Welcome to Summit Life with Pastor J.D.
Greer. As always, I'm your host, Molly Vidovich. We trust you had a wonderful weekend celebrating the birth of Jesus with family or friends, and we're just so glad that you're back with us today as we celebrate Christmas one more day. Let me ask you a question. What are you called? We can tell so much about a relationship by the language that we use with one another.
For an example, I'm called a few things, Molly, Mommy, Sweetheart. Well, that's the concept of hope has a name, and his name is Jesus. So in a message that was originally preached on Christmas Eve, Pastor J.D. shares that for all that you aren't, for all that you need, for all that you fear, for all that you crave, for literally all that you ever cannot be, he is the great I am. We know you don't want to miss any of Pastor J.D.
's messages, so if you ever need to catch up, you can hear previous broadcasts by visiting online at jdgreer.com. But for now, here's Pastor J.D. The names that God gave that would indicate the kind of Messiah that he would be to us. The prophet Isaiah, prophesying nearly 700 years before the birth of Jesus, said that you will call the name of this child, Emmanuel, God with us, wonderful counselor, everlasting father, mighty God, the prince of peace. These are the names of salvation. These are the names that the righteous run into and they are saved. These are the names that give us the victory that belongs to Jesus. This afternoon, I want to address the name that is behind every other of those names.
It's the name that God gave to Moses at the burning bush when Moses asked God directly what his name was. Moses, during the season of life, was in a time of great personal distress and uncertainty. His career had fallen apart. He'd made a lot of really disastrous decisions. He had lost his family. He felt alone. He felt lost.
He felt hopeless. He was consumed by regret and self-doubt and he had a lot of questions about where God had been while all of this was happening. That day at the burning bush, God did not answer a single one of Moses' questions.
He simply told Moses to trust him, that he had an assignment for him, a plan for his life to bless him and to use him. But Moses objected. He said, Lord, no. No, I've made too many mistakes. I'm too messed up.
I'm too far gone. To which God responded by simply saying, but my name is I Am. In English, we write that as Jehovah. It is a name that God will use of himself throughout the entire Bible. It's a name that he uses to describe himself some 6,519 times in the Old Testament alone. The irony is, is that it's not a name per se.
It is a verb. Yet it becomes the most common name by which God relates to broken and needy people throughout the Bible, people like Moses. For Moses, it meant that whatever Moses was not, because of his sinfulness and his brokenness, God would be for him and God would be through him. So Moses said, God, I can't do what you're asking because I am not righteous enough. I am not smart enough, I am not eloquent enough. And God says, but I did not choose you because you were any of those things.
I am enough of both of those things for the both of us. I am, and my enness overcomes your not-ness. We see throughout Israel's history, God would invoke this name, I am Jehovah, whenever Israel was in a time of great distress or fear or need, and God would attach to it whatever they lacked, whatever God would supply for them in himself. For example, in the book of Exodus, when the people of Israel were wounded and sick because of their sin, God revealed himself as Jehovah-Rapha. Literally, I am your healer. In Leviticus, when Moses laid out the law, that great description of what it meant to walk uprightly before God, and the people responded by saying, who can ever live this way?
Who can ever keep all of these laws? God answered with Jehovah Makedashkin, I am your sanctifier. I am the God who will enable you to walk with me and keep these commandments. In Ezekiel's day, when the people of Israel felt scared and alone and besieged by enemies all around, God said, Jehovah Shammah, I am the ever-present God who will never leave you. When David felt lost and confused with no friends at all in the world, he called God, Jehovah Ra, the Lord is my shepherd. When Abraham faced an impossible circumstance with no seeming way out, God declared to him, Jehovah Jireh, I am your provider. When Gideon faced an army a hundred times the size of his own, he called God Jehovah Shalom, the Lord is my peace. When Jeremiah, the prophet, was discouraged by Israel's persistent unfaithfulness and inability to walk before God, and he says in despair to God, how can we survive?
We are so sinful. God declared back to him, Jehovah, tis kid you, I am your righteousness. When the prophet Isaiah was not sure how he would survive even another day, God said, Jehovah Sabaoth, I am your defender. I am the God who fights for you. You see, for all that Israel needed, for all that they lacked, for all that they could never be in themselves, God was the great I Am.
