Posted by: dhkrause | July 8, 2018

Love that is Better than Life

Psalm 63_3-4 (2)

What kind of love would cause a person to declare like David, “Your love is better than life”?  He wrote, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.   I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”  Psalm 63:3-4 (NIV) 

David wrote this Psalm when he was in the wilderness of Judah, possibly while fleeing from his son Absalom and others who sought his life.  Certainly David had a deep revelation of the love of God, and he looked forward to meeting his Redeemer who would one day stand upon the earth, to whom he refers in Psalm 16 as “Your Holy One” who would not see corruption.

Psalm 16 (NKJV)
I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16_11 (2)

Job also expressed his hope in the coming Redeemer when he declared, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth.” (Job 19:25 NKJV) He did not understand why God was allowing him to experience so many tragedies and illnesses, but he told his critical friends, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.  Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.” (Job 13:15)  Job would argue his case before God but no matter what, he would continue to hope and trust in Him.

The trust and love shown by Job and by David in these statements is a testimony to their faith in the coming Redeemer and the promise of eternal life.  These expectations were fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ, who declared: “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.” (John 3:16)

The revelation of God’s love that comes with the entrance of Jesus into your life enables you to declare like David, “Your love is better than life!”  His abiding love becomes more precious to you than life itself.  “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4 NKJV)

 The four Gospels reveal complementary aspects of our Redeemer who was anticipated by Job and by David, and even by the Old Testament as a whole.  Norman L. Geisler writes in his book, “Christ: the Theme of the Bible”, Moody Press, 1968, p. 101-102:

The Gospels: The Manifestation of Christ

“The anticipation of the Old Testament is the realization of the New Testament.  The Old Testament deals with the national preparation and expectation of Christ; the Gospels provided the personal manifestation of the Saviour.  His manifestation as recorded in the Gospels is fourfold.

Zech. 9_9

Matthew: Christ is Manifest as Royalty

 “His lineage is traced to a sovereign (He is the Son of David) and to a sacrifice (the Son of Abraham) (Matt. 1:1).  Christ is represented by the symbol of the lion (Ezek. 1:10), the king of beasts.  In the words of Zechariah, the Jews are told, “Lo, your king comes to you” (Zech. 9:9).

Mark: Christ is Manifest in His Ministry

“He is the Servant of Jehovah (Isa. 53:11), symbolized by the ox, and presented to the Romans.  His ancestry is not traced (a servant needs none), but His activity is predominant.  Matthew stressed what Jesus taught, but Mark emphasized what Jesus wrought (Mark 10:45), as Isaiah said, “Behold, my servant” (Isa. 52:13).

Luke: Christ is Manifest in His Perfect Humanity

 “Christ’s ancestry is here traced to the first man, Adam.  Luke stressed not what Jesus taught (As Matthew did) or wrought (as Mark did), but what He sought.  Luke writes, “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).  Zechariah stated the theme in advance when he wrote, “Behold, the man” (Zech. 6:12).

John 1_1-2,14

John: Christ is Manifest in His Deity

“John wrote: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1, 14).  He does not trace Christ’s ancestry to human royalty (as Matthew did), or leave it in anonymity (as Mark did), nor trace it to the origin of humanity (as Luke did), but he traces it to deity and to eternity.  In John, Christ is seen as the eagle soaring into the heavens and, as in no other gospel, it is manifest what Jesus thought (cf. John 13-17).  In Matthew, Jesus fulfills man’s needs for righteousness (cf. Matt. 3:15); in Mark, man’s need for service (Mark 10:45); in Luke, man’s need of redemption (Luke 19:10); and in John, man’s need for life, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV).”

At the Last Supper, after washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus raised the standard of love higher than just loving others as yourself.  He said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)  In John 17:26, He prayed that His followers would enjoy the same love relationship that He has with His Father: “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.” 

Now this is love that is better than life!

