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 – You’re Not Done Yet!

“Scripture is filled with examples of men and women whom God used late in life, often with great impact – men and women who refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do.” Billy Graham

God never decides we’re too old for meaningful work. We may retire from a career, but we never retire from Christianity. 

Old Testament figures often distinguished themselves in their old age: Moses (Exodus 7:7), Joshua and Caleb (Joshua 14:6-1123-24), and Daniel (Daniel 5:13-29) did important work in their eighties.

This is good news whether you’re a teenager or a senior. At every age and every stage of life God has meaningful purposes for our lives.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

At every stage of life, we have new things to learn and new opportunities to leave our mark on this world.

I don’t know about you, but I find that exciting!

Daily Devotion – Partners in Victory

“Moses’ hands were heavy … Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.” – Exodus 17:12-13 NASB

Joshua led Israel’s army against the Amalekites. And Moses communicated God’s strategy and became a symbol of His presence. As long he held up his hands, “Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed” (v. 11).

But victory would not have been possible without the help of Aaron and Hur, two men who did not lift a sword or slay one enemy soldier. But Israel was victorious because these men fulfilled their assigned roles.

While Moses stood with God’s staff in his hand, the Israelites were victorious. Then, as the day wore on, his strength faded. That is when Aaron and Hur stepped in. Their task: to support Moses’ hands. This might sound trivial, but without this support, the battle could not have been won.

As we look at the work of ministry, we need to realize that, just as in the days of Moses, Christians need to work together as partners. There are many roles to play, and every person, every role is important. God’s army needs prayer warriors and teachers, encouragers, and administrators. He needs believers who will sacrifice and give to support the Gospel.

Remember, you have a vital role to play. The tasks and  skills you’ve been given are important. God has given you special gifts, talents, and special assignments. Make sure you are doing the work He called you to do.


Father, I commit my life to You. Show me the tasks You’ve given me to do. I dedicate my time, talents, and treasures to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Extended Reading

Exodus 17

//Inspiration Ministries//

Minute Meditation – Spiritual Vaccination

We have all seen the rod of Asclepius, or its common variation, the caduceus, on medical insignia throughout the world. It was the symbol of this Greek god of healing, but is also found here in our First Reading from the book of Numbers (21:4–9). It is a single or double serpent winding around a pole, and we are not sure if the Greeks or the Hebrews had it first. But surely its meaning was a universal discovery that today we would perhaps call vaccination! In short, “the cause is also the cure”! Who would have thought? It seems to be true both medically and psychologically. At any rate, we have Moses prescribing such medicine to the complaining Hebrews in the desert, who were being bit by winged/fiery serpents. The meaning and healing symbol returns again in John’s Gospel on many levels, all of them significant. The recurring phrase is, “the lifted up one.” It has now become a rallying cry for the Jesus who was raised up on the cross and thus “vaccinated us against” doing the same (3:13 and 19:37). Jesus being “lifted up” is offered as a healing icon of love to all of history (12:32), and finally, as a victory sign of the final resurrection and ascension of all the human ones, as is prefigured in today’s account about the archetypal “Human One,” Jesus (8:28). This is powerful material, just as vaccinations always are. We have a Divine Medicine brought down to a small but potent dosage so we can handle it and it can handle us! That is what true spiritual symbols always do. Remember what we said earlier in Lent: Any direct contact with God is like contact with an electric wire—it burns you unless you have some good filters and a very humble humanity to receive it. No wonder so many Catholics and Orthodox never tired of hanging images of the crucified Jesus in their homes and in their churches. We needed to “lift up” and “gaze upon” the transformative image just as Moses first did in the desert. It can and did and will change many lives and much of history. 

— from the book Wondrous Encounters: Scriptures for Lent

by Richard Rohr, OFM

//Franciscan Media//

Bible Love Notes – Moses’ High Self-Esteem Slowed Him Down

Moses saw himself as a rescuer (Exodus 2:11-25). 

He killed an Egyptian while rescuing a Hebrew slave and had to flee for his life.

When he reached Midian, his first act was to rescue Reuel’s daughters (including his future wife) from bully shepherds.

 But the years that followed changed Moses. He lost his self-confidence.  

God could have used the confident young Moses, Pharaoh’s adopted grandson. He was bold and self-assured. He had a position of power and influence.

But God used the elderly, fearful shepherd Moses, the “nobody” who no longer imagined himself a rescuer (Exodus 4:1-17).*

We choose leaders who are confident in themselves, confident in their abilities, those with good self-images, who believe they can do anything they set their minds to do. We choose them and try to emulate them.

But God waited until Moses was drained of his own self-confidence so he could place his confidence in God (1 Peter 5:6). May we make that our goal as well.

* God rebuked Moses for his excuses at the burning bush, but he wasn’t trying to make Moses believe in himself. He was trying to make Moses believe in Him.

Bible Love Notes – Encouraging Footprints

He was so distressed he couldn’t sleep.

Looking through his bedroom window we’d have seen him groaning, tears running down his face, too grieved to speak, his arms outstretched for hours. 

He was so low he felt God had rejected him.

Then he took his thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) by reminding himself:

1. God is holy and great (Psalm 77:13).
2. He’s miraculous and powerful (14).
3. He redeems men and women (15).
4. He’s in control of nature and everything else (16-18).
5. He guides His people visibly and invisibly (19-20).

Pondering God’s character is a good way to get our minds back on track when we’re distressed. And the last point is so important: God’s solutions may surprise us:

Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Psalm 77:19-20

For the whole story of Asaph’s stressful night and wise solution, see Psalm 77.

