Double-click to start typing
Double-click to start typing
Double-click to start typing

Covenant Marriages Ministry

Click here to edit subtitle

Faith, Hope and Love

By Dr. Robert W. Christensen


Lord, Increase Our Faith


Introduction I.suspect.we.all.go.through.life.wondering,.what.is.faith?.From.the.time. we.are.just.infants.we.have.to.believe.for.and.have.faith.for.all.sorts.of. things ..Will.mother.remember.to.feed.me?.Will.I.get.picked.up.out.of.my. crib.today?.To.all.sorts.of.things.from.that.moment.on . As.we.get.instruction.about.God.and.our.relationship.with.God,.we. then.get.to.be.a.bit.like.the.original.disciples.who.made.the.statement.to. Jesus.about.increasing.our.faith ..In.Romans.10:8.we.see.the.statement,. “The.word.is.nigh.thee,.even.in.thy.mouth,.and.in.thy.heart:.that.is.the. word.of.faith.that.we.preach” . But.what.is.faith?.In.talking.about.it.in.the.spiritual.or.religious.realm,. we.are.talking.about.having.faith.in.God ..If.we.say.we.have.faith.in.God,.are. we.really.saying.we.can.lay.our.lives.down.for.God?.To.have.complete.faith. in.what.he.says,.he.will.do?.Total.dependence.on.God.just.as.when.we.were. babies,.we.had.total.dependence.on.our.mothers.or.fathers . So,.now,.if.we.have.confessed.Jesus.as.our.Lord.and.Savior,.are.we. willing.to.be.obedient.to.His.every.command?.Is.that.where.faith.begins? In.Hebrews.11:1.the.bible.tells.us,.“Now.faith.is.the.substance.of. things.hoped.for,.the.evidence.of.things.not.seen .”.That.certainly.speaks.to. us.about.what.faith.is,.but.in.order.to.believe.for.the.results.of.our.faith,.we. must.have.a.certain.assurance.that.whoever.we.are.believing.can.accomplish.what.we.need.accomplished,.is.actually.able.to.perform.whatever .. Right?.All.of.that.combines.to.be.a.part.of.what.faith.is . So,.now.we.say.we.have.faith.for.something.or.faith.in.something .. Do.we.really?.Or.are.we.just.saying.that?.If.so,.who.are.we.attempting. to.please?.But.as.we.look.back.at.that.first.verse.of.Hebrews,.we.have.to. realize.that.faith.is.the.evidence,.and.then.believe.that.because.our.God.is. faithful.we.can.wholeheartedly.count.on.what.He.says ..Period!

4 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 5 Faith, Hope, and Love In.order.to.live.a.life.that.well,.a.person.really.has.to.have.a.firsthand. knowledge.that.their.God.is.real.and.that.they.have.been.called.for.such.a. time.as.this ..I.believe.the.stories.of.their.lives.have.been.placed.in.the.bible. to.give.each.of.us.wisdom,.courage.and.perseverance.for.the.walk.that.we. have.been.called.to.take . Truly,.your.life.and.mine.will.not.be.easy,.as.we.take.our.position.in. the.army.of.Christ,.but.in.the.long.run,.much.will.be.accomplished.in.His. kingdom.and.a.satisfaction.of.knowing.very.well.that.our.Lord.cares,.even. when.others.do.not . As.you.read.about.Joseph,.just.put.yourself.in.his.spot,.even.for.a. short.period,.and.see.if.you.think.you.could.have.come.close.to.maintaining.your.sanity.in.prison.and.your.humbleness.in.his.later.powerful.position,.but.even.more.importantly.his.forgiveness.when.his.family.came.to. see.him ..If.you.can.even.come.close,.you.are.some.mighty.Christian.man. or.woman.and.this.old.surgeon.would.like.to.meet.you.and.salute.you,.and. then.congratulate.you.for.being.a.co-worker.for.Jesus.Christ ..It.will.be.that. conviction.of.your.calling.and.purpose.in.this.life,.plus.your.knowledge.of. your.magnificent.salvation.and.redemption,.that.will.allow.you.to.rise.to. some.unusual.heights . Now,.let’s.get.started.with.these.men.and.women.of.faith . So,.what.might.we.have.faith.for?.If.we.go.back.to.Hebrews.10:16-18. the.bible.tells.us,.“This.is.the.covenant.I.will.make.with.them.after.those. days,.saith.the.Lord,.I.will.put.my.laws.in.their.hearts,.and.in.their.minds. and.I.will.write.them;.and.their.sins.I.will.remember.no.more ..Now,.where. remission.of.these.is,.there.is.no.more.offering.for.sin .” Now,.there.is.a.statement.from.God.almighty.through.the.Apostle. Paul ..Are.we.going.to.believe.that?.Are.we.going.to.have.faith.that.what. our.God.is.telling.us.is.the.absolute.truth,.or.are.we.going.to.believe.the. lies.of.the.devil?.The.word.in.Romans.10:8.says,.“The.word.is.near.you,. even.in.your.mouth,.and.in.your.heart;.that.is.the.word.of.faith,.which.we. preach”;.Paul.is.talking.about.how.a.person.gets.saved ..It.seems.so.simple,. and.yet.those.very.words.and.thoughts.drive.millions.of.people.the.other. way ..Why?.It.is.a.spiritual.thing.and.to.believe,.requires.faith ..What.does. it.require.faith.for?.We,.we.must.believe.Jesus.was.sent.to.earth.to.save. us ..He.came.as.the.Son.of.God.and.born.of.the.Virgin.Mary ..That.statement.alone.requires.a.great.deal.of.faith,.and.yet.many.people.believe.that. point.historically,.but.then.discount.all.of.the.other.promises.of.God ..Isn’t. that.remarkable? For.a.pretty.good.part.of.this.book,.I.am.going.to.focus.on.Joseph.and. his.remarkable.story ..In.his.remarkable.story,.taken.from.the.Bible,.we.see. one.of.God’s.chosen.people.wanting.to.follow.God.in.his.life.and.we.see. some.of.the.serious.and.dastardly.attacks.on.his.life.and.on.his.character .. What,.of.course,.we.don’t.see.is.the.terrible.loneliness.and.rejection.this. young.man.had.to.have.felt.as.he.is.being.shunned,.exiled,.ready.to.be. murdered,.falsely.accused,.jailed.in.a.dungeon.and.Lord.knows.what.else . He.is.able.because.of.character.and.attitude.to.rise.above.all.of.the. attacks.and.ascend.to.heights.unknown.by.others,.even.when.in.captivity .. He.then.becomes.the.rescuer.of.his.people ..It.is.a.remarkable.story.of.a. courageous.and.very.dedicated.young.man . Most.people.will.go.through.trials.and.tribulations,.but.seldom.will. we.see.such.courage,.wisdom.and.fortitude.as.is.depicted.in.the.life.of.this. young.Hebrew.man,.chosen.by.God.for.that.very.moment ..In.some.ways. the.life.that.he.lived.and.the.calling.on.his.life.is.not.greatly.different.than. the.life.and.calling.we.see.in.Abraham,.Moses,.David.or.Naomi ..All.of. these.early.Saints.depicted.tremendous.wisdom,.courage,.fortitude.and. dedication.to.God.that.is.not.a.common.trait.seen.in.mankind.today .

Dedication First.we.would.like.to.dedicate.this.book.to.Jesus.Christ.our.Lord. and.Saviour,.who.loved.us.when.we.were.unlovable ..He,.then,.graciously.coaxed.us.into.His.kingdom.and.then.afterwards.called.us.into.His. mighty.service . It.was.through.the.calling.which.our.Lord.put.on.Captain.Dale.Black,. that.Bob.was.welcomed.into.the.kingdom.at.a.time.when.Bob.was.being. taught.to.fly.jet.airplanes ..We.will.be.forever.grateful.to.Dale.and.his.wife,. Paula,.for.being.obedient.to.the.Holy.Spirit.and.leading.Bob.through.the. born.again.experience ..That,.of.course,.changed.Bob’s.heart.and.life.and. through.that.calling.he.was.able.to.bring.Lynne.and.their.two.boys.into. God’s.kingdom . There.were.other.earlier,.saved,.friends.whose.prayers.were.undoubtedly.answered.in.order.to.see.Bob.and.Lynne.enter.God’s.mighty.kingdom .. One.of.those.would.be.Joan.Johnson.of.Excelsior.MN ..She.is.Bob’s.oldest. daughter.and.was.one.whose.prayers.were.certainly.answered.when.Bob. came.into.God’s.kingdom . Another.was.Reverend.Dorothy.Gillespie.who.had.been.a.patient. in.Bob’s.oral.and.maxillofacial.surgery.practice.going.back.to.1952 ..God. put.a.real.burden.on.her.heart.to.see.Bob.come.into.God’s.kingdom.and. she.never.let.up.praying.for.both.Bob.and.Lynne ..She.was.blessed.to.be. able.to.see.her.prayers.answered.and.to.see.both.of.them.be.ordained.in. His.ministry . Another.dear.friend.was.Sister.Lucille.Allec,.who.had.been,.also,. a.patient.of.Bob’s.in.the.1950s.and.early.1960s ..Bob.had.innovated.and. placed.the.first.TMJ.reconstructive.implants.in.Sister’s.TMJs,.for.which. she.was.eternally.grateful ..Her.prayers.for.Bob.were.answered.in.1983. when.Captain.Dale.Black.led.Bob.into.God’s.kingdom .

8 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 9 

The Faithfulness of God The.faithfulness.of.God.is.seen.way.back.in.the.beginning.of.time ..To. when.as.He.tells.us.in.Genesis.1:1.that.in.the.beginning.God.created. the.heaven.and.the.earth ..If.that.wasn’t.enough.he.went.ahead.and.He. created.the.Day.and.the.Night.separating.light.from.darkness ..Then.he. created.land.in.the.midst.of.the.seas,.separating.large.bodies.of.water ..He. called.the.land.masses.the.Earth.and.the.waters.he.called.the.Sea ..Then,. very.faithfully.he.planted.the.Earth.with.grasses.and.trees ..He.made.the. lights.in.the.sky.to.divide.the.night.from.the.day.and.let.them.be.for.a.sign. and.for.seasons . The.bible.in.Gen.1:16.it.says.He.made.two.great.lights.in.the.sky ..The. greater.to.rule.the.day.and.the.lesser.to.rule.the.night ..And.God.saw.that. it.was.good ..It.was.after.this.that.God.began.his.creation.of.his.fish.and. whales.and.birds.and.animals ..It.was.after.this.in.vs ..26.and.27.that.He. says.Let.us.make.man.in.our.image.after.our.likeness,.and.let.them.have. dominion.over.the.fish.of.the.seas,.the.fowl.of.the.air,.and.over.the.cattle. and.over.all.of.the.earth,.and.over.every.creeping.thing.that.creeps.upon. the.earth ..So.God.created.man.in.His.own.image,.in.the.image.of.God. created.he.him;.male.and.female.created.He.them . If.that.wasn’t.enough.it.tells.us.that.He.blessed.them,.and.God.said. to.them,.be.fruitful.and.multiply,.and.replenish.the.earth,.and.subdue.it:. and.have.dominion.over.the.fish.of.the.sea,.and.the.fowl.of.the.air,.and.over. every.living.thing.that.moves.upon.the.earth ..In.the.2nd.chapter.of.Genesis,. the.bible.tells.us.that.thus.the.heavens.and.earth.were.finished,.and.all.the. host.of.them ..There.is.something.so.profound,.yet.almost.comical,.how. God.tells.us.what.He.did.and.to.me.it.just.shows.His.almighty.faithfulness .. He.had.a.plan.to.not.only.create.this.magnificent.world.and.all.that.is.in. it,.but.then.to.make.it.all.function.the.way.that.only.He.could.do ..And.we. wonder.about.the.fact.that.we.can.have.faith…in.Him?

Another.dear.friend,.Mel.Johnson,.was.a.rancher.up.in.Medford. Oregon.was.a.tireless.friend.who.never.stopped.praying.for.Lynne.and. me ..He,.like.Reverend.Dorothy.and.Sister.Lucille.have.gone.to.be.with.the. Lord,.but.what.friends.they.were.through.so.many.years ..It.really.takes. Faith,.Hope.and.Love.to.live.a.life.for.the.Lord.and.be.able.to.accomplish. His.call.on.your.life ..Lynne.and.I.are.eternally.grateful.for.each.of.these. dear.Christians . We.would.also.like.to.say.“thank.you”.to.a.very.dedicated.young. Christian,.named.Lenaya,.who.came.alongside.Bob.to.help.to.prepare.this. book.to.where.it.could.be.published ..She.never.missed.a.time.to.help.and. she.always.did.it.graciously.and.with.a.smile . Another.dear.friend.who.has.stood.with.the.Christensen’s.in.the. Covenant.of.Marriage.Ministry.for.years.has.been.Helga.Phillips ..She.has. been.a.prayer.warrior.and.a.long.time.contributor.the.financial.success.of. this.ministry ..She.lives.in.the.Houston.area.of.Texas,.and.through.the.time. of.our.writing.this.book,.she.has.been.alongside.praying.and.believing ..We. are.mighty.grateful.to.Helga .

10 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 11 Faith, Hope, and Love After.all,.as.father.Lee.said,.this.was.a.painless.procedure,.for.calf.and. cowboy ..Oh,.Yeah! Now.let.me.see.if.I.can.find.my.way.back.to.where.I.had.started.a.page. or.two.earlier ..Ah,.now.I.remember ..It.was.in.those.years.as.a.growing.up. boy,.working.on.the.ranch.and.learning.a.few.other.things.in.school.K-12 .. Next.came.college.first.at.San.Diego.State.and.then.USC.where.I.had.been. enrolled.by.the.U .S ..Navy.as.a.pre-med.student,.that.we.really.didn’t.have. much.church.going.or.religion ..My.mother.had.been.raised.in.Lawton. Oklahoma.and.was.a.student.in.a.Catholic.school.at.least.part.of.the.time .. She.had.then.gone.on.to.Stephen’s.College.in.Columbia,.Missouri.for.her. first.two.years.of.college.and.from.there.went.to.Columbia.University.in. New.York.City.to.complete.her.B .A ..for.teaching.at.Columbia.University’s. Teachers.College ..I.suspect.like.most.colleges.I.have.had.anything.to.do. with,.there.wasn’t.much.emphasis.on.learning.about.God.and.about.specific.religions ..It.probably.was.more.like.getting.all.of.that.information. erased.from.your.brain,.but.later.end.up.getting.all.this.modern.man.information.firmly.settled.in.your.brain . Anyway,.she.ended.up.marrying.Dr ..Charles.J ..Brophy,.a.NYC.dentist. who.had.been.raised,.at.least.in.some.part.of.his.early.life.as.a.Catholic,. but.then.later.had.lived.his.life.as.a.Christian.of.some.other.denomination .. The.two.of.them.had.three.children.in.the.first.6.years.of.their.marriage,. and.then.he.up.and.dies ..Mom.later.married.again.and.that.was.to.Lee. Christensen,.our.step.dad,.who.was.a.Christian.Scientist,.but.didn’t.spend. a.lot.of.time.in.church,.as.we.had.a.ranch.and.cattle.to.care.for ..So.my. brother,.Chuck,.and.sister,.Shirley,.and.I.were.sort.of.uneducated.in.the. real.world.of.religion.and.God . As.I.left.the.West.Coast.to.travel.to.New.York.City.and.enter.New. York.University,.College.of.Dentistry,.I.became.more.familiar.with.the. Jewish.faith.through.the.abundance.of.Jewish.students.in.my.class ..That. truly.was.an.experience.and.one.which.might.have.been.more.educationally.interesting.later.in.my.life.when.I.became.a.born-again.Christian . It.was.at.the.time.of.completing.my.studies.at.NYU.that.I.married.a. young.woman.from.Scarsdale,.who.was.Catholic.and.in.time,.I.too.became. a.Catholic ..For.the.next.twenty.years.we.had.and.were.raising.our.8.children ..In.all.of.those.years.I.had.a.firm.knowledge.of.God,.but.it.wasn’t.until. some.years.later,.and.at.a.much.older.period.in.my.life,.that.I.truly.accepted. I.think.back.to.when.I.was.in.college.and.first.dating ..I.had.not.been. brought.up.in.any.religion ..Those.early.years.were.in.the.Great.Depression. of.the.1930s.and.we.were.growing.up.as.cowboys.on.a.cattle.ranch ..In. those.early.years.it.seemed.everything.we.ever.needed.was.coming.from. our.parents,.but.then.what.we.needed.on.the.ranch,.as.cowboys,.came. from.a.supply.of.baling.wire.and.Pine.Tar ..The.baling.wire.was.used.to.fix. just.about.everything.from.fences.to.tractors ..If.one.was.smart.he.could. literally.repair.about.anything.with.that.one.element ..Now,.if.something. needed.doctoring,.then.a.can.of.Pine.Tar.and.some.dirt.would.just.about. cure.any.ailment.whether.in.cattle,.or.I.guess.in.humans,.although.we. never.used.it.on.humans,.come.to.think.about.it . In.our.cattle,.however,.that.one.can.of.Pine.Tar.was.magical ..When. we.would.cut.the.calves,.sometimes.known.as.castrating.the.little.bull. calves,.which.as.my.stepdad,.Lee,.would.say.was.not.painful,.but.somehow. I.couldn’t.really.believe.that ..If.they.later.got.infected.and.maggots.got.in. the.wound,.we.would.have.to.treat.them ..I.do.realize.this.discussion.is. not.a.politically.correct.conversation.for.mixed.company.at.some.formal. dinner,.which.we.never.went.to.anyway,.but.it.was.a.treatment.which.sure. had.a.good.success.rate ..We.never.did.any.double.blind.studies.on.that. particular.treatment,.but.from.my.memory.we.never.lost.a.calf.after.that. politically.incorrect.procedure ..Now,.come.to.think.about.it,.we.nearly.lost. a.young.horse.that.had.that.same.politically.incorrect.procedure,.so.maybe. we.do.need.to.do.a.double.blind.study ..To.give.you.a.bit.more.information. on.how.we.did.this.politically.incorrect.procedure,.we.never.called.it.a. surgical.procedure,.because.I.didn’t.learn.it.was.until.I.went.to.the.big.city. and.entered.medical.school ..That.changed.my.view.quite.a.bit . But,.back.to.having.faith.for.this.can.of.Pine.Tar.being.the.treatment. of.choice ..When.those.calves,.you.know.what,.got.infected.and.maggots. were.feasting,.we.had.to.scrape.out.the.maggots.with.a.twig.or.the.back. side.of.our.knife.blade,.then.pour.into.the.wound.a.moderate.amount.of. Pine.Tar,.then.take.a.handful.of.soil,.better.known.by.real.cowboys.as.dirt,. then.pour.in.more.Pine.Tar.and.then.repeat.the.dirt ..You.could.then.let. this.poor.calf,.who.had.felt.no.pain.through.any.of.this.politically.incorrect. procedure,.get.up.from.his.laying.on.the.ground.with.a.rope.around.his. neck.and.a.pigging.string.keeping.his.hind.legs.from.hurting.the.cowboys ..

12 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 13 Faith, Hope, and Love It.is.a.mysterious.thing.that.we.at.times.can.be.surrounded.by.the. word.of.God.and.by.godly.people,.but.it.somehow.hasn’t.touched.our.lives .. In.the.Old.Testament.times.the.Jews.had.the.law,.but.as.the.bible.tells.us. nobody.could.perfectly.keep.the.law ..The.Law.was.a.shadow.of.Christ;. it.allowed.people.to.see.that.they.were.guilty.and.would.truly.need.the. sacrificial.Lamb.of.God.to.be.able.to.be.truly.saved ..If.Jesus.hadn’t.come.to. earth.as.the.Son.of.God.and.then.been.crucified.for.our.sins.and.then.to. have.been.raised.from.the.dead.by.God.almighty,.there.would.be.no.real. hope.for.mankind ..We.would.have.been.sacrificing.animals.yearly.to.cover. our.sins . By.Jesus.being.our.Sacrifice.and.then.in.our.freely.being.willing.to. have.faith.and.accept.Him.as.Lord.and.Savior,.we.are.then.able.to.fulfill. His.great.commission.and.take.His.word.to.the.world ..It.all.starts.with. the.faithfulness.of.God.and.then.it.gets.down.to.our.ability.to.truly.walk. in.faith . Jesus.as.my.Lord.and.Savior ..That.episode.and.transition.seems.so.odd,.but. I.suspect.it.is.not.that.unusual ..What.do.I.mean?.Going.back.to.Romans. 10:8.is.most.interesting.to.consider ..The.bible.says,.“The.word.is.nigh.thee,. even.in.thy.mouth,.and.in.thy.heart:.that.is.the.word.of.faith,.which.we. preach .”.I.suspect.we.all.can.know.about.God.and.feel.we.are.born-again. Christians,.but.may.never.have.done.what.the.word.says.in.the.following. verses.that.we.need.to.do ..To.possibly.be.a.little.politically.incorrect,.I. would.offer.that.there.may.be.many.persons,.of.sincere.belief,.that.are. attending.church.every.week.and.are.not.truly.born-again.as.believers.in. Jesus.Christ ..That.may.be.as.politically.correct.as.not.talking.about.cutting. the.bull.calves.in.an.after.dinner.conversation . I.am.not.sure.whether.I.just,.personally,.knew.about.God.and.His. Son,.but.somehow.never.got.truly.saved ..I.never.truly.had.a.relationship. with.Jesus.as.my.Lord.and.Savior,.but.it.was.years.later.that.I.fully.did.what. Paul.tells.us.in.Romans.10:9-10 ..In.that.verse,.he.says,.“That.if.thou.will. confess.with.thy.mouth.the.Lord.Jesus,.and.shall.believe.in.thy.heart.that. God.has.raised.Him.from.the.dead,.thou.shall.be.saved .”.WOW!.I.suspect. I.had.never.confessed,.openly.before.witnesses,.with.my.mouth,.the.Lord. Jesus,.and.shall.believe.in.thy.heart.that.God.has.raised.Him.from.the. dead,.thou.shall.be.saved ..As.simple.as.that.statement.seems,.I.suspect. there.are.many.who.feel.they.are.born-again.Christians,.who.are.possibly. not,.and.thus.their.lives.never.show.the.signs.of.being-born.again . After.being.led.to.the.Lord.at.age.58,.while.learning.to.fly.a.jet.aircraft,. my.entire.life.and.outlook.changed ..I.then.not.only.became.a.born-again. Christian,.but.also.a.tongue.speaking,.Holy.Ghost.filled.believer ..Had.those. things.not.have.occurred,.I.suspect.my.life.would.have.continued.without. my.ever.wanting.to.fulfill.the.great.commission.and.to.evangelize.Christ’s. message.of.salvation.around.the.world ..The.bible.says,.“Whosoever.shall. believe.on.Him.shall.not.be.ashamed” . At.that.moment.in.my.life,.my.faith.in.God.and.knowledge.of.God. began.to.grow,.and.then.I.could.have.faith.for.all.of.His.promises.for.me. and.my.family.and.my.life.in.general ..As.Isaiah.said,.Lord,.who.has.believed. our.report?.The.word.also.said,.how.beautiful.are.the.feet.of.them.that. preach.the.gospel.of.peace,.and.bring.glad.tidings.of.good.things?.A.bit. later.in.Romans,.the.word.says,.“That.faith.comes.by.hearing,.and.hearing. by.the.word.of.God .”

15 

Some Lives Lived By Faith Abraham.is.an.example.of.someone.who.was.tested.and.yet.when. called.upon.by.God,.he.rose.to.the.moment.in.absolute.faith ..In.the. early.chapters.of.Genesis.we.see.the.story.of.Noah.and.then.the.repopulation.of.the.earth ..After.Noah.came.his.sons,.Shem,.Ham.and.Japheth .. Certainly,.Noah.was.a.great.example.of.faith.and.certainly.was.also.tested. by.being.asked.to.build.an.ark.in.the.middle.of.a.desert.where.he.had.never. seen.a.flood ..I.am.sure.as.a.man.called.by.God,.he.was.severely.tested.by. family.members.and.his.colleagues.as.to.what.in.the.world.did.he.think.he. was.doing?.You’re.going.to.do.what? God.had.blessed.Noah.and.his.sons.and.told.them.to.replenish. the.earth ..His.son.Ham.mocked.his.father.and.in.essence.was.mocking. God ..But.now.let’s.get.to.Abraham.who.was.in.the.lineage.of.Shem,.being. fathered.by.Terah.and.growing.up.in.the.land.of.the.Chaldees,.the.city. of.Ur . In.Gen.12:1.we.see.where.God.said.to.Abram,.“Get.thee.out.of.thy. country,.and.from.thy.kindred,.and.from.thy.father’s.house.unto.a.land. that.I.will.show.thee:.And.I.will.make.of.thee.a.great.nation,.and.I.will.bless. thee,.and.make.thy.name.great:.and.thou.shall.be.a.blessing” ..God.was.now. talking.about.the.Hebrew.nation.of.people.who.would.be.descendants.of. Abraham.and.would.eventually.enter.the.Promised.Land . God.also.told.Abraham.that.He.would.bless.those.who.bless.you.and. curse.those.who.curse.you,.and.in.you.shall.all.of.the.families.of.the.earth.be. blessed ..Now,.there.is.a.promise.of.God.that.you.would.require.a.great.deal. of.faith.to.believe ..God.is.absolutely.letting.him.know.that.the.salvation.of. the.Lord.would.come.through.his.lineage.and.his.obedience.to.God ..When. you.see.the.faith.that.it.took.to.step.out.to.go.to.a.land.he.knew.nothing. about,.and.yet.he.was.willing.to.step.out.in.absolute.faith ..Abram.was.

16 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 17 Faith, Hope, and Love for.the.temporomandibular.joint,.a.technique.He.had.me.innovate.some. 38.years.before . At.a.later.time,.when.we.were.back.together.again.and.living.in. Northern.California,.the.Lord.let.me.know.very.precisely.about.what.He. would.be.calling.me.to.do ..He,.literally,.put.a.bullet.of.light.through.my. brain.with.the.words,.“I.want.you.in.full.time.ministry .”.I.knew.we.were. to.start.both.the.medical.device.company.and.the.marriage.ministry,.side. by.side ..Both.entities.flourished.for.some.22.years.and.then.all.of.a.sudden. the.recession.hit.and.the.company.was.financially.unable.to.ride.out.the. storm ..This,.basically,.caused.me.to.lose.my.job.and.position.as.president. and.CEO.of.the.medical.device.company.which.was.then.picked.up.by. another.company,.leaving.me.unemployed . At.that.moment,.I.was.really.having.a.tough.time.coping.with.not. only.the.loss.of.our.company,.but.the.wealth.and.almost.more.importantly. the.job.and.association.of.my.fellow.workers,.many.of.whom.I.had.nurtured.and.worked.with.for.some.20.plus.years . In.the.hopes.of.keeping.some.degree.of.sanity,.I.turned.to.writing. books.for.the.ministry ..I.was.always.reminded.of.God’s.word.to.me.about,. “I.want.you.in.full.time.ministry .”.I.had.always.considered.the.medical. device.company.position.as.a.ministry,.too,.but.perhaps.now.I.was.doing. exactly.what.the.Lord.was.calling.me.to.do ..The.point.I.am.making.is.that. God.may.call.a.person.to.leave.his.land.of.Ur.and.depart.for.some.particular.land,.but.have.a.pause.somewhere.along.the.way,.and.it.could.be.for. some.long.period.of.time . In.Abram’s.case,.the.Lord.said,.“Unto.thy.seed.I.will.give.this.land .”. Abram.built.there.an.altar.unto.the.Lord.who.appeared.unto.him ..In.all.of. this,.Abram.was.called.to.be.obedient.unto.God ..That.is.exactly.what.He.is. telling.you.and.me.to.do,.also ..When.God.called.me.to.close.down.my.oral. and.maxillofacial.surgery.practice.in.the.Ukiah.area.of.northern.California. and.to.relocate.to.the.Denver.area,.God.had.a.special.plan.in.mind ..Did.it. all.unfold.quickly?.No,.not.totally,.but.over.the.next.22.years.God.accomplished.a.lot.through.us.in.both.ministry.and.medical.device.company ..You. see,.when.God.originally.called.us.out.of.our.Ur.in.Northern.California. and.over.to.Denver,.He.was.able.to.accomplish.a.lot.for.His.purposes. through.our.obedience ..That.is.what.He.is.doing.in.the.situation.of.Abram . leaving.Ur.which.was.a.godless.city.of.the.Chaldeans.to.establish.a.people. and.a.country.that.would.be.God’s.own.people ..That.takes.faith,.folks . Here.was.a.relative.of.Noah,.who.was.a.follower.of.God.and.one.who. God.established.a.covenant.with,.he.and.his.family,.and.now.God.is.calling. him.forth.to.actually.start.a.nation.of.people.being.called.by.God.for.all. generations ..It.always.makes.me.understand.how.important.those.God. fearing.grandmothers.and.grandfathers.are.in.our.families.that.literally. bring.forth.godly.heirs.after.themselves ..We.are.to.be.living.our.lives.unto. the.Lord.so.that.we.will.also.bring.forth.godly.offspring . Sometimes.we.may.feel.we.are.too.old.to.change.direction,.or.has. God.said.that?.But.let’s.consider.that.Abraham.was.75.years.old.when.he. left.Haran.to.go.west.to.the.land.of.the.Canaanites ..He.took.his.wife.Sarai. and.his.brother,.Haran’s.son.Lot,.with.him ..Along.with.them.were.all.of.his. possessions.and.those.of.his.household ..They.departed.out.of.Haran.for. the.land.of.Canaan . When.they.got.to.the.land.of.the.Canaanites,.an.offspring.of.Ham,. Abram’s.brother.was.with.them ..His.name.was.Lot ..It.is.kind.of.interesting. that.at.times.God’s.final.calling.for.where.a.person.might.go.or.what.he/ she.might.be,.will.actually.be.for.a.different.time ..I.want.to.stray.a.bit.here. to.tell.you.about.the.call.of.God.on.my.own.life . In.the.midst.of.separation.and.divorce.from.Lynne.back.in.1983,.I.had. been.called.by.God.to.learn.to.fly.a.jet.aircraft ..I.had.my.private.license,.my. instrument.flying.license.and.my.multiengine.rating.when.all.of.a.sudden. God.is.telling.me.to.get.my.jet.pilot’s.license ..Nothing.could.have.been. more.ridiculous.because.at.the.time.of.my.taking.my.jet.flying.course.I. am.losing.our.home,.my.office,.our.ranch.in.Oregon.and.even.my.single. engine.P-210.Cessna.airplane,.all.because.of.the.divorce.and.an.impending.bankruptcy . The.interesting.thing.was.the.fact.that.in.going.to.find.a.jet.flying. school,.some.600.miles.from.where.we.were.living,.God.knew.I.would. be.getting.saved ..That.ex-TWA.pilot.knew.I.wasn’t.saved.and.led.me.to. the.Lord ..So.God.had.that.all.planned.out.long.before.I.arrived ..It.was. this.TWA.Captain.who.then.pointed.me.toward.standing.for.the.healing. of.my.marriage.and.in.time.my.marriage.was.restored.and.God.then.led. us.into.founding.Covenant.Marriages.Ministry.and.a.medical.device. company.called.TMJ.Implants,.Inc ..which.would.manufacture.implants.

18 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 19 Faith, Hope, and Love Abram.wisely.told.Lot.that.they.should.part.ways ..That.had.to.be.a.difficult. moment,.too,.as.the.uncle.and.the.cousin.and.their.families.would.now. part.ways ..Lot.earlier.in.life.lost.his.own.father.at.an.early.age,.so.again. here.is.another.parting . Abram.gave.the.younger.man.the.choice.of.which.direction.he.would. wish.to.go ..Lot.turned.eastward.toward.the.more.fertile.plain.of.the.Jordan .. Lot.was.not.a.leader.nor.was.he.really.a.man.that.sought.after.God’s.best .. He.was.rather.just.one.to.get.along ..He.later.committed.incest.with.his. daughters,.or.more.specifically,.they.did.with.him ..By.the.time.his.life.was. over.it.was.involved.in.a.great.deal.of.destruction ..He.had.turned.toward. the.wicked.city.of.Sodom . Abram.turned.toward.the.land.of.Canaan.and.it.was.from.this.point. where.God.told.Abram.to.lift.up.his.eyes.from.where.he.was.and.see.the. land.which.God.was.giving.to.him.and.to.his.offspring.forever ..It.was.the. land.from.the.Euphrates.to.the.Mediterranean.Sea ..He.instructed.Abram. to.walk.through.the.land.and.wherever.your.feet.shall.touch.it.will.be.yours. and.your.seed.after.you ..He.also.told.him.your.seed.will.be.as.the.dust.of. the.ground ..No.one.will.be.able.to.number.them ..Abram.moves.to.the.land. of.Hebron.and.there.builds.another.altar.to.the.Lord . Even.as.Abram.and.family.moved.into.their.promised.land.of.the. Canaanites,.he.was.forced.to.travel.south.into.Egypt.because.of.a.famine. in.the.land.of.Canaan ..So,.there.are.times.when.everything.gets.turned. around,.but.the.important.thing.is.to.stay.on.whatever.course.God.is. taking.you ..I.often.compare.it.to.flying.on.instruments.when.all.of.a.sudden. your.radio.mal.functions ..It.is.important.to.stay.on.the.flight.path.which. the.Air.traffic.Controller.put.you.on.so.he.has.the.ability.of.clearing.the. path.for.your.flight,.since.he.knows.where.you.are.supposed.to.be.at.any. given.moment . Even.fully.knowing.God.was.in.control.in.Abram’s.life.he.still.made. a.faithless.gesture ..As.he.was.getting.ready.to.enter.Egypt.he.let.Sarai,. his.wife,.know.that.they.should.identify.her.as.his.sister,.otherwise.the. Egyptians.would.kill.him.and.kidnap.her ..He.was.not.standing.in.faith.for. God.to.be.his.protector ..After.all,.he.and.his.wife.and.family.were.on.God’s. instrument.course.and.were.doing.God’s.bidding ..He.needed.faith.to.know. that.there.would.be.no.harm.to.befall.them.as.long.as.they.were.obedient. to.God . I.fully.realize.how.very.difficult.it.can.be.when.some.circumstance. changes.and.it.puts.one.in.an.apparently.more.perilous.situation ..As.Lynne. and.I.were.removed.rather.precipitously.from.the.ownership.and.headship. of.our.medical.device.company.it.created.a.great.deal.of.anxiety.in.my.life. and.emotions ..It.has.only.been.by.getting.absorbed.in.God.and.His.word. that.has.allowed.me.to.overcome.the.fear.which.so.easily.besets.us.in.times. of.loss.or.change ..So,.Abram.eventually.gets.himself.in.more.trouble.with. the.Pharaoh.when.the.Pharaoh.learns.that.Sarai.is.actually.Abram’s.wife,. not.sister ..The.Lord.now.had.to.come.upon.Pharaoh.and.his.house.with. plagues.because.of.Sarai ..The.Pharaoh.recognized.how.Abram.had.tricked. him.and.was.mad.at.Abram,.but.in.the.long.run.let.Abram.and.Sarai.go. with.all.he.had.brought.into.the.land,.plus.some.more.animals ..Sometimes,. because.our.faith.is.small,.we.can.miss.God’s.perfect.will ..It.has.always. been.apparent.that.when.we.miss.God’s.perfect.will.and.we.repent,.He.is. quick.to.redeem.us.and.put.us.back.in.the.saddle.again . God.allowed.Abram.and.Lot.to.prosper.with.great.herds.as.they.traveled.south.to.the.area.between.Bethel.and.Hai.where.Abram.had.dwelt. earlier.and.where.he.had.erected.an.altar.unto.the.Lord ..It.was.in.that. place.where.the.herdsmen.of.Abram.and.Lot.got.into.some.quarreling.and.

21 

Faithfulness Brings Great Rewards In.Genesis.15:1.we.see.where.the.Lord.came.again.to.Abram.in.a.vision. and.saying,.“Fear.not.Abram:.I.am.thy.shield,.and.thy.exceeding.great. reward .”.Abram.wanted.to.know.what.you.will.give.me.since.I.go.childless .. To.Abram,.who.had.been.told.he.would.be.the.father.of.many.nations,.how. could.that.be? With.most.all.of.us,.we.are.the.same ..How,.Lord.are.you.going.to. make.anything.useful.come.through.any.of.my.efforts?.As.I.have.gone. through.a.very.difficult.time.in.my.85th.year.of.losing.the.very.dream.that. God.had.given.to.me.some.50.years.before,.it.was.a.very.difficult.moment. for.me.to.find.what.God.would.now.do.with.me ..Somewhat.like.Abram,. I.am.now.86.years.old.and.am.losing.some.of.my.faculties ..How.Lord.will. you.bring.this.to.pass?.Abram.and.Sarai.would.seem.to.have.an.even.more. difficult.problem.in.that.they.both.felt.they.were.past.the.childbearing.age,. and.yet.no.offspring ..That.did.not.concern.God? God.tells.Abram;.your.plan.of.creating.an.heir.and.future.generations. in.your.family.is.not.my.way ..You.may.only.see.the.impossibilities,.but.I. see.the.possibilities ..God.tells.him,.look.at.the.heavens,.and.tell.the.stars. if.thou.be.able.to.number.them:.and.God.said,.so.shall.thy.seed.be ..How’s. that.for.changing.the.circumstances ..The.following.words.out.of.Abrams. mouth.should.also.be.ours ..And.he.believed.in.the.Lord . As.I.walk.through.this.most.difficult.time.in.my.life,.I.just.keep. saying,.“With.You.Lord,.all.things.are.possible .”.When.the.Lord.said.to.me. on.Father’s.Day,.1987,.“I.want.you.in.full.time.ministry .”.I.suspect.that.is. exactly.what.He.meant ..Did.it.occur.immediately?.No.it.didn’t,.but.does. that.mean.I.was.disobedient.to.God’s.perfect.will?.His.call.on.my.life?.No,. I.don’t.think.so ..I.kept.asking.Him.to.show.me.exactly.what.He.wanted.me.

22 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 23 Faith, Hope, and Love back.in.my.life.when.God.was.orchestrating.a.change.in.direction,.and.a. time.when.the.hand.of.God.had.to.be.watching.over.me . It.well.reminds.me.of.a.time.in.my.life.when.I.was.changing.the.direction.in.my.life’s.work ..It.was.midnight,.January.3,.1950,.when.I.left.our. home.in.Chester,.California,.to.head.for.Los.Angeles.to.be.interviewed. by.the.director.of.oral.and.maxillofacial.surgery.at.Los.Angeles.County. General.Hospital . My.wife.and.I.had.been.at.a.Lion’s.Club.dinner.meeting,.earlier.that. evening,.in.another.small.town,.when.I.heard.of.a.serious.storm.approaching.the.area.we.lived.in.and.the.path.that.I.would.have.to.travel ..Thus,.I. decided.to.be.ahead.of.the.storm,.I.would.drive.the.75.miles.over.the.High. Sierras,.from.Chester.to.Red.Bluff.during.this.very.evening . So.much.for.the.wisdom.of.men ..The.roads.were.perfectly.dry.as.I. got.in.my.newly.purchased,.but.used,.1948.Buick.Roadmaster.sedan.and. started.driving.from.the.Chester.altitude.of.4300.feet.to.elevations.over. 8500.feet.and.then.back.down.to.an.elevation.of.less.than.200.feet.at.my. destination.in.Red.Bluff ..It.sounded.simple ..Just.precede.any.storm,.and. the.roads.would.be.dry.all.of.the.way ..What.could.be.easier?. So,.at.10:00.PM,.I.started.my.journey ..The.roads.were.dry.and.I.had. a.certain.degree.of.excitement.for.being.permitted.to.meet.with.the.hospital.division.director ..I.would.drive.to.Red.Bluff,.take.a.hotel.room.for. a.few.hours.and.then.drive.on.to.San.Francisco.and.then.fly.on.to.Los. Angeles.later . I.drove.happily.down.the.road.thinking.of.the.possible.life-changing. direction.of.leaving.my.dental.practice.in.Chester.where.I.was.being. called.on.to.care.for.a.number.of.serious.medical.and.surgical.problems. in.patients.who.had.no.other.medical.assistance ..The.only.medical.doctor. was.absent.because.of.his.family’s.annual.vacation ..If.I.got.accepted.for.the. training.at.LACGH,.I.would.be.furthering.my.education.in.the.area.of.oral. and.maxillofacial.surgery ..That.would.be.a.new.direction.for.me,.but.one.I. felt.I.would.enjoy.and.excel.in ..Both.were.true . I.possibly.should.have.been.more.tired.as.I.had.worked.all.day.in.my. dental.practice,.attended.the.Lion’s.Club.meeting.in.the.town.of.Mineral,. and.then.drove.30.miles.home,.and.then.started.my.drive.back.over. the.mountains . to.do ..I.always.felt.that.starting.the.medical.device.company.alongside.of. the.Christian.ministry.to.marriages.was.exactly.what.the.Lord.had.asked. me.to.do . They.both.had.accomplished.a.great.deal.and.the.medical.device. company.had.prospered.well,.up.to.a.specific.point.and.then.it.became. necessary.to.allow.it.to.fall,.and.yet.I.was.able.to.see.all.of.the.employees. maintain.not.only.their.pay.but.also.their.jobs.well.into.the.future ..That. wasn’t.exactly.the.same.for.me,.personally,.as.I.basically.lost.my.job.which. I.enjoyed,.but.also.my.association.with.the.people.I.had.nurtured.for.the. better.part.of.20.years ..At.first.that.was.a.most.difficult.transition.for.me,. but.then.I.began.to.see.it.as.something.which.God.almighty.had.prophesied.over.my.life.and.which.He.was.allowing.to.happen . Do.we.see.evidence.of.this.in.the.lives.of.the.people.of.God.in.the. Bible?.The.answer.would.be.yes ..In.Abram’s.case.he.had.been.sent.out.of. the.land.of.his.father,.the.land.of.the.Chaldees,.unto.the.land.of.Canaan,. but.now.a.famine.is.hitting.that.land ..Was.this.a.test.of.Abram’s.faith,.too?. Yes,.it.was ..When.Lynne.and.I.left.the.Northern.California.city.of.Ukiah. to.move.to.Lakewood,.Colorado,.we.were.acting.out.of.shear.obedience. to.what.God.was.calling.us.to.do ..We.were.to.establish.a.medical.device. company.and.a.marriage.ministry.in.a.State.where.we.had.never.lived.and. only.knew.one.other.couple,.and.had.zero.income.and.zero.resources ..That. is.scary,.when.you.think.about.it ..But.that’s.where.Abram.is.as.he.takes. Sarai,.Lot.and.Lot’s.wife.and.all.of.their.possessions.and.travel.to.Egypt .. Abram.had.followed.God.before.and.must.again.accept.the.fact.that.God. must.be.in.control.of.all.of.their.lives . How.many.times.do.we.perceive.some.very.difficult.circumstance.or. storm.approaching.and.fear.and.anxiety.arises.within.us?.You.may.be.presently.facing.a.financial.storm.that.in.the.natural.it.will.be.impossible.for. you.to.see.victory.in ..It.is.in.those.very.circumstances.where.a.Christian’s. dependence.on.God.may.be.most.tested ..There.are.many.great.scriptures. for.just.such.a.moment ..For.instance,.Psalm.16:8.“I.have.set.the.Lord.always. before.me:.because.He.is.at.my.right.hand,.I.shall.not.be.moved .”.No.matter. what.point.you.may.be.in.your.life,.you.will.face.circumstances.that.go.way. beyond.what.you.in.the.natural.can.overcome,.unless.you.have.faith.in. God.and.his.purpose.for.your.being ..The.following.story.talks.about.a.time.

