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Men's blog

Archive for April 2016

I am…

Finish this statement, “I am ____________.” What did you come up with? Most of us will finish this statement with where we find our identity. “I am a parent” or “I am a husband”. Maybe you find your identity in your career. “I am a VP at ABC Inc.” Perhaps you find your identity in what the world says you should be. “I am willing to do whatever necessary to get ahead.”

Jesus has no doubt who He is. He spoke the truth about Himself. Even in the face of persecution He was willing to say, “I am _________.” John’s gospel records seven I am statements and this week, we are going to look at the second I am statement that Jesus spoke. “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).

In John’s gospel, light is a metaphor for biblical truth and life – spiritual life as well as eternal life. Whereas darkness is a metaphor for wrong-doing or sin. You see, Jesus, as the light of the world, brings true knowledge and moral purity to this dark world; His light shows the presence of God. Think of the pillar of fire in Exodus 13:21. Through this pillar of fire God was with His people protecting them and literally guiding them through the wilderness. As the light of the world, Jesus brings us protection and guidance.

Through the guidance that Jesus’ light brings, we see ourselves how we truly are: sinners in need of a Savior. When we make the choice to follow Jesus, the Light of the world, guides us to avoid walking blindly and protects us from falling into the traps of what the world says “I am.” Jesus, the true Light, lights the path in front of us so we can see how to live, and Jesus, the true Light, removes the darkness of sin from our lives if we are willing to accept Him. So friends, have you allowed the Light of the world to shine in your life.

Jesus tells His followers, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Is your light helping others navigate the darkness in their lives? Is your light lighting the path to the Light of the world?

Be a light that shines bright!

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Who Are You?

Who are you? At first this question may seem trivial, but I assure you, there is nothing trivial about answering this question. Most of us will answer the question, “Who are you” by where we find our identity in life. So, “Who are you?” I am a father. I am a mother. I am a husband. I am a wife. I am an accountant. I am a teacher. I am the vice president of ABC Company. I am a Cornhusker. I am a Jayhawk. You see, when you answer the question “Who are you?” you answer it with an “I am” statement. I wonder how many of you answered the question, “Who are you?” with an answer like, “I am a child of God” or “I am a disciple of Jesus” or “I am a Christian”. My guess is that most of you didn’t answer “who are you” by identifying yourself with God. Why not? I think that in our daily lives many of us just don’t identify our lives with God. We tend to separate ourselves from Him and compartmentalize Him so that He doesn’t cause discomfort for us in our lives in the world. Agree or disagree?

You see friends, Jesus had no doubt who he was even if it caused discomfort, or challenges, or persecution in the world in which He lived? When asked the question, “Who are you”, Jesus would answer the question with an “I am” statement. In fact, he did so seven times in John’s gospel. Over the next seven weeks, we will look at each of these statements.

The first is, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35). We eat bread to satisfy our physical hunger and sustain physical life. For us, as followers of Jesus, He is the “bread of life” that nourishes us spiritually and satisfies the deepest longings of our souls. So, when you answer the question “who are you” by identifying your life with Jesus and inviting Christ into your daily walk, you “will never go hungry” (John 6:35) and your spiritual desire to know God will be satisfied (John 4:14).

So, if someone looked at your spiritual life, what kind of bread would they say you are? Wonder bread? Whole grain? Sour dough? Moldy? Crusty? A heel? Fresh baked? (There is nothing better than fresh baked bread).

Self evaluation time: How are you being the bread of life for another person? How are you investing in another person and nourishing their spiritual life.

Who are you?

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Do Not Be Afraid

What are you afraid of? Me, I am deathly afraid of spiders. If I see a spider, I will run out of the room screaming like a baby with my hands flailing in the air. Then I yell for my wife to protect me from that eight-legged creature of death. But what about you; what are you afraid of? Failure? Death? Happiness? Love? What is it that makes you afraid? How about sharing the good news of Jesus with others? How does that make you feel?

This past Sunday we celebrated Easter, the greatest day of the year, the day that Jesus defeated death and rose from the grave, the day He was resurrected. In Matthew’s Gospel, the first command Jesus gives to the people who saw Him after His resurrection is: “Do not be afraid” (Matthew 28:10). Jesus gives this command, because He understands how fear can silence a witness. This fear is present in many of us today and it keeps us from sharing the Good News with others. But I wonder, how can we experience the greatest event in history and not want to tell somebody about it. The resurrection is a fear remover.

Being a witness doesn’t mean that I have to be an expert in theology or know all the answers to tough questions about Christianity. Being a witness is simply knowing that the Gospel is true and that Jesus is real and has changed my life. This is encouraging because most of us think of witnessing as being an expert in the subject of Christianity. But I am reminded that it’s about being a witness to who Jesus is and how he changed my life. All followers of Jesus, we all have a life changing story that we can share. So, in the words of Jesus, “Do not be afraid” to share how Jesus has changed your life.

“Now, Lord…enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness” (Acts 5:29).

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)