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com,7/7/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1)  http://flowerbless.blogspot.com/2016/06/
(2)  http://flowerbless.blogspot.com/2013/02/you-will-show-me-path-of-life-in-your.html
(3)  https://biblia.com/bible/kjv1900/Zech%209.9
(4)  https://www.heartlight.org/cgi-shl/todaysverse.cgi?day=20181201&ver=niv

Posted by: dhkrause | June 24, 2018

Resurrection Life

John 11_25

Jesus declared in John 11:25 (NKJV), “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith.  The Old Testament points to this event.  The New Testament attests to it and describes its promise and significance for our lives here and now.  Bruce A. Demarest writes in his book, “Jesus Christ: the God-Man”:

“At the heart  of the Christian faith is the claim that Jesus Christ on the third day rose from the dead and is alive forevermore.  The Apostles’ Creed confesses in simple words, ‘I believe in Jesus Christ … who … the third day rose from the dead.’”

“Before He returned to heaven, Jesus claimed that His death and resurrection were foretold in the Old Testament (Luke 24:25-27, 44-46).  The Apostle Paul also declared that Christ both died and rose again in direct fulfillment of prophetic Scripture (1 Cor. 15:4).”

Luke 24 (NKJV)
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

Luke 24_46-48

44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

 46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

1 Corinthians 15 (NKJV)Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

Job 19_25

“Job’s confession surely anticipated our Lord’s rising.  “I know that my Redeemer lives and at the last He will take His stand on the earth” (Job 19:25)  David, also, inspired by the Spirit, could say, “Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11).  We know this prophecy was not totally fulfilled in David’s experience because Peter (Acts 2:25-28) and Paul (Acts 13:25-37) clearly testify that David was speaking of Christ who had yet to come.  (Bruce A. Demarest, “Jesus Christ: the God-Man”, Victor Books, 1978, p. 113-114)

[Note also Psalm 16:10: “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”]

Isaiah prophesied that the Lord of Hosts would “swallow up death forever”:

Isaiah 25 (NKJV)
He will swallow up death forever,
And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces;
The rebuke of His people
He will take away from all the earth;
For the Lord has spoken.

The resurrection of Jesus fits the picture prophesied by Hosea 6:2:

Hosea 6 (NKJV)
A Call to Repentance
6 Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight
.

Hosea 6_2

Bruce Demarest continues:

As Barnes notes in his commentary, “The prophet expressly mentions two days, after which life would be given, and a third day, on which the resurrection should take place.  What else can this be than the two days in which the body of Christ lay in the tomb, and the third day, on which He rose again?”

 In the Gospels, Jesus rarely spoke of his impending death without mention of His resurrection three days later.  At the outset of His public ministry the Lord said to the Jews, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up” (John 2:19).  It was clear to John that Jesus spoke of His own body (John 2:21).  Later the Lord used the story of Jonah’s three days in the belly of a whale to foretell His own death and resurrection (Matt. 12:40).

 After Peter’s confession near Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:21) Jesus made specific predictions of His resurrection.  He made the point so often that even the chief priests and Pharisees got wind of it and told Pilate that Jesus claimed He would rise after three days (Matt. 27:63).  (ibid, p. 114-115)

Matthew 16_21

Matthew 16  (NKJV)
Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection
21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

 Matthew 27 (NKJV)
Pilate Sets a Guard
62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 

The Resurrection holds promise of eternal life for believers, and also empowers us here and now, as Bruce Demarest describes,

If Christ did not rise from the dead there would be no resurrection life in the Spirit.  Scripture makes the astounding claim that the believer, spiritually united with the risen Christ, participates in the reality and power of his Lord’s resurrection life (Rom. 6:4-5).  In a real sense God sees believers as risen with Christ (Col. 3:1) and seated in heavenly places in Him (Eph. 2:5-6).