24 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 25 Faith, Hope, and Love in.1950 ..I.could.foresee.a.massive,.snow-throwing.vehicle,.used.in.the.High. Sierras.to.clear.to.highways,.coming.along.and.gobbling.me.up.in.the.car.if. these.young.men.had.not.come.to.my.rescue . I’ll.never.forget.on.July.4,.1948,.the.road.was.just.being.opened.from. Mt.Lassen.to.Mineral.and.there.was.still.14.feet.of.snow.on.that.road ..So,. it.was.very.easy.for.me.to.see.me.frozen.and.being.gobbled.up.by.one.of. those.large.snow.plows ..Not.a.pretty.picture.for.this.25.year.old,.husband. and.father.of.one.child,.to.contemplate . For.the.next.few.hours.I.plodded.along.in.my.powerful.green.Buick. Roadmaster.up.the.hill.to.the.top,.and.then.I.started.the.downhill.trek ..The. road.was.much.more.difficult.to.locate.and.to.navigate.as.the.snow.was. getting.very.deep ..I.felt.little.comfort.in.the.fact.that.I.had.made.it.over. the.higher.altitude.and.was.now.part.way.down.the.mountains.heading.for. Red.Bluff,.which.lay.in.the.valley.below,.and.rarely.ever.sees.winter.snow . Whoops,.not.only.was.I.out.of.brakes.on.my.car.due.to.the.actual. snow,.but.I.was.now.against.another.bank,.and.this.time.there.was.absolutely.no.way.I.could.get.out ..The.outside.temperature.was.low.enough. that.I.would.freeze.unless.somehow.I.was.rescued ..I.went.backward.and. forward.against.the.bank.where.snow.was.built.up.to.6.feet.high,.ten.feet. behind.me,.and.a.few.feet.ahead.of.me ..I.was.stuck ..It.had.to.be.at.least. 3:00.AM.at.this.point . After.reviewing.the.impossible.circumstance.for.some.half.hour,.I. was.amazed.to.see.lights.coming.up.the.hill.in.front.of.me.and.in.my.direction ..What.a.welcome.I.gave.those.basketball.players.in.that.bus.as.they. were.heading.home,.somewhere.in.those.majestic.and,.at.times,.frightful. mountains ..They.were.able.to.push.me.out.of.the.predicament.I.found. myself.in,.and.now.I.could.start.down.the.hill.once.more,.watching.out.all. the.way.for.the.cliff.on.one.side.which.could.take.me.down.some.200.to. 1500.feet,.in.a.split.second ..That.would.not.be.a.good.ending.for.this.young. and.aspiring.surgeon . Six.hours.after.I.started.my.75.mile.trip,.I.pulled.into.Red.Bluff.where. the.snow.was.now.over.one.foot.in.depth.and.my.brakes.were.totally. demolished ..I.parked.in.front.of.the.hotel,.got.a.room.and.slept.until.I. needed.to.continue.my.journey.to.San.Francisco . What.is.the.point.of.this.story?.I.believe.when.God.has.a.purpose. for.your.life.and.journey,.he.will.move.mountains.to.accomplish.it ..No. Happily,.the.roads.were.dry,.but.within.20.miles.I.was.heading.into. the.largest,.most.challenging.experience.of.my.life,.to.that.point . The.road.was.beginning.to.be.fully.covered.with.snow ..I.had.not. attempted.to.place.chains.on.the.car.and.by.the.time.I.realized.I.should. have,.it.was.too.impossible ..Before.40.minutes.had.elapsed,.I.had.only. travelled.less.than.25.miles.up.the.hill ..The.roadway.was.beginning.to. be.obscured,.and.it.was.most.difficult.to.actually.see.where.the.road.was. going ..I.had.the.wipers.going.but.they.could.not.remove.the.amount.of. snow.accumulating.on.the.windshield . I.would.look.to.see.where.the.trees.were.separated,.hoping.that.was. where.the.road.was.going ..At.times.it.would.appear.the.road.might.be. going.in.two.different.directions ..The.shorter.snow.markers.along.any. normal.mountain.road.were.now.covered.and.of.no.value.to.the.driver,. and.especially.to.me ..The.smoothness.of.the.apparent.road.was.evident .. But.was.it.really.the.road? As.I.attempted.to.move.along.the.road.at.a.low.speed,.the.snow.would. come.across.the.hood.of.the.massive.Buick.totally.blocking.my.vision ..At. one.point.that.mass.of.snow.was.so.fierce.that.it.ripped.off.the.metal.visor. which.was.like.an.eyebrow.over.the.windshield.of.that.light.green.Buick. Roadmaster ..I.had.to.stop.and.break.the.opposite.end.visor.attachment.off. of.the.car ..That.allowed.me.to.place.the.broken.visor.on.the.floor.of.the. back.seat . In.the.next.half.hour.I.had.only.gone.another.5.miles.and.found.myself. stuck.against.the.road.embankment.on.the.right.side.of.the.road ..The.car. motor.had.not.stopped,.but.I.was.completely.stuck.as.I.attempted.to.get. out.of.the.ditch ..I.had.not.seen.a.fellow.traveler.since.I.started.in.the.snow .. By.this.time.it.was.almost.impossible.to.get.out.of.the.car.as.the.snow.was. up.to.my.window ..All.of.a.sudden.I.saw.some.headlights.approaching.me .. It.appeared.some.kind.of.vehicle.was.coming.down.the.mountain.in.my. direction ..We.were.perhaps.at.the.6000.foot.level,.and.I.still.had.to.eventually.get.over.the.road.summit.of.approximately.8500.feet . Only.God.could.have.delivered.me.out.of.that.predicament.that. evening ..A.truck.with.four.young.men.came.along.and.rather.quickly. pushed.me.out.of.that.awful.mess ..I.thanked.them.profusely ..I.could.easily. see.me.trapped.in.a.hidden.vehicle,.covered.with.at.least.six.feet.of.snow.in. an.obscured.road.bank,.somewhere.along.that.mountain.road,.that.night.

26 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 27 Faith, Hope, and Love accomplish.something.that.God.has.let.us.know.will.happen?.This.is.where. the.title.of.this.book.comes.in.for.all.of.us ..Lord,.increase.our.faith . God.had.just.established.his.covenant.with.Abram.and.told.him.that. his.seed.would.be.so.massive.that.it.would.be.like.the.stars.of.the.sky .. You.would.not.be.able.to.even.number.them,.and.yet.somehow.Abram. was.missing.the.fact.that.these.heirs.would.also.be.generated.through.his. covenant.of.marriage.spouse,.not.through.some.servant.of.the.household .. Here,.we.see.God.establishing.the.most.pronounced.and.sacred.ritual,.a. covenant,.and.we.see.Abram.not.fully.understanding.the.plan.and.seriousness.of.what.God.is.doing . So,.at.Sarai’s.suggestion,.here.comes.Plan.B ..So.Sarai.takes.her.Egyptian. maid,.Hagar,.and.gives.her.to.Abram.for.his.wife,.and.she.conceived ..Now,. like.any.other.devil.conspired.plan.of.deception.it.brings.forth.ill.fruit .. This.had.no.more.than.happened.when.Sarai.despised.the.mistress ..Sarai. realized.immediately.that.she.had.done.wrong ..The.mistress.fled.from.the. house.of.Abram ..The.consequences.of.Abram’s.disobedience.would.be.felt. for.all.generations . An.angel.of.the.Lord.came.to.Hagar.to.minister.to.her.and.to.tell.her. to.go.back.and.be.in.servitude.to.Sarai ..Submit.to.her.hands ..The.angel.of. the.Lord.let.her.know.that.her.seed.will.also.be.multiplied.greatly.and.that. she.will.have.a.son.and.his.name.shall.be.Ishmael ..The.angel.of.the.Lord. also.told.her.that.Ishmael.will.be.a.wild.man.and.will.be.against.every.man,. and.every.man’s.hand.will.be.against.him . This.only.goes.to.show.us.that.when.we.wait.for.God’s.plan.to.unfold. in.our.lives.those.good.things.can.happen,.but.when.we.pride-fully.take. everything.into.our.own.hands,.watch.out ..The.world.will.be.forever.at.war. with.the.Ishmaels.of.this.world,.as.we.are.presently.finding.out . In.the.long.run.though.Sarai.and.Abram.fell.into.the.trap.of.disobeying.God.and.producing.a.counterfeit,.but.God.was.able.to.see.that.they.got. back.on.the.correct.path.and.then.followed.him.faithfully ..That.is.true.of. us,.also ..We.may.fail.in.some.ways,.but.because.of.the.love.and.sacrifice. of.our.Lord,.we.too.can.get.back.on.the.correct.path.by.repenting.and. obeying.our.Lord . It.was.after.the.time.of.Hagar.and.Ishmael.that.God.appeared.again. to.Abram,.and.told.him.to.walk.before.him.and.be.thou.perfect ..He.said. I.will.make.my.covenant.between.me.and.thee.and.I.will.multiply.thee. hardship,.no.snowstorm,.no.lack.of.car.brakes,.nor.any.lack.of.provision. will.prevent.God’s.plan.from.being.fulfilled.in.your.life,.if.you.will.choose. to.let.Him.lead.you ..The.Lord.knew.I.was.to.be.an.innovative.surgeon. who.would.bring.forth.the.first.artificial.replacement.for.the.ailing.temporomandibular.joint.in.the.United.States.and.the.World ..This.God-given. innovation.of.how.we.could.restore.function.to.an.ailing.or.missing.temporomandibular.joint.would.someday.bring.pain-free.jaw.function.to. hundreds.of.thousands.of.patients ..It.would.be.God.that.would.show.me. how.to.accomplish.that,.also,.in.His.time . Even.though.I.was.not.born-again,.I.believe.the.Lord.well.knew.where. he.wanted.my.life.to.go,.and.because.of.that,.I.suspect.He.was.there.to.see. that.I.got.through.that.most.miserable.snow.storm.and.that.without.the. precise.placement.of.those.helpers.on.the.highway,.I.would.not.have.made. it ..I.will.be.forever.grateful.to.God.for.all.of.His.protection.and.mentoring. of.me.in.my.life . Now,.back.to.Abram ..In.Genesis.15:7.the.Lord.said.to.Abram,.“I.am. the.Lord.that.brought.you.out.of.Ur.of.the.Chaldees,.to.give.you.this.land. to.inherit .”.Then.Abram.asks.the.question.not.unlike.what.we.might.ask,. “Whereby.shall.I.know.that.I.shall.inherit.it?”.It.is.at.that.moment.in.which. God.does.something.so.specific.and.powerful ..You.may.never.have.considered.it,.but.it.is.powerful . God.is.being.put.the.test.and.He.tells.Abram.to.take.me.a.heifer,.a. goat,.a.ram.and.a.turtle.dove.and.prepare.them.as.I.have.commanded .. Then.as.the.sun.is.going.down.a.deep.sleep.falls.upon.Abram ..He.hears.the. Lord.tell.him.of.a.surety,.that.your.seed.will.be.in.a.strange.land.for.400. hundred.years.and.be.oppressed.by.the.rulers.of.that.nation ..That.nation. will.God.judge.and.afterward.your.seed.will.come.out.of.bondage,.and. with.great.substance ..It.was.at.that.time.that.a.smoking.furnace.and.a. burning.lamp.passed.between.those.pieces.of.meat.offering.placed.on.the. ground ..At.that.same.moment.God.made.his.covenant.with.Abram.saying. unto.your.seed.I.have.given.this.land.from.the.river.of.Egypt.to.the.great. river.Euphrates . It.was.after.this.momentous.moment.that.Abram.got.talked.into. making.a.wrong.move ..Sarai.realizing.she.was.barren.and.was.up.in.age. she.felt.there.was.no.way.that.she.could.bring.forth.children.in.which.God’s. promises.could.be.fulfilled ..Don’t.we.sometimes.try.to.figure.out.how.to.

28 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 29 Faith, Hope, and Love In.the.next.breath.we.see.where.Abraham.fell.on.his.face.and.laughed. and.said.in.his.heart,.Shall.a.child.be.born.unto.him.that.is.100.years.old?. And.shall.Sarah.that.is.90.year.old.bear.a.child? Many.times.we.wonder.if.there.is.really.some.plan.for.our.lives .. When.you.think.of.how.God.was.able.to.use.Abraham.and.Sarah.to.start. the.entire.nation.of.Israel.and.the.Hebrew.people,.then.one.would.have.to. say.there.truly.is.nothing.too.hard.for.God . In.the.case.of.Abraham,.God.then.told.him.that.yes,.Sarah.would.bear. a.son.and.his.name.would.be.Isaac,.and.then.God.said.I.will.establish.my. covenant.with.him.for.an.everlasting.covenant.and.with.his.seed.after.him . For.some.16.years.Abraham.thought.that.Ishmael’s.birth.had.fulfilled. God’s.earlier.promise,.but.no,.God.had.a.more.perfect.plan ..God.from.the. Garden.of.Eden.had.established.the.covenant.of.marriage.between.Adam. and.Eve,.first.by.allowing.the.blood.to.flow.as.He.took.the.rib.and.flesh. from.Adam.to.create.Eve,.and.then.to.join.them.together.as.one.flesh .. Now.would.God.negate.that.very.design.for.all.of.mankind.by.establishing.his.covenant.through.some.bogus.sexual.relationship.between.Abram. and.Hagar? It.was.later.that.Hagar.and.Ishmael.were.permanently.banned.from. Abraham’s.family ..Sarah.and.Abraham.learned.the.lesson.of.waiting.for. God’s.purposes.to.be.fulfilled ..That.is.a.lesson.which.I.know.I.have.had.to. learn.and.it.never.gets.very.easy ..I.for.one.am.always.anxious.to.get.the. show.on.the.road,.but.like.Abraham.and.Sarah,.I.too,.have.had.to.learn. to.wait . I’ll.never.forget,.after.Lynne.and.I.had.gone.through.our.own.divorce,. and.when.Lynne.and.I.had.gotten.remarried.at.Jack.Hayford’s.Church.on. the.Way.in.Van.Nuys,.California;.we.decided.to.go.back.to.the.town.up. north.we.had.been.living.in.before.the.divorce ..Remember,.I.had.gotten. born-again.first.while.learning.to.fly.Cessna,.Citation.I.and.II.jet.aircraft,. and.then.a.couple.of.years.later,.Lynne.comes.back.and.we.remarry.and. she.also.gets.saved . . When.we.are.now.residing.in.Calpella,.near.Ukiah,.the.Lord.shows. me.we.are.to.leave.my.oral.and.maxillofacial.surgery.practice.and.start. a.marriage.ministry.alongside.of.TMJ.Implants,.Inc .,.the.medical.device. company,.to.manufacture.the.TMJ.implants.I.had.innovated.some.30.years. exceedingly ..He.told.him.he.would.be.the.father.of.many.nations,.and.now. you.are.to.change.your.name.to.Abraham ..God.tells.him.that.he.and.his. male.children.are.to.be.circumcised.as.the.token.of.his.covenant ..God.type. of.covenants.are.completed.by.the.“flow”.of.blood,.as.seen.in.the.circumcision.of.all.of.the.male.children.and.adults . Sometimes.we.are.questioning.why.the.female.children.are.not. somehow.treated.in.a.similar.fashion ..Actually,.in.God’s.way.He.has. allowed.for.a.similar.covenant ..To.begin.with.the.female.children.on.up. through.the.age.and.time.of.marrying,.are.covered.in.the.family.by.the. fathers ..At.such.a.time.as.when.the.father.gives.his.daughter.in.matrimony. to.her.new.spouse,.the.father’s.covering.now.changes.to.the.new.man.in. the.house . After.the.wedding.ceremony.the.marriage.covenant.is.not.complete. until.the.husband.and.wife.consummate.their.marriage.vows.with.sexual. intercourse ..At.that.time,.the.virgin.wife’s.hymen.is.penetrated.allowing. for.blood.to.“flow”.and.thus.establishing.a.new.covenant.protection.of.the. wife.with.her.husband ..It.is.established.originally.in.the.words.which.they. speak.in.the.actual.wedding.ceremony ..You.see,.God.has.thought.of.it.all .. Covenants.made.before.God.are.so.all.powerful.that.if.we.can.ever.get.a. real.grasp.of.the.sacredness.and.potency.of.such.covenants,.we.will.be.able. to.withstand.the.devil’s.attacks.at.covenant.breaking.for.our.families . If.each.of.us.would.consider.the.sacredness.of.our.covenant.relationship.with.the.Father.through.the.blood.of.Jesus,.we.would.never.agree.that. some.secular.judge.could.ever.sever.that.covenant.so.that.we.would.not.be. born-again.Christians ..It.isn’t.possible.for.any.judge.to.break.our.covenant. with.God ..Then.why.should.we.feel.any.judge.can.tell.us.our.covenant.of. marriage.with.our.spouse.is.dissolved,.just.because.some.Judge.says.so? The.same.is.true.of.the.covenant.God.made.with.Abram ..It.is.undisolvable ..Period ..What.a.world.of.difference.one’s.revelation.of.that.fact. would.make.in.our.marriages.today ..God.told.Abram.that.my.covenant. shall.be.in.your.flesh.for.an.everlasting.covenant ..He.told.him.that.any. uncircumcised.man.child.will.be.cut.off.from.the.covenant ..It.is.broken .. God.changed.Abram’s.name.to.Abraham.and.told.him.also.that.Sarai’s. name.would.now.be.Sarah ..He.said,.I.will.now.bless.her.and.give.her.a.son .. She.will.be.a.mother.of.nations.and.kings.of.people.shall.be.of.her .

30 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 31 

At Some Point,  Our Faith Will Be Tested Look.at.the.test.Abraham.had.to.face.in.Genesis.22 ..After.all.of.the.faith. to.finally.have.a.son.with.Sarah,.look.at.what.happens.next ..At.the. appointed.time.a.son.was.born,.and,.like.God.said.they.called.him.Isaac .. Abraham.now.must.circumcise.his.son.to.make.him.a.covenant.partner. with.God ..In.a.way,.you.might.say.it.is.like.our.having.the.faith.to.be.bornagain.by.confessing.Jesus.as.our.Lord.and.Savior.and.believing.that.God. has.raised.him.from.the.dead . This.is.now.the.point.of.about.three.years.later.when.Isaac.is.weaned. from.his.mother’s.breast.feeding ..At.this.point.in.time.Sarah.notices.that. Hagar’s.son,.Ishmael.is.mocking.Isaac,.and.it.makes.Sarah.furious.to.where. she.asks.Abraham.to.cast.out.the.bondwoman.and.her.son ..Abraham.was. distraught.because.Hagar’s.son.was.also.his.son,.but.God.told.Abraham.to. do.what.Sarah.wanted ..God.also.said.don’t.be.too.disappointed,.because. God.would.make.a.nation.from.him,.because.he.is.also.the.seed.of. Abraham ..God.personally.comforted.Hagar.and.took.her.to.a.well.and.the. son.grew.up.in.the.wilderness.and.became.an.archer . Now.comes.the.utmost.test.of.Abraham’s.faith ..In.Gen ..22:1.God. comes.to.Abraham.and.commands.him.to.take.his.only.son.and.travel. to.the.land.of.Moriah.and.there.to.offer.him.as.a.sacrifice.on.the.altar ..I. cannot.even.imagine.that.test.of.faith ..But.I.know.that.is.exactly.where. our.Lord.would.wish.we.all.could.arrive ..Just.have.a.total.faith.in.Him.and. know.that.He.will.only.ask.us.to.believe.in,.what.He.will.say.He.will.do . God.directs.Abraham.and.his.servants.to.go.to.a.mountain.which. God.will.identify ..On.the.third.day.Abraham.identifies.the.mountain.to. which.God.was.directing.him ..Abraham.tells.his.porters.to.wait.here.and.

earlier ..I.knew.we.were.to.wait.on.the.Lord,.because.He.would.show.us. when.that.venture.and.direction.was.to.happen . It.took.another.18.months.before.we.acted.on.that.information ..It. took.much.patience.to.await.the.Lord’s.further.instruction.and.command . . .. It.is.interesting.to.recognize.the.power.and.force.of.the.covenant.we.have. with.the.Father.through.Jesus’.blood ..It.is.the.more.perfect.covenant .. The.earlier.covenant.God.made.with.Abraham,.Isaac.and.Jacob.was.very. powerful,.but.certainly.not.the.more.perfect.covenant.which.was.made. because.of.Jesus.shedding.his.blood.at.Calvary ..Yet,.look.what.happened. when.Abraham’s.nephew,.Lot,.was.in.harm’s.way.at.Sodom.and.Gomorrah . In.Genesis.18.we.see.that.God.stated.that.the.cry.of.Sodom.was.great. because.of.the.sin.of.that.city ..At.that.point.Abraham.asked.God.whether. he.would.destroy.the.city.if.there.were.so.many.righteous.men.living. therein ..God.had.said.he.would.not.and.then.Abraham.kept.lowering.the. number.of.righteous.and.God.kept.bowing.to.the.argument.or.plea.of.his. covenant.partner,.Abraham ..Because.of.the.plea.of.Abraham,.God.sent. two.angels.to.Sodom.and.Gomorrah.to.rescue.Lot.and.his.family,.before. the.city.would.be.demolished.through.a.heavenly.attack . Lot.and.his.family.were.finally.saved.by.the.two.angels ..The.attacks. on.Lot.and.the.angels.was.severe.as.they.were.being.rescued .,.In.the.end,. what.God.had.promised.Abraham,.would.occur,.even.though.in.the.long. run.Lot’s.wife.was.turned.into.a.pillar.of.salt.when.she.turned.to.look.back. at.the.brimstone.and.fire.raining.down.on.Sodom.and.Gomorrah . It.seems.to.me,.that.in.a.way.this.also.shows.the.desire.of.God.to. uphold.the.covenant.prayers.of.faithful.Christians.for.their.spouse,.their. children.and.grandchildren.and.even.those.beyond .

32 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 33 Faith, Hope, and Love who.love.and.serve.God,.and.are.called.because.of.His.purpose.and.whose. future.generations.live.god-filled.lives.and.are.a.blessing.to.others . Abraham.was.blessed.to.have.Sarah.live.for.127.years.and.he.was. blessed.all.the.years.of.his.life ..When.he.sent.his.servant.Eliezer.to.find.a. wife.for.Isaac,.he.instructed.him.to.only.find.a.wife.amongst.the.Hebrew. people.and.to.swear.to.him.that.is.what.he.would.do ..An.angel.of.the.Lord. led.him.to.exactly.where.and.how.he.should.select.the.proper.virgin.to.be. Isaac’s.wife ..Which.he.did.and.Rebekah.was.God’s.perfect.choice ..It.came. to.pass.just.as.Abraham.had.foretold . When.we.see.our.lives.progressing.we.often.think.it.is.our.efforts.that. are.causing.all.sorts.of.things.to.occur,.but.if.we.have.given.our.lives.to.the. Lord,.he.can.orchestrate.the.path.that.we.take.and.follow,.and.the.results. which.occur . In.Proverbs.3:5-6.we.see.the.following:.“Trust.in.the.Lord.with.all.of. your.heart;.and.lean.not.unto.your.own.understanding ..In.all.your.ways. acknowledge.him.and.he.shall.direct.your.paths .”.In.those.words.we.see. how.God.intimately.allows.things.to.happen.which.can.bring.mighty. blessings.to.the.obedient.person ..God.had.more.than.tested.Abraham.and. Sarah.and.knew.they.could.be.trusted ..These.were.the.very.people.God.was. going.to.use.to.not.only.make.covenant.with,.but.to.bless.their.lives.and. their.children’s.lives.and.eventually.all.of.the.nations.of.the.world ..What. a.legacy ..Yet,.I.believe.as.we.sell.out.to.God.by.accepting.the.tremendous. sacrifice.of.His.only.son.Jesus,.we.too.not.only.get.grafted.into.the.seed.of. Abraham,.but.become.joint.heirs.with.Jesus.for.the.promises.of.God.and. the.blessings.he.wants.to.shower.on.those.who.believe . In.that.same.Proverb.he.tells.us.to.not.be.wise.in.our.own.eyes ..In.other. words.have.a.humble.heart,.always.giving.glory.and.recognition.to.God .. He.goes.on.to.say,.we.are.to.fear.the.Lord.and.depart.from.evil ..Certainly. the.born-again.Christian,.living.his.life.with.the.Holy.Spirit.directing.his. every.step,.just.as.Jesus.was.doing.following.his.Father’s.instruction,.will. be.most.likely.to.see.success.in.God’s.way,.not.necessarily.in.man’s.eyes . He.tells.us.in.that.Proverb.that.doing.this,.God’s.way,.will.be.health. unto.thy.navel.and.marrow.to.thy.bones ..In.other.words,.just.as.God. blessed.Abraham.and.Sarah.with.long.and.healthy.lives,.he.can.do.that,. also,.for.us ..He.tells.us.to.honor.the.Lord.with.thy.substance.and.with.the. first.fruits.of.all.of.thine.increase ..It.basically.is.saying.not.only.be.willing.to. the.lad.and.I.will.go.to.the.mountain.top.to.worship,.and.then.we.will. return.unto.you . Over.the.years.Abraham.had.learned.to.obey.God’s.every.command,. He.had.seen.the.problem.with.not.obeying.and.attempting.to.go.on.his. own ..Now,.this.would.be.the.real.test.of.his.obedience.to.God’s.command .. But.there.seemed.to.be.no.hesitation.on.Abraham’s.part ..He.took.his.son. and.the.wood.for.the.burnt.offering.and.progressed.to.where.God.was. commanding.him . It.says.he.took.the.wood.and.put.it.on.his.son,.and.then.he.took. the.fire.and.the.knife,.and.both.of.them.went.together ..The.son.now.asks. his.father,.we.have.the.wood.and.the.fire.but.where.is.the.lamb.for.the. burnt.offering?.It.is.then.that.Abraham.shows.the.faith.that.we.all.wish.we. had.at.every.turn.of.the.road.when.some.attack.or.impossible.choices.are. confronting.us ..Abraham.said,.“My.son,.God.will.provide.himself.a.lamb. for.a.burnt.offering .” Now.comes.the.real.test ..Abraham.arrives.at.the.spot.for.the.offering. and.places.the.wood.on.the.ground.and.binds.his.son.and.laid.him.on.the. altar ..Can.you.imagine.the.emotions.in.both.the.father.and.in.the.son?.At. this.point.Abraham.takes.the.knife.in.his.hand.and.raises.his.arm.and.knife. over.Isaac.to.slay.him . The.angel.of.the.Lord.called.out.Abraham,.Abraham,.and.he.said,. here.am.I ..And.he.said,.“Lay.not.thy.hand.upon.the.lad,.neither.do.thou. anything.unto.him:.for.now.I.know.that.thou.fearest.God,.seeing.thou. hast.not,.withheld.thy.son,.thine.only.son.from.me” ..And.it.goes.on.to. say,.Abraham.lifted.up.his.eyes.and.looked,.and.behold.behind.him.a.ram. caught.in.a.thicket.by.his.horns,.and.Abraham.went.and.got.the.ram.and. offered.him.up.as.a.burnt.offering.instead.of.his.son ..One.can.hardly.even. imagine.such.a.test.of.one’s.faith ..Could.we.possibly.have.passed.that.test?. Lord,.increase.our.faith . The.Lord.restated.his.covenant.promises.of.“in.blessings.I.will.bless. thee.and.in.multiplying.I.will.multiply.thy.seed.as.the.stars.of.heaven.and.as. the.sand.which.is.upon.the.sea.shore;.and.thy.seed.shall.possess.the.gates. of.his.enemies,.because.you.have.obeyed.my.voice” ..God.blessed.Abraham. in.that.his.descendants.would.conquer.their.enemies,.but.also.that.those. generations.which.would.follow.Abraham.would.be.a.blessing.around.the. world ..I.see.this.same.covenant.blessing.occurring.in.the.lives.of.those.

34 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 35 Faith, Hope, and Love One.of.the.moments.which.I.have.written.about.before.had.to.do. with.a.vision.the.Lord.had.given.me.some.six.months.before.Lynne.and. boys.would.be.leaving.our.home.in.Ukiah ..It.was.a.dream,.just.before.I. awoke.and.it.was.very.vivid ..It.showed.me.Lynne.dying.and.I.saw.myself. carrying.her.around.like.a.large.piece.of.Styrofoam ..She.was.about.her. regular.height.of.5”6”.tall.and.was.only.about.2”.thick ..I.knew.in.the.dream. I.must.find.water.to.hydrate.her.and.revive.her ..No.one.was.willing.to.give. me.water ..I.went.from.house.to.house.and.from.business.to.business ..I. was.getting.frantic,.because.I.knew.without.that.water,.Lynne.would.die ..I. told.Lynne.my.dream.and.also.my.daughter,.Joan ..Joan.had.explained.the. dream.to.her.brother,.my.son,.Peter,.a.Catholic.priest.in.Minnesota . About.one.year.later,.Peter.commented.to.Joan.that.the.dream. reminded.him.of.the.story.of.Jesus.at.the.well.with.the.Samaritan.woman,. found.in.John.4:13-.14 . A.year.had.passed.since.the.time.of.my.dream,.but.when.I.read.the. parable,.I.realized.the.water.I.had.been.looking.for,.was.not.that.supplied. by.people,.not.even.the.Samaritan.woman ..It.was.the.“Living.Water”.which. Jesus.was.talking.about ..Lynne.had.now.been.gone.about.6.months.and. was.seeking.divorce . At.this.time.I.had.been.born-again.about.one.month ..As.I.read.that. parable.in.John.4,.I.knew.right.away.that.my.son,.Peter.was.correct.in. his.interpretation . I.knew.Lynne.needed.the.Holy.Spirit.of.God,.or.she.would.die ..Only. God’s.Spirit.could.revive.her.from.a.death.and.from.a.divorce.that.should. not.occur ..At.the.moment.of.my.dream.in.1982,.I.had.believed.our.marriage.was.doing.well ..But.God.knew.I.needed.that.word.of.knowledge.and. so.he.put.the.pieces.in.order ..I.trust.this.may.give.you.renewed.hope.for. what.God’s.Holy.Spirit.wishes.to.do.in.your.life ..No.battle.or.even.attack. is.too.great.for.God.and.when.godly.wisdom.is.needed,.he.is.more.than. willing.and.able.to.supply.it . In.the.situation.in.which.Eliezer.was.directed,.he.was.specifically. directed.to.the.land.where.Abraham’s.descendants.were.living.and.not. to.the.Canaanite.occupied.lands ..In.the.situation.in.my.dream,.the.land. was.where.the.Samaritans.lived ..In.earlier.times.they.were.not.to.directly. talk.with.the.Jews,.but.Jesus.ignored.that.since.he.was.sent.to.evangelize. others,.too . honor.our.Lord.and.Savior,.but.to.look.for.ways.in.which.we.can.serve.and. care.for.our.family,.our.neighbor,.our.town.folks.and.those.in.our.world.to. whatever.extent.we.are.able ..Then.the.word.tells.us.we.will.be.blessed.by. our.barns.being.full.and.our.efforts.will.be.most.productive . Abraham.had.chosen.God’s.way.for.his.life ..He.was.to.depart.from. where.he.was.living,.even.from.being.with.much.of.his.family,.so.God.could. do.a.new.work.in.his.life ..If.we.take.that.teaching.into.our.own.lives.we.certainly.need.to.follow.God.and.his.purpose.for.our.lives,.no.matter.where.it. takes.us ..I.know.how.hard.that.is.to.follow ..As.we.changed.our.occupation. from.that.of.being.a.surgeon.to.starting.a.medical.device.company.and. starting.a.ministry.to.marriages,.it.required.tremendous.desire.to.follow. God’s.direction.and.faith.to.see.it.fulfilled . It.also.requires.a.real.measure.of.God’s.wisdom.because.just.as.I.mentioned.earlier,.in.my.travel.in.that.severe.snow.storm.in.the.high.Sierras,. it.will.require.God’s.provision,.preservation.and.help.all.along.the.way .. It.is.in.seeking.God’s.wisdom.and.love.that.we.are.able.to.progress.even. through.treacherous.circumstances,.victoriously . Just.as.Abraham.was.very.wise.and.knew.that.he.needed.to.be.helpful. in.seeing.that.his.very.son,.Isaac,.would.marry.well.and.would.not.be. unequally.yoked.to.a.Canaanite.woman ..He.made.Eliezer.promise.with. an.oath.that.he.would.look.for.a.woman.of.his.kindred.and.in.his.country .. This.was.evidence.of.the.godly.wisdom.which.all.of.us.need.in.fulfilling. God’s.purposes.in.our.lives . The.leading.of.God.was.very.apparent.in.the.pattern.of.events.which. occurred.as.Eliezer.went.searching.for.that.perfect.wife.for.Isaac ..He.was. given.such.particulars.that.when.it.all.occurred.it.was.an.amazing.and. miraculous.event ..He.was.to.go.to.a.particular.well,.in.a.particular.land. and.then.ask.a.particular.damsel.for.water.from.the.well,.not.only.for.him. but.for.his.ten.camels ..That.will.mean.a.good.deal.of.effort.and.desire.in. that.particular.woman.to.meet.his.need ..But.that.isn’t.enough;.she.must.be. related.by.birth,.somehow . Doesn’t.that.just.remind.us.of.Jesus.at.the.well.with.the.Samaritan. lady?.The.following.story.which.I.have.told.in.earlier.books,.also.describes. how.God.used.the.Samaritan.woman.at.the.well.to.affect.the.course.of.my. life.and.my.marriage .

36 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 37 

Joseph, a Faithful Man The.word.faithfulness.seems.synonymous.with.loyalty.and.both.seem. to.be.disappearing.in.our.culture ..It.is.sad.to.even.make.that.statement,.but.when.we.see.what.is.happening.in.our.culture.as.far.as.dating. of.the.young.and.the.establishment.of.marriage,.it.seems.that.both.are. in.trouble . The.story.of.Joseph.in.Genesis.is.certainly.a.story.of.courage,.wisdom,. sacrifice.and.most.of.all,.loyalty ..We.will.be.finally.looking.at.Gen.47:1-6. to.demonstrate.the.loyalty.of.a.man.who.just.as.easily.could.have.said,.no. thanks,.and.gotten.on.with.his.life ..But.first,.let.me.take.you.back.to.the. beginning.of.that.very.life.of.a.man.named.Joseph ..His.story.gives.such.a. perfect.example.of.living.his.life.committed.to.and.faithfully.believing.God. for.his.whole.life.and.calling . In.Gen.37:1.And.Jacob.dwelt.in.the.land.wherein.his.father.was.a. stranger,.in.the.land.of.Canaan ..Jacob.had.twelve.sons.and.the.next.to. youngest.was.a.lad.named.Joseph ..At.seventeen.years.of.age.he.was.with. his.brothers.and.half-brothers.feeding.the.flock ..His.father.had.a.wife. named.Bilhah.and.a.wife.named.Zilpah ..The.bible.tells.us.that.Joseph,.at. that.time,.brought.joy.to.his.father . Jacob’s.name.had.been.changed.to.Israel,.by.God,.and.the.word.tells. us.that.Israel.loved.his.youngest.son,.Joseph,.more.than.all.the.other.sons .. It.says.this.was.because.Joseph.was.the.son.of.his.old.age ..The.word.also. tells.us.that.Israel.made.Joseph.a.coat.of.many.colors,.which.certainly. would.indicate.he.had.a.great.love.for.him . An.interesting.thing.happens.at.this.juncture ..The.verse.tells.us,. when.the.brothers.saw.him.and.the.coat.of.many.colors,.which.the.father. had.made,.they.hated.him.for.it,.and.could.not.speak.peaceably.unto.him . It.makes.me.think.of.when.some.unsaved.person.sees.a.Christian. relative.being.blessed.by.the.Father;.they.have.a.tough.time.feeling.love.

In.the.choice.of.Rebekah,.we.see.a.woman.who.was.pro-active.and. when.she.saw.a.need.she.attempted.to.meet.that.need ..Because.of.her.being. proactive,.she.was.looked.upon.by.Eliezer.as.the.perfect.wife.for.Isaac ..In. essence,.she.like.Eliezer.and.like.Abraham.and.Sarah.were.all.doing.exactly. what.the.Lord.was.wishing.them.to.do ..They.were.fulfilling.the.very.calling. of.God.on.their.own.lives ..In.Genesis.24:.67.we.see,.And.Isaac.brought.her. into.his.mother.Sarah’s.tent,.and.took.Rebekah,.and.she.became.his.wife,. and.he.loved.her:.and.Isaac.was.comforted.after.his.mother’s.death” . “And.Abraham.was.old.and.well.stricken.in.age:.and.the.Lord.had. well.blessed.Abraham.in.all.things .”

38 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 39 Faith, Hope, and Love again.tells.his.brothers.about.his.dream.of.how.the.sun.and.the.moon.and. eleven.stars.made.obeisance.to.him ..It.was.bad.enough.telling.his.brothers,. but.now.he.tells.his.father ..His.father.rebuked.him.too;.the.father.asked. him.what.is.this.dream.you.have.had?.Should.your.mother.and.I.bow.ourselves.to.you?.It.goes.on.to.say.that.his.brother’s.envied.him,.but.his.father. observed.the.saying . His.brothers.left.to.feed.the.flock.and.his.father.said.that.Joseph. should.bring.them.some.food ..The.excellent.spirit.within.Joseph.answered,. here.am.I ..In.this.case.after.being.hated.by.his.brothers.and.belittled.by. his.father,.he.was.still.more.than.willing.to.be.helpful ..Perhaps,.Joseph. didn’t.fully.handle.the.earlier.announcements.about.his.dreams.as.well.as. he.should.have ..Perhaps.he,.being.young.and.maybe.immature,.boasted.a. bit.about.the.position.which.he.might.have.in.relationship.with.them,.but. that.surely.wasn’t.an.unforgiveable.sin ..Actually,.it.would.have.been.better. just.to.have.thanked.God.for.the.knowledge.of.what.was.about.to.happen .. But.haven’t.we.all.made.some.of.those.mistakes? Joseph’s.father,.Israel.said.to.Joseph,.go.and.see.if.it.be.well.with.thy. brethren,.and.well.with.the.flocks:.and.bring.me.word.again ..So.he.sent. him.out.of.the.valley.of.Hebron.to.Shechem ..I.can.imagine.Joseph.thinking. in.his.own.mind,.without.uttering.a.word,.I’ll.go.see.how.the.flocks.are. doing.but.to.heck.with.those.awful.brothers ..But,.that.was.not.Joseph’s. heart ..He.loved.his.brothers ..The.distance.between.Hebron.and.Shechem. was.near.30.miles.so.this.was.no.easy.trip.or.venture . Joseph.went.to.where.he.thought.they.would.be.but.was.wandering. around.when.a.man.found.him ..The.man.asked.him,.what.seeks.though?. Joseph.answered,.I.seek.my.brethren:.tell.me,.I.pray.thee,.where.they.feed. their.flocks?.The.man.answered,.they.departed.hence;.for.I.heard.them.say,. let.us.depart.for.Dothan ..Joseph.went.after.his.brothers,.and.found.them. in.Dothan . The.brothers.were.jealous.of.their.younger.sibling.and.as.we.can.see,. they.were.not.getting.over.their.rage ..This.is.a.strong.reason.why.anger,. jealousy.and.un-forgiveness.are.so.terrible ..They.can.last.and.last,.and.they. will.demolish.the.person.who.has.not.learned.forgiveness . As.Joseph.was.approaching.them,.they.spotted.him.and.began.to. conspire.how.they.might.slay.him ..Boy,.there.is.hatred ..It.is.almost.unfathomable ..Their.next.words.were.something,.“behold.this.dreamer.comes .” or.peace.about.that.born-again.believer ..I.think.of.some.people.who.I.got. to.know.at.the.time.of.the.purchase.of.my.medical.device.company,.they. began.to.act.very.strange.and.rather.hateful.toward.me ..For.some.while.I. was.having.trouble.figuring.out.why.this.was,.but.then.the.Lord.showed.me. that.because.I.was.demonstrative.about.my.love.of.the.Lord,.that.their.own. mental.conflict.kicked.into.gear.because.they.belonged.to.a.religious.cult,. and.their.true.feelings.about.a.born-again.Christian.was.being.manifested .. It.was.just.as.odd.to.me.as.the.persecution.which.Joseph.was.feeling,.at. that.very.moment,.from.his.own.siblings . Let’s.go.on.with.the.story.of.Joseph.as.found.in.Genesis ..You.can.be. sure.that.God.was.in.every.detail.of.Joseph’s.life,.always.watching.over. him.to.bring.him.finally.to.a.certain.point.for.God’s.glory.and.for.a.certain. ending.to.occur ..I.think.here.of.the.verse.in.Jer,.29:11.which.says,.“For.I. know.the.thoughts.I.think.toward.you,.says.the.Lord,.thoughts.of.peace. and.not.of.evil,.to.give.you.an.expected.end .”.This.story.which.will.unfold. will.show.the.very.faithfulness.of.God.to.his.spoken.word ..A.word.which. we.as.His.followers.can.take.to.the.bank,.stand.on.and.then.follow.with. great.confidence . Then,.Joseph.dreams.a.dream.and.of.course.tells.it.to.his.brothers,. and.they.hated.him.even.more ..The.dream,.as.Joseph.was.telling.them,.had. to.do.with.binding.sheaves.in.the.field ..He.then.tells.them.that,.lo,.my.sheaf. arose,.and.stood.upright,.and.behold,.your.sheaves.stood.round.about,.and. made.obeisance.to.my.sheaf ..Wow,.if.that.wouldn’t.just.conjure.up.even. more.hatred.in.those.older.brothers . And.the.older.brothers.said.to.him,.Shall.thou.indeed.reign.over.us?. Isn’t.it.interesting.how.the.brothers.just.automatically.knew.this.dream. was.going.to.mean.that.younger.brother,.Joseph,.was.desirous.of.ruling. over?.There.was.no.such.thing.occurring,.but.in.their.own.hatred.and.jealousy.they.conjured.up.even.more ..Sometimes.we.do.the.same.when.the. devil.places.some.evil.thought.in.our.own.mind . The.word.tells.us.they.hated.yet.the.more.for.his.dreams.and.for.his. words ..That.certainly.is.the.difference.between.spirits ..If.God’s.Holy.Spirit. reigns.in.your.life,.you.can.expect.some.reaction.between.the.two.spirits,. and.it.at.times.becomes.quite.remarkable . Joseph.is.having.to.endure.those.differences.in.his.spirit.and.those.of. his.brethren ..If.things.weren’t.bad.enough,.he.now.has.another.dream ..He.

40 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 41 Faith, Hope, and Love gone ..Reuben.rent.his.clothes.and.when.explaining.that.to.his.brothers,.he. said,.whither.shall.I.go?.He.seemed.less.concerned.for.his.brother,.Joseph,. than.for.his.own.skin . Now,.like.so.many.that.tell.a.lie,.they.attempt.to.cover.it.up ..They. now.took.that.beautiful.coat.of.many.colors.and.they.then.killed.a.kid. goat.and.poured.it.on.the.coat.of.many.colors ..They.now.took.that.coat. of.many.colors.and.took.it.to.their.father,.Israel,.and.said.we.don’t.know.if. this.is.Joseph’s.coat?.The.father.immediately.knew.it.was.his.son.Joseph’s. coat.and.he.proclaimed.a.beast.has.devoured.him.and.now.Joseph.is.rent. in.pieces ..Israel.rent.his.clothes.and.put.on.sackcloth.and.mourned.for. several.days . Jacob.was.deceiving.others.by.his.own.action,.but.he.had.deceived.his. own.father,.earlier,.when.he.got.Isaac.to.give.him.the.blessing.of.the.first. born ..His.sin.was.evident.to.Jacob.all.the.rest.of.his.days . The.word.tells.us.in.Gen,.37:35,.that.all.of.his.sons.and.daughters.rose. up.to.comfort.him,.but.he.refused.to.be.comforted;.and.said,.I.go.will.go. down.to.thegrave.unto.my.son.mourning . Now,.begins.the.ongoing.life.of.Joseph,.the.favorite.son.of.his.father,. Israel ..The.Midianites.took.Joseph.to.Egypt.and.sold.Joseph.to.Potiphar,. and.officer.of.Pharaoh’s.army.and.captain.of.the.guard ..This.had.to.be. a.terrifically.challenging.time.for.Joseph.as.he.mourned.the.loss.of.his. own.family.and.perhaps.even.the.nomadic.life.which.had.lived ..But.now. he.is.thrust.into.a.new.civilization.where.buildings.and.structured.life.is. visibly.more.advanced ..But.along.with.that.was.the.fact.that.the.Egyptians. worshipped.countless.other.gods . This.might.be.an.interesting.moment.to.consider.the.actions.of. Reuben .. Although. he. saved. Joseph’s. life. by. talking. his. other. brothers.into.not.slaying.him,.he.compromised.his.own.God-given.values.by. being.involved.at.all ..When.Compromise.is.brought.into.a.bad.situation;. it.almost.always.brings.that.person’s.character.traits.lower ..There.will.be. little.loyalty.to.others,.and.in.this.case.to.his.own.family.and.mostly.to.his. younger.brother,.Joseph . Perhaps.his.own.father.explained.it.best.in.Gen ..49:3-4.when.he.said. this.about.Reuben ..“Reuben,.thou.are.my.firstborn,.my.might,.and.the. beginning.of.my.strength,.the.excellency.of.dignity,.and.the.excellency.of. power ..Unstable.as.water,.thou.shall.not.excel,.because.you.went.up.to.your. They,.now,.began.to.conspire.as.to.how.they.might.slay.him.and.cast. him.into.some.pit ..What.a.great.situation ..Here.Joseph.has.travelled,.probably.on.foot,.some.30.to.40.miles.just.to.see.if.they.were.OK.and.to.bring. them.some.food,.and.they.want.to.kill.him ..Have.you.ever.tried.to.think. or.do.something.nice.for.someone.and.it.all.turns.to.worms?.I.have.and.it. can.be.most.hurtful . So.now.the.brothers.concoct.a.plan.of.killing.their.own.younger. brother ..It.makes.me.cringe;.just.thinking.about.how.corrupt.they.are. behaving ..They.wish.to.throw.him.into.some.pit,.after.killing.him ..They. said.they.will.say.some.evil.beast.has.devoured.him ..Then,.we.shall.see. what.will.happen.to.his.dreams ..What.a.great.group.of.brothers . There.were.actually.ten.adult.brothers.who.were.willing.to.kill.their. younger.brother ..They.had.certainly.because.of.their.own.sin,.been.turned. over.to.a.reprobate.mind.to.do.those.things.which.are.not.right ..One. brother,.Reuben.was.not.part.of.the.conspiracy,.and.when.he.heard.it,.he. delivered.Joseph.out.of.their.hands,.and.said.let.us.not.kill.him ..He.told. them,.shed.no.blood.and.deliver.him.into.some.pit.in.the.wilderness . It.was.his.hope.that.he.could.deliver.Joseph.back.to.his.father.again .. So,.when.Joseph.arrives.they.strip.him.out.of.his.coat.of.many.colors.and. then.they.cast.him.into.an.empty.pit,.in.which.there.was.no.water ..Basically,. they.would.have.been.willing.to.let.him.die.in.the.pit . But.God.always.has.a.plan,.and.his.plan.always.supersedes.man’s. plan ..At.that.moment.as.the.brothers.sat.down.to.eat,.a.band.of.Ishmeelites. arrived.on.their.camels.bearing.spices,.balm.and.myrrh.for.Egypt ..It.was. then.that.Judah.said.to.his.brothers,.how.does.it.profit.us.to.slay.our.brother. and.conceal.his.blood? He.goes.on.to.say,.let’s.sell.him.to.the.Ishmeelites,.and.let.not.our. hand.be.upon.him:.for.he.is.our.brother.and.our.flesh ..And.his.brothers. were.content ..As.they.were.conniving,.there.passed.by.Midianite.merchant. men,.who.lifted.Joseph.out.of.the.pit.and.then.sold.him.to.the.Ishmeelites. for.twenty.pieces.of.silver . The.purchasers.brought.Joseph.into.Egypt ..Can.you.imagine.the. horror.of.rejection.which.Joseph.felt?.After.all,.these.were.his.own.brothers.who.didn’t.care.enough.for.him,.but.put.him.in.a.pit.to.die ..The.brothers.never.saw.Joseph.being.lifted.out.of.the.pit.and.being.sold,.so.when. Reuben.returned.to.look.in.the.pit.for.his.brother,.Joseph,.he.found.him.

