).
How did Jesus describe
Himself? During a heated exchange with a group of
Pharisees He said, "'Your father Abraham rejoiced to
see My day, and he saw it and was glad.' So the Jews
said to Him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and
have You seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, 'Truly,
truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.'
Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but
Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple" (John
They knew exactly whom
Jesus was referring to when He called Himself "I
AM." They were so incensed they picked up stones to
stone Jesus to death right there on the temple
Jesus said He was the
same person as the "I AM," the Self-sufficient One,
without beginning and without end.
Where is your desert? Do
you live in a spiritual wilderness? Where is your
bitterness? Where do you sense your helplessness?
Listen again to the One who declared Himself to be
the "I AM."
Do you need bread?
Jesus is the bread of
life that satisfies our most basic needs. Jesus said
to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me
will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will
never thirst. . . ." The Jews were grumbling
about Him, because He said, "I am the bread that
came down out of heaven." . . . I am the bread of
life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness,
and they died. This is the bread which comes down
out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not
die. I am the living bread that came down out of
heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live
forever; and the bread also which I will give for
the life of the world is My flesh" (John 6:35, 41,
Do you still want to
settle for that old stale bread the religions of the
world have to offer? Jesus Christ is the only
source of the bread of heaven and eternal life.
Do you need light?
Jesus is all the
spiritual light you will ever need. Jesus said, "I
am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will
not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of
life" (John 8:12). "I have come as Light into the
world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not
remain in darkness" (12:46). Why do we still blindly
run around stumbling in a world of spiritual
darkness? Jesus will give you all the spiritual
light you need to find the LORD God and enjoy Him
forever. He will lead you out of spiritual darkness
into eternal light.
Do you need a way
into God’s presence?
Jesus is the Door into
the Father’s presence in heaven. "Truly, truly, I
say to you, he who does not enter by the door into
the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way,
he is a thief and a robber." Jesus said to
them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the
door of the sheep" (John 10:1, 7). There is no other
entrance into God’s presence but through the doorway
of Jesus. "And there is salvation in no one else;
for there is no other name under heaven that has
been given among men by which we must be saved"
Do you need a
Shepherd to provide direction, nourishment and
Jesus is the Shepherd,
the Good One. "I am the good shepherd; the good
shepherd lays down His life for the sheep" (John
10:11). Jesus is the Good Shepherd who gave up His
life to give you eternal life. There is eternal
security and assurance in the Good Shepherd alone
(vv. 25-30). There is no other shepherd; all the
rest are wolves.
Do you find
yourself going through the shadow of death?
Jesus is the resurrection
and life. Jesus said to Mary and Martha who were
grieving over the death of their brother, "I am the
resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me
will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives
and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe
this?" (John 11:25-26). When it comes time to pull
the sheet over your head there is no one else to
turn to. Jesus alone is our only hope in the
presence of death. His death is the death that ends
all deaths. He alone rose from the dead and gives
eternal life to all who will believe on Him.
Do you need
absolute truth, the perfect way, and the only giver
of abundant life?
Jesus is the Way, the
Truth and the Life. He said, "I am the way, and the
truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but
through Me" (John 14:6). There is simply no other
place to look, no other person or god to turn to.
There is none other who can take you by the hand and
lead you into the presence of our heavenly Father.
Jesus alone is the way, the truth and the life that
will give you eternal life in the presence of the
LORD God. Are you looking to lesser gods to give you
Do you need
unbroken fellowship with God?
Jesus is the only person
who can provide you with sustenance, communion and
continual fellowship with the great I AM because He
is the I AM. Jesus said, "I AM the true vine, and My
Father is the vinedresser" (John 15:1). Then Jesus
said, "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who
abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for
apart from Me you can do nothing" (v. 5). How I wish
God's children would learn that great truth. Has the
Lord removed every false security from your life so
that you will realize that "apart from Me you can do
nothing?" There is blessedness in nothingness. Apart
from Jesus Christ you can do nothing.
Note very carefully that
in every one of these quotes in the Gospel of John,
Jesus has revealed Himself as the I AM. He is
Jehovah. He is the LORD. He is God with us. He was
using the great divine name He gave to Moses for the
absolute, timeless existence of the LORD God. He was
walking and talking with these men revealing this
great truth among them.
Will you be a part of
that great company in heaven that will bow their
knees before the Lord Jesus Christ, the name that is
above every name, and confess "Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:11)?
Have you discovered the
all-sufficient Savior? He alone can meet our every
need if we will trust Him. But we have to meet Him
on His conditions, not ours.
HE SEES AND PROVIDES
FOR HIS OWN
This great truth was
revealed to Abraham.