A Scotsman was once asked if he ever expected to go to heaven.  His immediate reply was, “Why, mon, I live there!” He entered heaven before leaving this body because he possessed the reality of Christ’s resurrection life. (ibid, p. 117)

Romans 6_4

God wills that He be glorified through the reality of the risen Lord living powerfully in and through His blood-bought people.
(ibid, p. 122)

Romans 6:4-5 (NIV)
Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.

Colossians 3:1 (NIV)
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Ephesians 2 (NIV)
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 6/24/2008, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://weheartit.com/entry/173890152
(2) http://slideplayer.com/slide/3352707/
(3) http://www.dailylifeverse.com/posts/2012/09/job-19-25-
(4) https://www.jesuslovesyoutoday.org/bible_study_pictures_and_notes/hosea_4-7
(5) http://slideplayer.com/slide/3536959/
(6) http://meditationsbyapril.com/printables/romans-6-4/

Posted by: dhkrause | June 10, 2018

Christ Our Redeemer

Isaiah 54_5

To redeem means theologically “to deliver from sin and its consequences by means of a sacrifice offered for the sinner”.  The Bible describes both the redemption of Israel as a people, and the redemption of individuals through the Messiah, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Describing the redemption of Israel, the Bible declares in Isaiah 54:5 (NIV), “For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” 

The redemption of individual believers is exemplified in Job’s declaration of faith in his coming Redeemer who would one day stand on the earth:

Job 19 (NKJV)
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.

Job was trusting that the Redeemer who would one day stand on the earth would raise him up into eternal life with God.  In the fullness of time, the Son of God who is the living Word became a human being and made his home with us:

John 1:14 (NKJV)
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 1_14

Describing the purpose of His coming, Jesus declared:

John 3:16 (NKJV)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Jesus sometimes described the purpose of His coming using the word “ransom”:

 Mark 10:45 (NKJV)
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

To clarify the Biblical usage of the word “ransom”, Bruce A. Demarest writes:

“In the Old Testament, a ransom was the price paid to secure a slave’s release (Isaiah 45:13).  Thus Christ’s death somehow may be likened to the price paid to obtain the sinner’s release from the slavery of sin and death (Matt. 20:28, 1 Tim. 2:6).

“Christ’s death is also represented as a redemption.  The idea here is the slave’s release from bondage (Ex. 21:8).  Thus the Apostles taught that Christ’s blood shed on the cross effectively secures our release from the domain of Satan (Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19).”
(Bruce A. Demarest, “Jesus Christ: the God-Man”, Victor Books, 1978, p. 110)

Ephesians 1:7 (NIV)
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

1 Peter 1_18-19

1 Peter 1:18-19 (NIV)
18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

John the Immerser testified about Jesus’ coming work of atonement:

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!”

In His atoning death on the cross, Jesus took the judgment for the sins of the world upon Himself.  In the aforementioned book, Bruce Demarest writes:

“In the Old Testament the mercy seat, in the Holy of Holies, was the place where the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled.  As a result of the blood God’s wrath was appeased.  Similarly, the blood-sprinkled body of Christ became for all time the “mercy seat” for sinners.  Through Christ’s death on the cross, all the demands of a holy and just God were satisfied.  The divine anger was turned into kindly favor.” (ibid, p. 110)

“Christ’s atonement has removed every obstacle to salvation except willful resistance to the Gospel.  As Matthew Henry put it, the Atonement “is sufficient for all, but effectual for many.” (ibid, p. 112)

John 8_36

Jesus, the Son of God, releases us from bondage to sin, so that we can be the kind of person God created us to be, as He declared to his detractors in John chapter 8:

John 8 (NIV)
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Jesus Christ delivers us from being enslaved by the fear of death.  Death holds no fear when you know you have Jesus.