42 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 43 Faith, Hope, and Love In.Tamar’s.case.a.brother.of.Er,.Tamar’s.deceased.husband.was.to. have.intercourse.with.Tamar.bout.he.didn’t.want.to.have.a.baby.in.the. name.of.his.dead.brother.and.thus.did.not.complete.the.intercourse.and. he.too.was.allowed. by.God.to.die . The.sin.that.Judah.allowed.in.the.first.place.became.magnified.and. brought.in.strife.and.deception.into.all.of.his.own.family ..If.we.continue. in.the.story.of.his.own.life.we.see.him.finally.being.seduced.by.his.own. daughter-in-law,.Tamar ..She.became.pregnant.with.Judah’s.child ..From. there.on.it.all.seems.to.get.worse ..The.comparison.of.Judah’s.life.to.Joseph’s. life.of.blessings.is.like.night.and.day .

Joseph, In Potiphar’s’ House When. the. Ishmeelites,. who. had. purchased. Joseph. from. the. Midianites,.brought.Joseph.into.Egypt.they.ended.up.selling.him. to.Potiphar,.a.captain.of.the.guard,.the.word.tells.us.the.Lord.was.with. Joseph ..So.many.times.we.think.that.God.is.just.too.busy.to.be.involved. in.the.cares.of.his.people.here.on.this.earth,.yet.over.and.over.we.see. where.God’.s.hands.have.directed.the.course.of.another.person’s.activity .. Sometimes.we.fail.to.see.that.He.has.done.that.also.for.us ..There.is.a.story. I.would.like.to.include.here.of.something that.happened.in.my.life.back.when.I.was.about.10.years.old ..To.me. it.shows.how.God.may.use.angels.or.whomever.he.chooses.to.accomplish. his.purpose.in.your.life . The.story.is.divergent.from.the.story.of.Joseph.and.faithfulness,.but.it. does.show.that.He.watches.out.for.his.children ..I.am.reminded.of.the.time. back.in.the.mid-1930s.when.I.had.saddled.up.a.spirited.brown.and.white. horse,.named.Heart,.and.helped.my.sister.Shirley.gets.behind.the.saddle .. We.then.started.riding.about.one.mile.to.bring.forth.a.horse.for.her.to.ride,. from.another.area.of.the.ranch . Heart.was.a.horse.Dad.had.bought.in.about.1935.from.a.circus,. which.had.come.to.San.Diego,.where.the.horse.was.used.for.rides.around.

father’s.bed;.then.defiled.you.it:.he.went.up.to.my.couch .”.Reuben.had.slept. with.his.father’s.concubine,.showing.his.lack.of.loyalty.and.character . Is.there.anything.about.our.loyalty.and.character.which.we.need.to. consider.or.change?.In.today’s.world.there.seems.to.be.a.real.lack.of.discipline.and.loyalty ..If.it.is.inconvenient.or.costs.us.anything.to.be.helpful.to. another,.we.may.just.turn.a.blind.eye ..Reuben.could.have.let.his.brothers. know.that.in.no.way.would.he.be.a.part.of.their.plan,.nor.would.he.refrain. from.telling.the.entire.sordid.story.to.their.father ..But.he.didn’t ..He.just. went.along . When.I.was.the.CEO.of.a.medical.device.company.my.wife.and.I. had.founded.some.22.years.earlier,.I.had.many.times.where.I.was.being. pressured.by.someone.at.the.FDA Who.wanted.to.suggest.we.were.doing.things.incorrectly ..I.had.many. opportunities.to.take.a.stand.for.what.I.felt.was.the.correct.thing.to.do ..I. went.against.the.tide.and.it.was.not.easy,.nor.in.the.long.run.it.may.not. have.been.as.profitable.as.I.could.have.wished ..When.I.think.back.about.it,. it.was.very.painful ..We.gained.some.victories,.but.at.a.great.personal.cost . I.think.that.our.character.and.attitudes.should.be.the.same.at.home. or.in.business ..We.had.dedicated.the.medical.device.company.to.the.Lord,. and.I.know.that.caused.much.of.the.persecution.we.were.feeling . Reuben.failed.to.protect.his.own.brother,.Joseph,.and.again.the. failing.with.his.father’s.concubine ..These.items.might.have.seemed.small,. but.when.we.fail.in.one.area,.it.opens.the.door.to.the.possibility.of.a.failure. in.a.different.area.of.our.lives . If.we.were.to.look.at.the.next.chapter.of.Genesis.38,.we.would.see.the. sordid.story.of.one.of.Joseph’s.brothers,.name.of.Judah ..It.would.depict.the. immorality.in.the.life.and.family.of.this.brother,.who.started.by.wanting. to.kill.his.own.brother ..From.there.he.went.on.and.made.a.promise.to.his. daughter-in-law,.Tamar,.after.her.husband.had.died,.that.she.would.marry. another,.but.that.did.not.happen ..Judah.had.suggested.she.go.live.with.her. own.father.if.we.were.to.look.at.Deuteronomy.25:5-10.we.would.see.what. was.expected.if.a.brother.should.die.without.bearing.a.child,.then.another. brother.is.supposed.to.marry.his.wife.and.bear.a.child.in.his.name ..In.the. case.of.Tamar’s.husband.the.word.tells.us.he.did.evil.in.God’s.sight.and.the. Lord.allowed.him.to.be.killed,.thus.leaving.Tamar.without.a.child .

44 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 45 Faith, Hope, and Love He.may.have.been.sold.into.slavery,.but.that.certainly.is.not.the.end. of.the.story ..God.was.directing.his.every.step,.whether.he.knew.it.or.not .. In.chapter.39.of.Genesis,.we.see.where.even.the.Egyptian.master.knew.that. Joseph’s.God.was.with.him ..It.says,.Joseph.prospered.even.as.a.slave ..It.says. that.the.Egyptian.could.see.that.the.Lord.made.all.the.he.did.to.prosper .. Isn’t.that.just.where.we.want.to.be?.Well,.not.necessarily.a.slave.but.that. our.God.would.prosper.all.that.we.did ..That.is.where.we.Christians.should. walk ..Not.necessarily.that.we.would.have.a.large.abundance.of.anything. extra,.except.we.would.have.health.and.prosperity.and.be.able.to.share. with.many.others . It.wasn’t.long.and.Joseph.was.an.overseer.over.the.house.of.Potiphar .. What.a.rise.in.position.because.the.Egyptian.could.see,.visibly,.that.Joseph. was.being.blessed.by.God ..Of.course,.from.the.beginning.Joseph.was.an. obedient.child.of.God ..He.was.there.to.please.God,.because.he.knew.he. was.being.blessed.by.God . The.blessings.came.upon.Joseph.and.also.on.the.Egyptians.house.and. land ..It.reminded.me.of.Philip.and.the.Egyptian.Eunuch ..God.knew.what. that.Egyptian.needed.and.he.knew.his.heart.and.met.him.on.the.road.from. Jerusalem ..In.this.instance,.the.Egyptian.guard.is.being.mightily.blessed. by.having.Joseph.as.his.slave.and.now.overseer.of.all.of.his.possessions .. What.a.journey.from.the.pit.where.he.lost.everything,.including.his.family. and.his.beautiful.coat.which.his.father.had.made.for.him,.to.this.point. of.promise.and.prominence.in.an.Egyptian.leader’s.home ..Only.God.can. accomplish.that.so.easily.in.a.life.that.chooses.to.be.faithful.to.God . But.whenever.a.person.is.being.blessed.by.and.following.the.Lord,. the.devil.gets.angrier.and.attempts.to.upset.the.relationship.that.person. has.with.God ..He.comes.to.kill,.steal.and.destroy,.and.that.is.exactly.what. is.coming.toward.Joseph ..Without.even.trying,.the.wife.of.Potiphar.makes. an,.out.of.character,.move.toward.Joseph.seeking.sexual.favor ..It.says.she. cast.her.eyes.upon.him.and.sought.that.he.would.lie.with.her ..But.he. resisted.her.approach.and.came.back.with.the.words,.Behold,.my.master. knows.not.what.is.with.me.in.the.house,.and.he.has.committed.all.that.he. has.into.my.hand . Isn’t.that.exactly.what.our.Lord.has.done.for.and.to.us?.And.yet.we. find.it.so.hard.at.times.to.take.that.principled.stand.which.says,.no.I.will. do.what.my.Master.wishes,.providing.it.mimics.God’s.word.and.plan.for. a.circular.course ..The.horse.had.a.brand,.of.a.physical.heart,.on.her.left. shoulder ..She.had.been.tailored.by.us.to.our.ranch.corral.at.Pine.Hills,.near. Julian ..My.brother.chuck.and.I.had.entered.the.corral.to.go.over.and.pet. “heart”.we.were.immediately.attacked.by.the.new.horse ..If.chuck.hadn’t. pulled.out.his.handkerchief,.from.his.back.pocket.to.blow.his.nose,.and. then.waved.it.at.the.attacking.horse,.I.suspect.we.might.have.been.run. over.and.hurt.badly . That.same.horse.had.gone.over.backward.on.chuck,.who.was.riding. her.at.that.moment ..I.dragged.him.home,.to.also.be.seen.by.the.Julian.physician,.Dr ..Fuller ..Back.to.Shirley.and.me.that.early.morning ..I.had.saddled. Heart.and.got.Shirley.behind.me.as.I.slid.into.the.saddle.to.ride.that.mile. down.a.dusty.road ..Somehow.Shirley.may.have.gotten.her.heels.in.the. flank.of.this.spooky.horse.and.Heart.let.go.with.a.major.bucking.which. sent.Shirley.flying ..Shirley.was.only.about.8.or.9.years.old.and.I.would.have. been.about.10.years.old ..As.I.turned.in.the.saddle.to.see.how.Shirley.was. doing,.I.got.slightly.off.center.and.Heart.bucked.me.off.to.the.left.side ..That. was.not.the.end.of.the.story ..My.left.foot.went.through.the.left.stirrup.and. I.am.now.being.dragged.down.the.road.with.my.foot.caught.in.the.stirrup. and.my.head.bobbing.along.the.dusty.road . Only.an.angel.could.have.gotten.my.foot.out.of.that.stirrup.and. allowed.me.to.eventually.fall,.unconscious,.to.the.ground ..Shirley.was.able. to.get.me,.partially.revived.and.crawling.on.my.hands.and.knees.in.the. dust,.the.2.blocks.back.to.the.ranch.house,.to.the.surprise.and.fright.of. my.mother . My.head.had.a.5.inch,.bleeding.gash.down.to.the.bone.in.the.back. of.my.skull ..With.pressure.placed.over.the.wound,.mother.drove.me.to. the.general.medical.practitioner,.Dr ..Fuller,.in.Julian.some.3.miles.away.to. have.the.wound.patiently.debrided.and.closed.with.sutures,.under.local. anesthesia ..Of.course.tetanus.was.administered.but.this.was.before.the. days.of.penicillin.and.sulfonamide.drugs,.but.my.recovery.was.uneventful .. The.point.I.wanted.to.make.was.that.in.all.of.our.lives.there.are.times. and.there.are.instances.where.we.should.realize.that.only,.by.the.grace. of.God,.are.we.allowed.a.long.and.healthy.life ..He.watches.over.us,.and. He.certainly.had.angels.there.to.pick.me.up.just.as.he.was.watching.over. Joseph.in.that.awful.pit .

46 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 47 Faith, Hope, and Love only.by.God,.but.by.man ..What.if.everything.you.did.showed.that.favor?.It. would.be.remarkable,.to.say.the.least .

Joseph Interprets Dreams In.a.short.period.the.chief.butler.and.chief.baker.of.the.king.of.Egypt,.the. pharaoh,.offended.their.master,.the.king ..He.had.them.thrown.into.the. same.prison.where.Joseph.was.in.prison ..The.captain.of.the.guard.charged. Joseph.to.be.over.them,.and.he.served.them.for.a.season . These.two.men.have.a.dream.on.the.same.night,.in.the.same.prison. and.also.the.same.prison.ward.which.Joseph.was.over.and.incarcerated.in. himself ..Isn’t.that.just.a.coincidence?.Joseph.came.and.looked.upon.them. in.the.morning.and.they.were.sad ..Joseph.asked.them,.Why.for.you.are. looking.so.sad? They.answered.him.and.said.they.had.these.dreams.and.there.was. no.interpreter.of.those.dreams ..The.chief.butler.told.his.dream.to.Joseph .. “In.my.dream,.behold.a.vine.was.before.me;.and.in.the.vine.were.three. branches:.and.it.was.as.though.it.budded,.and.her.blossoms.shot.forth;.and. the.clusters.thereof.brought.grapes:.and.Pharaoh’s.cup.was.in.my.hand:. and.I.took.the.grapes,.and.pressed.them.into.Pharaoh’s.cup.and.I.gave.the. cup.into.Pharaoh’s.hand .” So.Joseph.gave.them.his.interpretation.of.the.butler’s.dream ..It.went. like.this ..“The.three.branches.are.three.days:.yet.within.three.days.shall. Pharaoh.lift.up.thine.head,.and.restore.thee.unto.thy.place:.and.thou.shall. deliver.Pharaoh’s.cup.into.his.hand,.after.the.former.manner.when.thou. was.his.butler .”.“But.think.on.me.when.it.shall.be.well.with.thee,.and.show. kindness,.I.pray.thee,.unto.me,.and.make.mention.of.me.unto.the.Pharaoh,. and.bring.me.out.of.this.house:.for.indeed.I.was.stolen.away.from.out.of. the.land.of.the.Hebrews:.and.here.also.have.I.done.nothing.wrong.that. they.should.put.me.into.the.dungeon .” Isn’t.it.interesting.how.Joseph.who.was.a.young.Jewish.man.was. taken.away.from.his.family.and.the.comfort.of.his.own.home.and.exiled. into.another.land.where.he.was.held.as.a.slave.and.then.a.prisoner.in.a.

our.lives ..This.is.truly.where.the.rubber.meets.the.road,.and.Joseph.passed. that.test ..However,.when.the.devil.wants.to.attack,.the.attack.can.go.longer. and.be.much.more.severe.than.most.of.us.think ..We.certainly.see.that.in. this.situation.with.Joseph.and.Potiphar’s.wife . Joseph’s.statement.is.remarkably.strong.for.this.young.man ..He.says. there.is.none.greater.in.this.house.than.I:.neither.has.he.(the.master).kept. anything.back.from.me ..But.thee,.because.thou.are.his.wife:.how.then.can. I.do.this.great.wickedness,.and.sin.against.God? The.enticing.didn’t.stop.there,.but.she.beckoned.to.him.to.lie.with. her,.over.and.over.again,.but.he.always.refused ..On.one.later.occasion,. when.there.were.no.others.in.the.house,.she.caught.him.by.his.garment,. saying,.lie.with.me:.and.he.left.his.garment.in.her.hand,.and.fled.from.her .. Especially,.in.the.matter.of.sexual.temptation,.the.most.important.lesson. to.learn.is.that.one.must.flee ..That.is.exactly.what.Joseph.had.to.do.from. Pharaoh’s.wife . Then.she.called.the.men.that.were.somewhere.around.and.showed. them.his.garment.and.claimed.he.had.come.into.the.house.to.lie.with.her .. When.her.husband.had.returned.she.again.said.that.he.had.basically.raped. her.so.the.husband.was.furious.and.had.Joseph.placed.in.a.prison,.where. the.king’s.prisoners.were.bound,.and.it.says.he.was.there.in.prison . How.many.people.have.suffered.such.evil.and.been.imprisoned,.yet. never.were.guilty ..How.many.Christians.or.Jews.in.the.world,.but.especially.in.the.Arab.world.been.killed,.imprisoned.or.had.their.heads.cut.off . because.they.refused.to.accept.a.request.that.they.bow.to.false.gods? Even.in.that.awful.situation.of.his.being.in.a.tough.prison,.accused. falsely,.God.was.there.to.make.him.prosper . In.Gen,.39:21.the.word.tells.us,.but.the.lord.was.with.Joseph,.and. showed.him.mercy,.and.gave.him.favor.in.the.sight.of.the.keeper.of.the. prison ..It.goes.on.to.say,.and.the.keeper.of.the.prison.committed.to.Joseph’s. hand.all.the.prisoners.that.were.in.the.prison;.and.whatever.they.did.there,. he.was.the.doer.of.it ..The.keeper.of.the.prison.looked.not.to.anything.that. was.under.his.hand;.because.the.Lord.was.with.him,.and.that.which.he.did,. the.Lord.made.to.prosper . Now,.that.is.favor ..After.all,.he.has.just.been.accused.of.rape.by.the. captain.of.the.guard’s.wife,.thrown.in.prison,.and.now.is.being.favored,.not.

48 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 49 Faith, Hope, and Love But.as.God.would.have.it,.the.Pharaoh.dreamed.a.dream ..“and.behold. he.stood.by.a.river ..And,.behold,.there.came.up.out.of.the.river.seven.well. favored.kine.and.fat-fleshed;.and.they.fed.in.the.meadow ..And,.behold,. seven.other.kine.came.up.after.them.from.the.river,.ill-favored.and.leanfleshed;.and.stood.by.the.other.kine.by.the.brink.of.the.river ..And.the. ill-favored.and.lean-flesh.kine.did.eat.up.the.well.favored.and.fat.kine ..So. Pharaoh.awoke.from.the.dream .” So.the.Pharaoh.continued.his.sleep.and.had.a.second.dream.much. like.the.first ..“And,.behold,.seven.ears.of.corn.came.up.on.one.stalk,.rank. and.good ..And,.behold,.seven.thin.ears.of.corn.and.blasted.with.the.east. wind.sprung.up.after.them ..And.the.seven.thin.ears.devoured.the.seven. rank.and.full.ears .” In.the.morning.the.Pharaoh.was.disturbed.by.his.dreams.and.called. for.the.magicians.of.Egypt,.and.all.of.the.wise.men.thereof ..So.Pharaoh. told.them.his.dream,.but.none.could.interpret.them ..Isn’t.it.interesting. even.we.as.Christians.may.seek.after.other.false.gods.of.magic,.fortune. telling.or.whatever ..In.the.case.of.Egypt.they.had.all.sorts.of.False.gods,. and.would.be.expected.to.search.some.dumb.avenues.for.godly.wisdom,. but.for.the.Christian,.we.need.to.have.faith.that.our.God.is.more.than. enough.no.matter.what.the.problem,.to.not.only.give.us.wisdom,.but.also. to.protect.us,.prosper.us.and.be.there.for.whatever.need.we.may.have . It.was.at.this.time.that.the.chief.butler.finally.woke.up.to.what.Joseph. had.told.him.in.the.jail.about.remembering.Joseph.when.hem.the.baker,. got.out.of.jail,.and.he.forgot,.before ..He,.now,.told.the.Pharaoh.about. Joseph,.this.Hebrew.servant.to.the.captain.of.the.guard.who.interpreted. his.dream,.earlier ..And.he.let.him.know.that.what.Joseph.had.predicted. happened.just.as.he.said . Isn’t.it.interesting.how.God’s.timing.is.perfect?.In.our.way.of.thinking,.it.may.have.seemed.too.late,.but.to.God.it.may.not.have.mattered. whether.Joseph.was.spending.time.being.a.jail.administrator.of.working. for.Potiphar,.the.captain.of.the.guard . That.goes.for.us.too ..We.can.be.in.school,.or.be.a.housewife.carrying.for.the.home,.children.and.spouse.or.be.the.President.of.the.United. States ..God.can.use.all.for.His.purpose ..We.just.need.to.have.a.good,.Godly. attitude.and.do.the.best.job.we.know.how.and.then.be.a.beacon.of.His.light. to.bring.others.to.Him . dungeon ..Sometimes,.even.when.we.are.doing.things.as.correctly.as.possible.we.see.Persecution.arise.against.us ..Jesus.certainly.predicted.that. very.thing.for.his.followers ..After.all,.he.was.persecuted.more.than.most. any.us.followers.could.possibly.endure . The.chief.baker.now.told.Joseph.his.dream ..He.stated,.I.had.three. white.baskets.on.my.head:.and.in.the.uppermost.basket.there.were.all. manner.of.bake.meats.for.Pharaoh:.and.the.birds.did.eat.them.out.of.the. basket.on.my.head ..and.Joseph.answered.and.said,.This.is.the.interpretation.thereof:.the.three.baskets.represent.three.days:.Yet.within.three.days. shall.Pharaoh.lift.up.thy.head.from.off.thee? And.it.came.to.pass.the.third.day,.which.was.Pharaoh’s.birthday.that. he.made.a.feast.unto.all.his.servants:.and.he.lifted.up.the.head.of.the.chief. and.of.the.chief.baker.among.his.servants ..And.he.restored.the.chief.butler. to.his.butlership.again:.and.he.gave.the.cup.unto.Pharaoh’s.hand:.but.he. hanged.the.chief.baker:.as.Joseph.had.interpreted.to.them ..Yet.did.not.the. chief.baker.remember.Joseph,.but.forgot.him . For.Joseph,.again,.this.must.have.been.another.point.of.rejection.and. outright.persecution.that.had.to.been.hurtful.to.this.faithful.man ..It.isn’t. unlike.things.which.I.have.seen.happen,.and.for.which.much.pain.occurs .. But.through.all.of.those.times.for.the.person.following.God’s.orders.and. direction,.there.should.be.peace,.because.as.we.shall.see,.God.has.not.forgotten.Joseph,.nor.has.he.forgotten.his.faithful.followers . Many.prisoners.of.that.time.never.made.it.to.any.court.hearing .. Joseph.didn’t.and.the.conditions.in.jails.were.untenable.to.say.the.least .. But,.somehow,.Joseph.made.the.best.of.any.situation.in.which.he.was. placed ..His.attitude.and.job.ethics.was.observed.by.the.jail.warden.and. thus.he.was.elevated.to.a.higher.position.within.the.jail . The Pharaoh’s Dream Two.full.years.go.by.and.Joseph.is.still.in.jail.and.it.would.seem.he.has. been.basically,.forgotten.by.the.Pharaoh .

50 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 51 Faith, Hope, and Love land.of.Egypt:.and.then.there.shall.arise.after.them.seven.years.of.famine;. and.all.the.plenty.shall.be.forgotten.in.the.land.of.Egypt:.and.the.famine. shall.consume.the.land;.and.the.plenty.shall.not.be.known.in.the.land.by. reason.of.that.famine.following;.for.it.shall.be.very.grievous ..And.for.that. the.dream.is.doubled.unto.Pharaoh,.because.It.is.established.by.God.and. he.will.shortly.bring.it.to.pass . Now.comes.the.real.purpose.for.the.dreams ..I.believe.God.wanted. to.get.Joseph.into.a.higher.position.in.Egypt.and.so.God.orchestrated.the. dreams.and.the.fact.that.the.Pharaoh.is.recognizing.Joseph’s.God.for.whom. he.is ..This.will.give.Joseph.much.favor.with.this.Pharaoh ..Joseph.continued. with.his.interpretation.of.what.he.felt.God.was.saying.to.the.Pharaoh . He.says,.Now.let.the.Pharaoh.search.out.for.a.man,.discreet.and.wise,. and.set.him.over.the.land.of.Egypt ..Let.he.appoint.officers.over.the.land,. and.take.up.the.fifth.part.of.the.land.of.Egypt.in.the.seven.plenteous.years .. Let.them.gather.all.of.the.food.of.those.good.years.that.come,.and.lay.corn. under.the.hand.of.Pharaoh,.and.let.them.keep.food.in.the.cities ..And.that. food.shall.be.store.to.the.land.against.the.seven.years.of.famine,.which. shall.be.in.the.land.of.Egypt;.that.the.land.perish.not.through.the.famine . That.prophesy.was.well.liked.by.Pharaoh.and.in.the.eyes.of.all.of.his. servants ..And.the.Pharaoh.said.to.his.servants,.Can.we.find.such.a.one.as. this?.A.man.in.whom.the.Spirit.of.God.Is?.And.Pharaoh.said.unto.Joseph,. Forasmuch.As.God.has.showed.thee.all.this,.there.is.none.so.discreet.and. wise.as.you.are:.therefore,.you.shall.be.over.my.house,.and.according.unto. your.words.shall.all.my.house.be.ruled:.only.in.the.throne,.will.I.be.greater. than.you . Isn’t.that.just.the.very.best.thing.that.can.happen?.Of.course,.if.Joseph. could.go.home.to.his.family,.but.at.this.moment.that.isn’t.even.a.possibility .. Remember,.it.was.his.entire.family.that.through.him.under.the.bus ..The. time.will.arrive,.when.God.knows.it.will.work ..The.family.is.in.rebellion . Perhaps.in.your.own.life.you.see.much.of.the.same ..Nothing.seems. to.be.going.the.way.you.had.hoped.it.would,.and.perhaps,.especially.since. you.became.a.born-again.Christian ..But.staying.in.prayer,.and.close.to.God. and.following.His.commandments.as.best.as.you.can,.you.can.expect.He. is.in.the.mix.and.is.carefully.watching.over.your.life,.but.also.orchestrating. things.for.a.time.when.better.things.might.occur . So.now,.the.Pharaoh.gets.interested.and.called.for.Joseph.and.they. hastily.brought.him.out.of.the.dungeon ..He.then.had.to.shave.himself. and.change.his.clothes,.probably.because.he.had.been.in.those.clothes.for. some.years ..Nothing.like.making.a.good.impression.when.you’re.going.for. an.interview.for.a.job ..So,.now,.enter.Joseph.in.the.Pharaoh’s.residence.or. office ..It.is.most.interesting.the.favor.that.God.pours.on.Joseph.because.of. his.faithfulness . The.Pharaoh.said,.I.have.dreamed.a.dream.and.none.can.interpret.it .. He.went.on.to.say.that.I.have.heard.that.you.can.interpret.it ..Joseph.gave. the.credit.to.God,.saying,.It.is.not.me,.it.is.God.who.will.give.you.the.interpretation ..The.Pharaoh.said,.“In.my.dream,.behold,.I.stood.upon.the.bank. of.a.river ..And,.behold,.there.came.out.of.the.river.seven.kine,.fat.fleshed. and.well.favored:.and.they.fed.in.the.meadow:.and,.behold,.seven.other. kine.came.up.after.them,.poor,.and.ill-favored.and.lean.fleshed,.such.as.I. never.saw.in.the.land.of.Egypt.for.badness ..And.the.lean,.ill-favored.ones. ate.up.the.fat.and.favored.kine ..When.the.ill-favored.kine.had.finished,.you. could.not.tell.they.had.eaten.they.were.still.ill-favored.and.lean ..And.the. Pharaoh.awoke . It.went.on.to.say.he.dreamed.seven.ears.of.corn.came.up.in.one.stalk,. full.and.good:.and.behold,.seven.ears,.withered,.thin,.and.blasted.with.the. east.wind,.sprung.up.after.them:.and.the.thin.ears.devoured.the.seven. good.ears:.and.I.told.this.unto.the.magicians;.but.none.could.declare.it. for.me . And.Joseph.said.unto.Pharaoh,.The.dream.is.one:.God.has.shown. Pharaoh.what.he.is.about.to.do ..It.is.most.interesting.that.Joseph.took.no. credit.for.letting.the.Pharaoh.know.who.was.giving.the.interpretation ..It. would.be.God ..That.is.a.powerful.lesson.for.us.today.when.it.is.so.easy.to. take.credit.for.our.successes,.and.forget.it.is.God.that.gives.us.power.to. receive.wealth.and.knowledge.and.peace.and.protection . Joseph.continues.his.interpretation.of.God’s.words.to.the.Pharaoh .. The.seven.good.kine.are.seven.years;.and.the.seven.good.ears.are.seven. years;.the.dream.is.one ..And.the.seven.ill-favored.kine.that.came.up.after. them.are.seven.years;.and.the.seven.empty.ears.blasted.with.the.east.wind. shall.be.seven.years.of.famine . Joseph.goes.on.to.tell.Pharaoh.what.God.is.about.to.do ..He.goes.on. to.say,.there.shall.be.seven.years.of.great.and.plenty.throughout.all.of.the.

52 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 53 Faith, Hope, and Love store.for.Joseph ..He.will.be.the.only.one.to.properly.interpret.not.only.the. Pharaoh’s.butler.but.also.his.baker’s.dreams ..Isn’t.that.remarkable? Sometimes.we.wonder.if.God.ever.knows.of.us,.or.thinks.about.us,. or.even.cares.about.us ..Yes,.he.does ..Look.at.the.care.which.God.is.giving. to.Joseph ..He.gave.him.favor.to.at.first.just.get.out.of.the.pit,.using.the. Midianites.to.bring.him.toward.Egypt.where.they.sold.him.for.20.pieces.of. silver.to.the.Ishmeelites,.who.brought.him.into.Egypt . It.seems.that.Joseph.had.a.quiet.and.gentle.spirit.that.when.mixed. with.confidence.and.humility.allowed.him.to.be.liked.and.appreciated.by. many,.even.in.different.lands ..The.favor.of.God.was.all.over.Joseph.which. allowed.him.to.be.favored.wherever.he.was ..That.same.gentle,.godly.spirit. can.be.ours.and.will.give.us.favor.,.certainly.with.the.saved,.and.sometimes. with.the.unsaved.if.they.are.honest.people . We.will.see.that.the.demeanor,.patience,.confidence.and.godly.wisdom. of.Joseph.won.all.to.him.including.eventually.his.own.family ..Sometimes. our.own.family.is.the.hardest.to.win.over ..They.seem.to.always.remember. where.you.came.from,.what.you.did.wrong,.and.somehow.many.never.are. able.to.forgive.you.for.your.transgressions.or.faults ..To.the.real.born-again. believer.it.is.quite.simple.because.we.know.how.much.God.forgives.of.our. repented.transgressions.and.what.a.price.there.was.to.pay.for.our.sin . It.is.most.interesting.to.realize.to.what.heights.Joseph.rose.in.what.to. us.seems.like.a.short.time ..To.Joseph,.or.someone.else.going.through.that. type.of.experience.it.can.seem.very.long.and.as.I.said.before,.very.lonely .. But.let’s.consider.the.words.of.the.Pharaoh ..He.spoke.to.his.servants.and. said,.Can.we.find.such.a.one.as.this?.A.man.in.whom.the.Spirit.of.God.is. within?.Then.Pharaoh.said.to.Joseph,.Forasmuch.as.God.has.shown.you. all.of.this ..There.is.none.so.discreet.and.wise.as.you.are ..Thus,.I.have.set. you.over.my.house,.and.according.to.thy.word.shall.all.my.people.be.ruled. :.only.in.the.throne.will.I.be.greater.than.thee . Joseph.was.given.his.own.chariot.which.was.just.behind.the.Pharaoh .. He.gave.him.a.wife.and.the.land.to.rule.over ..During.the.seven.plenteous. years.they.gathered.up.all.of.the.food.of.the.field.which.was.around.every. city.and.they.stored.it.carefully.for.another.day ..He.then.had.the.corn.gathered.and.placed.safely.away,.more.than.you.could.count ..In.those.days.of. plenty,.Joseph.had.two.sons.by.his.wife,.Asenath ..The.first.son.was.called,. Manasseh,.and.the.second.son.was.named.Ephraim ..The.first.son’s.name. In.Joseph’s.case,.he.not.only.was.disliked.by.his.brothers,.but.even.his. father.didn’t.stand.up.for.him.and.protect.him,.but.literally.sent.him.out. into.the.lion’s.den.to.bring.food.to.his.hate-filled.and.scheming.brothers .. Then,.of.course.to.be.thrown.in.the.pit.is.certainly.not.what.Joseph.was. expecting ..They.would.have.likely.killed.him.if.Reuben.hadn’t.objected .. Then.to.be.sold.as.a.slave.to.the.Ishmeelites,.by.the.Midianites.was.certainly.not.in.Joseph’s.playbook ..Thus.far,.Joseph.did.not.do.anything.to. deserve.the.treatment.he.was.receiving ..All.he.did.was.tell.his.brothers. his.dreams,.which.were.certainly.of.God.and.foretold.the.future.path.of. them.all . Sometimes.when.all.you.are.doing.is.following.the.Lord.and.lifting. his.name.up.to.the.unsaved,.you.can.be.attacked.in.remarkable.ways ..I. know,.I.have.been.there,.and.I.might.add,.it.is.no.fun ..But,.for.Joseph,. it.all.gets.even.worse ..But.we.have.already.seen.that.things.are.turning. around.quite.nicely.for.Joseph ..It’s.one.thing.to.read.about.a.life.and.the. turmoil.someone.like.Joseph.has.had.to.endure,.but.it.is.a.wholly.different. thing.to.have.endured.the.battle.and.struggles ..Someday,.we’ll.have.the. opportunity,.I.suspect,.to.sit.down.with.Joseph,.in.heaven,.and.ask.him. directly,.How.was.it? One.interesting.point.to.make.here.is.this ..If.in.a.crisis.or.pit.type. circumstance,.realize.that.an.opportunity.might.just.occur.for.freedom. from.the.circumstance.and.it.may.be.at.a.different.time.than.you.expected. and.come.in.a.different.manner.than.you.expected ..Just.keep.yourself.as. close.to.God.and.His.plan.for.your.life.as.possible . In.Joseph’s.case,.things.get.better.for.a.while.when.he.was.in.charge. in.Potiphar’s.house,.but.then.the.devil.makes.a.head.on.attack.through. Potiphar’s.wife ..What.a.thing.to.have.to.endure ..The.shame.of.the.accusation.can.probably.only.be.fully.appreciated.by.a.person.who.may.have.been. falsely.accused.by.an.acquaintance.or.a.family.member ..That.is.tremendous. attack.on.a.person,.just.as.it.was.for.Joseph . So.now,.the.husband.also.the.captain.of.the.guard,.does.the.only.thing. he.can,.in.view.of.his.wife’s.ugly.accusation,.and.that.is.to.place.Joseph.in.a. dungeon ..But.even.there,.God.is.able.to.use.Joseph.to.influence.the.warden. to.where.he.would.like.Joseph.to.administrate.the.prison.inmates ..That. by.itself.is.something ..But.it.doesn’t.stop.there ..God.has.another.plan.in.

54 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 55 Faith, Hope, and Love would.be.put.to.death ..The.ones.he.releases.he.allows.them.to.bring.corn. back.to.their.families.to.prevent.starvation . The.brothers.begin.to.condemn.themselves.and.remembering.the. dream.that.their.brother.Joseph.had.when.he.saw.that.they.all.would.be. bowing.to.him ..Reuben.reminds.them.he.never.wanted.to.see.Joseph.put. to.death.at.the.time.of.the.placing.him.in.the.pit ..They.did.not.realize.that. Joseph.understood.what.they.were.talking.about.because.he.was.speaking. with.them.through.an.interpreter ..How.God.can.vindicate.the.righteous .. Joseph.was.so.emotionally.moved.that.he.turned.his.face.from.them.and. wept ..What.a.story.and.what.a.vindication.of.this.faithful.and.righteous. man.of.God ..He.now.turned.back.and.took.Simeon.from.them.and.bound. him.before.them ..He.ordered.his.servants.to.fill.the.sacks.of.all.the.brothers.and.to.put.their.money.back.in.the.sacks,.silently . And.they.packed.their.donkeys.for.the.trip.home ..(Gen.42:26) ..When. one.of.them.opened.their.sacks.they.found.the.money.they.had.given.to. the.Governor ..They.became.fearful.as.it.would.appear.they.had.stolen.their. money.back ..They.said,.what.has.God.done?.They.came.back.to.Canaan. and.told.their.father.what.had.happened . When.they.had.finally.run.out.of.corn,.Reuben.convinced.his.father. that.they.would.have.to.take.all.of.the.sons.back.down.and.meet.the. Governor.or.Simeon.would.not.be.released ..Judah.said.he.would.remain. as.security.if.Simeon.was.released.and.the.others.could.return.home ..Israel. agreed ..He.told.them.to.take.the.best.fruits,.spices,.honey,.myrrh,.nuts.and. almonds ..Then.take.double.the.money.to.cover.what.was.not.given.before. and.a.new.amount.to.cover.the.new.corn.they.would.be.receiving,.and.they. departed.for.Egypt . When.Joseph.saw.they.had.brought.Benjamin.with.them,.Joseph.told. his.servant.go.and.make.ready.a.feast.at.his.home ..When.they.approached. his.house.they.were.even.more.fearful.and.spoke.to.the.servant.who.finally. told.them,.Peace.be.to.you,.fear.not;.your.God.and.the.God.of.your.father. has.given.you.treasure.in.your.sacks;.he.now.brought.Simeon.out.to.them . The.servant.gave.them.water.to.bathe.their.feet.in.and.food.for.their. asses,.and.brought.them.into.Joseph’s.house ..When.Joseph.returned.they. gave.him.their.gift.and.bowed.down.to.the.earth ..He.asked.them.of.their. welfare,.and.is.your.father.well?.Is.he.alive?.They.answered.that.their. meant.that.God.had.made.Joseph.to.forget.the.toil.he.had.endured.earlier. in.those.years.as.a.slave.and.in.the.dungeon ..The.second.son’s.name.meant. God.had.called.Joseph.to.be.fruitful.in.the.land.of.his.affliction ..At.this. point.the.seven.plentiful.years.in.Egypt.were.ended . Now.the.seven.years.of.lack.came.over.Egypt.except.there.was.ample. bread.available,.but.as.the.people.cried.out.for.the.bread,.the.Pharaoh.made. them.go.to.Joseph.to.ask.for.the.bread ..The.famine.was.over.the.whole. earth.and.the.inhabitants.of.the.foreign.land.came.to.Egypt.to.buy.corn . Now,.comes.the.real.reason.God.had.for.Joseph’s.life.which.was.filled. with.his.earlier.torment.and.persecution ..It.is.sometimes.very.interesting. to.see.the.very.calling.on.someone’s.life.and.anointing ..It.may.develop. quickly,.but.frequently.takes.many.years.and.often.much.hardship.or. persecution.occurs.before.the.person.reaches.his.or.her.promised.land .. The.important.thing.is.to.remain.faithful.to.what.God’s.purpose.may.be. for.your.life ..This.is.easier.said.than.performed.many.times.as.there.are. so.many.distractions.and.outright.temptations.to.go.some.other.way ..At. other.times.you.may.wonder.if.you.are.or.have.heard.from.the.Lord.at.all,. especially.when.things.aren’t.going.the.direction.you.were.expecting ..I.can. only.imagine.how.Joseph.must.have.felt.in.those.early.days.when.he.went. looking.for.his.brothers.out.feeding.the.sheep ..It.would.seem.nothing.good. would.ever.come.of.his.life.if.he.lived.long.enough.to.even.have.one . Now.when.Jacob.hears.there.is.corn.in.Egypt.he.directs.his.sons.to. go.to.Egypt.and.buy.corn.so.his.family.would.not.die.of.starvation ..Jacob. didn’t.send.Joseph’s.younger.brother.Benjamin.fearing.some.harm.might. befall.him ..So.the.sons.of.Israel.came.from.Canaan.to.buy.the.corn ..Joseph. was.Governor.of.the.land.and.sold.all.of.the.corn.to.whomever ..So,.interestingly.Joseph.recognized.his.brethren.but.he.made.himself.strange.unto. them ..He.spoke.roughly.to.them.and.asked.them.from.whence.they.came?. They.answered,.Canaan.to.buy.food ..They.did.not.recognize.Joseph . Joseph.decided.to.play.some.tricks.on.them.and.told.them.he. believed.they.were.spies ..They.said.no.we.are.all.brethren,.sons.of.one. father.who.had.twelve.sons ..So.Joseph.places.them.in.prison.until.one.of. these.brothers.would.go.back.to.fetch.Benjamin.to.come.to.Egypt.to.meet. Joseph ..He.then.lets.all.out.except.one.brother.who.he.will.keep.in.prison. until.Benjamin.would.be.delivered.to.him.otherwise.that.brother.in.prison.

56 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 57 

The Story of Job This.is.an.interesting.story.of.a.man.who.was.perfect,.upright.and. feared.God ..It.certainly.meant.that.he.had.a.great.deal.of.faith.in. God,.but.as.the.story.unfolds.we.will.see.that.God.had.a.great.deal.of.faith. in.Job . Job.was.a.man.that.lived.in.the.land.of.Uz.and.who.had.seven.sons. and.three.daughters ..He.was.a.land.owner.and.raised.a.great.many.animals .. The.Book.of.Job.tells.us.he.had.thousands.of.camels,.thousands.of.sheep,. hundreds.of.oxen,.and.many.donkeys ..It.says.he.was.the.greatest.of.men. living.in.the.East ..Job.worried.about.his.sons,.particularly,.and.whether.they. might.sin.against.God.so.he.regularly.offered.burnt.offerings.unto.God . It.says.there.was.a.time.when.the.sons.of.God,.likely.the.angels,.came. to.present.themselves.before.the.Lord,.and.Satan.came.also.among.them . God.asks.Satan.why.he.came.and.what.has.he.been.up.to?.Satan. replies.he.has.been.going.to.and.fro.across.the.earth.and.the.Lord.said,. have.you.considered.my.servant.job.that.there.is.none.like.him.on.the. earth?.God.describes.Job.as.a.perfect,.upright.man.that.fears.God.and. eschews.evil . Satan.asks.does.Job.fear.God.for.naught?.He.continues.to.ask.the. question.have.you.not.put.a.hedge.around.him,.his.house.and.all.that.he. has?.You.have.blessed.the.work.of.his.hands,.and.his.substance.is.increased. in.the.land ..Satan.challenges.God.to.take.his.hand.off.of.Job.and.he.then. will.curse.God ..God.says.to.Satan.you.can.have.control.over.all.that.he.has,. but.put.not.your.hand.against.Job.himself . In.the.next.short.period.we.see.where.calamity.after.calamity.befell.all. of.Job’s.possessions.of.servants,.animals.and.even.his.children.and.they.are. all.dead ..Job.arose.and.rent.his.mantle,.shaved.his.head.and.fell.upon.the. ground.and.worshipped.God ..He.said,.“Naked.I.came.out.of.my.mother’s.

father.was.in.good.health.and.still.alive,.and.they.bowed.their.heads.and. made.obeisance . Joseph.had.to.retreat.to.a.private.place.and.he.wept,.knowing.full.well. his.earlier.dream.had.just.been.fulfilled ..Joseph.was.not.done.messing.with. his.brothers,.however ..He.had.food.given.to.his.brothers.at.one.table,.he.and. Benjamin.at.another.and.the.attending.Egyptians.at.another.table ..Joseph. now.commands.his.servant.to.place.corn.in.every.man’s.sack,.plus.the. money.which.he.brought.and.then.put.his.special.silver.cup.in.Benjamin’s. sack ..The.following.morning.the.brothers.were.allowed.to.start.their.trip. home.to.Canaan.to.be.with.their.father ..But.not.long.after.they.had.left. Joseph’s.house.he.sends.his.servant.to.go.and.stop.them.and.to.accuse. them.of.stealing.the.money.and.the.cup ..It.was.an.impossible.moment.for. the.brothers.as.they.were.now.being.accused.of.stealing.the.Governor’s. very.special.cup.which.was.used.by.Egyptians.to.divine.the.future ..Joseph. didn’t.need.that.to.see.what.he.was.to.do,.because.he.was.being.led.by.God . Joseph.became.convinced.of.their.sincerity.when.Judah.suggested. that.Joseph.should.let.Benjamin.go.and.he,.Judah,.would.stay.in.his.place .. In.the.long.run.Joseph.finally.let.his.brothers.know.who.he.was.and.that. it.was.God’s.good.pleasure.to.use.Joseph.to.save.his.whole.family,.and. more,.from.an.impending.famine.which.might.well.have.wiped.out.the. Hebrew.nation ..Joseph.made.the.statement,.be.not.grieved.or.angry.with. yourselves.as.God.sent.me.forth.before.you.to.preserve.you.a.posterity.in. the.earth,.and.to.save.your.lives.by.a.great.deliverance ..So.it.was.not.you. that.sent.me.forth,.but.God.and.he.has.made.me.a.father.to.Pharaoh.and. lord.of.all.his.house.and.a.ruler.throughout.all.the.land.of.Egypt . There.are.so.many.parallels.between.the.life.of.Joseph.and.of.Jesus. from.the.fact.that.his.father.loved.him,.he.was.a.shepherd,.sent.by.his. father.to.his.brothers,.hated.by.brothers,.they.plotted.to.kill.him,.sold.into. slavery,.taken.to.Egypt,.robes.taken.from.him,.falsely.accused,.suffered. and.many.more .I.think.for.us,.it.is.important.to.remember.that.for.your. life,.God.has.a.plan.and.even.those.things.which.are.so.hard.to.bear,.can. bring.forth.much.fruit.for.God’s.purposes.in.your.life.by.keeping.your.eyes. focused.on.God.and.keeping.your.attitude.in.line.with.God’s.commandments ..There.is.certainly.nothing.impossible.with.God .