But see, here's the question. How is God for that for us today? You see, you know that you and I often find ourselves in positions of great need, just like Moses did, just like Israel did, overwhelmed by our sinfulness and our brokenness and our inabilities full of doubts and insecurities and fears. You see, that's what brings us to Christmas. 2,000 years ago, Isaiah prophesied that the great I Am was born as a baby.
Think about it. The eternal, all-sufficient I Am entered the world as a helpless child. He did that so he could live the life that we were supposed to have lived and then die the death that we had been condemned to die. You see, it was only by doing that that he could take away our sinfulness and restore us to God. God had declared that the soul that sins shall die. We are sinners. We are sinners and that curse had to be carried out so the I Am became one of us so that he could do it for us.
He grew up as one of us, living the life we're supposed to live, a life of perfect obedience, a life of loving God and serving others. And then on the cross, he died to death that we had been condemned to die because of our sin. Around the Summit Church, we say that you can summarize the Gospel, or you can summarize the entire message of Christianity. You can summarize the whole Bible in four words.
Jesus in my place, Jesus living the life that I should have lived and then dying to death that I was condemned to die in my place. You see, my favorite I Am name of all of them is Jesus. In Hebrew, Yeshua, literally, I am your salvation. And see, because he is my salvation, because he is my salvation, he is also Jehovah-Rapha, my healer, because surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, and by his stripes, we are healed. He is my presence of God with me, who tells me he will never leave me or forsake me, that even when I walk to the valley of the shadow of death, I don't have to be afraid of evil, because his presence stays with me.
He is my provider, so that I can say with the Apostle Paul, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, because I know that my God shall supply all my need according to his riches in Christ Jesus. Jesus is Jehovah, my righteousness, because God made him who knew no sin to become sin for me, so that I could become the righteousness of God in him. You see, righteousness is not a standard that we work up to before God to be accepted by God. Righteousness is a gift of God given to us in God.
He doesn't reward my righteousness. He is my righteousness. Jesus is Jehovah, meketis kim, he is my sanctifier, so that I can say with the Apostle Paul, Philippians 1.6, that I am confident that he that began a good work in me will complete it all the way the day that Jesus returns, and I can say with Jude that I know he will present me faultless in his presence with great joy. I know that Jesus is Jehovah Ra, my shepherd. I know that he will never leave me or forsake me. I know that he is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep, and I know that he possesses me and holds me in his hand, and no one, he says, can pluck me out of his hand. He is Jehovah, my peace, because he has removed the wall of condemnation that stood between me and God, and he has said, nothing can separate you from my love, not height, or depth, or principality, or power, or things in the past, or things present, or things to come, not famine, or distress, or sword. No, in all those things, you are more than a conqueror because you are in me, and he is Jehovah Sabaoth, my defender, because greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world, and he will never stop fighting for me. You see, for all that I need, for all that I lack, for all that I could never be in myself, Jesus is the great I am. You're listening to Summit Life with Pastor J.D.
Greer. Perhaps you could start a Bible study in your home using some of the monthly resources created by J.D. Greer Ministries, or you could pass along the Ask Me Anything podcast to someone who has questions about faith. Maybe it's by becoming a monthly gospel partner and supporting us financially. So whatever it looks like, we're thankful to have you alongside us in this ministry.
Let me encourage you to give us a call at 866-335-5220 or visit us at jdgreer.com. We're excited about all that God has in store for us in 2023. Now let's get back to today's teaching. Here's Pastor J.D. I realize that you come into this place with all kinds of insecurities and brokenness.
You come in with your own doubts and fears, and you say, well, who could possibly be smart enough to figure all this out, and Jesus says, I am. How am I supposed to know which way to go? I am. I'm not really sure who is on my side. I am. Nobody's listening to me. I am. My marriage is crashing, and I don't know where to turn. I am.
I'm 50 years old, and I'm divorced, and I don't fully know I feel like I'm starting all over. I am. Everybody thinks I can't do it. I am.
What if I fail again? I am. I've made so many mistakes. I am. I've given it all that I can give, and it's not enough. I am. I can't hold on. I am. I'm tired. I am. I quit. I am.
I just need a fix or a hit or a pour or a drink. I am. I feel alone. I am.
I need a fresh start. I am. I just need somebody to hold me.
I am. For all that you are not, for all that you need, for all that you fear, for all that you crave, He is the great and the eternal I am. You see, hope has a name because salvation has a name, and that name is Yeshua, Jesus, Jehovah is your salvation. He is the great I am.