Hebrews 2 (NIV)
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 

John 10_10 (2)

The devil and his minions have no power or authority over those who trust in Christ.  We can live life to the full as the people God created us to be.  Jesus taught in John 10:10 (NIV), “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  We read in Luke 10 that even demons are subject to the power of Jesus’ name:

Luke 10 (NIV)
17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Authority over the power of the enemy continues to reside in those who walk faithfully with the Lord, as Paul assures:

Romans 16:20 (NKJV)
And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

 John 1:4 (NKJV) declares, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”  Those who receive Jesus Christ and believe in his name are born again into the family of God:   

John 1 (NKJV)  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.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 6/10/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lbc_jUEADok
(2) http://bibleoutlines.com/blog/marveling-incarnation-word-god-john-114-18/
(3) http://www.kcisradio.com/2017/01/27/1-peter-11819/
(4) https://www.pinterest.com/pin/156077943310855335/
(5) https://www.versaday.com/Months/07/0719.aspx

 

Posted by: dhkrause | May 27, 2018

Jesus Christ, the Son of Man and Son of God

1 Timothy 2_5-6

Paul declares in 1 Timothy 2:5-6, “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 Christ is both the Son of Man and the Son of God.  Therefore, He alone was qualified to pay the judgment for the sins of the world.  He laid down his life so that all who believe in him can have eternal life.  In explaining this to Nicodemus in John 3, Jesus refers to himself both as “the Son of Man” and “the Son of God”.

John 3 (NKJV)
13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 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.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Daniel 7_13

This title, “the Son of Man”, which Jesus frequently used when referring to himself, is the same term used by the prophet Daniel in his vision of God’s coming kingdom.

Daniel 7 (NKJV)
13 “I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.

Online theologian “Johannes” explains that  Jesus is the eternal Son of God who has assumed a human nature, as pictured in Daniel’s prophecy.  He adds, “It is precisely because He is the Son of God that, in his human nature, He will be given dominion and glory and is worthy of being served and worshiped by all peoples.” (https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/24923/difference-between-son-of-man-and-son-of-god )

Because Jesus Christ is both the Son of Man and the Son of God, and because He was faithful to do all that the Father gave Him to do, the blood He shed for us is able to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Receiving him and believing in him, we are able to “walk in the light as He is in the light”, as 1 John 1 describes.

1 John 1_7 (3)

1 John 1 (NKJV)
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

John 3:16 declares, “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.”  Every soul is precious to God. When we trust in Him with all our heart, He promises to direct our ways, leading us into ever increasing light, as pictured in Proverbs 3 and 4.

Proverbs 3 (NKJV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 4:18 (NIV)
The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

Romans 12_2

In Romans 12, Paul urges believers to offer our whole lives as a “living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God”.  Then we will be “transformed by the renewing of our mind”.  Our goal is to be what He wants us to be, knowing and walking in His will and purpose for our lives.

Romans 12 (NIV)
A Living Sacrifice
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul sums up the calling we as believers have to reveal Jesus Christ, the Son of Man and Son of God, to the world.

2 Corinthians 5 (NKJV)
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.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 5/27/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://www.pinterest.com/thebible4/1-timothy/
(2) https://biblepaedia.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/prophecies-of-christ-daniel-713-14/
(3) http://www.rgcaz.org/2016/06/june-1-john-17/
(4) https://thepreachersword.com/2014/09/17/great-verses-of-the-bible-romans-121-2/

Posted by: dhkrause | May 13, 2018

Sovereign Lord, Loving Father, Steadfast Friend

Romans 8_28

The God we serve is our Sovereign Lord, Loving Father and Steadfast Friend.

Let us examine and take to heart all three of these relationships:

(1) He is our Sovereign Lord
(2) He is our Loving Father
(3) He is our Steadfast friend.

 1. He is our Sovereign Lord

God makes all things work together for good who love Him.  He calls us according to His purpose, and He leads us forth into new life, increasingly reflecting more of Jesus.

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. 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.

Jesus speaks about God’s sovereign care for His people in Luke 12.  Even when we encounter setbacks or suffer loss, He is there, and He is mighty to save, heal and restore.

Luke 12 (NKJV)
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

The beloved hymn, “His Eye is on the Sparrow” was inspired by this verse:

His Eye is on the Sparrow

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

2. He is our Loving Father

Every good and perfect gift comes from Him.

James 1_17

James 1
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

God’s greatest gift is eternal and abundant life through Jesus Christ, His Son:

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

Paul asks in Romans 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

3. He is our Steadfast Friend

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  This is what Jesus did for all who believe in him.  We are not only servants, but he calls us friends.

John 15_13

John 15
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.

God wants us to know Him as both servants and friends.  Pastor Robert Morris writes,

“God invites us into a true friendship with Him.  We should keep in mind the greatness of the Person to whom we’re talking and relating.  However, Jesus also clearly says, “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.” (John 15:15) …”

“God speaks to people.  He spoke to people in the Bible, and He still speaks today.  God spoke in many different ways in the Scriptures.  He speaks to people because He cares about them.  God constantly speaks to people, always inviting them to draw a step closer to Him.  He speaks to us today because the Holy Spirit indwells us.  Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will speak to us and tell us what He hears (John 16).”
(Frequency Study Guide – Tune in, Hear God, Gateway Press, 2017, p.20)

John 16_13

God still speaks to people, more than ever, as Jesus promised in John 16:

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. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

The God who created the heavens and the earth wants to be friends with you and me, not only to guide and comfort, but to be intimate friends forever.  The song,
My Redeemer Lives”, sung by Nicole C. Mullen, fervently conveys this same message.

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
And who told the ocean you can only come this far?
And who showed the moon where to hide till evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well I know my Redeemer lives, I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testifies, This life within me cries,
I know my Redeemer lives

He lives, my Redeemer lives
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
He lives, I know, I know He lives,
I spoke with Him this morning!
He lives, The tomb is empty!
He lives, He Lives! I’m going to tell everybody!

He invites us to be with Him every day, as friend with friend:Matthew 11_28-30

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com 5/13/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo Credits

(1) http://www.bibleverseimages.com/romans-8-28.htm

(2) https://www.godtube.com/popular-hymns/his-eye-is-on-the-sparrow/

(3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ne1CgZ_RY8

(4) http://lovinglifeathome.com/

(5) http://newlife-atl.org/about-us/what-we-believe/what-we-believe-about-the-holy-spirit/

(6) https://www.amazon.com/Matthew-11-28-30-Vinyl-Weary/dp/B007LS1WXI

Song Videos

Ethel Waters His Eye Is On The Sparrow ( 1975 )

Nicole C Mullen My Redeemer Lives (Official Video)

Posted by: dhkrause | April 29, 2018

The Greatest Commandment

Mark 12_30

Jesus was asked, “What is the first commandment of all?”  He replied, giving both the first and second greatest commandments:

Mark 12 (NKJV)
28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Let us examine all three parts of Jesus’ answer:

(1) Hearing the one true God
(2) Loving God with your whole being
(3) Loving others as yourself

1. Hearing the one true God

1 Timothy 2 declares that “there is one God”, and describes “the one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

1 Timothy 2_5

1 Timothy 2 (NKJV)
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,

When Jesus called four fishermen to be his disciples, He said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew 4:18-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

1 Corinthians 8 declares “there is one God” and then describes the lordship of Jesus Christ under the Father.

1 Corinthians 8
yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

 1. Loving God with your whole being

Loving God with all you are requires a pure and undivided heart.  Jesus says in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Psalm 51_10 (2)

God said of David, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ (Acts 13:22)  Yet David sometimes had a divided heart, as seen in his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband, Uriah.  He suffered grave consequences for these sins, but God did restore Him spiritually when he repented and prayed for God to create in him a clean [undivided] heart:

 Psalm 51
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.

 In Jeremiah 24:7, God describes the people who are returning to Him:

Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.

Jesus teaches about the need for an undivided heart in Matthew 6:24 (NIV):

Matthew 6_24

Loving God with one’s whole being means being truly set apart to do His will, as Jesus prays in John 17:

John 17 (NET Bible)
17 Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. 19 And I set myself apart on their behalf, so that they too may be truly set apart.

