Posted by: dhkrause | October 14, 2018

The Breath of God

Creation of Man

The Hebrew word “ruach” often translated “spirit” has the root meaning, “breath”.  In Genesis 1:2, the Spirit is seen “hovering” or “brooding” over the face of the waters.  The image evoked is that of a mother bird brooding over her eggs until they hatch.  From this very first reference, the Spirit is seen as the giver of life.

Genesis 1 (NKJV)
The History of Creation
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 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.

We see that on the sixth day of the Creation week, Adam became a living being when God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life:

Genesis 2:7
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Like Adam, each of us became a living being when the Spirit of God breathed into us, giving us life.  Like Job, we can all truly say:

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4 NKJV)

Not only did we receive physical life by the Spirit of God, but we also become spiritually alive when we are born again of the Spirit.  In John 3, Jesus teaches Nicodemus about being born again of the Spirit.

John 3_7

John 3 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The anointing of the Holy Spirit brings fruitfulness in life and ministry.  When the risen Lord commissioned the Apostles in John 20, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

John 20 (NKJV)
19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

John 3_7

The disciples became spiritually ready to fulfill their calling when they received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost:

Acts 2 (NKJV)
Coming of the Holy Spirit
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Those who give themselves fully to God are no longer are being conformed to this world, but are being transformed by the renewing of their minds.

Romans 12 (NKJV)
Living Sacrifices to God
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The Holy Spirit, the breath of God, is drawing us to fully give ourselves to God, to be transformed “in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord,” “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:2-4)

Breathe on me, breath of God (3)

The key to becoming all that God created us to be is to pray from our hearts for the Holy Spirit to breathe on us and make us wholly His.  This is the theme of the following hymn by Edwin Hatch, 1835-1889.

  1. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Fill me with life anew,
    That I may love what thou dost love,
    And do what thou wouldst do.

  2. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Until my heart is pure,
    Until with thee I will one will,
    to do and to endure.

  3. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Till I am wholly thine,
    Till all this earthly part of me
    Glows with thy fire divine.

  4. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    So shall I never die,
    But live with thee the perfect life
    Of thine eternity.

       (For an excellent rendition of this song, see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5keJHZdWYM.)

Abiding in Jesus through the Holy Spirit, we are made clean by His words and fruitful for God’s glory.

John 15 (NKJV)
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com,10/14/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1)  https://www.toddjana.com/genesis-11-3-the-creation-account-and-hebrew-narrative-2
(2)  https://twitter.com/wjmopar/status/1013393769851260928
(3)  https://kathleendeniseriley.blogspot.com/2015/02/pt-1-baptism-with-holy-spirit-acts-2.html
(4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5keJHZdWYM

Posted by: dhkrause | October 2, 2018

Tone Deaf No Longer – A Swanee River Healing

Psalm 95_1-2

I received a “poor” in music on my first grade report card. My mother went to see the teacher, and asked “Why?” The teacher explained, “He can’t carry a tune.” My mother replied, “So what? I can’t carry a tune either!” I received “satisfactory” marks in music after that.

The problem was I was not hearing differences in pitch, so I “sang” in a monotone which is all I heard. In the third grade, the class was singing “Way down upon the Swanee River,” and I suddenly became aware of differences in pitch. Once I could *hear* the tune, I could also sing it. After school that day, I went around the neighborhood singing “Swanee River” to anyone who would listen.

If you know someone who is tone deaf as I was, I would recommend singing or playing “Swanee River” for them as a way of possibly snapping them out of this condition. (My brother Kris M. Krause tried to cure me using “Jingle Bells”, and it didn’t work.)

Here is a an excellent rendition of this song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO7_kaxNFvQ

Recovery from tone deafness may take time, effort and a willing spirit. In the meantime, we can all “make a joyful noise” unto the Lord:

O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. (Psalm 95:1-2 KJV)

A lady once said to me, “You should be an opera singer!” I told her, “It’s a good thing for the world that I am not!” God loves our singing when it’s from the heart. The rest is icing on the cake.

Photo credit: https://drlej.wordpress.com/tag/psalm-95-1-2/

Posted by: dhkrause | September 30, 2018

The Savior of the World

John 4

The first time in John’s gospel that Jesus reveals who He is, is to a Samaritan woman who seems to be living with a man who isn’t her husband after being married five times.  The revelation has a transforming effect upon her life, as shown by her powerful witness to others in her town.  In this conversation, she progressively comes into the full recognition of who He is.  Many of us have also awakened progressively to His true identity, and now we too can be “a true witness that delivers souls”  (Proverbs 14:25).

