Recently, the youth group that I co-lead decided that they wanted to begin a Bible study together that centered around a certain theme, but they were not certain what that theme should be. After prayer, I suggested Finding I AM by Lysa TerKeurst because I had done the study before (exactly one year before to be exact), and I had learned so much about who my Savior is! If you have never heard of the study, I encourage you to watch the promotional video.
With no direction as far as a theme when they suggested the idea of a Bible study series, God kept bringing to mind, “What better theme than who I AM?” In addition to the other messages that God lays upon my heart, I want to share our I AM journey with you each week and give you a glimpse into this wonderful study.
As Lysa mentions, it is essential to understand the background behind statements in the Bible. So, even though we are going to be studying Jesus’ words, “I AM the Bread of Life” that are found in the book of John, it is crucial to learn and explore the first time that particular statement was made. In the first video session, she explains and discusses when God first says, “I AM,” in Exodus 3.
I just love how God breaks down His attributes for us to give us a clearer picture of who He is for us, if only we will reach out and allow Him to do so. He didn’t stop with saying, “I AM,” He made sure to explain what that means for His followers back in Jesus’ day and His followers in the present day.
Our study this Sunday morning and Sunday night concerns two definitions of life that are found in the Bible. Lysa explains that these two words are bios and zoe. The first word, bios, means “breath in your lungs or physical life,” and the second word, zoe, means “possessed with vitality looking to the fullness of life.”
Without spoiling the study too much, I want to outline what God has impressed upon my heart after my personal study and outline what I hope to express to my kids today.
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.'” John 6:35
- We can only find full satisfaction in Jesus.
I know, personally, I try to find satisfaction in so many things other than Jesus, His Word, and my prayer life with Him. Some of these include: friendships, relationships with family members, romantic relationships, work, television (HUGE fan of Netflix), social media (especially how many “likes,” “shares,” and “views” I get!), and so much more! But each one of these wonderful-in-of-themselves things ultimately leave me feeling emptier than ever before. What I have finally realized is that there is a God-shaped void in my heart that only He can fill! Trying to fill that void with anything else is futile and destructive!
2. Pain is a part of this Christian walk and growth, but I can live with vitality no matter what my circumstances are.
When I first got saved, I remember the absolute thrill and rush that I experienced. I was on top of the mountain, and nothing could bring me down!
Then, the devil hit me in the face like a brick wall with temptation, with trials, with friends shunning me because of the decision that I had made and the new resolve to live like Christ, with shame about who I once was, and with doubt that I could ever be “worthy.” It was so refreshing to be a part of this study and to learn that I can live with vitality, having a full life in Christ, despite my past mistakes and failures. I can be overflowing with Christ and His love and joy and spreading that to other people!
My favorite song that explains this concept so well is Overflow by Tenth Avenue North! It’s one that gets me pumped up about living a life of vitality! I want to be overflowing with Jesus!
3. We were made to crave.
We all crave something. We can either crave the Bread of Life (Jesus), or we can crave the things of this world. We can crave the One who can fully satisfy our souls and our deepest desires and longing, or we can crave emptiness. It may not seem empty at first, but I know from experience, that anything apart from Jesus and His will for your life is a deep, dark pit with nothing to offer. You won’t be truly satisfied. It’s absolutely impossible.
So, I want to leave you with a quote by my pastor.
“Last week, we talked about being addicted to sin, and that we are all addicted to sin. This week, I want to ask you a question. Do you want to be addicted to Jesus? To the Gospel? Because you can be.” -Ashley Tyree
Will we choose to be satisfied by the Bread of Life? Will we choose to be “addicted” to the Gospel, soaking up every portion of Scripture? Will we choose to live with vitality, overflowing with Jesus, so much so that people can’t help but to notice?
Lord, change our cravings. Change our cravings from destructive and self-seeking to cravings that reflect Your kingdom, Your righteousness, and Your will for our lives. Let us find satisfaction in You, and let us live lives full of vitality, overflowing with Your Spirit… changing the lives of those around us for the better and for Your kingdom and Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, amen…