Loving God with one’s whole heart means purifying oneself to be like Jesus, as 1 John 3 declares:

1 John 3 (NKJV)
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

3. Loving others as yourself

In John 13, Jesus raises the standard for loving others.  Instead of just loving our neighbors as ourselves, He commands, “love one another as I have loved you.”

John 13_34

John 13 (NKJV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Having a pure heart towards God enables a person to love others deeply and fervently, from the heart.

1 Peter 1:22-23 (NIV)
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

1 Peter 1_22

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 4/28/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://bibleversestogo.com/products/mark-12-30-love-the-lord-your-god-with-all-your-heart
(2) https://themasterstable.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/1-tim-2-5.png
(3) http://ourdailyblossom.com/2012/07/28/bible-verse-psalm-5110/
(4) https://psalmstube.com/october-17-2016-matthew-6-24/
(5) http://www.knowing-jesus.com/john-13-34
(6) http://www.scriptureme.me/1%20Peter/1/22/

 

Posted by: dhkrause | April 15, 2018

Wisdom from Above

Wisdom from Above (James 3_13-18)

With the help of many loving supporters in the United States, my friend Namugawe Esther, leader of the Unstoppable Love Orphanage in Uganda, was able to send all of her twenty-three children to public schools this term.  The current term is closing in two weeks (at the end of April), and the children will be taking their end of term exams.  Esther says, “They do well because the Bible says in Proverbs [9:10] that ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.’  They will do really well and I know they will get promoted to the next term for further learning.  I give all the glory to God and I pray for them every day, for God to give them wisdom, because it only comes from above.”

Indeed, God delights to give the wisdom we need whenever we simply ask.  James 1 promises that if any person prays in faith asking God for wisdom, it will be given generously:

 James 1 (NKJV)
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

James 1_5-6 (Feed Your Faith, Starve Your Doubts)

James later declares that our heavenly Father gives good and perfect gifts, including bringing us forth into new life through his word of truth.

James 1 (NKJV)
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

James 1_16-17 Every Good and Perfect Gift

18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

James 1_18 Reborn thru the Word of Truth - Firstfruits

James proceeds to contrast true and false wisdom.  Wisdom so-called that is filled with envy and selfish ambition is unspiritual and from below.  True wisdom that comes from above is filled with mercy and bears good fruit.

James 3 (NKJV)
Two Kinds of Wisdom
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

The true wisdom from above comes from trusting the Lord rather than in the arrogant speculations of men (Psalm 118:8), allowing Him to illuminate our understanding:

Proverbs 3 (NKJV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3_5-6 NKJV

Proverbs 3_5-6 Where God Guides He Provides

Proverbs 3_5-6 Let Him Lead You, He Will Clear the Road

Trusting in the Lord we follow Him, as William A. Ogden declares in his famous hymn, “Where He leads I’ll Follow”:

Sweet are the promises, Kind is the word,
Dearer far than any message man ever heard;
Pure was the mind of Christ, Sinless I see;
He the great example is, and pattern for me.

Where He leads I’ll follow,
Follow all the way.
Where He leads I’ll follow,
Follow Jesus ev’ry day.

Being born again through the word of truth, we allow Jesus to direct our paths.
This is true wisdom from above, leading us to ever greater light, as Proverbs 4:18 (NIV) declares: “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”

Proverbs 4_18 The Path of the Just

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 4/14/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://thelovelyscribe.com/2013/11/04/wisdom-from-above-james-3-13-18/
(2) http://www.bryanhudson.com/2016/05/feed-your-faith-starve-your-doubts.html
(3, 4) https://www.creatingagreatday.com/praying-james-chapter-1-part-one/
(5, 6,7) https://achristianpilgrim.wordpress.com/tag/proverbs-35-6/
(8) http://judeochristianchurch.com/proverbs-418-path-just/

Posted by: dhkrause | April 1, 2018

Passover and Firstfruits Resurrection

The Feast of Firstfruits

In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul declares, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. … But each in turn: Christ is the firstfruits; then when he comes, those who belong to him.”  This is a promise that those who belong to Christ will be raised up in resurrection bodies when He returns.  A study of the feasts of Israel  sheds light upon the historical and prophetic significance of the Resurrection and its meaning for our lives here and now.

