Posted by: dhkrause | June 15, 2017

Christ’s Love and Call (Song with Video)


This is a video of a song I wrote out of gratitude for brethren who reach out to others with Christ’s love. These are the lyrics:

Christ’s Love and Call

  1. Beloved, Beloved,
    Christ loves you and calls you
    To be His own.
    Brother, Sister,
    He loves you and calls you
    To be His friend,
    Strong and pure,
    Ambassador,
    Reaching out to others,
    That they may know Him too,
    And they may be His friend.
  1. Yeshua Messiah,
    You love us and call us
    To be Your own.
    Master, Savior,
    You love us and call us
    To be Your friend,
    Strong and pure,
    Ambassador,
    Reaching out to others,
    That they may know You too,
    And they may be Your friend.

David Krause, 2016

Posted by: dhkrause | June 11, 2017

Beloved of God

Christ loves us and calls us to be His own, walking in love, as He loved us “and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering  and sacrifice to God.”  By our conduct, our lives should say to others,  “I love you. Period.”

Ephesians 5.1–2 ESV
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

I love you, period

We are God’s sons and daughters through the Spirit, as Paul declares:
As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

Romans 8  NKJV
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.  18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

God makes all things work together for good to those who love Him, and absolutely nothing can separate us from His love.

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. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

The Love of God

God’s Everlasting Love
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus declared, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you… These things I command you, that you love one another.”

No Greater Love

John 15  NKJV
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

Paul writes, “Therefore, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation”…
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ.  (2 Cor. 5:17 ,20)

Ambassadors for Christ

2 Corinthians 5  NKJV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Peter enjoins believers to “love one another fervently with a pure heart”, as we live in the light of God’s Word.

1 Peter 1  (NKJV)
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

Oh Beloved!

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 6/10/17  https://compellinglove.net/

Christ’s Love and Call
(Song by David Krause, 2016)

  1. Beloved, Beloved,
    Christ loves you and calls you
    To be His own.
    Brother, Sister,
    He loves you and calls you
    To be His friend,
    Strong and pure,
    Ambassador,
    Reaching out to others,
    That they may know Him too,
    And they may be His friend.

  2. Yeshua Messiah,
    You love us and call us
    To be Your own.
    Master, Savior,
    You love us and call us
    To be Your friend,
    Strong and pure,
    Ambassador,
    Reaching out to others,
    That they may know You too,
    And they may be Your friend.
Posted by: dhkrause | May 28, 2017

Renewal of First Love

Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  My wife Marla writes, “In cultivating Kingdom standards and values, things that deflect us from putting God first are like hard rocks in the soil of our hearts, that must be tossed aside.  The test of blessing is to be thankful every day in everything,  loving God’s Presence more than our preferences, and letting go of whatever crowds God out.”  To love God with all your heart means to put Him first in everything.  He is our first love.

First Love

When you truly love God with all your heart, there will be plenty of love overflowing from your heart to others.  The Apostle John even writes, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

1 John 4  NKJV
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 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.

Jesus connected these two commandments: loving God with all you are, and loving your neighbor as yourself.  A certain lawyer tried to narrow down the meaning of “neighbor”, which led Jesus to give the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10 NKJV
25 
And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”

27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”

28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

The Parable of the Good Samaritan
30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

King David had a heart after God, but at one time he drifted away from his first love, committing both adultery and murder.  He repented before God and was graciously forgiven and restored.  Psalm 51 records his prayer of repentance.

Psalm 51  NKJV
10 
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.

David’s heart for God and love of His Presence is seen in Psalm  27.  His exuberant declaration of faith concludes, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!”

Psalm 27 NKJV
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid
?
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life
,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek
.”
13 
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord
!

In Revelation 2, Jesus lovingly admonishes the church of Ephesus:

Revelation 2 NKJV
Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

Return to Your First Love

Returning to our first love, we rejoice in singing songs like these to the Lord:

To you my heart is an open door.
Step right in and make it Yours.

