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

Posted by: dhkrause | February 17, 2019

All Things New

Romans 6_4 (2)

God calls His redeemed people to “walk in newness of life,” giving Him all the glory, purifying ourselves with the blessed hope of Christ’s return, and getting ready for the new Creation promised in His word.  Paul draws a parallel between Christ’s resurrection and our walking in newness of life.

Romans 6 (NKJV)
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

In Romans 12, God calls us to be living sacrifices, giving ourselves completely to Him, and being “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.

As a caterpillar comes out of its cocoon transformed into a butterfly, Paul declares, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”

2 Corinthians 5 (NKJV)
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,

2 Corinthians 5_17 (3)

In Jeremiah 31:33, God promised to make a new covenant with His people:
“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.”

Jeremiah 31 (NKJV)
31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. 33 But 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. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

By focusing on God’s Word that is stored as a treasure in our heart, we can avoid being swept into the sinful enticements of this world:

Psalm 119:11 (NKJV)
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

Matthew 4_4 (2)

In Matthew 4, Jesus sets the example for us on how to deal with temptation.

Matthew 4 (NKJV)
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’

and,

‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

1 John 3_2-3

By living according to God’s Word, we purify ourselves and get ready to meet our Redeemer face to face.  We have a living hope and are kept by the power of God, rejoicing with joy inexpressible and full of glory, as  He enables us to love one another as He has loved us.

1 John 3 (NKJV)
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 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.

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 dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

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.

John 13 (NKJV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Revelation 21_5 (2)

Walking in “newness of life” by the power of God, we look forward to “a new heaven and a new earth”, where God is making “all things new”.

Revelation 21 (NKJV)
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.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 2/16/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1)  https://www.bereaproject.org/verse-of-the-day/2016/5/23/romans-64
(2) http://www.bibleverseimages.com/inspirational-bible-verse-3.htm
(3) https://daily-bible-verse.net/guidance-matthew4-4.html
(4) https://jvn2k07.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/the-answers-1-john-32/
(5) https://www.bereaproject.org/verse-of-the-day/2016/1/1/revelation-215

Posted by: dhkrause | February 5, 2019

Light, Love, Joy and Peace

Romans 15_13 (2)

May God fill you with His light, love, joy and peace this day and every day!

Joy and peace go together, as seen in this prayer of Paul’s, and in this promise from the prophet Isaiah.

Romans 15:13 (NKJV)
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 55 (NKJV)
12 “For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

Love, joy and peace are the first three fruits of the Spirit listed by Paul:

Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

1 John 2_10 (2)

If we love one another we will abide in God’s light, as John explains in his first epistle:

1 John 2:9-11 (NKJV)
He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Erika Mathews comments on this passage:

“The true Light now shines! Jesus Christ is living and here within us, shining eternally through our lives!

“Because of this, He gives “a new commandment,” and, once again, this new commandment centers around love.

“Love and light go together. God is love; God is light. Throughout Scripture, these two concepts are often discussed together. Without light, there can be no love; and where there is no love, there is no light.

“This passage is clear that hating one’s brother and walking in light cannot coexist. Yet the new commandment that Jesus gave was “Love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Jesus laid down His life in love for us – how can we possibly love each other as Jesus loves us?

1 John 1_7 (4)

“The answer is that it is only Jesus who can love as Jesus loves. No one else can come close to meeting that standard. Trying to love like Jesus in our own strength will only reveal how incapable we are and how far we fall short.

“Instead, to love one another, we must receive the very life and love and light of Jesus Himself into our beings. He died and rose and ascended to His Father that He might live His life through us – that He might live inside us – that it may be no longer I who lives (no longer I in my failing flesh), but Christ who lives in me! And He is 100% capable of loving others through us exactly as He loves us!

“Receiving His love and allowing it to flow through us to others isn’t a passive activity. It doesn’t mean we just sit back and let Him do it, all the while excusing our own laziness. It’s actively living WITH Him, loving WITH Him, acting in kindness and gentleness as He leads, listening to His voice and following His word – it’s true life with Him!

“When this is our lifestyle, resting and yet actively living in Him as our Keeper, there is truly no occasion for stumbling. He is our Elohim – our Strong Leader who keeps our lives hidden in His care. Walk in the light, as He is in the light, and receive the joy of true, selfless, giving Love!”

(http://restinglife.com/2018/04/how-to-love-as-jesus-loves/)

John 15_12-13

As declared in verse 2 of the hymn, O Holy Night, “Christ’s law is love, and His gospel is peace.”

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.

Love and joy are perfected together, as Jesus teaches in John 15.

