“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

Jesus is staying with His theme that he started with the last I AM statement of shepherding sheep. The people he was speaking to would know shepherding as a profession and they would also have known scripture and that famous Psalm that referred to the Lord as shepherd. Jesus started immediately making the correlation that a hired hand would have tucked tail and run at the sign of danger to the sheep. But a good shepherd would lay down his life for his sheep. A good shepherd would not leave the sheep in danger but would face the danger even to the point of risking his own life. Jesus was also foretelling His own destiny of the cross, as He would be laying down His life for us. 

Jesus repeats this statement in verse 14. 

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15 

Every step Jesus took when He was in His earthly ministry was in preparation for the cross. Can you imagine? He knew what was coming the entire time. He knew where it would lead and what His purpose was. And He kept that purpose in mind in the lessons and parables that He taught. So when He was saying here “I sacrifice my life for the sheep”, He knew what a sacrifice He would be making. Yet He was still choosing to be our shepherd. Please let that sink in. Jesus was fully man, but He was also fully God. He knew how the story would play out. He was being real and truthful when He said He would sacrifice His life for His sheep. It was already in the plan. This plan gives us access to the Father. We have access because of the sacrifice Jesus was willingly making for us. 

Jesus is not only our door, He is our shepherd. He calls to us and He leads us. Following Him every day will never lead to danger. He will lead you and He will guide you when you follow His voice. Sometimes in my studies I find a sentence or a phrase that is just so beautiful it bears repeating. I’m not even sure in this case who to give credit to but I will leave you with it here. 

“As those he loves, we are able to hear his voice and follow his leadership, knowing he is good. We are not asked to measure up to some impossible standard or earn his approval. He simply asks us to hear and follow, but that decision is ours to make. He will not force it upon us.” 

Won’t you listen, hear and follow the Shepherd’s voice.  He is calling. 


“Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” John 10:7

Some translations will say gate, some say door. The picture that the people would have gotten from what Jesus was saying is that of a sheepfold, where flocks of sheep were kept when they were brought home. A sheepfold would have one way in and out. It’s my understanding that many times it may be connected to the house, or in a town there may be one sheepfold that held many sheep from many flocks. Now when I look at sheep, I would think you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. But that is not so for the shepherd of the sheep. He would know his own, and the sheep would know their masters voice. So much so, that he could stand at the door of the sheepfold and call out for his sheep and only his sheep would follow. They could be commingled in the sheepfold with many other flocks, but when their master called they were ready to follow him. 

“To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” John 10:3-4

Also when the shepherd would lead his sheep into the sheepfold he would lead them through the gate by his voice and after his sheep were in safe and sound, he would lay down across the door of the sheepfold so as to offer protection for his sheep. No one could get past him when trying to get to the sheep and the sheep could not wander out of the door. Much the same way when we are following our shepherds voice there is a protection for us. When we are walking with the Lord, we are walking under His protection. Following His voice is protection for us. I can honestly say that the Lord has never led me wrong. When I am following His voice, even if He is calling me to do something I don’t particularly want to do, there will be a blessing at the end of the task when I follow His voice. And it’s one that I can look back and say oh I’m so glad I followed. 

You might be asking how do you know His voice. Well I can honestly say it’s with time well spent with Him. Early on in my walk, even if I felt a leading or a stirring in my soul, I would question if it was the voice of God I was hearing or was it just my own thoughts running amok. However as I have spent time with Him, I can generally discern if my thoughts are a leading of the Holy Spirit or if it is my own thoughts. But when I do have questions there are a few things I might do. 

First I will check it with scripture. If I feel a stirring that doesn’t line up with scripture, then that is my first indication that the stirring I feel is me, or worse yet it will be some other leading from the enemy. That one is always a sure thing. If it doesn’t line up with scripture, if it goes against scripture, don’t follow that voice, that is not your Shepherd. 

Second if I can’t find anything scripturally that would lead me in a definite direction, I ask Him to affirm my thoughts. The answer to this one may come in a sermon or a song that I hear, or sometimes in a conversation that I have with someone that will address what is on my heart usually without even knowing it. When I receive affirmation that it is the Shepherd leading, I’ll follow Him where He leads. I have had things that He affirms quickly and I have had things I have pondered for a few days before I feel a clear direction. 