58 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 59 Faith, Hope, and Love *..Is.God.preparing.me.for.something.special? *..Resist.self-pity ..Look.for.others.you.can.help . *..Could.it.possibly.be.that.I.am.being.tested.like.Job? *..Trust.God.to.work.his.purpose.through.you . *..Is.the.suffering.I.am.enduring.just.consequential? *..Trust.that.it.will.only.last.for.a.period . *..Proclaim.your.faith.in.God.and.move.forward.anyway ..Wait.patiently.for.Him.to.answer . In.the.end.Job.tells.God.he.knows.that.God.can.do.anything.and.that. no.thought.can.be.withheld.from.him . He.finally.sought.after.God.and.to.God.would.he.commit.his.cause . And.in.the.conclusion.as.Job.prayed.for.his.friends,.God.turned.the. captivity.of.Job.into.an.abundance.of.twice.what.he.had.before . All.of.his.friends.came.to.eat.with.him.and.to.give.to.him.so.that.the. Lord.blessed.the.latter.end.of.his.life.with.more.than.his.beginning ..Job. had.seven.sons.and.three.daughters.and.the.daughters.were.the.fairest.in. the.land.and.Job.gave.both.the.sons.and.daughters.an.inheritance.equal.to. all ..After.all.of.this.suffering.Job.lived.a.140.years.and.saw.his.sons.and.his. son’s.sons.to.the.fourth.generation ..So.Job.died.being.old.and.full.of.days . Hopefully,.we.are.given.a.view.of.Jesus.suffering.on.the.cross.for.our. sin,.and.we.are.more.willing.to.flee.from.sin.in.the.future . womb.and.naked.shall.I.return ..The.Lord.gives.and.the.Lord.takes.away .. Blessed.be.the.name.of.the.Lord .” Next.we.see.the.episodes.where.God.allows.Satan.to.destroy.Job’s. health ..Satan.tells.God.that.Job.will.then.curse.God ..God.tells.him.that.he. must.spare.Job’s.life . Job’s.wife.then.makes.the.famous.statement,.“Curse.God.and.die .”. But.Job.asked.her.“shall.we.accept.good.at.the.hand.of.God.and.not.receive. evil”?.In.all.of.this.Job.did.not.sin.with.his.lips . But.then.Job’s.friends.all.gather.around.Job.to.mourn.him.and.to. comfort.him ..They.stayed.a.week.mourning.with.him ..Then.Job.fell.into. despair.wondering.why.he.was.born?.He.stated.at.one.point.“that.which. I.greatly.feared.is.come.upon.me.and.that.which.I.was.afraid.of.is.come. unto.me .” Then.comes.his.friends.with.their.explanation.of.why.Job.was.now. having.to.suffer ..One.says.he.is.suffering.because.Job.sinned,.another.Job. won’t.admit.he.has.sinned,.and.another.says.his.sin.should.be.punished.by. more.suffering.and.the.last.thought.and.said.God.is.using.the.pain.to.mold. and.train.Job . But.God.rebukes.Job’s.friends ..How.many.times.have.we.been. attacked.by.Satan.and.suffered.greatly.to.only.have.our.friends.or.relatives. totally.dessert.us.in.our.need? In.the.end.all.of.Job’s.friends.gave.him.basically.human.knowledge. and.Job.confirmed.the.fact.that.it.was.God.given.wisdom.which.was. needed.at.such.a.time . It.is.important.that.we.turn.to.God.at.times.of.trial.or.times.of.temptation ..We.then.must.seek.God’s.wisdom.for.any.failure.we.are.guilty.of. and.then.repent,.turn.away.from.any.sin.which.might.befall.us ..We.are.also. given.the.ministry.to.listen.to.and.help.others.come.through.their.grief,. but.without.being.judgmental . There.are.several.questions.which.we.might.ask.ourselves.at.these. times.of.suffering: Are.we.being.punished.by.God.for.sin? *..If.so,.we.are.to.confess.our.sin *..Is.Satan.attacking.me.as.a.Christian? *..Put.on.the.armor.of.God.and.call.on.God.for.strength

61 

By Faith Moses When.he.was.come.to.years,.refused.to.be.called.the.son.of.Pharaoh’s. daughter,.choosing.rather.to.suffer.affliction.with.the.people.of. God,.than.to.enjoy.the.pleasures.of.sin.for.a.season ..(Hebrews.11:25) Originally.famine.had.driven.the.children.of.Israel.into.Egypt.where. they.were.rescued.by.Joseph.who.had.been.blessed.by.God.and.brought. by.God.to.a.position.of.number.two.leader.in.the.land.of.Egypt ..It.had. been.God’s.plan.to.use.the.persecuted.younger.son.of.Jacob.to.rescue.his. siblings.and.the.tribe.of.Israel ..The.children.of.Israel.were.not.expected. to.inhabit.forever.the.land.of.Goshen.in.the.northern.regions.of.Egypt .. When.the.Pharaoh.saw.over.the.next.decades.that.the.Hebrew.children. were.prospering,.a.subsequent.Pharaoh.decided.to.make.their.lives.more. miserable.and.for.them.to.be.slaves . Through.it.all,.God.had.a.plan.of.deliverance.and.that.was.going.to. be.through.the.leadership.of.one.faith.filled.man.who.had.been.raised.in. the.Pharaoh’s.palace.but.was.of.Jewish.heritage.and.would.be.the.one.who. would.select.some.brave.assistance.and.defy.the.orders.of.the.Pharaoh. and.tell.him.to.his.face,.let.my.people.go ..Moses’.mother.had.used.great. courage.to.save.her.son.from.being.killed.by.the.midwife.and.then.defied. the.Pharaoh’s.command.to.drown.the.male.Hebrew.babies.in.the.Nile. River ..Because.of.her.faithfulness.to.God’s.command,.thou.shall.not.kill,. that.Moses.was.saved.for.action.in.the.first.place . Now,.after.he.was.full.grown,.it.was.his.turn.to.follow.the.direction. which.God.would.afford.and.to.challenge.the.Pharaoh’s.orders.directly ..He. was.most.faithful.and.courageous.to.do.exactly.what.God.ordered.him.to. do.to.lead.the.exodus.of.God’s.chosen.people.from.Egypt . God.had.called.Moses.directly.out.of.a.burning.bush.and.told.him.he. was.the.God.of.his.father,.the.God.of.Abraham,.Isaac.and.Jacob.and.that.he. had.heard.the.cry.of.the.Hebrew.people.and.was.come.to.bring.them.forth ..

62 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 63 

Thy Servant, My Husband is Dead In.this.story.found.in.2.Kings.4:1.we.see.the.story.of.a.widow.woman,. having.just.lost.her.husband.and.now.distraught.over.a.special.need .. It.starts.with,.“Now.there.cried.a.certain.woman.of.the.wives.of.the.sons. of.the.prophets.unto.Elisha,.saying,.Thy.servant.my.husband.is.dead;.and. thou.knows.that.thy.servant.did.fear.the.Lord.and.the.creditor.is.come.to. take.my.two.sons.to.him.to.be.bondmen . And.Elisha.said.unto.her,.what.shall.I.do.for.thee?.Tell.me,.what. have.you.in.your.house?.And.she.said,.Thine.handmaid.has.nothing.in.the. house,.save.a.pot.of.oil .” There.are.times.when.some.severe.circumstance.may.occur.and. when.we.have.nothing.left.but.to.call.out.to.God.for.help ..That.is.what.this. poor.widow.was.having.to.do ..Every.day.we.hear.of.people.being.beaten. up,.raped.stolen.from.or.their.homes.burned.and.everything.is.lost ..Truly. these.are.times.when.there.is.little.hope.that.anything.good.will.occur,.and. yet,.these.are.times,.too,.when.our.faith.can.and.must.kick.fully.into.gear .. As.Christians.I.believe.we.are.to.look.for.these.very.opportunities.to.be.an. angel.and.a.blessing.to.our.neighbors.or.family.members ..There.is.nothing. we.have.that.is.so.important.that.it.can’t.be.used.to.bring.love,.joy,.peace. and.fulfillment.to.another.weary.traveler . In.this.story.Elisha.tells.the.woman.to.go.borrow.vessels.abroad.of. all.of.thy.neighbors,.even.empty.vessels;.borrow.not.a.few ..It.is.in.hearing. the.voice.of.God.that.no.matter.how.foolish.the.instruction.from.God. may.seem,.just.do.it ..He.tells.her.that.when.she.has.come.back.in.her.own. home,.after.gathering.the.many.vessels.to.shut.the.door.upon.you.and.your. sons,.and.now.you.are.to.pour.the.oil.into.all.of.those.vessels,.and.shall.set. aside.those.as.they.get.full .

Away.from.the.Egyptian.bondage,.and.into.land.flowing.with.milk.and. honey ..He.instructs.Moses.as.to.how.he.will.use.him.to.bring.his.people. out.of.the.bondage.they.are.in . Moses.does.what.almost.all.of.us.would.do.under.similar.circumstances ..He.said.unto.God,.Who.am.I.that.I.should.go.unto.Pharaoh.and. that.I.should.bring.forth.the.children.of.Israel.out.of.Egypt? Moses.believes.God.enough.to.accept.the.position.and.then.to.grow. in.his.faith.and.become.a.strong.leader ..God.had.prophesied.this.exact. scenario.way.back.hundreds.of.years.earlier.in.Genesis . God.would.need.to.do.miracles.and.be.a.strong.encourager.to.Moses,. but.he.also.lets.Moses.know.that.he.had.made.covenant.promises.to. Abraham,.Isaac.and.Jacob ..What.God.was.asking.Moses.to.do.had.been. planned.for.centuries ..What.he.will.ask.you.to.do,.he.can.easily.help.you. accomplish ..He’s.just.looking.for.a.welcome,.obedient.vessel ..It.reminds. me.of.the.title.of.one.of.my.earlier.books.on.marriage.reconciliation ..The. title.I.chose.was,.“When.You.Say.I.Do,.God.Says.I.Will” . After.all,.God.told.Moses,.when.he.asked.God.who.should.I.say.you. are.to.the.Pharaoh?.God.told.him.to.tell.him.“I.Am”.sent.you ..He.was. saying.I.Am.the.unchanging.Creator.of.this.universe.and.the.God.of.all.the. peoples.who.have.ever.been.born ..Just.tell.him,.I.Am.sent.you ..In.essence. he.is.saying.I.Am.more.than.enough.for.whatever.your.need.might.be,.and. that.is.exactly.why.I.place.all.of.my.faith.in.Him,.and.you.can.too . God.performed.so.many.miracles.through.Moses.hands.that.the. Pharaoh.had.to.finally.let.him.leave.with.not.only.the.children.of.Israel,.but. a.great.deal.of.the.wealth.of.Egypt ..If.that.wasn’t.convincing.enough,.God. drowned.the.Egyptian.Army.in.the.Red.sea.and.allowed.the.water.to.be. first.parted.so.the.Israelites.could.travel.toward.their.final.destination ..Even. though.Moses.disqualified.himself.from.actually.entering.the.Promised. Land,.he.was.given.a.view.of.it.and.successfully.led.the.children.of.Israel. out.of.their.bondage.in.Egypt.to.their.final.home.in.the.Promised.Land .

64 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 65 Faith, Hope, and Love has.come.and.wants.to.take.her.two.boys.away ..She.has.nothing.in.her. house.to.meet.the.need,.but.she.has.the.faith.to.call.on.the.man.of.God.and. ask.him.for.help.and.his.wisdom.to.see.her.through.this.impossible.trial . By.the.time.she.has.done.what.Elisha.has.asked.her.to.do,.she.not. only.paid.off.the.creditor.and.now.even.has.enough.for.her.living ..God.is. more.than.able.to.meet.whatever.need.we.might.have.and.fortunately,.she. had.all.the.faith.needed.to.see.a.godly.resolve.to.her.problem . What.is.your.need?.Could.it.be.more.dire.than.that.which.widow. woman.presented.in.2.Kings?.Do.you.remember.Jesus.and.the.crowd.of. 4000.men,.not.to.mention.women.and.children,.who.were.without.food?. The.disciples.didn’t.know.what.to.do.for.their.lunch.or.dinner?.Jesus.just. calmly.asked,.as.did.Elisha,.what.do.you.have?.In.Elisha’s.case.the.woman. had.a.small.amount.of.oil ..In.Jesus.and.the.disciple’s.case.a.young.boy.had. five.loaves.of.bread.and.a.few.fishes ..From.that.he.was.able.to.again.not. only.meet.the.need,.but.there.were.some.12.baskets.of.bread.fragments.left. over.and.a.goodly.number.of.fish ..When.we.have.faith.as.small.a.mustard. seed.we.can.see.God’s.miracles.be.a.part.of.our.lives ..Those.followers.of. Jesus.were.totally.blessed.by.what.he.was.able.to.provide ..He.not.only.met. their.need.but.as.God.frequently.does,.he.exceeded.their.need . So,.the.woman.did.just.as.Elisha.commanded,.no.questions.asked .. The.sons.brought.the.vessels.to.her.as.she.poured.the.oil.from.the.one.pot. that.she.had . There.are.many.times.when.one.has.to.be.open.to.the.instruction. given ..It.may.well.come.from.a.spouse.or.a.godly.friend.or.a.minister.or. just.directly.from.God.to.your.spirit ..We.must.never.prevent.that.free. exchange.of.instruction;.if.we.feel.sure.it.is.coming.from.God.through.that. person ..How.many.times.have.we.missed.God’s.best.because.we.were.too. prideful.to.accept.that.instruction.from.God.through.a.spouse.or.friend.or. even.a.godly.acquaintance? As.I.have.learned.more.after.giving.my.life.to.Jesus,.I.have.also.recognized.there.are.moments.of.wisdom.or.instruction.coming.through.my. god-fearing.wife.that.I.know.I.am.to.obey ..That.may.at.times.come.from. others.and.even.children.or.some.other.friend.or.even.co-worker . As.the.widow.continued.to.pour.the.oil.from.her.one.vessel.into.the. others,.the.sons.told.her.all.of.the.vessels.were.full ..There.are.no.more. empty.vessels,.they.are.all.full ..The.oil.stayed ..She.went.and.told.the.man. of.God,.and.he.told.her.to.go.sell.enough.of.the.oil.to.pay.her.debt.and.you. and.your.children.live.on.the.rest . It.was.certainly.a.measure.of.that.poor.widow’s.faith.in.God,.and. the.man.of.God,.as.being.the.conduit.which.allowed.her.need.to.be.met .. Lynne.and.I.have.gone.through.a.time.or.two,.even.after.being.born.again. Christians.where.there.was.no.other.answer.to.meet.our.need ..If.God. wouldn’t.be.there.to.help.us.then.sobeit.the.need.could.not.possibly.be. met ..I.am.sure.most.of.my.Christian.readers.have.gone.through.your.own. crises.where.only.God.can.deliver.you ..As.it.says.in.the.New.Testament,. “think.it.not.strange.the.fiery.trial.which.is.to.try.you,.as.though.some. strange.thing.happened.unto.you:.but.rejoice,.inasmuch.as.you.are.partakers.of.Christ’s.sufferings:.that,.when.his.glory.shall.be.revealed,.you.may.be. glad.also.with.exceeding.joy .” Nothing.about.what.the.prophet.Elisha.was.saying.in.the.natural. would.make.any.sense ..In.our.natural.mind,.if.you.have.a.gallon.of.liquid. you.can’t.possibly.stretch.that.to.20.gallons ..It.just.doesn’t.work.that.way .. Here.was.a.lady.who.had.lost.her.husband.and.had.two.boys.to.raise.by. herself ..That.is.never.easy,.and.you.certainly.know.when.you.run.out.of. material.goods,.such.as.food,.it.is.a.dire.situation ..In.her.case.the.creditor.

67 

Elisha and the Shunammite Woman’s Dead Child This.is.the.story.of.Elisha.passing.through.the.town.of.Shunem.often. and.when.a.great.woman.of.that.city.saw.Elisha.passing.through. town.on.numerous.occasions,.she.beckoned.her.older.husband.to.prepare. a.place.where.this.man.of.God.might.rest ..Elisha.would.often.pass.by.and. turn.in.to.eat.bread . Her.husband.prepared.a.place.for.Elisha ..Elisha.had.a.servant.named. Gehazi.and.on.one.occasion.Elisha.asked.Gehazi.to.ask.the.Shunammite. woman.to.come.to.the.door.of.his.room ..He.then.said.through.his.interpreter,.Gehazi,.to.the.woman,.you.have.been.kind.to.us,.what.can.I.do. for.you? Gehazi.spoke.her.words.to.Elisha.and.said.her.husband.is.old.and.she. has.no.child ..Elisha.told.her.that.about.this.same.time.next.year.you.shall. embrace.a.son ..She.accuses.Elisha.of.lying.to.her . But.at.this.same.time.next.year,.as.spoken.by.Elisha,.she.bore.a.son .. Some.years.went.by.and.when.the.son.was.old.enough.to.go.out.in.the.field. to.help.his.father.and.the.reapers ..He.suddenly.said,.my.head,.my.head.and. the.father.instructed.the.reaper.to.carry.his.son.into.where.his.mother.was. in.the.house,.which.he.did ..The.boy.sat.on.her.knees.and.then.he.died . She.then.takes.a.leap.of.faith.by.taking.the.dead.boy.up.to.Elisha’s. room.and.places.him.on.Elisha’s.bed ..She.leaves.the.house.on.a.donkey. and.rides.hastily.to.Mt ..Carmel.to.see.Elisha ..She.questioned.him.about. the.fact.that.she.had.sought.his.blessing.for.her.to.have.a.son.in.the.first. place,.and.now.he.is.dead . Elisha.tells.his.servant,.Gehazi,.to.ride.quickly.to.Shunem.and.to.place. his.staff.on.the.boy’s.face ..That.did.not.revive.the.boy,.so.Elisha.comes.and. sees.he.is.dead.and.lies.on.top.of.the.boy.on.Elisha’s.bed ..He.did.this.twice.

68 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 69 

The Faith of Elisabeth Sometimes.a.person’s.long.hoped.for.dreams.seem.to.be.evaporating .. The.story.of.Elisabeth.is.one.of.those.stories ..Elisabeth.is.a.Jewish. woman.who.has.not.born.any.child,.though.the.years.are.passing.her.by .. The.story.is.told.in.Luke.starting.in.chapter.one ..Luke.tells.of.Elisabeth. being.married.to.a.certain.priest.named.Zacharias ..Both.Elisabeth.and. Zacharias.are.devout.Jews.who.have.come.from.priestly.families ..The.Bible. tells.us.they.were.both.righteous.and.walking,.blamelessly,.in.all.of.the. laws.and.ordinance.of.the.Lord ..She.was.barren.and.they.both.were.well. stricken.in.years . It.was.as.he.was.burning.incense.in.the.temple.that.an.angel.of.the. Lord.appeared.unto.him.and.told.him.that.Elisabeth.would.conceive.a.son. and.his.name.would.be.John ..The.prophesy.was.so.outstanding.including. the.fact.that.the.son.would.never.drink.wine.and.he.would.be.filled.with.the. Holy.Ghost.even.from.the.time.in.his.mother’s.womb ..Like.most.any.of.us,. we.might.want.to.know,.how.can.I.be.sure?.That.is.what.Zacharias.asked. the.Angel.Gabriel ..Gabriel.told.him.he.had.been.sent.by.God.to.inform. him.that.the.son.they.will.have.will.be.there.to.bring.many.to.God ..Gabriel. then.told.Zacharias.that.he.would.not.be.able.to.speak.until.the.child.is. born,.because.you.believed.not.the.words.which.Gabriel.had.spoken . Our.disbelief.in.such.a.critical.moment.may.well.have.consequences .. That.is.why.as.we.get.in.the.word.of.God.and.prepare.our.hearts.to.always. believe.those.words,.that.then,.hopefully,.we.will.begin.to.have.the.faith. that.is.required.to.see.the.miracle.hand.of.God.on.our.lives ..Zacharias,. though.at.that.moment.was.struggling.with.having.enough.faith,.yet.he. obeyed.God . He.let.Elizabeth.know.what.was.happening.and.she.was.filled.with. joy,.but.hid.out.for.5.months ..We.hear.nothing.more.of.Zacharias.after.the. first.chapter.in.Luke ..That.certainly.was.the.calling.God.had.for.Zacharias,.

and.the.boy.came.back.from.the.dead ..The.Shunammite.woman.picked.up. her.son.and.departed.from.Elisha’s.room ..This.is.one.of.those.times.when. one’s.faith.has.got.to.be.perfected.to.the.point.that,.“Lord,.I.won’t.take.no. for.an.answer .”.And.that.is.exactly.where.the.Shunammite.woman.was. with.her.faith .

70 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 71 

The Faith of Mary and Joseph Again.in.Luke.1:26.we.see.that.in.the.sixth.month.of.Elisabeth’s.conception,.that.the.angel.Gabriel.is.being.sent.to.a.young.virgin.living. in.Nazareth.and.espoused.to.Joseph . The.angel.came.to.her.and.said,.“Hail,.thou.that.are.highly.favored,. the.Lord.is.with.thee:.blessed.art.thou.among.women” ..Mary.was.troubled. in.her.mind.and.wondered.what.manner.of.salutation.might.this.be?.The. angel.said,.“Fear.not,.Mary:.for.thou.has.found.favor.with.God ..Behold. thou.shall.conceive.in.thy.womb,.and.bring.forth.a.son,.and.shall.call.his. name.Jesus ..He.shall.be.great,.and.shall.be.called.the.Son.of.the.Highest:. and.the.Lord.God.shall.give.him.the.throne.of.his.father.David:.And.he. shall.reign.over.the.house.of.Jacob.forever;.and.of.his.kingdom.there.shall. be.no.end” . Mary.then.asks.a.very.important.question,.How.can.this.be,.I.know. not.man?.The.Holy.Ghost.shall.come.upon.you.and.the.son.shall.be.called. the.Son.of.God . He.went.on.to.tell.her.that.her.cousin,.Elisabeth,.has.also.conceived.a. son.in.her.old.age.and.she.is.now.in.her.sixth.month.of.her.pregnancy ..For. with.God.nothing.is.impossible . Mary.said,.Behold.the.handmaid.of.the.Lord;.be.it.unto.me.according. to.thy.word ..And.the.angel.departed ..Can.you.imagine.the.joy.that.she.must. have.felt,.once.it.all.settled.in.to.her.brain?.And.to.know.of.Elisabeth’s.conceiving.must.have.brought.great.comfort.and.joy.and.peace.to.her.heart . Centuries.before.the.Lord.had.told.David.that.his.kingdom.would. have.no.end ..It.is.interesting.that.God.chose.a.young.woman.who.was.not. rich,.but.poor.to.bring.forth.the.Messiah ..To.many,.the.idea.of.a.virgin.

and.what.a.mighty.calling.it.turned.out.to.be ..He.was.the.father.of.John. the.Baptist.who.was.called.to.go.before.Jesus.and.to.announce.his.coming .. It.certainly.took.a.good.deal.of.faith.to.be.able.to.move.forward.with.the. knowledge.of.what.you.had.been.told,.but.not.wanting.to.look.foolish.in. the.sight.of.men . In.the.sixth.month.the.angel.Gabriel.was.again.sent.to.a.virgin.woman. in.Nazareth.to.announce.she.will.conceive.a.baby.by.the.Holy.Ghost ..Her. name.was.Mary.and.she.was.espoused.to.a.man.named.Joseph.of.the.house. of.David ..We.will.discuss.Mary.in.another.chapter .

72 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 73 

Zacchaeus, the Little Man of Jericho The.story.of.Zacchaeus.found.in.Luke.19:1-10.gives.us.a.picture.of. how.our.desire.can.make.a.big.difference.not.only.in.our.life.but. sometimes.in.our.whole.family.and.for.generations.to.come . Zacchaeus.was.a.man.of.small.stature.but.his.desire.to.see.Jesus.was. very.tall ..Zacchaeus.was.a.tax.collector.for.the.Roman.occupation.of.the. Jews.and.though.these.men.were.despised.by.their.fellow.Jews,.he.still.had. an.honest.vein.in.him.and.sought.out.to.see.Jesus.as.he.was.traveling.through. Jericho ..Zacchaeus.had.made.himself.rich.by.working.in.this.fashion.for. the.Romans.and.to.say.he.was.disliked.would.be.an.understatement . In.verse.2.it.says,.and.he.sought.to.see.Jesus.who.he.was;.and.could. not.for.the.press,.because.he.was.of.little.stature ..And.he.ran.before,.and. climbed.up.a.sycamore.tree.to.see.him:.for.he.was.to.pass.that.way . And.when.Jesus.came.to.the.place,.he.looked.up,.and.saw.him,.and. said.to.him,.Zacchaeus.make.haste,.and.come.down;.for.today.I.must.abide. at.thy.house . Can.you.imagine.going.out.to.watch.the.President.of.the.United.States. parading.on.the.highway.in.your.town.and.you.go.out.and.get.in.a.tall.place. to.see.him,.and.out.of.the.blue.he.calls.you.by.name.and.says.he.needs.to. come.to.your.house.to.have.lunch?.No.way ..Talk.about.a.game.changer . And.Zacchaeus.made.haste,.and.came.down.and.received.him.joyfully ..(Hey,.Lynne,.the.President.is.coming.over.for.lunch.and.may.even. stay.the.night) ..And.when.they.saw.it,.they.all.murmured . If.you.think.you.are.being.persecuted.by.being.a.Christian,.do.you. have.any.thought.as.to.how.these.pious.Jews.were.thinking.not.only.about. Zacchaeus,.but.also.about.Jesus?

giving.birth.would.be.preposterous,.but.Luke.was.a.physician.and.he.had. no.problem.reporting.the.virgin.birth.of.Jesus,.the.son.of.Mary.and.of.God . Can.you.imagine.the.ridicule.of.everyone.around.Mary.from.her. husband.to.be,.to.the.family.and.friends.in.her.town?.That.alone.would. have.taken.much.faith,.patience.and.wisdom.to.have.gotten.through . What.if.God.had.called.on.you.or.me?.You.might.think.that.for.some. strange.reason.that.God.can’t.use.you ..Really?.With.God.all.things.are. possible ..I.remember.when.God.called.Lynne.and.me.into.a.ministry.to. the.reconciling.of.marriages ..There.were.I’m.sure.many.who.felt.that.was. weird,.strange,.preposterous ..Yep,.you’re.right ..We.had.both.been.married. before.and.gone.through.divorce ..How.can.he.use.you.in.such.a.ministry?. Don’t.ask.me,.ask.God . When.God.calls.you.for.some.special.task,.can.you,.with.his.help.and. guidance.just.say.yes.and.rise.to.the.occasion?.Mary.did,.and.she.became. the.mother.of.the.Messiah ..She.had.to.endure.the.sight.of.his.being.tortured.and.crucified.on.a.cross,.only.later.to.be.raised.from.the.dead ..Her. Son.is.the.Messiah,.the.salvation.of.the.world,.and.yet.she.has.had.grief. unimaginable.to.endure,.but.her.faith.in.God.sustained.her ..She.was.the. only.person.to.see.both.the.birth.of.her.godly.Son.and.the.death.of.Him.on. the.cross ..What.a.story.of.faith.in.God ..Will.we.say,.yes,.to.whatever.our. God.is.asking.us.to.do?

74 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 75 

O Faithless and Perverse Generation In.Matthew.17:14.we.see.a.story.of.a.certain.man ..kneeling.down.and. saying,.Lord,.have.mercy.on.my.son:.for.he.is.a.lunatic.and.sore.vexed:. for.oftimes.he.falls.into.the.fire,.and.oft.into.the.water . Sometimes.we.need.to.acknowledge.there.is.a.problem.and.recognize. that.only.God.can.bring.healing ..Sometimes.we.want.to.shield.the.actual. problem.or.the.vexed,.perhaps.because.of.how.we.might.be.thought.of,. and.consequently.we.never.cry.out.to.Jesus ..I.have.often.said.if.we.deny. there.is.a.problem,.then.how.can.we.give.Jesus.the.credit.for.healing.or. correcting.the.problem? Let’s.proceed.with.this.man’s.story ..And.I.brought.him.to.the.disciples,.and.they.could.not.cure.him ..Then.Jesus.answered.and.said,.O.faithless.and.perverse.generation,.how.long.shall.I.be.with.you?.How.long.shall. I.suffer.you?.Bring.him.hither.to.me . Jesus.had.been.given.the.authority.to.heal.the.sick.and.cast.out.devils. and.had.anointed.his.disciples.to.do.the.same ..Yet.in.this.instance.they. were.having.some.problem.accomplishing.the.very.things.that.Jesus.was. wanting.them.to.do . Perhaps.it’s.a.bit.like.my.being.an.intern.at.say.Los.Angeles.County. General.Hospital.in.1950 ..I.had.quite.a.bit.of.information.on.some.pretty. dramatic.surgeries,.but.nearer.the.end.of.my.career.some.60.years.later,. I.not.only.had.the.boldness.but.the.information,.discipline.and.experience.to.accomplish.some.much.more.complicated.surgeries.involving.the. cranial.base,.skull.or.most.of.the.face ..It.just.comes.with.time,.maturity.and. experience,.and.then.add.some.faith.in.what.you.can.do .

And.when.they.saw.it.they.all.murmured,.saying,.that.he.was.gone.to. be.a.guest.with.a.man.that.is.a.sinner . And.Zacchaeus.stood,.and.said.unto.the.Lord:.Behold.Lord,.the.half. of.my.goods.I.give.to.the.poor;.and.if.I.have.taken.anything.from.any.man. by.false.accusation,.I.restore.him.fourfold . And.Jesus.said.to.him,.this.day.is.salvation.come.to.this.house,.forasmuch.as.he.also.is.a.son.of.Abraham . For.the.Son.of.man.is.come.to.seek.and.to.save.that.which.is.lost . Jesus.had.said.before.that.he.doesn’t.look.on.man.the.way.we.do .. He.looks.on.the.heart ..Here.is.a.man.trying.to.provide.for.his.family,.but. admittedly.is.getting.rich.doing.it,.but.at.the.same.time.he.is.attempting.to. be.fair.to.others.and.most.of.all,.he.was.searching.for.God,.and.found.the. Messiah ..He.and.his.household.were.saved.by.the.searching.mind.of.the. small.man.from.Jericho . Do.we.rejoice.when.some.member.or.members.of.our.family.reaches. out.for.Jesus.and.in.the.exchange.they.get.born.again?.Or.do.we.say,.who. do.they.think.they.are?.Or.we.know.of.their.past.life.and.certainly.we. wouldn’t.want.them.coming.to.our.church . There.is.so.much.hypocrisy.occurring.today ..Many.want.to.keep.their. own.born.again.experience.to.themselves.because.that.person.over.there. doesn’t.rise.to.what.we.believe.would.be.Christian?.Or,.maybe.they.are. Christian,.but.they.really.aren’t.what.we.think.of.Christians.because.they. don’t.go.to.Church.A ..Whatever ..Judge.not.so.that.you.will.not.be.judge .. But,.also.you.will.know.them.by.their.fruit . Or,.maybe.we.just.shun.bringing.the.Good.News.to.some.or.many. because.they.do.not.appear.to.have.risen.above.some.sin.in.their.lives? Whatever.way.we.are.behaving,.if.it.is.somewhat.similar.to.what.we. saw.happening.around.Zacchaeus,.we.are.wrong ..Let’s.start.seeing.people. the.way.Jesus.does ..Let’s.truly.see.what’s.on.their.heart,.not.how.their.hair. is.combed.or.even.what.they.are.wearing,.but.truly.what.is.on.their.heart ..I. suspect.Jesus.knew.way.ahead.of.time.that.Zacchaeus.was.a.man.attempting.to.do.right ..He.wanted.to.abide.with.him.and.truly.bring.him.salvation .. Likely,.Zacchaeus’.life.was.not.all.it.should.have.been,.but.who.of.us.can. say.ours.was.either?.Jesus.came.to.save.the.lost.and.at.one.time.we.all.were. lost.and.His.Grace.found.us .

76 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 77 

Nothing is Impossible for Jesus Sometimes.we.find.ourselves.limiting.the.hand.of.God.with.our.lack. of.faith.or.unbelief ..The.little.story.of.Peter.when.asked.by.the.tax. collector.whether.the.master.would.honor.the.custom.of.the.land,.under. the.Roman.rule.by.paying.tribute ..The.story.may.seem.a.little.confusing. but.let.me.read.the.account.as.found.in.Matthew.17:24-27 ..And.when.they. were.come.to.Capernaum,.they.that.received.tribute.money.came.to.Peter. and.said,.Does.not.your.master.pay.tribute?.He.answered.yes,.and.when.he. came.into.the.house.Jesus.prevented.him,.saying.what.thinks.thou,.Simon?. Of.whom.do.the.kings.of.the.earth.take.custom.or.tribute?.Of.their.own. children?.Or.of.strangers? At.that.time.in.history.the.males.were.taxed.for.the.Temple.upkeep .. The.question.asked.of.Peter.was.one.he.wasn’t.sure.of.the.answer.putting. Jesus.in.an.interesting.spot ..In.the.society.in.which.they.lived.the.kings. paid.no.taxes ..Jesus.knew.he.was.a.King.but.to.honor.the.society,.he.would. go.along.with.what.Peter.had.already.agreed.upon . Peter.answered.Jesus’.earlier.question.about.whom.do.the.kings.of. the.earth.receive.tribute,.by.saying,.of.strangers,.and.then.the.Lord.asks. the.question,.then.are.the.children.free? Then.Jesus.said,.Lest.we.offend.them,.go.to.the.sea.and.cast.a.hook,. and.take.up.the.first.fish.that.you.catch.and.open.his.mouth.and.you.shall. find.a.piece.of.money ..Take.that.money.and.pay.the.tribute.for.both.you. and.me ..Jesus.did.this.because.those.people.collecting.the.tribute.have.no. idea.that.Jesus.has.a.kingdom ..He.did.allow.Peter.to.be.the.one.to.provide. the.labor.to.gather.the.money.required,.but.the.actual.supplier.of.the. money.was.the.Lord .

Back.to.Jesus.and.his.disciples ..Jesus.had.told.his.followers.to.bring. the.lad,.afflicted.with.lunacy,.to.him ..Jesus.immediately.rebuked.the.devil;. and.he.departed.out.of.him:.and.the.child.was.cured.from.that.very.hour . The.disciples.came.to.Jesus.and.said,.why.couldn’t.we.cast.the.devil. out?.Jesus.in.just.a.few.words.said,.Because.of.your.unbelief ..He.went.on.to. say,.If.you.have.faith.as.a.grain.of.mustard.seed,.you.shall.say.to.this.mountain,.remove.hence.to.a.yonder.place;.and.it.shall.remove;.and.nothing. shall.be.impossible.unto.you ..He.went.on.to.say.that.this.kind.goes.out.but. by.praying.and.fasting . That.was.a.pretty.good.scolding.to.his.disciples,.but.isn’t.that.what.we. need,.too?.What.a.powerful.teaching.and.demonstration.of.the.power.of. Jesus.and.his.words ..How.many.times.are.we.unwilling.to.just.plain.believe. God.has.everything.in.his.control.which.concerns.his.faithful.believers?.I. know.I.sure.can.fall.into.the.deception.of.the.devil.by.accepting.some.outright.distortion.or.lie.of.the.devil ..We.truly.must.be.vigilant,.because.the. enemy.would.very.much.like.to.deceive.us.into.feeling.the.Lord.has.forgotten.all.about.us,.or.that.his.word.isn’t.for.us.or.is.just.plain.ineffectual .

78 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 79 

Lord, Increase Our Faith In.Luke.17:5.the.apostles.are.saying.to.Jesus,.“Lord,.Increase.our.faith” .. The.Lord.goes.on.to.say,.if.you.had.the.faith.as.a.grain.of.mustard.seed,. you.might.say.unto.this.sycamine.tree,.be.thou.plucked.up.by.the.root,.and. be.thou.planted.into.the.sea;.and.it.should.obey.you . Throughout.the.bible.we.see.evidence.of.lives.being.changed.and.circumstances.being.altered.by.one’s.belief.in.who.they.are.in.Jesus ..He.told.us. we.would.do.these.things.and.more,.if.we.believed ..Let’s.just.consider.a.few. of.the.miracles.which.Jesus.performed.while.he.was.with.us ..Jesus.heals. Peter’s.mother-in-law ..(Matthew.8:14-17).He.heals.the.man.with.leprosy .. (Mark.1:40-45) ..Jesus.heals.the.paralyzed.man ..(Luke.5:17-26).He.raises.a. widow’s.son.from.the.dead ..(Luke.11:7-17).Jesus.heals.all.who.touch.him .. (Matthew.14:34-36).Jesus.restores.sight.to.a.blind.man.(Mark.8:22-26) Is.there.more.that.Jesus.needs.to.do.to.make.you.positive.he.not.only. is.the.son.of.God,.is.God.and.can.do.whatever.you.need.and.have.faith.to. ask.him.for?

God.would.have.us.be.the.one.who.steps.out.in.faith.for.providing. the.resources.which.our.lives.require,.but.in.the.end.realize.he.is.the.actual. provider.of.all.that.we.need.and.then.to.be.grateful.for.that.provision ..Our. lives.are.truly.to.be.lived.in.faith.that.he.will.supply.all.of.our.need,.and. then.be.in.obedience.to.God.and.his.purpose.for.our.lives .

81 

Jesus Heals the Blind Man If.ever.a.person.might.wonder.whether.Jesus.was.the.Son.of.God,.then. miracles.like.the.one.I.will.now.discuss.or.the.raising.of.Lazarus.from. the.dead.ought.to.be.more.than.enough.proof ..In.this.story.found.in.Mark. 8:22-26.we.see.when.Jesus.had.gone.to.Bethsaida.and.the.disciples.bring.a. blind.man.to.him,.and.they.besought.Jesus.to.touch.him . And.he.took.the.blind.man.by.the.hand.and.then.led.him.out.of.the. town:.and.when.he.had.spit.on.his.eyes,.and.put.his.hands.upon.him,.he. asked.if.he.saw.ought? The.blind.man.replied,.I.see.men.as.trees,.walking ..After.that.he. put.his.hands.again.upon.eyes,.and.made.him.look.up:.and.his.sight.was. restored.and.he.saw.every.man.clearly . And.Jesus.sent.the.man.away.to.his.house,.saying,.neither.go.into. town,.nor.tell.it.to.any.in.town . Isn’t.that.an.interesting.story?.Here.Jesus.does.a.miracle.that.can. only.be.performed.through.the.power.of.God,.but.Jesus.is.not.willing.that. others.hear.about.it ..Do.you.suspect.the.very.fact.this.blind.man.can.see. will.make.it.impossible.to.hide.the.miracle.from.family.and.friends? Jesus.was.not.wanting.to.be.thronged.by.the.crowd.at.that.moment. in.time ..He.let.us.know.that.through.the.power.of.his.name.we.can.lay. hands.on.the.sick.and.they.will.recover ..Sometimes.we.hesitate.laying. hands.on.some.person.that.God.would.have.us.lay.hands.on.because.we. might.not.see.the.healing,.at.that.moment,.and.we.would.seem.weak.or. foolish ..Perhaps.what.he.is.asking.us.to.do.will.seem.as.foolish.as.spitting. on.your.hands.and.placing.them.on.someone’s.eyes,.whatever.you.say,. Lord,.I.will.do . I.have.been.very.fortunate.to.have.seen.many.miracles.in.my.life,.but. like.all.of.us.I.have.seen.other.times.when.I.have.prayed.for.some.healing.or. other.need.for.an.individual.and.have.seen.no.manifestation.occur ..Does.

82 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 83 

The Healing of the 12 year Old with Brain Cancer Back.in.the.1990’s.while.we.were.living.there.in.Calpella,.a.woman.was. brought.to.us.who.was.having.serious.trouble.in.her.marriage ..Her. husband.was.the.brother.of.a.local.Catholic.Priest ..It.was.apparent.to.us. that.she.really.didn’t.know.Jesus,.as.her.Lord.and.Savior,.so.that.was.where. we.started,.and.then.we.gave.her.knowledge.of.how.she.could.stand.on. God’s.word.for.the.restoration.of.a.loving.and.productive.marriage ..She. was.very.grateful ..We.did.not.see.anything.more.of.her.for.over.the.next.18. months,.but.all.of.a.sudden.we.learned.of.her.12.year.old.son.having.brain. cancer.and.predicted.to.die.within.6-8.weeks . God.put.on.my.heart.that.I.was.to.pray.for.his.healing ..I.had.told. Lynne.about.what.God.had.shown.me,.but.I.had.no.idea.when.or.how.this. was.going.to.transpire ..I.had.learned.enough.over.the.years.to.let.God.have. His.way ..He.could.find.some.way.to.bring.that.to.pass,.if.it.was.to.be.so .. Some.weeks.went.by.and.one.evening.we.had.gone.to.the.midweek.church. service.and.decided.afterwards.to.stop.at.Denny’s.for.a.cup.of.coffee.and. dessert ..We.never.did.do.that,.but.this.evening.we.invited.the.Edwards.to. join.us . As.we.walked.into.the.restaurant.the.waiter.escorted.us.through. the.establishment.to.near.the.back.and.placed.us.in.a.larger.booth ..As. we.passed.by.another.booth,.on.the.way,.Lynne.noticed.we.had.passed. the.lady.we.had.prayed.for.earlier ..Her.family.was.sitting.there.with.her .. The.mother.recognized.us,.too,.and.she.kept.making.eye.contact.with.me. and.when.they.got.up.to.go,.she.brought.her.family.over.to.our.booth ..I. asked.if.they.might.sit.a.moment.and.I.began.telling.them.how.God.had. told.me.I.was.to.pray.over.their.son.Matthew.for.a.complete.healing.of.

that.discourage.me.or.keep.me.from.laying.hands.on.someone.for.healing?. No,.not.really ..I.always.figure.my.job.is.to.take.the.word.of.God.to.another. person.or.people,.and.to.be.willing.to.lay.hands.on.that.person,.if.directed. by.the.Holy.Spirit,.and.then.the.actual.healing.is.God’s.to.perform . Let.me.tell.you.about.one.episode.of.healing.which.occurred.when.I. laid.hands.on.a.young.boy .

84 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 85 

The Faithful Samuel In.1.Samuel.2:35.we.see.God.speaking.about.the.child.Samuel,.who. remember.had.been.dedicated.by.Hannah,.his.mother,.to.the.Lord. from.before.his.birth ..In.this.verse.God.says,.and.I.will.raise.me.up.a. faithful.priest,.that.shall.do.according.to.that.which.is.in.my.heart.and.in. my.mind:.and.I.will.build.him.a.sure.house;.and.he.shall.walk.before.my. anointed.forever . In.the.next.chapter.of.1.Samuel.in.3:1.it.says,.and.the.child.Samuel. ministered.unto.the.Lord.before.Eli ..At.one.point.while.Eli.was.tending. to.the.tabernacle,.the.lamp.of.the.Lord.went.out.and.God.called.out.to. Samuel,.just.a.youth,.and.Samuel.replied,.here.am.I ..Samuel.thought.it.was. Eli.who.was.calling.him.from.his.sleep,.but.it.was.God ..God.did.that.three. times.and.every.time.Samuel.felt.it.was.Eli ..God.finally.came.and.stood.and. said,.Samuel,.Samuel.and.finally.Samuel.answered,.Speak.for.thy.servant. heareth ..God.tells.Samuel.that.in.the.future.he.will.judge.Eli’s.house.forever. for.the.lack.of.discipline.Eli.has.shown.in.raising.his.two.boys . Later,.Eli.compelled.Samuel.to.tell.him.what.the.Lord.had.said ..Eli. responded.to.problems.and.situations.rather.than.being.the.leader.and. priest.who.would.solve.them ..God.was.not.pleased ..He.was.given.the.privilege.of.raising.Samuel.when.Hannah.gave.him.to.him ..Eli.began.to.honor. the.created.more.than.the.Creator . Samuel,.on.the.other.hand,.became.a.leader.somewhat.like.Moses .. Both.were.specially.called.by.God ..God.recognized.Samuel’s.faithfulness.in. small.things.so.he.made.him.responsible.over.much.greater.things.of.God . He.filled.the.posts.of.judge,.priest,.prophet,.and.God’s.man.at.a. turning.point.in.the.history.of.Israel ..He.truly.was.a.servant.of.God . That.is.exactly.the.heart.he.is.looking.for.in.each.of.us ..Just.be.sold. out.to.God ..It.is.a.godly.character.God.is.seeking.in.the.lives.of.those.who. wish.to.serve.him ..More.important,.probably,.than.what.we.do.or.have.

his.cancer ..They.agreed,.so.I.began.telling.them.all.about.how.Jesus.went. about.healing.all.and.how.He.had.instructed.His.disciples.to.do.likewise, I.knew.much.of.what.the.Lord.was.having.me.do.was.to.build.their. faith,.and.particularly.the.Father’s.as.I.suspect.he.might.not.be.a.born-again. Christian ..Or.at.least.only.a.nominal.Christian ..I.could.see.the.expectation. of.healing.arise.in.Matthew.and.his.mother ..There.was.another.sibling.or. two.there.also.but.I.was.so.focused.on.Matthew,.I.hardly.noticed.them . The.son.was.almost.beginning.to.glow.with.expectation ..At.my.suggestion.we.joined.hands.as.I.laid.hands.on.Matthew.and.began.to.pray.for. his.healing,.as.the.Spirit.gave.me.direction ..Lynne.and.I.and.the.Edwards. knew.that.Matthew.was.healed.of.his.brain.cancer.at.that.very.moment .. The.Mother.gave.us.a.hug.as.she.said.to.me.“I.just.knew.we.were.supposed. to.see.you .”.You.see,.God.had.made.it.known.to.her.that.this.would.be.a. divine.moment.and.that.Bob.was.to.pray.over.her.son . The.atmosphere.in.that.particular.Denny’s.Restaurant.was.charged. with.the.Holy.Spirit.that.evening ..We.could.have.led.all.to.the.Lord.that. were.in.the.restaurant.at.that.moment,.but.God.had.us.there.to.lay.His. hands.on.a.12.year.old.cancer.victim,.named.Matthew,.so.he.might.be. healed ..We.related.that.story.across.the.nation.that.next.year.as.we.traveled.and.ministered.to.marriages . Eighteen.months.later.we.flew.our.Cessna.P-210.airplane.back.to.the. Ukiah.Airport.and.there.was.Matthew’s.mother.waiting.for.some.three. hours.to.tell.us.that.this.very.day.a.CT.scan.had.been.taken.and.confirmed. Matthew’s.being.totally.free.of.brain.cancer ..PTL There.are.instances.where.a.person.is.absolutely.compelled.to.lay. hands.on.the.sick.for.healing.to.occur ..It.is.at.those.times.when.one.needs. to.be.obedient.to.God.and.do.exactly.what.he.is.commanding ..This.time. with.Matthew.was.one.of.those.interesting.and.fruitful.moments ..We. all.knew.Matthew.was.totally.healed.by.our.God.that.very.evening ..Can. you.imagine.how.that.small.gesture.on.our.part.affected.the.lives.of.all.in. that.family?