True worship from my heart
Is what I bring to You.

Your heart is my home.

Our Pastor, Caleb Klinge, recently led the congregation in this prayer:

Lord, I receive the renewal of first love.
Holy Spirit, I receive the love of the Father
pouring into my heart.  I receive, in Jesus’ name.
Thank you, Lord.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 5/27/2017  https://compellinglove.net/

Posted by: dhkrause | May 15, 2017

Grace and Truth

Grace and truth are united in God.  Teaching grace without truth leads to licentiousness.  Teaching truth without grace is crushing.  Randy Alcorn in his book, “The Grace and Truth Paradox”, describes how to walk in both grace and truth as  Christ did.  Reviewer Nancy Leigh Demoss writes, “In his probing, incisive manner, Randy Alcorn presses us to examine our lives for any lack of balance. He paints a compelling picture of what it means to walk as Christ did, in both grace and truth.”

Randy Alcorn writes:

“Hate the sin, but love the sinner.” No one did either like Jesus. Truth hates sin. Grace loves sinners.  Those full of grace and truth do both.

People thirst for the real Jesus. Nothing less can satisfy. Grace and truth are His fingerprints. We show people Jesus only when we show them grace and truth. Anything less than both is neither.

The Grace and Truth Paradox: Responding with Christlike Balance (LifeChange Books) (p. 87, 91) Kindle Edition.

Grace and Truth (1)

John’s gospel declares that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

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.

The Word Becomes Flesh
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.

Grace and Truth (2)

Grace and truth are one in Jesus Christ, as described by Psalm 85.

Psalm 85 (NKJV)
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.
10 
Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed
.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yes, the Lord will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway.

Jesus gave the parable of the prodigal son picturing God’s grace and forgiveness.  When the wayward son came back in repentance to his father, he was astonished by his father’s grace and forgiveness.

Luke 15 (NKJV)
20 
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

The grace that comes through Jesus Christ both forgives, and empowers us “to go and sin no more”, as seen in Jesus’ forgiveness and restoration of the  woman caught in adultery in John chapter 8:

John 8 (NKJV)
10 
When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11 
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
12 
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

The book of Romans teaches that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and all can be fully forgiven and restored through Jesus Christ.

Romans 3 (NKJV)
God’s Righteousness Through Faith
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Romans 6 (NKJV)
23 
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are saved by grace through faith, not by works.  Then we become His workmanship, expressing Christ in truth and love.

Ephesians 2 (NKJV)
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Peter describes a walk in grace and truth in this way:

1 Peter 1 (NKJV)
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 5/14/2017, https://compellinglove.net/

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Posted by: dhkrause | April 30, 2017

Christ’s Love and Call

Love of Christ

Song by David Krause, 2016

  1. Beloved, Beloved,
    Christ loves you and calls you
    To be His own.
    Brother, Sister,
    He loves you and calls you
    To be His friend,
    Strong and pure,
    Ambassador,
    Reaching out to others,
    That they may know Him too,
    And they may be His friend.

  2. Yeshua Messiah,
    You love us and call us
    To be Your own.
    Master, Savior,
    You love us and call us
    To be Your friend,
    Strong and pure,
    Ambassador,
    Reaching out to others,
    That they may know You too,
    And they may be Your friend.

    (Photo credit: http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/who-shall-separate-us-from-the-love-of-christ)

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Posted by: dhkrause | April 24, 2017

The God of Hope, Peace and Joy

The God of Hope

Paul prays in Romans 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Hope can be a lifeline, a rope God throws to a despairing soul. Tahni Cullen, in an interview with Sid Roth, March 26, 2017, explains:

There is no coping in Heaven’s language. It is only hope. And even Abraham, it said, in the worst situations, against hope, he hoped. And you may not have the situation that I have. You may have a completely different situation, but the God of hope is extending this rope. In fact, “hope” in Hebrew (tiqvah) means a cord, a rope. Grab onto that rope. And I just pray right now by the power of the Holy Spirit, as you grab onto that rope that you will follow that rope and you will find the most amazing relationship with God the Father, with God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in intimacy. And in that hope you will find faith like you have never known before and it will move mountains.

Tahni Cullen has co-authored a book with Cheryl Ricker about her family’s trials of faith in the face of the extreme autism of her son, Josiah.  The description of the book on Amazon reads:

Where is hope when there is no hope?

First-time parents Joe and Tahni Cullen were thrust into the confusing world of autism when their toddler, Josiah, suddenly lost his ability to speak, play, and socialize. The diagnosis: Autism Spectrum Disorder. In their attempts to see Josiah recover and regain speech, the Cullens underwent overwhelming physical, emotional, and financial struggles. While other kids around him improved, Josiah only got worse.

Josiah's Fire

Five years later, Josiah, who had not been formally taught to read or write, suddenly began to type on his iPad profound paragraphs about God, science, history, business, music, strangers, and heaven. Josiah’s eye-opening visions, heavenly encounters, and supernatural experiences forced his family out of their comfort zone and predictable theology, catapulting them into a mind-blowing love-encounter with Jesus.

– Find hope in hardship.
– Catch a fresh glimpse of heaven.
– Learn to hear and trust God’s voice.
– Identify the roles of Father, Son, and Spirit.
– Become aware of the workings of angels, and much more!

Follow a trail of truth into Josiah’s mysterious world, and see why his family and friends can no longer stay silent.

In the book, Josiah explains to his mother his understanding of the triune God:

 “In the Trinity, the Father is the manager. The Son is the lover of operations. Holy Spirit is worker. So it’s the three-in-one getting things done. The world was created only by three functions that went like this: Father thought it. Son loved it. Holy Spirit carried out the plan. That is how Trinity works, Mom.

Father, Son, Holy Spirit lack nothing.  And they all talk together about how things should go. Life is simple if you know he is Papa. He is Healer. He is Helper. Man must voice, “Father, what do you think? Jesus, what do you love? Spirit, what should we do about it?” This is your mission: do what Father thinks and what Jesus loves and what Spirit tells.”

“To say you are seated in heavenly places with God is to say the Spirit of God is seated in heaven, but he is also seated inside of you.”

“You are the fullness of God in Christ.”

(Cullen, Tahni; Ricker, Cheryl. Josiah’s Fire: Autism Stole His Words, God Gave Him a Voice (Kindle Locations 2468-2475). BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC. Kindle Edition.)

Tahni says she found encouragement in Psalm 30, describing how God  gives new hope and strength when we go through the storms of life:

Psalm 30 (NKJV)
I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;
Lord, be my helper!”
11 
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Josiah’s deep relationship with God exemplifies how God speaks to His own, and they are able to hear His voice while steering clear of others that would mislead.  Jesus describes his role as the true Shepherd in John 10:

John 10 (NKJV)
1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
Jesus the Good Shepherd
Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 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 lays down his life for the sheep.”

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/
4/23/2017

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Posted by: dhkrause | April 10, 2017

The King of Glory Enters In

 Jesus' Triumphal Entry

(Photo credit:  https://carlamcdougal.com/2016/03/jesus-triumphal-entry/)

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey a few days before the Passover feast in the final week before His Crucifixion and Resurrection, many recognized Him as the Messiah and rejoiced and praised God with a loud voice.  The Pharisees objected to this rejoicing, but Jesus responded,  “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

Luke 19 (NKJV)
28 
When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’”

32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. 33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”

34 And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” 35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. 36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.

37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:

“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

As individuals, we are invited to welcome the Savior, the King of glory, into our lives.  Psalm 24:7 declares, “Lift up your heads, O you gates!  And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!  And the King of glory shall come in.”

Who is this King of glory in whom they were rejoicing?  He is Yeshua, Jesus, the eternal living Word of God who came in the flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.

John 1 (NKJV)
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.

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.

John announced Jesus’ ministry with the words, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 1 (NKJV
29 
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”

32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”

35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”

John 3:16-17 describes the depth of God’s love in sending His Son into the world so that all who believe in Him can be saved.

 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. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Jesus the Good Shepherd

(Photo credit:  https://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-6433688-stock-footage-jesus-the-good-shepherd.html)

In John 10, Jesus explained that as the Shepherd of our souls, he was voluntarily laying down his life, and that he would raise it up again.

John 10 (NKJV)
14 
I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

The Apostle Paul declares that “Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” (1 Corinthians 5:7)  He declares in Romans 8:11, that “if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Jesus prayed 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.” His prayer ends, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Is Jesus Christ, the King of glory, speaking to you?

For God's Glory - Band

(Photo credit: http://www.forgodsgloryband.com/ )

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/
4/9/2017

Posted by: dhkrause | March 27, 2017

Our Identity in Christ

Our Identity in Christ

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxY0aeS34Q4

Believers in Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile, have a new identity in Him.  Born again as children of God,  we are new creations, fellow-heirs with Christ himself in the house of God, and citizens of the New Jerusalem.

This revelation of God’s love and salvation through Christ is for the whole world:

John 1 (NKJV)
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.

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.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

2 Corinthians (NKJV)
17 
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

God progressively reveals His plan for salvation beginning with first book of the Bible.  For example, God promised Abram (later named Abraham) that He would make him a great nation and that in him all the families of the earth would be blessed:

Genesis 12 (NKJV)
Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Psalm 67 describes God’s blessings going forth through His people to all nations.

Psalm 67 (NKJV)
God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us, Selah
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.

In Psalm 133 David describes the blessings that come when brethren dwell together in unity:

Psalm 133 (NKJV)
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore.

Paul declares in Ephesians 2 that Christ has broken down the middle wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles.  Christ has created “one new man from the two”, and “through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father”:

Ephesians 2 (NKJV)
14 
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

By revelation God made known to Paul “that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel”.  (Ephesians 3:6)  Messianic Jewish author Boaz Michael accordingly describes the identity of both Jews and Gentiles in Christ in this way:

“The day is coming when the holy city, the New Jerusalem, will descend, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  The twelve gates of the city will be open, day and night.  …  Each gate is made of precious stone.  The names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel are inscribed upon the gates, just as they were inscribed on the twelve stones of the high priest’s breast piece.

“Through which gate will you [Gentiles] enter?

“The Bible teaches that in Jesus, “the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body” with the Jewish people (Ephesians 3:6), and “fellow heirs with Christ” Himself (Romans 8:17).”  …

“If I were a Gentile Christian and someone asked me, “What gate will you enter?”, I would reply, “I will enter through the gate of Judah.  Although I am not from that tribe, my Master is the son of David from the house of Judah.”  Shouldn’t the king’s bride pass through the king’s gate?  Shouldn’t  a man’s servant enter through the same gate as his master?”  …

(“Twelve Gates – Where Do the Nations Enter?”, by Boaz Michael, First Fruits of Zion, 2012, p. 56-57)

As born again believers in Jesus, our identity is in Him.  If you are in Christ, you are a new creation, a fellow-heir with Christ himself in the house of God, and a citizen of the New Jerusalem.

“Our Lord is coming; indeed, he is coming soon!”  (ibid)

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 3/26/2017, https://compellinglove.net/  

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Posted by: dhkrause | February 28, 2017

Grace, Love, and Communion with God

2-corinthians-13-14

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https://www.bereaproject.org/verse-of-the-day/2016/7/27/2-corinthians-1314

In the final verse of Paul’s second epistle to believers in Corinth, he prays for three priceless blessings  to be with them:

2 Corinthians 13:14 (NKJV)
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

These three blessings reveal the close interaction of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Referring to the Father, the Son (the living Word) and the Holy Spirit, 1 John 5:7 declares, “these three are one.”

1 John 5:7
For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

The Holy Spirit is mentioned in the very beginning of the Creation account.

Genesis 1
The History of Creation
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

The preamble to John’s gospel declares that the eternal Word of God “became flesh and dwelt among us”, full of grace and truth”.

John 1
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. 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.

The Word Becomes Flesh
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.

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.

Grace, mercy, truth and love have met together in Jesus Christ, as portrayed in Psalm 85, and described in 2 John 1:3.

Psalm 85
10 
Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yes, the Lord will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway.

2 John 1:3
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

God’s love for us is supremely demonstrated through the life, atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In thankfulness for His love, we can love one another as never before.

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.

Romans 5
Christ in Our Place
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4
Knowing God Through Love
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 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.

Through the Holy Spirit we can enter into a close walk with God described by Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30.  Our communion with God is through the Holy Spirit, Who guides us into all truth (John 16:13).  Romans 8 declares that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 11
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.”

John 16:13
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.

Romans 8
37 
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/     2/27/2017

Posted by: dhkrause | February 12, 2017

Seeking God’s Face

seek-my-face

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https://twitter.com/chr1stlike/status/656785185006972928

Psalm 27 powerfully portrays David’s relationship with God, providing a strong and inspirational example for all who desire to have a deeper walk with Him.  He begins by declaring the Lord to be the source of his confidence, the one who provides light, salvation, strength and courage:

Psalm 27 (NKJV)
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

Verse 4 reveals how God is the supreme focus of David’s life, the one object of his desire and of his ambition:

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple
.

This supreme focus is found throughout the scriptures, as Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in his book, “Seeking the Face of God”:

The apostle Paul, at the height of his great experience, says that this is his desire, the one thing that he wants: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings” (Phil. 3:10), “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind … I press toward the mark” (Phil. 3:13-14).  It is the realization that nothing really matters ultimately in life except my relationship to God: “That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6) …

In effect, the psalmist is saying, “What I want above everything else in this world is always to be in an intimate relationship with God, so that whatever happens, I am with Him and He is with me.”  … His supreme ambition is to gaze upon the glory of the being of God.

The psalmist starts with worship and adoration, and we also see this in the New Testament. “We all, with open face,” says Paul, “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord…” (2 Cor. 3:18).  That is it; you “set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2).
(“Seeking the Face of God”, Crossway Books, 1991, p. 168-170)

Psalm 27 continues with declarations of confident faith, praise and adoration:

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones comments:

This is the way to pray.  The apostle Paul has said it all, as we have seen, in Philippians 4;6: “Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in everything” – or in all circumstances – “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  There it is: You start with adoration, wonder, and amazement.  You gaze upon Him and all His glorious attributes – what He has been, what He has done for us, and all the wonders of His work. You trace them out, you praise Him, and then, knowing Him, you bring your petitions to Him, whatever they may be.  (ibid, p. 171)

Psalm 27 concludes:

13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 
Wait on the Lord; be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Martyn Lloyd-Jones comments on these concluding verses:

Then the psalmist says, having done all that, wait for the answer.  Everything does not finish the moment you have uttered your petition.  “Wait on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14, emphasis added), He has heard you; He will do what you have asked, and He will do it in His own way.

Then, finally, this man comes to his inevitable conclusion:  “You know, if I hadn’t ‘believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living, ‘ If I didn’t know that God is ready and waiting to bless His people in this world as well as in that which is to come, ‘I [would have] fainted.’”

So he says to himself, “Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say on the LORD.”  Start like that, and keep on like that.  Make it the central thing of your life to gaze upon God, to arrive at a knowledge of Him that will be intimate and personal, a communion with Him that will ravish your heart and cause your soul to rise up to Him.  Seek His face (v. 8), and go on seeking it.  Wait upon Him.  Let us praise Him and put ourselves entirely and completely in His hands.

And if you do this, you will find that He will be your light, your salvation, your strength and power, your never-failing refuge.  (ibid, p. 171-172)

Jesus prayed 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.”  In John 8:12 he said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 4: 6, For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/  2/12/2017

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