03/03/2021

"I AM the Way"

Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers
Week #2 of a 7-Week Lenten/Easter "I AM" Series

Click HERE to download this transcript.

INTRODUCTION
Rev. Richard Rogers: Hello; I’m Richard Rogers, and this is Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center. And I think we have a great message for you tonight. You know, each week we want to offer you a little bit of spiritual food that makes your life better, that empowers you, that allows you to live your greatest possible life. And tonight, we’re going to talk about the power of God within you, and how we can access it in the greatest possible way.

OPENING PRAYER
But before we get that, let’s set the intention. And I want you to open your mind, your heart, your soul to this moment of prayer. That you see your life getting better and better. That your spiritual intention is to open the door to the infinite goodness of God. To allow all the blessings of God to fill your mind, your heart, your soul. That you are the living expression of all the good that God is. So for this we give thanks, and we dedicate this time to the fullness of God being revealed to each and every one of us. And so it is. Amen.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Alright, I’ve got a couple of announcements for you tonight. The first one is: March 7 is the last day – it’s a Sunday – it’s the last day you can sign up to be a part of our Spiritual Allies for Dismantling Racism. This is a commitment – a process – we’ve taken on as a ministry to do our part to dismantle racism in now. In our lifetime. To really change the process of our world so that all God’s children get to be treated with the highest level of love and respect. And that each and every one of us can play a part in that. And you can go online, and you can look at the program. You can sign up by March 7 and really be a part of this spiritual process of transformation.

Also, we want to call your attention to: Easter is coming up! We are just a few weeks away from Easter. Easter, of course, is on April 4. And we are going to have three services outside on the lawn at 6, 7:30 and 9 o’clock. So we’ve got three shows; Easter’s going to be fabulous! The music’s going to be wonderful! Rev. Maraj’s message is already going to be fabulous! So come and be a part of our Easter celebration outside in the garden.

Alright; that’s all the announcements that I have for you. Kirsten Plambeck is going to be singing our solo. And I’ll be right back with you.

SOLO
Guest artist Kirsten Plambeck sings, “I Believe I Can Fly”

I used to think that I could not go on
And life was nothing but an awful song
But now I know the meaning of true love
I’m leaning on the everlasting arms

If I can see it, then I can do it
Oh, if I just believe it, there’s nothing to it

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
See me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly

See I was on the verge of breaking down
Sometimes silence can seem so very loud
There are miracles in life I must achieve
But first I know it starts inside of me

If I can see it, oh, there’s nothing to it
Oh, if I just believe it, oh, then I can do it!

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly

Because I believe in me, yeah!

Oh, if I can see it, oh, then I can be it
Oh, if I just believe it, oh, there’s nothing to it!

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe! Oh, I believe!
I believe I can fly!

MESSAGE
Rev. Richard Rogers: Okay, so here we go! Today is the – tonight is the – second week of a series I’m doing on the “I AM” statements of Jesus. And there are times when Jesus said, “I AM,” and I want to really slow those down – I want to break them apart – so that we can really look at what that means in your life.

Because a lot of times we hear Jesus saying something, and we think, “Well, that applies to you, but that doesn’t apply to the rest of us!” You know! And what I want you to hear tonight is that – when Jesus is making these “I AM” statements – it really does apply to all of us! And that the “I AM” statement that I want us to take on tonight is, “I am the Truth … I am the way, the truth and the light; no one comes to the Father except through me.”

Now, how many of you have ever heard a minister say that? I have! Right? And usually when they’re saying that, they’re proclaiming that Jesus is the only path to God. Right? And that the only way that we can know God – experience God – is through Jesus.

And what’s interesting about that is that Jesus was a universalist in that his message – his work, his teachings, his miracles – were not just applied to his own people. That he was healing Romans and Jews. And he was healing/teaching to the Jews of his time and to the Romans, and anyone who was around him.