86 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 87 

Unbelief, the Opposite of Faith In.Luke.11:29-32.we.see.Jesus.warning.the.people.about.unbelief ..His. words.follow: And.when.the.people.were.gathered.together,.he.began.to.say,.this.is. an.evil.generation:.they.seek.a.sign;.and.there.be.no.sign.given.it,.but.the. sign.of.Jonas.the.prophet . For.as.Jonas.was.a.sign.unto.Nineveh,.so.shall.the.Son.of.man.be.to. this.generation . The.queen.of.the.south.(Sheba.of.Assyria).shall.rise.up.in.the.judgment.with.the.men.of.this.generation,.and.condemn.them:.for.she.came. from.the.utmost.parts.of.the.earth.to.hear.the.wisdom.of.Solomon;.and. behold.a.greater.than.Solomon.is.here . The.men.of.Nineveh.shall.rise.up.in.the.judgment.with.this.generation,.and.shall.condemn.it:.for.they.repented.at.the.preaching.of.Jonas;. and,.behold,.a.greater.than.Jonas.is.here . Wow!.That.is.a.rebuke.by.our.Lord.to.that.generation ..But,.how.does. that.generation.compare.to.the.vileness.and.ungodly.character.of.our. present.generation? This.should.be.a.wakeup.call.to.all.who.are.living.at.this.time ..This.is. no.time.to.be.living.our.lives.as.an.unsaved,.worldly.generation ..This.is.too. serious ..The.Lord.left.little.doubt.how.we.might.fare.in.that.judgment ..Just. as.Jonas.was.sent.to.prophesy.repentance.to.the.Gentiles.of.his.generation,. Jesus.is.comparing.the.rescuing.of.Jonas.from.the.belly.of.the.whale.to.his. forthcoming.crucifixion,.burial.for.three.days.and.then.resurrection.from. the.dead ..Jesus.came.to.save.the.people.he.loved,.and.those.who.would.in. turn.choose.to.love.him .

accomplished.is.our.attitude.and.desire.to.follow.God’s.direction ..Samuel,. because.of.the.faithfulness.of.Hannah,.his.mother,.started.very.early.with. God ..The.verses.found.in.1.Samuel.3:19-20.are.descriptive.of.Samuel’s.life .. And.Samuel.grew,.and.the.Lord.was.with.him,.and.did.let.none.of.his. words.fall.to.the.ground,.and.all.Israel.knew.Samuel.was.called,.by.God,. to.be.a.priest .

88 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 89 

A Faithful Woman, Named Lydia In.Acts.16:14-15.we.see.an.interesting.mention.about.a.time.in.which. Paul.was.ministering.to.some.women.in.the.area.of.Philipi,.which.is. in.the.northern.area.of.Greece.at.that.particular.time ..Paul.had.started.a. church.in.Macedonia.and.in.this.particular.story.we.see.him.ministering. just.outside.the.city.limits,.by.a.river,.to.some.women . There.was.an.ordinance.to.not.bring.any.unrecognized.religion.into. the.city.proper,.thus.the.prayer.meeting.or.church.service.to.the.women. along.the.river.bank ..Paul.never.hesitated.to.engage.the.women.in.his. evangelizing.and.on.this.occasion.there.was.a.woman.named,.Lydia,.who. was.a.merchant.of.fabrics.in.the.color.purple ..She.was.a.woman.who.the. Lord.had.touched.her.heart.through.the.ministry.of.Paul ..Her.faith.rose. and.she.wanted.to.be.able.to.help.Paul.in.any.way.she.could . It.says.in.verse.15,.that.when.she.was.baptized,.along.with.her.household,.she.besought.the.disciples.with.Paul.and.said,.if.you.have.judged. me.to.be.faithful.to.the.Lord,.come.into.my.house.and.abide.there ..And. she.constrained.us ..In.other.words.she.persuaded.them.to.stay.there.for.a. period ..This.is.the.faith.in.Jesus.that.is.required.in.all.believers,.once.saved .. Our.faith.in.God.should.make.a.precipitous.change.in.how.we.live.our.lives. and.how.we.treat.our.neighbors,.our.spouses.and.really.the.whole.world. around.us ..We.should.all.rise.to.the.occasion.and.seek.to.save.the.lost.in. our.families,.our.schools,.our.workplaces.and.wherever.they.may.be . Look.at.the.change.in.Paul’s.life.from.where.he.was.threatening.and. imprisoning.Christians,.at.the.time.of.Stephen’s.death,.to.where.he.became. one.of.the.world’s.leading.evangelists.and.writers.of.the.word.of.God,.even. from.prison ..But.Paul.didn’t.stop.there;.he.went.to.his.whole.world ..It.took.

This.is.our.generation,.and.to.not.take.it.as.seriously.as.we.should,.will. mean.a.terrible.judgment.on.our.nation.and.on.our.civilization ..Perhaps. things.have.been.too.comfortable.for.all.of.us.for.too.long ..Whatever. takes.our.focus.and.attention.off.of.the.life.that.Jesus.lived.and.the.salvation.which.he.freely.offered.will.be.to.our.detriment ..Despite.what.our. President.is.saying,.America.is.a.Judeo-Christian.nation,.and.we.had.better. never.forget.it ..It.is.time.for.us.to.get.on.our.knees.and.worship.and.praise. God.every.day,.and.start.behaving.the.way.he.would.have.us.behave ..There. is.no.time.for.loving.the.world.and.not.seeking.and.blessing.the.Lord .

90 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 91 

O Ye of Little Faith In.Matthew.6:25-30.we.see.Jesus.teaching.his.disciples.about.worrying. and.the.uselessness.of.it ..He.says.take.no.thought.for.your.life,.what.you. shall.eat,.what.you.shall.drink;.nor.yet.for.your.body,.what.you.shall.put.on .. Is.not.the.life.more.than.meat,.and.the.body.more.than.raiment? Behold.the.fowls.of.the.air:.for.they.sow.not,.neither.do.they.reap,.nor. gather.unto.barns;.yet.your.heavenly.Father.feeds.them ..Are.not.you.much. better.than.they? Which.of.you.by.taking.thought.can.add.one.cubit.unto.his.stature? And.why.take.you.thought.for.raiment?.Consider.the.lilies.of.the. field,.how.they.grow;.they.toil.not,.neither.do.they.spin: And.yet.I.say.to.you,.that.even.Solomon.in.all.his.glory.was.not. arrayed.like.one.of.these . Wherefore,.if.God.so.clothe.the.grass.of.the.field,.which.today.is,.and. tomorrow.is.cast.into.the.oven,.shall.he.not.much.more.clothe.you,.O.ye. of.little.faith? In.that.short.teaching.to.his.followers,.Jesus.gave.us.much.to.think. about ..As.a.surgeon.and.later.as.a.businessman,.there.were.all.sorts.of. circumstances.and.sometimes.very.difficult.things.to.consider,.but.I.really. learned.to.give.much.of.those.concerns.to.the.Lord ..My.part.was.to.organize.and.complete.all.I.knew.to.do,.and.with.as.much.diligence.and.expertise.as.could.muster,.and.then.let.the.rest.go,.to.the.extent.possible ..That.is. not.always.easy,.but.like.flying.a.jet.airplane.on.instrument.flight.rules.or. doing.some.very.complicated.surgery,.perhaps.at.the.base.of.the.brain.and. involving.the.face,.you.must.develop.the.discipline.and.accumulate.the. knowledge.for.the.job.and.then.at.some.point.you.leave.the.rest.to.God .. That,.I.must.say.takes.sometimes.years.of.experience.and.maturity . It’s.much.like.standing.for.reconciliation.of.your.marriage ..You.must. learn.the.truth,.from.God’s.word,.and.then.make.a.bold.confession.to.God,.

him.personally.being.called.on.by.Jesus,.to.see.the.transformation.we.all. would.wish.were.occurring.in.our.own,.born.again.lives . Besides.bringing.Lydia,.the.faithful.one.and.her.family,.to.the.Lord,. he.brought.many.other.Gentiles.to.the.Lord ..His.famous.verse.found.in. Philippians.1:21.should.be.the.motto.for.all.of.us,.as.it.likely.became.for. Lydia.and.her.family ..It.says,.“For.me.to.live.is.Christ,.and.to.die.is.gain .”. If.we.can.bring.real.faith.into.just.one.more.soul.each.day,.wouldn’t.that. be.great?

92 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 93 

Jesus Calms the Storm and Sends the Pigs a Swimming I. love.both.of.these.stories.that.follow.one.another.in.Matthew.8:23-34 .. Jesus.has.just.finished.talking.to.his.disciples.about.the.cost.of.following.him . In.verse.23,.it.says.that.he.entered.into.a.ship.and.his.disciples.followed. him ..(Over.the.Sea.of.Galilee).And.behold.there.arose.a.great.tempest.in. the.sea,.insomuch.the.ship.was.covered.with.the.waves:.But he was asleep . And.his.disciples.came.to.him,.and.awoke.him,.saying.Lord,.save.us:. we.perish . I’ll.bet.that.was.one.of.those.moments.when.it.looked.like.there.was. no.way.through.that.storm.in.their.lives ..Haven’t.you.just.been.there?.I. have,.and.I.wondered.if.I.would.ever.see.victory ..When.those.storms.of. life.occur,.it.is.easy.to.feel.that.we.just.don’t.have.enough.faith.to.break. through,.but.it.is.in.those.very.moments.when.we.need.to.call.on.the.Lord .. Trust.me.he.is.not.asleep . And.Jesus.said.unto.them,.why.are.you.fearful?.O.Ye.of.little.faith?. Then.he.arose.and.rebuked.the.winds.and.the.sea:.and.there.was.a.great. calm ..But.the.men.marveled.saying,.what.manner.of.man.is.this,.that.even. the.winds.and.the.seas.obey.him . Talk.about.being.a.lesson.in.faith ..Here.we.sit.here.with.some.relational.or.financial.or.health.problem.and.we.wonder.if.I.call.on.Jesus,.can. he.really.help.relieve.the.problem.we.are.facing?.What.are.we.saying,.the. very.God.that.created.the.stars.and.the.moon.and.the.sun.and.the.earth,. would.have.some.problem.with.a.two.bit.financial.problem.or.someone’s. marriage.or.take.care.of.a.heart.problem ..Is.that.what.we.believe?.Then,. truly.we.do.need.some.better.understanding.of.who.we.are.and.more. importantly,.who.He.is .

Satan.and.the.world,.that.no.matter.what,.you.are.expecting.to.succeed ..I. know,.I.have.been.there.and.it.takes.a.great.deal.of.faith,.even.when.you. may.feel.very.shaky.inside ..That.doesn’t.matter ..It’s.what.you.can.believe. for,.and.the.faith.you.can.muster.in.your.Lord.and.Savior.and.then.the. confession.of.your.mouth . In.those.particular.battles.which.I.had.to.walk.through,.I.just.saying,. Use Me God,.in.whatever.way.you.prefer,.but.I.am.believing.for.whatever. lines.up.with.your.word,.and.as.you.show.me.those.verses,.I.will.speak. them.over.the.circumstance ..God.has.always.been.there.to.not.only.walk. me.through.the.problem,.but.to.teach.me.a.good.deal.as.we.came.through. it ..It.seemed.to.frequently.be.humbling,.but.that.is.fine.with.me .

94 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 95 

Jesus Sends the Twelve Disciples Out to Minister In.Matthew.10:1-15.Jesus.calls.to.him.the.twelve.disciples.and.then.gave. them.power.over.the.unclean.spirits,.to.cast.them.out ..And.to.heal.all. manner.of.things ..It.is.interesting.how.he.asks.them.to.serve.him ..He.didn’t. draft.or.compel.them,.he.selected.them.and.sent.them.out ..If.we.look.in. the.book.of.Acts.in.chapter.one,.we.see.he.again.told.his.disciples.they. were.to.go.out,.after.receiving.the.Holy.Ghost,.and.you.shall.be.witnesses. to.me.in.Jerusalem,.Samaria.and.the.uttermost.part.of.the.earth . In.Matthew.he.says.the.following,.he.gave.them.power.against.all. unclean.spirits,.to.cast.them.out,.and.to.heal.all.manner.of.sickness.and.all. manner.of.disease ..He.tells.them.to.not.yet.go.out.to.the.Gentiles.nor.into. Samaria,.but.go.to.the.lost.sheep.of.Israel ..He.tells.them.to.let.the.people. know.the.kingdom.of.heaven.is.at.hand ..Heal.the.sick,.cleanse.the.lepers,. raise.the.dead,.cast.out.devils.freely.you.have.received,.freely.give . Provide.neither.gold,.nor.silver,.nor.brass.in.your.purses ..Nor.script. for.your.journey,.neither.two.coats,.neither.shoes,.nor.yet.staves:.for.the. workman.is.worthy.of.his.meat ..Ask.who.is.worthy.and.there.abide.till.you. go.hence . When.you.enter.a.house.that.is.worthy,.let.your.peace.come.upon.it:. but.if.not.worthy,.let.your.peace.return.unto.you . If.one.will.not.receive.you.nor.your.word,.shake.off.the.dirt.from. your.feet.and.depart ..It.is.interesting.that.Jesus.did.not.ask.the.disciples. to.go.to.the.Gentiles.at.that.time.as.he.wanted.hois.chosen.people.to.be. converted.to.Christianity.first.and.then.for.them.to.go.into.the.whole. world ..He.wanted.his.Jewish.people.to.tell.the.rest.of.the.world.about. him ..In.so.doing,.the.Jewish.converts.told.all.of.the.Roman.Empire.about. the.works.of.Jesus ..That.was.his.plan,.and.it.worked.very.well.as.soon.

In.verse.28.it.says.when.he.was.come.to.the.other.side.into.the.country. of.the.Gergesenes,.there.met.him.two.possessed.with.devils,.coming.out.of. the.tombs,.exceeding.fierce,.so.that.no.man.might.pass.by.that.way . And.behold.they.cried.out,.saying,.what.have.we.to.do.with.thee,. Jesus,.thou.Son.of.God?.Are.you.come.hither.to.torment.us.before.the. time?.And.there.was.a.good.way.off.from.them.a.herd.of.many.swine. feeding ..So.the.devils.besought.him.saying,.if.thou.cast.us.out,.suffer.us.to. go.away.into.the.herd.of.swine . And.he.said.unto.them,.Go ..And.when.they.were.come.out,.they.went. into.the.herd.of.swine:.and,.behold,.the.whole.herd.of.swine.ran.violently. down.a.steep.place.into.the.sea,.and.perished.in.the.waters . And.they.that.kept.them.fled,.and.went.their.ways.into.the.city,.and. told.everything,.and.what.was.befallen.to.the.possessed.of.the.devils . And,.behold,.the.whole.city.came.out.to.meet.Jesus:.and.when.they. saw.him,.they.besought.him.that.he.would.depart.out.of.their.coasts ..So. despite.all.of.the.good.that.Jesus,.or.you,.may.do,.they.may.still.cast.you.out . I.have.so.many.times.been.amazed.at.how.upset.people.can.get.when. the.spirit.in.them.recognizes.the.spirit.in.you.as.a.born.again.Christian .. Sometime.things.just.happen.and.all.you.can.relate.them.to.is.the.different. spirits ..They.are.spiritual.battles.and.that.is.exactly.what.we.were.seeing. happen.between.Jesus.and.the.spirits.in.the.two.lunatics ..They.recognized. Jesus.and.he.quickly.recognized.them.and.cast.them.out.into.the.pigs .

96 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 97 Faith, Hope, and Love years.that.I.was.bringing.forth.God’s.plan.for.this.surgery ..At.times.the. persecution.got.brutal.and.very.personal,.but.with.God’s.help.I.was.able.to. move.through.all.of.the.attacks.to.accomplish.exactly.what.the.Lord.had. told.me.to.do . Jesus.lets.the.disciples.know.that.brother.will.deliver.up.brother.to. death,.and.the.father.the.child.and.the.child.the.parent.even.unto.death .. I.would.say.that.abortion.today.represents.some.of.what.Jesus.was.saying. to.his.disciples . Jesus.tells.them.if.they.persecute.you.in.this.city.move.on.to.the.next .. You.shall.be.hated.for.his.name’s.sake,.but.he.that.endures.to.the.end.shall. be.saved ..He.goes.on.to.say.that.the.servant.is.not.above.his.master,.nor. above.his.Lord . He.goes.on.to.say.whatever.he.spoke.in.darkness.we.are.to.speak.in. light.and.whatever.we.hear.in.our.ear.we.are.to.speak.from.the.housetops . He.tells.his.disciples.to.not.fear.them.which.can.kill.the.body,.but. are.not.able.to.kill.the.soul,.but.fear.him.who.can.kill.the.body.and.soul.in. hell ..He.goes.on.to.say.that.whosoever.confesses.him.before.men,.he.will. confess.before.the.Father.in.heaven ..But.if.we.deny.him,.he.will.deny.us. before.the.Father.in.heaven ..Think.not.that.he.is.to.send.peace.on.earth:. but.a.sword.to.divide.members.of.his.own.family ..He.tells.us.we.must.take. up.our.cross.and.follow.him ..What.a.message.and.what.a.course.for.us. to.follow . As.we.see.further.down.in.the.book.of.Acts.that.the.twelve.went.out. to.minister.and.returned.to.tell.the.Master.that.even.demons.fled.at.their. ministry ..He.told.them.not.to.marvel.at.that,.but.their.names.were.written. in.the.book.of.life ..In.other.words,.he.expects.us.to.tell.others.about.him .. That.is.the.least.we.can.do.for.the.privilege.of.having.ourselves.redeemed . the.Gentiles.were.flooding.the.new.Christian.churches.and.converting.to. become.Christians ..After.all.the.Jews.had.been.predicting.and.waiting.for. the.Messiah.for.centuries . Jesus.lets.his.disciples.know.that.he.will.be.persecuted ..He.says,. behold.I.send.you.out.as.sheep.in.the.midst.of.wolves ..He.tells.them,.be. ye.wise.as.serpents.and.harmless.as.doves ..Isn’t.that.a.real.message.for.us. today ..First,.we.must.realize.this.calling.for.ministering.to.others.is.a.call. on.each.of.our.lives ..There.are.so.many.ways.of.ministering.about.Jesus,. and.most.importantly,.all.are.called . He.warns.them.and.us,.too,.to.beware.of.men.as.they.will.offer.you.up. to.councils,.and.they.will.scourge.you.in.your.synagogues.or.churches ..You. shall.be.brought.before.governors.and.kings.for.his.sake,.but.when.they.do. deliver.you.up,.take.no.thought.for.what.you.will.say,.for.it.will.be.given.for. you.as.to.what.you.should.say ..It.will.not.be.you.that.speaks,.but.the.Spirit. of.your.Father.that.will.speak . Boy,.is.that.comforting ..I.have.been.in.many.circumstances.where. I.wasn’t.fully.sure.what.I.might.speak.or.say.and.where.God’s.Holy.Spirit. spoke.through.me.words.I.might.never.have.said ..As.I.have.written.a. number.of.books.in.a.short.period.of.time.I.distinctly.felt.that.it.was.God. writing.through.me ..When.I.wrote.a.love.song.to.Lynne.one.morning.in. 2011,.I.was.able.to.write.the.7.stanzas.in.about.20.minutes ..I.really.felt.later. I.had.written.none.of.that.song,.that.God.had.done.it.for.me . Years.earlier,.in.1960,.I.had.innovated.and.pioneered.the.development.of.the.first.implants.for.the.reconstruction.of.the.degenerated,. dysfunctional.or.congenitally.missing.temporomandibular.joint ..I.was.a. practicing.oral.and.maxillofacial.surgeon.in.Pasadena.and.had.a.patient. who.needed.such.an.implant,.but.one.had.not.yet.been.invented ..It.was. as.I.was.driving.from.Pasadena.to.Santa.Barbara,.that.God.miraculously. gave.me.the.idea.for.the.very.implant.needed ..It.over.the.years.became. the.mainstay.of.treatment.for.disease.and.degeneration.of.that.joint.in.the. world ..It.was.God.allowing.me.to.bring.it.forth.over.the.next.50.years.to. help.tens.of.thousands.of.patients . But.as.Jesus.has.told.his.disciples,.persecution.will.occur ..It.doesn’t. matter.whether.you.are.evangelizing.or.accomplishing.some.fete.which. only.God.could.orchestrate,.persecution.will.occur.from.family.or.others. or.especially.those.who.are.in.authority ..I.saw.it.occur.over.all.of.those.50.

99 

Habakkuk the Questioner of God Probably.most.of.Habakkuk’s.questions.could.be.asked.in.our.times.by. many.Christians ..He.lived.in.Judah.at.a.time.when.sin.abounds ..He. being.a.minor.prophet.wondered.why.the.people.were.not.being.punished . Habakkuk’s.first.question.of.God.was.as.follows ..O.Lord,.how.long. shall.I.cry,.and.thou.will.not.hear?.Even.cry.out.to.thee.of.violence,.and. thou.will.not.save?.For.the.wicked.does.compass.about.the.righteous;. therefore.wrong.judgments.proceed . Doesn’t.that.just.sound.somewhat.like.our.judicial.judgments.today? God.answers.Habakkuk:.For.I.will.work.a.work.in.your.days,.which. you.will.not.believe,.though.it.be.told.you .. I.will.raise.up.the.Chaldeans,.that.bitter.and.hasty.nation,.which.shall. march.through.the.breadth.of.the.land.to.possess.it . Then.Habakkuk.comes.back.with.his.second.question:.Art.thou.not. from.everlasting,.O.Lord,.my.God?.We.shall.not.die?.You.are.of.purer.eyes. than.to.behold.evil . I.will.stand.upon.my.watch.and.set.me.upon.the.tower,.and.will. watch.to.see.what.he.will.say.unto.me,.and.what.I.shall.answer.when.I. am.reproved . God’s.answer.to.Habakkuk:.Write.the.vision.and.make.it.plain. upon.the.tables,.that.he.may.run.that.reads.it ..For.the.vision.is.yet.for.an. appointed.time,.but.at.the.end.it.shall.speak.and.not.lie;.though.it.tarry,. wait.for.it;.it.will.surely.come;.it.will.not.tarry ..Behold.his.soul.which.is. lifted.up.is.not.upright.in.him:.but.the.just.shall.live.by.his.faith . Habakkuk.ends.in.prayer.and.the.very.end.of.the.prayer.he.states:.Yet,. will.I.rejoice.in.the.Lord,.I.will.joy.in.the.God.of.my.salvation ..The.Lord.

100 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 101 

The Story of Zephaniah The.story.of.Zephaniah.is.a.story.of.first.discouragement,.hopelessness,. and.then.honesty.and.finally.hope ..Zephaniah.is.a.prophet.ministering.in.the.period.around.631B .C ..during.reign.of.King.Josiah.over.Judah . It.was.a.time.of.revival.because.of.the.earlier.evil.fostered.under.the. kingship.of.Kings.Manasseh.and.Amon . The.country.of.Judah.had.forsaken.the.Lord ..Much.like.today,.the. people.worshipped.false.gods.and.false.religions ..In.Zephaniah’s.time.the. people.were.worshipping.Baal.and.Molech.and.other.gods ..The.priests. did.not.remain.true.to.the.worship.of.the.one.God.but.worshipped.pagan. gods,.too . God.will.only.allow.sin.to.reign.so.long.and.Zephaniah.was.prophesying.the.holy.destruction.coming.against.Judah ..The.people.were.prospering.and.no.longer.needed.God ..Isn’t.that.where.we.are.today?.We.have. gotten.so.filled.with.ourselves.that.we.feel.we.really.don’t.need.to.honor. God ..Just.don’t.allow.anybody.in.the.workplace.to.honor.God ..If.we.speak. against.homosexual.behavior,.we.are.homophobes ..If.we.preach.and.teach. about.the.harm.of.murdering.our.unborn.babies,.we.are.heartless ..No,.I. disagree ..We,.like.Zephaniah.had.better.be.willing.to.stand.against.the. tide ..Sure,.we.will.be.hated,.but.I.don’t.want.to.be.responsible.for.and.to. receive.the.wrath.of.our.God . That.is.exactly.where.Zephaniah.was.in.an.evil.and.a.corrupt.generation . Listen.to.some.of.the.word.which.the.Lord.gave.to.Zephaniah ..God. says,.I.will.utterly.consume.all.things.from.off.of.the.land ..I.will.consume. man.and.beast;.I.will.consume.the.fowls.of.the.heaven,.and.the.fishes.of. the.sea,.and.the.stumbling.blocks.with.the.wicked;.and.I.will.cut.off.man. from.off.of.the.land .

God.is.my.strength,.and.he.will.make.my.feet.like.hinds.feet,.and.he.will. make.me.to.walk.upon.my.high.places . When.Habakkuk.was.done.questioning.God.as.to.why.at.times. the.ungodly.appear.to.prosper,.that.in.the.end.we.truly.do.want.to.walk. the.high.road.with.the.God.of.this.universe ..He.is.the.only.thing.that. remains.constant.and.of.that.I.am.certain.and.he.will.guide.us.in.paths. of.righteousness . As.we.follow.God.through.the.paths.and.the.maze.called.life,.if.ever. there.is.anything.sure,.it.is.that.our.God.will.always.be.there.to.somehow. bring.us.back.from.the.brink,.by.his.miraculous.power ..Our.part,.of.course. is.to.seek.him.with.a.faith-filled.heart,.and.expect.to.see.that.mountain.moved . Having.lived.a.long.life.here.on.earth.and.in.this.beautiful.country. called.America,.I.am.most.desirous.of.seeing.our.children,.grandchildren. and.great.grandchildren.all.have.the.same.opportunities.for.freedom. and.prosperity.which.we.have.enjoyed ..With.our.people.making.ungodly. choices,.we.will.see.the.devastation.which.God.allows.to.occur,.due.to.an. ungrateful.Nation ..So.much.of.the.blessings.which.we.have.enjoyed.here. in.the.United.States.of.America.came.upon.us.because.of.the.grateful.to. God.Nation.we.started.with .

102 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 103 Faith, Hope, and Love There.is.no.such.animal.as.a.same.sex.marriage.in.the.biblical.realm ..It.is. sin.and.if.we.don’t.call.it.by.that.name.and.teach.our.younger.generation,. and.then.we.won’t.deserve.anything.better.than.Judah.in.the.time.of.Josiah. and.Zephaniah ..In.the.next.chapter.I.want.to.talk.a.little.about.Isaiah,.likely. the.greatest.of.the.Old.Testament.prophets . Gods.goes.on.in.that.prophesy.talking.about.a.great.deal.of.destruction.which.will.come.against.Judah.and.Jerusalem ..He.went.on.to.say,.for. all.of.the.earth.shall.be.devoured.with.the.fire.of.my.jealousy . In.the.midst.of.these.terrible.predictions.there.is.hope ..In.Zephaniah. 2:3.Seek.ye.the.Lord,.all.you.meek.of.the.earth,.which.has.wrought.his. judgment;.seek.righteousness,.seek.meekness;.it.may.be.you.shall.be.hid.in. the.day.of.the.Lord’s.anger . This.is.certainly.a.message.for.today.of.hope ..We.are.to.flee.sin,.seek. his.righteousness.and.expect.to.see.the.hand.of.the.Lord.deliver.us.from.a. faithless.and.evil.world . I.feel.in.today’s.church.leadership.we.may.at.times.see.too.much. compromise.in.the.areas.of.tolerance.for.divorce,.especially,.which.leads. to.even.more.of.the.same ..What.I.feel.is.required.is.a.more.profound.teaching.on.the.marriage.covenant.and.on.of.course.first.being.saved.and.then. the.indwelling.of.the.Holy.Spirit ..Too.many.individuals.are.possibly.even. sitting.in.our.churches.without.the.benefit.or.evidence.of.being.born.again. or.Spirit.filled ..This.then.comes.back.to.where.Zephaniah.was.in.speaking. to.his.generations.who.were.not.benefitting.from.living.lives.devoted.to. the.Lord ..It.is.in.so.living.our.lives.devoted.to.Jesus.and.the.Father.that.we. feel.the.true.joy.and.peace.which.we.all.wish.for . Any.of.us.who.lived.for.some.30.to.50.or.more.years.can’t.help.but. feel.some.anxiety.for.what.the.later.generations.will.be.going.through ..The. moral.fiber.of.our.more.recent.generations.is.being.tested.by.the.laxity.of. godly.values ..How.can.we.bring.forth.our.young.and.innocent.generation. of.children,.through.a.school.system.which.is.so.devoid.of.God’s.truth?. I.believe.that.is.a.challenge.for.each.generation,.but.it.is.also.a.terrible. indictment.of.we.in.the.more.mature.generations.who.have.allowed.these. things.to.have.occurred . Zephaniah.and.others.like.him.cried.out.for.a.more.God.fearing. people.because.he.knew.the.wrath.of.God.would.be.fierce ..We.have,.unfortunately,.forgotten.that.possibility,.always.feeling.we.don’t.have.to.follow. God’s.commandments ..Wrong!.We.do.need.to . For.many.Christians.of.my.generation,.we.must.be.wondering.how.we. strayed.so.far.from.the.reverence.earlier.generations.felt.for.God.and.his. word ..How.did.we.allow.such.things.as.divorce.and.abortion.to.become.so. rampant?.Now.we.are.being.threatened.by.same.sex.unions.and.marriages ..

105 

Isaiah Said, Send Me As.I.have.seen.the.destruction.coming.on.our.present.generation. through.the.evil.of.covenant.breaking,.and.it’s.devastating.effect.on. our.generations.as.well.as.on.our.Nation.and.World,.I.have.often.felt,.if.no. one.else.will.go.and.tell.the.people.about.that.sin,.Send.me,.Lord . Isaiah.served.as.a.prophet.to.Judah.from.about.740-681.B .C ..and. received.a.great.deal.of.instruction.from.God,.not.only.for.his.generations. but.for.ours ..He.is.living.at.the.time.that.Israel.fell.to.the.Assyrians.in.722. B .C ..He.was.a.prophet.to.mainly.prophesy.the.judgment.of.God.for.the. un-holiness.of.his.time ..God.has.told.him.that.his.children,.the.children.of. Israel.and.Judah,.have.rebelled.against.him . Seldom.do.people.want.to.hear.of.the.displeasure.of.God.and.the. judgment.to.come ..Yet,.that.is.exactly.what.God.was.speaking.about.to. Isaiah ..In.Isa.1:4.God.is.speaking.through.Isaiah.and.saying,.Ah.sinful. nation,.a.people.laden.with.iniquity,.a.seed.of.evildoers,.children.that.are. corrupters:.they.have.forsaken.the.Lord,.they.have.provoked.the.Holy.One. of.Israel.unto.anger,.they.are.gone.away.backward . I.am.afraid.that.describes.where.we.are.today.especially.here.in. America ..We.have.been.given.so.much.in.the.way.of.protection.and.blessings.by.the.Lord,.but.like.in.Isaiah’s.time,.we.have.lost.our.way ..Can.we. muster.faith.in.God.to.see.a.change.occur?.Is.there.any.hope? God.goes.on.to.say,.why.should.you.be.stricken.anymore?.You.will. revolt.more.and.more:.the.whole.head.is.sick,.and.the.whole.heart.is.faint . He.goes.on.to.say,.your.country.is.desolate,.your.cities.are.burned. with.fire:.your.land,.strangers.devour.in.your.presence,.and.it.is.desolate,. as.overthrown.by.strangers . I.am.afraid.much.of.that.prediction.will.apply.to.our.own.country ..It. is.in.only.realizing.how.far.we.have.strayed.and.then.repenting.and.having. the.faith.needed.to.trust.only.in.God,.and.not.harden.our.hearts.but.reach.

106 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 107 Faith, Hope, and Love He.was.oppressed,.and.he.was.afflicted,.yet.he.opened.not.his.mouth:. he.is.brought.as.a.lamb.to.the.slaughter,.and.as.a.sheep.before.her.shearers. is.dumb,.so.he.opened.not.his.mouth . He.was.taken.from.prison.and.from.judgment:.and.who.declare.his. generation?.For.he.was.cut.off.out.of.the.land.of.the.living:.for.the.transgression.of.my.people.was.he.stricken . And.he.made.his.grave.with.the.wicked.and.with.the.rich.in.his.death;. because.he.had.done.no.violence,.neither.was.any.deceit.in.his.mouth . Yet.it.pleased.the.Lord.to.bruise.him;.he.has.put.him.to.grief:.when. thou.shall.make.his.soul.an.offering.for.sin,.he.shall.see.his.seed,.he.shall. prolong.his.days,.and.the.pleasure.of.the.Lord.shall.prosper.in.his.hand . Only.God,.speaking.to.and.through.his.great.prophet,.Isaiah,.could. have.possibly.given.him.such.a.view.into.the.future ..He.was.truly.predicting.the.Messiah ..The.perfect.Lamb.of.God . Today,.we.are.so.blessed.to.have.seen.all.of.this.history.unfold ..To. know.of.the.Messiah.and.to.be.able.to.freely.accept.Jesus.as.our.Lord. and.Savior . In.the.Old.Testament.the.actual.lamb.was.being.offered.as.a.covering.for.mankind’s.sin.for.a.period,.but.as.Isaiah.so.perfectly.foretold,.God. was.going.to.offer.his.Son.as.the.perfect.Lamb.of.God.who.would.atone. fully.for.our.sin.and.sin.nature,.thus.allowing.us.to.be.welcomed.back.into. God’s.kingdom . It.is.accepting.that.sacrifice.of.Jesus.and.confessing.him.with.our. mouths.as.our.Lord.and.Savior.and.then.believing.God.raised.him.from. the.dead.that.we.might.be.saved ..It.of.course.goes.along.with.our.repenting. for.our.sin . In.the.book.of.Acts,.just.after.Jesus’.resurrection.he.comes.to.the. disciples.and.tells.them,.that.it.is.not.for.them.to.know.the.times.or.the. seasons,.which.the.Father.has.put.in.his.own.power . But.you.shall.receive.power,.after.that.the.Holy.Ghost.has.come.upon. you:.and.you.shall.be.witnesses.unto.me.both.in.Jerusalem,.and.all.Judea,. and.in.Samaria,.and.unto.the.uttermost.part.of.the.earth . out.for.salvation.which.only.a.belief.in.Jesus.can.bring,.that.will.allow.us. to.turn.the.tide . Is.that.even.a.possibility?.O.Lord,.Increase.our.faith ..It.is.only.in. turning.our.own.lives.back.to.God.and.to.lay.our.lives.down.just.as.Jesus. had.to,.that.we.have.any.chance.of.redemption.for.our.society.and.country .. It.will.take.a.supernatural.faith.and.then,.in.every.moment.of.every.day,. asking.God.to.redeem.our.time.and.heal.our.land ..Our.children.and. grandchildren.will.need.to.be.called.back.from.the.brink.of.the.abyss.for. the.necessary.change.to.occur ..If.we.don’t.have.the.faith.that.even.such. an.effort.would.be.welcome.by.God,.then.of.course.we.will.not.see.any. correction.occur ..We.have.let.our.next.generations.down.by.not.bringing. them.up.in.the.admonition.of.the.Lord . I.suspect.as.Isaiah.discovered,.that.we.may.need.to.suffer.judgment. and.discipline.before.we.will.be.restored,.as.a.nation,.to.God . For.Isaiah,.his.message.of.hope.came.from.realizing.there.would.be.a. Messiah.coming ..Our.hope.and.faith.is.fully.grounded.in.the.fact.that.Jesus. did.come.and.did.bring.salvation.to.all.who.would.trust.in.him.and.confess. him.with.their.mouths . His.prophesy.found.in.Isa.53:1-10.is.worth.repeating.here . Who.has.believed.our.report?.And.to.whom.is.the.arm.of.the. Lord.revealed? For.he.shall.grow.up.before.him.as.a.tender.plant,.and.a.root.out.of. dry.ground:.he.has.neither.form.nor.comeliness;.and.when.we.shall.see. him,.there.is.no.beauty.that.we.should.desire.him . He.is.despised.and.rejected.of.men;.a.man.of.sorrows,.and.acquainted. with.grief:.and.we.hid.as.it.were.our.faces.from.him;.he.was.despised,.and. we.esteemed.him.not . Surely.he.has.born.our.griefs,.and.carried.our.sorrows:.yet.we.did. esteem.him.stricken,.smitten.of.God,.and.afflicted . But.he.was.wounded.for.our.transgressions,.he.was.bruised.for.our. iniquities:.the.chastisement.of.our.peace.was.upon.him:.and.with.his. stripes.we.are.healed . All.we.like.sheep.have.gone.astray;.we.have.turned.everyone.to.his. own.way;.and.the.Lord.has.laid.on.him.the.iniquity.of.us.all .

109 

My Final Thought As.a.surgeon.and.as.a.minister.of.the.Gospel.in.the.Covenant.Marriages. Ministry.here.in.Arvada.Colorado,.I.am.forever.amazed.at.how.much. things.have.changed.over.all.of.the.decades.which.I.have.lived ..When.you. go.back.to.my.birth.year.of.1925,.we.have.seen.phones.transition.from.wall. mounted,.hand.ring.antiques,.with.party.line.telephone.operators.listening. in.on.whatever.you.might.have.to.talk.about ..But.also.to.where.in.times. of.rain.or.lightning.strikes.you.had.to.be.concerned.about.lightning.striking.the.telephone.wires.and.electrocuting.you.in.your.farm.house ..From. there.to.today’s.cell.phones.you.can.carry.in.your.shirt.pocket.and.talk.to. the.world . The.cars.went.from.the.1925.Model.T.through.the.Model.A.Ford,.the. Star.Car,.The.Oldsmobile,.Buick,.Packard,.Pontiac,.and.others.until.today. we.even.have.faster.and.certainly.more.comfortable.cars ..And.then.the. airplanes.went.from.early.single.engine,.single.wing.and.biplanes.which. could.travel.at.60-100.miles.an.hour,.if.the.wind.was.going.with.you ..But. today.we.can.go.to.the.moon.in.rocket.craft.that.at.times.can.travel.at. 17,000.MPH . Then.came.things.like.the.radios.from.the.early.crystal.sets.to.today’s. broadband.transmission.devices.which.cover.the.world.in.seconds ..Those. things.ushered.in.television.which.now.allows.one.to.see.all.areas.of.the. world.in.a.flash ..My,.what.changes,.not.to.mention.medicine.with.its.fancy. hospitals.and.CT.scans,.MRI,.open-heart.and.robotic.surgeries.to.mention. just.a.couple.of.items . But.through.it.all,.there.is.always.God,.patiently.waiting.for.us.to. acknowledge.Him.and.receive.His.free.gift.of.salvation ..It.seems.with.so. much.going.on.that.people.forget.our.total.reliance.on.His.favor,.preservation.and.provision .

110 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 111 Faith, Hope, and Love The.Apostle.Paul.was.thrown.in.prison.and.beaten,.but.wrote.much. of.the.New.Testament.and.brought.scores.to.know.the.Lord.and.gave.us. the.greatest.of.testimonies . And.now.it.is.our.turn.to.live.lives.worthy.of.being.called.Christians .

Rev.6-25-1050

I.somehow.hope.that.by.reading.this.rather.simple.and.short.book. about.Faith,.that.we.reconsider.our.place.in.this.world.and.just.how.much. we.need.to.be.grateful.to.our.Lord.and.Savior.for.all.that.He.has.done .. Not.just.for.our.lives,.but.for.our.parents,.siblings.and.especially.for.our. spouses.and.our.children.and.grandchildren,.and.even.for.our.great.grandchildren,.too ..We.truly.have.so.much.to.be.thankful.for.even.when.times. get.less.predictable.and.more.difficult . So,.just.remember.to.thank.God.every.day.for.all.He.has.done.for. you,.personally,.and.for.all.of.us,.and.look.for.times.when.you.can.tell. others.about.His.marvelous.grace.and.salvation ..Then.just.check.with.Him. to.see.if.He.has.even.more.for.you.to.do.to.further.His.kingdom .

God.bless.you.all .

Dr ..Bob.Christensen

Heroes.of.Faith

Now.faith.is.the.substance.of.things.hoped.for,.the.evidence.of.things. not.seen . Through.faith.we.understand.the.worlds.were.framed.by.the.word. of.God,.so.that.things.which.are.seen.were.not.made.of.things.which. do.appear . Without.faith.it.is.impossible.to.please.Him:.for.he.that.comes.to.God. must.believe.that.he.is,.and.that.He.is.a.rewarder.of.them.that.diligently. seek.him . By.faith.Abraham,.when.he.was.called.to.go.out,.obeyed;.and.he.went. out.not.knowing.whither.he.went . Through.faith,.Sarah.conceived.and.bore.a.child.when.she.was. past.age . By.faith,.Moses.refused.Egypt.and.delivered.the.children.of.Israel.out. of.bondage.and.to.their.Promised.Land . Others.had.trials,.cruel.mocking,.prisons.and.even.death,.but.never. gave.up.their.faith.in.God .

HOPE IN THE MIDST  OF CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES

115 

Preface This.short.book.will.touch.on.a.subject.which.is.a.frequently.missing. ingredient.in.many,.and.possibly,.most.of.our.lives,.at.least.sporadically ..My.wife,.Lynne,.and.I.have.not.only.gone.through.times.in.which. hopelessness.and.despair.could.easily.have.reigned,.but.needed.to.be.recognized.for.the.imposter.that.it.is,.and.then.attacked.spiritually,.and.in.the. natural.if.needed . It.is.interesting.to.review.the.picture.as.seen.in.Genesis.4 ..In.that. chapter,.Eve.had.just.stated.after.the.birth.of.Cain,.“I.have.gotten.a.man. from.the.Lord .”.She.was.delighted.as.she.somehow.knew,.by.having.a. son.she.was.adding.to.the.workforce.of.her.small.family.and.also.for.the. protection.of.the.family ..She.started.out.being.hopeful.for.her.family.and. possibly.for.her.world ..Next,.she.bore.Abel,.the.second.son ..That.had.to.be. a.most.interesting.time.to.have.lived ..Here.you.have.the.entire.planet.for. your.life,.but.probably.very.little.idea.what.their.world.really.looked.like .. The.animals.who.you.shared.this.earth.with.were.originally.very.friendly,. but.now.perhaps.were.getting.less.so . Who.could.you.commune.with?.Who.was.there.to.enter.into.a.conversation.with.you?.Now,.you.are.having.to.labor.to.sustain.your.life.and. it.wasn’t.all.easy ..Somewhere,.even.in.the.middle.of.Adam.and.Eve’s.existence,.they.had.to.find.hope ..Even.giving.birth.to.a.son.or.daughter.became. truly.a.labor.unlike.anything.she.had.gone.through.before . As.time.went.on.and.these.young.sons.grew.into.adulthood,.Abel. became.a.keeper.of.the.sheep,.but.Cain.was.a.tiller.of.the.land ..Those.boys. had.learned.from.their.parents,.Adam.and.Eve,.of.the.desire.and.even.possibly.the.requirement.to.give.praise.to.God ..They.had.also.likely.learned. that.when.God.put.Adam.and.Eve.out.of.the.Garden.of.Eden,.that.God.had. to.sacrifice.animals.and.to.take.the.skins.to.make.clothes.for.sinful.Adam. and.Eve .

116 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 117 Faith, Hope, and Love yet.at.times.he.fell.into.despair ..I.think.for.all.of.us.mortals,.at.various. times,.despair.can.seem.insurmountable,.especially.if.we.go.against.God’s. command.or.calling.for.our.lives . This.requirement.had.never.been.necessary.before ..Now.it.was. requiring.that.some.animal’s.life.would.have.to.be.sacrificed.so.that.sinful. Adam.and.Eve.might.be.clothed.to.hide.their.nakedness ..God.knew.that. was.the.case.and.so.performed.it ..Cain.and.Abel.would.definitely.have. known.of.this.need.for.a.live.animal.offering.be.made.to.God,.so.when. Cain.and.Abel.brought.their.gifts.to.God,.Cain.brought.grain.offering .. No.sacrifice.of.blood.and.life ..Why?.But.Abel.brought.the.firstlings.of.his. flock,.the.sheep . This.offering.of.Abel’s.would.cost.the.animal’s.life.and.would.certainly.deplete.Abel’s.limited.flock.for.a.period ..The.word.tells.us.that.God. had.respect.for.Abel.and.his.offering ..But.unto.Cain.and.his.offering.he. had.not.respect ..The.word.went.on.to.say.Cain.was.very.wroth.and.his. countenance.fell ..In.other.words,.Cain.lost.hope! God.asked.Cain.why.his.countenance.fell?.There.was.no.answer. from.Cain.to.God,.but.God.went.on.to.say,.If,.you.do.well,.should.you.not. be.accepted?.In.that.very.answer,.God.is.giving.all.mankind.and.answer. for.hopelessness . It.was.in.Cain’s.lack.of.gratitude.for.what.God.was.doing.and.his. unwillingness.to.do.things.God’s.way,.that.brought.on.his.hopelessness .. People.that.are.eternally.grateful.for.everything.God.has.done.in.their.lives. are.generally.able.to.sustain.a.healthy.degree.of.hope.in.their.lives ..An. ungrateful.person.is.always.more.likely.to.be.in.despair.or.depressed.than. an.outwardly.grateful.person . In.Cain’s.ungodly.mood,.he.chose.to.slay.his.own.brother,.Abel,.and. then.to.attempt.to.hide.the.murder.from.God,.almighty ..How.foolish.can. a.person.be?.God.had.just.before.told.Cain.that.if.he.didn’t.do.well,.sin.lies. at.his.door ..Now,.he.has.murdered.his.only.brother.and.then.attempted.to. hide.the.sin.from.God ..God.let.him.know.that.the.voice.of.his.brother’s. blood.cries.out.to.God.from.the.ground ..Whoa!.It.is.in.our.hopelessness. that.we.are.most.likely.to.show.our.ungratefulness.to.God.and.thus.do. some.horrific.and.sinful.act ..One.also.compounds.the.problem.by.attempting.to.hide.it,.especially.from.God . Let’s.take.a.moment.to.look.at.some.words.found.in.a.Psalm.of.King. David ..David.had.shown.many.times.in.his.life.and.in.his.writings,.his. tremendous.gratitude.for.the.Creator.of.the.universe,.and.God’s.kindness. to.David.and.his.family ..He.learned.to.live.a.life.in.gratitude.to.God,.and.

