Why You Say I Am – My Purpose in Christ

This is the concluding post in the series, You Say I Am. To start reading from the beginning, click on the link, Who You Say I Am – My Person in Christ.

From his innermost being will flow continually rivers of living water.                                                                                               ~John 7:38 (AMP)

A friend of mine once shared a whimsical, yet true personal story that teaches a valuable life lesson. One day, when he and another friend were cooking in the kitchen, they discovered one of the steps in the recipe they were following was to “briskly stir, or whisk” the ingredients together. To add a little excitement to the experience (as all good cooks like to do from time to time), they decided to experiment with a rather unlikely stirring instrument – a cordless drill fitted with the mixer’s whisk attachment – as if their recipe book had been written by Tim the Toolman Taylor!

I must admit, when in the “heat of a cooking moment,” experimenting often sounds like a fun idea. However, adding an implement designed for speed to a scenario that demands finesse, suggests that this idea may have been a star-crossed recipe for a minor kitchen disaster. You can probably imagine the outcome, so I probably don’t have to paint the whole messy picture – but yes, the walls were painted…with dinner! As well, so were the two cooks…one holding a dripping drill, the other gripping an empty bowl, and both laughing nervously at each other as the walls marinated in the main course.

The application of an original design, whether a person or thing, is most glorifying to its creator when employed according to its intended construct. When a high-speed device meets a bowl full of static matter, the laws of physics will prove the faultiness of the idea. However, when a man or woman of God ceases to live outwardly as a mixer when they are really a drill, and as they stop putting on cloaks of self-righteousness and put on the robe of emptiness, and when the church stops appearing “filled up,” and starts living “poured out,” then they can be used mightily by God, like a flowing river of life in the dry desert of our lost and dying world. Continue reading

How You Say I Am – My Power In Christ

This is the fourth precept in the You Say I Am series. To start from the beginning, click here to go to Who You Say I Am – My Person in Christ.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.      ~Acts 1:8

When I was a young boy in school, I remember a rather eventful day when my teacher had finally had enough of my class clown antics. So, there I was, standing in the front corner of the classroom, facing the blackboard. Behind me was an entire classroom of children, mocking, pointing, and literally laughing at me behind my back. While I was standing there, “thinking about” whatever it was that I had done, I escaped into the highly imaginative world of super powers. I invented my own array of special capabilities that included: making myself invisible, transporting out of the classroom and into my own living room, and then there was my all-time favorite, turning the whole class of scoffers into a bunch of hideous-looking creatures – ones that couldn’t make any noises.

Looking back on that day, now some five decades later, I realize something. As mortals – even adult mortals. We daily go about our happy little sleepy and complacent lives flitting after the butterflies and dancing among the daffodils on this life’s journey until we come up against a real adversity or trial. Don’t we? Then, and almost only then, do we call upon the power of God to come save us. To rescue us from our situation. To lift us out of our current difficult dilemma as if God were some kind of mighty cosmic bellhop waiting at our beck and call when we get ourselves into trouble – or when trouble comes and finds us. Believe me, this was my way even as a 50-something adult.

Here’s the problem with that theory – that mythological, erroneous theology is a false doctrine and bears no alignment with Jesus’ teaching at all. In fact, Jesus tells us that what we will have is tribulation, distress, and suffering in this world (John 16:33). Continue reading

When You Say I Am – My Presence In Christ

This is the third precept in the You Say I Am series. To start from the beginning, click here to go to Who You Say I Am – My Person in Christ.

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. ~John 15:5 (NKJV)

“Wherever you are, BE THERE,” a friend once told me. What he meant was, wherever I was physically located, that’s where all of my heart, mind, and soul needed to be in order to fully experience my present environment and circumstances…and participate in them. When I am at work, my focus and energy should be directed to the assigned tasks and goals that promote the company’s prosperity and development. Likewise, when at home or with friends, my mind should be engaged with their cares and joys; I should listen to them, and converse with them in attentive fellowship. But first and foremost, my worship of the Lord Jesus Christ must stem from an ever-attentive heart and mind, and with all my soul…my entire being (Deuteronomy 6:5). Wherever, and whenever we may be worshiping Jesus in our body, let us also abide in Him with all of our being – all of our heart, mind, and soul.

In the gospel of Mark, Jesus encountered a number of sundry Jewish nobles, including Pharisees, scribes, and lawyers, who would seek to put Him to the test. In one such instance, an expert in the law asked Jesus, “Which commandment is first and most important of all?” To which Jesus replied by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mark 12:28-34).

By answering the question in this way, Jesus satisfied their legal interrogation and no more questions were asked of Him (Mark 12:34). When one is satisfied with a licit retort to a lawful query, there the line is drawn between religion and relationship. Between legalism and liberty. Religion is satiated by man’s interpretation of the law; relationship, however, yearns for more. The heart, mind, and soul, our person, our entire being, is what God seeks. When we love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, we are loving Him with all of our self – our entire person…our spirit man and our natural man. Continue reading