I AM – week 1

I AM. (Week 1)
John 6:35-38
Introduction (John 6:35-38)
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

  • Jesus is the giver of life…
  • Jesus is the sustainer of life…
  • Jesus is the authoritative power orchestrating life…
  • Jesus is the motivation for life…
  • In other words…
  • If you are alive in Christ you have been awakened to eternity…
  • If you are alive in Christ you have been enlighten by the Almighty…
  • If you are alive in Christ you have been raised from the dead…
  • You were once dead.
  • You were once without life.
  • Without feeling.
  • Without love. 
  • Without taste.
  • Without your senses to the things of the everlasting.
  • But now…
  • You are not dead.
  • You are alive.
  • This is the definition of the gospel…
  • That you are no longer dead and because of Jesus you are alive!
  • Oh I wonder if this is you?
  • I wonder if this is your story?
  • I wonder if you know Jesus…
  • Do you have more than statistics and data about Jesus?
  • Do you have more than stories of a relative about Jesus?
  • Do you have a relationship with Jesus?
  • Or do you simply know about Jesus?
  • Have you simply been told of the characteristics of Jesus?
  • Have you been told of the power of Jesus?
  • Have you had someone explain the Holy Spirit to you?
  • Have you studied of the bigness of our God?
  • Oh or do you have first hand experience with the Savior?
  • Is the blood of Christ personal to you? Or is it simply informational?
  • Is the power of God evident within you and around you?
  • Or is it something you’ve only heard about?
  • Is the burden of God experiential to you? 
  • Or is it something you’ve only read about?
  • Because I believe that living in East Tennessee within the bible belt can be divinely glorious…
  • But I also believe that if we are not careful it can be painfully dangerous…
  • To hear this gospel truth over and over and over and be unchanged and unmoved is sure to clarify that the hearer has no idea whats been done for them…

Pre-talk

  • Let me ask you this…
  • Does old news have the same impact as new news?
  • Are you following me?
  • What if I got up here this morning with all enthusiasm within me and told you this…
  • At 10:56 p.m. On July 20th, 1969, something happened that changed the trajectory of modern capabilities…
  • American astronaut Neil Armstrong, which was 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: 
  • “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 
  • As he was stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.
  • Now, did this news shake you to your core?
  • Did this news motivate you to be all that you can be?
  • Did this news raise your hopes and immediately begin to shape how you influenced your children to live their lives?
  • Judging by your response to the news…
  • Nothing really changed within you or around you…
  • Why?
  • Because old news typically doesn’t connect with you in the same way as new news…
  • But let me say this…
  • The gospel is the only news that has the power to sustain you in and out of every season…
  • The gospel is the only news that has the power to restore you in the most desperate of days…
  • The gospel is the only news that has the power to empower you, connect with you, and motivate you afresh on a moment by moment basis… 
  • Listen to me…The gospel is this…
  • Jesus died for current sins: the sins that your currently involved in. 
  • Lifestyle sins.
  • Sins that you can’t shake.
  • Sins that you aren’t willing to give up.
  • Sins that seem to control you.
  • Oh that Jesus would die for current sin displays His compassion.
  • Jesus died for past sins: the sins that haunt you and force you back into shame.
  • The shame that your continually reminded of.
  • The guilt that your consistently wearing.
  • Oh that Jesus would die for past sins displays His forgiveness.
  • Jesus died for your future sins: the sins that you will commit tomorrow.
  • The lustful moment.
  • The weak moment.
  • The times of temptation.
  • The times of rebellion.
  • Oh that Jesus would die for future sins displays His authority.