And so what’s interesting about this is: we, in Christianity, have taken this on. That Jesus was just about Christians. Well, Jesus wasn’t a Christian; he was [laughs] a good Jew! Right? And so when we look at this, what I want you to see is: his message wasn’t just applied to a certain sect or a certain group, or even a certain time. It was universal! He was actually speaking into human consciousness about a power – about a process. And that we can expand that.

Because fundamentalists – and it doesn’t matter if they’re Christian fundamentalists or Jewish fundamentalists or Hindu fundamentalists – they believe that their path is the only path. That there is only one way to experience life. There’s only one way to experience God, and they know what it is. They’ll be happy to tell you, and if you become one of them, they will reveal the path to you.

But that’s not what Jesus was about! Jesus was about making sure all God’s children … He talked about the, you know, the … when the sheep goes astray, that the shepherd goes to look for the one, and leaves the 99. Jesus was about a much broader picture of spirituality. About a relationship with God. And so, how do we hear this, when Jesus is recorded as saying, “I am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father but through me.”?

Well, for us to really understand this, we have to go back to Exodus. Because this is where that whole “I AM” idea was birthed. This is where God actually spoke His name as the “I AM.” So going from Exodus 3:

“Now Moses was keeping watch over the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. And he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. And he looked and, lo, the bush was burning, but it was not consumed. And Moses said, ‘I will turn aside and see this great sight; why is this bush burning, but is not burned?’ And then the Lord God said to him, ‘Turn aside.’ God called out to him and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And Moses said to Him, ‘Here I am.’ And then He said, ‘Do not come near; put your shoes off your feet, for the place where you’re standing is holy ground.’ And then He said, ‘I am the Lord, your God: the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at the face of God.

And then the Lord said, ‘I have seen the affliction of my people, who are in Egypt; I have heard their cries because of their taskmasters. And I know their suffering. And I have come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land to the good and broad land … And, behold, the cries of the people of Israel have come to me, and I have seen their oppression, which the Egyptians have oppressed upon them. And I want you to come and say to the Pharaoh, ‘Bring my people forth and the sons of Israel out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to the Pharaoh and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?’ He said, ‘I will be with you; and this shall be a sign to you that I shall send you and bring forth the people of Egypt, and you shall serve the Lord, your God, upon this mountain.’

And then Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I tell them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I AM who I AM … Tell them that the I AM has sent you.’”

Okay, so this is really the crux of the matter. Right? This is really the gist of the whole “I AM” statement. That the name that God chose for Himself is “I AM that I AM.” “Tell them that the ‘I AM’ has sent you.” Right?

So here are the Israelites. They left their homeland; they went to Egypt because there was a famine. And they stayed for too long. And I want you to think about maybe an area in your life – or an addiction in your life or a problem in your life – that, when you first went into that problem or that challenge or that situation, the answer that you came up with was a good answer. It worked! But then you stayed too long.

Have you ever gone to a party, and [laughs] you stayed too long? And it was a great party in the beginning! But then you stayed too long, and you didn’t go home! Right? That, for some of us, some is good, and too much is just about right!

And, as spiritual beings, what happened to the Israelites is: they went into Egypt, and then they forgot to go home. And, for so many of us in our spiritual life, we forget to go home. We forget to come back to Source. We forget to come back to where we really felt connected to the presence and power of God.

So then, the Spirit of God speaks to Moses, and it’s about liberating them. About setting them free. About removing them from being captives in Egypt, and bringing them to the Promised Land. Bringing them to this broad and good land that God had promised them.

And I want you to hear that this is a metaphor for your life! That all the places where you’ve lived too long in limitation. All the places where you’ve felt oppressed or needy or broken. This Scripture is speaking to you tonight to set you free: to allow you to move beyond the limitations. And then He gives us the path, right?

So God is speaking to an oppressed people, and giving them the path to freedom. And when Moses says, “What shall I call you? What name shall I tell them sent me?” He says, “I AM that I AM.” That our path to freedom – our path of liberation – is the path of discovering the power of the “I AM” within us!

Like, you can’t be free if you don’t know the power of God within you. If you don’t know the power of your “I AM.” For “I AM” is the way! It is the truth! It is the light! That you can’t move from where you are today without claiming the “I AM” in a greater way.

