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Monday, March 30, 2015

Seek The Good Shepherd

Let's take a look at the word shepherd today. We will use John 10:14 as our text, which says, "I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine." All throughout Jesus' ministry, he was about his Father's business and he, Jesus, is there to be The Way. Some may consider shepherd as a Pastor, but that is limiting the word. I believe the word shepherd is undervalued. A shepherd is also considered the protector, and feeder. When I look at these definitions, my mind starts asking questions.

  1. Jesus, the feeder ... If I am not digging in to the Word of God, then you are not eating from the hand of The Good Shepherd. So, who is feeding me or what am I being fed?
  2. Jesus, the protector ... If I am letting every emotional situation make me waffle in my faith, or if ever situation is getting me riled up, chances are I do not know The Good Shepherd as my protector. So, who is protecting me?
  3. Jesus, the ruler ... If I am waffling in faith, not eating from God's hand, and so on, then chances are I are not being ruled by The Good Shepherd. So, who is ruling me?
Jesus goes on to say, "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." If you are not being shepherd, then you are dealing with someone who has their interest as a higher priority. God has a personal investment in us. He desires to reestablish His relationship with us. He designed us, but sin has put such a barrier between God and man that we have been hoodwinked into thinking that this world has more to offer. The master of this work is but a hired hand. We've heard the expression, no one treats your stuff like you. Well its the same here. The Devil only has his intentions as his priority - to seek, kill, and destroy.  God wants to give you his riches and glory, whereas the adversary is like a wolf - sneaky, cunning, and clever. The chapter goes on speaking of "the seizing and scattering" of the adversary, which shows how this hostile power not only devastates, but destroys; not only crushes individuals, but ruins Churches, families, and relationships. The sheep do not belong to him, as they do to a good shepherd. In fact, there is no living bond of common interest links them to each other. Only through The Good Shepherd.  Seek The Good Shepherd!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Jesus Christ as Our Everything. 

We never really realize how often we put our lives in the hands of others throughout the day. Sending our kids off to school, driving to work, relying on doctors, medics, crossing the street, expecting your employer to have your paycheck ready, the list goes on.  For some reason it is easier to put our hope and faith in the hands of complete strangers, than to put yourself in the hands of God.  It's amazing when we receive an invitation from a perfect God, we put up our biggest defenses. John 5:40 says, 'yet you refuse to come to me to have life.  We are offered an abundant life'  (John 10:10).  I'm talking EVERLASTING; more than we know to deal with. This life comes with the comforts arising from it, all the promises,  and blessings relating to it.  God genuinely seeks our companionship and love. The bible says, 'We love, because He first loved us.'

BECAUSE He first loved us. Let our prayer not be we, the imperfect people,  chose death over life because we struggle with serving a God that wants us to have life and have it abundantly.

Instead, let our prayer be to surrender ourselves completely to our Lord God and accept Jesus Christ as our everything. May we learn to trust his journey when it does not line up with our thoughts.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Prayer 3/26/2015

Let our prayer today be, "God, please remove anything in our life that is taking the place of you. Prune every branch in me that does not bear fruit, so that I may organically bear more fruit. Fill me with the fruits of your spirit, grace, and righteousness. Amen" 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sharing Your Overflow

We as people have this life all wrong. We tend to think our life is all about US. However, this is not the case. We were created to make somebody else's life better. Somebody needs what we have ...  our smile, our love, our words, and our encouragement.  We do the world a disservice when we sit, get fed,  and don't share. We have to be careful of getting spiritually fat. The love of God in us should provoke us enough to want to see others doing better. Our overflow should actually be overflowing,  not sitting at the brim of our cup. The anointing Jesus had overflowed to his Apostles, changing their lives and allowing them to effectively effect the world. That has all been passed down to us.  Each one of us has something that can help another breakthrough. 

