Posted by: dhkrause | June 17, 2019

Put on the Armor of Light

Romans 13_11

https://hightimetoawake.com/rom-13-verse-11/

“It is high time to awake out of sleep”, “cast off the works of darkness” and “put on the armor of light,”  “the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:11-14), “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

Romans 13
11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

The Holy Spirit sends red light signals to us when we are about to step out of our armor of light.  To ignore those signals is like not obeying traffic signals when driving, as a  blogger on the “Partners in Hope” website writes:

Psalm 119:1-3, 35 (NLT)
Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths … Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.

Romans 13_12

“A driver who ignores traffic signals is “an accident looking for a place to happen.” …  The Scriptures too have some “red lights” that should make us stop and consider our lives as Christians. They are the prohibitions against behaviors that are detrimental to our walk with the Lord and our growth as Christians. Some “red lights” include thoughts such as envy, pride, hatred, lust, irreverence, and selfishness while others have to do with outward behaviors such as sexual immorality, abuse and addictions.

“When the Holy Spirit alerts us to the presence of “red light” thoughts and behaviors in our lives, we should immediately hit the brakes. We don’t always see the surrounding circumstances that require the red light in order for everyone to be safe, including ourselves.  God knows.  God cares and God prescribes boundaries and safety lights for the best of reasons.  We would do well to pay attention and follow the signal.”

http://pihtoday.blogspot.com/2013/04/thursday-april-4-2013-following-signal-1.html

In 1966 I wrote the following poem expressing the aspiration of Christians to walk with God continuously:

High Time
Is twenty-four too many hours to give a day to You?
Is seven days too many days to give each week to You?
Is fifty-two too many weeks to give per year to You?
No, all my time is just enough to give my life to You.

The only way to walk with God continuously is to put on the armor of light, which is to put on the Lord Jesus Christ  (Romans 13:12,14).   In Romans 7, Paul describes how without this armor he fails to do what he wills to do, because of the law of sin and death that is at work in him.  He has no rule over his own spirit, and the result is as described in Proverbs 25:28, “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.”

John 15_4

Romans 7 (NKJV)
19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Finally in Romans 8 Paul gives the key to being delivered from this “wretched” condition.  Putting on the armor of light, we are able to “not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” 

Romans 8 (NKJV)
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Colossians 1_27

In Romans 12, Paul continues the theme of setting one’s mind on the things above, and living according to the Spirit.  He exhorts, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

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

Worship leader Buddy James in a sermon at New Life Church Novato on June 16, 2019 summarized faith leading to wholeness through surrender: “Embrace grace by faith.  Step into wholeness.  Step into surrender.”

Paul speaks again of this transformative change in Galatians 2:20:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ who is our armor of light. (Romans 13:12,14)  The Holy Spirit is faithful to send us signals to hit the brakes when needed to keep our armor on, guiding us into all truth (John 16:13).  Truly, the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).  We are in Him and He is in us, as Jesus teaches in John 15:4, and prays in John 17:21-23, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 6/19/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://hightimetoawake.com/rom-13-verse-11/
(2) http://pihtoday.blogspot.com/2013/04/thursday-april-4-2013-following-signal-1.html
(3) https://biblia.com/bible/esv/John%2015.4
(4) https://matttullos.com/tag/colossians-127/

Posted by: dhkrause | June 9, 2019

The Light of Life

Psalm 36_9 (2)

Eyesight is a wonderful gift from God through which we can appreciate His glory in Creation.  In Psalm 36:9, David prays, “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.”

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

John’s gospel teaches that the Son of God was with the Father before the creation of the world.  He came into the world so that we may personally receive and walk in the light of life.

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

John 1_4 (2)

In John 8:12 and again in John 9:5, Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world”.

John 8_12 (4)

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who
follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  (John 9:5)

 In John 9, Jesus heals a man born blind to demonstrate He is indeed the light of the world.  The healed man receives both physical and spiritual sight.

John 8_12, 9_5

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

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

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

Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”

Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.”

