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Thursday, June 4, 2015
Sunday afternoon we joined some friends near Manheim PA for a cookout and came up behind this Amish buggy heading home from a church service and afternoon of fellowship.
"The Alpha And The Omega"
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“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). "God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you'" (Exodus 3:14).
Keith is a friend we greet weekly in the course of our chaplain work. This week he was busy preparing numerous orders for shipment while we chatted about the importance of his role. He then declared, "I am the alpha and omega". Taken back a bit I asked him for clarification and he shared that he is responsible for both receiving and shipping! Although I initially thought his statement sounded a bit sacrilegious I saw his point that he had a role both in the beginning and ending of the manufacturing process. He assured me that he meant no disrespect to the Lord, who first uttered these words. The phrase “I am the Alpha and the Omega” is found three times in the Bible, all in the book of Revelation.
We once walked by the headquarters of the Lotus Software Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Many of the windows had a sign stating, "I AM". I understand it was some type of marketing campaign. It's rather doubtful that many of the employees knew of the long history of this powerful two word phrase. Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me, being in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that their marketing slogan carried new age connotations!
For me though the signs in the windows sure made me think of the One who first said, "I Am". Some 3,500 years ago God spoke to a very reluctant Moses, who was called to lead His people out of Egypt. Moses was very concerned about what he would say when the people asked who was sending him.
God Almighty answered that question in the third daily verse. Moses was to tell the people, "I AM has sent me to you." The name "I am" became rich with meaning throughout the Old Testament. It is an affirmation that God is always free to be and act as He wills.
In the Gospel of John Jesus asserted His deity in using this phrase to describe Himself. They are known as the ego eimi (ἐγώ εἰμι) statements from the Greek words for "I am".
1. I AM the bread of life. John 6:35,48
2. I AM the light of the world. John 8:12, 9:5
3. I AM the door. John 10:7
4. I AM the good shepherd. John 10:11-14
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 15:1,5
Among the last words in the Bible is our Lord's powerful self-declaration, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End" (Revelation 22:13).
Alpha, being the first letter of the Greek alphabet (as our “A”) stands for the “beginning.” Omega, being the last letter of the Greek alphabet (as our “Z”) stands for the “end.” Because God existed from before all time and will exist beyond all time, there is no room for another God (Isaiah 43:10). Throughout the Father’s preexistence, the Son was with Him (John 1:1-3; 8:54; Colossians 1:17).
Today let us believe in and serve this faithful God, who is indeed the eternal "I Am". He continues to send forth His people like He sent forth Moses to speak His words and share His light with the world. He is the Alpha and the Omega.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we read in the first chapter of the Bible where You spoke to Jesus, "Let us make man in our own image." We also see His presence in the last chapter of the Bible where Jesus declares that He is coming soon and spoke these words, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." From the beginning of creation until the end of the age Christ has gone before us, walked alongside us, and will reign throughout all eternity. It is Christ Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, who directs our steps, sustains us, and empowers us to walk in accordance to Scripture day in and day out. Amen.
We passed this tractor mailbox along Route 222 on our way to the Poconos last week. I always have my eyes open for creative mailboxes and Brooksyne has the phone camera ready for action.
We stopped by to see our Amish friends yesterday morning and the children had play "stores" up in the barn loft they were excited to show us. The sign on the hay bale informs shoppers that the store is OPEN. I asked Jamie, "What do you sell in your store?" He told me, "Trinkets." I assured him that I'd bring some trinkets along with us on our next visit that he could sell. That brought about a big smile though I doubt that his mommy will be half as excited as he when the "trinkets" eventually make their way into their house.
We stopped by the Shady Maple Market yesterday and saw another interesting sight. Mom had jumped out of the buggy to shop in a greenhouse while Dad waited, presumably patiently, inside the buggy while the children waited in the bed of the pickup along with the oversized purchase from their shopping excursion.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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