I thank the Lord that He is still teaching me. This week it would have been easier just to share what He is doing in my life. My experiences in His grace and care are more than books can hold and the words seem to flow.
But, this newly published project Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ the Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian is not as easy as I thought it would be. It is taking more study and time than I had anticipated. Yet, it is doing its work in me. The language of a Christian is becoming more and more of a challenge and beginning to replace some of the common vocabulary I formerly used. The study of this word AM has drawn me to learn more of what I am to be in Christ, the Great I AM.
How difficult would you expect the research to be for the word AM? I have gleaned and present the two most important uses. I readily admit that I cannot do justice to this word. If you have more to add, please comment.
The first and most important is the word used in quoting God’s own words about Himself ~ “I AM.”
The second is the quote of the people of God when they say “I am.”
The Old Testament
The expression “I AM the LORD” is quoted 161 times in the Old Testament, sometimes with the addition of “your God.” Other times He describes His role.
“And he said unto him, I AM the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” Genesis 15:7
In Exodus 15:6 He describes Himself, “I AM the LORD that healeth thee.”
In Exodus 31:13 “I AM the LORD that doth sanctify thee.”
“I AM the LORD that maketh all things” (Isaiah 44:24);
“I AM the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:24).
The following quote from Isaiah 44:2-8 includes “I AM the first and I AM the last” from the LORD and from His witnesses “I am the Lord’s.” Take these words to heart as you read this passage of God’s Word and rejoice that you can say, “I am the Lord’s.”
“Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:
4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.
5 One shall say, I am the Lord‘s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.
6 Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.
8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
Ezekiel 39:7 is only one of many quotes from the prophet using the terms they shall know that “I am the LORD.” This quote identifies Him as the Holy One in Israel.
“So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.”
The term “I AM” is quoted 200 times in the New Testament.
The first is in the negative “I am not worthy” from John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11, but here he attributes the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire to one who is coming, “mightier than I.”
How appropriate is the first positive “I AM” when at Jesus’ baptism, came “a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
The same expression is recorded in Matthew 17:5 at the Transfiguration.
And second is the first “I AM” expressed by Jesus in Matthew 5:17, in which he states His purpose for being there.
So as not to make this entry any longer, I ask that you use the link to discover all the uses of Jesus’ expression. You will also find Paul’s uses of the term that would be good for us to study and claim as our own.
1 Corinthians 15:10 is Paul’s well-known use of these words.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
Revelation 1:18 is the last use of the words “I Am”. How blessed are we to know the one who spoke these words to John for our knowledge and faith.
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
Our gracious heavenly Father, who spoke creation into existence, who is the God of the living and gave us your Son who has given us eternal life, we praise you. By your Spirit, enable us to hallow your name and to say with all confidence, “I am the Lord’s.” In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.