He said, “I am he.

10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”

11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”

12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?”

He said, “I do not know.”

13 They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.

John 9_25 (2)

15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”

16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.”

Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.

17 They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?”

He said, “He is a prophet.”

18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”

20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.”

22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

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

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

26 Then they said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?”

27 He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”

28 Then they reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.”

30 The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! 31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. 33 If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

34 They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus’ detractors were spiritually blind and did not know it.  Yet spiritual sight is far more important than physical sight, especially as it pertains to knowing Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who said 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 (3)

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 6/9/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://dlw-walkinfaith.tumblr.com/post/97291539839/psalm-369
(2) https://ukmidcopts.org/readings/2016/12/03/
(3) https://www.hearthymn.com/i-am-the-light-of-the-world-john-8-12.html
(4) http://janieseltzer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/I-am-the-light-of-the-world.png
(5) https://agentsoflight.org/i-was-blind-but-now-i-see/
(6) https://wiirocku.tumblr.com/post/140710347308/john-146-nkjv-jesus-said-to-him-i-am-the

 

 

Posted by: dhkrause | May 28, 2019

A Heavenly Inheritance

1 Peter 1_3 (2)

Peter’s first epistle teaches about our heavenly inheritance as believers, and our pilgrimage in getting there.  Those placing their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord have a living hope through His resurrection from the dead, to a heavenly inheritance that will not fade away.  As we await the fulfillment of this hope, we are “kept by the power of God through faith”.

1 Peter 1 (NKJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the deadto an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for youwho are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Minister Debra Aiken writes, “Jesus Christ is coming again with grace for his people and being assured of this guaranteed hope we have in Him we can find hope and confidence even in suffering.  Every believer, (child of God) through faith in Jesus Christ is born a second time by the Holy Spirit of God; therefore, hope lives in us.

The gifts that we received from our new birth in Christ are (1) grace and mercy (2) a living hope and (3) an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for us who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

(http://www.tellthelordthankyou.com/blog/2018/9/27/1-peter-13-it-was-grace-and-mercy)

1 Peter 1_8-9

We have the living hope of eternal life in the presence of God’s love and glory.  Our hope, combined with faith in Christ’s words of promise, causes us to rejoice with “joy inexpressible and full of glory.”  Though we have not seen Him, we love Him and believe in Him, awaiting the full salvation of our souls, including body, mind and spirit.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the “firstfruits” of many to come.  (1 Corinthians 15:20,23)

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 loveThough now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of gloryreceiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

God calls us to rest our hope fully upon His grace, keeping our faith through hard times, as we are “upheld by His power”. (1 Peter 1:5).  He calls us, and enables us, to “be holy in all (our) conduct”.

1 Peter 1 (NKJV)
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

1 Peter 1_13 (2)

We are born again through faith in the living and enduring word of God.  Peter describes how we are to walk that out.

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 heart23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because

“All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

1 Peter 1_23

The God of all grace has called us to eternal glory by Christ Jesus.  As we submit ourselves beneath His mighty hand,  He promises to exalt us in due time, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

1 Peter 5 (NKJV)
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

1 Peter 5_7

He calls us to resist the devil, steadfast in the faith, and promises to “perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us” in this pilgrimage to His eternal glory.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 05/25/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) http://www.tellthelordthankyou.com/blog/2018/9/27/1-peter-13-it-was-grace-and-mercy
(2) https://resources.worldprayr.org/1-peter-18-9/
(3) https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/1-Peter/1/13
(4) https://www.verseoftheday.com/en/01232016/
(5) http://www.tellthelordthankyou.com/blog/2015/8/7/1-peter-57-casting-your-worries-on-god-or-carrying-them-on-own-which-are-you-doing

Posted by: dhkrause | May 14, 2019

He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels

Matthew 26_53

https://biblepic.com/44/matthew_26-53.htm

He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels

http://dianaleaghmatthews.com/called-ten-thousand-angels/.