119 

Without Hope My People Perish The Basis of Hope Our.hope.is.in.fervently.and.completely.trusting.our.Lord ..In.the.3rd. Psalm,.King.David.is.fleeing.from.Absalom,.his.son.who.is.out.to.slay. him ..Now,.that.is.one.serious.circumstance.which.I.am.sure.all.of.us.can. agree.would.cause.discouragement.and.despair ..David.makes.a.number.of. statements.in.that.Psalm.which.can.give.us.hope,.when.it.seems.there.is. no.hope ..Let’s.review.a.number.of.those.statements,.and.we’ll.add.some.of. my.thoughts.to.each.one . David.in.Psalm.3.makes.the.following.statements.in.bold,.followed. by.my.discussion: 1 .. Thou.O’Lord.are.a.shield.for.me . *..David.is.saying.that.since.I.am.a.soldier’s.soldier.I.know. all.about.armaments.of.that.time.period ..He.recognizes.that.the.shield.is.the.most.superior.armament.to.ward. off.the.attacks.of.the.enemy ..In.his.case.it.was.his.own. son.attacking.him.and.literally.wanting.to.kill.him . *..But.David.recognizes.a.truth.for.all.generations.and.that.is,.Our.Lord.is.a.shield.and.buckler.for.us.against.whatever.attack,.friend.or.foe . *..You.may.be.under.some.attack ..It.may.not.be.physical,.but.mental,.emotional.or.financial ..It.is.serious,.and. you.are.about.to.lose.all.hope ..What.can.you.do? *..Just.as.David.did,.turn.unto.the.Lord ..But.you.say,.How? *..Remember.the.word.tells.us.that.Jesus.and.the.word.of. God.are.the.same ..Jesus.is.the.incarnate.word.of.God .

120 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 121 Faith, Hope, and Love *..All.the.way.through.the.Psalms,.many.of.which.were.written.by. David,.we.see.him.call.out.for.God’s.help.against.his.enemies . *..Another.thing.which.needs.to.be.ever.present.in.our. lives.is.a.continual.gratefulness.to.God.for.all.He. has.done ..I.cannot.stress.this.point.enough . *..Along.with.that.there.needs.to.be.faith ..Let’s.look.at.Matthew. 15:32-38.to.paraphrase.this.story.a.bit ..Jesus.was.ministering. to.a.crowd.of.four.thousand.who.were.in.the.wilderness ..After. three.days,.the.bible.tells.us.the.crowd.had.no.food.and.Jesus. had.compassion.on.them ..He.desired.to.feed.them,.but.the.disciples.said,.we.have.no.food ..Jesus.asked.how.many.loaves.of. bread.do.you.have?.They.replied.only.7.loaves.and.a.few.little. fishes ..Jesus,.is.not.moved.by.our.lack ..He.wants.to.show.us. how.to.reach.the.multitudes.with.what.we.do.have ..Do.you.have. the.faith.as.of.a.mustard.seed?.God.was.able.to.feed.the.multitude.out.of.the.scarcity.which.appeared.to.the.disciples . *..Are.you.like.the.disciples.who.brought.up.the.lack?.Or.are.you. willing.to.expect.a.miracle?.Jesus.is.always.way.ahead.of.what. we.are.thinking ..He.well.knows.and.anticipates.our.need . 4 .. I.laid.me.down.and.slept *..Can.you.imagine.the.peace.that.surpasses.all.understanding?.That.is.what.we.are.to.expect.as.born.again.believers;.always.hoping.and.expecting.the.very.best . *..Does.God’s.solution.always.occur.just.in.the.manner.or.timing.which.we.might.expect?.No,.not.always ..Sometimes.the. solution.meets.or.even.exceeds.our.expectations,.but.at.other. times.it.may.appear.different.and.with.different.timing . *..But,.interestingly,.the.bible.tells.us.His.timing.is.perfect . *..Many.times.as.we.attempt.to.handle.a.special.crisis.or.circumstance.in.an.earthly.manner,.we.may.mess.up.God’s.handling.the.situation.in.a.manner.which.He.knows.is.best . *..When.we.attempt.to.handle.some.awful.or.complicated.circumstance.or.even.crisis,.we.may.find. we.have.no.peace.and.no.ability.to.get.rest . *..Thus,.you.take.the.shield.of.faith,.which.is.in.the.uncompromising.word.of.God.as.the.truth.which.you. need,.and.you.absolutely.stand.on.that.word . *..No.matter.what.the.circumstance.is.that.would. cause.you.to.fear.and.lose.hope,.you.stand.on.God’s. word ..The.word.of.God.is.His.promise.to.you . 2 .. And.the.lifter.of.my.head *..A.person’s.head.is.always.the.most.vulnerable.part.of.the.body .. Not.only.is.the.brain,.man’s.most.marvelous.computer.center. for.all.of.the.functions.of.the.body,.but.it.also.houses.the.center.receptors.for.hearing.and.balance,.for.vision,.for.speech.and. for.taste.and.assimilation.of.nutrients.and.the.entrance.or.gatekeeper,.along.with.the.nose,.for.our.respiration.or.breathing . *..When.we.are.injured,.we.are.frequently.placed.in.a.lying.down. position,.and.if.our.head.is.not.lifted.off.of.the.hard.ground,. it.can.get.very.uncomfortable ..He.is.the.lifter.of.our.heads . *..Being.the.lifter.of.our.head.means.he.is.right.alongside.of.us. and.is.comforting.and.protecting.us.from.his.vantage.point . *..Any.attack.on.our.head.can.be.a.serious.attack.against.us ..He.is.our. Protector ..Remember,.the.helmet.of.salvation.is.our.protection *..Even.though.our.head.was.made.with.a.solid.covering.over. our.brain,.the.nerve.center,.we.can.always.use.that.extra.source.of.protection,.which.certainly.is.the.Lord . 3 .. I.cried.and.he.heard.me.out.of.his.holy.hill *..In.Romans.10:13,.Paul.makes.the.statement,.“for.whosoever.shall.call.upon.the.name.of.the.Lord.shall.be.saved .” *..It.is.important.to.ask.God.for.forgiveness.and.then.to.repent.from.our.sins ..In.other.words,.with.the.help.of.the.Holy. Spirit.of.God.residing.within.you,.turn.away.from.the.temptation.of.the.devil.and.the.sin.which.so.easily.besets.us . *..I.believe.that.God.is.so.ever.present.in.the.lives.of.those. who.love.him,.that.no.call,.at.a.moment.of.anguish.or.time. of.distress,.will.be.unnoticed.by.our.loving.Father .

122 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 123 Faith, Hope, and Love rule.over.the.120.princes,.of.the.Medo-Persian.Empire ..He.was. the.most.preferred.president.ruling.under.Darius,.the.king.of.the. country ..He.was.preferred.because.of.the.excellent.spirit.found. within.him ..Many.of.the.other.presidents.and.princes.attempted. to.find.fault.with.Daniel,.much.like.happens.to.the.Christians. because.of.the.Holy.Spirit.within.them ..When.those.antagonists. couldn’t,.find.fault.with.Daniel,.they.went.after.Daniel’s.God . *..It.is.in.times.of.circumstance.and.crises.in.which.we.need.to. place.our.hope.and.complete.trust.in.God ..Not.only.was.Daniel.able.to.enter.and.calmly.withstand.the.lions.in.the.den,.but. just.like.the.three.Hebrew.children,.even.if.his.God.did.not. deliver.him,.he.would.place.his.hope.and.faith.in.his.God . *..The.effect.of.his.confidence,.and.God’s.miracle.deliverance.was. used.by.God.to.turn.the.heart.of.King.Darius.to.Daniel’s.God . *..Those.who.attacked.God’s.anointed.were.then.placed.into. the.lion’s.den.and.all.were.totally.destroyed.by.the.lions . *..The.King.then.made.a.decree.that.all.under.his.jurisdiction.would.fear.and.tremble.before.the.God. of.Daniel,.because.he.is.the.living.God . *..Because.of.Daniel’s.trust.and.hope.in.God,.the.entire.Persian.nation.and.surrounding.nations.were.evangelized.by. a.single.decree.of.the.King ..How’s.that.for.evangelism? 6 .. I.will.not.be.afraid *..Of.all.of.the.Nations.or.peoples.of.the.world.who.should.live. in.fear,.it.is.the.Israelis.Yet,.let’s.see.what.God.tells.them . *..In.the.book.of.Isaiah.we.see.God.speaking.lovingly.to.his.people . *..In.verse.41:8.God.speaks.and.says,.“But.thou.Israel,.are.my.servant,.Jacob.whom.I.have.chosen,.the. seed.of.Abraham,.my.friend .”.Can.you.imagine.the.love. that.God.has.for.His.chosen.people.and.Nation? *..In.verse.41:9.He.tells.them,.He.has.not.cast.them. away,.because.of.any.offense.or.sin . *..But.in.verse.41:10,.he.really.tops.it.off.by.telling.them,”Fear. *..We.can’t.always.see.the.big.picture ..He.can . *..This.is.where.faith.and.trust.comes.in . *..Many.times.when.we.feel.we.are.trusting.the.Lord,.but.when.push. comes.to.shove.we.may.fall.short ..I.know,.I.have.been.there . *..In.the.case.of.Abraham.and.Sarah,.they.were.unwilling.to.await.God’s.timetable . *..By.acting.out.their.own.plan.to.bring.forth.a.child,.when.all. seemed.hopeless,.they.brought.forth.a.different.plan . *..Do.you.have.hope.for.God’s.best?.Can.you.wait.for. your.Isaac?.Or.would.you.prefer.an.Ishmael? *..This.situation,.can.become.pronounced,.when. some.young.woman.or.young.man.decides.to.not. wait.for.God’s.best.in.selecting.a.spouse . 5 .. I.awakened.for.the.Lord.sustained.me *..Not.only.is.David.telling.us.that.he.was.able.to.sleep,.but.that.he.was. sustained ..Basically.meaning.he.was.nourished.in.body.and.soul . *..Basically,.there.was.no.want *..He.was.fully.protected *..For.some.undetermined.moments.in.time,.David.was. able.to.forget.all.of.the.turmoil.and.anguish.and.be. able.to.relax.enough.to.sleep.and.get.refreshed . *..Are.we.able.to.do.the.same.in.those.times. when.the.circumstances.seem.so.dire? *..Or.are.we.just.being.tormented.by.some.circumstance.in. which.our.faith,.for.God’s.delivery,.is.perhaps.wanting? *..It.makes.me.think.of.Meshach,.Shadrach.and.Abednego .. How.did.they.keep.up.their.hope.and.their.faith.in.God?. They.answered.the.raging.King.Nebuchadnezzar,.“We.are. not.careful.to.answer.thee.in.this.matter ..Our.God.whom. we.serve.is.able.to.deliver.us.from.the.burning.fiery.furnace,.and.he.will.deliver.us.out.of.thine.hand,.O.King .” *..What.about.Daniel.in.the.lion’s.den?.Talk.about.requiring.hope. and.faith ..Here.he.was.appointed.to.be.one.of.three.presidents,.to.

124 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 125 Faith, Hope, and Love *..It.doesn’t.get.much.better.than.that ..So.no.matter.what.attack,.what.circumstances.or.what.crises.may.come.upon. you,.with.God,.you.can.expect.to.see.deliverance . 8 .. You,.Lord.have.smitten.all.mine.enemies *..In.the.97th.Psalm,.we.see.the.evidence.of. God’s.power.against.our.enemies . *..In.Psa.97:.1.the.word.says,.“The.Lord.reigns,.let.the.earth.rejoice . . . .” *..In.vs ..3.we.see,.“A.fire.goes.before.him,.and. burns.up.his.enemies.round.about .” *..In.vs ..5,.“The.hills.melted.like.wax.at.the.presence.of.the.Lord .” *..I.just.don’t.think.that.they.who.love.and.serve.the. Lord.with.their.whole.heart.have.a.lot.to.fear ..There. is.always.hope.in.what.our.God.can.do . *..Vs ..10.says,.that.for.those.who.love.and.serve.the.Lord,. “he.delivers.them.out.of.the.hand.of.the.wicked .” *..So.while.you.wait.to.see.your.deliverance.from.some.very.troubling.or.difficult.circumstance,.make.a.joyful.noise.unto.the.Lord . 9 .. You.have.broken.the.teeth.of.the.ungodly *..This.statement.is.certainly.a.figure.of.speech,.which.for.David’s.time. meant.that.if.you.attacked.another.person,.frequently.a.blow.to.the. mouth.would.occur.and.there.would.naturally.be.loss.of.teeth . *..It.means.that.God.has.inflicted.notable.damage.to.your.enemy . *..In.Psalm.98:1.David’s.word.states,.“God.has.done.marvelous.things:. his.right.hand,.and.his.holy.arm.has.gotten.him.the.victory .” *..David.instructs.us.to.make.a.joyful.noise.unto. the.Lord,.rejoice.and.sing.praise . *..In.many.of.the.battles.which.I.personally.have.had.to.endure,.the. victory.often.followed.moments.of.praising.our.Lord,.especially. when.in.the.natural,.everything.looked.quite.bleak ..That.certainly. was.David’s.experience,.too,.as.often.his.Psalms.might.start.with. what.the.problem.was.he.was.facing,.but.about.half.way.through. the.Psalm.he.would.convert.to.adoration.and.praise.to.our.Lord . thou.not,.for.I.am.with.thee:.be.not.dismayed;.for.I.am.thy. God:.I.will.strengthen.thee:.yea,.I.will.help.thee:.yea,.I.will. uphold.thee.with.the.right.hand.of.my.righteousness .” *..If.that.passage.didn’t.give.you.hope.for.whatever. you.are.going.through,.nothing.will ..Can.you.imagine.God.speaking.those.words.to.you? *..Well,.He.did ..You.as.a.born.again.Christian.have.been.grafted. into.the.lineage.of.Abraham ..He.is.and.was.speaking.to.you . *..That’s.exactly.why.our.hope.needs.to.always.be.in.the.Lord . *..If.you.look.at.the.next.verse,.Isaiah.41:11,.you.will.find.these. words,.“Behold,.all.those.who.were.incensed.against.thee. shall.be.ashamed.and.confounded:.they.shall.be.as.nothing;.and.they.that.strive.with.thee.shall.perish .”.Whoa!. Those.are.some.words,.spoken.by.God.almighty . *..How.can.we.lose.hope,.if.we.are.trusting.in.our.Lord?.But,. perhaps.our.faith.is.small?.Let’s.repent.and.serve.our.Lord. and.Savior.with.our.whole.mind,.and.body.and.soul . 7 .. Even.if.10,000.enemies.surround.me *..Well,.what.if.10,000.surround.me?.Yes,.that.would.be.most. disturbing,.but.now.let’s.look.at.what.the.Lord.is.telling.us. in.Psalm.91 ..He.says.in.vs ..5,.“you.shall.not.be.afraid . . .” *..In.vs ..7.“Even.if.a.1000.shall.fall.at.thy.side,.and.10,000. at.thy.right.hand;.but.it.shall.not.come.near.you .” *..In.vs ..10.He.says,.“There.is.no.evil.that.shall.befall.you,.nor. any.plague.shall.come.near.your.dwelling”.He.is.saying,. don’t.lose.hope,.because.you.and.your.family.will.be.safe . *..In.vs ..11,.He.states,.“For.He.shall.give.His.angels.charge.over.thee .” *..In.vs ..14,.He.states,.“Because.he.has.set.his.love. on.me,.therefore.will.I.deliver.him . . .” *..Vs ..15,.“He.shall.call.upon.me,.and.I.will.answer.him:.I.will. be.with.him.in.trouble;.I.will.deliver.him,.and.honor.him .” *..Vs ..16.is.perhaps.the.crowning.jewel,.“With.long.life. will.I.satisfy.him,.and.show.him.my.salvation .”

126 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 127 Faith, Hope, and Love *..Surely.He.shall.cover.thee.with.His.feathers . *..His.truths.shall.be.thy.shield.and.buckler *..Thou.shall.not.be.afraid.of.the.terror.by.night,. nor.for.the.arrow.which.flies.by.day . *..Nor.for.the.pestilence.that.walks.in.darkness,.nor.that.wastes.by.noonday . *..A.thousand.shall.fall.at.thy.side ..And.ten.thousand.at. your.right.hand;.but.it.shall.not.come.near.you . *..He.shall.give.his.angels.charge.over.thee,.to.keep.thee.in.all.thy.ways . *..God.says,.He.will.set.us.on.high.because.we.have.known.His.name . *..He.shall.call.upon.me.and.I.will.answer.him . *..I.will.be.with.him.in.trouble *..I.will.deliver.him.and.honor.him . *..With.long.life.I.will.satisfy.him,.and.show.him.my.salvation .

I.don’t.know.about.you,.but.what.great.promises.our.God.has.made. to.all.of.us.who.love.and.serve.him ..I’ll.never.forget.the.evening,.in.about. 1994,.Lynne.and.I.were.attending.a.Ken.Copeland.Annual.Convention. in.Anaheim.and.during.one.of.the.mid-evening.breaks.we.were.standing. talking.with.some.other.friends.also.attending.the.meeting,.when.a.young. woman.walked.up.to.me.and.handed.me.a.note,.and.stated.that.God.had. asked.her.to.deliver.this.note.to.me ..She.was.a.very.attractive.young.woman. who.I.found.later.had.travelled.some.distance.in.that.arena.to.bring.me.a. note.from.God ..In.the.note.were.the.last.three.verses.in.Psalm.91.and. the.last.two.verses.in.Psalm.92 ..I.was.very.blessed.to.have.received.that. note.with.those.two.verses.which.were.confirming.what.I.had.been.seeing. spiritually.at.that.same.time ..God.was.saying.to.me.that.He.would.deliver. me.and.set.me.on.high.and.with.long.life.and.salvation,.I.will.bless.him .. The.Lord.is.so.able.to.do.more.than.we.could.ever.hope.or.expect.and.do.it. with.people.who.are.perhaps.willing.to.even.at.times.appear.a.bit.foolish .. I.have.always.been.so.grateful.for.that.young.woman.who.was.willing.to. serve.God.and.carry.a.special.message.to.some.old.stranger,.in.the.midst. of.16,000.attendees.at.a.Ken.Copeland.Convention.in.the.Anaheim.Sports. Arena,.that.summer.night.in.1994 ..Isn’t.God.good?

*..In.the.100th.Psalm.David.states.we.are.to.serve.the.Lord.with. gladness.and.we.are.to.come.into.his.presence.with.singing . 10 .. Salvation.belongs.unto.the.Lord *..There.is.no.other.name.by.which.we.might.be.saved . *..In.the.early.Old.Testament.days,.the.only.sacrifice.to.cover. man’s.sin.was.for.the.animals.to.be.slaughtered.and.their. blood.to.be.sprinkled.on.the.alter.as.a.sacrifice.to.God . *..It.was.God.who.made.man.and.put.him.in.the.Garden.of.Eden,.and. then.instructed.Adam.that.he.was.to.dress.and.keep.the.garden . *..God.instructed.Adam.that.he.could.eat.freely.of.every.tree,. but.one ..That.tree.was.the.tree.of.the.knowledge.of.good.and. evil,.and.if.he.should.eat.of.that.tree,.he.would.surely.die . *..These.instructions.were.given.in.Genesis.chapter.1 *..God.then.recognized.it.was.not.good.for.man.to.be.alone. and.God.created.a.woman.out.of.his.flesh.and.blood . *..From.that.moment.on.God.created.all.of.the.animals,.fowl. of.the.air,.fish.of.the.sea.and.all.of.the.creepy.things . *..It.was.at.that.moment.that.man.fell.by.following.the.devils.instruction.and.ate.the.forbidden.fruit. of.the.Garden,.thus.alienating.man.from.God . *..God.recognized.that.man’s.disobedience.or.original.sin.would.make.him.become.like.one.of.us.(God). if.he.ate.of.the.tree.of.life.and.live.forever . *..He.put.man.out.of.the.garden ..The.Lord.let.the.snake.(the.devil). know.that.in.time.there.would.be.a.redeemer.who.would.bruise. the.devil’s.head,.even.though.the.devil.would.bruise.his.heel . *..The.salvation.of.man.from.his.original.sin.was.prophesied.by.God.from.the.3rd.chapter.of.Genesis . *..Many.other.religions.and.cults.have.attempted.to.deceive.the.populace.that.there.is.some.other.way.we. might.be.saved ..They.are.deceiving.many,.especially.the. nearer.we.come.to.the.second.coming.of.Christ . 11 .. Blessings.are.upon.thy.people

128 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 129 Faith, Hope, and Love wisdom.and.efforts.to.help.us.dig.our.way.out.of.the.circumstance.which. has.overtaken.us ..In.Jesus’.own.words.he.states.“that.he.would.never.leave. us.nor.forsake.us .”.What.does.that.mean?.It.means.he.will.never.leave.us. nor.forsake.us ..Plain.and.simple . Remember.the.passage.about.doubting.Thomas?.In.John.20.starting.in.verse.24.it.is.talking.about.the.Lord.appearing.first.to.the.disciples,. without.Thomas ..When.Thomas.heard.the.story.he.doubted.that.the. others.had.truly.seen.Jesus.after.the.resurrection ..Thomas.made.the.statement,.“Except.that.I.shall.see.in.his.hands.the.print.of.the.nails,.and.put. my.finger.into.the.print.of.the.nails,.and.thrust.my.hand.into.his.side,.I.will. not.believe” . Truthfully,.isn’t.that.where.we.are.much.of.the.time?.We.do.believe.he. is.Lord,.and.we.do.believe.he.was.crucified.and.raised.from.the.dead,.but.we. are.not.totally.sure.that.he.can.do.all.the.miracles.which.we.would.require . A.week.later.when.Jesus.returned.again,.Thomas.was.now.with.the. rest.of.the.disciples ..Jesus.said,”.Peace.be.unto.you .”.Here.comes.the.drum. roll ..Will.Thomas.now.believe?.Jesus.now.says.to.Thomas,.“Reach.hither. thy.finger,.and.behold.my.hands;.and.reach.hither.thy.hand.and.thrust.it. into.my.side:.and.be.not.faithless.but.believing .” And.Thomas.answered,.“My.Lord.and.my.God .”.Jesus.exhorted.him. saying,”.Thomas,.because.you.have.seen.me.you.have.believed,.but.blessed. are.they.who.have.not.seen,.but.have.believed .” I.don’t.know.what.circumstance.you.are.walking.through.at.this. moment,.but.more.than.likely.you.are.needing.hope.that.somehow.you. will.survive.and.get.through.the.circumstance.victoriously ..It.has.certainly. been.my.experience.in.surviving.some.horrendous.attacks.of.the.enemy,. that.when.those.things.were.approaching,.I.needed.to.get.even.closer.to. Jesus.and.to.ask.for.His.help,.daily . Facing a Crisis? There.is.not.a.person.over.the.age.of.probably.5.years.of.age.who.hasn’t. had.some.crisis,.or.better.yet.some.crises.in.his.or.her.life ..It.is.just. as.much.a.part.of.our.human.life.here.on.this.earth.as.ants.are.at.a.picnic. in.mid-summer.in.Gainesville,.Florida ..Why.should.we.be.surprised.when. some.calamity.or.circumstance.overcomes.us.in.our.otherwise.contented. lives?.Let’s.take.a.minute.and.talk.about.who.is.the.author.of.so.much. of.the.upsetting.circumstances.we.can.face.in.our.lives ..Remember.Jesus. stated.that.“the.thief.comes.to.steal.kill.and.destroy,.but.I.came.to.give.you. life.and.life.more.abundantly” . It.doesn’t.necessarily.mean.that.all.bad.circumstances.are.caused.by. the.devil ..We.can.bring.some.things.on.ourselves.just.by.the.poor.choices. we.might.make ..Sometimes.the.circumstances.are.not.even.because.we.are. attempting.to.make.a.poor.choice,.or.perhaps.we.haven’t.made.any.poor. choice.but.the.circumstance.comes.forth.anyway . It.kind.of.makes.me.feel.like.what.the.Japanese.people.have.recently. gone.through.with.their.earthquake.of.9 .0.on.the.Richter.Scale ..Nothing. they.did.would.have.caused.that.to.occur ..But.that.wasn’t.bad.enough,. that.awful.earthquake.was.then.followed.by.a.massive.tsunami.with.waves. above.30.feet.coming.down.on.their.shores ..That.was.an.awful.attack.on. their.otherwise.peaceful.lives ..If.that.wasn’t.bad.enough,.now.comes.the. effect.on.their.nuclear.reactors.and.the.damage.which.occurred,.followed. by.radiation.being.emitted.from.their.nuclear.power.plants.and.affecting. a.much.wider.geographical.area ..This.combination.of.circumstances.has. had.a.major.effect.on.the.Japanese.people.in.so.many.ways ..Was.it.caused. by.any.of.their.actions?.No,.with.the.possibility.of.some.of.the.radiological. problem.being.influenced.by.some.of.the.decisions.of.the.Japanese.scientists.who.planned.and.constructed.their.nuclear.reactors . Even.in.the.case.of.some.out.of.control.circumstance.overtaking.us,. what.do.we.do?.This.certainly.is.a.time.which.calls.for.living.in.the.kingdom. of.God ..It.is.in.so.doing.that.we.have.the.opportunity.of.calling.on.God’s.

131 

What Should we Know About Our Adversary, the Devil? He.is.a.great.liar This.subject.can.take.quite.a.bit.of.room.to.write.and.adequately.describe,.but.let’s.get.started ..If.we.go.back.to.Genesis.3:11.we.see. God.asking.Adam,.“who.said.you.were.naked”?.“Have.you.eaten.of.the.tree. that.I.commanded.thee.that.you.should.not.eat”? Why.really.did.Adam.and.Eve.go.absolutely.against.God’s.plan?.He. told.Adam,.emphatically,.that.they.should.not.eat.of.that.fruit,.lest.you. die ..Yet,.somehow.they.took.it.upon.themselves.to.go.against.the.very. command.of.God ..Why?.Because.someone.told.them.that.God’s.words. were.not.really.true ..The.devil.deceived.them,.and.we.see.that.so.frequently. in.our.own.lives ..How.many.times.have.I.heard,.“Did.God.really.say”?.That. is.exactly.what.was.happening.back.here.in.Genesis.3:1-6 ..The.bible.tells.us. the.serpent.was.more.subtle.than.any.beast.of.the.field ..The.serpent.then. says.to.Eve,.“hath.God.said’?.The.serpent.then.adds.another.lie ..“You.shall. certainly.not.die.and.the.day.you.eat.of.this.fruit,.you.shall.be.as.gods” . This.is.exactly.why.God.gave.us.His.word ..Just.as.He.told.Adam.the. truth.so.that.Adam.would.see.the.goodness.of.God.and.all.of.His.promises.and.would.live.a.life.which.was.to.be.eternally.blessed.by.God ..There. would.be.no.hardships,.no.illnesses.or.even.death.and.the.garden.was.to. be.enjoyed.along.with.all.of.the.peaceful.animals ..What.a.life.that.would. have.been.in.total.communion.with.the.Father ..We.can.only.vaguely. imagine ..But.because.of.a.wrong.choice ..Going.opposite.to.what.God.had. instructed ..All.hell.breaks.loose . We.are.now.not.in.communion.with.God ..Everything.that.we.do. will.bring.hardship,.toil,.pain.etc ..We.will.never.feel.the.contentment.and.

132 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 133 Faith, Hope, and Love one.which.was.pestilence.and.which.would.come.on.the.land.for.three. days ..In.those.three.days.seventy.thousand.men.fell . As.the.angel.of.the.Lord.was.destroying.Israel,.it.repented.the.Lord.of. the.evil,.and.He.told.the.angel.to.stay.his.hand.and.cause.no.more.deaths. to.occur ..The.angel.of.the.Lord.stood.by.the.threshing.floor.of.Ornan.and. David.saw.the.angel,.with.his.sword.in.his.hand,.and.David.and.the.elders. fell.on.their.faces.and.repented.and.asked.God,.why.do.these.people.die?. It.was.me.that.did.the.sin . God.let.King.David.know.that.he.was.to.build.an.alter.on.the.threshing.floor.of.Ornan.and.make.an.offering.of.oxen ..When.Ornan.saw.the. angel.he.hid.his.four.sons.and.went.on.threshing.wheat,.but.when.David. entered,.Ornan.bowed.and.went.out.to.allow.David.to.build.an.altar ..Ornan. was.going.to.give.the.threshing.floor.and.the.oxen.to.David.as.a.gift,.but. David.made.the.statement,.“No,.I.will.buy.it.at.full.price,.for.I.will.not.take. that.which.is.thine.for.the.Lord,.nor.offer.burnt.offerings.without.cost .”. David.paid.Ornan.600.shekels.of.gold . David.knew.that.the.only.hope.he.had.in.changing.the.terrible.circumstances.which.had.befallen.him.and.Israel,.was.to.do.exactly.what.the. Lord.commanded.him.to.do ..It.is.in.these.times,.when.we.are.in.the.midst. of.changing.circumstances,.that.we.too.are.to.go.before.the.Lord.and.offer. our.lives.totally.to.him ..It.frequently.will.not.be.because.of.our.sin,.but. certainly.can.be.because.of.some.choices.which.we.may.have.made.that. some.difficult.circumstances.may.befall.us ..Certainly,.our.offering.our. lives.to.God.through.accepting.the.precious.blood.of.Jesus.is.where.we. need.to.start ..Remember.in.this.story.about.David.at.Ornan,.it.was.Satan. who.instructed.King.David.to.count.the.Israelis ..David.knew.he.was.not. supposed.to,.but.was.tempted.by.the.devil,.much.like.Jesus.in.the.desert . The.devil.comes.to.tempt.us . In.Matthew.4:1.we.read.the.account.of.Jesus.being.led.by.the. Spirit.into.the.wilderness.to.be.tempted.by.the.devil ..It.tells.us.that.Jesus. had.fasted.forty.days.and.forty.nights.and.was.now.tempted.by.the.tempter .. Let’s.see.how.the.devil.attempted.to.get.Jesus.to.honor.and.follow.him. instead.of.following.God . satisfaction.of.a.completely.perfect.life ..There.will.always.be.incompletion.and.questions.in.our.existence ..There.are.some.cults.practiced.in.this. country.and.around.the.world.who.teach.that.you.will.be.gods ..That.is. deception ..There.is.only.one.true.God.and.that.includes.the.Father.the.Son. and.the.Holy.Spirit ..The.Son.is.Jesus.and.there.is.no.other.way.to.come.into. His.godly.kingdom.than.through.and.by.the.name.of.Jesus ..Let’s.look.back. at.Adam.and.his.words.to.God.after.he.had.committed.the.sin . Adam.immediately.blamed.the.woman.that.you.gave.me ..Ok,.God.it. was.your.fault ..Not.so ..It.was.man’s.fault.for.listening.to.a.voice.which.was. not.God’s ..They.knew.God’s.voice.and.yet.they.fell.for.the.deception.of.the. devil ..You.may.think,.well.I.wouldn’t.do.that,.and.yet.daily.we.are.fed.lies. of.the.enemy ..Many.times.we.are.questioned.to.think,.did.he.really.say?.Or. when.things.are.going.horribly.wrong,.we.focus.all.on.our.circumstance. and.forget.to.look.to.our.Answer . The.devil.certainly.wants.to.delay.your.fulfilling.the.very.call.God.has. placed.on.your.life ..He’ll.bring.doubt.and.discouragement.into.your.world. to.the.very.extent.you.will.believe.not.what.God.is.saying.to.you,.but.some. deceptive.view,.which.in.the.long.run.will.defeat.God’s.very.purpose.for. your.life ..In.the.case.of.Adam.and.Eve,.that.single.episode.derailed.all.that. God.had.for.humanity ..Fortunately,.God.had.a.redemptive.plan ..God,.even. at.that.early.moment.told.the.devil,.your.attacks.will.be.limited ..You.will. crawl.on.your.belly,.and.be.cursed.all.of.your.days,.and.I.will.put.enmity. between.thee.and.the.woman,.and.between.her.seed.and.your.seed . Does.Satan.direct.people? There.is.an.interesting.story.about.David.found.in.1.Chronicles. 21.in.which.it.tells.that.Satan.provoked.David.to.number.Israel.and.when. King.David.requested.Joab.and.the.rulers.of.the.people.to.go.number.the. people.from.Beer-sheba.to.Dan.and.to.bring.that.number.to.him,.they. did.so.at.the.great.displeasure.of.God ..David.finally.realized.he.had.gone. against.God.and.had.to.repent.and.ask.God.to.punish.him.and.when.God. began.to.punish.Israel,.David.finally.said.it.wasn’t.Israel’s.sin,.but.his,and. he.should.be.punished ..God.had.given.David.several.choices.in.the.punishment.he.would.receive.for.his.disobedience,.and.basically.David.chose.

134 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 135 Faith, Hope, and Love ours.when.we.are.in.a.tight.spot.caused.by.some.temptation.of.the.devil .. Would.God.provide.food? In. the. second. instance. the. devil. was. testing. Jesus’. pride. . and.his.security.in.trusting.the.Father ..Basically.saying,.I.dare.God.to. rescue.you ..Again,.Jesus.relied.on.the.words.found.in.Deuteronomy.6:16. which.plainly.states,.“You.shall.not.tempt.the.Lord.thy.God,.and.as.you. tempted.him.in.Massah .” How.often.do.we.get.tempted.by.some.lie.of.the.devil?.He.says.it’s.OK. to.abort.our.babies,.because.after.all.they.are.not.really.persons,.just.globs. of.tissue ..Or,.it.is.OK.to.have.same.sex.marriages.because.everyone.needs. someone.to.comfort.them ..After.all,.they.were.born.that.way ..No,.that.is. not.the.truth ..They.have.free.will.and.they.made.the.wrong.choice ..Period . In.the.third.instance.the.devil.brings.forth.his.main.desire.and.that. is.to.see.the.Son.of.God.worship.him ..He.wanted.to.prove.his.being.equal. with.God ..In.the.Mormon.religion.they.strive.for.a.degree.of.equality.with. Jesus ..In.Ed.Decker’s.book,.The.God.Makers,.he.talks.about.the.temple. ceremony.of.Mormonism.where.the.men.strive.to.be.gods ..Is.that.not.a.lie. of.the.devil? Jesus.was.tempted.in.the.wilderness.with.the.same.lie.of.the.devil.and. he.relied.on.the.passage.in.Deuteronomy.6:13.which.states,.“Thou.shall. fear.the.Lord.thy.God,.and.serve.him,.and.shall.swear.by.his.name .”.Jesus. was.unequivocal.about.his.denying.the.devil.a.foothold.by.using.God’. words.to.defeat.him ..Then.the.devil.left.him.alone ..That.is.exactly.where. we.are.to.be.when.temptations.arise,.many.of.them.caused.by.the.devil. and.his.evil.cohorts ..With.that.approach.in.our.lives,.no.matter.how.awful. the.circumstance,.we.can.have.hope ..Then,.we.can.always.have.the.victory,. perhaps.at.times.when.the.end.result.may.look.questionable,.but.in.our. hearts,.we.know.we.did.what.was.right . The.occult.gets.its.power.from.Satan It.is.very.interesting.to.recognize.how.easily.deceived.we.may. be ..In.our.modern.society,.and.as.we.get.closer.to.the.end.times,.the.bible. relates.that.many.will.be.deceived . The.devil.stated,.“if.thou.be.the.Son.of.God,.command.these.stones.to. become.bread” ..After.all,.Jesus.was.hungry ..Would.this.be.so.bad? Jesus.uses.the.word.of.God.to.answer.the.devil,.because.without. using.the.godly.weapons.of.warfare.available,.there.is.no.hope.of.combatting.the.devil’s.lies.and.temptations ..It.is.a.spiritual.battle ..Jesus.replied,. “It.is.written ..Man.shall.not.live.by.bread.alone,.but.by.every.word.that. proceeds.out.of.the.mouth.of.God” ..That.totally.defeats.that.attempt.of.the. devil.to.deceive.Jesus.into.partaking.of.the.devil’s.fruit . The.devil.comes.back.with.another.temptation ..The.devil.takes.him. up.to.Jerusalem.and.sets.him.on.the.pinnacle.of.the.temple ..“If.thou.be. the.Son.of.God,.cast.thyself.down:.for.it.is.written,.He.shall.give.his.angels. charge.concerning.thee:.and.in.their.hands.they.shall.bear.thee.up,.lest.at. any.time.thou.dash.thy.foot.against.a.stone” . This.certainly.would.be.tempting.because.Jesus.would.not.only.be. hungry.but.worn.out.from.the.experience.and.longing.for.protection.of. the.Father.and.for.comfort.generally ..But.what.did.Jesus.do?.Jesus.again. spoke.the.following,.“It.is.written.again,.thou.shall.not.tempt.the.Lord. thy.God” . The.devil.doesn’t.stop.with.that.rebuke.but.adds.a.third.temptation .. The.devil.takes.Jesus.to.an.exceedingly.high.mountain,.and.shows.him.all. of.the.kingdoms.of.the.world,.and.the.glory.of.them:.He.now.says.unto.him,. “all.of.these.things.will.I.give.thee,.if.thou.will.fall.down.and.worship.me” . Certainly,.it.would.have.been.very.tempting.to.Jesus.to.recognize.that. he.would.now.gain.authority.over.all.of.these.kingdoms,.by.just.agreeing. with.the.devil . But.again.Jesus.quotes.the.bible.as.his.answer.to.the.devil,.“Thou.shall. worship.the.Lord.thy.God,.and.him.only.shall.thou.serve” . At.that.point.the.devil.leaves.him.and.angels.came.and.ministered. to.Jesus . In.the.first.instance.when.bread.was.offered,.Jesus.was.relying.on.the. commands.of.God.found.in.Deuteronomy.8:2-3 ..God.tells.the.Israelites. they.are.to.remember.when.they.were.wandering.in.the.wilderness.for. those.forty.years,.to.humble.and.prove.them.and.to.know.what.was.in. thy.heart,.whether.they.would.keep.God’s.commandments?.“He.humbled. thee.and.suffered.them.to.hunger.and.fed.them.with.manna . . .”.Jesus.knew. he.could.not.go.against.relying.on.God ..That.was.his.hope.and.it.should.be.

136 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 137 Faith, Hope, and Love and.upright.man,.one.that.fears.God,.and.hates.evil?.And.still.he.holds.fast. his.integrity,.although.you.move.me.against.him,.to.destroy.him.without. cause” ..God.was.willing.to.let.Satan.attack.God’s.man,.Job,.but.not.to.take. his.life ..In.the.end.Job.had.to.continue.to.serve.God.and.in.the.end.Job. showed.his.unending.trust.in.the.faithfulness.of.God ..It.was.most.interesting.how.Job’s.friends.responded.to.the.attacks.which.Job.was.enduring ..At. first.his.friends.sat.in.silence.which.perhaps.is.bad.enough.when.a.friend. is.suffering . But.then.they.figured.Job.had.sinned.and.that.this.was.God’s.punishment.of.job ..Even.Job’s.wife.told.Job.he.should.curse.God.and.die ..With. family.and.friends.like.that,.who.needs.an.enemy ..The.friends.wanted.Job. to.go.and.confess.his.sin,.but.Job.had.to.tell.them.to.stop.assuming.his. guilt ..Job.had.to.eventually.have.enough.faith.in.God.to.feel.in.time.he. would.be.justified ..Eventually,.God.rebukes.Job’s.friends . Having.gone.through.some.pretty.tough.circumstances.myself,.I. am.aware.of.the.reaction.of.friends.and.family.during.those.moments.of. torment,.but.I.am.also.aware.of.having.faith.that.somehow.God.would. make.it.right.and.would.vindicate.me.where.I.have.been.wronged ..There. are.times.where.only.the.love.and.perceived.protection.of.God.can.sustain. a.person.in.the.midst.of.a.battle.or.some.forever.changing.circumstance .. Our.hope.has.to.finally.be.anchored.in.the.love.of.the.Lord.and.his.desire. and.ability.to.redeem.us . Are.demons.responsible? Certainly,.demons.play.a.strong.part.in.doing.the.bidding.of.the. devil ..In.Mathew.8:.we.see.the.story.which.occurred.right.after.the.Lord. traveled.across.the.Sea.of.Galilee.when.the.storm.arose.and.Jesus.calmed. the.storm.and.rebuked.his.disciples.for.their.lack.of.faith ..In.the.following. verses.starting.with.Matthew.8:28.we.see.Jesus.passing.through.the.area. of.the.Gergesenes.and.where.two.persons.were.possessed.with.devils ..The. demon.possessed.cried.out,.“What.have.we.to.do.with.thee,.Jesus,.thou. Son.of.God?.Are.you.come.to.torment.us.before.the.time”?.Jesus.merely. cast.out.the.demons.from.the.persons.and.the.demons.entered.in.a.herd.of. swine.and.ran.into.the.sea.and.drowned . In.Romans.1:21.we.see.the.word.telling.us.that.“when.they.knew. God,.they.glorified.him.not.as.God . . . .they.became.vain.in.their.imaginations,.and.their.foolish.heart.was.darkened .” “Professing.themselves.to.be.wise,.they.became.fools” ..“Who.changed. the.truth.of.God.into.a.lie .” If.we.study.Paul’s.words.to.the.Romans,.we.see.all.the.ways.man. strayed.because.of.wanting.to.consider.themselves.as.gods,.equal.with. God ..It.takes.almost.zero.variance.and.disobedience.to.the.word.of.God. for.man.to.stray.so.far.off.course.it.becomes.very.difficult.to.see.redemption.occur . In.the.case.of.the.Pharaoh,.at.the.time.of.Moses.leading.the.Israelites. out.of.Egypt,.we.see.in.Exodus.7:11.where.the.Pharaoh.called.on.the. occult.leaders,.the.sorcerers.and.magicians.to.perform.their.magic,.which. they.did . Today,.we.see.all.sorts.of.the.occult.affecting.many.good.people.who. have.also.changed.the.truth.of.God.into.a.lie ..Whether.it.be.in.some.modernistic.religion,.or.Masonry.and.Mormonism.with.their.hidden.secrets. and.temple.services.or.wigi.cards,.fortune.telling.or.whatever,.we.see. people.believing.in.false.gods ..This.is.not.the.truth.which.God.has.spoken. through.his.Holy.Bible.over.so.many.centuries.and.which.the.born.again. Christian.instinctively.recognizes.as.God’s.truth . Back.to.the.story.of.the.Pharaoh.in.Exodus.7:14.we.see.where.the. Lord.said.to.Moses,.“Pharaoh’s.heart.is.hardened,.he.refuse.to.let.the. people.go” ..This.is.the.beginning.of.the.end.for.not.only.the.Pharaoh.but. most.of.the.army.which.he.used.to.attack.and.follow.the.Israelites.at.the. moment.of.passing.through.the.Red.Sea.and.escaping.from.the.bondage.of. Egypt ..They.all.perished . It.is.in.following.the.devil.whether.it.be.through.his.deception.as.seen. in.the.occult,.or.wherever,.the.end.is.the.same ..“My.people.perish,.for.lack. of.knowledge .” Are.God’s.Truths.Consistent? There.is.an.interesting.account.found.in.the.book.of.Job ..In.Job. 2:3.we.see.God.talking.with.Satan.about.Job ..God.asks,.“Have.you.considered.my.servant,.Job,.that.there.is.none.like.him.in.the.earth,.a.perfect.

138 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 139 Faith, Hope, and Love How.Do.We.Overcome.the.Devil? That.is.the.neat.thing.about.the.bible ..It.tells.us.what.we.must. do.in.all.sorts.of.circumstances ..The.word.tells.us.that.we.shall.know.the. truth.and.the.truth.will.set.us.free ..Free.of.what?.All.sorts.of.things ..Free.of. worry,.free.of.the.wiles.of.the.devil,.etc ..In.the.case.of.how.do.we.overcome. the.attacks.of.the.devil?.In.Ephesians.6:.10-17.we.are.given,.by.Paul,.very. explicit.instructions.in.how.we.might.overcome.the.wiles.of.the.devil ..Let’s. look.at.those.verses . “Finally,.my.brethren,.be.strong.in.the.Lord,.and.in.the.power.of.his. might ..Put.on.the.whole.armour.of.God,.that.you.may.be.able.to.stand. against.the.wiles.of.the.devil ..For.we.wrestle.not.against.flesh.and.blood,. but.against.principalities,.against.powers,.against.the.rulers.of.the.darkness.of.this.world,.against.spiritual.wickedness.in.high.places . Wherefore.take.unto.you.the.whole.armour.of.God.,.that.you.may.be. able.to.withstand.in.the.evil.day,.and.having.done.all,.stand ..Stand.therefore,.having.your.loins.girt.about.with.truth,.and.having.on.the.breastplate. of.righteousness;.and.your.feet.shod.with.the.preparation.of.the.gospel.of. peace;.above.all,.taking.the.shield.of.faith.wherewith.you.shall.be.able.to. quench.all.of.the.fiery.darts.of.the.wicked . And.take.the.helmet.of.salvation,.and.the.sword.of.the.Spirit,.which. is.the.word.of.God:.praying.always.with.all.prayer.and.supplication.in.the. Spirit,.and.watching.thereunto.with.all.perseverance.and.supplication.for. all.saints .” In.those.verses,.Paul.gave.us.the.wisdom.of.how.we.might.withstand. all.of.the.attacks.of.the.enemy ..If.we.were.to.decipher.those.statements.we. would.see.that.several.pieces.of.armor.which.we.need.to.wear.could.be. listed.something.like.this . *..Your.loins.would.be.under.your.belt.or.girt.which.is.truth . *..Your.breastplate.would.be.showing.God’s.approval.and.would.cover.your.heart ..Remember.God.loved. us.so.much.that.he.sent.his.Son.to.die.for.us . *..Your.shoes.would.be.used.to.take.the.Gospel.to.the. world ..The.devil.will.do.all.he.can.to.keep.you.from. that.service.to.mankind.for.God’s.purposes . *..The.shield.is.the.shield.of.faith.to.block.the.insults,.rejecFor.the.person.feeling.there.is.no.hope,.this.story.illustrates.the.power. of.Jesus.entering.one’s.life ..The.demons.knew.that.the.life.of.Jesus.had.not. been.fulfilled.and.were.possibly.attempting.to.stop.him.from.acting,.but.his. power.and.compassion.was.for.the.men,.not.the.demons.and.he.allowed. that.power.to.destroy.the.works.of.the.demons.in.those.men’s.lives . The.redeeming.power.of.God.is.available.today.in.the.lives.of.those. born.again.Christians.to.repel.the.attacks.of.demons.in.our.lives.and.in. those.we.minister.to ..In.this.we.always.have.hope . Even.Jesus.was.accused.of.being.the.Devil In.Matthew.12:22.we.see.where.Jesus.is.having.to.cast.out.the. devil.from.a.man.who.was.blind.and.dumb ..When.the.townspeople.saw. what.Jesus.did.they.marveled ..Is.this.not.the.son.of.David,.they.asked?.But. then.the.Pharisees.spoke.up.and.said.this.fellow.does.not.cast.out.devils,. but.by.Beelzebub,.the.prince.of.the.devils ..Jesus.knew.their.thoughts.and. spoke.about.a.kingdom.divided.against.itself.is.brought.to.desolation ..He. went.on.to.say,.if.Satan.cast.out.Satan,.he.is.divided.against.himself;.how. then.shall.his.kingdom.stand?.He.went.on.to.say.if.he,.Jesus,.cast.out.devils. by.the.Spirit.of.God,.then.the.kingdom.of.God.is.come.unto.you ..It.doesn’t. take.many.words.for.Jesus.to.put.the.devil.in.his.place ..There.is.no.equivocation.with.God ..What.he.says,.stands . You.in.your.changing.and.hurting.circumstance.must.learn.to.rely. solely.on.God.and.the.unchanging.word.of.God,.because.sometimes. your.friends,.family.or.acquaintances.will.be.most.hurtful.or.unhelpful .. Somewhat.like.Job’s.friends ..It.may.be.that.they.are.attempting.to.be. helpful,.but.are.not.understanding.the.source.of.the.attack.and.the.degree. of.your.obedience.to.the.calling.of.God ..In.that.regard,.even.Jesus.found. that.those.around.him.did.not.fully.recognize.what.he.would.have.to. endure.and.in.Mark.8:33.he.rebuked.Peter.and.said,.“Get.thee.behind.me. Satan” ..So.in.your.walk.through.life,.and.as.you.seek.God.and.follow.his. command,.you.may.well.be.misunderstood ..It.is.in.the.hope.of.the.Lord. that.you.will.survive.even.those.attacks .