This memorable encounter begins after Jesus informs his disciples as they are traveling from Judea toward Galilee, that instead of bypassing Samaria, He needs to go through this territory usually avoided by Jews.

John 4 (NKJV)
A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah
Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria.

So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

John 4_10-14

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”

17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”

Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”

19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

John 4_24

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.

28 The woman then left her water pot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

John 4_42

The Savior of the World
39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.

42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

The Samaritan woman goes through several stages of recognition of Jesus, just as some of us have done; first she sees Him as simply a Jew (v. 9), then as one to be respected (“sir” in  v. 11), then as  “a prophet” (v. 19), and finally as “the Christ” (v. 29).  She then runs back to the town to invite others to meet Him too.  Having heard Him for themselves, they too recognize him as “the Christ, the Savior of the world.”  (v. 42)

In our day, we have the witness of Scripture and of other believers, inviting us  to know Christ for ourselves.  Jesus prays for all of us in John 17:20-21:

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 9/30/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1)  http://jefe888.blogspot.com/2015/05/
(2)  https://avirtuouswoman.org/living-water-day-42/
(3)  http://www.cherylcope.com/worship-quotes-and-scriptures
(4)  https://slideplayer.com/slide/7266009/

Posted by: dhkrause | September 16, 2018

God’s Shining Face

Numbers 6_24-26

The references in Scripture to God’s shining face progressively reveal His desire for a strong personal relationship with His people who walk with Him.

The first occurrence of this phrase is when God told Moses to instruct his brother Aaron to bless the people in the following way.

Numbers 6  (NKJV)
The Priestly Blessing
22 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
24 “The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” ’

This is a prayer for God’s blessing and protection, for His favor and grace, and for His peace.  There is also a hint of a coming personal relationship with His people individually, in the lines referring to His shining face and uplifted countenance.

God’s desire for an intimate personal relationship with each believer culminates in the rending of the veil by Jesus Christ, through His life, death and resurrection, and sending of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 31_16

The promise carried by God’s shining face is seen in various Psalms, and in the book of Daniel.  The Lord is David’s fortress in adversity in Psalm 31, and His shining face is coupled with salvation, as David prays,

14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me.
16 Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake.

 Asaph prays for the restoration of Israel in Psalm 80. Three times he declares, Restore us, O God; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!”  God’s shining face signifies His favor upon His people, leading to their salvation.

Psalm 119:135 declares: “Make Your face shine upon Your servant, And teach me Your statutes.”  God’s shining face is here connected with His teaching and guiding His people.

Daniel associates God’s shining face with the restoration of the sanctuary in Jerusalem when he prays in Daniel 9:17,

Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate.” 

Psalm 67_1-2

Psalm 67 begins with a prayer for God’s mercy and blessing, and for His face to shine upon us, again sparking a hope of an intimate walk with God in His anointing.  The further purpose of this prayer is seen in the second verse, that His way would be known on the earth, and His salvation among 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.

The further result of this light shining forth from the face of God is seen in the next verses.  God will be the righteous judge and governor of the nations, blessing His people, acknowledged to the ends of the earth.

Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

2 corinthians 4_6.JPG (2)

God’s desire for an intimate personal relationship with each believer culminates in the rending of the veil by Jesus Christ, who by the power of the Holy Spirit now lives in the hearts of believers.

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” (2 Corinthians 4.6 NKJV)

Author Alisa Hope Wagner writes:

“We see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. God is our Creator, and many times He seems so perfect and distant that we can’t reach Him. In fact, we in our imperfect state cannot even come close to God. He is holy, and we are not. Our sin separates us from our Creator, but God’s plan didn’t end at our sin. Our sin merely ignited the rest of God’s plan on earth and heaven. God rested on the 7th day of creation, knowing that Jesus reconciled each believer back into His loving arms. From His place on High, God shines His glory onto earth, revealing the face of Jesus in the darkest parts of our hearts. We no longer have to grope for a tangible God. He is here in each of us, guiding us, molding us and growing us into His glorious image. God in the flesh has come to walk with us on every step of our earth-journey. We don’t have to be afraid or confused; we simply need to keep our focus on the light shining in the darkness—a light that has destroyed eternal separation from our Heavenly Father.”  “The people that sat in darkness Saw a great light, And to them that sat in the region and shadow of death, To them did light spring up” (Matthew 4.16 ISV).
https://faithimagined.com/2016/05/verse-meditation/

