Bible Love Notes – I Am Who I Am

In Exodus 3:1-15 God revealed Himself in the burning bush and told Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14).

This name for God tells us He is self-existent, unchangeable, eternal, beyond our understanding, perfect, independent, supreme over all things (Isaiah 45:5-6). Wow! 

This describes all members of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.(1)  

People are always creating fake gods and building false religions. Many today are cutting, pasting, and adding to Scripture, softening gospel truths, ignoring God’s loving commands, and creating a Jesus in their image.

But we can’t redefine God (Isaiah 29:16). We can’t put our words in His mouth. Scripture is not a suggestion book (Hebrews 4:12).

The will and purposes of I AM will prevail. God is God. We are not.

This leads me to a different kind of “I am” statement. Seven times in the Gospel of John, Jesus uses metaphors to describe Himself. He speaks to us in ways we can easily understand, giving us insights into His character and mission. Now that we have clarified Christ’s deity, we’ll be discussing His “I am” statements in John.


Bible Love Notes – 8 Truths About the Light of the World

Jesus told us in John 8:12 that He is the Light of the World.💛 Light is an incredibly helpful metaphor. It’s something we can all understand! But this name for Christ is more than a metaphor.

💛 1. God created both physical and spiritual light on earth (Genesis 1:3-4), but in heaven, Christ will be the only light we need (Revelation 21:23).  

💛 2. God shines on us and in us! (Psalm 18:28; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 36:9; Isaiah 60:1; John 1:4-5). 

💛 3. God brings light to the spiritual darkness in our world (Isaiah 42:16; Micah 7:8; Matthew 4:16).

💛 4. Sadly, many people prefer darkness (John 3:19-20).

💛 5. Christians become light so we can shine for Christ (Matthew 5:14-16; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:5). Paul’s mission was to be a light to the Gentiles (Acts 13:47; Acts 26:16-18).    

💛 6. Because Christians are light we shouldn’t partner with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:6-9). 

💛 7. We have fellowship with God as we walk in the light, repenting of sin (1 John 1:5-9).   

💛 8. God’s Word is a light (Psalm 119:105,130). 

Yes! Our God is LIGHT and He shares that light with us!  

Bible Love Notes – Resurrection = Life

Resurrection = life.  

If Christ’s resurrection hadn’t happened, we’d have no hope.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul passionately explains: “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor. 15:13-14).

Our salvation is based on Christ’s victory over sin and death that occurred through His death and resurrection. We often talk about the resurrection, but we sometimes forget how incredible, awesome, life-changing, and essential it is. If Christ hadn’t been resurrected, we’d still be hopeless sinners (1 Cor. 15:17). 

The Resurrection = life.

In John 11, Christ is preparing to temporarily(1) resurrect his friend Lazarus, and He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25-26). 

Jesus follows this “I am” statement with a question for Lazarus’ sister Martha. And He asks each of us that question as well: “Do you believe this?” (John 11:26)

Every person on earth will one day answer that question, and their answer will determine whether they have eternal life or eternal death.

My answer is a resounding heartfelt “YES!” 

What is your answer?

(1) The Bible records a number of human resurrections. See the List here: Got Questions. And when Christ died, we’re told that the bodies of many holy people were raised from their graves (Matthew 27:50-53).  But all of these people died again. 

Bible Love Notes – A Tiny Lady Bug and an Awesome Creator

I was reading my Bible outside one sunny afternoon, and a tiny ladybug crawled across the page. 

I couldn’t help but think about my Lord, the Creator of all things. This insignificant little “dot” in the universe was one of God’s creations, and despite its size, it was declaring God’s glory. 

Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” 

His glory is present in the grand and powerful and in the tiny and “insignificant”—the sky filled with thunder clouds or a delicate wildflower, a herd of graceful horses or a newborn puppy, the majestic mountains or a tiny ladybug. 

“Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 

God has left his handprint everywhere. He’s created a beautiful world for us to enjoy, and sometimes he sends a tiny ladybug to walk across the most powerful message in the universe: His Word.

Psalm 33:6 says, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,” and so was that tiny ladybug!

Bible Love Notes – 5 Kernels of Corn

An important part of American heritage is the story of the group of British Christians who fled persecution and planted the Plymouth Colony in what is now Massachusetts.  

It was a daunting task to settle in such an undeveloped area, and the Pilgrims were ill-equipped. Their first winter in Plymouth, half of them died from disease and inadequate supplies. 

Things were so bad that they had to ration their supply of corn to five kernels per person per day. 

Several years later when crops were abundant, the Pilgrims started their Thanksgiving celebration by serving each person five kernels of corn as a reminder of what God had brought them through.

They understood what Paul meant when he wrote: 

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.” Philippians 4:12-13

Whether they were struggling through lean times or enjoying abundance, they put their trust in God’s strength, not their own. 

Before our Thanksgiving meal, I serve five kernels of corn to remember our pilgrim heritage and God’s faithfulness. Why not make this your tradition too?

Resource: David Manuel and Peter Marshall, The Light and the Glory (Fleming Revell, NJ, 1977).

Bible Love Notes – Wrap Yourself in These Things

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”  ~ Colossians 3:12

The word translated “clothe” in this passage is the Greek word enduo, and it means clothing ourselves “in the sense of sinking into a garment.”