Because, for most of us, we know the power of claiming our “I AM” principle in a way that’s limited or destructive. “I am sick. I am broke. I am worthless. I am helpless.” Right? And we know that, as we claim our identity … When we claim our truest identity and we link it to anything that’s not becoming – anything that’s not a spiritual quality; anything that’s less than the very trueness of God … When we link our “I AM” to anything that’s limited, we are really limiting our own very nature. And this path – this transformation – is really about claiming the truth of who you are. That I AM whole. I AM complete. I AM a child of God. I AM powerful. I AM wise. I AM beautiful. I AM divine.

What I want you to see is that, as we begin to change what we link to our “I AM” nature, our life begins to change. And that’s why Jesus said it this way: “I am the way, the truth and the light.” Right? That “I AM” is your way! It is your truth! It is your light! “And that no one comes to the Father except through me.” Now, many Bible scholars believe that, when he said “me,” what he was really referring to is the “I AM.” If we add the “I AM” there, it changes everything! “No one comes to the Father except through the ‘I AM.’”

[Laughs] What I want you to feel tonight is that the only way that you can move your life from wherever it is right now to wherever you want it to be is to change the way you begin to speak about yourself, and what you’re linking to your “I AM.”

If you’re linking your “I AM” to a less than, to a pitiful, to a needy, to a broken, to a wounded self, you have missed the power of God. You have missed the fullness of God that is within you. But, as you begin to claim your “I AM” to the fullness of God – to the power of God within you – it is the truth! It is the light! It is the way! It is your way out of any limitation!

Now, what I want you to hear is something I wrote years ago. In fact, it was 1999. I wrote this booklet called “The Path of Freedom.” And on Tuesday of February 23rd … What’s interesting: in 1999, the dates line up perfectly for this year! Right? So it began on Ash Wednesday, on February 17. And this – 20-some years later – Ash Wednesday’s also on February 17. But this is Tuesday, February 23: “I am the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” –John 14:6

And this is what it said. This is what I wrote:

“It is the ‘I AM’ within me that is the key to me expressing God. Today I remember that, every time I say ‘I AM,’ I’m speaking God’s name. When I say, ‘I AM,’ I am claiming for myself as true whatever I follow it with. I am careful to attach my ‘I AM’ only to the words of freedom, faith, hope, love, strength and power. I do not perpetuate any form of bondage by saying something so destructive and powerful as, ‘I am tired. I am poor. I am ill. I am broke.’ I remember my ‘I AM’ as the way to freely express God, and I use it wisely. And I live in God’s grace. As I move through the events of this day, I affirm: ‘I am a powerful person of God.’”

See, what I really want you to begin to look at are the qualities that you want to claim and call forth through your “I AM” nature. “I am powerful. I am wise. I am guided. I am blessed. I am whole. I am complete.”

What I want you to begin to really look at are: what are the key words that would really establish your personal freedom right here and right now? And it is your way! It is your truth! It is your light! That, as we begin to take responsibility for recreating us in the original image that God had for us, we begin to use our “I AM” nature in ways that are absolutely transformative. That move us forward.

Now, have you ever said something as an affirmation, and you just know it’s a lie? Right? Like, “I am skinny.” Right? Like, I could affirm, “I am skinny,” and there’s going to be a part of me [laughs] that says, “Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.” Right? Like, even when I’m at my skinniest, I don’t feel skinny. Right? And so when I affirm, “I am skinny,” I am claiming a physical quality and linking my “I AM” to that physical quality.

Now, is there anything wrong with that? No. But what I want you to see is that that’s what creates some of the inner conflict. Like, if I was going to affirm, “I am a redhead. I am a redhead!” Right? Or, “I am plaid.” Right? “I am plaid; I’m just feeling plaid today! I am plaid!” Right? A rational mind steps in and says, “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” Right? A rational mind says, “No, you’re not! You’re not skinny! You’re not a redhead! You’re not plaid!” And what happens is: it just moves us into conflict.

