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.

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.

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.

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 leaf.

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/

Posted by: dhkrause | March 1, 2020

Taste and See that the Lord is Good

Psalm 34_1 (f)

David declares in Psalm 34:8,Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” 
God’s desire is that believers would experience His goodness through a close personal walk with Him, worshipping “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).  David’s commitment to such a relationship is seen in Psalm 34:1-2 where he declares that no matter what, he is going to continually bless and praise the Lord.  Others will hear of it and rejoice.

Psalm 34 (NKJV)
1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.

Writer Paige Sagach comments on verse 1:

 “What would happen if praises to our Lord were continually in our mouth? If we didn’t wait until Sunday morning worship or when feeling especially happy, what if we praised Him even while feeling down or having a bad day?

I think if we would choose to praise Him continually (regardless of our feelings), we could turn a “bad day” into a good day just by taking our eyes off of ourselves and our limited abilities and focusing on Him and His unlimited abilities.”  (http://paigesagach.com/i-will-bless-the-lord-at-all-times/

Psalm 34_3

In Psalm 34:3, David invites believers to join him in giving glory to the Lord:

“Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.”

David testifies how he prayed and God heard him, and delivered him from his fears.  He cites the testimony of others who also looked to the Lord and prayed, and were saved out of their troubles.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.

He promises that the Lord will provide angelic protection, and invites believers to personally experience the goodness of the Lord.

The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Chris and Lisa Cree comment, “The more you experience God’s goodness, the more you want to experience it. You just have to start with one small taste to know how truly good God is.” (https://newcreeations.org/psalms-348/)

Their blog  also addresses how the topic of God’s sovereignty is often misunderstood, and this can be a hindrance in our walk with God:

Psalm 34_4

“The sovereignty of God is one of those theological ideas that causes some significant challenges in the lives of believers. The idea that “God is in control” seems like it honors God because many mistakenly think that absolute control over everything at every moment is a fundamental requirement for God to be God. Plus it can be comforting because it shifts responsibility for what people do and don’t do onto God, along with the consequences of those choices.”

Power vs. Authority

“When it comes to this question, the first thing we need to understand is the difference between power and authority. God is indeed all powerful. One of the many names of God is El Shaddai, which means Lord God Almighty. However, even though God is all powerful, he sovereignly chose to self-limit his power by delegating authority to mankind in the Garden of Eden.”

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” — Genesis 1:26-28

“With that delegation of authority, God made man responsible for what happens here on earth. It also meant that God could only intervene when invited into a situation by mankind because of God’s own self-imposed limitation of authority.”

Psalm 34_8

“Because God said mankind has dominion, if he then stepped in the earth to do stuff uninvited, God would be violating his own word. That is something God cannot do (Psalms 89:34).

God of This World

“Of course Adam promptly sinned and thereby abdicated his authority to Satan who then became the god of this world.”

If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

“That abdication by Adam in the Garden gave Satan the legal right to wreak havoc in the world, especially where people’s lives are concerned.

“Later, God made covenants with different people. First was Noah (Genesis 9:8-17), and then Abraham (Genesis chapters 15 and 17). Obviously there was the Old Covenant with the nation of Israel, which gave us the Law. These covenants gave God the “legal” right to intervene in specific ways with specific people.”

Authority Given to Believers

“Then along comes Jesus who lives a truly righteous life, fulfills the law, and takes all authority back from Satan. Jesus then delegates that authority to us, his New Covenant believing followers (Matt 28:18, Luke 9:1, Luke 10:18-19, John 17:18).

John 8_31-32

“Jesus gave us the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.

And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19

“Now the authority over the earth resides in us as believers.

The Truth Will Set You Free

“There is good news. God is not in control of everything! There are other forces at work in our world today.

“That means we can trust God’s character to always want the very best for us. The door for intimacy with the Father is wide open!

“Then we can truly taste and see that the Lord is good. The more we experience God’s goodness, the more we want to experience it. Over time we really can become more intimate with God.

“Intimacy is vital because God wants to partner with you to accomplish his purposes on the Earth by pushing back the darkness and advancing his Kingdom here, now, today. The world needs more believers who live in that powerful place of intimacy.

“We live in dark times. The need for powerful world changers to rise up in the Church has never been greater than it is today. God is inviting you to join him. The first step is to stop blaming him for all the bad stuff that happens.”  (https://newcreeations.org/sovereignty-of-god/)

“We are working together with God. We ask you from our hearts not to receive God’s loving-favor and then waste it.” (2 Corinthians 6:1 NLV)

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/, 3/1/2020

Photo credits:
(1) http://paigesagach.com/i-will-bless-the-lord-at-all-times/ *
(2) http://jeanwilund.com/join-the-journey-lets-work-through-this-maze-called-life-together/ *
(3) https://www.facebook.com/weloveourgodpage/photos/psalm-34-4-i-sought-the-lord-and-he-heard-me-and-delivered-me-from-all-my-fears/1180985745365665/
(4) https://newcreeations.org/psalms-348/ *
(5) https://seekgrowlove.com/tag/a-disciple-of-jesus/ *
* Includes excellent teaching.

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