Posted by: dhkrause | May 12, 2022

Redeemer, Comforter and Lord

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

John 3 (NKJV)

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

1 John 4 further describes this amazing gift of God.

1 John 4 (NKJV)

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

19 We love Him because He first loved us.

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

Romans 8 (NKJV)

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

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

John 14 (NKJV)

Jesus Promises Another Helper

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

The Gift of His Peace

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

John 16 (NKJV)

The Work of the Holy Spirit

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

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

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

Philippians 4 (NKJV)

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

Be United, Joyful, and in Prayer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prophesying of the coming Messiah and Savior, Isaiah declared:

Isaiah 53 (NKJV)

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

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

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

Posted by: dhkrause | August 9, 2021

True and False Friendships

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by: dhkrause | July 31, 2021

The Five Levels of Communication

The Five Levels of Communication:

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

This is how David won the argument:

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

Posted by: dhkrause | July 28, 2021

Giving Thanks Always

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who is Perfect? (Part 2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by: dhkrause | July 25, 2021

Prayer Turns Things Around

Don’t fret. Pray!

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

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

Posted by: dhkrause | July 24, 2021

How I Came to Believe the Bible is God’s Word

Coming out of many years of immersion in eastern philosophies, I was reluctant to believe Jesus’ words in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Finally I realized that I needed to hear directly from God on this issue, so I prayed, “Heavenly Father, people say that the Bible is Your Word, but is it really? I need to hear this directly from You.” The Lord then spoke these words to my spirit: “I wrote that Book.”

From that day on, the Bible has been my standard of truth. Instead of judging the Bible based on viewpoints of others, I now evaluate and judge those other views from the standpoint of the Bible. As the old saying goes, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it!”

https://wiirocku.tumblr.com/image/628449407603523584
Posted by: dhkrause | July 23, 2021

Compassion is a Gift from God

in 2010, after more than three decades of ministering in healthcare centers, I had taken an extended break for about two months when I visited my dentist’s office. As I opened the door to enter, I encountered an elderly woman who was just exiting. Our eyes met as we both smiled and went on our ways. At that moment I felt a very deep compassion welling up within me for this woman whom I’d never met and probably would never see again. As I pondered the source of this deep love, Jesus spoke to my spirit saying, “David, I have given you compassion. Don’t waste it!” That was His way of letting me know the break was over, and to resume ministering at the healthcare centers, sharing His love with a renewed anointing. Compassion is a gift from God for which I am very grateful. All glory to God, who loved us while we were still sinners. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

https://wiirocku.tumblr.com/image/628449407603523584
Posted by: dhkrause | July 22, 2021

Who is Perfect?

Two men were talking. One said, “You are a perfect idiot!” The other replied, “Aww, nobody’s perfect.” A not so humble man once said, “I never make mistakes! Well, I did make one mistake many years ago. My mistake was in thinking I had made a mistake when I hadn’t.”

I had an elderly friend named John who believed the Bible was God’s Word, but had never received Jesus as his Savior and Lord. When I invited him to do so, he replied, “If I’ve ever sinned, it’s so long ago that I don’t remember.” I reminded him of Romans 3:23 and 6:23, and then said, “John, do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?” He replied, “Yes, I do.” I said, “Well, God says in these verses that ALL have sinned and come short of His glory, and that the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. So which are you going to believe, your feelings that say you’ve never sinned, or God’s Word that says you have?” He answered, “I’m going to believe God’s Word.” Minutes later he prayed to receive Jesus as his Savior and Lord. Five days later, the Lord took him to heaven.

He received Jesus as his Savior and Lord on a Saturday afternoon, and died in his sleep the following Wednesday night. During the day on Wednesday he was joking around with the nursing assistants at the care center and telling each one, “I’ll be leaving soon, but I just want you to know how I appreciate you and the help you’ve been giving me during my stay here.” The angel of the Lord did not catch him by surprise that night. He was ready and waiting.

https://medium.com/@keithmcgivern/for-all-have-sinned-and-come-short-of-the-glory-of-god-romans-3-23-debf1696c00

https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Romans-6-23_Inspirational_Image/

Posted by: dhkrause | May 21, 2020

The Trees of Autumn

Trees of Autumn (1)

Photo credit: http://treescapesscotland.co.uk/tree-services-stirling/

I wrote this poem some years ago in response to someone on the Nextdoor site lamenting how the trees in Autumn were so depressing to him, with their leaves drying up and falling off, leaving the branches barren. Apparently for the writer, this seasonal occurrence was a too pungent reminder of the inexorable decline and death of every living thing. I hope this little poem will help some like-minded Eeyore folks out there to open up to the glory of what they’re seeing!

The Trees of Autumn

Their leaves go out in a blaze of glory,
As they lift their arms in praise.
Their roots drink deeply of living water,
Preparing for each new stage.

Let’s live our lives for God’s glory,
Lifting our hearts in praise,
Drinking deeply of His living water,
Boldly turning each new page.

 

Wake up, Eeyore!

Eeyore (1)

Photo credit:
https://ohmy.disney.com/movies/2013/09/17/12-amazing-witticisms-from-eeyore/

Older Posts »

Categories