A time of testing
The LORD God tested
Abraham to see if he would trust Him to be able to
fulfill His covenant. In His covenant God promised
Abraham descendants who would be as numerous as the
stars of heaven and the sand in the desert. Years
passed by and Abraham and Sarah became old without
any descendants of their own. Then God provided a
"miracle" child in their old age. His name was
In Genesis 22:8-18 God
revealed to Abraham that He alone is able to see and
provide for Abraham and Isaac. Jehovah, the LORD
sees and provides for the needs of His people. God
cares for His people and He provides as no one else
God commanded Abraham to
go and offer up a sacrifice. As they walked up the
mountain Isaac was getting concerned about not
having a lamb to sacrifice and asked his father,
"Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the
lamb for the burnt offering?" (v. 7) Abraham said,
"God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt
offering, my son." So the two of them walked on
together (v. 8). God will see and provide. If God is
going to be faithful to His promise, He is going to
have to raise him from the dead (cf. 21:12).
When the father and the
son arrived at the place to make the sacrifice
without a lamb, Abraham built the altar, arranged
the wood, bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the
altar on top of the wood. It wasn’t just the faith
of Abraham, but Isaac, too! Abraham stretched out
his hand, and took the knife to slay his son (vv.
9-10). That was a giant step of faith on the part of
the father and the son.
But the angel of the Lord
called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham,
Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." He said, "Do not
stretch out your hand against the lad, and do
nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God,
since you have not withheld your son, your only son,
from Me." Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked,
and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket
by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and
offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of
his son. Abraham called the name of that place The
Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, "In
the mount of the Lord it will be provided" (Genesis
The LORD God is always
saying to us on every occasion, "Your heavenly
Father knows that you need all these things" (Matt.
6:32), and then Jesus proceeds to tell us the secret
(v. 33). He said, "But seek first His kingdom and
His righteousness, and all these things will be
added to you."
Since He is a faithful
Father He sees and knows, and it is impossible for
Him not to provide. It is His nature to provide for
His kingdom. Since He sees and knows, He always
provides. When the Lord God says to you, "I am the
One who sees your need," He is also saying, "I am
the One who sees your need and I will provide
because I cannot see it and not provide what is best
for My own."
Why doesn’t God
provide the way I want Him to do it?
As an all knowing and
seeing person, He sees what we do not need, and He
chooses not to provide what is not in His and our
best interest. He provides His very best. We are so
willing to choose the second best because our vision
is limited and our interests are selfish. He is also
completely aware of what we need that we do not see.
If God in His wisdom gave us all that we want
instead of what we need, our most important needs
would go unmet. The Great I AM WHO I AM, Jehovah,
LORD God sees the complete picture and provides what
He considers to be His very best.
He saw our sin and
depravity and cared enough to send His very best
when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to come and die
for us. God stayed the knife in the hand of Abraham,
but plunged it deep into the heart of His only
begotten Son at Calvary. There was no substitute for
God’s Son. He was the magnificent, all-sufficient
Lamb of God who made perfect atonement for our sins.
He gave Himself on behalf of our sins. God Himself
in the person of His Son saw our need and provided
"the Lamb without blemish and without spot." The
LORD God has seen and fully provided for our
Since His heart is as
large as His infinite power there is no need that
can go unmet. God’s vision issues in perfect
provision for every need. "And my God will supply
all your needs according to His riches in glory in
Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).
HE FIGHTS OUR
Do we tend to ask the
same question Israel asked Moses, "Is the LORD among
us, or not?" (Exodus 17:7)
Where is God when I
All these things sound
great Wil, but where is God when I am in the fight
of my life? The forces of evil rose up against God’s
people and Joshua went out to battle the Amalek. "So
it came about when Moses held up his hand, that
Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down,
Amalek prevailed" (v. 11). When Moses grew tired he
sat on a stone and Aaron and Hur supported his hands
on either side of him. That day as the sun set Moses
and the children of Israel learned that "The LORD is
My Banner" (v. 15). The Lord demonstrated to Israel
that He will fight for us if we will allow Him. All
that He demands of us is to be still and trust Him.
That is the only way we can ever succeed in
Have you learned that
great truth from our God? We take pride in our
natural abilities and our pragmatic self-sufficient
nature. But we never win spiritual battles with
those resources. Ours is a spiritual battle and we
are to put on the spiritual armor and walk by faith.
It is God’s armor, not our armor that wins spiritual
battles. Our interference with our natural powers
and abilities only hinders the Holy Spirit. We win
the battle only when we trust Him to gain the
victory. We cooperate with Him when by faith we put
on the spiritual armor and trust the leading of the
Holy Spirit and use our spiritual weapons (Ephesians
We are to abide in the
Lord and draw our strength from Him. Your natural
abilities are no match in a spiritual war. You trust
in yourself and you will fail miserably spiritually.
You trust in your own abilities and you will turn
into a rebel. It is a spiritual battle we are in,
and a spiritual victory is won by faith in Christ
alone. We get into a verbal fistfight and the Devil
wins the victory every time, not God. We get into a
spiritual war, and use gossip, bickering,
backbiting, negative blame game tactics, harsh
criticism, etc. Only Satan wins those battles
because we play into his game plan. God reminds us
He is very capable of winning the victory if we put
on our spiritual armor and trust Him.
