March 21, 2024
Lenten Weekday
Before Everything Else, God
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
John 8:58

In Italy, we visited a simple and austere 12th-century abbey, where I imagined generations of faithful monks and peasant farmers praying. In the Holy Land, you can visit the Cave of the Patriarchs at Hebron, where Abraham and Sarah are buried. In Arizona, you can stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon and marvel at six million years of God’s handiwork.

But even the most ancient of places are never the beginning. For we cannot begin to fathom the created world fully and truthfully until we find ourselves standing in prayer before the great I AM, the Unmoved Mover and Lover of the Universe. Before anything else, there was our Creator-God. To see the world and everything in it and miss the ultimate Creator is to not see the whole picture.

Lord, let me never lose sight of you in the beauty of the earth and the ingenuity of human creators.

- Steve Givens

Genesis 17:3-9 • Psalm 105:4-9 • John 8:51-59

Comments

March 22, 2024 at 12:24 AM

Wonderful reflection today Steve, your last statement was powerful. I always tell those who doubt the existence of God that if they cannot see the hand of God in everything around them, then they are blind and foolish.

March 21, 2024 at 06:09 PM

*** The Jews knew what Jesus meant claiming to be God when He said in John 8:58, “What I’m about to tell you is true,” Jesus answered. “Before Abraham was born, I AM!” *** “I AM” is the Name God told Moses in Exodus 3:13-14, “Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the people of Israel. Suppose I say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ And suppose they ask me, ‘What is His Name?’ Then what should I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM Who I AM. Here is what you must say to the Israelites. Tell them, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” *** There are seven “I AM” statements of Jesus in John! 1. I AM the bread of life! (John 6:35) 2. I AM the light of the world! (John 8:12) 3. I AM the gate! (John 10:7) 4. I AM the Good Shepherd! (John 10:11) 5. I AM the resurrection and the life! (John 11:25) 6. I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life! (John 14:6) 7. I AM the true Vine! (John 15:5) ******* This is how powerful Jesus’ Name is when Jesus was about to be arrested in the garden of Gethsemane in John 18:6, “ When Jesus said, “I AM He,” they moved back. Then they fell to the ground!”

Salina
March 21, 2024 at 07:11 PM

Great I AM by Phillips, Craig and Dean https://youtu.be/xeD79Vj1I5k?si=O9p3NZuPL8aAY-oc

March 21, 2024 at 04:14 PM

Thank you Steve for your beautiful reflection this morning. Today I thank the great I AM for providing us with the expansive mystery of the awesome Universe and giving us a glimpse of eternity. I also as you, my LFF to join me in wishing our grandson Zachary, who’s celebrating his 13th birthday today. He’s our first grandchild and he’s been a joy ever since he was born. He’s in the ASD high functioning group and I have learned so much from him and his curiosity about nature and ancient civilizations of the world. May God bless you always, Zachary ❤️

Faith
March 21, 2024 at 11:47 PM

Wishing you the happiest of birthdays Zachary from here in Canada! May God bless you and watch over you always!

March 21, 2024 at 12:16 PM

Amen.☮️

March 21, 2024 at 12:03 PM

Amen. :)

March 21, 2024 at 09:43 AM

AMEN!

March 21, 2024 at 08:49 AM

Steve your words open our eyes to the wonders of God and all his creations. How awe inspiring. You know, I have never been to the Grand Canyon and don't live too far from it hmmmmmmmm. :} Blessings to all the LFF. Everyone is so very special and may our prayers extend to everyone with extra needs right now and even those needing just a small reminder of Gods love. As Steve reminds us he is in everything each and everyday.

March 21, 2024 at 08:02 AM

Great reminder of God's creation, Steve. I always sense a calm, peace and awe at His handiworks. Especially in a newborn, sunset/sunrise, even a sprout from a newly plant seed. Only to imagine what the heavens will be like! A beautiful day filled with uplifting prayers for all in need. Sandy

March 21, 2024 at 07:23 AM

Steve, thank you for inciting our wonder of the great ‘I AM.’ JJC, Bill, Patrick - great adds to an already awe inspiring devotion. On my recent trip to Maine I look out on the massive expanse of ocean. Sometimes it’s angry and roiling and other times is serene and hypnotic. All the beautiful swings of our temperament and a great depiction of God’s creative forces at work. Lifting Ken today during his waiting period of results. Also praying for Carl, Maryanne, Stephanie, Terry, Rick, Cass, Karen, Betsy, Mike, Cyndi, Melissa / Evan and Ellen / Roman and all the others of our community that have special intentions and need lifting. Amen.

March 21, 2024 at 07:15 AM

Lord please hear our prayers and bring your light to all those suffering in Haiti, the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia, the Sudan, and all those suffering around the world - also for their strength, courage and resilience to continue walking in faith. Send them your light. Father in Heaven, have mercy on us and on the whole world! You sent Your Son, the Prince of Peace, for the salvation of the world. We pray that the Peace of Christ will reign in Haiti, the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia and Sudan. Please protect and send aid to those in need and all who are at-risk. We pray for peace and rebuilding– we who are working towards it and for all those who are suffering or in danger from conflicts. We pray for an end to violence and war – we pray for wisdom for all leaders who have a hand in this. Lord God please help those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

Bill S
March 22, 2024 at 12:17 AM

Amen!!

Stormy
March 21, 2024 at 08:41 AM

Jane have I thank you lately for posting this Prayer everyday? I appreciate it. Prayers for Peace are so important these days!

March 21, 2024 at 07:01 AM

Thank you Steve for this faith moving reflection. Uniquely, before everything else, GOD. Before time, God was, in time, God is and after time, God will be. No one or nothing else can supersede his presence! God, thank you for all you have done, for all you are doing now, and for all you will do. Thank you for blessings now and for those on the way, Almighty God. You are still on the throne and still in control, the great 'I AM ' that you are. Blessed be God forever. Sending prayers and blessings for all with special needs and intentions today. God remains our ALL in ALL. Blessings this Thursday, Living Faith Family. Peace!

March 21, 2024 at 06:08 AM

Amen :)

March 21, 2024 at 05:26 AM

Amen

March 21, 2024 at 03:57 AM

Steve, God will provide another awesome event on April 8th. A good portion of the U.S. will witness a total solar eclipse. As a lifelong amateur astronomer, I am constantly reminded of the power and glory of what He presents to us.

Patrick
March 21, 2024 at 04:53 AM

Great reflection Steve and a great response Bill. The enormity of God is almost beyond comprehension. With faith and trust, the enormity of God leads us, every single one of us, on a breathtaking adventure. One day we will arrive at the place where we will understand it all and the integral part for which we were created to perform.

Mather Point, View Point, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Image by Björn Alberts | stock.adobe.com
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