140 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 141 

The Wrath of Satan is Increasing In.Rev.12:12.we.see.the.following.statement,.“Woe.to.the.inhibiters.of. the.earth.and.of.the.sea!.For.the.devil.is.come.down.unto.you,.having. great.wrath,.because.he.knows.that.he.has.but.a.short.time” . It.seems.to.me.that.people.are.feeling.the.increase.in.the.anxiety.of. daily.living.in.this.world ..There.are.many.wars.and.rumors.of.wars,.with.a. great.number.of.earthquakes.and.volcanic.actions.taking.place.around.the. world ..I.suspect.much.of.that.feeling.influenced.the.2008.elections.here. in.the.United.States.as.people.were.convinced,.mostly.through.overt.PR. activity.that.a.change.for.the.Nation.was.necessary,.and.because.of.that,. a.relatively.unknown.and.certainly.unproven.and.inexperienced.man.was. elected.as.the.President.of.these.United.States .

tions,.and.temptations.brought.on.by.the.devil ..The.shield.is. our.way.of.deflecting.the.flaming.arrows.of.the.devil ..We.do. not.focus.on.our.circumstances.but.on.our.victory.in.Jesus . *..The.helmet.is.the.helmet.of.salvation.to.literally.block.those.attacks. against.our.mind ..The.enemy.will.attempt.to.tell.us.we.are.not.God’s. children,.joint.heirs.with.Christ ..If.the.devil.can’t.hurt.our.minds,. he.can’t.divert.us.from.doing.whatever.God.would.have.us.to.do . *..The.sword.is.the.sword.of.the.Spirit.and.is.the.word.of. God ..It.is.the.weapon.we.use.to.attack.the.devil ..Just.as.Jesus.did.when.he.spoke.the.words,.“it.is.written .”.There.is. no.other,.proven,.God.ordained.weapon.to.be.used.against. the.enemy ..It.worked.for.Jesus.and.it.works.for.us .

*..It.is.in.following.Jesus.that.we.neutralize.the.devil?

*..In.John.14:30.Jesus.is.speaking.with.his.disciples.and.describes. things.to.come ..He.says ..“Hereafter.I.will.not.talk.much.with. you:.for.the.prince.of.this.world.comes.and.has.nothing.in.me .” *..Satan.was.not.able.to.overpower.Jesus.in.the.wilderness ..Although.Jesus.allows.the.arrogant.Satan.to.act,. he.basically.has.no.power.over.the.born.again.Christian.who.has.God’s.Spirit.residing.within.him . *..It.is.allowing.the.peace.of.God.to.reign.in.us.as.we.allow.the.Holy. Spirit.to.guide.us.and.protect.us.in.our.walk.through.this.life . *..There.is.hope.as.the.peace.of.Jesus.overtakes.our.lives . *..The.word.in.Colossians1:13-14.states,.“Who.has.delivered. us.from.the.power.of.darkness,.and.has.translated.us.into. the.kingdom.of.his.dear.Son:.In.whom.we.have.redemption.through.his.blood,.even.the.forgiveness.of.sins” .

143 

What About Demons? The.bible.tells.us.they.are.real ..In.Matthew.10:1.Jesus.is.seen.sending. forth.his.disciples.to.heal.the.sick.and.cast.out.unclean.spirits . In.Mark.1:23.we.see.a.time.when.Jesus.was.ministering.in.the.synagogue.and.a.man.with.an.unclean.spirit.was.present ..The.unclean.spirits. spoke.out,.saying,.“let.us.alone:.what.have.we.to.do.with.thee,.thou.Jesus. of.Nazareth?.Art.thou.come.to.destroy.us?.I.know.thee.who.thou.art,.the. Holy.One.of.God” . They.very.well.know.who.Jesus.is.and.it.is.in.using.that.name.that. they.can.be.cast.out.of.a.person . In.Acts.8:7.We.see.Philip.when.ministering.in.Samaria.came.across. those.also.with.an.unclean.spirit.or.demons.and.also.cast.them.out ..What. are.unclean.spirits?.They.are.demons.which.are.evil.spirits.ruled.by.Satan .. The.bible.tells.us.they.are.fallen.angels.who.joined.with.Satan.in.his.rebellion.against.God ..They.can.cause.a.person.to.be.blind,.deaf.or.insane ..They. can.tempt.people.to.sin.but.they.are.controlled.by.Jesus.and.the.name.of. Jesus ..They,.like.Satan,.are.allowed.by.God.to.be.present.for.a.period ..Jesus. gave.his.followers.dominion.over.Satan.and.his.demons ..Demonic.power. has.no.authority.over.the.life.of.the.redeemed .

145 

Some Biblical Victories, Despite the Circumstance  The Victorious Story of Mordecai This.is.the.story.of.a.Jewish.family.at.the.time.of.Nebuchadnezzar’s. conquering.of.the.Jews.and.their.deportation.into.Babylon ..Mordecai. may.have.been.born.in.Shushan,.which.became.the.capital.of.Persia ..The. story.is.told.in.the.Book.of.Esther ..Esther.was.the.daughter.of.his.aunt.and. uncle ..They.died.and.he.took.it.upon.himself.to.raise.his.young.cousin. as.though.she.was.his.daughter ..Her.Jewish.name.was.Hadassah,.but.in. captivity.she.was.known.as.Esther . Sometime.later.the.King.Ahasuerus.of.the.Medo-Persian.Empire. found.his.Queen.Vashti.to.be.in.contempt.of.the.king’s.orders.and.basically. he.sought.to.replace.her.as.queen ..Esther.had.found.favor.before.the.king. and.he.selected.her.to.be.his.queen ..Mordecai.had.told.his.cousin,.Esther,. to.not.relate.the.fact.that.she.was.really.of.Jewish.heritage ..So.the.fact.was. hidden.until.one.time.later . The.story.of.Mordecai.is.one.of.challenging.and.changing.circumstances.and.one.of.hope ..In.many.ways.it.can.parallel,.in.perhaps.a.grander. way,.the.challenges.that.we.may.go.through.today ..Mordecai.continued. to.be.counsel.for.his.cousin,.Esther,.now.queen.over.the.Medo-Persian. Empire.and.wife.of.King.Ahasuerus . At.one.point.in.time.the.king.appointed.a.new.Prime.Minister,.named. Haman ..Mordecai.served.the.king.but.being.of.Jewish.heritage.he.refused. to.bow.to.the.minister ..He.now.found.himself.in.conflict.with.Haman. when.he.refused.to.worship.Haman ..Haman.was.furious.and.knowing. that.Mordecai.was.Jewish,.he.made.plans.to.go.before.the.king.and.have.a.

146 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 147 Faith, Hope, and Love king.would.delight.to.honor?.Haman,.of.course.figured.that.was.going.to. be.him ..Sorry.buster,.not.you . Haman.arrogantly.answers.that.the.man.should.be.clothed.in.all.of. the.royal.robes.and.crown.of.the.king.and.then.placed.on.the.kings.horse. and.parade.him.through.the.city ..The.king.tells.Haman.to.make.haste.and. to.do.that.very.thing.to.Mordecai ..Haman.returns.to.his.wife.who.says.that. if.Mordecai.is.of.the.seed.of.the.Jews,.you.will.fall.before.him . Haman.was.wroth,.but.at.that.very.moment.the.king.sends.servants. to.bring.Haman.to.Queen.Esther’s.banquet ..The.king.now.asks.the.queen,. what.is.your.petition.of.the.king?.She.said.plans.have.been.made.to.kill.all. of.Jewish.heritage.and.that.would.also.mean.the.queen ..She.pleads.for.the. lives.of.the.Jews ..The.king.now.asks.the.pertinent.question,.who.is.it.that. is.ordering.the.killing.of.the.Jews?.She.answers,.Haman.who.is.sitting.here. in.this.banquet ..The.king.hears.that.Haman.has.built.a.scaffold.on.which. to.hang.Mordecai.and.the.king.orders.Haman.and.his.sons.all.hanged.that. very.day . As.we.contemplate.gloom.and.doom.over.some.surely.minor.circumstance.or.problem,.we.often.forget.about.the.miraculous.and.creative. power.of.God.to.see.us.come.through.those.circumstances.or.attacks.of. Satan.and.his.cruel.crowd.of.demons ..Like.Mordecai,.we.are.to.be.daily. wishing.to.serve.God.to.our.fullest.ability ..It.is.then.that.we.can.petition. our.King.for.favor ..We.have.been.afforded.the.opportunity.of.entering.his. courts.with.praise.and.worship ..I.felt.like.this.would.be.one.story.from.the. bible.which.would.minister.to.each.of.us.in.some.special.way ..When.you. look.at.the.courage.and.desire.to.do.right,.of.Queen.Esther,.you.can’t.help. but.feel.pride.in.her.life.for.what.she.courageously.did ..God.honored.her. request.and.God’s.special.people.were.saved,.somewhat.like.the.story.of. Moses.in.the.Exodus . God.truly.won’t.be.mocked,.nor.will.he.fail.to.find.ways.to.honor. those.who.honor.him . law.passed.which.would.mean.that.all.of.the.Jews.living.in.captivity.could. be.killed . This.would.have.appeared.to.leave.little.hope.for.Mordecai.and.all. of.the.Jews,.but.it.had.always.been.Mordecai’s.desire.to.do.as.God.would. have.him.do ..He.decided.he.would.have.to.let.Queen.Esther.know.what. was.occurring.and.somehow.she.would.have.to.go.before.the.king.and. somehow.intervene ..This.would.be.no.small.thing.because.if.anyone,. including.the.Queen.came.before.the.king,.without.being.requested,.they. could.be.put.to.death . Mordecai.explains.the.situation.to.Queen.Esther.and.tells.her.that. she.has.been.called.for.such.a.time.as.this ..Talk.about.a.situation.where. hope.could.have.gone.out.the.window.because.of.changing.circumstances .. Esther.rises.to.the.occasion ..Mordecai.let.her.know.that.it.was.his.belief. that.God.had.raised.and.appointed.her.for.this.very.moment.in.time,.to. save.the.Jewish.people . The.story.in.Esther.5:1.tells.of.Esther.putting.on.her.royal.apparel. and.stood.in.the.inner.court.of.the.king’s.house.as.the.king.was.sitting.on. the.throne ..The.king.held.out.the.golden.scepter.to.Esther.and.she.touched. it.and.entered ..Her.request.at.that.moment.was.for.the.king.and.Haman. to.join.her.for.a.banquet ..The.story.goes.on.to.tell.of.the.pride.of.Haman,. but.also.the.anger.of.Haman.at.Mordecai.not.standing.up.when.Haman. met.him.at.the.king’s.gate ..Esther.had.invited.the.King.and.Haman.to. another.banquet . Haman.made.plans.to.build.a.scaffold.to.hang.Mordecai ..But.God. had.made.other.plans ..The.night.before.the.next.banquet,.God.gave.the. king.a.restless.night ..The.king.commanded.some.books.of.records.be. brought.to.him.and.when.reading.those.records.he.sees.where.sometime. earlier,.Mordecai.had.uncovered.a.plan.where.two.of.the.kings.men.had. planned.to.kill.the.king ..Mordecai.had.let.the.king.know.of.the.plan.which. was.thwarted . The.king.asked.what.honor.and.dignity.had.been.done.to.Mordecai?. The.king’s.servants.stated.there.had.been.nothing.done.for.Mordecai ..At. that.moment.of.the.day.following,.Haman.comes.into.the.king’s.court.to. speak.to.the.king.about.hanging.Mordecai,.but.again,.God.had.a.different. plan ..The.king.asked.Haman.what.should.be.done.unto.the.man.that.the.

149 

The Story of Josiah’s Obedience to God Some.may.argue.there.is.no.hope.for.my.life.as.I.was.born.at.the.wrong. time,.in.the.wrong.city.or.country.and.to.obviously.ungodly.parents .. But.my.friend,.there.is.always.hope ..In.the.case.of.Josiah,.he.became.the. king.over.Judah,.the.Southern.Kingdom,.at.the.time.of.the.divided.Israel. in.the.year.640.BC ..He.reigned.until.609.BC.and.was.followed.by.his.son,. Jehoahaz.for.a.few.months ..His.great.grandfather.was.Hezekiah.and.his. father.was.Amon ..His.mother.was.Jedidah . The.kings.of.Judah.at.that.time.were.evil.and.the.people.were.not.following.God’s.commands ..Josiah’s.father.and.grandfather.were.evil ..Josiah. at.a.young.age.began.to.read.the.verses.of.God’s.messages.and.realized.the. people.were.not.living.as.they.should ..They.were.worshipping.other.idols .. You.might.say.it.is.much.like.today.as.people.are.worshipping.other.things. and.not.our.one.true.God . It.behooved.Josiah.to.begin.to.remove.those.ungodly.idols.which. were.popping.up ..Josiah.began.to.encourage.the.people.to.read.God’s. word ..Today.it.would.be.akin.to.throwing.out.the.idea.of.same.sex.marriage,.pornography,.or.the.issue.of.abortion ..The.people.today.would.rise. up.against.any.and.all.who.would.fervently.say.those.things.are.totally. against.God ..Yet.that.is.the.truth . Joshua,.as.king.of.Judah,.began.to.see.that.whatever.he.had.control. over.would.be.tackled.so.that.it.always.would.line.up.with.God’s.word .. Several.things.happened.as.he.got.in.God’s.word ..He.became.humbled. and.definitely.concerned.that.if.he.didn’t.follow.God’s.plan,.there.would.be. dire.circumstances.for.all ..The.people.had.such.reverence.for.Josiah,.they. began.to.follow.him ..It.was.in.Josiah’s.desire.and.humility.to.serve.his.God.

150 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 151 

Luke, The Compassionate Physician As.a.surgeon.who.has.spent.most.of.his.life.caring.for.others.and. attempting.to.push.some.knowledge.forward.in.the.medical-surgical. arena,.I.can.assure.you.there.are.a.couple.of.qualities.which.I.consider.most. important.in.those.who.care.for.the.sick.and.the.young.and.the.old,.not. to.mention.all.in.between ..The.one.quality.which.I.feel.is.most.important. is.compassion ..Without.that.quality,.the.caregiver.will.never.reach.his.or. her.full.potential ..That.is.why.Jesus.and.the.word.being.the.same.are.filled. with.love ..He.is.the.great.physician ..The.second.quality.which.I.feel.is.most. important.is.that.the.caregiver.be.a.good.listener,.and.be.always.open.to. new,.but.sensible.or.proven.ways . Now,.let’s.think.about.Luke ..Perhaps.we.don’t.know.firsthand.a.lot. about.Luke,.nor.firsthand.a.lot.about.many.others.from.the.bible,.but. because.of.Luke’s.writings,.we.gain.insight.into.the.man ..In.his.writing. the.Gospel.according.to.Luke,.he.emphasizes.the.compassion.of.Jesus ..He. talks.about.how.he.treated.people.and.especially.those.who.needed.his. compassionate.help ..He.also.gave.us.a.picture.of.how.kindly.Jesus.treated. women.of.that.time ..That.was.not.always.the.case.with.other.religious. or.political.leaders,.just.as.in.today’s.society.especially.in.the.Middle. Eastern.countries . Luke.travelled.with.Paul.and.perhaps.acted.as.his.personal.physician. as.well.as.being.a.physician.to.others ..Times.were.tough.back.in.those. days,.and.the.need.for.a.knowledgeable.and.compassionate.physician.had. to.be.many ..Because.of.Luke’s.learned.ways.and.his.discipline,.God.made. use.of.these.talents.to.record.accurately.the.history.of.the.early.church ..As. you.read.the.first.writing.of.Luke.in.his.Gospel.you.see.his.desire.to.record. all.things.well,.knowing.that.future.generations,.not.present.for.the.early.

that.God.was.able.to.pour.blessings.upon.him ..He.cleansed.the.Temple. and.helped.to.revive.an.obedience.to.God’s.law . It.is.this.humility.and.obedience.to.God’s.word.which.will.allow.God. to.make.some.changes.in.our.Nation.and.our.world ..What.is.my.part. and.your.part.in.this.call.of.God?.It.is.in.searching.for.and.finding.God’s. plans.for.our.lives.where.we.can.then.see.things.develop.which.bring.forth. God’s.purposes.on.this.earth ..Our.part.may.seem.infinitesimal,.but.when. it.connects.with.the.other.parts.which.He.has.planned,.a.great.mosaic.will. spring.forth ..Josiah,.as.the.King.of.Judah.for.some.31.years.played.his.part. in.touching.God’s.people.and.seeing.some.correction.occur . In.2.Kings.23:25.the.word.says,.“And.like.unto.him.there.was.no.king. before.him,.that.turned.to.the.Lord.with.all.his.heart,.and.with.all.his.soul,. and.with.all.his.might,.according.to.all.the.law.of.Moses;.neither.after.him. arose.there.any.like.him .” Wouldn’t.that.be.just.a.fine.statement.for.the.world.to.say.about.you. or.about.me.at.the.time.of.our.death?.Only.in.our.serving.the.Lord,.whole. heartedly,.is.there.any.hope ..I’m.not.suggesting.you.hold.your.breath ..But. actually,.in.our.serving.the.Lord.with.our.whole.might,.we.will.see.our.lives. being.fruitful.and.victorious.in.ways.which.He.ordains .

152 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 153 

Jochebed, The Mother of Moses This.was.back.at.the.time.of.Joseph.in.which.his.family.had.come. to.Egypt.to.avoid.the.famine.in.the.land.of.Canaan ..The.original. Pharaoh.was.very.willing.to.treat.Joseph’s.family.very.well,.after.the.death. of.Joseph,.but.when.a.new.Pharaoh.came.on.the.scene.all.he.could.see.was. the.children.of.Israel.multiplying.mightily ..These.were.all.slaves.in.the.land. and.he.made.their.burdens.very.severe . In.time,.he.spoke.to.the.midwives.of.the.Hebrew.women.and.told. them.to.abort.their.male.babies ..The.Hebrew.midwives.feared.God.and.did. not.kill.the.male.babies . The.Pharaoh.now.ordered.that.the.male.babies.should.be.drowned. in.the.Nile.River ..A.man.of.the.house.of.Levi.took.a.wife,.named.Jochebed,. and.she.conceived.and.delivered.a.boy.baby ..She.made.a.decision.that. her.baby.would.not.be.drowned ..A.very.courageous.decision.on.her.part .. She.hid.the.baby.for.three.months ..Can.you.imagine.attempting.that?.She. finally.decided.she.should.put.the.baby.in.an.ark.in.the.bulrushes ..Long. story.short,.the.Pharaoh’s.daughter.spots.the.baby.and.has.compassion. on.him.and.gets.a.nurse.of.the.Hebrew.women.to.care.for.him ..The.nurse. selected.was.the.mother.of.the.young.Moses ..What.courage.in.such.a.difficult.moment ..Only.the.Lord.could.have.given.her.such.hope.and.only.the. Lord.could.have.arranged.to.have.the.deliverer.of.the.Hebrews.from.Egypt. not.only.saved,.but.reared.in.the.house.of.the.Pharaoh.by.the.baby’s.birth. mother.Now.there.is.a.miracle,.planned.by.God ..Do.you.think.there.is.little. or.no.hope.for.your.situation?.Guess.again . Here.is.a.woman.we.have.heard.nothing.more.about,.mentioned.in. the.bible,.who.made.a.lone.decision.to.save.her.baby,.who.God.planned.to. use.as.the.deliverer.of.the.Hebrews ..What.a.godly.plan ..Only.God.could.

ministry.of.Jesus,.will.need.the.accuracy.of.history.that.he.was.able.to.give .. Even.though.Luke.was.not.an.eyewitness.of.Jesus.ministry,.he.knew.that. it.was.most.important.to.record.the.record.of.those.who.were.the.eyewitnesses.of.that.early.history . Luke.addresses.his.writings.to.Theophilus,.which.means,.“the.one. who.loves.God .”.Luke.addressed.the.book.of.Acts,.which.he.wrote,.in. the.same.manner,.to.Theophilus ..He.relied.on.written.accounts.of.those. who.had.been.present.and.he.relied.on.the.truth ..Actually.Luke.was.a. Gentile ..Theophilus.may.have.been.a.Roman.soldier.friend.of.Luke,.but. one.who.had.a.strong.interest.in.God.and.the.things.of.Jesus,.maybe.a.bit. like.Cornellius . We.know.that.one.can’t.become.all.that.humble.Luke.became.without. placing.his.entire.hope.in.the.Lord ..I.have.included.him.in.this.book.about. hope.to.stress.the.point.that.by.firmly.placing.our.lives.in.Jesus’.hands. and.trusting.our.savior.in.every.way,.our.lives.became.the.fulfilled.lives. which.we.seek,.not.by.doing.our.own.thing,.especially.in.times.of.change. and.difficulties,.but.first.selling.out.to.God.and.seeking.daily.His.path.for. our.lives,.not.worrying.about.tomorrow ..God.is.more.than.able.to.care.for. those.things.which.concern.us ..He.is.able .

154 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 155 

Isaiah, A Man of Hope Isaiah.was.called.by.God.to.be.his.man.for.that.time ..Have.you.ever. considered.you,.too,.have.been.called.by.God.to.be.His.man.or.woman. for.this.time ..Oh,.not.in.the.way.Isaiah.was.called,.but.just.as.assuredly. you.have.been.called.to.do.God’s.bidding.in.your.sphere.of.influence,.in. your.world ..Let’s.take.a.moment.to.consider.Isaiah ..He.lived.in.Jerusalem. and.served.as.a.scribe.originally,.but.then.God.called.him.to.be.a.prophet .. Under.Kings.Ahaz.and.Manasseh.the.people.were.filled.with.idolatry . Isaiah.was.the.son.of.Amoz.and.lived.from.740-681.BC ..He.received. a.vision.concerning.Judah.and.Jerusalem ..It.was.in.the.days.of.Uzziah,. Jotham,.Ahaz.and.Hezekiah,.all.of.whom.were.kings.of.Judah ..God.tells. Isaiah.that.he,.God,.has.brought.up.children.and.nourished.them.and.they. have.rebelled.against.him ..To.put.it.mildly,.God.is.fed.up.with.this.sinful. nation.of.people ..Can.you.imagine.what.God.feels.today.as.we.slaughter. our.unborn.and.teach.our.children.that.a.homosexual.lifestyle.is.to.be. lifted.up.as.a.norm.in.our.schools ..This.is.all.blasphemy.and.few.are.calling. it.that ..Where.are.our.spiritual.leaders?.Have.they.all.gone.to.sleep ..Is.it. just.too.unpleasant.to.have.to.face.our.nation.with.the.truth? That.is.exactly.where.Isaiah.was.in.attempting.to.let.the.people.of. Judah.know.that.God.wanted.them.to.repent.and.return.to.Him ..God. condemns.the.country.in.no.uncertain.terms ..In.Isa.1:4.he.says,.“Ah.sinful. nation,.a.people.laden.with.iniquity,.a.seed.of.evil.doers,.children.that.are. corrupters:.they.have.forsaken.the.Lord,.they.have.provoked.the.Holy.One. of.Israel.unto.anger,.they.have.gone.away.backward” . God.goes.on.to.let.Isaiah.know.how.horribly.displeased.he.is.with.the. whole.nation,.and.now.it.is.Isaiah’s.turn.to.speak.those.words.over.and.to. the.people ..The.nation.would.be.attacked.and.conquered.by.other.nations,. but.God.wanted.to.let.them.know.if.they.repented,.they.could.still.have.a. special.relationship.with.God ..Other.prophets.at.the.time,.such.as.Micah.

give.some.young.Hebrew.woman.the.hope.that.by.hiding.her.baby.in.the. bulrushes,.that.something.good.would.occur.to.save.him ..She.had.hope,. and.saved.God’s.man.for.the.moment .

156 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 157 

Jonathan, One of God’s Most Loyal Servants Jonathan.was.born.as.a.son.of.King.Saul ..His.mother.was.Ahinoam,.and. Jonathan.had.one.son,.Mephibosheth ..He.was.known.to.be.a.very.brave. soldier.and.a.natural.leader,.but.his.most.defining.quality.was.his.loyalty .. Loyalty.is.what.is.combined.in.covenant.and.allows.covenants.to.be.so. strong.and.pervasive,.especially.when.combined.with.God.almighty ..Our. Christian.marriage.covenants,.made.before.and.to.God,.become.so.strong. that.no.civil.judge.has.the.power.to.sever.them ..But.now.back.to.Jonathan . Jonathan.is.a.marvelous.example.of.loyalty ..He.was.loyal.to.God.and. to.his.friends.and.certainly.to.David.whom.he.made.covenant.with ..Was. his.life.always.uncomplicated?.No,.he.had.to.juggle.loyalty.to.his.rather.evil. father,.King.Saul,.and.his.good.friend,.David,.who.later.replaced.Saul.as.the. King ..That.was.not.easy.and.required.much.patience,.love.and.certainly. loyalty ..It.was.in.his.loving.and.serving.and.being.obedient.to.God.which. allowed.his.stature.as.a.loyal.and.god-fearing.warrior . When.we.are.faced.with.some.of.those.same.conflicting.choices,.it. is.imperative.that.we.get.in.God’s.word.and.find.what.God.would.have. us.do ..I.have.always.found.that.as.we.take.our.prayer.requests.to.God. and.we.attempt.to.do.exactly.what.we.feel.God.would.have.us.do,.that. God.honors.our.decisions,.even.if.at.times.we.make.incorrect.choices,. not.on.purpose,.however ..It.is.comforting.to.know.that.God.loves.us.so. much.that.he.gives.us.free.will.to.make.the.choices.we.make ..Jonathans. loyalty.to.God.allowed.him.to.travel.through.some.difficult.moments.in. his.life,.successfully ..Mostly.through.the.actions.of.Jonathan,.King.Saul. spared.David’s.life.on.more.than.one.occasion ..David,.on.the.other.hand,. somewhat.because.of.his.covenant.with.Jonathan.and.mostly.because.of.

and.Hosea.were.bringing.forth.a.similar.message ..Isaiah.warns.the.people. that.had.God.not.spared.a.few.people.at.Sodom.and.Gomorrah,.all.would. have.vanished.and.that.Judah.was.just.like.those.two.cities . Can.you.imagine.God.giving.you.that.task?.That.you.are.to.speak.to. the.whole.population.of.the.United.States.of.America.and.tell.them.that. they.will.encounter.the.severe.judgment.of.God.on.their.people.and.their. Nation,.if.they.do.not.get.on.their.knees.and.confess.to.God.their.sinfulness.and.repent.for.so.doing? God.did.not.tell.Isaiah.that.the.people.would.listen.to.him,.nor.obey. him ..What.hope.can.one.gain.from.this?.Isaiah.carried.out.his.mission. persistently,.even.though.great.rewards.to.him.were.few ..He.was.letting. the.people.know.that.God’s.forgiveness.was.available ..That.was.the.hope,. and.despite.our.circumstances,.that.is.our.hope ..God.not.only.forgives,. but.he.is.there.to.encourage.each.of.us.in.our.calling.and.in.our.walk,. There.were.times.when.God.called.him.to.comfort.his.people.and.other. times.when.God.called.him.to.confront.the.people ..God.let.him.know.the. people.would.not.listen.and.obey,.but.write.the.message.anyway.because. sometime.those.reading.his.words.would.obey . Another.thing.about.Isaiah.which.also.applies.to.us.is.this ..When.he. encountered.God.in.his.visions,.it.transformed.his.life.and.character ..He. would.never.again.be.the.same.as.before ..That.is.exactly.what.is.supposed. to.happen.to.us.when.we.are.born.again ..Then.when.we.get.the.infilling.of. the.Holy.Spirit,.our.lives.should.be.transformed.just.like.Paul’s.on.the.road. to.Damascus . That.is.exactly.what.happened.in.my.life.when.I.became.born.again. and.Spirit-filled ..But.we.will.devote.a.chapter.to.that.later ..To.Isaiah,.God. compared.the.people.to.a.tree.that.would.have.to.be.cut.down.so.that.a. new.tree.can.grow.from.the.old.roots ..In.our.lives,.the.old.self.will.have. to.be.replaced.with.a.new.non.corruptible.self.so.that.we.can.be.what. God.called.us.to.be ..Believe.me,.there.is.hope ..The.important.lesson.to.be. learned.here.is.that.Isaiah.was.called.by.God.to.be.a.prophet.and.to.go.to. all.of.Judah.and.bring.the.message.of.God’s.forgiveness,.if.they.repented .. They.didn’t.listen.to.him.at.that.time,.but.millions.of.people.since.them. have.read.about.his.god.given.predictions.and.prophesies ..He.just.kept. on.keeping.on,.and.that.is.what.God.is.expecting.of.you.and.me ..There.is. always.hope.in.Jesus .

158 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 159 

Paul, A True Servant of God The.story.of.the.Apostle.Paul’s.life.is.most.remarkable ..He.was.a.zealot. for.God.even.before.he.came.to.know.Jesus ..One.might.think.he. couldn’t.be.used.for.God’s.purposes.because.he.was.out.persecuting.the. Christians ..How.could.God.ever.use.a.man.like.Paul?.Could.there.be.any. hope.that.God.might.also.use.us?.It.seems.almost.unbelievable,.and.yet. Jesus.sought.Paul.and,.of.course,.found.him.on.the.road.to.Damascus ..If. that.doesn’t.give.any.of.us.hope.not.only.for.being.sought.after.and.saved,. but.even.as.much.for.deliverance.from.whatever.destruction.we.might. be.facing . Remember.Paul.at.the.time.that.Stephen.is.being.stoned.to.death .. He.was.watching.and.cheering.the.crowd.on ..Poor.Stephen.had.been. appointed.to.be.a.helper.to.the.disciples.and.then.became.a.great.evangelizer ..Stephen.was.being.accused.of.wanting.to.do.away.with.the.Law. of.Moses,.and.this.created.great.anger.in.the.Jewish.religious.leaders ..But. Jesus.had.also.been.accused.of.the.same.thing ..Stephen.was.not.negating. the.writings.of.Moses ..To.the.contrary,.he.was.preaching.repentance.and. seeking.God . In.Stephen’s.speech.he.lifted.up.Jesus.as.the.Messiah,.which.was.predicted.long.before.in.the.Jewish.writings ..He.was.being.a.strong.witness. for.Jesus ..He.was.the.first.to.die.for.the.faith,.but.it.was.at.that.moment.that. Paul.was.observing.and.as.the.witnesses.to.the.stoning.laid.their.clothes.at. Saul’s.feet.(Paul’s.feet) . Isn’t.that.an.interesting.thought.that.here.Paul.was.witnessing.the. great.bravery.and.confidence.of.Stephen.at.the.very.moment.of.his.martyrdom,.and.Paul.himself.would.be.martyred.years.hence.for.his.own. witnessing.for.Jesus ..You.might.say,.I.thought.this.was.a.book.of.hope?. Well,.yes.it.is ..Both.of.these.saints.were.given.the.opportunity.to.have.their.

Saul.having.been.anointed.by.God.to.be.King.earlier,.spared.King.Saul’s.life. on.several.occasions . In.the.end,.when.Saul,.Jonathan.and.two.other.sons.were.killed. together.in.battle.with.the.Philistines.and.David.becomes.King.of.Judah,. he.ordered.that.all.would.honor.King.Saul.and.his.son.Jonathan.and.all. of.Israel.who.had.been.slain.by.the.sword ..The.loyalty.which.Jonathan. had.portrayed.so.well,.was.carried.on.also.by.David.as.he.redeemed. Mephibosheth,.Jonathan’s.son.from.destruction.and.poverty ..This.is.one. of.the.most.costly.of.virtues.and.one.quite.lacking.in.today’s.society.here. in.America,.sad.to.say ..I.would.suspect.if.you.asked.Jonathan,.at.the.end. of.his.short.life,.if.he.thought.what.he.did.for.God.and.in.loyalty.to.David,. his.dear.friend,.was.worth.it?.His.answer.would.be.yes ..People.who.follow. after.God.with.their.whole.heart.are.most.likely.to.be.loyal,.too .

160 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 161 Faith, Hope, and Love Elijah, God’s Faithful Messenger If.there.is.ever.any.biblical.character.that.can.inspire.hope,.Elijah.has.got. to.be.one.of.the.foremost ..Sometimes.a.person.will.be.brought.forward. to.confront.some.situation.or.some.individual.or.some.ungodly.body.of. evidence.or.person ..Elijah.would.not.be.known.as.the.comforter,.he.was. called.by.God.to.be.the.confronter ..To.many.people.his.actions.would. seem.too.harsh,.and.yet.that.is.exactly.what.God.called.him.to.do ..He.was. called.to.be.an.important.prophet.of.Israel . He.was.not.appreciated.by.many,.even.those.who.served.God ..I.think. that.is.an.important.lesson.for.all.of.us.who.choose.to.serve.God ..There. will.be.those.times.which.can.be.most.lonely ..In.one.of.the.earlier.books. which.I.wrote.called,.The.Breaking.Point,.I.speak.about.the.lonely.walk.a. person.can.be.on.doing.exactly.what.the.Lord.commissioned.him.to.do .. The.miracles.which.Elijah.did.occurred.because.he.chose.to.serve.God. with.his.whole.heart.and.soul ..When.we.do.that.same.thing,.we,.too.can. see.miracles,.but.many.times.feel.loneliness.in.our.walk . Let’s.look.at.a.couple.of.things.which.God.did.through.Elijah.when. he.easily.could.have.lost.hope ..In.the.one.situation.when.Ahab.was.the. evil.king.of.Israel.and.came.against.Elijah.with.his.450.prophets.of.Baal,. Elijah.could.have.lost.all.hope ..He.warned.the.people.to.not.choose.to.go. the.way.of.Ahab,.but.to.serve.God ..Wherever.Elijah.went.he.was.warning. against.false.gods,.but.no.one.was.listening ..Hope,.easily.could.have.been. lost,.but.like.the.children.of.Israel,.and.the.fiery.furnace.at.the.time.of. Nebuchadnezzar,.Elijah.proclaimed.his.one.God . Ahab.convened.the.false.prophets.and.also.Elijah.and.the.people. of.Israel.for.an.open.confrontation ..Elijah.told.them,.if.the.Lord.be.God,. follow.him,.but.if.Baal,.follow.him ..Elijah.as.the.sole.prophet.against.the. 450.false.prophets,.challenged.them.to.make.a.sacrifice.of.a.bull.before. their.god ..They.were.to.dress.it.and.place.it.on.wood,.but.start.no.fire .. Then.Elijah.told.them.to.call.on.their.gods.to.start.the.fire,.by.prayer .. They.prayed.all.day.and.Elijah.just.mocked.their.gods,.saying.they.must. obedience.to.God.magnified.in.the.Holy.Bible.for.millions.of.future.people. be.able.to.read.and.to.follow.their.great.examples.of.faith . Paul,.after.his.conversion.became.the.greatest.individual.to.shape. the.history.of.Christianity.in.that.first.Century.and.possibly.ever ..He.was. tireless.and.bold ..He.took.the.Gospel.worldwide,.never.worrying.about. the.cost.to.him.personally ..Whatever.God.asked.him.to.do,.he.did ..He. was.a.great.force.to.bring.Christianity.to.the.Gentiles ..He.had.to.convince. the.Jews.that.God.welcomed.Gentiles.and.then.convince.the.Gentiles.that. they,.too.could.become.Christians ..Paul.found.his.hope.in.the.life.and. teachings.of.Jesus ..When.he.brought.that.to.the.Gentiles,.their.lives.were. dramatically.changed,.just.like.his.had.been ..His.life.should.allow.hope.to. rise.for.whatever.circumstance.you.may.be.facing ..Although.both.Paul.and. Stephen.were.martyred.for.their.faith.and.dedication.to.Jesus,.what.could. anyone.do.better.with.their.life.than.live.it.for.the.Creator.of.the.Universe?

162 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 163 

Rahab, The Lady With Hope and Courage The.story.of.Rahab.is.a.story.of.extreme.courage.and.should.be.a.tremendous.encouragement.to.all.who.are.following.Jesus.in.their.daily. walk ..Rahab,.the.bible.tells.us.in.Joshua.2.was.a.harlot.living.in.a.home. built.in.the.walls.of.Jericho ..Talk.about.courage ..Here.she.is.living.in.the. walls.of.Israel’s.enemy.when.two.spies.of.Joshua.enter.the.city.and.end.up. living.in.her.house ..They.were.sent.to.spy.out.the.land.just.as.Moses.had. commanded.earlier . Rahab.was.also.called.by.God.to.not.only.house.the.spies,.but.then. to.hide.them.out.when.the.king.of.Jericho.came.to.her.to.have.her.give.up. the.spies ..She.said.they.had.departed.and.gone.out.the.gate.of.the.wall.of. Jericho,.but.actually.she.had.hidden.them.under.the.flax.on.the.roof.of.her. own.home . She.could.easily.have.been.killed.for.that.disobedience,.but.as.she. stated,.all.in.Jericho.were.terrified.of.the.Israelites.and.their.God.because. he.was.so.powerful ..She.made.a.pact.or.covenant.with.the.spies.that. she.would.help.them.escape.after.spying.out.Jericho,.and.that.when.the. Israelites.returned,.the.army.would.spare.Rahab.and.her.entire.family .. They.asked.her.to.place.a.scarlet.thread.on.the.window.so.they.could.identify.her.home.and.they.would.promise.that.she.and.her.household.would. be.protected . She.then.lowered.them.by.a.cord.out.the.window.and.down.the.wall,. allowing.them.to.escape.the.king’s.men ..She.was.supplanting.her.fear.of. death.by.the.king’s.men.for.she.and.her.family,.with.hope.in.the.God.of. Israel ..It.is.that.same.hope.we.as.born.again.Christians.need.to.muster.in. those.times.of.severe.peril ..There.is.no.other.way ..We.are.children.of.the. Creator.of.this.universe ..We.are.His.subjects.in.His.kingdom ..Her.calling.

be.vacationing.or.possibly.be.asleep ..The.people.worshipping.Baal.and. the.450.prophets.of.Baal.got.so.upset.they.cried.aloud.and.started.cutting. themselves.with.knives . At.the.time.of.the.evening.service.Elijah.gathered.the.people.and. gathered.12.stones.for.each.of.the.tribes.of.Israel.and.built.an.altar ..He.then. made.a.trench.around.the.altar ..He.now.put.the.wood.in.order.and.the. bullock,.in.pieces,.he.laid.on.the.altar ..He.had.water.poured.in.the.trench. and.on.the.offering.three.times . Then.Elijah.called.on.the.God.of.Abraham,.Isaac.and.Israel.and.said. let.it.be.known.this.day.that.you.are.God.in.Israel,.and.that.I.am.thy.servant,. and.have.done.these.things.at.thy.word ..The.fire.then.fell.and.consumed. the.offering.on.the.altar.and.licked.up.the.water.in.the.trench ..The.people. fell.on.their.faces.and.worshiped.the.God.of.Israel ..All.of.the.prophets.of. Baal,.450.of.them,.were.killed.at.the.brook.Kishon . Can.you.imagine.how.easily.Elijah.might.have.lost.hope?.How.timid. he.might.have.been?.Yet,.he.followed.God’s.command.for.that.moment .. That.is.all.God.is.calling.us.to.do,.but.some.of.those.moments.may.be. most.interesting.and.require.our.resolve,.courage,.faithfulness.and.love.of. the.Lord . Was.Elijah.always.so.courageous?.No ..When.Queen.Jezebel.retaliated. by.threatening.to.take.Elijah’s.life,.he.ran.and.hid,.until.finally.God.asked. him.what.was.he.doing?.He.was.depressed.and.lost.all.hope ..When.some. circumstance.changes.or.when.it.seems.so.overpowering,.we.sometimes. go.into.despair.and.fear.and.literally.give.up.all.hope.of.and.for.victory ..I. know,.I.have.been.there ..The.only.sure.way.out.is.to.seek.the.Lord.and.his. calling.on.your.life.and.begin.by.taking.small.steps.out.of.the.rut.where.the. devil.has.dragged.you . Later,.God.had.to.let.Elijah.know.he.wasn’t.the.only.one.serving. God ..There.were.7000.in.Jerusalem.who.had.not.bowed.their.knees.to. Baal ..I.really.do.feel.it.can.be.in.those.very.times.where.we.feel.failure.and. are.most.vulnerable,.that.the.“still.small.voice”.within.us.can.give.us.the. direction.and.confidence.we.need ..God.used.that.faithful.and.courageous. prophet.in.the.transfiguration.scene.with.Moses.and.Jesus ..Wouldn’t.that. make.for.a.great.legacy?.In.these.time.of.near.hopelessness,.pick.up.your. cross.and.follow.our.Master ..He.truly.will.never.leave.nor.forsake.you .

164 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 165 

Othniel, the Nephew of Caleb At.a.time.when.the.children.of.Israel.were.living.among.the.Canaanites,. Hittites,.Amorites,.Perizzites ..Hivites.and.Jebusites,.they.were.learning.all.of.the.ungodly.mannerisms.of.their.hosts ..They.were.intermarrying,. worshipping.false.gods.and.idols ..God.was.mighty.displeased.and.when. the.people.cried.out,.God.sent.them.a.first.judge.to.be.their.deliverer ..His. name.was.Othniel,.the.son.of.Kenaz.who.was.Caleb’s.younger.brother . The.spirit.of.the.Lord.came.upon.him,.and.he.judged.Israel.and.went. out.to.war:.the.Lord.delivered.Chushanrishathaim.King.of.Mesopotamia. into.his.hand ..And.the.land.had.rest.for.forty.years.and.then.the.judge.died .. Whenever.we.cry.out.unto.the.Lord.out.of.our.need.or.distress,.he.hears. us ..Sometimes.we.are.reluctant.to.do.what.he.is.commanding,.but.when. we.do.is.when.we.can.see.his.miracle.hand ..Never.lose.hope,.even.as.we. have.just.seen.when.we.have.disobeyed.God’s.plan,.but.then.repented.and. cried.out.to.God ..There.is.always.hope .

was.for.a.short.span.of.time,.but.it.allowed.God’s.chosen.people.to.be.able. to.be.victorious.over.the.enemy.at.Jericho,.in.a.very.spectacular.way ..Her. time.in.history.placed.her.in.the.lineage.of.Boaz,.David.and.Jesus ..We. might.have.felt.that.God.could.not.use.a.prostitute.or.a.repentant.murderer.to.be.his.person.for.a.specific.calling,.yet,.we.see.God.does.not.look. upon.man.as.we.might ..He.sees.the.heart.of.man.and.judges.accordingly .. She.is.only.one.of.two.women.listed.in.the.hall.of.faith.found.in.Hebrews .. She.had.faith.in.God.and.that.allowed.her.to.be.helpful.to.others.at.great. sacrifice.and.cost.to.herself,.personally ..In.Hebrews.11:31.it.states,.“By. faith.the.harlot.Rahab.perished.not.with.them.that.believed.not,.when.she. had.received.the.spies.with.peace .” As.I.write.about.this.story,.it.just.can’t.help.but.make.my.faith.soar.for. some.battles.I.am.having.to.presently.fight ..As.I.entered.one.of.the.major. battles.of.my.life,.I.started.to.write.this.book.and.a.couple.of.others,.and. that.allowed.me.to.expect.victory.over.the.changing.circumstances .

167 

Herod Agrippa II Rejected Hope I.almost.didn’t.put.this.story.from.the.bible.in.this.book.on.hope.as.it. displays.the.lack.of.hope.found.when.people.reject.the.free.gift.of.God’s. redemption.through.the.blood.of.Jesus . Four.generations.of.Herod’s.had.the.opportunity.of.receiving.the.love. of.God.through.the.life.of.Jesus.Christ.and.each.one.turned.God.down,.at. their.own.peril . His.great-grandfather.was.Herod.the.Great,.and.his.father.was.Herod. Agrippa.I.with.Herod.Antipas,.the.great.uncle.of.Herod.Agrippa ..Herod. Agrppa.was.the.ruler.of.northern.and.Eastern.Palestine.and.actually.met. Jesus.during.his.trial,.but.failed.to.recognize.actually.who.Jesus.was ..Herod. Agrippa.II.heard.the.Gospel.from.Paul.but.failed.to.accept.it ..He.was.so. close,.and.yet.so.far ..Do.we.happen.to.be.like.Herod.Agrippa?.Fail.to.hear. the.knock.of.Jesus.on.the.door,.or.just.refuse.to.believe.the.message?.So. many.people.in.so.many.families.have.behaved.just.like.that ..If.you.as.a. Christian.are.to.mention.Jesus.they.turn.you.off,.but.perhaps.unknowingly. at.their.own.peril ..In.Herod.Agrippa’s.case.he.was.so.close.but.decided.it. wasn’t.worth.responding.to.or.accepting.personally ..How.many.times.have. we.done.the.same? It.took.me.many.years.before.I.fully.accepted.Jesus,.on.his.terms,. and.confessed.him.as.my.Lord.and.Savior,.but.when.I.did,.my.life.turned. around.and.I.began.to.evangelize.and.bring.many.others.to.Jesus ..Herod. Agrippa.had.the.greatest.of.all.evangelists.and.teachers.in.Paul,.and.yet.he. refused.to.accept.the.power.and.love.found.in.accepting.Jesus.as.his.Lord,. Savior.and.King ..The.hope.of.the.future.generations.is.in.our.accepting.our. God-given.position.in.His.kingdom .