Third, I must address that time spent with Him, will clarify His voice in your heart. I will know my spouse or my children’s voice when I hear them anytime and anywhere. Because we are familiar, we have spent years together. It’s much the same with Jesus. When you spend time with Him, you will know His voice, He will lead you through open doors and out of open doors. He will not lead you astray and He will protect you. 

Friends if you are not sure if that is your Shepherd calling you, wait, check the calling with scripture, ask Him to affirm it, then spend time with Him daily so that you can know His voice when He calls. 


“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12

Jesus had been teaching in the temple when the Scribes and the Pharisees brought him a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. Now the way this reads there were actual witnesses to this act which would lend thought to the fact that she was set up. The act of adultery is not something that people would commonly be caught in the ACT of. When they brought the woman to Jesus they pointed out that she was “caught in the act”. Well first of all, if she was “caught in the act” where was the man she was caught with? Also when they want to bring up the Law of Moses which commanded she be stoned for such an act, what they are saying is there were at least 2 witnesses to the act. It is true this was a law of Moses, but it couldn’t be speculation in order to legally carry out stoning. There had to be at least the 2 witnesses of the very act. Meaning they couldn’t just see them leaving a private place together they had to actually witness it. They brought this woman to Jesus to get Him to accuse her. They were using her as a weapon to use against Jesus. Adultery is not a solitary sin. There would have had to be another offender. And with this being a set up against her, they were obviously not without sin themselves. 

Jesus, the only one in the crowd who had the right to point out everyone’s sin… the woman’s sin, He could have asked where is the man, He could have asked them how on earth they witnessed such a private sin, did nothing. He stooped down and wrote in the dirt. Now I have heard many sermons and teachings and read many lessons where people wonder what was He writing. But the point here not what He wrote, the point is He did not condemn her. 

They didn’t get it. So Jesus stood up and He told them. 

“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7

And he just bent down again and wrote in the dirt. I wonder was the man who she was caught with the first to walk away. It says in scripture, they all walked away starting with the older ones. Well isn’t that fitting, I know the older I get, the more I realize the grace that has been on my life. And I don’t want to, and I know I don’t have the right to throw a stone at anyone. My sins are no worse than anyone else’s. I have things that I realize had it not been for the grace of Jesus to lead me out of them, there is no telling what kind of person I would be now. Eventually it was just Jesus and the woman. 

“Jesus stood up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one Lord,’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and from now on sin no more.’” John 8:10-11

The next line in scripture is Jesus going right back to teaching. His teaching had been interrupted by this event and He seemingly picks up right where He left off. But after such an event, it spoke volumes. 

“Again Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12

Jesus was again speaking to them of things they knew as He resumed his teaching. Light was an important symbol to the people. They would have known the significance of the Israelites following a pillar of fire during their years in the wilderness and they used light in their Feasts to signify this. Jesus just applied it to himself when He told them I AM LIGHT OF THE WORLD!

The Scribes and Pharisees wanted to condemn this woman’s dark sin. Jesus shone His light on her and gave her a reason to put away that sin and follow Him, the Light of the World! 


Last Friday we studied God’s name “I AM that I AM.” There are seven times that it is recorded that Jesus used the phrase I Am in the book of John. We will explore these over the next several days.

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’” John 6:35

Bread was on their mind. Jesus was talking to a crowd of people who had come to find him after witnessing and being a part of the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus had fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Afterward, He had withdrawn from the crowd because they had gotten overzealous and were about to try to make Him king. Jesus withdrew from them and went to the mountain by himself. (John 6:15)

That evening the disciples had set out in their boat to Capernaum with no Jesus with them, but Jesus had walked on water to get to them. 

The next day some of the crowd that he had fed was looking for Him and when they couldn’t find Him they got into boats and went to Capernaum themselves. When they found Him they began to question Him. Jesus knew however that the reason they were looking was they wanted a repeat performance from the day before. It wasn’t that they wanted Him as much as they wanted more bread! They wanted another miracle just like that one! 