This morning I woke up with this chorus going through my mind.  It turns out that the author of the song, Ray Overholt, was not saved when he wrote it.  He describes how the song brought him to the Savior:

“Sometime later I found myself singing at a small church. I sang ‘He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels’.  Following my singing, a preacher spoke a message that gripped my heart. I knew I needed Christ. So I knelt there and accepted, as my Savior, the One whom I had been singing and writing about.”

You can read the full story behind the song at the link above.

Here are two outstanding renditions:

Ten Thousand Angels – Stephen J. Nasby – with lyrics
https://youtu.be/bjMinJ4Seho

Ten Thousand Angels – Jamie & Karen
https://youtu.be/AnhmwjX0dFM

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 5/13/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Posted by: dhkrause | May 12, 2019

Christ in You, the Hope of Glory

Christ in You, the Hope of Glory (2)

https://aglowhouston.com/tag/hope-of-glory/

When a person receives Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, He dwells in them, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  He lives in us through the Holy Spirit who is given to us.  Through the Spirit, the Father and the Son of God take up residence in us, and nothing can separate us from the love of God.

In Colossians 1:27, Paul describes this as a mystery now being made known.

Colossians 1 (NKJV)
27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, would dwell in the disciples, and He promised to be with them through the Holy Spirit.

John 14 (NKJV)
Jesus Promises Another Helper
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

John 14_15-18

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOaWCKqZMWw

 Jesus promised to manifest himself to them, and that both He and the Father would come and make their home in them.

John 14 (NKJV)
Indwelling of the Father and the Son
19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

God will give life to our mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in us:

Romans 8 (NKJV)
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Romans 8_11

https://www.heartlight.org/gallery/2811.html

Those who are led by the Spirit of God are His sons and daughters.  The glory that will be revealed in us outweighs any suffering that we may experience.

Romans 8 (NKJV)
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body

Romans 8_28 (3)

https://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/scripture-pictures/scripture-pictures-by-verse/verse/e/28145/t/romans-8-28

 God makes all things work together for good to those who love Him, though we may not see it until later.

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 purpose29 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. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Romans 8:39 declares that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8_39

https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/romans-8-39

W. Tozer wrote, “The Persons of the Godhead never work separately. Every act of God is done by all three Persons.” Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth, and enable us to do the works that He did.  He also declared that both He and the Father would answer our prayers.

John 14 (NKJV)
The Answered Prayer
12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

John  15 (NKJV)
16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

 “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is a hope that will not disappoint!

“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.”  Romans 5:5 (NKJV)

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 5/11/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Posted by: dhkrause | April 28, 2019

No Greater Love

1 Peter 3_18 (2)

There is no greater love than that revealed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He suffered and died for us, “the just for the unjust,”  so that by believing in Him we can have eternal life abiding in His love and glory.

1 Peter 3:18 (NKJV)
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.

In John 10, Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd who voluntarily lays down his life for the sheep, predicting both his crucifixion and his resurrection:

John 10 (NKJV)
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. … 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. … 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.”

John 15_13 (2)

Jesus declared in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”  He calls us friends if we walk in His love.

John 15 (NKJV)
Love and Joy Perfected
“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. … 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

In John 3, Jesus describes the greatest gift of God’s love, that we receive by faith.  Receiving this supreme gift by faith, we are inspired with thankful hearts to live for Him who died for us.

John 3 (NKJV)
13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 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.

John 3_16 thank you (1)

A card available from International Bible House (www.ibhgospel.com) describes this amazing gift of God’s love, and our rightful response:

“Thank You” expresses warm gratitude when someone has done something for us. Do you know the glorious thing that God has done for you?

Despite the fact that we have turned from God and gone our own way, He loved us enough to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us.

Why was that even necessary?  Our rebellion (our sins) against God had separated us from Him and we were helpless to do anything to change that. But God’s wonderful gift of forgiveness is possible because Christ paid the penalty for our sins. All who believe in Him will have their sins forgiven and everlasting life.