We win through
The angel of the LORD
wrestled Jacob one night (Gen. 32:22-30). In the
battle Jacob was wining against the angel of the
LORD. Jacob’s resistance against the angel was so
great that "he could not prevail against him." The
angel was losing the fight. The angel of the LORD
touched the socket of Jacob’s thigh and dislocated
it while he wrestled with Jacob (v. 25). God made
Jacob lame and weak so he would no longer wrestle
with God. Jacob gained power when he lost it. He
conquered when he failed.
Things haven’t changed.
Has the LORD wrestled with you lately and won? You
and I win by losing. The LORD wrestles with us so we
will lose, and learn to depend completely on Him.
Have you learned that lesson? We fight with God as
long as we have any strength left. The Lord finally
touches us in our strongest area to demonstrate to
us that we really are weak and helpless.
Only when our
self-confidence, self-competence, personal resources
are demonstrated for what they really are do we win.
Only when we realize our helplessness and yield to
Him do we conquer. Our victory in the spiritual life
is always a victory through weakness. It always
takes us to the cross.
The apostle Paul learned
this lesson the hard way. God brought him to the end
of himself. "And He has said to me, ‘My grace is
sufficient for you, for power is perfected in
weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather
boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of
Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content
with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with
persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake;
for when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cor.
Since Jesus has
demonstrated Himself to be the all-sufficient
Savior, the great I AM, are you still trying to do
it yourself, or do you trust Him? If you still think
you can do it yourself you don’t need the Savior. He
comes to the weak and helpless and gives life (Matt.
THE LORD IS HERE
I will be with you
The Lord Jesus is here
when we need Him. All of these truths from God’s
Word demonstrate to us the Lord is here. Yes, He is
right here with us today. He is with you as you read
this study on the magnificent, all-sufficient
Savior. He is always where we are. His presence
alone is always enough to meet our every need. Just
as He said to Israel, He says to us today, "I will
be with you." Nine times in the Old Testament He
said to Israel, "I will be with you." "When you pass
through the waters, I will be with you; and through
the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you
walk thought the fire, you will not be scorched, nor
will the flame burn you" (Isaiah 43:2).
At Moses’ death the LORD
said to Joshua and the people of Israel, "No man
will be able to stand before you all the days of
your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be
with you; I will not fail you or forsake you"
The presence of the Lord
is our present security that He will meet all our
needs. With His presence we can face our greatest
foe and win. The apostle Paul appropriated this
"Who will separate us
from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or
distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness,
or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "For Your
sake we are being put to death all day long; We were
considered as sheep to be slaughtered." But in all
these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him
who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death,
nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things
present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height,
nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able
to separate us from the love of God, which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35-39).
Jesus is God with
Yes, Jesus is "God with
us." He is Immanuel. God our Creator, and Redeemer,
came down to this earth and dwells among us. He is
here. He is in our midst. He is always here. He is
"God with us."
He is everywhere present,
surrounding, sustaining and holding us secure in His
safe keeping. Closer is He than our very breath. He
reminds us today, "I will never leave you nor
"Make sure that your
character is free from the love of money, being
content with what you have; for He Himself has said,
'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake
you,' so that we confidently say, 'The Lord is
my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to
me?' Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and
today and forever" (Hebrews 13:5-6, 8).
The apostle Peter
appropriated this great truth also when he wrote,
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand
of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares
for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7).
PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
Since Jesus Christ is
God, then He has every right to my full allegiance
and complete loyalty.
Because He is God I fully
accept Him as Lord and Master of my life. There can
never be any room for indifference to His person. We
have no exception but to follow Him. It is all or
nothing. Jesus claimed to be all that men need for
spiritual life. What is your response to such an
When Jesus Christ is
acknowledged as God in the flesh we are confronted
with a personal decision.
Will it be Jesus Christ
as Lord of my life or my own god made in my own
image? I choose the magnificent all-sufficient
Savior over all lesser gods. Your choice determines
where you will spend eternity. Will you cast stones
at the Rock of Ages? You cannot get rid of Him by
throwing stones at Him. He will not go away. Each
individual must stand before Him on Judgment Day.
Since the claims of Jesus
Christ are true we must bow and worship Him alone as
The eternal preexistence
of Jesus Christ as the I AM is our guarantee of
eternal security. Jesus assumed the divine name and
title of Yahweh, Jehovah, LORD when He said, "I am
the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the
Father but through Me." Practically everything Jesus
said was an indirect claim to deity. "I and the
Father are one" (John 10:30). He claimed to be
Jehovah, using the very word "Jehovah." Have you
acknowledged His claim on your life and worshiped
Him as "My Lord and my God"?
The claims of Jesus
Christ remain unchanged. Time has not eradicated His
claim to be God. That same Jesus is the same
yesterday, today and forever.
John R. W. Stott keenly
observes: "So close was His connection with God that
He equated a man’s attitude to Himself with his
attitude to God. Thus, to know Him was to know God
(John 8:19; 14:17); to see Him was to see God (John
12:45; 14:9); to believe in Him was to believe in
God (John 12:44; 14:1); to receive him was to
receive God (Mark 9:37); to hate Him was to hate God
(John 15:23); and to honor Him was to honor God
(John 5:23)" (Basic Christianity, p. 26).