But when we begin to affirm spiritual qualities — that are eternal; that are timeless; that are transformative – we begin to move out of the physical reality, and we begin to affirm that we are spiritual. “I am powerful. I am wise. I am abundant.” Right? When we begin to affirm spiritual qualities, what happens is the physical world begins to transform because of the spiritual truth that we’re claiming in this moment. And that’s what’s powerful! Right?

You could affirm, “I am a cook.” Or, “I am a bus driver.” Right? That may not be the most powerful version of your “I AM.” But if you say, “I am powerful. I am wise. I am capable. I am blessed. I am wise.” You know, when we begin to claim those spiritual qualities, everything in our live begins to transform from the inside out.

Whatever you feel is lacking or missing in your life, what is the spiritual quality that is underneath that that would transform everything? Today, I want you to really tap into the power of God within you. I want you to unleash the fullness of God that is your very nature. I want you to actually stop limiting yourself through the power of your words, and start unleashing yourself through the “I AM.” Through your “I AM” nature.

That you have been given the very power of God within you. And through the spoken word, we actually unleash the power of God. Jesus said, “Let your answer be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no.’ For anything else comes of evil.” When you link your “I AM” to negative qualities – to limited qualities, to qualities that aren’t aligned with God – you’re actually using your words in a way that is destructive.

Today, I want to ask you: Who sent you? Who sent you? Who sent you out into the world? Who sent you into this world to manifest and express all the good that God is? I believe that God sent you! That your name – your nature – is the very essence of God! It is the “I AM”!

And when you go back to your essence … When you go back to your heritage … when you go back to the truth of who you are, and begin to use the “I AM” as your passport to a life that is beyond big, beyond wonderful, beyond fabulous … When you begin to use your “I AM” as your passport to a greater life, and you only link “I AM” with those qualities that you want to be expressing, that you want to be acknowledging, that you want to be living … As you begin to affirm your “I AM” in this way, you actually unleash all that God is. And nobody can get to that Spirit of God unless they’re willing to align their “I AM” with that power: that “I AM the way!” And that no one comes to God but through me: through the “I AM” within!

Today, I want you to take yourself seriously. I want you to take yourself very seriously. And I want you to put away childish ways. I want you to put away limited self-talk. And I actually want you to begin to speak the word of God in a way that is becoming who you truly are. We can no longer afford for you to play small. We can no longer afford for you to be destructive about yourself. You were created in the image and likeness of God. And it is only through your “I AM” that you actually claim the full power of who you are.

It is time for you to step up. It is time for you to be the best version of you. All those limited, self-defeating, “pity-party” words that you use to describe about yourself: we have to put those away! We have to be serious about who we’re going to be. We’re going to have to be serious about the life that we want to step into. That God has promised you the kingdom of heaven. God has promised you the land of milk of honey. God has promised you a good and broad life. But you have to have the gumption to claim it. You have to have the willingness to put away your smallness for the fullness of who God is in you.

And it’s through the “I AM” that that happens. That, today, would you be willing to take yourself seriously? Would you be willing to take the promises of God seriously? That you are “all that”? That you were born, that you were created, that you were given the Spirit of God within you? And stop dinking around with it? Really stop dinking around with the presence of God within you, and unleash the fullness of who you are?

“I am created in the image and likeness of God. I am that I am! I am the living expression of all that God is! I am powerful! I am wise! I am abundant! I am capable! I am alive! I claim the very power of God!”

Today, I want you to grow up! [Winces] I know! It’s kind of harsh! But I want you to grow up! I want you to put away childish ways. I want you to put away childish speaking about yourself. I want you to put away all that is destructive and limited. And I want you to claim the way, the truth and the light. I want you to claim the very power of God within you. And I want you to take yourself seriously. That God created you. That you’re not a mistake. You’re not broken. You’re not limited. You have the full power of God within you. And I want you to take that very seriously today.

I want you to take on your truest nature. I want you to take on the very activity of God, and to claim it for yourself as if you know that that’s true. And to speak it into existence. To claim it over and over again, until every cell of your body vibrates with the truth of who you are. That you are created in the image and likeness of God. And I want you to take that seriously.

I want you to be the fullness of who you are meant to be. Put God to the test. Stand up and be the greatest version of you! The world needs it now more than ever. You being small or childish or petty doesn’t help us. It’s not good for you; it’s not good for any of us.

Today, claim who you really are. And let the fullness of God express through your life right here, right now. Let’s take that into prayer.

MEDITATION
I invite you to open your mind, your heart, your soul to the activity of God. And I want you to hear these words: I AM. And I want you to speak just the power of these words into your life: I AM. And I want you to feel all those places in your life where you’ve made an excuse for who you are. Where you’ve downplayed yourself. Where you’ve limited yourself. Where you’ve allowed yourself to believe that you are broken or ugly or limited or wrong. And, today, I want you to claim who you truly are. I AM!

I AM! I AM! I AM! I am all that God is within me. I am the greatest that God is. I am the life; I am the way; I am the truth; I am the power; I am the wisdom; I am the beauty; I am the love. I AM!

Today, put away small ways. Put away childish ways. Put away limited ways. Put away all those thoughts that you are broken or less than, and claim, “I AM”!

Take another deep breath. And I want you to breathe in that “I AM” nature. I want you to breathe in the power of God within you. I AM. I AM. I AM. I claim the fullness of God within me. I AM. I am the very nature of God. I AM. I let go of all limited beliefs, all limited ideas. All old, broken, little words I’ve used to describe myself. And I claim the full power of the “I AM.” I AM! I AM! I AM. I AM.

And there’s never too much. You can never claim too much of God! You can never claim too many blessings! You can never claim too much light or love or peace or abundance, because it’s all for you: the land of milk and honey. The promises that God has made to your soul from the beginning of time are all for you!

Take another deep breath, and I AM. I AM. I’m not a mistake. God didn’t make a mistake. I AM. No excuses. No brokenness. I AM. I AM. I AM. I AM.

And we see – as you claim this “I AM” power – how you give permission for everyone in your life to take their own step forward. To be more magnificent than they’ve ever been before, as well. That we see the entire planet stepping into the fullness of who they are. That the entire planet claims their “I AM” nature! I AM. I AM. I AM. And I have always been the “I AM.” I AM. And so it is. Amen.

CLOSING/COLLECTION
Alright! I hope this message for you tonight was powerful. I hope that it’s transformative. I hope you allow these words to transform every level of your life! Because the truth is that the fullness of God is within you, and it’s waiting to be expressed in your life!

Alright; our offering blessing is: “Divine love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive.” Let’s say that together: “Divine love, through me, blesses and multiplies all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive.” In the name and through the power of the Living Christ, we dedicate every gift and every giver to the glory of God. That, as humanity, we are waking up to the power of God within us. That we are living our best life.

Thank you, God; thank you, God; thank you, God, for every gift. For every giver. For the blessings of this ministry. And we dedicate this ministry to the power of pure good. The power of pure God. That the work of this ministry goes out in every direction to make a spiritual difference. And so it is. Amen.

Alright; let’s affirm together our Prayer for Protection:

The light of God surrounds us;
The love of God enfolds us;
The power of God protects us;
And the presence of God watches over us.
Wherever we are, God is! And all is swell!

 So God bless you, friends! I hope you have a great week! The choir’s going to sing us out with the “Peace Song.” And just know – without a shadow of doubt – that the Spirit of God in you wants you to speak in a more powerful way than ever before to truly transform your life. And so it is. Amen.

Unity of Phoenix Choir sings:
Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth;
the peace that was meant to be.

With God as Creator,
family all are we.
Let us walk with each other
in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me;
let this be the moment now.
With every step I take,
Let this be my joyous vow:

To take each moment
and live each moment
in peace eternally!

Let there be peace on earth
and let it begin with me!

Copyright 2021 Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center/Rev. Richard Rogers

 

 

Location and Contact Information

Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

1500 E Greenway Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Phone: (602) 978-3200

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