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/

 

 

Posted by: dhkrause | February 26, 2018

Mitsie Inspired by the Wind

The colors of the grass and foliage were bright and pleasing on this recent stroll.

Suddenly a strong wind arose, bending all the trees.  When the gust subsided, our cat Mitsie seemed to be inspired by the wind to show strength and energy of her own, running from one end of the yard to the other, and then racing full speed up to a high branch on our Chinese elm.

After taking these photos, I called Marla to take a look.  She chastised her saying, “That is not a good place for you to be. You are not a squirrel!”  Mitsie meowed plaintively, as if to say, “Aw, Mom…”.  Marla thought this was a cry for help to get down, but as we reached for the extension ladder, she came racing down as fast as she had climbed up.  Our little cat, more than 10 years old, is still full of surprises!

Posted by: dhkrause | February 18, 2018

Faith Leading to Glory

Faith gives God glory, and in response He reveals His glory to the faithful.  Jesus repeatedly said when healing people, “Your faith has made you well.”  (e.g. Luke 8:48, 17:19, 18:42)  Jesus said of those who believe in Him, that they would see the glory of God.  (John 11:40)  Daniel’s three friends remained true to their faith even when the king threatened to throw them into a fiery furnace, and God gloriously honored their faith.  (Daniel 3)  By faith, we receive “the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6)  By faith, we “rejoice in hope of the glory of God”. (Romans 5:2)  Our faith leads to “praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:7)

In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow before the image King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.  They knew this would make the king angry, but they believed God would deliver them even if they were thrown into the fiery furnace.  When they came out of the furnace unscathed, the king himself was moved to give glory to God.

Daniel 3 (1)

Daniel 3 (NIV)
13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?  15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

Daniel 3 (2)

 

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”

In John 11, Jesus tells Martha, the sister of Lazarus who had died four days earlier, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)  When she objected to the removing the stone from the tomb, Jesus replied, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (v. 40)

John 11_40

John 11 (NKJV)
Lazarus Raised from the Dead
38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

John 11_43-44

To the believer, the gospel “displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  God has “made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4 (NIV)
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

2 corinthians 4_6

As believers, we “rejoice in hope of the glory of God,” and “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Romans 5 (NKJV)
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Faith that has been tested and proven genuine results in “praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ”.  Even now we experience “joy inexpressible and full of glory”.

1 Peter 1 (NKJV)
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 2/19/2018,https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:

http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/meshach-shadrach-abednego/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88SimTF7pFo

http://www.pigeonscafe.org/if-you-believe/

https://bibleask.org/isnt-there-more-than-one-lazarus-mentioned-in-the-bible/

http://www.pictame.com/media/1227510729538014415_1719191538

 

 

Posted by: dhkrause | February 9, 2018

New Appreciation for Valentine’s Day

I am starting to appreciate Valentine’s day more these days. On this day in 2007, my son-in-law Derrick proposed to my younger daughter Karine overlooking the Golden Gate bridge. Now eleven years later, as I recently walked toward the birthday card section in Rite-Aid (great store for cards) to select something for my wife of 49 years, a card on the end display caught the corner of my eye. Upon examining it, I saw I needed to look no further, even though it was a Valentine’s Day card instead of a birthday card. It was so appropriate that I decided it could serve both purposes. Here is the card that I am happy to share.

img343

 

img344

Posted by: dhkrause | February 5, 2018

Harbingers of Spring?

Photos from a January 26 stroll around the yard, admiring new life springing up. My cat Mitsie was with me, but she was doing more sitting than walking.

01

Above:  Lemon grass, heralding the approach of spring.

02

Above:  These leaves are joining the celebration.

03

Above:  Love the color of this geranium.

04

Above:  Lifting up their heads.

06

Above:  Standing strong together.

07

Above:  Pyracantha joining the fun.

08

Above:  Colorful collage.

09

Above:  Sweet harmony.

10

Above:  Reaching for the sky.

11

Above:  Love the subtle magenta hues.

12

Above:  Blossoms emerging.

13

Above:  Mitsie enjoys the fresh grass – good for sitting and for munching.

14

Above:  Her ears are always on the alert.

15

Above:  Enjoying the sun after several overcast days.

16

Above:  Something has her attention, and it’s not the cameraman.

17

Above:  Profile of a happy cat.

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