If you see someone that is in need of some encouragement or help, lend a hand,  smile, conversation,  love,  etc. The spirit of God will take advantage of any opportunity to have God's Will move forth,  but we cannot be timid. Be bold today!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

God's Plan > Your Plan

A simple one today. Remember who is King. Your plans in life need to line up with God's plan for you. Otherwise you are serving yourself and not God. We want to be in line with God.  Jeremiah 17:5-8 encourages us in order to be fruitful in life we must trust God. Take these 2 plants. We can see clearly one plant is dried up with not stable roots and the other is  starting to get nice vibrant green colors. If you look closely you can see some brown spots on a few leaves. This because at one time this plant was also in the desert. Using a little bit of imagery, you can see how God is healing this plant from its neglect, it's wounds,  it's hurts, fill in the blank. If you know about plants,  then you know healthy plant exudes a vibrant green luster, whereas leaves and stems suffering from nutrient deficiencies change from green to various other colors. Put your trust in God's plans and He will order your steps.



Monday, March 23, 2015

Comfort and Compassion

Kayla Montgomery is one of the best distance runners in the USA. She is also one of the only ones that literally gets caught and scooped up at the finish line. Kayla has Multiple Sclerosis as her body heats up the feeling in her legs literally goes away. She feels like her legs are not even there. She is unable to come to a controlled stop at the finish line. So her coach Patrick Cromwell is always there waiting to help her stop, scoop her up, and help her as she cools down. In this video Kayla’s last high school race takes a tragic, very dramatic turn for the worst. As you watch you will see this girl is a fighter, and she will have you on the edge of your seat cheering. - Video Here 
  - Excerpt from FaithReel.com

For 4 years Kayla relied on Patrick to catch her after every grueling race and for 4 years Patrick committed to catching Kayla. We may feel sad for Kayla and have a lot of compassion for Patrick, but let's look for God in this. Despite her diagnosis, she presses on. Despite, the effort it takes to care for his athlete, Patrick presses on. Kayla continues to pursue a sport that is draining to her body, trusting her coach will be at the finish line every time, regardless of the race. If Kayla needs him, he is there. Kayla and Patrick are examples of how God loves us. Bear with me and flip perspectives on this relationship.  God wants us to run his race as well, but that is not my point. The point is, whether the situation is marginal, or extraordinary, God wants to be there for us.  He wants to especially help us get through the discomforts. Our race does not stop, but God wants to help. We will always encounter helpless situations, because we are not God, but with God we will get through. God would not offer himself up as the comforter if he did intend to comfort us in our troubles (2 Corinthians 1:4).  He comforts us so we may comfort others. Patrick is doing more than catching his athlete. He is comforting her because she is helpless. She is trusting because she knows she is helpless. This is why it is important to have compassion for others.  So if you see someone today that could use some "catching" show some compassion, provide some comfort. You may be the only opportunity for that person today.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Thank You Lord God

I find it to be very rewarding when I pray to God and I request nothing. I pray to God with just Thank You.
"Thank you for you grace Lord. Thank you for giving your strength and doing you will in my life. Thank you for giving me enough patience to deal with the toughness of life."
It reminds me of my daughter. There are many,  many times where she asks for everything in the store.  I mean everything.  I know many can relate. She wants something to take home,  something for her birthday, and something for Christmas.  Smh...  Pray for me! But there are the special times when she just comes up and says,  "Thank you daddy for my lunch.  It was good. Can you make it tomorrow."  It warms my heart so much! I can only imagine it is that x10 for our father. Not only is it a sign of appreciation, but also a sign of trust and confidence in His provision.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Jeremiah 17:5-8


God desires to produce fruit in our lives as a result of our trust in relationship with him. In order to trust in God, it involves growth in thoughts, speak, and actions. Ironically these are the same things needed to show growth in character. In order to trust God, you need to untrust yourself. When we put our trust in ourselves we cannot be trusted and makes you susceptible to failure. Putting our faith in God, (trust) we have increase. The Lord repays our trust because He is by nature trustworthy (Is. 7:9). The close similarity between vv. 7, 8 and Ps. 1:1–3 suggests that trust in the Lord entails obedience. A tree planted by water, symbolizes strength in a dry country (Is. 44:4).