Oh how many times have I tried to get Jesus to give me a repeat performance of something He has already done for me? How many times have I been in some worship service that I felt Him so strongly that I wanted somehow to reconstruct that service, instead of seeking Him from that service? Apart from that service? How many times have I been seeking Him to answer some prayer for me that, maybe He has done something similar in the past, so I want to dictate to Him how I want it answered in the here and now. But Jesus didn’t want to just perform miraculous signs for them. Jesus wanted them! And He wanted them to want Him, not just His signs and wonders and miracles! He wanted their hearts. And Jesus doesn’t want me to reconstruct a worship service or for me to tell Him how to answer my prayers. He wants my heart and He wants me to seek Him, not just what He can do for me. 

He was speaking to them about bread here because that was what was on their mind. They also would have been no stranger to the happenings of Moses and the Israelites who ate the manna in the wilderness. So He was able to correlate His story to Moses. God gave the Israelites the Manna from heaven. And God has given His son to be the bread of life. In answering them the way He did, he had hoped to change their thinking from the materialistic here and now to kingdom thoughts of what they would gain from seeking Him. Not just what He can do for them. 

Now let me say here, I have had Jesus answer prayers for me, but I have also had Jesus delay the answers to prayers or not to answer them in the way or the timing that I so wanted Him to. But what I have always found when I pray is Him. And the nourishment I receive from Him is far better and far outweighs any thing I can receive from Him. 

Oh Lord, may I not just seek answers to my prayers but may I seek your heart and may I find you when I seek you with all of mine.  


“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” Luke 1:31

This is my most very favorite name above all names in the Bible.  God told Mary to name His son Jesus. Yes, we have been studying the names of God, but we also know that while Jesus is the son of God, Jesus is God. He is 2 parts of the trinity, the triune God. In the book of John, Jesus says: 

“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30 

Now don’t expect me to explain that, I don’t understand the trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I just accept it and what we are studying here anyway are the names. Jesus is the most precious name. 

Jesus was a common name in those days but God was setting that name apart for all eternity when He named His son Jesus and He goes on in the next verses to begin to define Jesus name for us. 

“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:32-33

Jesus is great! He is perfect is nature, He is the Savior of the world, He is the unblemished Lamb that they had no concept at that time what would happen in His earthly life.

He is the son of the Most High, Jesus was not the only son of Mary, but He is the Son of God, 

He is given the throne of his father David. The Messiah was prophesied to David (2 Samuel 7:12-16) and he would have the rightful authority to rule over Israel. Mary would know that when she was told He was given the throne of his father David that it meant that He would be Messiah. She didn’t fully understand how it would play out but she knew that is what was meant by that. Her son is King and of his kingdom there will be no end.

I can’t even fathom the thoughts going through Mary’s mind at this point. But that’s not our point at this time. Yes Jesus name means all of these things and so many other things (we could extend this study for a long time going over these names). But what does Jesus name mean to me. 

Just saying Jesus name will calm my spirit. When I am feeling anxious, I can say His name and I can literally feel my heart begin to calm. Sometimes I may have to keep saying it depending on the circumstances but it’s what I do to turn my eyes to Him instead of what is upsetting me. It’s what I do to put Jesus in front of me instead of my circumstances. 

Jesus is my Savior. Not just for my salvation although that is the most important way He has saved me. Because of Him I know where my eternity lies, but also because of Him, He saves me every day, from myself and my own stupid ways sometime, from crazy thoughts and anxiety, from my fears and my doubts. Jesus sets my feet on solid ground and I am able to walk out this crazy life when life is hard and when it is good. He saves me every day. He steadies me. 

Jesus is not only the king of the world, He is the king of my world. He is the King of my heart. There is a quote that I have heard many times on a podcast that I listen to, Emily P. Freeman’s, The Next Right Thing. Emily says this is her favorite quote and it has really become one of mine as well. 

“I am one in whom Christ dwells and delights. I live in the strong and unshakable kingdom of God. The kingdom is not in trouble and neither am I.” James Bryan Smith via Emily P. Freeman

My friend because of Jesus, because He is the Son of the Most High, the Messiah, the King of this World, if you belong to Him, He dwells in you and He delights in you. We live in His strong and unshakable kingdom. And no matter how shaky our world, our country, our lives may seem to be right now the unshakable kingdom of God is not in trouble and therefore neither am I, neither are you! 

