Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 12/11/19

Jesus Is the I Am

jesus is the beginning and end and beginning again of me

STORY: What’s in a Name?

My birthday is December 13th. My parents named me Kathy Annette Carlton. My middle name was chosen because of a kind nurse who tended to my mom. Isn’t Annette a beautiful name?

When I look up the name Kathy, it means: pure, clear. I wasn’t named Kathleen or Kathryn. Nope—simply Kathy.

Annette means: grace, favor. How thrilling for this gal who has chased grace her entire life!

Today we’re going to look into the meaning behind more names of Jesus.

STUDY: He is the I Am

All of the following verses have the phrase, “I am” included. This term used for God is found over 300 times in Scripture. It is like saying, “I myself, and only I, am.”

I Am

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am!” (John 8:58 NLT)
  • When was Jesus’ beginning?
  • What does this verse tell you about Jesus?

Bread of Life

Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35 NLT)
  • How is Jesus your bread of life?
  • How does Jesus quench your thirst?

Light of the World 

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12 NLT)
  • Remind yourself what it was like to walk in darkness before you came to faith in Christ.
  • How does the light of Jesus lead to life for you?

The Gate (The Door)

Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. (John 10:6-9 NLT)
  • Who are the sheep in this story? The thieves and robbers? We always think of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. In this example, he is also the gate (the door).
  • What does it mean to be saved? What thieves and robbers are you saved from?
  • What good pastures does the Gate lead you to discover?

Alpha and Omega

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. (Revelation 22:13 NLT)
  • It was common for Jewish rabbis to use the first and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet (Alpha and Omega) to symbolize the whole of anything, from beginning to end.
  • Jesus was at the beginning of creation and will be at the conclusion of time. He is from eternity past to eternity future.
  • Knowing this, how can you praise Jesus as Alpha and Omega?

Good Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11 NLT)
  • In the Old Testament, what do you think of when you hear the word shepherd?
  • In the New Testament, what story do you think of when you hear the word shepherd?
  • What traits make a shepherd good?
  • How is Jesus your Good Shepherd?

Resurrection and the Life

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. (John 11:25 NLT)
  • Only Jesus resurrected someone (Lazarus) and resurrected himself. Knowing he has this power, what peace does this bring you?
  • How does knowing Jesus help you experience abundant life?
  • What hope do you have of living even after dying?

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." (John 14:6 NLT)
  • Jesus told the disciples to follow him. He was the only way to heaven, and to the Father.
  • Jesus as the Word is the source of all truth. What does the Truth offer you?
  • In John 14, Jesus is telling the disciples he is going to leave them and go back to the Father. It’s hard for them to understand the resurrection life because they haven’t witnessed it yet. What can you focus on to help you wrap your mind around Jesus as the resurrected life?

True Grapevine (Vine)

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. (John 15:1 NLT)
  • How do you differentiate the roles of Jesus as the grapevine, and God the Father as the gardener?
  • What does it mean to be connected to the Vine?

Almighty One

“I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.” (Revelation 1:8 NLT)
  • Jesus didn’t have a beginning and won’t have an ending. How is this special to you?
  • Jesus isn’t sometimes mighty, he’s Almighty. Is there anything he can’t do? Take a moment to praise him for this.

Root of David/Bright and Morning Star

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” (Revelation 22:16 ESV)
  • What significance does “Root” have to you? Some commentaries say this shows Jesus was both the descendent (Offspring) of David as well as his Lord (Root).
  • Jesus as the Morning Star represents his second coming. How does that speak hope to you?

STEPS: Make Jesus Your I Am

  1. Delete or demote the unnecessary. If you have added anything to Jesus for your ultimate sustenance in life, how will you delete it or demote it to make Jesus #1?
  2. Display Jesus as your source. A display of Jesus isn’t just for the manger scene, but through our lives.

Copyright © 2019 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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