So see, this afternoon, I really only have two things that I want you to grab a hold of. Number one, to those of you who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, Jesus wants to be these things to you, but you have to choose to receive Him. In the Gospel of John chapter one, the Apostle John said, but as many as received Him, to them He gave the power or the right to become the children of God, even to those that believe on His name. Believing on His name means taking these names for yourself. You see, Jesus is all of those things, but He won't be them to you until you receive Him, until you believe on Him. A friend of mine says that you can tell if somebody's a Christian simply by what name they call Jesus.
I think of it like this. I can tell a lot about your relationship with me simply by what you call me. Sometimes I'll get a telephone call at home and I'll answer it, and you've had this happen, I'll answer the phone and someone will ask for a Mr. Griar, and immediately I know this is a telemarketer who doesn't know me at all, because even though my name has an insane amount of vowels in it, it just pronounces one syllable, Griar, so I know they don't really know me. Occasionally somebody will call me Dr. Griar, and at that point I know they know a little bit about me. They know my educational past, but they don't know me that well, because literally nobody in my life refers to me as Dr. Griar. For a while when I was younger, I had a group of friends that called me Jay Dizzle, so when I get a message from email or something and it starts with Jay Dizzle, I know it's going to be one of those friends. I have four people in my life who call me Daddy, and I've got one person in my life who calls me Mega Man, and that is my wife, Veronica. I can tell, I can tell your relationship to me simply by what you call me.
Here's the question. What do you call Jesus? Is he your Jehovah Rafa, your healer? Is he your salvation? Is he your everlasting Father? Is he your redeemer, your restorer, your righteousness, your savior, your hope of heaven?
I am not asking you if you believe all of those things to be true about Jesus. I'm asking you if you have received those things for yourself, not if you believe in him, but if you have believed on him and received him as yours. You see, to as many as received him, to them he gave the right and the power to become the children of God to those who believe on his name. The second thing is for those of you who already are believers, I say to you, you have accepted this great name for yourself, his great name, are you living now in the fullness and the confidence that comes with that name? You see, the third of the 10 commandments that God gave to Moses tells us not to take the Lord's name in vain. Growing up in Sunday school, that was always taught to me is don't use God's name as a swear word or as an exclamation. Don't say, oh my God, or Jesus Christ, or something like that, and that's certainly true. But when you pay attention to the commandment, it wasn't just a command on how to use God's name.
It was a command about how to take God's name. Think about it like this, and in times past, there was a beautiful girl named Veronica Marie McPheeves, and on the greatest day of her earthly life, she became a Greer. When she took my name, she became one with me. She became part of me, and that meant that literally everything that I had became hers. It wasn't that much, so it wasn't that great of a deal for her, but we became one.
So all the properties of being a Greer were now attached to her. You see, when you become a Christian, you take the name of God to yourself, the name I am, and what that means is that all the properties of the I am become yours. That means that what he is, you now have, so the apostle Peter could declare that we are a partaker in him of the divine nature, and the apostle Paul could say we are an inheritor of all the divine promises, that all the promises of God are yes in Christ Jesus for us, and that means that when you, like Moses, say no to God, or you cower before an assignment because you think, no God, I can't because I am not righteous enough, I'm not smart enough, I'm not capable enough, you are taking his name in vain because even though you are not, he is, and you are now one with him.
When you say, but I am so stupid, I'm a loser, I'm such a terrible mom. God says, but I am not any of those things, and I am in you, therefore you are not either what I am, you now are, so stop taking my name in vain. You say, Abba, God, but I am so dysfunctional, he says, yet I am so complete. You say, I am so deficient, he says, but I am so sufficient. You say, I am so doubtful, he says, but I am so faithful. You say, I am so sinful, he says, but I am so graceful.
You say, I am so weak, he says, but I am so strong. Whatever you are not, whatever you need, whatever you lack, whatever you did not get from your parents or your teacher or your coach or your boss or your husband or your boyfriend, whatever you're not getting from somebody else, I am. And when the doubters and haters in your life say to you, who do you think you are?
You say, I don't think I'm anything, but I know, I know the great I am. And when your own hearts whisper, you are not, we shout back, you are right, but he is and I am in him. Christ in me, the hope of glory. Christ in me, the promise of eternal life.
Christ in me, the power for living. The victory belongs to Jesus. The victory belongs to him and thank God I belong to him. Who will stand against the Lord? No one can.