It’s not just casually throwing a sweater over our shoulders. This is like wrapping ourselves in a warm coat on a cold winter day. 

When we clothe ourselves with these virtues, we don’t simply “act” compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient. We seriously seek to live out these qualities as a representative of our Lord.

We wrap ourselves in compassion because “the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8). 

We wrap ourselves in kindness because God’s “lovingkindness is better than life” (Psalm 63:3).  

We wrap ourselves in humility because Jesus humbled Himself to become a man and died for us (Philippians 2:5-8). 

We wrap ourselves in the gentleness of Christ, following the example of Paul who appealed to the Corinthians “by the humility and gentleness of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:1). 

And we cannot help but wrap ourselves in patience considering that our Lord’s patience brought us salvation (2 Peter 3:15). 

So whatever else we wear, let’s make sure we’ve wrapped ourselves in these virtues!


Bible Love Notes – I’m Better/Worse Than Him

Scripture warns against comparison.

It’s easy to feel good about ourselves if we compare ourselves to someone less godly. And it’s easy to feel bad about ourselves if we compare ourselves to someone more godly. 

Sadly, we tend toward pride, not humility, and Paul addresses this in 2 Corinthians 10:12: “When [people] measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

So how should we judge ourselves? How do we avoid comparison and self-righteousness?

Galatians 6:4 answers this question:

“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.” 

We humbly admit our weaknesses and sins, seeking God’s help. We thank God for our skills and strengths without bragging. And we judge ourselves as God judges us: by our faithfulness to His purposes for our lives. 

At the end of our lives, we want to be able to say what Paul said: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).   

Faithfulness to God’s purposes is what matters (1 Corinthians 4:2-4Luke 12:35-48). Are you being faithful to God’s specific plans for your life (Ephesians 2:10)?

Bible Love Notes – Christian & Non-Christian Lifestyles

Modern Christian lifestyles should be different than non-Christian lifestyles in many respects. When we love Jesus, we seek to live a life of obedience to His purposes and commands (John 14:21).

James 2:14-26 offers some important insights into the Christian lifestyle:“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” 

In verses 14-17, James rebukes Christians who refuse to help others. These selfish Christians need to read Proverbs 3:27 and Galatians 6:10.

In verses 18-19, James rebukes Christians who claim that they can have faith without works. These idle Christians need to read Ephesians 2:10.

In verses 20-24, James speaks of Abraham who revealed his belief in God by doing hard things for the Lord and living as an alien and stranger here on earth.  

“Therefore God [was] not ashamed to be called [his] God.” Hebrews 11:8-19 

In verses 25-26, James talks about the faith of Rahab who put her life in danger to serve God. (See She Had a Past and a Future.)

Faith always results in helping others, doing hard things, and making sacrifices because “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” 

Let’s listen to the wisdom of this passage, dear Christians, and seek God’s will for our lives.

Bible Love Notes – Take Bold Steps

Before we come to the Lord, He reminds us to “count the cost.” The Christian life is not about ease and prosperity. It requires our full devotion (Luke 14:25-34).

God wants us to live our lives differently than the world around us, pursuing His purposes, not our own (Matthew 5:16Matthew 6:33).

Years ago, I read missionary biographies with my granddaughter, and we were both surprised how much these true stories strengthened our faith.

They helped us realize that very ordinary people had taken bold steps to fulfill God’s purposes in their lives (2 Corinthians 12:9). They had a heart for the unsaved world (Matthew 9:37), and they understood that the challenges of their present life were small compared to the joys of eternity with the Lord (2 Corinthians 4:17). 

We shouldn’t compare our lives with other Christians because God has designed each of us for specific purposes (Galatians 6:4-5Ephesians 2:10). But God wants us to be inspired and motivated by the faithfulness of others.

So each day let’s pray that we will be open and sensitive to His leading, and let’s take bold steps to fulfill His purposes for our day, our week, our month, our year, and our lives.

Bible Love Notes – Being Christlike Isn’t About Being Popular

Dear Christians, we need to recognize and correct this popular lie: “If Christians behaved like Christ, they’d be more popular, accepted, and loved, and they’d make the gospel more attractive.” 

It’s absolutely true that Christians should be gracious, expressing ourselves without anger or mockery. 

But the more Christlike we behave, the more unpopular we’ll be with the majority (John 15:18-22).(1)

Some Christians think we put people off by mentioning sin or hell. But if we quit mentioning those things, we won’t be acting Christlike because Jesus frequently mentioned both.(2) 

Non-Christians might be friendlier if we didn’t claim that Christ was the only way of salvation. But we can’t do that and be Christlike because Jesus clearly proclaimed that no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). 

This is the truth: The reason the path of salvation is narrow and few find it is not because Christians are un-Christlike. It’s because most people want to please the majority (Matthew 7:13-14). 

But Christians want to please the Lord (Galatians 1:10Ephesians 5:8-11). 

So let’s not forget this wonderful news: We find our joy in Christ, not man. He helps us share His salvation with the “few” who will listen.

And let’s not be intimidated by the majority! There is still a “harvest” and we have meaningful work to do (Matthew 9:37).