• Jason Wade


15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”)16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[a] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. John 1:15-18

As we are walking through this Holy Week together, I am always amazed at the power of God and His Name. When I was first starting out in student ministry I was given a poster of the names of Jesus and I have had that framed and in my office as a reminder of Whose I am and why I do what I do. It is a constant reminder every time that I walk into my office exactly who I am and who I am not. About 15 plus years ago I was sitting in a worship service that Louie Giglio, Pastor of Passion City Church, was preaching and he spoke this message that has stuck with me ever since. The title of his sermon was I am NOT but I know I AM. And if you have ever heard Louie speak, he is able to excellently communicate messages that completely blow my mind and reach straight into my heart. As I look at these words today and recognize that we are beginning to come to an end of our First Word, Last Word, God's Word Lenten journey, I just wanted to make sure that we all recognize the power of this week. Not only are we ending this journey through Lent, but we are able to truly understand the power of the Son of God and the position that He holds and the thankfully the one we do not. We recognize that we are a carrier of Christ and His message, but we were never meant or ever capable to sit in that chair or take that cup, because we have been created to be disciples of God and not the Son.

I know that there are many times when we get to this point before Easter that we are just ready for it be over. We are ready to get to Easter and celebrate the risen Messiah but also to get to the food, family and easter hunts. We are ready to get past this moment so that we can go back to the regular schedule of life. Yes, we want the world to stand up and recognize

the King of kings, but come Monday, we are ok that we only have one day to celebrate. This completely blows my mind, because the whole purpose of the Gospel came to a miraculous point when Jesus stepped out of the grave. It proved to the world that Jesus was not just another good man that was willing to teach and equip. It finally opened the eyes of the disciples that Jesus was actually who He said He was. It actually allowed the world to once again realize that God's plan still had us in mind and provided for us a way to understand our part of God's plan. We were never meant to carry the burden that Christ carried. We are not meant to step into the shoes of Jesus but to follow His steps and help lead others to follow. We are NOT Jesus... We are NOT God. Even though many of us think that we have the right to make decisions for the world, we are not meant to do that. We are meant to direct people to the Light. We are called to carry the Light to the World and profess, equip and pray for God's Will to be done and not our will. We are created to worship and give God all of the glory and that first step means that we have to recognize who God is and who we are not. Yes, it is a step of faith and humility, but one that will lead to eternity and salvation for so many.

As we step into the story of John's scripture today, we are able to recognize that John the Baptist has been living in the wilderness, preaching, teaching and baptizing people into the community of faith. John the Baptist, the son of Elizabeth who lept in his mother's womb when Mary came to their house, even as a child he recognized the anointing of Christ. So we cannot be surprised that when Jesus shows up on the scene, John realizes the importance of directing the people to see the ONE he had been teaching about. John the Baptist immediately relinquished any authority and directed his followers to see the true ONE who was the incarnate I AM. What an amazing act of humility and an example for us even today. Yes, we can continue to teach and equip and help lead others to Jesus. This is an example even Jesus would continue to use in His ministry as well. Jesus was the Son of God, but would continue to redirect others to have a personal relationship with God. John the Baptist was the one that was called to prepare the way for the ONE who was going to come and lead. He already knew what his calling was and I just want to say that we have now been called to pick up that cause. We have been called to step through all of the mess and lead people to come to meet Jesus. We are called to equip and lead others not to us but into a relationship that will sustain them for eternity. It does not mean that we cannot be friends, confidants and hold each accountable, but please hear me when I say that our goal is truly to lead others to see the authority of Jesus and definitely not the authority of Jason.

So as we step into the day after Palm Sunday, after we have cried Hosanna, please recognize that the people of Jerusalem and many of us today were looking for a king that was willing to take over physically and allow us to step into a place of authority ourselves. That was never the message that Jesus expressed. He came in on a donkey and not an elephant or horse. He had no grand armies and wanted no fanfare, but entered into the city knowing the end was near. He knew that He was about to spend some of His last days teaching, healing and praying to help lead others to see God, the Great I AM. As we are living into this week, how are we doing the same? As we are walking each day towards the cross and the grave,

how are we using the Name of God to help others experience the power of God's love that was displayed on the cross. I don't want this to be a common message for Easter, I want it to

be a stepping out point where we recognize that this journey brings all of us to have to face the cross and the Savior, the Lamb, that we crucified. Yes, that we and our sins continue to crucify because of our unwillingness not to be our own god and be in control. With each day that we do not recognize that we are NOT God.... we are NOT in control... We are NOT the Messiah. We are simply NOT, but we do know the ONE who IS! We are NOT and never will be God, but we are capable of recognizing who God is and directing others to see Him for themselves. Our true calling is to redirect the vision of others off of us and direct them to Jesus. So today I am asking that we really take these last days and be an example to others. What if this was our last Easter? Not that I am saying I know or that I am trying to be a Debbie downer, but what if? How would your attitude change to help encourage others to come into a relationship with God? How much more would we express the power of God's grace and love? I think about that every day and it leads me to do all the I can to make sure that my last words each day help to direct others to God. I AM NOT BUT I KNOW I AM and that is one of the most powerful and freeing sentences I have ever whispered. I am not meant to be God but to lead others to desire a relationship with God. But I have to do my part... WE have to do OUR part and that starts today if it has not already begun. Father, Here I am. What can I do for You today? Amen.

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