The sin condemned here is trusting in man and putting that confidence in the wisdom and power, the kindness and faithfulness, of men, which should be placed in those attributes of God only. The duty required of us is to trust in the Lord and to depend upon him. When deceit, sin, threats, or the devil's little imps come knocking, we should be going to God as all-sufficient. This makes God the Lord our hope and His favor the good we hope for and His power the strength we hope in.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

God's Justice and Mercy

God is both a God who judges with justice, and also a God of mercy. How can he combine these two apparently contradictory characteristics? The answer is that the sacrifice of Jesus has made it possible for God to combine both justice and mercy.  Let's use this illustration that help understand what Jesus achieved for us on the cross: 

Two people went through school and university together and developed a close friendship. Life went on and they went their separate ways and lost contact. One went on to become a judge, while the other's life spiralled down and he ended up as a criminal. One day the criminal appeared before the judge. He had committed a crime to which he pleaded guilty. The judge recognised his old friend and faced the dilemma, which, in effect, God faces. He was a judge so he had to be just; he couldn't simply let the man off.  On the  other hand, he wanted to be merciful, because he loved his friend. So he fined him the correct penalty for the offence. That was justice. Then he came down from his position as judge and wrote a cheque for the amount of the fine. He gave it to his friend, saying that he would pay the penalty for him. That was an act of mercy, love and sacrifice.

The differences between the story and Christ (paraphrased):
  1. The penalty was worse than that for us, 
  2. The cost was higher than any fine and 
  3. The love was deeper than just two friends (it was the love of The Father) that paid our cost.


Nicky Gumbel, Bible In One Year Devotional Day 15, courtesy of HTB in London, www.bibleinoneyear.org for more info.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Grace and Forgiveness

I came across this during study time tonight... "Today, forgive those that have hurt you & forgive yourself so that you can walk in victory."  -  @Bible_Time.  Ask yourself what if God made GRACE or FORGIVENESS conditional? What if His love was conditional? Many times we are like Since we are already imperfect people,  we would be good enough. This is grace. The ability to still show favor and / or blessing regardless of the other's  transgressions. We have to get our mind going in a new direction because dwelling on negative thoughts will keep us from becoming all God has for us. 
Forgiving those who have wronged us is never easy. But withholding forgiveness is like allowing a tumor to spread aggressively through our body while ignoring the necessary treatment to eradicate it.   We often withhold forgiveness because those who have wounded us have yet to ask for forgiveness. But they may never ask! This could be for several reasons. I know we don't posses some Men in Black mind eraser tool,  but  this “forgive and forget”  mentality devalues the pain of our hurt. However, our Forgiveness dissolves that pain.  Just like God's forgiveness dissolves the guilt we have.
Proverbs 10 A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
    than a hundred blows into a fool. >>> Whoa, for a while I was the later on this one... To me this one deals with the heart.  Softened hearts can receive...  Hardened hearts always take offense and can do no wrong. Very prideful and foolish. Let our prayer today be for God to keep our hearts sensitive to his glory, softened to forgive and to receive correction. At some point in life the shoe will be known the other foot.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A New Definition

I happened to sit down the other night putting RJ,  my son,  to sleep and I caught the tail end of the the new version of The Odd Couple. There was a religious woman who's first date did not work out but she happened to meet another man who had a cross around his neck and was presented as "semi-religious". He offered her a drink at the bar and she gladly accepted. Why is it, the Christian has to be "semi-religious" on TV or compromised? Why does the Christian have to be over religious or stereotypical on TV? Why does the church have to be made fun of? If Satan can desensitise us about the church, Christendom, our foundation of faith, and convince us demoralization and hypocrisy of our faith is common and acceptable, it would deter us from defending the faith. A Barna Group study on Millennial Americans who leave the church, found 87% of non-Christians found the church “too judgmental,” and 85% found it “hypocritical.” Significant majorities called the church “old-fashioned” (78%) and “too involved in politics” (75%).

