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/

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.

Posted by: dhkrause | February 4, 2018

The Compelling Love of Christ

2 Corinthians 5_14-15

Jesus declared that He came to serve, and to “give His life as a ransom for many.”  In so doing, He was the ultimate example of what He asks us to be –a servant of all.  (Mark 10:44-45) His love is supremely revealed in John 3:16.  His love compels us to live our lives in gratitude for all He has done for us.  By faith in Him we become “a new creation”, ministers of reconciliation and ambassadors for Him. (2 Cor. 5:14-15, 17, 20)

Jesus describes how best to follow Him in John 15:12, “Love each other as I have loved you.”  By loving one another as He loves us, we express the essence of who God is, for “God is love”. (1 John 4:8)  He enables us to “love one another fervently with a pure heart”.  (1 Peter 1:22, 4:8)  Jesus describes the ultimate unity of believers when he prays “that they may be one just as We are one”.  (John 17:22)

The disciples had been competing for the most glorious placements near Jesus, when He explained to them what it means great in God’s kingdom.

Mark 10 (NKJV)
43  … “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

John 3_16 (4) 

The love of God for the whole world is revealed 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.”

Paul writes that “the love of Christ compels us”, knowing that He died that we might have eternal life.  We are redeemed by faith in Him and what He has done for us, and should now live in continual love and gratitude for Him.

2 Corinthians 5 (NKJV)
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

Being reconciled to God through Christ, we see others with a new perspective of love. We are “a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  God has “committed to us the work of reconciliation”.  Now “we are ambassadors for Christ”, who took the burden of our sins upon Himself, “that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5_17 (2)

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus taught on friendship and love, and He set the supreme example by laying down His life for all who believe in Him.  He says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” …You are my friends if you do what I command. … This is my command: Love each other.”

John 15 (NKJV)
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

By loving one another as Jesus loves us we express the essence of who God is, for “God is love”.

1 John 4_8

1 John 4 (NKJV)
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 love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Peter describes how God is calling us to “love one another fervently with a pure heart”, and to use all of our gifts for God’s glory.

1 Peter 1 (NKJV)
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.

1 Peter 4 (NKJV)
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 133_1

 John 17_22

David declares in Psalm 133:1,Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!” 
Jesus describes the ultimate unity of believers when he prays regarding His followers “that they may be one just as We are one”.  This is the supreme fulfillment of His compelling love.

John 17 (NKJV)
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, 2/3/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
https://onlythebible.com/Backgrounds/2-Corinthians-5.14-15.html?id=ZGgvVVJ5ME43RVByTWJVeGlxUW5KZz09
https://www.redbubble.com/people/jlporiginals/works/26204034-breathtaking-john-3-16-sunrise-scripture?p=scarf
https://soundfaith.com/sermon-preaching-ideas/topics/creation-renewal
https://raisedtowalk.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/love-1-john-4_8.png
http://mindyhopman.com/2017/03/17/oneness-christ-community/
https://cccooperagency.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/thanksgiving-parade/

 

Posted by: dhkrause | January 31, 2018

Genesis 1 Summary with Questions

Young Biosphere Creationist View

Photo credits: http://www.rachelswork.com/computer-art 

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.  (Genesis 1:1-2)

The Hebrew phrase, “the heavens and the earth” may refer to the universe, including all the heavenly bodies and our own earth.  The earth was at first unformed, without mountains or valleys, covered completely by ocean with no light upon its surface.  We are not told how long the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters before the first day.

God said, “Let there be light”, and for the first time there was light on the surface of the ocean, beginning the cycles of day and night.  Evidently, the watery atmosphere covering the ocean was now translucent, similar to  a very overcast day.  Light was reaching the earth, but the sun was not visible.  “So the evening and the morning were the first day.”

Creation Day 1

On day 2, God created the expanse of the sky, between the waters above and the waters below.

Creation Day 2

On day 3, God gathered the waters under the sky so that dry land appeared.  From this we can infer that the earth was now formed into higher elevations and lower elevations including ocean basins.  Also on day 3, God created plants bearing seeds after their own kind.

Creation Day 3

On day 4, God established the Sun, Moon and Stars to be visible from the earth, evidently by thinning the translucent watery layer above the atmosphere to make it transparent.  Now the source of the light was visible.

Creation Day 4

On day 5, God created the fish of the sea and the birds of the air.

Creation Day 5

On day 6, God created all of the land animals.  Then 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 told them to be fruitful and multiply and to have dominion over all the creatures of the earth.  Then God blessed all that He had made, and it was very good.

Creation Day 6

Day 1  – Light breaks upon the ocean Day 4 – Sources of light made visible
Day 2 – Sky, dividing waters below from waters above Day 5 – Birds and Fish
Day 3 – Land and plants Day 6 – Land animals and Man


Questions

1. Reading across the above table, do you see a relationship between days 1 and 4, 2 and 5, and 3 and 6?

2. God created both plants and animals to procreate “after their kind”.

This implies that the descendants of each basic type of animal and plant will only be of that same kind.  For example, the canine kind will always give birth to canines, and the feline kind will always give birth to felines.

How does this description compare with the evolutionary view that somehow our distant ancestors were not human?

Recent breakthroughs in DNA research and analysis support a six thousand year history of life on earth, and a worldwide flood 1500 years after the Creation.  This is brilliantly explained in Nathaniel T. Jeanson’s book, “Replacing Darwin – The New Origin of Species”, Oct. 2017, Master Books, Green Forest, AR.

3. God created man “in His own image.” How do you understand this statement?

4. When do the days begin in Genesis 1 – at Dusk or at Dawn?

The sentence, “So the evening and the morning were the [nth] day” occurs at the conclusion of each set of creative acts.  The endpoint of the cycle is designated as “morning”, as in “dawn” – the point in time when darkness is beginning to be replaced with light.  Since dawn is the endpoint of the cycle just concluded, it is also the beginning point of the next.  Therefore the days in Genesis 1 are from dawn to dawn.

Granted there was darkness on the face of the deep before God commanded light.  However, that indefinite period of time when “darkness was on the face of the deep and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” is not part of the day and night cycle described in the verses that follow:  “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”  The regular day and night cycle begins with the advent of light – that is, with the dawn – and is consistent in length.

5. Does a straightforward reading of Genesis 1 point to a young earth or an old earth, or does it leave this question open?

This answer to this question hinges on the meanings in the original language of the words translated “the heavens and the earth” in verse 1, and “made” in verse 16.  “The heavens and the earth” can mean the whole universe including earth, sun and stars.  The Hebrew word translated “made” can also be translated “did” of “set” or “established”.  So in this view, the sun, moon, earth and stars were created in verse 1, and after an indefinite length of time, God commanded light to reach the earth, through the watery atmosphere.   Then in verse 16, God made the sun, moon and stars visible by making the atmosphere transparent.   Gorman Gray does a masterful analysis of this question in his book, “The Age of the Universe: What are the Biblical Limits?”, July, 2010, Morningstar Publications, Washougal, WA.

6. Does a straightforward reading of Genesis 1 point to a recent creation of life on earth?

Very definitely, according to the genealogies from Adam to Abraham.  Since all forms of life including man were created in the same week, they are all created recently – approximately 6,000 years ago.  This perspective is called “Young Biosphere Creationist”, as opposed to “Young Earth Creationist”.

7. What stands out most to you in Genesis chapter 1?

Posted by: dhkrause | January 21, 2018

All Things New

Revelation 21_5

Believers can look ahead to the time when our God will wipe every tear from our eyes and make all things new (Rev. 21:4-5).  Our afflictions are outweighed by the eternal weight of glory that is to come (2 Cor. 4:17).  Overcomers will sit with Christ on his throne  (Rev. 3:-21).  This hope is an anchor for our soul (Heb. 6:19).  It inspires us to get ready for the great day of His appearing (1 John 3:3).

Jesus invites us to come to him to find rest and a new life in partnership with him, sharing the light burden of his love.

Matthew 11 (NKJV)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

 In Matthew 19, Jesus speaks of the renewal of all things, right here on this earth.

Matthew 19 (NIV)
27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

John 10_10

Jesus is the good shepherd who gave his life for the sheep, so that we can have eternal and abundant life.

 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.  11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

Paul declares that our afflictions are outweighed by the eternal weight of glory that awaits us.

2 Corinthians 4 (NKJV)
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Overcomers who are faithful to the end will sit with Christ on his throne.

Revelation 3
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Even now, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  We are ambassadors for him who took the judgment of sin upon himself, so “that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

2 Corinthians 5_17

2 Corinthians 5
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Isaiah 51 describes how the redeemed of the Lord will have everlasting joy.

Isaiah 51 (NKJV)
10 Are You not the One who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
That made the depths of the sea a road
For the redeemed to cross over?
11 So the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness;
Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 65 describes how God will create new heavens and a new earth.

Isaiah 65_17

Isaiah 65
The Glorious New Creation
17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing,
And her people a joy.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
And joy in My people;
The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her,
Nor the voice of crying.

Revelation 21 promises that God will dwell with his people in the New Jerusalem.
He is making all things new, and His people will be His bride.

Revelation 21_2

Revelation 21 (NKJV)
All Things Made New
21 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”

The vision of living in a restored heaven and earth in the presence of our living God gives us a hope that inspires us to get ready for that great day.

