I’m thinking it’s time for some good FOOD for the soul after all these FOOD for the body posts. So, here we go…
I was once told something in my younger years that I have waited a long time to see pan out. It had to do with menopause. Not what it was like exactly, but one of the little quirks about it. (Hang in there, I’m getting to the Word, I promise.) This gal friend of mine said one of her major exasperations during that time was that she constantly felt dangling hairs on her skin, and found herself incessantly brushing these little niggling hairs off.
For many years I have wondered if maybe this meant my skin would be more sensitive, or if I would be losing more hair than normal, or if it just meant menopause makes women mentally unstable. Maybe, could be all three – ha?
Well, here I am, and as it turns out she was right, about the hair (and perhaps about all the other stuff too).
Oh my gosh! So yesterday I spent most the afternoon trying to shake off, brush off, and swipe away a devilish strand of hair that would not stop tickling my leg. Every time I moved I could feel it touch my skin. And no matter how much I swept my hand across my inner thigh or down my hamstring, that silly tormenting strand just clung on. For all my reckless, lunatic thrashing, I just couldn’t get it off. It was apparently tangled up in the threads of my shorts. I finally had to take my shorts down, find my gosh-darned spectacles (don’t get me started on that one either) and inspect the inside for the vexatious, random, drive-me-to-drink strand of flipping hair and physically yank it off. Deep breath…long exhale…wooo…and life goes on.
In a proverbial way, that’s kind of what also happened to me with my devotions this morning. I was just reading my short little scripture and commentary for June 9th when a thought got attached to my shorts – well, okay, not my shorts but my person. The scripture was “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life…” In the devotion, and the footnotes of my Bible, it said John 6:35 was the first of seven “I AM” declarations in the book of John. I finished the devotion, prayed the little prayer, looked over the recipe, and then got up to go start my laundry. But that “I AM” got tangled in my thoughts. I tried to sweep it away as I loaded the washer, but it came right back in just a few moments. “I am… the bread of life,” but who else AM I? It tickled in my mind as I left the room. It tickled as I walked down the hall to the kitchen to unload the dishwasher. It tickled so much that I finally decided to sit back down at the table, put my spectacles back on (thank God for reading glasses), and search it out.
I slid my little purple notebook out from under my Bible, opened it up and wrote “WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?” across the top. Then I wrote, “The Seven I AMs of John” on the top line. I looked up the first one in John 6:35, and scanned the margin for the addresses of the other six; of course highlighting each of them in my Bible (with my Crayola fine point twistables colored pencils), and since I was at it, also colored the header in my notebook .
I thought it was kind of cool that there were seven, because in a recent Bible study I learned that the number seven in scripture is the number of completion or perfection, so I made a note of that also. Besides writing just words something in me felt a compulsion to also draw little pictures. I don’t know why, but my Bible is covered in them too. It’s just something I do. I have “doodled” in my Bible since before journaling in one’s Bible was cool, although not quite as pretty of illustrations as those fancy journaling Bibles have.
When I finished finding all seven of Jesus’ I AMs, and coloring all my little illustrations, I snapped the cover back closed on my colored pencils, laid my pen on top of my notebook, set my Bible on top, and then pushed the whole pile to the back of the table and went back to my work.
A little while later in the day I had the idea to share this little experience with you, because I was thinking you might be snagged by the same wild scriptural hair tickling in your brain to know the rest of the story as I was…the other six I AMs of Jesus – Lord knows the Holy Ghost can just be such a nag sometimes – and so, I can’t bear for you to be miserable another minute, so here…I’m sharing my notebook with you?
The Seven “I AM”s of the book of John
I AM… The Bread of Life, Living Bread
(Manna – Exodus 16:13-18, 31; Numbers 11:6-9)
Whoever comes to Me shall never hunger. Whoever believes in me shall never thirst. Those who eat of me shall live forever. (John 3:16)
John 8:12; 9:5
I AM… The Light of the World (John 13:46).
Whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness (Ephesians 5:8-14/Psalm 23)
John 8:58 …The I AM… (of Exodus 3:14)…the burning bush name God told Moses to use when he spoke of Him to the Hebrew people – The “I AM has sent me” The un-utterable name of God – YHWH, which means without beginning, Ever-present One.
I AM… The Door (the narrow way – Luke 13:22-30).
The Sheep Door. Whoever enters by Me will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
I AM… The Good Shepherd
(…not a hireling, but as the Passover Lamb who…) gave His life for the sheep, and “other sheep” (Jews & Gentiles).
I AM… The Resurrection and the Life (John 6:40)
The “Firstfruit” of the dead, who died, was planted in the ground, and rose again to new life (Raptured). Whoever believes in Me, even if he dies, as Lazarus died, he will live.
I AM… The Way, The Truth, and The Life (3-fold)
Jesus is the only WAY to the Father. The Father is in Jesus and Jesus is in the Father – one-in-two and two-in-one, and three-in-one (vs.16-26), the TRINITY, in us!
I AM… The True Vine
… and you are the branches. Gentiles have been grafted into the Jewish vine (Romans 11:17). You abide in Me and my words abide in you… (Galatians 5:22,23). The branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine (John 15:4).
We sow, and water, but it is the Lord who gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6,7). Therefore, it is God’s grace that we are saved, through faith not of works, lest any should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9). But, faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26).
The dead parts of the vine are pruned, and even the fruitful parts that they may be more fruitful (John 15:2). Unfruitful works burned, but we ourselves are saved (1 Corinthians 3:15, Matthew 15:13).
Beware of False Prophets (Matthew 7:15,16). You will know them by their fruit.
Our Father, who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
(Light of the World)
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily Bread-of-Life
(food for our bodies and our souls)
And forgive us our debts (trespasses) as we forgive our debtors
(Resurrection and Life)
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
(Good Shepherd, Door)
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever,
(Way, Truth, and Life)
But what about you? Who do you say that I AM?