Have you trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour?  Why not take the step to thank God for what He has done?  It will make all the difference in your life.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
Through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NKJV)

Romans 12 describes our reasonable response to God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ:

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

Romans 12_2 (2)

Paul describes a yet greater transformation in 1 Corinthians 15: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. … For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

1 Corinthians 15 (NKJV)
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55 “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12_2

Hebrews 12:2 declares that Jesus “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.”  Hebrews 2:10-11 reveals that part of that joy was “in bringing many sons to glory”… “He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” 

Hebrews 12 (NKJV)
The Race of Faith
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 2 (NKJV)
Bringing Many Sons to Glory
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

There is no greater love than that which Jesus describes in His prayer for believers in John 17:22-23:

And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 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, 4/28/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://www.christianityeveryday.com/index.php/bible-verse-photo-1-peter-318/
(2) http://deborahhbateman.com/daily-bible-reading-greater-love-john-1513/john-15-13/
(3) http://ibhgospel.com/shop/message-cards/thank-you/
(4) http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/romans/romans12.htm
(5) https://heartpathjournal.net/2015/10/29/you-are-his-joy/

Posted by: dhkrause | April 14, 2019

Light of the World

John 8_12 (3)

Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, who stepped down into darkness to open our eyes to the beauty and wonder of God’s love.  John 3:16 declares,“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”.  He is the good shepherd who gives his life for sheep.  He rose from the dead, and is alive forevermore. He is the true light for all who follow Him, as He said after refusing to condemn the woman caught in adultery:

John 8:12 (NKJV)
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” 

In John 10, Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep, and also predicts his resurrection.

John 10 (NKJV)
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.”

Matthew 5_16 (3)

In Matthew 5:16, Jesus tells the disciples, “You are the light of the world.” He encourages them to let their light shine, for the glory of God.

Matthew 5 (NKJV)
14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

John 1:9 describes Jesus as the light shining in the darkness, “the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”

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

In Colossians 1, Paul prays, “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love”.

Colossians 1_13-14 (2)

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

1 Peter 2:9 declares, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

He calls us to “walk in the light as He is in the light.”

1 John 1 (NKJV)
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

2 Corinthians 4_6 (3)

Paul declares in Romans 5:5, “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:6, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Oswald Chambers writes, “Jesus Christ became Incarnate for one purpose, to make a way back to God that man might stand before Him as He was created to do, the friend and lover of God Himself.”

Philippians 2 describes Christ’s humbling and His exaltation:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2_8-9

Tim Hughes captures the inspiration of this scripture in the following song.

Here I am to Worship
(Tim Hughes, 1999, inspired by Philippians 2)

1. Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You

Refrain:
Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God
You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

2. King of all days oh, so highly exalted
Glorious in Heaven above
Humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love’s sake became poor

[Refrain]

I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
(Repeat 3 times)

[Refrain, 3 times]

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 4/14/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1)  https://thebereanmanifesto.podbean.com/e/ep36-john-812/
(2) https://mybible.com/covers/303
(3) https://www.bereaproject.org/verse-of-the-day/2015/11/9/colossians-113-14
(4) https://nancyaruegg.com/tag/2-corinthians-46/
(5) https://biblical-christianity.com/lessons-from-the-transfiguration

Posted by: dhkrause | March 31, 2019

Abundant Redemption

Psalm 111_9

God promises to bring abundant redemption to His people, in spirit, soul and body.  Psalm 111 and Psalm 130 exemplify these promises:

Psalm 111 (NIV)
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.

Psalm 130 (NKJV)
O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption
.
And He shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.

Job 19_25-26

Job declares, “I know my Redeemer lives,” as he looks forward to a coming bodily resurrection:

Job 19 (NKJV)
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,

Daniel 12 describes a coming bodily resurrection of both the righteous and unrighteous:

Daniel 12 (NKJV)
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever.