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. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 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.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 2/4/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://www.pinterest.com/pin/540291286524066663/
(2) http://restinglife.com/2018/04/how-to-love-as-jesus-loves/
(3) https://www.heartlight.org/gallery/5455.html
(4) https://www.gbcdecatur.org/sermons/NoGreaterLove.html

Posted by: dhkrause | January 21, 2019

Knowing the Love of Christ

ephesians 3_14-21 scripture song

A major theme in the Bible is that God desires for His people to know His love increasingly in all its dimensions.  God created us to be in relationship with Him, and He is drawing a company of believers spiritually to be His bride.  This quest began with the creation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and will be fulfilled through what God has accomplished in Jesus, as Pastor Gysbert (Berty) Brits so beautifully explains:

“There is unending good news in what God accomplished in Jesus. Jesus did a work so grand that the human mind needs assistance from God Himself to comprehend it. What God accomplished in Jesus blows what Satan did in Adam completely out of the water!

“God’s original plan with man was to have a friend with whom He could share His life. When He made man, He wasn’t driven by a business decision to hire a gardener for the Garden of Eden. The creation of man is based on the same passions, thoughts and qualities displayed in the life of a loving married couple who want children with whom they could share all they have.”

(Brits, Gysbert. Jesus is the Tithe: The Message of God. Forward.)

Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:15-21 is a “scripture song” expressing the fullness of love that God is drawing each of His people to know.

ephesians 3_14-21 rooted & grounded

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.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Before time began, the Son of God was with the Father.  There is an eternal love relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; through what God accomplished in Jesus, this love relationship  is now extended to us.

That is why in Jesus’ prayer in John 17:5, He speaks of “the glory which I had with You before the world was.”  Also, in verse 3 He declares, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

john 17_3(3)

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

In John 17:20-23, Jesus prays that believers may be in complete unity with Him and with the Father, and 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.”

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.

In John 17:24, He declares, “for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.  He prays that believers “may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”  He ends by praying “that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

john 17_26(2)

John 17 (NKJV)
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

1 John 3:1-3 teaches that because of the love the Father has bestowed on us,  “now we are children of God”.  He is making us to be more like Jesus.

Verses 16 and 17 describe the outworking of His love through us.

1 John 3 (NKJV)
The Command to Love
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 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.

1 john 3_2

The Outworking of Love
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

1 John 4 teaches that we will know and see God through Love:

1 John 4 (NKJV)
Knowing God Through Love
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is 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.

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

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 1/20/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCuE5MFbknE&t=21s
(2) http://thegatheringottawa.com/messages/rooted-and-grounded-in-love/
(3) http://www.nccsouthboston.org/2016/01/what-is-eternal-life-john-17/
(4) https://kristiann1.com/2017/02/27/thyname1/
(5) https://treasureboxmy.blogspot.com/2017/12/inspirational-quotes-1-john-32.html

 

Posted by: dhkrause | January 6, 2019

Bringing Many Sons to Glory

psalm 30_1

A major theme of the Bible is that God is calling a people to Himself who will see His glory and abide with Him in love forever.  David is an outstanding example of a person answering this call, as we see in so many of his Psalms.

In Psalm 30, David extols the Lord for lifting him up in times of great trial.

Psalm 30 (NKJV)
I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

psalm 30_5

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

psalm 30_11-12

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

David exuberantly proclaims his hope and faith in Psalm 27:

Psalm 27 (NKJV)
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Abraham, like David, is an example of one who keeps his hope and faith, even in the hardest of trials.   This was most clearly seen when God tested him by asking him to sacrifice his son Isaac on a mountain in Moriah.  Hebrews 11 describes his faith when faced with this test.

Hebrews 11 (NKJV)
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

genesis 22_8

This passage in Hebrews 11 is referring to the account of Abraham’s greatest trial in Genesis 22:1-19.  Jacob D. Gerber has written an excellent commentary on this passage:

“In spite of all the long waiting and the extraordinary faith Abraham had to exercise while waiting for Isaac to come, God tests Abraham’s faith in an even greater way in Genesis 22 by asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on a mountain in Moriah. Shockingly, we read Abraham bound his son Isaac on top of the altar, but just as Abraham took his knife to slaughter his son, God stopped Abraham from harming Isaac. The test was over. Abraham was willing to do anything for God—not even sparing his own, beloved son.

“Why would God ask Abraham to do this? To answer this question, listen to God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 22:16–18: “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you … And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” Everything about this story points us back to the promised offspring — the offspring of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15), redeeming creation from the curse of sin and death.

“Ultimately, we see in this passage a shadow of the what God would do for us in Jesus Christ. Unlike the way in which God spared Abraham’s son, God did not spare his own Son. Jesus Christ was offered up as a sacrifice, and God did not send an angel to stop the hands of the Roman soldiers who beat him, nailed his hands and his feet to the cross, and let him hang there until he died. Where God did not forsake Isaac, God did forsake his own Son at the cross, abandoning him to wrath and the powers of hell.

