LIVING IN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Author: Dr. Yvonne Huggins-Mclean
Genesis 15:1 After this, the WORD of THE LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Don’t be afraid, Abram, “I AM your shield, your very great reward.” [New International translation]
Exodus 3:14: And GOD said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and HE said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. [King James translation]
John 6:32, 35: JESUS said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my FATHER who gives you the true bread from heaven.…”Then JESUS declared, “I am the bread of life….” [New International translation]
John 14:1, 6: “Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting GOD, now trust in me…. I am the Way---yes, and the Truth and the Life. No man can get to the FATHER except by means of ME….” [Living Bible translation]
GOD seeks a relationship with you and me. Many of the “I AM” statement describes what GOD will be to us or how GOD will relate to us.
In Genesis 15:1, GOD tells Abram (before GOD changed his name to Abraham) that GOD would shield Abram, so Abram need not fear. Abram just had to continue to obey and have faith.
In Exodus 3:14, GOD doesn’t just state that “I AM,” referring to GOD self-existence, but HE specifically instructs Moses to tell the children of Israel, “I AM hath sent me unto you,” basically telling the Israelites that GOD will be with them in their time of trouble.
The Book of John contains seven “I AM” statements of JESUS.
I am the Bread of Life(John 6:35)
I am the Light of the World(John 8:12)
I am the Door [or Gate] (John 10:9)
I am the Good Shepherd(John 10:11,14)
I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)
I am the Way and the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)
I am the True Vine(John 15:1,5)
In John 6, JESUS says as “THE BREAD” those who “come to me” “will never go hungry again.”
In John 8, JESUS says as “THE LIGHT” those who “follow” will not walk in darkness [or fear stumbling or fear walking the path]. In John 10, JESUS says, as “THE DOOR or GATE,” we (like sheep) need not fear how we will get in or out of difficult situations nor fear for our safety nor worry about “green pastures,” because we will be saved. JESUS is the “GOOD SHEPHERD.”
In John 11, comforting a grieving Martha, JESUS says as the RESURRECTION” and “THE LIFE,” those who believe need not fear death because they shall live again.
In John 14, comforting his disciples JESUS tells them they don’t have to be troubled or concerned about the twists, turns, and complexities of life, because if they know JESUS, JESUS is “THE WAY,” “THE TRUTH” and “THE LIFE.”
In John 15, JESUS reminds us that living in this world will be painful, sometimes for our own good as when THE GARDENER (THE FATHER) corrects or “prunes” us like a grapevine. Sometimes the pain will come from the world (because not everyone will love us or be kind, some in the world will hate us because and some followers will be persecuted) but JESUS says as “THE TRUE VINE” (and we the branches) all we have to do is “abide” in JESUS.
GOD and JESUS states “I AM.” We just need to follow, be obedient, believe, persevere, and have faith, as we trust and live in a relationship with GOD.
PARTNERING FOR HEALTH
Sometimes it is good to work out with a partner. Here are a few exercises to consider:
Each partner should lie on their backs with their feet flat on the floor and their knees bent.
One of you should hold a beach ball or a medicine ball (or small pillow) extended overhead
Simultaneously perform a sit-up and partner hold the ball passes it to the other at the top of the movement then lower back down to the floor
The partner with the ball taps it on the floor behind them.
Repeat the movement and continue to pass the ball back and forth.
[Modification: Each partner should sit in straight back chairs, with their feet flat on the floor facing each other but close enough so they can pass a ball. The partner holding the ball should make sure their shoulders are not overextended but lined up so they are sitting up straight. The one holding the ball should turn their waist as far to the left as possible, keeping their feet and legs planted. The upper body is relaxed. Then turn the waist back to center and turn to the right, again keeping the feet and legs planted. Then raise the ball straight up overhead and lower it to start position before passing it to the other partner who will repeat the same sideways waist movement. Go side to side (right and left) as you continue to hand the ball off to the other partner.]
PUSH-UP With SHOULDER TAP
Face your partner as you assume a high-plank position on a mat. Then perform a push-up together.
At the top of the push-up, tap your partner’s left shoulder with your right hand.
Your partner then does the same tap.
With each push-up alternate hands and shoulder taps.
[Modification: Each partner should lie their stomachs on mats facing each other. Each partner will rise up and “Pattycake” the other partner (with opposite hands) and then slowly lower yourself down. Repeat, seeing how many “Pattycakes” you can perform.]
If you have a medical condition, balance problems, or taking medication, consult your personal physician about the right exercise for you. If you get dizzy, discontinue immediately and again consult your physician.
PARTNERING FOR PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL HEALTH
Each time you read a Wednesday devotional you are in partnership, with GOD and with other readers. You are reading the WORD and praying, one for another. Every prayer counts. So, please keep praying!
Every effort you make to improve your physical and spiritual health strengthens someone else---your family, your church, and others. You also strengthen your body, the home of the HOLY SPIRIT.
So, live in relationship with GOD and allow GOD to live in you. Let GOD be the “I AM” in your life.
Be faithful, be vigilant and keep trusting GOD! Keep on keeping on!
Thank you for being great Wednesday partners! And, BE BLESSED!