Posted by: dhkrause | December 8, 2022

All the Promises of God

All the promises of God are fulfilled in Jesus Christ, as Paul declares in
2 Corinthians 1:20 (ESV), “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”

For example, the first promise of God recorded in the Bible was spoken in the Garden of Eden to the serpent who had persuaded Eve to disobey God. Scholars throughout the centuries interpreted this prophecy to mean that a Savior born of a virgin would one day remove the false authority of the devil, while suffering physically to do so.

Genesis 3 (NKJV)
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel
.”

This prophecy in Genesis 3;15 is repeated in the prophecy of
Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV), Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Matthew 1 records the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary in fulfillment of this prophecy, quoting Isaiah 7:14 in verse 23.

Matthew 1 (NKJV)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

Isaiah 9:6-7
gives additional prophecies about this Savior:

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.

In Luke 4, Jesus stood and read in the synagogue at Nazareth the beginning words of another Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 61, and then announced He had come to fulfill those words of promise.

Luke 4 (NKJV)
16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Through Jesus Christ, God is fulfilling His promises in Ezekiel 36 and Jeremiah 31 to give His people a new heart, a new spirit, and a new covenant

Ezekiel 36 (NKJV)
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Jeremiah 31 (NKJV)
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you
.

33 … this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time”. Jesus invites all who are weary and heavy laden to come to Him, to believe, receive and follow Him, to find true salvation and rest for our souls.

Matthew 11 (NKJV)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

David Krause, dhkrause2@gmail.com, https://compellinglove.net/

Posted by: dhkrause | November 15, 2022

The Truth that Makes Us Free

The truth will make you free – free to be all that God created you to be.  Jesus declares in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  Jesus then emphasizes that he is especially speaking about being free from sin, free from all that contradicts God’s perfect will for our lives:

John 8 (NKJV)
33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

In Jesus’ confrontation with the Roman governor Pilate, He declares “I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.”  Pilate responded with an interesting question, “What is truth?” He did not wait for an answer, but went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.” (John 18:37-38)

Jesus declares in John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

The revelation of the truth of Jesus Christ is most clearly stated in the first 18 verses of the gospel of John.  The Word that was with God in the beginning, was incarnate as Jesus Christ, “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

John 1 (NKJV)
The Eternal Word
1 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 nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John’s Witness: The True Light
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”

16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

Jesus declares these living words in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Jesus again connects knowing the truth with having eternal life in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  

In John 16, Jesus promises that the Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth, and will glorify Him.

John 16 (NKJV)
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

Knowing the truth of who Jesus is makes us free to walk with God eternally.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-20

David Krause, dhkrause2@gmail.com, https://compellinglove.net/

Posted by: dhkrause | October 31, 2022

I Will Bless the Lord at All Times

David exemplifies in Psalm 34 what it means to praise and bless the Lord at all times, even when facing threats and afflictions.  He then provides a prophetic picture of the coming Messiah, who suffered and died for us: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.” (Psalm 34:19-20)  Verses 1-4 can be read and sung with thankfulness to the Savior who gave His life for us.  Jesus describes His sacrifice for us in John 3:16,“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.”

David declares in Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” David sets an example of blessing the Lord at all times, whether those times be happy or hard.  Indeed, God delights in blessing the faithful, though all of us will face afflictions at times.At all times, we can trust in Jesus’ promise in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

Psalm 34 (NKJV)
 I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34 (continued)
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.

David again describes God’s faithfulness in Psalm 37:4,Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37 (NKJV)
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.

In Psalm 73, David’s worship leader, Asaph struggles with seeing how sometimes the wicked prosper and the righteous go through great trials.  Finally, God shows him the glorious future of the faithful and the future desolation of the wicked. Then like David in Psalm 34, he rises up with praise and thanksgiving to our faithful God.

Psalm 73 (NKJV)
Truly God is good to Israel,
To such as are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
My steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

16 When I thought how to understand this,
It was too painful for me—
17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their end.

18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
 

22 I was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

In Matthew 5, Jesus spoke many encouraging words, particularly for those going through hard times. His words again point us to the glorious future awaiting those who keep the faith.

Matthew 5 (NKJV)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

In John 16, Jesus tells the disciples of his coming death and ascension to the Father, concluding in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Knowing this, we like David can declare, “I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34:1)

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/ 

Posted by: dhkrause | October 16, 2022

Knowing the Only True God

In His prayer in John 17, Jesus describes the Son of God as the giver of eternal life.  He then declares, “this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 17 (NKJV)

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

To understand these statements, it is helpful to carefully read and understand the prologue to John’s gospel (John 1:1-18).  He begins by declaring the eternal existence of the Son of God (portrayed in this passage as “the Word”) and His relationship to the Father, with whom He shares deity:

John 1 (NKJV)

The Eternal Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

The eternal Word, the Son of God, is declared to be the Creator, through whom all things were made:

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

The Son of God, the eternal Word, is the source of all life, and the source of the light of consciousness in every person:

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

When this light of life shines in the darkness of this world, people often do not readily understand and comprehend it.

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

When Jesus begins His ministry, John the Immerser bears anointed witness of Him:

John’s Witness: The True Light

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word, came into the world that He had made, and people did not know Him.  He came to His own, a nation specially called to be God’s people, and most did not receive Him:

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

But those who did receive Him, those who believed in His name, were born from above by the Spirit, as children of God:

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

In summary, the Word became flesh (incarnate) and dwelt among His people.  Those who beheld His glory saw Him to be the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

When Jesus began His ministry, John pointed his own followers to Jesus saying that although “He comes after me”, “He was before me.”  John meant that though Jesus was born after him, and  began His public ministry after him, Jesus was before him as the eternally existing the Son of God:

15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”

Jesus was the fullness of God in human flesh, and those who follow Him receive of His fullness, and grace upon grace.

16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

God gave the law through Moses, and through Jesus Christ He gave grace and truth to fulfill the law.

17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Though none of us has seen God, the Son of God who is continually with the Father, has declared and revealed Him.

18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

1 John 5 declares that He came so that we may know the true and living God: “Him who is true” and His Son Jesus Christ.  “This is the true God and eternal life.

1 John 5 (NKJV)

20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

David Krause, dhkrause2@gmail.com, https://compellinglove.net/

Posted by: dhkrause | May 12, 2022

Redeemer, Comforter and Lord

In John chapter 3, Jesus declared one of the best-known verses in the Bible:

John 3 (NKJV)

16 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.

1 John 4 further describes this amazing gift of God.

1 John 4 (NKJV)

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

19 We love Him because He first loved us.

Christ went through great pain and died for us, that we might be spiritually born again. He is risen and alive forevermore. He is the resurrected Lord, who by the presence of the Holy Spirit, lives in those who believe in Him. By faith we are born again, transformed from glory to glory, and able to walk in His light, joy and power. God makes all things work together for good in our lives.

Romans 8 (NKJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

The Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, and He sent the Holy Spirit in his name to bring guidance, discipline, comfort, joy and blessings, just as a loving mother or father would do. Jesus describes the Person and work of the Holy Spirit in John 14 and 16.

John 14 (NKJV)

Jesus Promises Another Helper

15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

The Gift of His Peace

25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 16 (NKJV)

The Work of the Holy Spirit

“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

Led by the Holy Spirit, Paul encouraged his fellow believers to rejoice in the Lord even in the midst of stressful trials.

Philippians 4 (NKJV)

Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

Be United, Joyful, and in Prayer

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

In Psalm 33, David similarly exhorts God’s people to rejoice in the Lord, especially giving thanks for the goodness of God, His word, and the wonder of His creation.

Psalm 33 (NKJV)
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.

Praise the Lord with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

For the word of the Lord is right,
And all His work is done in truth
.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord
.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deep in storehouses.

Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.

Prophesying of the coming Messiah and Savior, Isaiah declared:

Isaiah 53 (NKJV)

All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Jesus Christ declared the fulfillment of this prophecy in John 10:10-11.

10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”

Posted by: dhkrause | August 9, 2021

True and False Friendships

Have you ever put your trust in enemies professing to be friends? In Psalm 55:21, David describes such an experience: “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.” (Psalm 55:21)

Recently I was badly scammed by people professing to be friends. Scammers of course are not friends but swindlers in disguise. Now that their masks have come off, I refuse to mourn the loss of false friendships. Instead, I’m learning from my mistakes and rejoicing in the sunlight of truth, remembering Jesus’ words, “love your enemies and pray for those who spitefully use you” (Matthew 5:44).

My prayer is for these people to genuinely repent and truly become new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Once they are genuine friends with Him, they can become true friends with others. Then they will experience JOY by valuing others above themselves:
J – Jesus first
O – Others second
Y – Yourself last.

Paul describes this winning attitude, the opposite of a scammer’s mentality, in Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.

Posted by: dhkrause | July 31, 2021

The Five Levels of Communication

The Five Levels of Communication:

  1. Talking with God (most important)
  2. Talking with others (unavoidable)
  3. Talking to oneself (helpful at times)
  4. Arguing with oneself (as necessary)
  5. Losing the argument (avoid!)

This is how David won the argument:

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
(Psalm 42:5,11; 43:5)

Posted by: dhkrause | July 28, 2021

Giving Thanks Always

In Ephesians 5:20 Paul enjoins believers to be “giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. This admonition may apply more widely than we usually realize.

For example. we would not normally thank God for our afflictions. Yet In Psalm 119, verses 67 and 71 we read, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word. … It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.” The Psalmist is thankful in hindsight for his afflictions because they drove him closer to God.

The emotional pain caused by the betrayal of a loved one is another form of affliction. Bible teacher Eddie Smith (eddieandalice.com/) visiting our church some years ago declared, “Be thankful for those who betrayed you, because they drove you closer to God.” Astounding words! Yet as an example, I will share a testimony of how a parent’s betrayal drove me to know God as the deepest source of love.

To provide a little background, I should note that my father and mother divorced when I was an infant, and my brother two years older and I were raised by our mother. Our father remained part of our lives, however, visiting us on most weekends. Our mom and dad even remarried for a short time when I was about eight years old. They loved their two children equally, and we loved them back, always wanting to make them proud.

Our father had an intermittent alcohol problem that contributed to their two divorces. This problem cropped up again during my senior year in high school when I was seventeen, On a particular Saturday when I accompanied him to a worksite as a helper on a remodeling job he was doing, he was showing signs of having imbibed that morning. Detecting his inebriated condition, the woman owner of the house requested that he take the day off.

Back at his house with the effects of the alcohol increasing, he began to speak out in self pity as we sat at the kitchen table. He was grieving the recent death of his mother and also missing his older son who was then on active duty in the Navy. Tearfully he looked toward me and said, “I wish my real son were here, instead of this secondhand imitation of a son!”

Both my stepmother and I were shocked by his words. I quietly rose from the table, walked out the front door and began the five mile trek home. I had never cried in public since the age of eight, but the tears flowed freely that day as I prayed.

I had recently received Jesus as my Savior and Lord at a Billy Graham Crusade, and the Holy Spirit was with me as I prayed, “Dear Lord, I am grieved that my father doesn’t know how to love me as a son. But I know that You love me. Even if people who should know how to love don’t know how, your love means everything to me. Even if not a single person in this world were to love me or even like me, I know that You like me, and You love me, and that gives me all the strength I need for living.”

In short, I became a stronger person through that event because I learned to find my strength in God, and in His love that never fails. I did reconcile with my dad soon afterward. My stepmother told him when he woke up that he had better call me to apologize. He did so, but he could not remember what he had said. I did not have the heart to tell him. I just gave it all to God, and He has enabled me to completely forgive him.

As a sad epilogue, my father died (of suicide) when I was 24 during a period of deep depression aggravated by alcohol. For a long time after that I had a mix of strong feelings about him. But now I feel only love and compassion toward him, and thankfulness for the many things he did for me growing up, He was a good dad in many ways. He just was not himself on those two very sad occasions.

I eventually came to understand that my dad at that moment was lashing out in self pity at the nearest convenient target, who happened to be his second born son. But none of us is second place in God’s sight. All we who love Him are the apple of His eye.

If I ever see him in eternity, I will hug him with all my heart, and call him Dad. I thank God for his life, as I do for all my loved ones who have died. Let us be thankful for our loved ones who have died, more than we mourn their death.

Out of even the very worst things that happen, God makes something come out of them that is indescribably good. (Ref. Romans 8:28) What the enemy meant for evil, God meant for good, to bring about this you see, the saving of many lives. (Ref. Genesis 50:20)

Can we give thanks even when we are betrayed? Yes. I am praying and believing that there will be healing all around. God is with us through it all, and that makes every day glorious. “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

biblestudytools.com/romans/8-28.html
Posted by: dhkrause | July 26, 2021

Who is Perfect? (Part 2)

https://www.talktotheword.com/p/john-435-37.html?m=1

My elderly friend John had further questions after acknowledging that God’s declarations in Romans 3:23 and 6:23 applied to him as well as to everyone else. Before praying to receive Jesus as his Savior and Lord, he asked me, “Is this about membership in a church?” I replied, “No, John. It’s about citizenship in the kingdom of Heaven.”

He then asked, “Will I have to stand up and give my testimony in front of a large group of people?” I answered, “No, in front of your wife and me will suffice for now.” He turned toward her and asked, “Honey, is this all right with you?” She answered, “John! It’s your decision!”

I asked, “Are you ready now to receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord?” He replied, “Yes I am.” He prayed to receive Jesus as his Savior and lord, and a few minutes later I said my goodbyes and left.

Shortly afterward his wife caught up with me in the hallway, and announced, “David, after you left, he turned to me and said, “I think a miracle has happened today!” She then asked, “When the time comes would you be willing to conduct the memorial service for him?” I told her I would be honored to do so.

She called the next week to inform me of his passing. Together we prepared for the service, which we wanted to include a lot of biographical information. The day of the memorial service, the meeting hall was filled with many of his extended family members from around the country, and many friends and business associates from his construction career.

I had the privilege of sharing his testimony to this large group of friends and loved ones on his behalf. I suspect he was smiling from heaven at the irony of his testimony going forth to a large group after all, through me. Afterward a young man introduced himself to me as one of his cousins and said, “I was so glad to hear your report of his salvation. We’ve been praying for him for years. He was a tough nut to crack!”

I am reminded of Jesus’ statement in John 4:36, “And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. (John 4:36)

https://www.talktotheword.com/p/john-435-37.html?m=1

Posted by: dhkrause | July 25, 2021

Prayer Turns Things Around

Don’t fret. Pray!

One evening as I left my office in downtown San Francisco, I broke into a run, hoping to cover several blocks in record time to catch the last bus home. Turning the final corner I saw the bus had pulled out and was turning the corner about a block from me. Instead of fretting or worrying, I obeyed the Holy Spirit leading me to pray, “Father, this last bus has pulled out two minutes early leaving me stranded. The driver should not have done that! Please help him to know he’s made a mistake, and have him go back around the block and pick me up.”

A few minutes later I saw the same bus turn the corner behind me and then pull up to the stop. I happily climbed aboard, paid my fare and sat down next to a woman on the front seat across from the driver. She turned to me and said, “That was amazing! I’ve never seen that happen before. Just after turning onto Market street, the driver said, “I think I left a couple minutes early. I’m going to go around the block in case I left someone behind.” 😃

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