No one will. Let me ask you all over this place and all three floors for you to bow your heads with me for just a minute if you would. I want to end this by giving you a chance, if you never have, to receive Christ as your savior, to believe on him for yourself. He is all of those things. He's savior, he's righteousness, he's salvation, he's restore, he's sanctifier, he's healer, but you have to choose to receive him. If you want to receive him and you're not sure if you ever have, you can say something to him like this, these are not magic words, but if they come from your heart, he'll hear it. Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner and I know that I need you. I receive you as my savior and I surrender to you as Lord. Say it to him from your heart, I receive you as savior and I surrender to you as Lord. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me. Father, I want to thank you for those, God, that are here because somebody invited them who have understood this, maybe for the first time, and you brought them here because you were in pursuit of them and God, in this moment, they just opened up their heart to trust you as their savior.
And we give you thanks for that, we give you praise in Jesus' name, amen. Would you look up here at me for just a second? Here's what I want us to do.
We're going to celebrate the beauty of the great I am. I'm going to ask everybody, this is going to be a little unusual and it's going to take a little courage, okay? I'm going to go ahead and admit this, but I want everybody in the room to take out their cell phone. Everybody take out your cell phone right now, just reach down there and find it. Just a second ago, a couple of minutes ago, you prayed with me to trust in Jesus as your savior, to receive him for yourself. If you prayed that, just a minute ago with me, for the first time or the first time you really grasped it, I want you to turn on the little flashlight on your cell phone. Just turn it on right now. Just turn it on, I want you to hold it up. So my family, you kind of turn around and hold these up for a second and why don't you celebrate with me those that God has brought here. Hold it up, keep it up, keep it up, keep it up, keep it up.
Have you claimed his name and identity as your own? What better time to do that than right now? You're listening to Summit Life with pastor, author, and theologian JD Greer. You know, it goes without saying that we love being a source of encouragement for you daily here on the program. And as always, you can check out our latest online resources and our full sermon archive at jdgreer.com. So here we are one week to go and we're looking ahead to the new year. So JD, how can others partner with us as we look for God to do even more in 2023?
Yeah, Molly, I appreciate you asking that. You can join in multiplying the gospel in your neighborhood and across the world by sharing our daily devotionals with your friends and family who want to go deeper with God if something speaks to you, forward it to somebody. And it's kind of one of my personal rules if something impacts me, I want to share it with somebody. You can start a Bible study in your home by using some of the monthly resources created by Summit Life. I recently heard from a guy who just told me, he said, I listen to the podcast, I pass it around and we all listen to it and we get together once a week and we just discuss and use that as kind of a way to guide our discussions and to pray for each other. Maybe you can make a one time donation right here toward the end of the year that will enable us to stay on the air in the coming year and also enable us to keep giving at least 10 percent to our church plants. You can join us by praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are planting churches around the world, many of them through the support of this ministry and also many who have been inspired by this ministry. You can join with us as a gospel partner. That's a really special group to us here because they commit to a monthly gift here that enables us to plan ahead, to produce Summit Life broadcasts in more countries. However it is that you multiply your faith, I'm praying that you would do so in the year to come. And if we can be a help to you in that and we can be a partner with you, we would be super grateful.
You can go to J.D. Greer dot com to be equipped to give or just to let us know what you're doing so that we can be encouraged. Thanks, J.D. Would you consider being a blessing to others by making a crucial year end donation to support the nonprofit Ministry of Summit Life?
When you donate $35 or more, you're helping us stay on the air while we continue to expand to hundreds of stations across the country. We desire to reach more people with Christ-centered Bible teaching every day of the week because no gift is more important to this world than the gospel. As our way of saying thank you for your generous one-time donation or for your regular monthly gift as a gospel partner, we'll send you an exclusive resource, the 2023 Summit Life Planner, to help you stay focused on the gospel in the new year.
J.D. often talks about the importance of using our resources for God's glory, and that includes the resource of time. This planner will help you stay organized, and it also includes Bible verses, quotes and a Bible reading plan to remind you to keep God at the center of every day. Ask for your planner today when you call 866-335-5220. That's 866-335-5220, or you can give online at jdgrier.com. You can even mail in your donation and request for the planner when you write to us at J.D. Greer Ministries, P.O.
Box 122-93, Durham, North Carolina, 27709. I'm Molly Vidovitch. Thank you for joining us today. Remember to tune in tomorrow for the start of a brand new teaching series called Staying Faith. That's Tuesday on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
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