“And although God gave a substitute sacrifice so that Isaac would not have to die, God provided no such substitute to save his own Son. In fact, Jesus was the substitute, dying on the cross in our place for our sins.

“But where Isaac was restored to life by being spared from death, something greater happened with God’s Son. Jesus did go to the grave for three days, but on the third day, God raised up his Son Jesus from the dead, resurrecting him to life and giving him everlasting victory over sin and death. In other words, Jesus gained possession of the gate of his enemy Satan, just as had been foretold in Genesis 22:17, “Your descendants will possess the gate of your enemies.”

“And because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, all the nations of the earth are blessed (Gen. 22:18). You and I share in the blessings of Abraham because Jesus Christ, the ultimate Isaac and the true offspring of Abraham, died and rose again.

“This is the good news of the gospel of Jesus, declared thousands of years in advance, through Isaac.”

https://freedailybiblestudy.com/january-21st-bible-meditation-genesis-22/

Abraham declared his faith that both he and his son would be coming back down the mountain. 

Genesis 22:5 (NKJV)
And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”

He also spoke to Isaac with faith saying, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” (Genesis 22:8 NKJV)

As Jacob D. Gerber notes, this passage is a shadow of the what God would do for us in Jesus Christ.  Isaac apparently did not resist when Abraham later bound his son and placed him upon the wood.  If he had chosen to resist, he probably could have overpowered his aged father. 

We do know that Jesus willingly laid down His life as an atoning sacrifice, as He declared in John 3:16 and John 10:17-18:

john 3_16 (5)

John 10 (NKJV)
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.”

Hebrews 12:2 states that Jesus did this for the joy that was set before Him:

Hebrews 12 (NKJV)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.

What was the joy  for which Jesus endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2), even as the mockers called out, “If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” (Matt. 27:40)?  

It was the joy of bringing many sons and daughters to glory!

Hebrews 2 (NKJV)
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, 12 saying:
“I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 1/6/2019, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) https://wordforlifesays.com/2018/06/01/god-lifts-me-up/
(2) https://www.pinterest.com/pin/40602834114583276/
(3) http://beautyobserved.com/2015/10/20/31-days-of-beauty-in-the-psalms-psalm-3011-12/mourning-dancing-psalm-30-11-12/
(4) https://freedailybiblestudy.com/january-21st-bible-meditation-genesis-22/
(5) https://www.biblestudytools.com/inspirations/john-3-16-galaxy.html

Posted by: dhkrause | December 23, 2018

Because He Lives

John 14_19

Jesus declares in John 14:19, “Because I live, you will live also.”  He had just promised that the Father would send the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of truth”, who “dwells with you and will be in you.”  Though the world would see Him no more, He promised that anyone who loves and obeys Him will see Him.  He promised to manifest Himself to him, and that “My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”

John 14 (NKJV)
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 you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

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.

John 10_17-18

Jesus predicted His resurrection saying that as the good shepherd He would lay down his life for the sheep, and that He would take it up again.

John 10 (NKJV)
Jesus the Good Shepherd
Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 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 John 3, Jesus describes His mission and purpose in coming into the world:

John 3 (NKJV)
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.

Because He Lives

The song, “Because He Lives”, by William and Glory Gaither captures some of the wonder of Jesus’ birth, life and atoning death, culminating in His resurrection and gift of eternal life to all who believe.

Because He Lives

1. God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

2. How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

3. And then one day I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.

The life Jesus came to give is both eternal and abundant.  Believing and obeying Him liberates us from bondage to sin so that we are free to be the people God created us to be, as He explains in John 8:

John 8 (NKJV)
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Knowing God’s loving kindness personified in Jesus Christ, we can sing as David did in Psalm 63:

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.

Psalm 63_3

Seeing who Jesus is, what He has done for us, and who He is now in us, we rejoice with choirs of angels, as in  the song, “O Come All Ye Faithful”:

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv’n;
Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing;

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 12/23/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:

(1) https://www.cadillacfpc.org/i-am-coming/
(2) https://arizonachristian.edu/blog/2017/04/25/for-this-reason-the-father-loves-me/
(3) https://slideplayer.com/slide/2872957/
(4) https://twitter.com/calvaryssw/status/732080362747269120

Posted by: dhkrause | December 12, 2018

Happy Birthday song by Jehu Beronio

Beautifully sung variation on “Happy Birthday”.

The lyrics are simply:

Happy birthday to you
To Jesus be true
May God’s richest blessings
Now rest upon you.

 

Posted by: dhkrause | December 9, 2018

Abide in the Light

John 1_14 (2)

The Gospel of John reveals Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the living Word of God, and “the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world”.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth”. (John 1:14).  As believers, we are called to abide in the light. 