Our Redeemer lives, and He is coming soon as Jesus describes:

Luke 21 (NKJV)
27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

In John 11:25-26, just before raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus declares, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”

Romans 3_24

Paul teaches in Romans 3:21-24 that redemption is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ:

Romans 3 (NKJV)
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Paul writes in Romans 8 about “the glorious liberty of the children of God”, including the “redemption of our body.”

Romans 8 (NKJV)
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Ephesians 1_7

Paul declares in Ephesians 1 and in Colossians 1 that “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

Ephesians 1 (NKJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

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

Hebrews 9_12

Christ by his own blood has obtained our eternal redemption:

Hebrews 9 (NKJV)
11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, “bore our sins in His own body on the tree, we having died to sins, might live for righteousness”.  Through Him we have abundant redemption, and healing in His name.

1 Peter (NKJV)
24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1 Peter 2_24

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 3/30/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1)  https://faithful-in-christ.tumblr.com/post/143739077230
(2) https://biblia.com/bible/niv2011/Job19.25-27
(3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oE5Pl-b2B4
(4) https://www.haikudeck.com/ephesians-17-uncategorized-presentation-NdDtxtAlE9#slide0
(5) http://shop.biblevisuals.org/S2011-MVDL_Hebrews9_12_downloadready-to-printpdf.aspx
(6) https://wallpaper4god.com/wallpapers/1-peter-224_5059_1600x1200.jpg

 

Posted by: dhkrause | March 17, 2019

The Love of God

John 3_16 (6)

God’s love is measureless and pure, as most clearly revealed by Jesus Christ.

John 1:18 declares, “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 Christ, the Son of God, came into the world to reveal the love of God by laying down His life to take the judgment for the sins of the world upon Himself for all who believe.  For those who receive and follow Him, nothing can ever separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord:

John 3:16 (NKJV)
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.

Romans 8:38-39
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul prays in Ephesians 3 that we as believers would “know the love Christ that passes knowledge”, and “be filled with all the fullness of God”.

Ephesians 3 (NKJV)
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3_14-21 Finding your Identity in Christ

Inspired by the revelation of God’s love through Jesus Christ, Frederick M. Lehman published in 1917 a song entitled “The Love Of God”, with the following refrain:

Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Worship leader and songwriter Shelly E. Williams released a new song in 2016 inspired by this old hymn.  She writes on her blog, Feb 3, 2016:

(https://shellyejohnson.com/measureless-story-behind-the-song/)

“Measureless” – Story Behind the Song

“One of my favorite aspects of church music is the history. Some Sundays we sing songs that were written a year ago or a decade ago. And some Sundays we sing songs that were written centuries ago.  We get to be part of this beautiful history of God’s people singing God’s story, generation after generation.

Oh Love of God, How Rich and Pure

“There’s an “old hymn” that I have been surprised to discover is largely unknown amongst many of my worship leader friends. It’s called “The Love of God”, and it was written in 1917 by a guy named Frederick Lehman. Frederick was dealing with some major financial issues and found himself working in a packing factory in Pasadena, California, moving thirty tons of lemons and oranges a day. Despite his circumstances, he was in awe of the goodness of God and began writing a song to describe the limitless love of God. He wrote the lyrics and melody but was still in need of a third verse.  It was then he remembered these beautiful words he had heard quoted recently:

Could we with ink the ocean fill and were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky.

“Those lyrics were written on the wall of an insane asylum by an unknown inmate, but the words originally came from an eleventh-century Jewish poet from Germany named Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai.”

“Many of us may find ourselves in a similar state of desperation as the patient in that asylum who wrote those lyrics on his cell wall. And what’s so beautiful is that 100 years later, those words still ring with truth and application for our lives today.”

John 21_25

Speaking of the revelation of God’s love through Jesus Christ, John’s gospel concludes, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.”  (John 21:25 NKJV)

Shelly E. Williams continues, “God’s love for us is absolutely unfathomable.  If we could truly grasp it, we would never even think of pursuing all the empty things this world has to offer.”

“I am so excited to finally share with you this brand new song, Measureless”!  Enjoy!”