1. What are you looking for? (John 4:1-15)

  • Now I want you to know that the “I am” statements of Christ are recorded within the last 48 hours of his life.
  • Just before Christ would go to the cross…
  • Just before Christ would walk through pain and suffering…
  • Just before Christ would experience abandonment and loneliness…
  • I want you to ponder on this as if it was you in the text that was with Jesus…
  • These disciples had left everything behind to follow Jesus…
  • These men had abandoned their jobs, career, family business, finances, everything…
  • These men had devoted their life to spending it with Christ…
  • And Jesus kept saying things like “there is coming a day when I must go.”
  • “I am gonna send another comforter but I will be going back to the Father.”
  • “I must suffer even unto death.”
  • Jesus over and over again explained His coming death…
  • These men didn’t quiet get what Jesus was saying….
  • They didn’t quiet understand the eternal implications of what Jesus was saying…
  • Almost like they were looking for something else…
  • Almost like they were looking for a different outcome…
  • Isn’t this exactly like us?
  • We know the depths of the gospel…
  • We have heard the truths of the love message of the gospel over and over again…
  • Some of you in this place have read the bible in its entirety…
  • Some of you can recite every book…
  • Some of you can recite verses from memory…
  • Some of you hold theology degrees…
  • We whats in the book…
  • What are you looking for?
  • What do you expect to be the outcome?
  • Do you have false hope or incorrect expectations?
  • Jesus the Christ has made us a promise…
  • A promise of His return…
  • In just the same He made a promise that He would pay for the sin debt of the world…
  • The promise is that He will return as the King of Kings…
  • The Lord of Lords…
  • Set apart unlike any other…
  • There is none like this Jesus…
  • And one day every wicked heart will bow before the glory of Christ…
  • One day every injustice will bow before Christ…
  • Every terrorist, murderer, rapist, adulterer, manipulator, liar, and thief will stand within the accountability of Jesus Christ.
  • What are you looking for?
  • Are you looking to settle the score?
  • Are you looking to right the wrongs?
  • Are you looking to serve justice?
  • If you know the gospel you know that this isn’t our calling…
  • Your calling isn’t condemnation, judgment, and wrath.
  • Oh this reserved for the Almighty King of the Ages.
  • Your calling is to go and tell.
  • Go tell it the depths of the love of Christ.
  • Go tell it on the mountain…
  • Over the hills and everywhere…
  • Go tell it in the city within every corner and crevice of your reaching…
  • Go tell it in the community within every family and every friend alike…
  • Go tell of the love of Jesus.
  • Your calling has never been go and condemn.
  • Your calling will and forever be to go and tell of the love of Christ.
  • The result isn’t up you.
  • The progress isn’t up to you.
  • The process isn’t up you you.
  • Oh you and I are simply responsible of exhausting every day that we have been given to go and tell!
  • In scripture we are given the example of Jesus in one of the most well known passages of scripture…
  • Known as the woman at the well…
  • Go with me to John 4…

The woman at the well…(John 4:1-15)

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. Notice that it’s as if Jesus was intentionally waiting for someone…A woman from Samaria came to draw water. This woman came looking for the natural thing oh but she was about to recieve the spiritual thing…Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) It’s right here that we begin to see that this woman is looking for something…Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” In other words, what are you looking for? The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.“”

  • In other words…
  • Are you looking for temporary satisfaction?
  • Are you looking for the happiness of materialism?
  • Are you looking for words of motivation?
  • Are you looking for financial blessing?
  • Are you looking to please those around you?
  • Are you looking to prosper within popularity?
  • Jesus is eye to eye with this woman to say “what are you looking for?”
  • Jesus is the bread of life…what are you looking for?
  • Notice that the Samaritan woman was looking for someone or something…
  • The text refers to it being about the sixth hour which can be translated to around noon…
  • This is odd in this day and age…
  • This is odd within this culture…
  • For someone to travel out in the scorching heat at this time of day… 
  • Surely this woman was trying to avoid other people…
  • This woman wanted to be alone as she knew that no one else would be at the well at this time of day…
  • This well was extremely popular early in the day by Jews and Samaritans…
  • This means that this Samaritan woman chose to take a back seat to the Jews and other Samaritans… 
  • She approached the well later in the day to ensure she had no harsh dealing with anyone…
  • And again for whatever reason she wanted to be alone…
  • This implies that she is searching…
  • Maybe she was full of shame…
  • Maybe she was full of regret…
  • Maybe she just didn’t know what she was looking for…
  • Have you been there?
  • Maybe you are carrying around something that no one knows and its just to heavy…
  • Maybe you are tired of people not understanding you…
  • Maybe you are tired of people judging you…
  • Maybe you are tired of people discouraging you…
  • Maybe you are just tired of running…
  • What are you looking for?
  • Are you burdened?
  • Are you weary?
  • Are you troubled?
  • Are you frustrated in ministry?
  • Are you discouraged with religion?
  • Are you lost and can’t find the way?
  • Are you troubled and hopeless?
  • Listen to the words of Christ…

“Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

  • The joy that Christ provides is unmovable…
  • The peace that Christ provides is unexplainable…
  • The authority that Christ provides is unshakeable…
  • The salvation that Christ provides in unending…
  • Oh what are you looking for?
  • Are you looking for comfort and ease?
  • Are you looking for popularity and fame?
  • Are you looking for processes and performance?
  • These things will never do…
  • Jesus is the giver of life.
  • Jesus is the sustainer of joy.
  • Jesus is the bread of life.
  • Jesus is the satisfaction you seek.
  • What are you looking for?

2. What are you withholding? (John 3:1-16)

  • Let me say it like this…
  • Over the course of this Christmas season our girls have gotten plenty of gifts…
  • Barbie dolls…
  • Outfits for dress up and sparkling dresses…
  • Stuffed animals…
  • Let’s just say that they have been spoiled this year.
  • But just this week Rachel had to go to work and it was me and the babies…
  • I decided that I wanted to do something for Jack and the girls…
  • I wanted to do something together that would be fun and they would really enjoy…
  • So I did the responsible thing…
  • We planned a Nerf gun war…
  • Olivia had her Nerf gun…
  • Abigail had her Nerf gun…
  • And it was me and Jack to take on the girls…
  • We had a blast but it ended with Jack taking a shot to the forehead…
  • It scared him so we had to calm it down…
  • So I had to take the Nerf guns and put them up…
  • Olivia & Abigail couldn’t understand why I had to put them up…
  • They could understand why I was keeping it from them…
  • They were not thinking that someone could get shot in the eye…
  • There didn’t care about someone getting hurt, they just cared about what they wanted…
  • I then told them to go get another toy to play with and we would play later with the Nerf guns…
  • It was like every other toy wasn’t as good as the Nerf guns…
  • All the sudden they forgot about all the other toys that are scattered all over their room…
  • They just wanted this one toy that was off limits…
  • I began to think on this…
  • Isn’t this just like us…
  • We all have that one thing….
  • We tell ourselves, “If only I had that one thing, my life would be complete.” 
  • If only God would give me a more understanding boss. 
  • If only God would take away this illness. 
  • If only God would give me a spouse, or a better spouse. 
  • If only God would make my kids more obedient.
  • Why would God keep that one thing from us? 
  • Does God enjoy withholding the things we want most? 
  • When it seems like God is keeping something good from us, it can be difficult and confusing…
  • We begin to ponder things like “I thought God loved me, and wanted what was best for me?”
  • “Why would He keep things from me?”
  • You might even begin thinking this way…
  • “God intentionally created a tree just so that he could withhold it from Adam and Eve…” 
  • “Why would He do that?” 
  • Perhaps the real head-scratcher is this… 
  • When God gave Adam and Eve every single tree of the garden for food…
  • Why did they ultimately insist on having the fruit of the only tree that was off-limits?
  • Why were they so consumed with what they couldn’t have over and above of what they had been given?
  • Have you contemplated what you have been given?

Oh child of God…

  • Have you thought through the magnitude of your salvation?
  • Have you considered the calling and the depths of what it means to be a child of God?
  • You’ve been given life…
  • You’ve been given the leadership of the Holy Spirit…
  • You’ve been given the joys of Christ…
  • You’ve been given calling of Christ…
  • Maybe your stuck in the season of life and you can’t quiet get over what you do not have.
  • Maybe you just can’t get job you want…
  • Maybe you just can’t seem to find that significant other…
  • Maybe you just can’t get ahead financially…
  • Maybe you just can’t make any progress spiritually…
  • Oh could you understand that in your thinking that God is withholding something from you…
  • That in the depths of your soul, it’s you that is withholding from God…
  • Maybe your withholding your trust…
  • Maybe your withholding your faith…
  • Maybe your withholding your purpose and your calling…
  • Maybe your withholding from risks and you just want to be comfortable…
  • Let me show you how this plays out in the scripture…
  • Go with me to John 3…
  • We encounter a very familiar story…

Nicodemus…(John 3:1-16)

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night he came by night because he was withholding as he sought to retain his public status and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? This man was withholding his trust Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” This man was withholding risks as he was seeking after ease and comfort in this life Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