If you feel you are on shaky ground today, just speak His name, the name above all other names! Jesus! 


“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14

Studying Yahweh this week we found that this I AM statement was when God introduced himself to Moses as I AM, YHWH. This is the Holy name of God. 

In the book of John, we see Jesus use this statement too. 

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’” John 8:58

Jesus said these words in response to the religious leaders who were trying to “trip him up” so to speak. The religious leaders of his day were always trying to find something to accuse Him of so that they could arrest Him and/or have Him killed. They were threatened by the way the people followed Jesus. They had at this time resorted to name calling, telling Jesus He had a demon and calling Him a Samaritan. (John 8:48) Jesus knew what He was doing when he told them “before Abraham was I am.” He knew that they would not like it and that they would know exactly what He was talking about. He knew they would call it blasphemous. But Jesus didn’t come to make nice with the religious leaders of that day. Jesus was telling them exactly who He is. 

“I am” was a title of deity to the Jews. They knew the stories of Abraham and Moses and the burning bush so for Jesus to use this phrase to them was bold in their opinions. They would think it was  blasphemous. This was language that would have been reserved for only God to use. The religious leaders acted exactly as Jesus would have thought they would. They picked up stones to throw at Him. They were caught up in the moment and they intended to kill Him, but Jesus hid himself and escaped them at this time. His time had not come. 

Another thing about this being the Holy name of God, please note it is present tense. God is I AM to Moses and to Abraham. Jesus is I AM to the religious leaders and Jesus is I AM to you and to me. He is I AM! Not I was or I will be. He is with me today as He was with me yesterday and as He will be tomorrow. He is always in the present with me. Whatever my circumstances, whether I am walking closely with Him, recognizing His presence or whether I am not. Because I believe and I belong to Him, He is I AM to me! 

YAHWEH is Personal! 

“These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.” Genesis 2:4

This was the absolute first mention of YHWH in the Bible. In Genesis chapter 1 God was creating, therefore He would have been known as Elohim our creative God there. But in chapter 2 He is mentioned as YHWH. Don’t forget when you see LORD (all caps) in scripture this is YHWH and it is personal. In Genesis 2, when God was creating man and woman, He became personal, relational. He went from Elohim to YHWH. 

Also when you say Yahweh aloud it is like a breath. Try it, say it out loud. Tell me you can’t say it and it feel like breathing. He is the very breath in our lungs.

As we continue on with our 7 points. 

6.  Yahweh keeps His covenant with us. 

The word covenant means a coming together, a contract or agreement on promises. God is always faithful to keep His word. 

“God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken and will he not fulfill it?” Numbers 23:19

God desires relationship with us and He pursues relationship with us. I know that I have heard it said and you probably have too that if your relationship with God is not what it should be you are the one who moved away from it. Not God. We can trust Him! He is not a wish granter where we will always get everything we want but He will walk out with us whatever we are going through! He has promised not to leave nor forsake us and He won’t. 

7. Yahweh is Full of Mystery… but Worth Seeking! 

We will never come to a full complete understanding of God. We aren’t meant to. But we can know Him more and more fully than we did yesterday. One of my favorite verses in all of scripture (I know I have said that before) is found in Jeremiah. 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

But have you read the next two verses? That’s where the secret to our future and hope lie. That’s where we come in. 

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13

Yes! God does have a plan for your life, as well as a plan for mine. But the way to find out that plan and to walk in it is to come to Him, to pray to Him, to seek Him with all your heart, so that you will find Him! That’s the true plan, to find Him and then the rest will come! 

Oh LORD, Adonai, Father, YHWH may we seek you today and may we find you. Open the eyes of our hearts Lord that we may see you! 

(7 points are from an article written by Jenna Martin, a youth ministry worker and freelance writer, I expounded on the points by my own studies.)


Just before God introduced Himself as YHWH, He gave another description of Himself. 

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14

In the course of two verses, God showed Himself to Moses as I AM and YHWH! Continuing to explore our 7 points of Yahweh and why this name is so important. 

