Praise Yahweh


God declared His name to be Yahweh, I AM.

I AM WHO I AM. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. (Exodus 3:14-15)

Personal Name

God chose to tell us His personal name!

There is so much more about His name, but I am thrilled that God shared His personal name with us. If we work in a large company or study in a big school, we don’t know all the names of our co-workers or faculty or students. In larger churches, we don’t know the names of all the congregation or, probably, the names of all the staff. We’re friendly when we meet those folks, but we don’t learn their names unless we start building a relationship.

God giving us His personal name means relationship!


“I AM WHO I AM,” reveals foundational truths about God. “I AM” signifies eternal existence. God is God from eternity past to eternity future, from everlasting to everlasting.

When He revealed His name, He also declared that He is with us, and that He will deliver us. (See Exodus 3:13-17)

I AM eternal, and near My people to deliver them.

In the Old Testament there are many compound names of God, which reveal more of His character. A good study is to identify these names and their meanings, for example: YHWH-jireh, The LORD  Will Provide (Genesis 22:14).


Yahweh, I praise You for revealing your personal name to us, and for manifesting Your character and Your attributes through Your Word. I am so grateful You want a personal relationship with me, with us. I praise You for Your infinite…infinite everything…infinite power, infinite love, infinite justice, infinite mercy. You are incomprehensible, and yet You chose to reveal Yourself to us that we might have a loving relationship with You. All glory and honor and praise to You.

Praise Yahweh!

Who is Waiting at Your Finish Line?


Gold medal! The first-ever USA gold medal in cross country, with the ladies winning the team sprint.  During the last 100 meters, the USA skier sprinted into first.

“In the final stretch I was just thinking, Go, go, go, I’m giving it everything I had… and when there is someone you care about at the finish, you’ll never give up, never.” Jessie Diggins

Our race

 The Christian life is a race, a wrestling match, a boxing bout, a battle. The Bible has many references to our need to strive against sin and to walk according to the Spirit.

Who is waiting at your finish line?

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…  (Hebrews 12:1–2)

Jesus Christ is at our finish line, and with us through our race.

Our race goes better when we are conscious of His presence now and at the finish line.

The finish line for the Christian has enormous rewards.

We will be glorified (Romans 8:30; see God’s Loving Promises).

We will receive the crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:6)

We will receive rewards for what we did in the body (Revelation 22:12).

Never give up

Strive to be able to say with Paul:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7–8)

Let run our race with endurance. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus at the finish line.

Press on.


Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

What is your immediate response to this question: “Who do you think you are?”

Is your response about your job or role? “I’m a business owner, I’m a doctor, I’m a teacher, I’m a professional athlete, I’m a parent.” Those are temporary answers; your business might fail or be sold; you retire; you get cut; your kids leave home (yeah, you’re still a parent, but you have an empty nest).

“Who do you think you are?” is an identity attack and most likely accompanied with a sneer and an implied accusation.

As a Christian, your core identity is a chosen child of God, redeemed, reconciled, gifted, sealed, and destined for eternal life.

How should we react to identity attacks?


“If you are the Son of God…” (Matthew 4:3, etc.)

“You have a demon.” (John 7:20, John 8:52)

Jesus, of course, knew exactly who He was, where He came from, and where He was going. He answered Satan with scripture (Matthew 4:1-11). He answered the Jews with the declaration that He was I AM. (John 8:54-58)

The Apostles

Paul was called crazy (Acts 26:24).

In general, the apostles were reviled, persecuted, called and treated like dregs, the scum of the world (1 Corinthians 4:12-13).

What did they do? They kept going. They rejoiced they were worthy to suffer for His name (Acts 5:41).


When the Jews were rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, their identity was attacked. They were mocked and call feeble. (Nehemiah 4:1-2).

What did they do? They finished the wall in 52 days. They kept going.


Job suffered a prolonged attack on his identity. His “comforters” declared him guilty and wicked, and told him he’d gotten what he deserved.

Job thought, as did his attackers, that suffering was caused by sin. He didn’t understand because he couldn’t think of anything he’d done that caused his loss and distress. While he answered his attackers, he mainly talked to, and questioned, God.

But then God showed up and asked Job “Who do you think you are?” UH OH!

If God asks you that question, it is not a good thing!

God asked Job where he was when God laid the foundation of the earth, whether Job ever commanded the morning, and on and on. And on.

What did Job do? Job repented. Job declared God sovereign. And Job obeyed when God told Job to pray for his friends.*

Who Do You Think You Are?

How should we react to this question in its many forms?

  1. Be settled in who you are, and whose you are. (See Who Are You?)
  2. Consider the source. React differently if someone (or yourself) is asking, or if God is asking.
  3. Determine if you have gone awry, or overstepped your bounds, and if so, correct that.
  4. If you are working in the will of God, rejoice and keep going!
  5. Rejoice that you are worthy to suffer for Him.

If God asks, it is a reprimand.

  1. Confess.
  2. Repent.
  3. Submit and trust.
  4. Obey.

Remember your identity

You are a chosen child of God, redeemed, reconciled, gifted, sealed, and destined for eternal life.





  • Initially, they were three friends who came to comfort Job. Then, for many chapters, they were Job’s accusers and attackers. Now God called them Job’s friends. I’d like to know more about this transition back to friends.



Who Are You?

Your Identity

We are sometimes attacked at the core of who we are. Jesus was, the apostles were. We’re not exempt.

Next week, I plan to talk about attacks, but as I was working on that, I realized to withstand core attacks, we must be settled in who we are.

Who are you?

Developing a strong sense of self is a key developmental task. The stronger our identity, the less we are blown off-track with the changes and challenges of life. This is true for both believers and those who don’t believe in Christ.

When we believed in Jesus Christ and trusted Him for our salvation, our core identity changed. We became new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17).

This transformation is sometimes startling in its magnitude. Think about Paul. He was zealous for God according to the strictest Jewish beliefs, and persecuted Christians (Acts 22:3-4). After Jesus appeared to him,

immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” (Acts 9:20)

Your identity

One year I listed (some of) what the New Testament said about my identity as a believer. My list included:

Child of the Father (John 1:12)

Sister of Christ (Matthew 12:50)

Bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2, Revelation 19:7-10)

 Indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14)

 Redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)

 Saint (See Good Morning, Saint!)


As you read through the Bible this year, make your own list of who the Bible says you are.

And determine to believe what God says about you.


Praise The Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

Jesus Christ is God, eternal, and in eternal relationship with God.

Yet Christ humbled Himself to be born as a baby, giving up His prerogative as God, in order to show us God, and to seek and save that which was lost. (Philippians 2:6-8; Luke 19:10)

Jesus Christ is how God chose to speak to us, after God spoke to us in the prophets. He explained God. (Hebrews 1:2; John 1:8)

Jesus Christ is God in a human body. (John 1:14)

  1. The fullness of Deity in bodily form. (Colossians 2:9)
  2. The radiance of Gods glory. (Hebrews 1:3, John 1:14)
  3. The exact representation of His nature. (Hebrews 1:3)
  4. The image of the invisible God. (Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4)

When you see Jesus Christ, you see the Father. (John 14:9)

God came seeking us! To save sinners from their sin, judgment and death.

The enormity of this is overwhelming. Almighty God, eternal, creator, judge, humbled Himself to speak to us in tangible, human form. God showed us His nature, His glory, through Jesus Christ.

As we seek God, we have the incomprehensible assurance that God is seeking us. The unfathomable truth in God’s Word, Christ Jesus.


God, I praise You for showing us Yourself in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, The Word of God. I praise You–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–for revealing Yourself to us. I praise You, Jesus Christ, for explaining the Father to us. The magnitude of Your grace is overwhelming. Thank You that we don’t need to wonder, but that we can be assured You love us, You care for us, You want us with You for eternity. Help us absorb the enormity of Your mercy into our lives, help us share this awesome truth with others, and help us walk in a manner worthy of You.

God is With Us

Harry Durgin


God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–will be with us, believers in Christ, throughout the year ahead (and for eternity). This is one of the sure things in 2018. (See Sure Things in 2018).

God is present everywhere (See Praise the Ever-Present God), but, for Christians, God’s presence in our lives is a living, loving, personal relationship.

We are in a relationship with Almighty God! We are children of the Father, brethren of Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

God is always with us, including being with us through the other three sure things in 2018.

God is with us in our service.

We have God-given work to do. We have a great commission to fulfill (Matthew 28:19).

And, He promised to be with us as we work:

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)

He shows us how to serve; He helps us in our service.

I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. (Colossians 1:29)

Ask for His guidance for and in your work. Be confident that He is working within you to accomplish His will.

God is with us in our trouble.

He is in control of our storms and guides us to safe harbor.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for You are with me. (Psalm 23:4)

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Trust His loving sovereignty.

God is with us as we choose.

He is working in us to make decisions that honor Him.

It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8:26)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6)

Pray for wisdom to make a godly choice.

Work to make God’s presence a conscious factor in your service, your trouble, your choices.




Prepare to Choose

2018 will be full of choices to make (See Sure Things).

There are many conscious choices every day, and some habits we should intentionally change.

How should we decide?

Foundation Choice

The foundation choice for life and eternity is to:

Confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. (Romans 10:9)

Whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. (John 3:15)

If you’re not sure, see Becoming a Child of God.