It is imperative we impart in the lives of others and be more committed to living holy and acceptable (2 Timothy 2:20-26). Otherwise, we end up letting society formulate the view of the church instead of us. We need to step our game up! We could be the ONLY bible someone ever opens, or the ONLY testament of Jesus someone ever hears. 


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spiritual Growth

A person desiring spiritual growth needs to LEARN to make time for God.

Prayer will make you more sensitive to God's presence.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Ignite Your Faith!

Faith is knowing God will do, not hoping God will do. Our greatest example is David, who only had faith and a rock to defeat his obstacle. All you need is faith in THE ROCK to defeat yours. 

What area of your life requires more faith? 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Life Matter: Discouragement

"Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
    those who are loyal have vanished from the human race" - Psalm 12:1.
David was discouraged as he wrote this psalm and uttered a statement that only led to more discouragement. He proclaimed that only he was faithful, and that everyone else was a group of disloyal malcontents. That is what discouragement can do to you: it causes you to distort reality and leads to a downward spiral from which it is difficult to escape. Elijah also manifested this kind of discouraging talk when he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too" (1 Kings). The Lord assured Elijah he was not the only one, but that there were 7,000 other faithful people. Are you discouraged? To whom can you go or what can do that will help you break your discouragement cycle? What is your self talk like? Is it feeding or curtailing your discouragement?

John Stanko - Life Matter: Discouragement

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Nehemiah

The book of Nehemiah in 10 words or less .... Returning Jewish exiles rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah, the King's Cup Bearer (wine taster either for quality or for poison or for both), was a commoner in a unique position. He had little power, but great influence. A cup bearer for royalty was not just a personal servant but also a trusted confidant and advisor, which is an office of great responsibility, power, and honor in the Persian Empire. Nonetheless, Nehemiah learns the exiled Jews that were permitted to return to Judah, have not restored the walls of Jerusalem after the Babylonian's destruction. Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem, against much paganism opposition, leading builders to help restore the walls. To their enemy's dismay, it happened within 52 days. Let's start at the beginning though. The #1 thing that Nehemiah did first was PRAY. After receiving bad news about the state of the Jerusalem walls, Nehemiah recognized God's holiness, asked for a hearing, confessed his sin, and asked for specific help in approaching the king. Nehemiah put God first and sought God's direction in his plans and concerns. In return, God prepared Nehemiah's heart and which gave God room to work.

How often are we pouring out our heart to God? How often are we giving God a specific request to answer? I once read a blog about 5 Reasons it Is Wise to Pour Out Your Heart to God ...

1. Because God hears
2. Because God knows
3. Because God cares
4. Because God’s timing is perfect
5. Because God can change…me!

Recognize our God is Holy and Sovereign. When you reveal your heart to God, He pours in His Grace. Grace, which is accessed only by faith, is the power of God by which He does righteousness through anyone who will yield to Him.  I always try to remember the most stable shape is a triangle. At the 2 bottom corners is you and the "thing you desire". God must be at the top-middle.  JESUS AT THE CENTER!




credit: http://steppinginthelight.com/5 Reasons it Is Wise to Pour Out Your Heart to God

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

2 Peter 1:4

2 Peter 1:4
And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

There are a lot of us struggling for whatever the reason may be -loneliness, depressions, worry, doubt, debt, etc. It is easy for us to get caught up on our every day routine struggles. Isn't it amazing how our thoughts focus on those things that less important, rather than the more important? Regardless of what our struggle is, our focus must remain on God.  I know, easier said than done. It is our flesh that is worried about the Earthly things.  If we are seeking God daily, we cannot help but establish a relationship fulfilled with His promises.  Just like we cannot expect to watch cable TV if we are not tapped into their cable source, we cannot expect God to move in your life if you are not tapped into him. When you are tapped in, it is easier to seek Him during our problems.




Monday, March 9, 2015

Preach the Word!

Be ready to spread the word whether or not the time is right. Point out errors, warn people, and encourage them. Be very patient when you teach. .... But you must keep a clear head in everything. Endure suffering. Do the work of a missionary. Devote yourself completely to your work. (2 Timothy 4:2, 5 GW)

Paul encouraged Timothy to preach he gospel to spread the Christian Faith throughout the world. We believe in Christ today because of people like Paul and Timothy. It may be inconvenient to take a stand for Christ or to tell others about his love, but preaching the word of God is our most important responsibility. This can be as simple as living a life that truly represents Jesus Christ.  We should always be prepared in season and out of season to serve God in any situation, being sensitive to our opportunities.  Keep your head in all situations because temptation is always at the door. Live a life that bears testimony to God's glory.  Be courageous!


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Words

Words Kill, Words Give Life, They're Either Poison or Fruit
Proverbs 18:21


Friday, March 6, 2015

God Won't Reject You

Romans 8:37-39 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

During the Korean war, there was a 19-year-old American guy who joined the army and he went to  fight in the Korean War. While he’s there he meets a girl, dates her for awhile, gets her pregnant, and then leaves to go home at the end of his tour.  He is never to be heard from again. Meanwhile the young Korean girl is faced with a huge burden to bear. Dating American soldiers was taboo in itself, but now she is pregnant. When the baby – a girl – is born she has lighter skin and light wavy hair and she stands out easily. Her family kicks her out of the house. Villagers reject her with curses and insults everywhere she goes. People literally spat on the mom and the little girl. Terrible, terrible! When the child was aged 7, the mother still couldn't cope with the rejection and insults. She abandoned the little girl in the street. So this little girl is trying to survive on the streets at seven years old. Her clothes quickly become like rags, she’s eating any rubbish she can find. All she has ever known is rejection. They had a word for her in the Korean language she was called it again and again. She thought it was her name for awhile. It’s one of the worst words in the Korean language. It means “ugly alien devil”. That’s who she thought she was. All she knew was rejection. Finally she found her way to an overcrowded and dirty orphanage. One day there was some excitement around the orphanage. The rumor was that there was an American couple coming. They wanted to adopt a little baby boy. All the little boys in the orphanage got all excited, made themselves presentable, and lined up in a row. This American couple comes in radiated love. It was so obvious that they loved kids.  Knowing there was no way they were going to choose her. She stood off in a corner. She had no hope, or future. But then something happened. Out of the corner of his eye the man saw the little girl standing off to the side. He walks over to her and does something that she’d never experienced before. He reached out to her and took her face in his hands and said, “This is the child I want. This is the child I choose. This is the one we came for.” Picture this moment. She’s sitting there. She’s filthy, dressed in rags. By her own account, she has lice in her hair, boils on her skin, her teeth were rotten. It didn't matter to this guy. He looked at her and said, “You're precious to me. I accept you just as you are. My love for you is right now. I don't care about the other stuff. I accept you just as you are.”


This is a true story. But what is even better, is that this is exactly how God treats us. God looks down on us and He sees the things we’re not happy about. He sees the shame and the guilt and the sin that’s upon us. He sees right through us and knows our secrets. But it doesn't matter. He loves you right now, just as you are.  Not only does God love you just the way you are, God loves you TOO MUCH to leave you that way.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Oh How He Loves Us!

Romans 8:37-39 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If we needed another indication of how much we mean to our Lord God outside of the sacrifice of His son, it would be the fact His truthful word says nothing can ever separate ... nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from Him. Not our momma, daddy, granddaddy, or friends can prevent God from loving you. Not even the devil. Too often we devalue our self worth or we come up with any excuse to not lean towards the Lord. It is in his character DNA to love us beyond measure. There is a reason God does not say why He loves us in his scripture. It would make His love for us conditional.  Don't fall for the deceit of the devil lobbying for validation of your self worth. The person that knows their value will not allow themselves to be intimidated. 

I want to encourage you. I know it is not easy to believe in God in this cynical, skeptical world. But God's love is not predicated by what we have done for Him. The bottom line is the love of God is unaffected by the extremest changes of our condition because of grace.  He is the lover of our soul, who's son did whatever He needed to do, to fight for us to bring us back to our Father. It is love that sets boundaries and provides protection. Love says Raymond, don't touch the stove it is hot, or says Raymond, don't go out in the street.  Now this does not mean it is okay for us to just act a fool. However, God will fight for us when we cannot fight for ourselves.  He will intervene and give us instructions so we do not destroy ourselves. Amen!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

God’s Everlasting Love

Romans 8:37-39 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God's love (agape) is unconditional, which means He loves you regardless. Secondly, God has a come as you are mentality. Let's examine a few things here. God wants you regardless of the shape and condition you are in. Nothing can destroy His desire to establish a relationship with us. Nothing is greater than God's will and because death and demons are beneath us we have victory over everything on Earth. I read in one commentary, 'We are secure in Jesus'. Amen! We are set apart from this world. Jesus' resurrection justifies us with His love and makes us conquerors over the devil and Earth. We should only seek His justification. Whereas in the world, men try to justify themselves based on their works or deed and still end up with emptiness.

I encourage you to not let what other people think, interfere with your opportunity for breakthrough. Sophia A. Nelson, said it well, "Too often we are holding together what must fall apart. The familiar life crumbles so the new life can begin." One reason for this is we think WE need to do all of the work to hold ourselves together.The truth is God's Love is the only thing strong enough to rebond our life. When I say rebond, we are not talking about bond in the sense of glue. Glue just holds broken pieces together. We are talking about a kiln process (i.e. ceramics) The kiln hardens the ware making it easier to handle without breaking during the glazing process, retaining its porosity. God wants to restore us completely. The only way to do this is to love us regardless of our faults.

This is God’s Everlasting Love.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Let Your Devotion to God Captivate You

Psalm 69:9 (NLT) Passion for your house burns within me, so those who insult you are also insulting me. Another version (GWT) says, Indeed, devotion for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.  
From this verse we can conclude several things, 
1) Devotion & 2) Consumption
When your devotion to God captivates you, your heart's love for God will cause you to bear His cross. The people around you that have problems with your outward representation of God are not truly mad at you. They are mad at what they see of God in you. As our relationship with God matures an attraction exist. The more we consume the word of God in your heart and mental, the consumption of His word causes our relationship to blossom, making enduring for the glory of God a honor. David complains of the unkindness of friends, indifference towards his brothers, and alienated from his mother. The sin of his enemies was sin against God. The scorn we must endure is truly not for God's sake, but our sake. In other words, is not to honor yourself, but it is honoring God. Honoring ourselves would be worthless. All of our sins come to light at some point due to our foolish nature. Consider Christ, who also endured displaying his devotion, not only by putting off the honors due to God, but by submitting to the greatest dishonor that could be done to any man. We should not be discouraged if our zeal for the truths, doctrine, and worship of God, provokes some, and cause others to mock our godly sorrow and deadness to the world.


Monday, March 2, 2015

I am ...

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to watch one of Mixed Martial Art's (MMA) most fascinating competitors, Ronda Rousey. In one of her pre-fight interviews, RR said she is the greatest female champion of all time. Hmmm.  We've heard this before. Mohammed Ali, boxer, famous for saying, “I am the greatest.”  As awesome and fascinating as these Hall of Fame athletes are, the greatest person who ever lived, in all contexts, is Jesus.  The book of John reveals 8 times where Jesus confidently proclaims 'I am'.
  1. John 6: 35, 48 - I am the bread of life
  2. John 8: 12, 9:5 I am the light of the world
  3. John 8: 58 Before Abraham was, I am
  4. John 10:9 - I am the door
  5. John 10:11 - I am the good shepherd
  6. John 11:25 - I am the resurrection and the life
  7. John 14:6 - I am the way, the truth, and the life
  8. John 15:1 I am the true vine
I challenge you to read and personalize each scripture, but replacing “the” with your name. For example, “I am Raymond's resurrection and Raymond's Life." Doesn't this take on a more profound outlook of who Jesus is in your life?  "I am Raymond's good shepherd." Remember this is Jesus talking.