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.  … That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. … 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

The first man and woman were supernaturally created by God as described in Genesis 1 and 2.  Evolutionists consider the Creation account to be a myth or allegory, but the real myth is the theory of evolution, which posits that life arose spontaneously by natural causes, and that random changes with natural selection resulted in diverse and increasingly complex forms of life. A fatal flaw in this theory is that mutations are always destructive of genetic information, not creative; thus the whole “evolutionary tree” with all its supposed branches is shown to be a figment of men’s imaginations.
(Reference: “Evolution Impossible” by John Ashton, Master Books, 2012)

Luke 1:35-37.

The conception of Jesus was another supernatural miracle.  The embryo God created in Mary’s womb did not require genetic material from Mary or Joseph.  Luke 1 describes the angel Gabriel’s announcement of this supernatural conception.

Luke 1 (NKJV)
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Luke 2_30-32 (2)

At that time in Israel, following the birth of a son the mother had to wait 40 days before going to the temple to offer a sacrifice for her purification. (NKJV Study Bible, note on Luke 2:22).  When Mary and Joseph entered the temple for this presentation, they encountered a devout elderly man named Simeon, who recognized the child as the long awaited Savior, who would be “a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”

Luke 2
Simeon Sees God’s Salvation
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

John 8_12 (2)

Jesus declares in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Emphasizing the role of faith, He declares in John 12:46, I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” 

John 12_46

Willfully sinning is walking in darkness.  God’s heart for us is that “we 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.

1 John 2_10

Abiding in the light includes walking in love, with both God and others.

1 John 2 (NKJV)
10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Paul writes in Ephesians 2:10, “ For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Let’s remember that each of us is a work in progress!

Ephesians 2_10

Abiding in the light, we will stumble no more.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory
with exceeding joy,” (Jude 24)

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 12/9/2018, https://compellinglove.net/ 

Photo credits:
(1) https://imgur.com/gallery/4EEeg
(2) https://slideplayer.com/slide/6810490/
(3) https://gspcsermons.blogspot.com/2015/11/i-have-hope-in-god-isaiah-9-john-1-luke.html
(4) http://www.pjnaijaexpress.com/2016/10/verse-for-today-1210-john-812.html
(5) https://www.flickr.com/photos/coloneljohnbritt/9387324055
(6) http://carolinasnalc.org/2014/05/04/may-4-2014/
(7) https://dailyverses.net/ephesians/2/10

Posted by: dhkrause | November 26, 2018

The Tree of Life

 

In Genesis 3 and in Revelation 22, the Bible speaks about “the tree of life”, and in many places in between we read about being trees of life.  The consistent theme is that God is calling all of us to be as branches connected to the “tree of life”, and in turn to become trees of life to others.

Adam and Eve broke their relationship with God when they followed the serpent’s advice to eat fruit from the tree “of the knowledge of good and evil” that God had commanded them not to eat.  Part of the consequence of their rebellion was that they were banished from the Garden of Eden and from the “tree of life”.

Genesis 3 (NKJV)
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Also in Genesis 3, God promises to send a Savior who will strip away the serpent’s usurped authority, and return it to humankind, declaring in verse 15, “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

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.

Genesis 3_15

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.”

In Revelation 22, the “tree of life” is described as being comprised of multiple trees,  “on either side of the river of life”, “proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb”, each tree yielding life-giving fruit and leaves that are “for the healing of the nations”.

Revelation 22 (NKJV)
22 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

Reve;ation 22_2

Connecting to the tree of life is made possible through the coming of the Savior pictured by David in Psalm 57 where he cries out to God for protection, and then declares in verse 2, “He shall send from heaven to save me … God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.” 

Psalm 57 (NKJV)
1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.
He shall send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah
God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.

Psalm 57_3

Psalm 85 gives an additional glimpse of this coming Savior with the declaration, “mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed”.

Psalm 85 (NKJV)
10 Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yes, the Lord will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway.

Connected with God through the Savior, the Spirit of God “will make His footsteps our pathway,”   so that we in turn become trees of life, as  described in Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”

John 1 declares that “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ,” the incarnate Word of God, as described in John 1:1, 14-17, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  …  14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  …  16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

John 1_17 (3)

We connect to the tree of life by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, who declares 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.”  Jesus declares in John 15:3,You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”  And He teaches in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”  

Being connected to the tree of life through Christ who lives in us, our lives increasingly express the fruit of the Spirit, as Paul describes in Ephesians 5:8-10, For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.”

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 11/26/2018, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
(1) http://www.1millionfreepictures.com
(2) https://wallpaper4god.com/en/background_genesis-315/
(3) http://daily-bible-verse.net
(4) https://reflectionsintheword.org
(5) https://newcreeations.org

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories