Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jesus said, I AM the Resurrection and the Life

Throughout Scripture, God reveals His character through encounters with His people. 
Jesus’ I AM statements in John’s Gospel give a three-dimensional illustration of God in the person of Jesus Christ.
Our previous I AM encounters have included Jesus as the Bread of Life, Living Water, Light of the World, The Door and the Good Shepherd.

Today we meet Him as the Resurrection and the Life in John 11:25.

Jesus heard news that His friend, Lazarus was sick and then died. After a delayed arrival, He raised Lazarus from the dead calling him out from the tomb. This event was more than a miracle.

Everything Jesus did had a deeper purpose.

He wanted His followers (and us) to know that HE IS the resurrection. It’s as if Jesus is saying, I am the reason, the cause, and the power in the resurrection.

Jesus is the source of life. He gives life. He restores life. He is life.

Soon after He raises His friend, Lazarus from the dead, Jesus also died and then rose again on the third day. His followers began to understand that He would do the same for them as followers who proclaim Him as Savior and Lord.

It's easier for me to understand these I AM statements this way:

The King or President of a nation represents an office—they have authority to fulfill what they say because of WHO they are. When we hear one say, I am the President of the United States, we understand they carry out this authority in all their actions. They embody the position in everything they say and do.

Jesus is the bread because He is everything we need; fresh for our daily needs. He is the Word—daily food for our spiritual growth.

He is the Living Water that flows from His Spirit – Fresh water, not the stagnant puddle of water that the world makes available. He gives all that satisfies and refreshes.

By saying I AM…Jesus is the fullness and authority of these attributes. They are part of His identity. God's identity. This name goes back to Exodus when God told Moses to tell the Israelite slaves in Egypt, I AM had sent him.


Jesus is the resurrection because without Him there would be no chance of life after death—no deliverance from the stranglehold Satan has on our earthly presence. Jesus died and rose again to break the fetters that hold us spiritually captive. He broke the bonds of death for eternity and gives us life in its place.

Without His death and resurrection, there would be no hope for life after death for us. So, He is truly the Resurrection and the Life. Life abundant here and life everlasting are ours. All because of HIM.

How has Jesus been the Resurrection and Life to you?



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 Resurrection Resources:


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Growth Needs A Plan

copyright Jeanne Doyon

Summer is finally here and I'm spending a little time each day tending my herb garden. I love seeing the new growth...chives, oregano, thyme and parsley. My potted flowers are flourishing too. Butterflies and hummingbirds make daily visits and I love watching them.

The summer brings a break from our crazy schedules. Even the church calendar slows down. But, with that comes less opportunities to gather around the Word. So we need a growth plan.

I began this year with the word Intentional. Though I am looking forward to the slower pace, I want to plan ways to grow spiritually. Will you join me? 

Here are a few ideas to get into the Word of God during the summer months. I would love to hear from you as you discover ways to grow in your knowledge of Him.

Summer Growth Ideas:

Choose One of the Gospels
Read one chapter a week (reread it each day) taking note of things like people, conflicts, lists, Words of Jesus, or Common themes.

Circle or underline the words: If, Then, Therefore, So That, All, and take note of Promises, Warnings, Good news, Bad news, etc.
Take note of things that stand out to you (words, phrases, repeated thoughts)
What is God saying to you through His Living Word?
How does what you discover impact you today?

Choose a Theme/Topic (love, peace, forgiveness, holiness, etc.)
Use a concordance (see suggestions below) to compile a list of verses for your word study
Memorize verses that especially speak to you. (Hide the Word in your heart)
Keep a journal.
How does your word study transform your thinking about your chosen topic.

Choose a Biblical Character
Read everything about them in Scripture, using cross references. You may find references to Old Testament people in the New Testament, so do a comprehensive search.

Take note of their strengths, weaknesses, sins, fears, attitudes, accomplishments, etc.
Note contrasts in their personalities
Before and after – How are they transformed?
What did they learn from their encounters?
Make connections to your life. How are you like or unlike this character?

copyright Jeanne Doyon
There are many other topics and study resources available. You may want to consider delving into the parables of Jesus, customs of Bible times, Biblical Geography, Old Testament feasts and their New Testament connections and more. 

Like a garden, tend a little area this summer and watch your spiritual growth increase.

What plans do you have for growth this summer?

I'll keep you posted on my growth plan...enjoy the summer break!

Online Bible Study Tools: 

This is one of my favorite study resources:

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Jesus says, I AM the Shepherd

We’ve been discovering Jesus through His I AM statements. Last time we encountered Him as the Door. This is an image of Him as our protector and way to find peace and pasture.

Throughout John chapter ten, Jesus draws parallels about sheep and their shepherd. A good shepherd protects his sheep from thieves and predators. He tenderly cares for every need and watches over his flock. He knows each sheep and calls them by name. And his sheep know his voice. This is in contrast to a false shepherd who is the first to run at any sign of trouble or danger.

It was common for multiple sheep herders to gather their sheep into a common sheepfold overnight and then call their sheep out in the morning. Each shepherd’s call was distinct, combining songs, words and pitches. The sheep responded to their shepherd’s voice—the voice of the one who called and cared for them since they were lambs. Jesus then calls Himself the Good Shepherd who will lay down His life for the sheep.

In my study of the shepherd I found something interesting, clearing up a misconception. I always thought a rod and a staff were the same thing but discovered they are different.

The Shepherd Carries Four Essentials:

A Scrip – A shoulder bag to carry his food and other needs. You will remember David putting five smooth stones in his bag when he went up against Goliath.

A Sling – An offensive and defensive weapon to protect the sheep. They didn’t have sheep dogs so to call a sheep back from wandering, the shepherd would fling a stone just past the sheep’s nose to redirect it. A Shepherd was very skilled with his sling and his accuracy was remarkable. This also makes me think of David, the one who killed the lion, a bear and then killed Goliath with his sling and a smooth stone.

A Staff – A short wooden club studded with nails at one end, slung by a strap and carried on the shepherd’s belt. The staff was another weapon to protect the sheep against wild animals or thieves.

A Rod – This long walking stick had a crook on one end used for guiding the sheep or pulling them to safety. Sheep in distress could be lifted from a ravine using the crook of the rod. When the shepherd called the sheep back to the fold at night, he would hold the rod across the entrance and each sheep passed under it while being inspected for cuts or injury.

(Adapted from Barclay, William, The Daily Bible Study Series, Gospel of John Vol. 2 ©1975)

These shepherd’s tools give me a clear picture of God’s provision, protection and guidance. He is a gentle Shepherd whose focus is on the tender care and undying defense of His flock.

We are His Sheep

Throughout Scripture God is referred to as a Shepherd; and we are sheep. Sheep aren’t very clever. They are easy prey and can’t defend themselves. They are skittish, don’t like moving water, and are unable to right themselves if they fall. These defenseless creatures tend to stray easily too. Sound familiar? There are frequent laments in Scripture about lost sheep and their need of a shepherd.

This description of a lost sheep describes me very well. I need the Good Shepherd’s protection. I need to be redirected when I wander. I also need His careful inspection of my wounds that need healing.

Jesus says, “I AM the Shepherd of the sheep”. He laid down his life protects us out of love. And once we discover our need of Him, we follow and begin to know His voice above all others.

How have you been rescued by the Shepherd? Can you identify with being a sheep?
Visit Sherry Carter's blog for more insight and a series written about the Shepherd in Psalm 123.

Sheep respond to their shepherd’s voice—the one who cared for them since they were lambs

Jesus says, “I AM the Shepherd of the sheep”

Read the previous I AM posts at  Bread of Life, Living Water, Light of the World and the Door
Images Courtesy of 

Discover more about the Good Shepherd: