Bible · Christian · Faith · Grace · Jesus

I YAM WHAT I YAM – Popeye

by grace you have been saved, through faith’ (Ephesians 2:8 NIV)

Many people I know can truthfully say, “Jesus truly is my friend”, and he can also be yours!

Some people will also say that they  have not always been his friend, there are times that they have ignored him, and even walked the opposite way from him, but most of them return, because they, and I, need him. We want his peace, his love, and we all need his mercy and grace, constantly, because we are sinners, but;

We know that we are loved by God! (John 3:16), and

We try to live like Jesus!

We try to keep his commands!

And because of this, we are saved!

There is one thing I remember, that the apostle Paul wrote in one of his letters, and I do not remember it to say of myself, “look, what a bad person I am or was”, but to remind myself that no matter how bad things go in my life, whether I stray from the path that God has for me, and then return to God for whatever reason, or if I do not love everyone always, as Jesus taught us to. , but I do remember that Jesus came ‘for the ungodly and sinners’ (1 Timothy 1:8 & 9 ESV – emphasis mine).

The world will judge us, and it will judge us in shades, theft is bad, aggravated assault is really bad, and murder is really extremely bad. Murder may be a black sin, and anything else may have shades of grey. But God is not like this, “a little white lie to protect” is still a lie and a sin, and theft, assault, and murder are also sins. Paul told the Roman Christians;

There is no one who is righteous… All have turned away from God; they have all done wrong’ (Romans 3:10 & 12 GNB).

The important thing is what we do with the knowledge that we have all sinned and done what is wrong in the eyes of God. What we need to do. Again, Paul knew how hard it was and is;

I don’t do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate’ (Romans 7:15 GNB).

But he also understood why Jesus had come;

we know that the law (of God) is good… … not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners’ (1 Timothy 1:8 & 9 ESV – emphasis mine).

I am definitely not, nor ever will be perfect while I live on earth. We were all born into a broken world, broken since the fall, but I know, and we can all know, that Jesus died for us!

That is so humbling to remember, and whenever I think I am getting too big for my boots, or thinking of myself “look at me”, I remember that our Lord Jesus Christ lay on a cross made of rough wood, for me; he spread his arms wide in love for me, and let Romans nail him to it, for my sin!

Furthermore I remember that Paul prompted Timothy to bring to mind how Paul recalled his life and journey to where he was;

formerly I was a blasphemer (sinner)… …  But I received mercy… … and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me… This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost’ (1 Timothy 1:13, 14 & 15 ESV – emphasis mine).

In 1933, the first television cartoon series with the popular character ‘Popeye the Sailor Man’ (created by E.C. Segar) started, and the first cartoon was titled ’I yam what I yam’ (http://popeye.com/timeline/ – accessed 11/01/19). Popeye used to regularly say, ‘I yam what I yam, and that’s all I yam’ (https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Popeye – accessed 12/01/19).

The saying was obviously not his own, not matter how often he said it, though we can all look at it and endorse the thought behind his sentiment. It is obvious that we are what and who we are; we are the sum of all our life’s experiences, the good, the bad and the indifferent, but how are we ‘what we are’?

In his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul re-iterated this message to them;

By this gospel you are saved’ (1 Corinthians 15:2 NIV – emphasis mine).

And he continued;

But by the grace of God I am what I am’ (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV).

We are here by the grace of God. By his grace I live, by his grace I breathe, and by his grace I am saved. Saved by his Son, who;

at just the right time… … died for the ungodly’ (Romans 5:6 NIV).

So no matter what life throws at us, no matter where God asks us to go, no matter what, we are saved by his grace.

You see;

For this is how God loves [loved] the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him’ (John 3:16 – 17 NLT).

So not matter the issue is, we need to think about how we deal with the problems of life. Sometimes we need to stop and think;

All it takes is a little grace (pause) a little of God’s grace, and all our problems seem to fade away. (pause) Now should we demand an explanation from our Lord? Question his methods, or should we merely enjoy the benefits?’ (Walter Goodfellow’s keynote speech – Keeping Mum – 2005 – N Johnson & R Russo).

I think that we should enjoy the benefit of knowing God, and knowing that we are saved by his never-ending grace.

Lord thank you for bringing us grace’ (Keeping Mum – 2005 – N Johnson & R Russo).

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I was nowhere, You came to my rescue
From the grave I’ve been raised
When I needed a saviour to save me
Jesus, You made a way
I was blind, but these eyes have been opened
Now I walk in the light
Ev’ry step on this road I will follow
Jesus, You made a way

You are the way 
You are the way
Lost and dead, but Your love came to find me
Jesus You are the way
Jesus, the only way
Jesus, the only way

All my days are secure in Your promise Never standing alone
You’re the truth, You’re the life, You’re my future
Jesus, You made a way
I’m alive in that love that You give me
Free to dance once again
You will lead me from glory to glory Jesus, You made a way

You are the way
You are the way
You’re the light shining bright in the darkness
Jesus You are the way

The Way (Pocketful of Faith #10)

B. Cantelon, N. Herbert & T. Hughes

 

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Father we thank you for your never-ending love, and grace. Without you in our life we can do nothing but live in fear, but with you, we have peace and a hope of a brighter future, one that you have planned for our benefit. Lord we love you so much, help us to live and show your love for us, to the world around us, and help us to be the salt and light that they need to find you.

Amen

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