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 9/16/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1)  http://thedailyverses.blogspot.com/2013/03/numbers-624-26.html
(2)  https://www.crosscards.com/cards/scripture-cards/psalm-31-16.html
(3)  http://mphilliber.blogspot.com/2018/03/o-god-creator-preserver-and-governor-of.html
(4)  https://faithimagined.com/2016/05/verse-meditation/

Posted by: dhkrause | September 10, 2018

Evocative Words

The pronunciation of certain words helps evoke their meaning. This includes, but is not limited to, words that sound like what they reference (onomatopoeia). Here are four words, closely related phonetically, that do this for me: twinkle, tinkle, tickle and tingle, relating to the senses of seeing, hearing, touch and internal feeling. Pay attention to how your mouth pronounces each of these words, and see if you can catch how the act of pronunciation subtly evokes the meaning.

Stars twinkle
Chimes tinkle
Feathers tickle
Spines tingle

I think being sensitive to this phenomenon may help a person learn a new language. It certainly makes the words come alive. Adam may have been a master at this, when he named the animals in the garden of Eden.

Posted by: dhkrause | September 2, 2018

Light, Love and Truth

1 John 1_5

God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.  God is love, and the source of all true love.  God is truth, and by knowing Him we have eternal life.  Light, love and truth abide together in those who walk with God.  John’s first epistle describes walking in the light by the grace of Jesus Christ.

1 John 1  (NKJV)
Fellowship with Him and One Another
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 allIf 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.

The eternal Word of God, the Son of God who was with the Father before the world began, is the source of all life and light, including our very consciousness.

John 1 (NKJV)
The Eternal Word
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 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 1_17 (2)

The  Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

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. 

God sent His light and truth into the world through Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the ultimate answer to David’s prayer in Psalm 43.

Psalm 43 (NKJV)
Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!
Let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your tabernacle.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And on the harp I will praise You,
O God, my God.
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.

1 John 4_7-8

1 John 4 describes knowing and abiding in God’s love through Jesus Christ.

1 John 4 (NKJV)
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 loveIn 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.

Abiding with God Through Love
12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

John 17_3 (2)

In His high priestly prayer in John 17, Jesus declares that to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent is to have eternal life.  Near the end of this prayer, He prays that those who believe in Him will share in the unity, glory and love that He had with the Father before the world was.

John 17 (NKJV)
1Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sentI have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 9/2/2018, https://compellinglove.net/   

Photo credits:
(1)  http://www.bibleverseimages.com/bible-quote-8.htm
(2)  https://inspirationandhealing.blogspot.com/2015/10/bible-quotes-john-117.html
(3)  https://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/scripture-pictures/scripture-pictures-by-verse/verse/e/30611/t/1-john-4-7
(4) https://www.deviantart.com/bible-quote/art/John-17-3-Daily-Bible-Verse-571492829

Posted by: dhkrause | August 19, 2018

Beautiful Savior

Beautiful Savior

The beloved hymn, “Fairest Lord Jesus” motivates us to fix our eyes on our beautiful Savior.  Christ humbly came to this earth as a baby, but all “Glory and honor, praise and adoration, now and forevermore” belong to Him.  By contemplating the lyrics of this old song, we will be better able when we sing it to “put on the garment of praise”, “praise with the spirit and with understanding” and “magnify the Lord” (as a contemporary song exhorts).

Stanza 1
Fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature,
O thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.

The first stanza extols Christ as the Ruler of all nature.  This echoes a theme found in John 1 and Colossians 1:5, that Christ – the Son of God and Son of Man –  is the One by whom and for whom we each were created.

John 1 (NKJV)
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. 

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.

Colossians 1:16 (NKJV)
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 

Blooming Garb of Spring

Stanza 2
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer
who makes the woeful heart to sing.

The second stanza calls attention  to the beauty of nature – making special mention of meadows, woodlands and blooming flowers.  These reflect the radiant beauty of our Creator, who makes our woeful hearts to sing.  Paul gives this description of Christ’s glory and beauty:

2 Corinthians 4:6  (NKJV)
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.

Jesus Shines Brighter

Stanza 3
Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight,
and all the twinkling starry host:
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
than all the angels heaven can boast.

The third stanza salutes the awesome beauty of sunshine, moonlight and the “twinkling starry host”.  Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, “I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”  Psalm 19 and Romans 1 make this same point:

Psalm 19:1 (NKJV)
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.

 Romans 1:20 (NKJV)
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

 Yet the light of Christ is brighter and purer than all that nature or the angels of heaven can boast.  We will never walk in darkness when we follow Him.

John 8:12 (NKJV)
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.”