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.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, January 20, 2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
http://www.firebreathingchristian.com/archives/7439
https://www.thefellowshipsite.org/john-1010.html
http://www.dailylifeverse.com/posts/2012/10/2-corinthians-5-17
http://praisephotography.com/category/north-island-new-zealand/
https://media4lifephotography.com/tag/bride/

Posted by: dhkrause | January 1, 2018

The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength

Nehemiah 8_10

Praying for you and yours, that the joy of the Lord will be your strength.
May the coming year be better and more glorious than any year before!

Photo credit: http://www.21stcr.org/wallpaper/…/july2012_nehemiah8_10.html

 

Posted by: dhkrause | January 1, 2018

Floods upon the Dry Ground

Isaiah 44_3

Praying for God’s presence, comfort, strength, peace, wisdom and love to be with you all, and for healing and restoration wherever needed. Shalom and abundant blessings.

Photo credit:
https://www.facebook.com/ForHisGloryChristianAssembly/

Posted by: dhkrause | December 31, 2017

Friends, and More than Friends

Jeremiah 31_3

God’s goodness to us is shown in so many ways!  He creates, protects, sustains and guides us, and invites us into an eternal friendship with Him.  With undying passion He is calling to those who have hearts to hear, to be friends, and more than friends.

Jeremiah 31 speaks of God’s restoration of Israel, and describes how He draws His people with an everlasting love:

Jeremiah 31 (NKJV)
The Remnant of Israel Saved
“At the same time,” says the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.”
Thus says the Lord:
“The people who survived the sword
Found grace in the wilderness—
Israel, when I went to give him rest.”
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you
.
Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel!
You shall again be adorned with your tambourines,
And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.”

Psalm 3_3

In a time of great trouble, David prayed, “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” (Psalm 3:3)

Psalm 3 (KJV)
Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine headI cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

God is our friend and protector, and He gives Himself fully to those who give themselves to Him.  This was described elegantly in a recent devotion on Genesis 15:1 by Dr. Erez Soref, President of “One For Israel”.  He writes in a newsletter dated 12/26/2017:

“Shalom!
The word of Adonai came to Abram in a vision saying,
“Do not fear, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
God had promised Abram (later to be called Abraham) a son, a land, and a blessing that would go to all nations. All wonderful gifts! It’s hard to imagine how much each of those things would have meant to a wandering, childless, aging couple. Yet God states that more than all of these things, He Himself is the real prize. He is our very great reward. It’s good to stop and drink in the fact God has given us the most incredible gift of all: Himself.”

Psalm 23

David exemplifies a close personal relationship with God in Psalm 23, describing how the Lord protects him, leads him, restores him, and brings him into His eternal presence.

Psalm 23 (NKJV)
The Lord is my shepherd;
   I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

Jesus declares in John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” He explains in verse 18, “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

John 10_10-11

John 10 (NKJV)
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.  …
14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

In Matthew 11, He invites us to come to him, to partner with him, to learn from him, and to find rest for our souls.

Matthew 11 (NKJV)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

We will be His friends, and more than friends if we abide in His love, keeping His commandments:

John 15 (NKJV)
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 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. … 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

In his book, “Moving Mountains: Praying with Passion, Confidence, and Authority” (p. 223), Pastor John Eldredge describes what it means to be friends, and more than friends with God:

“The goal of human existence is union with God, an absolute union of heart, soul, mind, and strength, the union Jesus knew with his Father: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). God is weaning us to the place we will be able to say like David, “Your love is better than life” (Psalm 63:3), to truly and actually believe in the marrow of our bones that God’s love surpasses anything this world has to offer.”

Psalm 63_3-4

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 12/30/2017, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
https://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/scripture-pictures/scripture-pictures-by-verse/verse/e/19695/t/jeremiah-31-3
https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Psalms-3-3_Inspirational_Image/
http://dustoffthebible.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Psalm-23.jpg/
http://faithhopeandheartwarming.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/life-more-abundantly.jpeg/
https://www.bereaproject.org/verse-of-the-day/2016/3/11/psalm-6334/

 

Posted by: dhkrause | December 21, 2017

Shadows, Branches, and Concern for Birds

Looking out the window this morning, I was fascinated by the shadows sharply delineating the hillside path.  I became curious to find the branches projecting these shadows.

1 Shadow

2 Shadow

Success, branches discovered!  By this time the shadow has progressed.

3 Branch

4 Branch

Meanwhile, my wife Marla was clearing off the blanket of leaves covering the ground on the tiered ledges.  She later explained she was concerned about the birds having access this winter to the worms they need for food.

5 Marla

6 Marla

While I was taking photos of branches, she was busy helping birds that perch on the branches!

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