1 Corinthians 15 (NKJV)
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn:Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet” [Psalm 8:6]. Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

1 Corinthians 15_20

The feasts of Israel were also called God’s “appointed times”.  The appointed time of Firstfruits came right after that of Passover and Unleavened Bread.  John the Baptist speaking of Jesus in John 1:29, declares: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”  Likewise, Paul refers to Jesus as “our Passover” in 1 Corinthians 5:7.  Sam Nadler writes in his book, “Messiah in the Feasts of Israel”, page 56:

Just   as   Passover   was   to   mark   Israel’s   redemptive
beginning  as  a  nation,  so  also  the  Lamb  of  God  is  your
redemptive  beginning  when  you  believe  in  Yeshua:
“if  any  person  is  in  Messiah  he  is  a  new  creation,
old  things
have passed away, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17).

John 3:16 (NKJV) says, “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.”  New abundant life begins the moment one truly receives Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Jesus says 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.”

Paul writes in Galatians 4:4, that when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son to bring us redemption and adoption to sonship.

Galatians 4 (NIV)
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

The Feast of Firstfruits, celebrated the day after the Sabbath of the Passover week, involved the Priests offering the best  first grains to the Lord.  No one could eat any of the harvest until the firstfruits were offered in the Temple before the Lord.  God promised to then bless the harvest.

The seven feasts, or appointed times, prophetically depict the times when the Messiah would be revealed to His people and the world.  By keeping the feasts, Israel was rehearsing the times of the Messiah.  The first four prophetic events have been fulfilled, the last three are yet to come.

Feasts depict times of the Messiah

The 8-day observance of Unleavened Bread beginning on the first day of Passover points to Jesus as the Bread of Life.

Jesus is the Bread of LIfe

On the day after the Sabbath of the Passover week, Jesus rose from the dead as the firstfruits of the harvest to come, the same day the High Priest was waving the firstfruits sheaf offering in the temple to God.  Then the rest of the harvest could commence.

The timing of the Resurrection parallels the offering of the firstfruits in the temple, with its promise of God’s blessing for the harvest to come.

Jesus is our Passover Lamb, the Bread of Life and Firstfruits Resurrection for all who believe in Him.  In His first coming, we see the fulfillment of the Spring feasts and of Pentecost, when believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit.  The prophetic fulfillment of the Fall Feasts –  Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Tabernacles – will commence when He comes again.

Prophetic Fulfillment of the of the Feasts of Israel by Yeshua the Messiah

Prophetic Fulfillment of Feasts by Yeshua

Get ready!  … Looking forward to the second coming and the fulfillment of the Fall Feasts, 1 John 3:2-3 declares: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”  …  Get ready!

God's Appointed Times

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 4/1/2018,https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
studygrowknowblog.com/2014/04/18/resurrection-sunday-is-actually-first-fruits-according-to-jewish-calendar-not-easter/  (first photo)
wordofmessiah.org/messiah-feast-firstfruits/  (photos 2-6)

Posted by: dhkrause | March 18, 2018

Awaken the Dawn

Proverbs 4_18

Proverbs 4:18 (NIV) beautifully describes a walk with God in ever greater light: “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”  There is a recurring theme in the Bible of light breaking forth in the minds and hearts of people who turn to God.

He declares in Jeremiah 29:13, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Dawn is a time of day when certain key events occurred in the Bible, such as in Matthew 28 where the two Marys came to see the tomb “as the first day of the week began to dawn.”  Dawn was also a favorite time of David’s for singing and giving praise to God to usher in the new day.  He declares in Psalm 46:8, “I will awaken the dawn”, and then exalts God above the heavens, and prays that His glory will be over all the earth:

Psalm 46 (NKJV)7
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and give praise.
Awake, my glory!
Awake, lute and harp!
I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing to You among the nations.
10 For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,
And Your truth unto the clouds.