Daily Devotion – Ready to Respond

“About this time tomorrow I will cause very heavy hail to fall, such as never has been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now.” – Exodus 9:18 ESV

Storms can be frightening. But the storm God sent n Egypt was unique. It was a storm “as never has been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now.” The lightning was relentless. The winds, intense and overpowering. The hailstones hit with devastating impact. No wonder people were terrified!

There was massive damage: “The hail struck down every plant of the field and broke every tree of the field.” Those heeding God’s warning were spared. But those who refused to listen paid the price.

Pharaoh had not responded to the previous plagues, but this was different. Considering this awe-inspiring demonstration, he finally relented and agreed to let the Israelites go. Eventually, Pharaoh would change his mind, but God was not surprised. Moses also knew that Pharaoh did not fear the Lord. More pressure would be needed.

In light of the troubles they face, how many people make promises to God and seem willing to do anything for relief. Yet many of these people eventually change their minds or forget their promises. They simply aren’t serious about obeying God.

All the while God looks for people who really listen and respond and will do His will. Eventually, Pharaoh became one of those people, but it took more than a violent storm.

Pay attention to God’s warnings. Only make promises that you will keep. Live according to His Word. Listen. Be ready to change, to do His will.


Father, I yield my life to You. Forgive my pride. Help me to be ready to obey You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Extended Reading

Exodus 9

Daily Devotion – Taking a Stand

“Stand before Pharaoh … ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me … In that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell … that you may know that I am the Lord.”’” – Exodus 8:20, 22 NKJV

Ready to deliver His people, God asked Moses to be His messenger, to speak His words to Pharaoh and all of Egypt. Initially, Moses resisted, telling God he was the wrong man. Finally, he agreed.

As Moses prayed, God gave him the words to say to Pharaoh. God also listened to Moses’ pleas on behalf of the Egyptians. Over time, Moses realized that he had no reason to fear as long as he stayed faithful and depended on God.

Today, some believers don’t seem ready to make the same kind of uncompromising commitment. Like Moses’ initial response, they seem reluctant. Hesitant. Uncertain. The Bible reminds us that God has a plan for each life. He calls and equips us to accomplish His purposes. He looks to see how we respond and whether we trust Him and are ready to move forward by faith.

Today, let God know that you are ready to do His will. Dedicate yourself to His timeless truths. Fill your mind and heart with His Word. Pray and listen to His voice. Declare His promises to be true in your life. Seek to live according to His principles. Be bold in your faith, trusting Him.

Do not give in to the pressure to compromise or worry about popular approval. You may face opposition but if you are faithful, you can trust God to protect and provide for you and use you to accomplish His purposes.


Father, I surrender my life to You. Use me in my community, my church, my family, and my work. Speak to others through me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Extended Reading

Exodus 8

Minute Meditation – Your Shining Life is the Best Proof

Let’s try to talk about the Transfiguration here—although surely in vain, since this is one of those passages that refuses to be “talked about,” as Jesus himself commands when they descend from their mountaintop experience. The stage is fully set for encounter and for divine intimacy. The “apparition” includes the two symbolic figures of Judaism—the law and the prophets—and the two halves of life—Moses and Elijah. Then Jesus appears between them “in dazzling white” that is always the inclusion of everything, all colors, as it were. After this awesome and consoling epiphany, there is clear mention of “a cloud that overshadows” everything. We have what appears to be full light, yet there is still darkness. Knowing, yet not knowing. Getting it, and yet not getting it at all. Isn’t that the very character of all true Mystery and every in-depth encounter?

The verbal messages are only two: “Beloved Sonship” and “Don’t talk about it.” Clearly Peter, James, and John experienced Jesus’ beloved sonship, but also their own—in being chosen for such a mountaintop moment. Peter’s response is the response of everyman and everywoman, “How good it is to be here!” yet it also expresses an emotion that is described as being “overcome with fear or awe”—exactly what Lutheran theologian Rudolf Otto called the “mysterium tremendum,” wondrous fascination and attraction together with a stunning sense of one’s own littleness and incapacity, both at the same time! That is what holy moments always feel like: I am great beyond belief and I am a little dot in the universe. This experience only needs to happen once, just as it did for Peter, James, and John. That is enough. It will change everything. It is available to all, and I believe, offered to all, at one time or another. You cannot program it, but you can ask for it and should expect it. You will never be able to talk about it, nor do you need to. Your ordinary shining life, different now down in the valley, will be its only and best proof. 

—from the book Wondrous Encounters: Scriptures for Lent
by Richard Rohr, OFM

//Franciscan Media//

Daily Devotion – Please Send Someone Else

“’O, Lord, please send someone else.’ Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses.” – Exodus 4:13-14 NIV

God told Moses He wanted him to leave the service of his father-in-law, Jethro, and return to Egypt to lead His people into freedom. God described the task and even the response he could expect. Moses reacted with a series of objections. He felt inadequate for the task: “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11).

He complained that he was not “eloquent” enough but was “slow of speech and tongue” (v. 10). He simply did not know what to say and wondered how he would respond to criticism or objections.

God answered every excuse until Moses asked him to send someone else. Suddenly God became furious. What was different? God demonstrated that He welcomed honest questions. But Moses crossed the line when he declared that he would not go. But, finally, he did agree to go – with his brother Aaron.

We may go through similar experiences. As we feel God’s call, we may have questions and concerns. As Paul discovered, all of us have weaknesses and need to depend on God (2 Corinthians 12:10). Remember, He has prepared us for His assignments. We need to trust Him and move forward in faith.

Be ready to respond to God’s call for you. Seek His answers for the strategies and wisdom you need. Ask Him for the necessary resources and abilities. Always trust Him. Move forward in faith.

PrayerFather, I am willing to do what You want me to do. I trust You to give me everything I need. I trust You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Extended: ReadingExodus 4