I Am With You!

This is an excerpt from Adult Coloring Bible Study: Exodus (lesson one)  

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Step One:  Read Exodus Chapters 1-3

Focus Verses

Exodus 3:13-15 (NKJV)   13 Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" 14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' "15 Moreover God said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: 'The Lord 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 this is My memorial to all generations.'”

Thoughts from Leslie
In these scriptures, Moses is very worried that the Israelites will not know God.  Moses is asking God what he should tell the Israelites.  This is so fitting for today, because many of us today ask that SAME question......WHO ARE YOU, GOD? 
Sadly, many people feel like they don't really know God.  They wonder if He really loves them.  The answer is:  Yes! God SINCERELY wants to be known!  He truly loves each and every one of us!  As we study the book of Exodus more in-depth, we will discover that the Lord longed to have a relationship with the Israelites, and with YOU still today. 
My prayer is that we will also come to realize just how deeply Our Heavenly Father truly longs to have a relationship with YOU! 
What does the name "I AM" really mean? 
The original words were "ehyeh asher ehyeh"- which means- I Will Be There Howsoever I Will Be There! 
In biblical times a name was given to someone as a description.  A person's name would describe why that person was born, or it would be given to describe a person's character.  A person’s name in those days was known to have a very special meaning.  For example, the name Abraham means "father of many." Abraham was born for a special purpose.  He would be the father of all the Israelites. 
Knowing the meaning behind the names of this time makes the name, "I Am" even MORE incredible!  God could have chosen ANY extraordinary name that He wanted for His introduction.  He could have said, tell them I am THE GREAT ONE...tell them I am THE MOST AMAZING......or tell them I am MR. MAGNIFICENT - - - - BUT HE DIDN'T. 
Instead He chose to USE this opportunity to reveal just how much He LOVED and CARED for them.  He wanted them to know from the very beginning that: HE WOULD BE WITH THEM.  HE WOULD ALWAYS BE WITH THEM! 
God LOVES YOU just as He loved the Israelites!  And He wants YOU to know: He is with YOU!  He will always be with you! Background information about the Israelites: 
 Who were the Israelites and why were they God's chosen people?    What was THEIR special purpose? 
The answers to BOTH of these questions are centered around ONE thing:  God's LOVE for ALL of His people. 
The Israelites were CHOSEN for a PURPOSE!  They were chosen to be the people who would SPREAD God's LOVE, provide instruction to others and they were chosen to MODEL what it looked like to be a "holy" people. 
The Israelites lived in a time (just as we do today) where many people worshiped false gods.  God wanted His truth and LOVE to be spread to all people - all.  So He decided to create a group of people who would be in charge of this and lead the people away from the false gods and back to the one true God.  These people, these leaders, the prophets and priests of Biblical times, would be given great blessings, but they would also be given great responsibility.  They are also the direct blood line of JESUS! The Israelites were by no means perfect people, but God still used them to spread His love!  He blessed them so that THEY could bless others. 
IMPORTANT FACT: The Israelites were important to God because all His children are important to God. 

 Connection to Us
Why is studying about "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" important to us today?   The answer, of course centers around LOVE!  We can learn more about LOVE and more about GOD by looking closely at the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 
One way to determine if someone truly loves you, is that they will give to you even when you are in no position to repay. 
There is clear evidence of God’s love for His children throughout the Bible. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were given great blessings from God.  God KNEW they could never repay, but He BLESSED them anyway.   
We can find that evidence in the following scriptures: 
Blessings given to Abraham
Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)    Now the LORD had said to Abram, depart from your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you: And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.  
Blessings given to Isaac   
Genesis 26: 1-4 (NKJV) 1 There was a famine in the land besides the previous famine that was in the days of Abraham.  And Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines, in Gerar.  2. Then the Lord appeared to him and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you.  3. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and to your descendants I give all these lands, and I will confirm the oath which I swore to Abraham your Father. 
Blessings given to Jacob   
Genesis 35: 9-11 (NKJV)        9 Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 And God said to him, "Your name is Jacob; You shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name."  So he called his name Israel. 11 Also God said to him: "I am God Almighty; Be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from your body.   
This is TRUE love!  God BLESSED them because He LOVED each of them!    
He blesses us today for the same reason:  He loves us with His true, unselfish, amazing, perfect love, AND He blesses us just as much.  Here is the blessing given to each of us: 
John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 
Lesson One Discussion Questions
1. Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt so overwhelmed that it was almost impossible for you to move forward?  Will you share that time? 
2. Did you have anyone in your life that you could lean on or depend on to help you? Tell us about that person. 
3. How does it help during these dark times of our lives to know that we have someone that cares about us? 
4. Have you ever been the person that someone else depended on during one of these trying times?  What do you remember most about that time? 
5. Is it difficult to be the one that someone else relies on?  Why or why not? 
6. Would it help during those hard times if we could actually see God carrying us?  Why or why not? 
7. Since God is truly carrying us, why do you think it is so difficult for us to FEEL His presence?