3. Yahweh is with us. God exists! 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3

God is here, whether we recognize that He is or not. He interacts with us and among us.  He is not obligated to do so. He simply is and He does so because He loves us. 

4. Yahweh is unchanging. 

He is the same today as He was yesterday and as He will be tomorrow. We live in a world that wants us to conform to its way of thinking. Well that has obviously been going on for centuries. In the book of Hebrews it says: 

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.” Hebrews 13:8-9

Does that sound familiar? We have all sorts of strange teachings going on around us today. And because we as christians do not conform to them we are considered intolerant.

5. Yahweh is wholly other than us. We are made in God’s image, yet God is not like us. 

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

God is holy and He is higher, He is infinite and He is all being, all knowing, omnipotent. Just like the Psalmist says (Psalm 8:4) what are we that God is even mindful of us. We GET to approach the throne of grace because of what Jesus did for us. But even though we get to do that, let us never forget who He is! 

He is I AM! 

(7 points are from an article written by Jenna Martin, a youth ministry worker and freelance writer, I expounded on the points by my own studies. We will look at 6 and 7 tomorrow.)


Of all the names of God that we have studied, Yahweh is the Holy of Holies! (My thoughts) I have found studying this name the biggest struggle. Why? Because while I never want to mishandle the Word of Truth, this is the one that humbles me the most. I FEAR mishandling this one. Not because I am afraid that God will blast me, or even be disappointed in me if I do. But because this is the one that is the all encompassing, the Holiest, the one most revered. 

There are seven points that I found in my studies that point to the importance of this name of God. We will break these up into a couple of days. 

1. Yahweh is self-existent. God does not need us nor does He need the air that we need to breathe. Nor does He need water or food. God is infinite! He was here before time began and He will be here when time as we know it ends. God does not need us. Which brings us to the most awe inspiring next point. 

2.  Yahweh is Relational. When God introduces Himself as Yahweh, He said He was the God of your Fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Exodus 3:15) He personalized Himself right there. He let it be known that even though He does not need us, He had relationship with these great men in the past and he desires relationship now. Another example of this is in Psalm 19. The first 6 verses of this Psalm in the original text use Elohim, which we know is a name of God as Creator. 

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to Day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.” Psalm 19:1-6

But in verse 7 the Psalmist shifts to use Yahweh, in our translations LORD and it is talking about his personal relationship or experiences with God. 

“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:7-10

Everywhere you see LORD was YHWH in the original text. Do you see how personal it is. Yahweh is for us. Yes He is the Creator of the universe but when He touches your life and you know Him, you let Him revive you and speak to you and give you direction and wisdom and you take it, it is the sweetest relationship you will ever have. Sweeter even than honey!

We will continue the 7 points tomorrow. 


When reading your Bible you may have noticed that you will see the word lord written three different ways: lord, Lord or LORD. When you see the word as lord it is always referring to men. When you see it written as Lord, it is referring to the Hebrew word Adonai. But when you see it written in all caps, LORD this is the Hebrew name of God – Yahweh, or actually YHWH. 

This was considered the personal, sacred name of the God of Israel. Eventually it would be spoken only by the priests. And eventually, over time the Jewish people felt that the name was too holy to be pronounced aloud at all. They would substitute this name with Adonai when referring or reading the name of God. 

Yahweh appears in the Hebrew Scriptures over 5,000 times in every book of the Bible with the exception of the book of Esther and Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon only mentions Yahweh once in verse 8:6. 

One of the first instances of Yahweh that I could find was in Genesis 2:4.  

“These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.” Genesis 2:4

But one of the most significant places in scripture that Yahweh exists is in Exodus. 

“God also said to Moses, ‘Say this to the people of Israel: The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” Exodus 3:15

Remember when you are studying scripture that every time you see LORD, in all caps, this is referring to Yahweh. His name is higher, His name is greater, His name is above all. He is the Holy One of Israel and He is the Holy One of my heart! He is the same today as He was yesterday and He is the same today as He will be tomorrow. You can trust Him to always be. Yahweh may be too Holy to speak aloud but I think you can always call on Him in your heart.