If we walk in His light, we too will be the light of the world as He declares:

Matthew 5  (NKJV)
14 “You are the light of the world…  16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Psalm 22_28

Stanza 4
Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
now and forevermore be thine.

The fourth stanza acknowledges our beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, as the Lord of all the nations.  Psalm 22, a prophetic psalm about the Messiah, declares His coming rulership over all the nations.

Psalm 22 (NKJV)
27 All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s,
And He rules over the nations.

The last two lines of the fourth stanza are an exuberant response to this awesome revelation of our Lord: “Glory and honor, praise, adoration, now and forevermore be thine.”  The first stanza includes the opportunity for the worshiper to personally respond, “Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor; Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 8//18/2018, https://compellinglove.net/ 

Photo credits:

(1)  https://vimeo.com/61902737
(2)  https://medium.com/congregational-song/fairest-lord-jesus-beautiful-savior-f4459fc88a1e
(3)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6WMcjk4ZQo
(4) http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/versesjh/index.htm

Posted by: dhkrause | August 5, 2018

Light of the World

John 8_12

Jesus declares 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.”  He said this right after refusing to condemn the woman caught in adultery, and directing her to “go and sin no more.”  In the next chapter, Jesus demonstrates in yet another way that He is the light of the world, by healing a man born blind.

John 9  (NKJV)
A Man Born Blind Receives Sight
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in himI must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

The healed man boldly testified to the Pharisees how Jesus had healed him, and they threw him out.

24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”

25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

John 9_25

Later Jesus found the healed man, and gave him spiritual sight as well as physical.

John 9  (NKJV)
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

36 He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”

37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.”

38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.

39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”

40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”

41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.

Jesus also declares in Matthew 5,  “You are the light of the world.”

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5_14-16

In Psalm 27, David exuberantly describes how the Lord is his light and his salvation, and the strength of his life.

Psalm 27  (NKJV)
1 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.

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 Psalm 36, David extols God’s faithful love, and declares in verse 8,

“For with You is the fountain of life; In your light we see light.”

Psalm 36_9

Psalm 36  (NKJV)
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.

The beginning of John’s gospel declares the oneness of the Son of God with the Father before the world began.  The living Word gives light to every person coming into the world.  “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”  … “That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” (John 1:4, 9)

John 1 (NKJV)
The Eternal Word
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1_6-9

The living Word of God is truly the source of all consciousness and light, both physical and spiritual:

John 1 (NKJV)
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.

. . .

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.”

. . .

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.

“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.”  (2 Corinthians 4:6)

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 8/4/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1)  http://bibleinspirations.org/i-am-the-light-of-the-world-whoever-follows-me-will-never-walk-in-darkness-but-have-the-light-of-life/
(2)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D82pB64UY8E
(3)  https://thinkthebible.org/graphics/verse-graphics/23-gospels/167-matthew-5-14-16
(4) https://www.janiscox.com/sunday-stillness-psalm-369/
(5) https://mudpreacher.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/the-true-light-john-1_9.jpg

 

Posted by: dhkrause | July 22, 2018

The Kingdom of Christ’s Love

Colossians 1_13-14

Jesus prayed in John 17:26, “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.”  Jesus came to deliver us from the power of darkness into the kingdom of His love, as described in Colossians 1:13-14.

Colossians 1 (NKJV)
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long-suffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 

Romans 5_8

Jesus said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  This is the greatest demonstration of God’s love for us, as explained in Romans 5:8 and 1 John 4:10.

Romans 5 New King James Version (NKJV)
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 usMuch more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

1 John 4:10 (AMPC)
In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.

John 6_35

In John 6, Jesus further described His atoning sacrifice for us that we receive by faith in Him:

John 6 (NKJV)
35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

The power of Jesus’ blood that was shed for the sins of the world is declared in Revelation 1:5-6, along with the high priestly calling of believers.

Revelation 1 (NKJV)
John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who ­­­­­are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.  To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own bloodand has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1_5

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, ”says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Having been transferred from the power of darkness into His kingdom of love, it is now our joyous privilege to walk in the light as he is in the light, in fellowship with Him and with one another, as described in 1 John 1.

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.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 7/21/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1)  http://mastershandcollection.com/blog/category/monday-motivation/page/2/
(2)  https://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/scripture-pictures/scripture-pictures-by-verse/verse/e/28056/t/romans-5-8
(3)  https://www.deviantart.com/bible-quote/art/John-6-35-Daily-Bible-Verse-563677463
(4)  https://images.knowing-jesus.com/i/revelation-1-5-jesus-christ-the-faithful-witness-red

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

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