Life Choice

Determine, as a life principle, to follow Christ daily.

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. (Luke 9:23)

The more that core decision is embedded in your life, the easier it will be to make daily choices.

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)

Application Choices

We have many daily choices to make. And we are responsible for those choices.

If our choices rest on glorifying Him, we will get His help.

Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. (Psalm 25:12)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6)

Prepare to Choose

Examine yourself to make sure you are in the faith.

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Determine to work on your head and heart knowledge by studying the Bible, meditating on His Word, and learning to please Him (Ephesians 5:10).

Resolve to put Him first in all your choices.

Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1)

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2)


Press On!


Prepare for Trouble


Jesus promised we would have trouble. He promised! (see Sure Things.)

Since we know we will have trouble, what do we do to prepare for trouble?

In order to face trouble with confidence and trust, we must have our heads and our hearts aligned with our loving, sovereign Lord.

Head Knowledge

Almighty God is sovereign over everybody, everything, all the time. While we are responsible for our own actions, God accomplishes His purposes, working all things in accordance with His will.

Our sovereign God loves His children. He adopted us who believe in Christ Jesus and have received Christ as Lord.

The entire Bible is full of proofs about our loving, sovereign God. For help in learning this, see When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready?

Heart Knowledge

It is possible to intellectually know something without placing confidence, reliance, or trust in that fact. Ask yourself:

“Do I trust God’s sovereignty and love?”

“Do I really believe that He loves me and controls my circumstances?”

“Do I have some doubts about whether or not He really loves me?”

“Do I worry that not quite everything is under His control?”

You must move from knowledge to trusting in order not to fear bad news and keep on track through your storms. Your heart has to believe as well as your head. Informed trust is essential if you are to become ready for anything.

To move from head to heart, continue to study the Bible and learn more about God. Simultaneously, practice what you learn. For example, determine to see God’s loving hand and presence in everything that happens.

This does NOT mean to be passive when trouble strikes! Pray about what you are to do.


Whether or not you see trouble on your horizon, rehearse how you will react. Habakkuk did. God revealed to him that Israel was going to be destroyed, and Habakkuk determined, no matter what, that he was going to worship his sovereign God.

Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17–19)


Memorize key verses about God’s sovereignty and love to help move head knowledge to heart knowledge, making it easier to respond to trouble with trust.

Summarize your knowledge in your own words.

Since God created us, He knows what is best for us. Because He is love, He wants what is best for us. Because He is sovereign, He has the power to make it happen. 

Trust Him.

Prepare to Serve

There are at least four sure things in 2018 (See Sure Things):

We will have God-given work to do;

We will have trouble;

We will have choices; and

God will be with us.

We’re nearly 3 weeks into 2018. How are you doing?

Since we know something about what is up ahead, let’s prepare to meet our opportunities and challenges.

How to Prepare to Serve

  1. Realize that God will give you work to do. All of us, all Christians, are in full-time ministry, no matter what our role. We are placed where God wants us (1 Corinthians 12:18), and He will give us opportunities where we are. None of us are off the hook.
  2. Since you will be given work to do, be available. Determine, right now, that you will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).
  3. The specifics of God’s work for us differ one from another, and from time to time. You almost certainly know some areas of service, but God will surprise you. Be alert.
  4. Prepare your minds for action. (1 Peter 1:13). We cannot stay on the sidelines rooting others on. We need to be engaged. Be ready for every good deed (Titus 3:1).
  5. Serve God, your neighbor, and fellow believers with love. Let all you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14)
  6. Serve for the glory of God. Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
  7. Don’t lose heart. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary (Galatians 6:9). God rewards in His own time.

And pray.

Remember God is with us! He helps us!

Be encouraged.



Praise the Victor

British Airways







Jesus Christ, God, the Son of God, the Lamb of God, is Victor over all.

Victor over Earth

On earth, He overcame the world, demonstrating His sovereignty through healing, casting out demons, feeding, calming the storms, raising people from the dead, giving life.

Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. (Luke 7:22)

Take courage; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Victor over Sin

He took away the sin of the world.

Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)

Victor over Death

For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. (John 5:21)

I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.  (John 11:25–26)

Victor Over Work of Redemption: “It is Finished”

He fulfilled Scripture, accomplished all things, completed the work of redemption, and declared in triumph on the cross: “It is finished!”

He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)

Victor over Satan and Death

The [kings of the earth and the beast] will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings. (Revelation 17:14)

The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14)

Victor over the First Things

Behold, I am making all things new… It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. (Revelation 21:5-6)

Christ is the First and the Last, the Almighty.

Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:12–13)


Praise the Victor.