As many of you have noticed, our youth are gearing up for Lads to Leaders which is a leadership training program that we participate in every Easter weekend over at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. Thousands of kids up through college age come from all over to present their speeches, lead songs, read scripture, present their art projects and scrap books as well as present puppet shows and all kinds of other things that I simply don’t have the space to list. The theme this year for Lads to Leaders is “I AM” which comes from Exodus 3 where Moses has this interaction with God at the burning bush. As a result, I’ve been mulling this scripture over in my mind quite a bit.
13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. (Exodus 3:13-15 ESV)
The first time I read that when I was younger I really didn’t get what God was trying to say. Why not just say “God has sent me”? Seems like that would have been easy enough right? However, God was trying to send a message to the Israelites who… had been not only in captivity for 400 years, but also subjected to a pantheon of gods. He didn’t want them to be confused. This isn’t some god calling you. This is the ONE TRUE UNCHANGING GOD. I now hear God saying, I AM is the one that is the same yesterday, today and forever more. I AM the God of your forefathers and I always keep my promises. You can trust me!
The thing that I’ve been asking is “what does this mean for me?” As I think about how God never changes… is that something that changes my perspective on him and his place in my life? Is that something that can strengthen me and help me in the direction I’m heading and with the obstacles in my way? Is that something that others need to hear? What do you think? I’d love to hear what you come up with. Track me down in the foyer, stop by the office or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll be praying you hear God’s message!
Striving alongside you for the prize,