“Jesus said to her, ‘I am he, the one who is speaking to you'”  – John 4:26

Screenshot 2020-03-31 at 2.12.47 PMIn the next few days, we will be looking at all the “I am” statements in the Gospel according to John. The “I am” statements have particular importance because these are things that Jesus claims for himself. I believe we are going to be comforted, strengthened, and encouraged as we gain a better understanding of who he is.

And this brings us to the very first “I am” statement in the Gospel according to John. And I think it is awesome that we begin here.

This comes at the tail end of Jesus encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. You can read about in John chapter 4. You ought to know that this particular account is one of the longest pericopes in John.

Jesus and the Samaritan woman are talking back and forth and she announces “I know that the Messiah is coming (who is called the Christ). When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us” (John 4:25).

To which Jesus responds, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you” (John 4:26).

What we don’t get in the English is that Jesus respond to the Samaritan woman who is waiting for the Messiah with the Greek word for – YHWH. “I am he” is the translation of the Hebrew word for God – Yahweh. The name of God, YHWH, was so holy that the Jews would not even utter it aloud. Every time they would come across the name of God they would say, “Adonai,” (my LORD) instead of saying aloud the name of God.

The first “I am” statement by Jesus reminds us that he is God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, that he is sovereign, almighty, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, awesome, loving, forgiving, steadfast, always for us GOD!!!


As we face another day in social isolation during the pandemic, know this. We are never alone. YHWH is with us!

Gratitude – For What are You Thankful For?

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“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs” – Psalm 69:30-31

What are you thankful for? For what do you praise the LORD?

Take a moment, take a deep breath, and ask yourself these two questions.

I know. We’re right in the middle of a pandemic. The numbers keep getting worse and the stories keep getting scarier by the day.


I love this word. Because everything changes after this word.

But, I want you to take your eyes off the pandemic and focus on praise and thanksgiving. Take a good look at your life right now and ask, “What am I thankful for? For what do I praise the LORD?”

I mean it. Seriously. Do this.

Here are things I am grateful for.

First, I am thankful that the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace people all have houses to stay in. That none of us have to wonder where we’re getting our next meal. Everyone I’ve spoken with has plenty of food, a comfortable house, a nice TV, access to books, the internet, movies, a smart phone, and even toilet paper!

Thank you God! Praise the LORD! I thank God my family and the church family are well.

Secondly, I thank God for this time. Without the Covid-19 virus, there’s no way I would have had this much time with my college girls. I can’t remember the last time where we shared so many meals together, had so many game nights and movie nights. I am loving having the college girls home. This may very well be the last time we get to hang out like this as a family for this duration of time for the rest of our lives!

Thank you God! Praise the LORD! I thank God for this time with my family.

So, what are you thankful for? For what do you praise the LORD? I would love for you to comment and share with others what you are thankful for.

Joy In Suffering

Screenshot 2020-03-26 at 5.08.46 PM“In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials” – 1 Peter 1:6

Joy in suffering.


Throughout church history, Christians rejoiced. In good times and in bad times. Through tribulation and persecution, through disease and death, through famines and wars, Christians rejoiced.

It wasn’t that Christians were immune from suffering and trials. The incredible reality is that Christians rejoiced even in the face of suffering, tribulation, and trials.

How is that possible?

The key is the phrase “In this.” In what? What’s the secret?

1 Peter 1:3-5 tells us the content of “In this”:

“Blessed be the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

The promise of the resurrection and inheritance of eternal life changed everything for the Christians. There was no persecution, no amount of suffering, no hardship, not even the threat of death that could take away the promises of the resurrection. Christ purchased for Christians an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. This gift was purchased through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This resurrection reality changed everything for the Christian.

In our days of global pandemic, what is our hope? What is our strength? To live a few more days? years? No. Our hope is Jesus Christ. Our strength is in the promise of the resurrection. The gift of eternal life is a gift no one, no-thing, can ever take away from Christians.

In this – the power of the resurrection – we rejoice, even if now for a little while we have to suffer various trials.

It is fitting that we are currently preparing for Holy Week. This Easter is going to rock! We are people of the resurrection. Easter changes everything!

“In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials.”