11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth
.

Isaiah 58_8-9

The light of dawn is also used metaphorically to describe the dawning of the light of truth in people’s lives.  Isaiah 58 speaks of light breaking forth in our lives and blessing others as we receive God’s love, and express His love to them.  To people who consistently show compassion and love, God declares, “your light shall break forth like the morning” and “the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”  To those extending help and love to the hungry and afflicted, He says, “your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.”

Isaiah 58 (NKJV)
Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.

“If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday
.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

Matthew 4_16

Regarding people who lived in the region of Israel called “the Galilee of the nations” (or “the Galilee of the Gentiles”), Isaiah 9:2 (NIV) declares,

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”  Though spoken in the past tense, it was also a future hope that was specifically fulfilled when Jesus began his ministry in this region, as recorded in Matthew 4:

Matthew 4 (NKJV)
12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:
16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned
.”

17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

2 Peter 1_19

John 3:16 says, “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.”  Randy Alcorn writes, “On a long dark night, the appearance of the morning star means daybreak is imminent. In the long dark night of suffering on earth, Jesus being seen as the morning star means the eternal morning is about to dawn. Hence, Christ as the morning star is a picture of great promise and hope.” (https://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Mar/29/jesus-venus-and-morning-star)  By believing in the authority of the Bible as God’s Word, and especially believing what it says about Jesus, we are prepared to receive the light of Christ as the “morning star” in our hearts (2 Peter 1:19).

2 Peter 1 (NKJV)
16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Revelation 22_16

The risen Lord refers to Himself as the “Morning Star” in Revelation 22:16: “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”  As the Son of God who was with the Father before the Creation of the world (John 1:1,14), Jesus Christ is the Root of David.  In the Incarnation, He was also the descendant of David.  He is the Bright and Morning Star in the hearts of all who believe in Him.

In Psalm 17:15 (NASB), David describes awakening to behold God’s face in righteousness:  “As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.”  There is no better way to “awaken the dawn”.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 3/17/2018, https://compellinglove.net/ 

Photo credits:
impactprayerministry.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/proverbs-4-18.jpg
thebottomofabottle.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/isaiah-58-8-9.jpg
mysheepknow.me/promises-of-god-in-the-bible/a-light-has-dawned/
lifeamongothertings.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/bible-verses-that-inspire-me/
blogtalkradio.com/iamprayers/2018/01/22/jesus-christ-is-our-morning-glory

Posted by: dhkrause | March 4, 2018

Truth that Makes Us Free

John 8_32

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.”  In the ensuing discussion, Jesus 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?”

John 18 (NKJV)
37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.

Psalm 119_160

Psalm 119:160 declares, “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.”

Jesus said in John 4:24, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Job declares in Job 33:4, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

James 1:17-18, speaks of being born again into a new life in Christ by the word of truth: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

James 1_17-18

Jesus declares in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

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 Word1 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.

John 1_8

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 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.”

John 14_6 (2)

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.

By the word of truth we are set apart to live for God, as Jesus prayed:

John 17 (NKJV)
17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

Jesus declares these words living 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.”

This is His invitation in Matthew 11:28-20, “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.”

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 3/4/2018,https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:

https://missionventureministries.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/you-shall-know-the-truth-and-the-truth-shall-make-you-free-john-832/

https://bible-quote.deviantart.com/art/Psalm-119-160-Daily-Bible-Verse-561147399

http://howard-carter.blogspot.com/2015/02/tempted-dont-be-decieved-god-is-good.html

http://www.xedixon.com/tag/meeting-jesusgospel-of-john/

http://ibhgospel.com/shop/bible-texts/john-146-8/

 

 

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