In other words…

  • Faith declares no more me…
  • Faith declares for I have surrendered all…
  • Faith declares for I have decided to follow Jesus…
  • For God so loved the world that He gave Jesus that you might believe…
  • Through your believing in the spoken word of God you can pass from death unto life…
  • The abandonment that Christ experience should have been your abandonment…
  • The persecution that Christ endured should have been your persecution…
  • The hatred that Christ walked through should have been your hatred…
  • The rejection of Christ should have been your rejection…
  • The death of Christ should have been your death…
  • Oh but I have good news…(Ephesians 1:4-5)

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…

  • He has chose you…
  • He has set you apart to be called Holy before Himself…
  • He has adopted us unto Himself…
  • According to His perfect will you have been called unto Christ Jesus…
  • You’ve not been called for less than…
  • You’ve not been called for mediocre ministry…
  • You’ve not been called to fix your eyes on what you do not have…
  • Oh child of God look up…
  • Look to the Heavens…
  • You’ve been called to life in Christ…
  • Christ has been given all power under Heaven and earth…
  • Christ has been given power over death…
  • What can stop the love of our God?
  • Oh would you stand up in the love of Christ?
  • You’ve been called for more!
  • Stop withholding and start worshipping!
  • Maybe your sitting their thinking…
  • How do I worship in the pain?
  • How do I worship when all I do is worry?
  • Hear me….Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Psalm 149 & 150
Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly! Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre! For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation. Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the Lord!”

“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

  • You see…
  • Nicodemus couldn’t stop thinking about what he didn’t have to fully comprehend what he had at his fingertips…
  • He had religion…
  • He had the Law…
  • He had significance…
  • He had influence…
  • The these are great and honorable…
  • Oh but he was standing before the King.
  • Jesus surpasses religion.
  • Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law.
  • Jesus is the epitome of significant.
  • Jesus is the depths of influence.
  • To walk in this life based upon the depths of who Christ is powerfully influences who you are and who you will be.
  • With Christ you are more than a conquerer…
  • With Christ you have been bright from death to life…
  • With Christ you will live from everlasting to everlasting…
  • Nicodemus was standing with Jesus and couldn’t get his eyes off of the limitations…
  • Nicodemus was claiming that our God was withholding life yet Nicodemus was the one withholding his trust…
  • What are you withholding?

3. Will you believe?

  • What are you looking for?
  • Jesus is the bread of life…
  • Jesus is the answer your seeking after…
  • Jesus is the joy that you desire…
  • Secondly, what are you withholding?
  • Jesus is faithful.
  • Jesus is love.
  • Jesus is calling you into deeper.
  • Lastly, let me ask you “will you believe?”
  • You see, in this walk with Christ we will be measured in eternity based upon the depths of how much we were willing to believe?
  • Will you believe that Christ offers life everlasting?
  • Christ offers life to the lost.
  • Christ offers sight to the blind.
  • If you are here and you have never given your life to Jesus, He is here.
  • Jesus is calling.
  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only son that He might have you.
  • Jesus wants you just as you are.
  • If you are here and you have never given your life to Christ today run to the altar.
  • Run to Jesus.
  • Run to the salvation that He offers.
  • Run, do not hesitate, run.
  • Run, do not tolerate the lies of the enemy, do not wait, run to Jesus.
  • But let me say this…
  • We find in scripture the prefect picture of a person willing to believe Jesus against all odds…
  • We find in scripture the most raw, authentic, and sincere response to the cross in the bible…

The thief on the cross…

  • This man was hanging next to Jesus just moments before the crucifixion…
  • He was guilty…
  • He was full of shame and regret…
  • He was moments away from death because of his criminal actions…
  • He was stained with sin and corruption…
  • But the bible records that this thief had one thing that you and I desperately need…
  • There is one thing that you and I need to powerfully walk with Christ and that is the willingness to believe.
  • Believe!
  • Oh would you believe that this Jesus is the Christ!?
  • He has conquered death, Hell, and the grave.
  • Surely He can conquer your situations….
  • Would you believe?
  • Would you believe that Jesus wants to use you?
  • Would you believe that Jesus could use you?
  • Would you believe that Jesus wants to bless you?
  • Would you believe that Jesus wants to open your eyes to the Heavens?
  • Would you believe with all of your heart?
  • Would you trust and believe?

In love,
Pastor Tyler

 

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