28 So Jesus told them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM, – John 8:28a ISV
The Pharisees and the ruling class were still trying to find a way to be rid of Jesus. They were always trying to catch Jesus in some error or saying something that they could define as blasphemy. This would allow them to take Him to the Romans and ask for the death penalty. As Jesus taught the people, His words had again infuriated the Jewish leaders with His claim about who He was. In this passage, He not only tells them who He is, He also prophesies that He will die by being hung on a cross. He also refers to Himself as “I AM” in this translation. The same way God had always referred to Himself in the Old Testament. God and Jesus both referred to themselves in the present tense, never in the past and never in the future. We say God was, God is and God will always be. They just say “I AM”. They live in and refer to life in the present or the “now”. We should follow their example and live our lives the same way. As Mother Teresa once said: “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Though Jesus knew that He would die on a cross in a few days, He did not let that deter Him from doing what our Father had sent Him to do. We should not let regrets from yesterdays or worries and fears about tomorrow deter us from accomplishing God’s purpose and plan for us today.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am
– John 8:58 NLT
Jesus explains to the people that they don’t really know God even tough they claim God as “our God”. If they really knew God, they would accept Jesus and be excited that the Messiah had come in their lifetimes. Jesus says that even Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to the birth of the Messiah. The people really didn’t accept this. Since Jesus is not even fifty years old, how could He possibly have seen Abraham? Then Jesus makes a statement that really gets the crowd worked up. “I existed before Abraham was even born”. The truth is more than that, Jesus existed before _______ and it doesn’t matter what you put in the blank, Jesus already existed.
1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.—John 1:1-3 (NLT)
The crowd became so angry that Jesus had to slip away or be stoned to death. The name of Jesus still causes that kind of reaction today. When the name of Jesus is spoken, there is no neutral ground and there is no procrastination. You either have to accept Him or reject Him. What choice have you made?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
8-9 For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or
our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple.
You didn’t earn it, not one of us did
, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazing
— Eph. 2:8-9 The Voice
We, as Christians should always remain humble realizing that we did not do anything to earn our salvation. It is impossible to earn or pay for a free gift. God loved us so much that He became as a man and died for us paying our sin debt in full. And that is just the beginning of the story. If we follow His teachings and become a disciple, there is much more that we can enjoy here on earth. God is all about the present and eternity. We are told in John 10:10, that Jesus came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. And we can do nothing to earn those gifts, either. He gives them to us of His own free will. We receive peace, security, and joy from the same benevolence that brought us salvation. This was mentioned as far back as Isaiah in Chapter 12, Verse 2: Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yahweh, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’” And He freely gives us all things that pertain to life and Godliness.
2 Peter 1:3.4 NLT
So, salvation is not just for the future, it has benefits right now and right here.
“Free to all, a cleansing stream flows from Calvary’s mountain” **
Near the Cross – Fannie Crosby
33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. — Matt. 6:33 NLT
God gave us time in 24 hour blocks so that our finite minds could comprehend it. He isn’t bound by those restraints. It is always the PRESENT (NOW) to Him. He sees time as an eternity having no beginning and no end. He has forgotten all about your PAST sins (they are cast as far away as the East is from the West) and only He knows whether we have an earthly tomorrow (FUTURE) or not. God comes to us right where we are right now. So, wherever you are and whatever situation you have found yourself in, just look up and you will see the hand of Jesus reaching down to pull you up out of the pit and set your feet on the Solid Rock. Trust Jesus to be your Savior, your Provider, and your Fortress. God is our Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider. He is absolutely all we need.
19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
— Phil, 4:19 NLT
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created. — James 1:16-18 NIV
When God created the world, after each day’s work,we are told that “God saw that it was good” except for the sixth day when He made man, we are told that
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day – Genesis 1:29 – 31 NIV
Everything in this world was created good and perfect to last forever and was given to man by God to enjoy and have dominion over it all. Then man sinned and decay and rot started in all of God’s creation. But God had a plan to fix all that even before He laid the foundations of the earth . So, He gave us “THE good and perfect gift”, Himself, to die on a cross to redeem all of creation. He is still in the business of giving good gifts to us. This very moment is called the “present” because it is a gift from God. The good earth we enjoy, the very air that we breathe, every particle of food that we eat are all gifts from God. When He gives them, they are good gifts, but we have chosen to belittle and desecrate those gifts by refusing to give thanks to the Creator of all things. Every second of our life is a gift from God and we need to give Him praise, glory and honor for those precious seconds. Our attitudes should always be an attitude of humility and thankfulness. We should stand in awe of our awesome God.
21 So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, 23 and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.—1 Cor. 3:21-23 NASB
God is waiting to show you the Way.
All things in heaven and earth belong to God the Father. Jesus Christ the Son belongs to the Father. Since Christ gave His life on the cross to purchase us, we who have accepted Him as our Savior belong to Him and therefore we belong to the Father. God sees eternity without beginning and without end. With Him, there is no past or future and it all belongs to Him. He is gracious enough to let us be stewards of the earth and everything in it, but it all still belongs to Him. We have nothing in and of ourselves, what wisdom we have is as foolishness to God. What righteousness we may think we have is as dirty rags to God. So, what does man have that he could possibly boast about? Absolutely nothing!
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.—Col. 1:15-17 NASB