MEASURELESS
Original Hymn Text by Frederick Lehman (1917)
New Words & Music by Shelly E. Johnson & Sean Hill

Verse 1
The love of God is greater than
A tongue or pen could tell
It reaches to the highest star
Beyond the depths of hell

Verse 2
If we could fill the seas with ink
Make pages of the sky
To write the love of God above
Would drain the oceans dry

Chorus
Oh, the love of God, How rich and pure

How boundless, oh how strong!
Forevermore it will endure
How measureless is His love

Verse 3
The sons of Adam lost in sin
By God’s great love were found
When on the cross, He fought for us
To win us Glory’s Crown

Chorus
Oh, the love of God, How rich and pure

How boundless, oh how strong!
Forevermore it will endure
How measureless is His love

Bridge
Beyond the highest of heights
Beneath the depths of the sea
Nothing on earth can contain
His endless love for me

Verse 4
When earthly things have passed away
And the sting of death is gone
The love of God will still remain
All measureless and strong!

Chorus
Oh, the love of God, How rich and pure

How boundless, oh how strong!
Forevermore it will endure
How measureless is His love

God has revealed his love through Jesus Christ, and poured out his love in our hearts, as Romans 5:5 declares, “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.”

Romans 5_5 (2)

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 3/16/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1)  https://www.biblestudytools.com/john/3-16.html
(2) https://sermons.faithlife.com/sermons/230774-finding-your-identity-in-christ-(ephesians-3:14-21)
(3) https://slideplayer.com/slide/9950064/
(4) https://searching4christ.com/2016/07/14/so-much-more-in-jesus/
(5) https://www.verseoftheday.com/en/05052016/

Posted by: dhkrause | March 3, 2019

The Promises of God

Joshua 21_45

God is the ultimate promise keeper; He keeps all of His promises.  When Abraham and Sarah were very advanced in age, He promised they would have a son in a year.  Sarah laughed, but God kept His promise, and they named their son, Isaac, which means “laughter”.  God also promised Abraham that his descendants would possess the land that He was giving him.  Joshua 21 records the fulfillment of this promise:

Joshua 21 (NKJV)
The Promise Fulfilled
43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. 44 The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

Centuries later, when King Solomon was dedicating the temple, he blessed God for keeping all that He promised through Moses:

1 Kings 8 (NKJV)
56 Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.

Genesis 3_15 (2)

The first promise of God recorded in the Bible was actually spoken in the Garden of Eden to the serpent who had persuaded Eve to disobey God.  Scholars throughout the centuries interpreted this prophecy to mean that a Savior born of a virgin would remove the false authority of the devil (“He shall bruise your head”), though He would suffer physically to do so (“you shall bruise His heal”).

Genesis 3 (NKJV)
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel
.”

The wording of Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 9:6 appears to point back to this prophecy:

Isaiah 7 (NKJV)
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9_6-7

Isaiah 9 (NKJV)
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Matthew 1 records the birth of Jesus to a virgin named Mary (or Miriam), in fulfillment of this prophecy:

Matthew 1 (NKJV)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

Luke 4_18

In Luke 4, Jesus stood and read in the synagogue at Nazareth the beginning words of a Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 61, and then announced He had come to fulfill those words of promise.

Luke 4 (NKJV)
16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Jeremiah 31_3 (3)

Through Jesus (Yeshua), God is fulfilling His promises in Ezekiel 36 and Jeremiah 31 to give His people a new heart, a new spirit, and a new covenant.

Ezekiel 36 (NKJV)
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Jeremiah 31 (NKJV)
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
.

33 … this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:5, “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”.  As the Mediator of the new covenant, He invites all who are weary and heavy laden to come to Him and 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.”

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 3/3/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1)  https://www.thoughtco.com/gods-word-never-fails-joshua-2145-701680
(2) https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/genesis-3-15
(3) https://slideplayer.com/slide/4269906/
(4) https://twitter.com/dgfcfamily/status/932527382459797504
(5) https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/jeremiah-31-3

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