168 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 169 

Nehemiah, a Man of Prayer Talk.about.a.life.of.purpose.and.faith.and.certainly.hope,.in.the.face. of.changing.circumstances ..That.is.the.title.which.I.placed.over.this. book.from.the.day.I.started.writing.about.it ..The.story.of.Nehemiah.is.one.I. have.leaned.on.for.many.years.as.I.founded.and.started.the.medical.device. company.in.1987.alongside.of.Covenant.Marriages.Ministry.at.the.calling. of.God,.some.four.years.earlier ..In.that.call.of.God,.I.was.only.slightly. aware.of.the.scope.of.the.task.which.I.was.being.asked.to.carry.out ..There. was.a.great.need.for.faith.and.hope.in.that.venture,.more.than.I.would.have. ever.suspected.as.we.had.to.fight.with.giants.like.the.FDA . Now.back.to.Nehemiah ..Remember,.he.was.a.cup.bearer.to.the.King. of.the.Medo-Persian.Empire,.when.some.of.his.brethren.came.and.he. asked.what.happened.to.the.people.who.escaped.from.the.captivity.and. lived.in.Jerusalem.and.Judah?.They.explained.the.ones.who.were.left.were. in.great.affliction.and.that.the.walls.of.Jerusalem.are.demolished.and.the. gates.are.burned ..Nehemiah’s.heart.was.broken.when.he.heard.this.news .. You.see,.God.had.placed.this.burden.on.his.heart ..He.had.not.been.to.the. walled.city,.but.he.had.a.heart.for.what.God.would.have.him.do . What.was.the.first.thing.Nehemiah.did?.It.was.to.ask.God.for.forgiveness.for.his.sins.and.those.of.his.forefathers ..Then.he.aslked.God.to.show. him.how.to.approach.his.king.in.order.to.accomplish.the.rebuilding.of.the. wall.of.Jerusalem,.a.task.which.was.monumental.but.one.placed.by.God. on.his.heart . By.so.doing,.he.included.God.in.his.plans,.but.which.also.gave.God.the. opportunity.of.placing.his.direction.in.Nehemiah’s.plans ..It.literally.made. this.a.joint.venture ..This.task.was.going.to.be.monumental,.but.with.God. in.it,.it.would.be.accomplished.much.more.quickly.without.any.mistakes . Nehemiah.went.before.the.king.and.not.only.was.the.job.blessed,. but.the.king.would.help.send.an.army.and.letters.to.others.in.charge.in.

In.Acts.26:28.we.see.the.statement,.“Then.Agrippa.said.unto.Paul,. (you).almost.persuaded.me.to.be.a.Christian .”.Here.was.a.man.without. hope.and.did.not.recognize.it ..Most.all.of.the.four.Gospel.writers.were. contemporaries.of.Herod.Agrippa.II ..What.a.shame .

170 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 171 

Hosea, A Champion of Patience and Virtue The.Book.of.Hosea.portrays.a.very.telling.story.about.God’s.warning. to.the.Northern.Kingdom.of.Israel.to.turn.from.their.wicked.ways. and.to.follow.God ..It.was.similar.in.that.respect.in.God’s.telling,.through. angels,.Lot’s.wife.not.to.look.back.on.the.cities.of.Sodom.and.Gomorrah.as. they.were.being.destroyed.by.fire.and.brimstone,.but.she.did.and.became. a.pillar.of.salt . In.the.story.of.Hosea,.the.prophet.to.Israel,.was.commissioned.by. God.to.marry.a.harlot.named.Gomer ..The.last.six.kings.of.Israel.were.very. wicked.and.placed.great.burdens.on.the.people ..They.turned.from.God. and.followed.after.false.gods,.and.God.does.not.bring.blessings.on.those. who.do.that . God.wanted.to.compare.his.covenant.relationship.with.His.chosen. people,.Israel,.to.the.covenant.relationship.seen.in.marriage ..He.wanted. to.show.that.unfaithfulness.in.either.realm.has.disastrous.consequences . Gomer.was.repeatedly.unfaithful.to.Hosea,.just.like.the.northern. Kingdom.was.to.God ..But.Hosea.was.also.warning.Judah.to.not.follow. Israel’s.example.of.unfaithfulness . When.you.consider.the.rebellion.seen.when.a.spouse.behaves.unfaithfully.toward.his.or.her.mate,.it.brings.in.all.sorts.of.hurts.and.destruction. to.the.spouse.but.even.to.the.generations.who.follow,.unless.we.repent. and.turn.back.to.follow.God ..In.these.end.times.we.not.only.see.people. backsliding,.but.encouraging.others.to.join.them.in.sin ..I.just.can’t.help.but. think.of.the.horrible.sin.of.homosexuality.which.is.being.fostered.even.in. our.schools.to.the.very.young,.as.a.lifestyle.to.be.followed ..What.a.lie.of. the.devil.and.what.destruction.will.be.brought.on.our.nation.because.of. this.sin.of.rebellion .

the.adjacent.states.to.be.helpful,.wherever.possible ..It.was.a.win-win.situation ..When.Nehemiah.got.started.building.the.wall.around.Jericho,.the. devil.attacked,.fiercely ..Nehemiah’s.prayer.to.God.was,.these.two.attackers .. Sanballat.and.Tobiah,.are.mocking.you.Lord ..You.go.against.them.your. way ..I.will.stay.out.of.the.way ..Actually,.Nehemiah.told.his.workers.to.pick. up.their.swords.in.one.hand.and.their.cement.trowels.in.the.other ..It.was. most.amazing.what.Nehemiah.and.his.fellow.workers.got.accomplished.in. 52.days ..Absolutely.amazing! That.is.exactly.where.we.belong ..When.the.attack.occurs,.pray.for. God’s.direction.and.protection,.then.use.the.sword.of.the.Spirit.and.slay. the.enemy.with.one.hand.while.you.continue.your.mission.with.the.other. hand ..Nehemiah.knew.we.are.not.to.lose.hope.nor.purpose.in.our.walk. with.the.Lord ..Nehemiah.kept.his.trust.in.God,.not.that.he.wasn’t.subject. to.all.of.the.emotions.and.failings.we.are ..Sure,.he.feared.he.wouldn’t.be. able.to.finish,.but.he.kept.his.focus.on.God.and.on.what.he.had.been. called.to.do,.always.praying.for.strength,.guidance.and.protection ..His. most.fervent.wish.was.to.please.God.and.that,.too,.should.be.ours .

172 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 173 

Joseph, A Man of Integrity To.us.today,.the.life.of.Joseph.may.seem.unremarkable ..After.all.he. was.a.carpenter,.not.an.unusual.occupation.for.that.time ..But,.he. was.engaged.to.marry.a.woman.named,.Mary,.who.came.to.him.during. their.courtship.with.a.most.unusual.story ..The.story.had.to.do.with.an. angel.appearing.to.Mary.and.letting.her.know.she.would.become.pregnant,.before.she.had.known.Joseph.sexually.and.before.their.marriage.had. fully.occurred . For.that.time.period,.that.created.a.real.dilemma ..If.a.woman.committed.fornication.or.adultery.when.not.married,.she.could.be.stoned.to. death.in.the.Jewish.tradition ..He.knew.full.well.the.child.to.be.born.would. not.be.his.as.the.father ..He.loved.Mary.enough.to.break.the.engagement. and.have.her.hidden.away,.if.that.would.be.best . But.then,.God.had.a.better.plan ..He.sent.an.angel.to.Joseph.to.allow. him.to.know.what.Mary.had.said.about.the.birth.of.her.child.was.absolutely.correct ..She.would.be.conceived.by.the.Holy.Ghost.and.the.baby’s. name.would.be.Jesus ..He.was.now.to.take.Mary.as.his.lawfully.wedded. wife,.but.to.not.consummate.the.marriage,.leaving.her.as.a.virgin,.until. after.the.baby.was.born ..Can.you.imagine.the.gossip.mongers.when.they. heard.the.plan.of.God?.But,.with.God.all.things.are.possible ..I.am.sure.that. at.some.moments.in.this.process,.Joseph.was.searching.hopefully.for.the. right.answer.and.the.right.circumstance . A.short.while.after.the.birth.of.Jesus.in.Bethlehem,.Herod.the.Great,. became.aware.of.the.birth.of.a.special.child.and.sought.to.kill.Jesus ..Joseph. and.Mary.and.baby.Jesus.had.to.travel.to.Egypt.and.remain.there.for.two. years.until.Herod.had.died . The.bible.doesn’t.tell.us.much.about.Joseph’s.life.beyond.the.time. when.Jesus.was.12.years.old.and.started.his.ministry ..During.those.early. formative.years,.Joseph.taught.his.son.the.trade.of.carpentry.and.also.saw.

In.the.case.of.Hosea,.he.had.been.brought.forward.as.a.Prophet.in. the.Northern.Kingdom.in.the.period.from.753-715.BC.during.the.reign.of. Jeroboam.II ..The.country.had.benefitted.materially,.but.had.done.poorly.in. the.aspect.of.following.after.and.appreciating.God . The.story.of.Hosea.marrying.an.adulterous.woman,.and.knowing.full. well.ahead.of.time,.brings.forth.many.questions,.but.it.is.to.show.us.the. love.of.the.Lord.for.his.people.when.we.are.not.faithful.to.him ..Many.a. wife.has.had.to.stand.with.God.for.the.return.of.a.wayward.husband ..In. perhaps.fewer.instances.the.reverse.will.occur ..That.degree.of.covenant. love.is.rare.today,.because.of.the.lack.of.teaching.and.the.lack.of.living.our. lives,.unselfishly,.for.God . Just.as.Hosea.pursued.after.Gomer.and.through.his.unending.love,. she.repented.and.returned ..That.is.exactly.where.God.is.in.standing.for. his.nation,.Israel,.but.also.for.the.body.of.Christ,.who.so.many.times. has.turned.her.back.on.him ..God.is.looking.for.a.relationship.with.Him. which.is.genuine.and.long.lasting ..He.is.not.satisfied.with.sacrifices.and. hypocritical.words,.he.wants.those.who.sell.out.to.follow.him ..When.you. consider.the.love.and.sacrifice.which.Jesus.made.to.redeem.mankind.from. their.sins,.it.was.an.unconditional.love ..He.wants.that.from.his.people ..It. is.the.least.we.can.do .

174 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 175 

Hannah, Fervent in Worship, Effective in Prayer. 

 The Mother of Samuel The.story.starts.with.Elkanah.who.had.two.wives ..One.was.Penninah. and.the.other.was.Hannah ..Penninah.had.children.and.Hannah.had. none ..Her.husband.loved.Hannah,.but.she.was.baren ..She.had.lost.all.hope .. On.one.of.the.annual.pilgrimages.of.her.husband,.she.was.in.tears.and. depressed ..Her.husband.asked.her.why?.She.stated.it.was.because.she.had. no.children ..She.petitioned.her.husband.to.take.her.to.visit.Eli,.the.high. Priest.and.to.petition.God.to.allow.her.to.conceive ..She.promised.God.that. she.would.lend.her.son,.if.one.was.born.to.her,.to.God.all.the.days.of.his. life ..And.so.she.did.when.Samuel.was.born ..Later.Samuel.was.given.to.Eli. the.high.Priest.to.be.brought.up.in.the.tabernacle ..Hannah.had.done.what. she.promised.to.God ..She.later.had.more.children,.three.other.sons.and. two.daughters ..Samuel.rose.to.be.one.of.the.last.two.judges.to.rule.Israel. and.was.considered.by.many.as.the.greatest.judge.of.Israel . The.fact.that.Hannah.reached.out.to.God.in.hope.allowed.Israel.to.be. blessed.with.a.godly.judge ..Samuel.grew.up.fervently.seeking.God,.just.as. had.Hannah.his.mother,.and.God.blessed.Samuel.first.with.little.things,.but. eventually.he.would.bring.Israel.from.a.tribal.country.to.a.monarchy.and. Samuel.would.anoint.the.two.first.kings.of.Israel ..It.all.happened.because. in.a.moment.of.despair,.Hannah.cried.out.in.her.grief.for.God.to.give.her. a.son ..He.did.and.then.she.did.exactly.what.she.had.promised ..She.gave. him.back.to.God.when.he.was.weaned.at.about.3.years.of.age ..Hannah’s. son,.Samuel,.was.listed.in.the.Hebrews.11.hall.of.faith ..Just.because.of.the. obedience.and.fervent.prayers.of.his.godly.mother,.who.never.completely. lost.hope .

that.he.was.educated.in.the.Jewish.religion ..God.honored.this.man.of. integrity ..God.is.looking.for.those.willing.souls.and.is.not.impressed.with. a.person’s.social.status . He.chooses.the.man.with.a.heart.of.compassion.and.integrity ..That.is. exactly.what.he.is.looking.for.in.you.and.in.me .

177 

Caleb, The Spy Who Never Lost Hope Sometimes,.you.as.a.Christian,.will.need.to.take.a.stand.for.God.and. his.purposes.which.will.put.you.at.odds.with.most.of.the.crowd.which. surrounds.you ..You.will.be.called.upon.to.issue.a.statement.or.accomplish.something.and.others.will.ridicule.you ..Let.me.tell.you.about.Caleb. and.then.when.that.is.done,.I.will.tell.you.a.little.about.my.battles.as.a. surgeon.bringing.a.new.type.of.surgery.to.the.forefront.and.the.battles. which.ensued . The.story.of.Caleb.starts.with.God.calling.Moses.to.lead.God’s.people. out.of.Egypt,.back.into.the.promised.land.of.Canaan ..God.had.ordered. Moses.to.select.12.spies,.one.each.out.of.the.12.tribes.of.the.children.of. Israel ..They.were.to.go.into.the.land.of.Canaan.and.spy.out.the.land ..To.see. what.the.land.looked.like,.what.the.inhabitants.looked.like.and.whether. they.be.few.or.many,.strong.or.weak ..Also.whether.the.land.be.good.or. bad,.and.what.cities.they.had,.few.or.many.and.what.did.they.live.in,.tents. or.fortified.cities? The.spies.went.into.the.land.and.spied.it.out.for.forty.days.and.then. returned.with.their.report ..The.land.was.beautiful.and.it.flowed.with.milk. and.honey ..Here.is.a.bunch.of.grapes.which.hung.down.to.the.ground.and. required.two.men.to.carry,.but.the.people.be.strong.and.they.live.in.walled. cities.and.we.saw.the.children.of.Anak.there ..The.multitude.of.the.spies. said.we.are.not.able.to.go.against.the.people.because.they.are.stronger. than.we . Remember,.God.had.told.them.this.would.be.their.land,.but.now.let’s. hear.what.the.ten.spies.were.saying ..The.land.through.which.we.have.gone. to.search.it,.is.a.land.that.eats.up.the.inhabitants.thereof;.and.all.the.men. that.we.saw.are.giants,.and.we.in.our.own.sight.are.as.grasshoppers,.and.so.

178 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 179 

The Author’s Personal Story of Challenges and Hope As.many.of.you.know,.I.was.trained.as.an.oral.and.maxillofacial. surgeon.going.back.through.the.1940s.and.early.1950s ..I.had.entered. my.own.private.practice.in.Pasadena,.California.in.1952,.just.after.I.had. returned.from.military.service,.during.the.Korean.War,.as.a.Navy.Surgeon,. stationed.with.the.Marines . It.was.in.1960.when.I.innovated.a.new.surgical.technique.to.reconstruct.the.human.temporomandibular.joint ..It.had.not.been.accomplished. before.using.the.implant.which.the.Lord.had.me.develop.and.Patent ..This. small.implant.would.in.essence.plate.the.bottom.of.the.skull,.in.the.upper. TM.joint.area,.and.would.correct.an.early.or.late.degenerative.joint.problem,. thus.controlling.pain.and.function ..Boy,.you.would.think.that.would.make. the.medical.profession.thrilled.and.the.patients.greatly.relieved ..Well,.I. think.those.patients.who.needed.this.surgery.were.thrilled,.but.the.surgeons.were.more.than.skeptical.and,.at.times,.outright.condemning . Back.in.June.1961,.I.was.prepared.to.perform.a.surgery.on.a.Catholic. Sister,.named.Sister.Lucille,.as.the.first.Partial.TMJ.reconstructive.surgery. here.in.the.U .S ..She.had.been.fully.apprised.of.this.surgery,.as.well.as.the. Mother.Superior.of.her.Dominican.Order ..In.those.days.there.was.no.FDA. approval.of.any.medical.device ..We.had,.as.scientists.and.surgeons,.to.use. our.experience.and.best.judgment.in.accomplishing.some.newer.type.of. surgical.procedure ..This.was.not.out.of.the.ordinary,.but.I.had.also.gone. over.my.innovation.earlier.with.a.competent.orthopedic.surgeon.and.a. general.surgeon,.both.of.whom.agreed.with.the.wisdom.of.what.I.was. proposing.and.going.to.accomplish ..Actually,.I.had.started.this.review.of. my.proposed.surgical.technique.some.7.months.earlier .

we.are.in.their.sight ..Wow,.what.an.evil.report ..There.is.no.hope.in.those. ten.spies,.even.though.God.had.already.told.them.they.would.possess.the. land ..How.many.times.have.we.failed.to.take.over.the.land.which.God.has. promised.us? But.now.comes.the.report.of.the.two.spies.who.had.hope,.Joshua. and.Caleb ..Caleb.stilled.the.people.before.Moses.and.said,.Let.us.go.up.at. once,.and.possess.it;.for.we.are.well.able.to.overcome.it ..What.a.different. report ..Now.the.children.of.Israel.began.to.blame.God.and.they.said.first. they.wished.they.had.never.been.brought.out.of.Egypt.and.they.should.go. back,.or.they.wished.they.had.died.in.the.wilderness ..Is.it.not.better.that. we.return.unto.Egypt? The.ten.negative.spies.built.a.great.rebellion.in.the.people ..It.is.just. like.those.who.come.against.whatever.God.is.telling.any.one.of.us.to.do ..I. have.seen.it.over.and.over.again ..It.takes.faith.in.God’s.orders.to.you.and. wisdom.and.courage.to.stand.against.many.of.the.attacks.by.those.who. would.keep.you.from.fulfilling.God’s.plan.for.your.life ..How.many.times. have.we.stopped.just.short.of.what.God.would.have.us.do.or.accomplish,. because.of.some.perceived.danger.or.obstacle? It.was.with.many.miracles.that.God.led.his.chosen.people.out.of. slavery.in.Egypt.and.through.the.wilderness.toward.the.Promised.Land .. Will.we.reach.our.goals?.Our.promised.land? Let.me.tell.you.about.some.attacks.which.came.against.me.as.I. attempted.to.accomplish.what.only.God.could.have.ordained ..Let.me.tell. this.story.of.hope.in.the.following.chapter .

180 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 181 Faith, Hope, and Love much.of.the.profitability.coming.from.the.use.and.sale.of.these.implants. would.be.used.to.further.God’s.kingdom ..There.was.no.way.he.(the.devil). could.allow.this.to.happen ..He.would.work.through.great.numbers.of. people.to.see.that.this.did.not.happen . I.performed.that.same.surgery.over.the.next.15.years.in.17.different. teaching.hospitals.in.Southern.California ..I.was.written.up.in.newspapers,. magazines,.had.secular.TV.programs.featuring.this.surgery.occurring.and. yet.the.enemy.attacked.me.in.every.way.possible ..I.taught.in.my.position. as.an.Assistant.Clinical.Professor.of.Surgery.at.the.UC.Irvine.College.of. Medicine.to.the.4-5th.year.head.and.neck.surgery.residents,.and.yet.the. devil.did.all.he.could.to.defame.me,.the.technique.and.everything.I.tried. to.accomplish . Some.27.years.later,.in.1988,.when.we.founded.TMJ.Implants,.Inc ..to. manufacture.and.sell.these.implants.to.surgeons.and.hospitals.around.the. world,.the.enemy.was.always.right.in.my.face,.but.when.I.became.a.born. again.Christian,.I.came.against.the.devil.and.all.of.his.cohorts.in.every. battle,.and.though.some.were.nearly.impossible,.never.once.have.I.seen. God.let.me.down ..Sometimes.the.ending.looks.terrible,.but.then.when. time.goes.by.one.sees.exactly.what.the.Lord.was.doing.to.give.us.victory. and.prosperity ..Not.always.quite.in.the.manner.in.which.we.might.have. expected,.but.always.with.a.peace.and.a.knowing.that.God.was.with.us.on. the.whole.journey . When.the.FDA.compelled.us.to.have.their.approval.to.sell.our.devices. the.battle.raged.in.ways.that.seemed.impossible.to.ever.win ..There.were. times.when.Congressmen.and.women.had.to.get.involved.to.help.defend. us,.or.when.the.Wall.Street.Journal.did.an.Op.Ed.page.article.about.our. protracted.battle.with.the.mammoth.FDA,.or.when.we.would.end.up.in. the.10th.Circuit.Court.of.Appeals ..It.always.looked.like.we.lost,.but.God. brought.us.and.the.product.through.the.desert.experience . I.had.not.mentioned.this.new.technique.to.any.others,.who.would. not.be.involved.in.the.procedure,.until.a.day.or.two.before.the.patient. was.to.be.admitted.to.the.hospital.for.her.surgery,.which.would.be.on.a. Tuesday.morning.in.St.Luke.Hospital.in.Altadena,.California ..It.was.on.the. Friday.night.before.the.surgery.on.Tuesday,.that.I.made.a.terrible.mistake ..I. informed.a.friend.of.mine,.who.was.an.excellent.general.dentist.and.whose. office.was.only.about.three.blocks.from.mine,.about.what.I.was.planning. to.do.that.following.Tuesday.at.St.Luke.Hospital . . Unfortunately,.he.informed.some.of.the.professionals.over.at.the. USC.Dental.School,.during.an.evening.party,.of.what.Dr ..Christensen.was. contemplating ..I.had.instinctively.known.that.when.you.are.contemplating.some.new.procedure,.that.it.is.wise.not.to.verbalize.it.much.because. it.can.come.back.to.haunt.you ..Don’t.share.your.pearls.before.swine,.the. bible.says ..Well,.somebody.that.Dr ..Contino.told,.took.it.upon.themselves. to.call.the.Hospital.Administrator.that.following.Monday.and.ask.the. Sister.Superior.who.administrates.St.Luke.Hospital,.if.the.hospital.allowed. “experimental”.surgery.to.be.performed.in.that.hospital?.Well,.if.you.don’t. think.that.created.a.stir . I.had.already.admitted.Sister.Lucille.into.the.hospital.that.Monday. noon.for.surgery.at.7:30.AM.the.following.day ..Now,.the.Sister.Superior. called.me.and.said.she.had.received.such.a.call.and.that.she.could.not.let. me.go.ahead.with.that.“experimental”.surgery ..There.was.no.changing.her. mind ..But.then.out.of.my.mouth.came.the.words,.Well,.Sister,.I.would.like. to.argue.my.case.before.the.Executive.Medical.Board ..Is.that.possible.and. when.do.they.meet?.She.said.they.meet.this.evening ..Great!.Can.you.get.me. before.them?.She.did.and.I.met.until.about.10:30.PM.that.Monday.evening. showing.those.doctors.exactly.what.I.was.up.to ..They.were.impressed.and. I.was.allowed.to.accomplish.Sister.Lucille’s.TMJ.hemiarthroplasty.that. Tuesday.morning.at.St.Luke.Hospital ..That.was.the.first.such.surgery.in. the.whole.world . It.has.since.become.the.main.surgical.technique.for.some.90%.of. patients.who.require.TMJ.surgery.by.most.knowledgeable.TMJ.surgeons . .. It.is.done.on.a.weekly.basis.at.Mayo.Clinic.in.Rochester ..But.look.how.the. devil.attempted.to.stop.it . Since.that.moment.in.time,.there.still.have.been.so.many.attempts.to. stop.this.technique.from.being.accomplished,.because.the.devil.knew.that.

183 

Hebrews 11, God’s Heroes of Faith (Abbreviated version) “Now.faith.is.the.substance.of.things.hoped.for,.the.evidence.of. things.not.seen ..For.by.it.the.elders.obtained.a.good.report . Through.faith.we.understand.the.worlds.were.framed.by.the.word.of.God,. so.that.things.which.are.seen.were.not.made.of.things.which.do.appear . By.faith.Abel.offered.unto.God.a.more.excellent.sacrifice.than. Cain,.by.which.he.obtained.witness.that.he.was.righteous,.God. testifying.of.his.gifts:.and.by.it.he.being.dead.yet.speaks . By.faith.Enoch.was.translated.that.he.should.not.see.death;.and. was.not.found,.because.God.had.translated.him:.for.before.his. translation.he.had.this.testimony,.that.he.pleased.God . But.without.faith.it.is.impossible.to.please.him:.for.he. that.comes.to.God.must.believe.that.he.is,.and.that.he. is.a.rewarder.of.them.that.diligently.seek.him . By.faith,.Noah.being.warned.of.things.not.seen.as.yet,.moved.with.fear,. prepared.an.ark.to.the.saving.of.his.house;.by.which.he.condemned. the.world,.and.became.heir.of.the.righteousness.which.is.by.faith . By.faith.Abraham,.when.he.was.called.to.go.out.into.a.place. which.he.should.after.receive.for.an.inheritance,.obeyed;. and.he.went.out,.not.knowing.whether.he.went . By.faith.he.sojourned.in.the.land.of.promise,.as.in.a. strange.country,.dwelling.in.tabernacles.with.Isaac.and. Jacob,.the.heirs.with.him.of.the.same.promise:

184 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 185 Faith, Hope, and Love edge.of.the.sword,.out.of.weakness.were.made.strong,.waxed. valiant.in.fight,.turned.to.flight.armies.of.the.aliens . Women.received.their.dead.raised.to.life.again:.and.others.were.tortured,. not.accepting.deliverance;.that.they.might.obtain.a.better.resurrection: And.others.had.a.trial.of.cruel.mockings.and.scourgings,.yea,.moreover.of.bonds.and.imprisonment: They.were.stoned,.they.were.sawn.asunder,.were.tempted,. and.were.slain.with.the.sword:.they.wandered.about.in.sheepskins.and.goatskins;.being.destitute,.afflicted,.tormented; (Of.whom.the.world.was.not.worthy):.they.wandered.in.deserts,. and.in.mountains,.and.in.dens.and.caves.of.the.earth . And.these.all,.having.obtained.a.good.report. through.faith,.received.not.the.promise: God.having.presented.some.better.thing.for.us,.that. they.without.us.should.not.be.made.perfect . Wherefore.seeing.we.also.are.compassed.about.with.so.great.a.cloud.of. witnesses,.let.us.lay.aside.every.weight,.and.the.sin.which.does.so.easily. beset.us,.and.let.us.run.with.patience.the.race.that.is.set.before.us .”

This.chapter.named.frequently.the.Faith.Chapter,.is.filled.with.stories. of.heroes.of.our.faith,.that.should.inspire.faith.and.hope.in.each.one.of.us. and.to.allow.us.to.reach.out.to.serve.God.with.our.whole.being ..It.is.so. doing.that.we.can.find.our.lives.filled.with.hope.for.those.things.which.we. desire.and.which.we.know.line.up.with.God’s.plans.for.our.lives .

For.he.looked.for.a.city.which.had.foundations,.whose.builder.and.maker.is.God . Through.faith.also.Sarah.herself.received.strength.to.conceive.seed,.and.was.delivered.of.a.child.when.she.was.past. age,.because.she.judged.him.faithful.who.had.promised . By.faith.Abraham,.when.he.was.tried,.offered.up.Isaac;.and.he.that. had.received.the.promises.offered.up.his.only.begotten.son . By.faith,.Joseph,.when.he.died,.made.mention.of.the.departing.of.the. children.of.Israel:.and.gave.commandment.concerning.his.bones . By.faith.Moses,.when.he.was.born,.was.hid.three.months. of.his.parents.because.they.saw.he.was.a.proper.child;.and. they.were.not.afraid.of.the.king’s.commandment . By.faith.Moses,.when.he.was.come.to.years,.refused. to.be.called.the.son.of.Pharaoh’s.daughter; Choosing.rather.to.suffer.the.affliction.with.the.people.of. God,.than.to.enjoy.the.pleasures.of.sin.for.a.season; Esteeming.the.reproach.of.Christ.greater.riches.than.the.treasures. in.Egypt:.for.he.had.respect.unto.the.recompense.of.the.reward . By.faith.he.forsook.Egypt,.not.fearing.the.wrath.of.the. king:.for.he.endured,.seeing.him.who.is.invisible . By.faith.they.passed.through.the.Red.Sea.as.by.dry.land:. which.the.Egyptians.assaying.to.do.were.drowned . By.faith.the.walls.of.Jericho.fell.down,.after. they.were.compassed.about.7.days . By.faith.the.harlot.Rahab.perished.not.with.them.that.believed. not,.when.she.had.received.the.spies.with.peace . And.the.others,.too.numerous.to.mention,.by.faith.subdued. kingdoms,.wrought.righteousness,.obtained.promises,.stopped. the.mouths.of.lions,.quenched.the.violence.of.fire,.escaped.the.

187 

The Promises of God In.Deuteronomy.3:1-6.we.see.the.promises.of.God.being.fulfilled ..Let’s. read.it.and.dwell.and.meditate.on.it.as.it.will.certainly.help.to.establish. one’s.hope.and.faith.in.God . 3:1.Then.we.turned.and.went.up.the.way.to.Bashan:.and.Og.the.king. of.Bashan.came.out.against.us,.he.and.all.of.his.people,.to.battle.at.Edrei 3:2.And.the.Lord.said.unto.me ..Fear.him.not:.for.I.will.deliver.him,. and.all.of.his.people.and.his.land,.into.thy.hand;.and.thou.shall.do.unto.him. as.thou.did.unto.Sihon.the.king.of.the.Amorites,.which.dwelt.at.Hishbon . 3:3.So.the.Lord.our.God.delivered.into.our.hands.Og.also,.the.king. of.Bashan,.and.all.his.people:.and.we.smote.him.until.none.was.left.to. him.remaining . 3:4.And.we.took.all.of.his.cities.at.that.time,.there.was.not.a.city. which.we.took.from.them,.threescore.cities,.all.the.region.of.of.Argob,.the. kingdom.of.Og.in.Bashan . 3:5.All.these.cities.were.fenced.with.high.walls,.gates.and.bars;.besides. unwalled.towns.a.great.many . And.we.utterly.destroyed.them,.as.we.did.unto.Sihon.king.of.Heshbon,. utterly.destroying.the.men,.women.and.children.of.every.city . Well,.my.friends,.shouldn’t.that.give.us.hope.that.with.God.all.things. are.possible ..So.many.times.when.the.attacks.occur.we.panic.and.get.in.fear. and.can.do.nothing ..We.are.somewhat.helpless,.but.that.is.exactly.when. we.need.to.get.in.the.Spirit.and.expect.to.see.the.same.powerful.hand.of. God.arise.to.bring.us.victory ..If.God.be.for.us,.who.can.be.against.us?

189 

Peter, The Denyer and the Rock In.Matthew.4:18.The.first.words.Jesus.spoke.to.Simon(Peter).was,. “Follow.me,.and.I.will.make.you.fishers.of.men .”.The.last.words.of.Jesus. to.Peter.found.in.John.21:22.were,.“Follow.thou.me” . So.many.times,.when.things.are.going.well.we.are.determined.to. commit.our.lives.to.Jesus,.but.when.some.circumstance.or.obstacle. arrives,.we.find.our.commitment.is.shaky ..Sometimes.when.we.see.the. storm.clouds.arise,.whether.it.be.some.horrendous.rejection,.obstacle.or. whatever,.we.flee . Peter.had.some.of.those.same.problems ..At.a.time.when.Peter.would. have.liked.to.have.been.most.strong,.he.coward ..Let’s.look.at.some.of. Peter’s.very.words.spoken.and.recorded.in.Matthew.26.at.the.time.Jesus. is.being.betrayed.by.Judas ..Jesus.at.the.last.Supper.has.just.spoken.of. his.manner.of.betrayal.and.death,.and.then.tells.the.disciples,.“all.shall. be.offended.because.of.me.this.night .”.Peter.answers,.“Though.all.men. shall.be.offended.because.of.thee,.yet.will.I.never.be.offended” ..But.Jesus. answers,.“before.the.cock.crow,.thou.shall.deny.me.thrice” . Peter.comes.back.with,.“Though.I.should.die.with.thee,.yet.will.I.not. deny.thee .”.A.little.later.a.damsel.came.to.him.and.said,.“Thou.also.was. with.Jesus.of.Galilee .”.Peter.said,.“I.know.not.what.thou.sayest .” A.little.later.another.maid.saw.him.and.said.again.that.Peter.had.been. seen.with.Jesus .” Peter.began.to.curse.and.swear,.and.saying,.“I.know.not.the.man”,.and. immediately.the.cock.crew . From.that.moment.on.Peter.realized.Jesus.had.spoken.correctly.that. he.would.deny.his.knowing.and.following.Jesus.and.he.became.extremely. remorseful.and.wept.bitterly .

190 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 191 Faith, Hope, and Love

Some May be Feeling Inadequate, Insecure

Matthew.14:16-21.Jesus.feeds.the.multitude . Genesis.50:26.Joseph.died.and.they.buried.him.in.Egypt ..(He.realized. God.was.with.him.in.his.inadequacies.and.together.they.did.mighty.things)

Some May be Feeling Lack of Confidence

Jeremiah.1:6-8.God.speaks.to.Jeremiah.about.how.he.can.accomplish. what.God.called.him.to.do

Some May be Feeling Forgotten

Hebrews.10:17.Lets.us.know.that.God.will.remember.our.sins.and. iniquities.no.more ..That.may.be.better.than.even.thinking.about.our.not. being.remembered .

Some May be Feeling Unforgiveness

Genesis.45:1-8.In.these.passages,.Joseph.is.speaking.to.his.brothers. and.basically.letting.them.know.he.does.not.hold.them.responsible.for. the.awful.things.which.they.did.to.him ..He.says,.It.was.God.that.sent.me. ahead.of.you.to.befriend.the.Pharaoh.and.to.make.a.place.for.you.in.this. famine ..If.that.doesn’t.give.you.the.right.attitude,.during.those.very.difficult.moments.and.circumstances.in.your.life,.then.nothing.will .

Some May be Feeling Like Giving Up

We.have.all.been.at.that.place.where.we.would.like.to.give.up.God’s. purpose.and.calling ..Feeling,.It.is.too.tough,.Lord . Matthew.9:22.is.the.story.about.the.woman.with.the.issue.of.blood .. She.had.suffered.from.this.disease.some.12.years,.but.she.said,.If.I.may. touch.but.his.garment.I.shall.be.whole ..What.faith ..That.is.exactly.where. we.need.to.keep.ourselves.and.our.attitude ..Just.choose.to.serve.Jesus.in.

As.dramatic.a.moment.as.this.moment.has.been.for.Peter,.haven’t.we. done.the.same.thing?.Some.temptation.of.the.devil.approaches.us.and.we. succumb ..Perhaps,.we.didn’t.outwardly.reject.Jesus.as.our.Lord.and.Savior,. but.in.essence.when.we.fail.to.live.up.to.the.commandments.of.God,.that. is.what.we.are.doing . Peter.redeemed.himself.and.stepped.forward.to.be.the.“rock”.that. Jesus.had.predicted.He.rose.from.fisherman.to.be.a.staunch.follower.of. Jesus.even.to.the.giving.of.his.life.also.on.the.cross.as.a.martyr ..His.life. shows.us.that.the.faithfulness.of.God.can.overshadow.even.our.unfaithfulness.at.times ..The.words.of.the.Lord,.found.in.Matthew.16:18.will.ring. forever.in.our.minds,.“Thou.art.Peter,.and.upon.this.rock.I.will.build.my. church;.and.the.gates.of.hell.shall.not.prevail.against.it” ..You.see,.Jesus. knows.the.heart.of.man.and.he.trusted.Peter ..He.knows.your.heart.too,. and.he.trusts.you,.who.are.born.of.the.Spirit,.to.also.follow.him .

Some May be Feeling Betrayal

Delilah.betrayed.Samson.to.the.Philistines ..Judges.16:16-20 Absalom.betrayed.David,.his.father ..2.Samuel.15:10-17.Jehu.betrayed. Joram.and.killed.him .2.kings.9:14-27 Servants.betrayed.Joash.and.killed.him .2.Kings.12:20,.21 David.betrayed.Uriah.and.allowed.him.to.be.killed.Judas.betrayed. Jesus .Matthew.26:.46-56

Some May be Feeling Rejection

God.feels.rejected.when.we.rebel.judges.10:11-16.Unfair.rejection . Psa.27:10 A.fool.rejects.God .Psa.14:1-3 Jeremiah’s.hometown.rejected.him .Mt.13:57 Religious.leaders.reject.Jesus .Mt.21:42 People’s.rejection.vs.Jesus.acceptance .Mk.6:4

Some May be Feeling Lonely

1.Kings.14:10.God.is.speaking.to.Elijah

192 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 193 Faith, Hope, and Love Hebrews.13:13.Paul.is.talking.about.going.to.Jesus.and.accept.his. reproach ..Or,.to.make.our.lives.right.with.Jesus,.because.he.suffered.all.for. us.and.gave.up.his.own.blood .

Some May be Feeling Jealous

One.of.the.most.potent.scriptures.speaking.to.the.effects.of.jealousy. is.seen.in.Genesis.27:41.“.And.Essau.hated.Jacob.because.of.the.blessing. wherewith.his.father.blessed.him:.and.Essau.said.in.his.heart,.The.days.of. mourning.for.my.father.are.at.hand;.then.will.I.slay.my.brother.Jacob” . That.certainly.gives.us.a.picture.of.what.jealousy.does.to.our.soul ..Look. at.Romans.13:.12-.14.Paul.is.telling.the.believers.to.“Put.on.the.Lord.Jesus. Christ,.and.make.not.provision.for.the.flesh,.to.fulfill.the.lusts,.thereof” .

Some May be Feeling Ungrateful

1.Thessalonians.5:18.Paul.is.talking.to.the.church.and.instructs.them,. “In.everything.give.thanks:.for.this.is.the.will.of.God.in.Christ.Jesus.concerning.you” . People.who.are.ungrateful.are.forgetting.the.powerful.sacrifice.of. Jesus.Christ.for.our.sin ..There.is.nothing.that.another.person.can.do.to.you. which.in.anyway.should.diminish.our.thankfulness,.or.gratitude,.to.our. Lord.and.Savior.for.all.that.has.been.given.to.us,.no.matter.how.miniscule. it.might.seem.for.the.moment ..We.truly.have.been.blessed,.even.when. circumstances.may.have.turned.against.us ..Just.keep.giving.praise.to.the. Holy.One .

Some May be Feeling Judgmental

Possibly.Psalm.1:1-2.says.it.as.well.as.any ..“Blessed.is.the.man.that. walks.not.in.the.counsel.of.the.ungodly,.nor.stands.in.the.way.of.sinners:. nor.sits.in.the.seat.of.the.scornful ..But.his.delight.is.in.the.law.of.the.Lord;. and.his.law.does.he.meditate.on.day.and.night” . Also.1.Corinthians.4:5.states,.“Therefore.judge.nothing.before.the. time,.until.the.Lord.come,.who.both.will.bring.to.light.the.hidden.things.of.

every.way.he.directs,.and.then.when.the.attacks.come,.cry.out.in.faith.for. our.Healer,.our.Forgiver,.our.Redeemer .

Some May be Feeling Hardhearted

Hebrews.3:12-13.Paul.tells.us.to.not.harden.our.hearts ..He.states,. Take.heed,.brethren,.lest.there.be.in.any.of.you.an.evil.heart.of.unbelief,. in.departing.from.the.living.God ..But.exhort.one.another.daily,.while.it.is. called.Today,.lest.any.of.you.be.hardened.through.the.deceitfulness.of.sin . Mark.6:37-52.This.is.a.most.interesting.story.which.deals.with.a. hardened.heart ..In.verse.37.Jesus.talks.with.his.disciples.about.feeding. the.followers.who.have.followed.Jesus.out.into.the.desert.and.have.had. nothing.to.eat ..The.disciples.have.no.idea.how.they.might.feed.them,.when. Jesus.commands.them.to.feed.them ..Aren’t.we.also.in.that.same.spot.many. times.when.we.know.God.would.have.us.do.something.and.there.would. appear.to.be.no.resources? Then.Jesus.asks.the.question,.How.many.loaves.of.bread.do.you. have?.Five.and.two.fishes.was.their.answer ..That’s.more.than.enough.for. Jesus.to.feed.whatever.number.of.followers.are.present ..The.story.goes. on.that.he.fed.5000.men.and.Lord.knows.how.many.women.and.children. were.present . Jesus.retires.to.a.mountain.to.pray.while.he.sent.the.followers.away. and.the.disciples.got.in.a.boat.to.journey.across.the.sea ..After.a.period. Jesus.starts.to.walk.across.the.sea.and.sees.the.disciples.tolling.against.a. strong.wind ..They.see.him.and.wonder.if.it.is.a.spirit,.but.he.assures.them. it.is.he.and.for.them.to.be.of.good.courage.and.be.not.afraid ..The.wind. promptly.ceased.and.the.disciples.were.sore.amazed.in.themselves.beyond. measure,.and.wondered ..The.word.says.in.verse.52.that,.they.considered. not.the.miracles.of.the.loaves;.for.their.hearts.were.hardened .

Some May be Feeling Humiliated

Sometimes.as.seen.in.the.Prodigal’s.life.it.is.when.we.hit.bottom .. Luke.15:17.“And.(I).am.no.more.worthy.to.be.called.son:.make.me.as.one. of.thy.hired.servants .”

194 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 195 Faith, Hope, and Love Some.reasons.not.to.worry.are.found.in.Matthew.6:25-.34 . The.One.who.created.you.can.be.trusted.to.watch.over.you . To.worry.about.what.comes.next,.hampers.today ..Worrying.is.more. harmful.than.helpful God.is.not.ignoring.you . Worry.shows.lack.of.faith There.is.a.calling.on.our.life.and.worry.prevents.us.from.reaching. those.goals . Living.one.day.at.a.time.keeps.us.from.being.overcome.with.worry .

Some May be Overcome with Greed

Matthew.6:14-15.Caused.Judas.to.betray.Jesus . James.4:4-6.Know.you.not.that.to.be.friends.with.the.world.is.to.be. an.enemy.of.God?.God.resists.the.proud,.but.gives.grace.to.the.humble .

Some May be Grief Stricken

Nehemiah.1:4.In.this.area.we.see.Nehemiah.who.has.just.learned.of. the.walls.of.Jerusalem.being.torn.down.and.the.people.in.great.affliction. and.“.he.wept.and.mourned.certain.days,.and.fasted.and.prayed.before.the. God.of.heaven .”.In.Nehemiah’s.case,.after.grieving.for.a.period,.it.spurred. him.into.prayer.and.action ..That.is.exactly.what.we.need.to.do.to.not. become.a.victim .

The Miracles of Jesus Give Us Hope

Mark.5:21-23;.35-42.The.story.of.Jairus,.a.ruler.in.the.synagogue. came.to.Jesus.and.fell.at.his.feet ..He.said,.my.little.daughter.is.at.the.point. of.death ..Come.and.lay.hands.on.her,.that.she.may.be.healed.and.that.she. shall.live . This.showed.tremendous.faith.in.the.power.of.God.residing.in. Jesus ..This.was.before.the.crucifixion.and.resurrection.of.Jesus ..We.have. observed.the.history.of.Jesus,.and.at.times.we.wonder.if.we.can.have.hope. for.healing . Let’s.consider.the.following.questions:

darkness,.and.will.manifest.the.counsels.of.the.hearts:.and.then.shall.every. man.have.praise.of.God” . Matthew.7:1-3.Judge.not.that.you.be.not.judged . For.with.what.judgment.you.judge.you.judge,.you.shall.be.judged:. and.with.what.measure.you.mete,it.shall.be.measured.to.you.again . And.why.behold.the.moat.that.is.thy.brother’s.eye,.but.consider.not. the.beam.in.your.own.eye”?

Some May be Feeling Opposed

John.3:19-21.“.And.this.is.the.condemnation,.that.light.is.come.into. the.world,.and.men.loved.darkness.rather.than.light,.because.their.deeds. were.evil . For.every.one.that.does.evil.hates.the.light,.neither.comes.to.the.light,. lest.his.deeds.should.be.reproved . But.he.that.does.truth.comes.to.the.light,.that.his.deeds.may.be.made. manifest,.that.they.are.wrought.in.God” .

Some May be Feeling Prideful

Acts.18:30-31.In.this.instance.we.see.Philip.and.the.Ethiopian.official .. “And.Philip.ran.thither.to.him.and.heard.him.read.the.prophet.Isaiah.and. said,.“Understand.what.you.read?”.And.he.said,.“How.can.I,.except.some. man.should.guide.me?.And.he.desired.Philip.that.he.would.come.up.and. sit.with.him .” What.a.great.story.of.releasing.our.pride ..In.the.case.of.Phillip.he. recognized.this.as.a.great.opportunity.of.bringing.the.Gospel.to.a.man. from.Egypt ..He.met.that.man.right.where.he.was.and.showed.him.how. Jesus.was.the.fulfiller.of.Isaiah’s.prophesies . In.this.story.of.the.Ethiopian,.the.bible.tells.us.he.was.a.man.of.great. authority.under.Queen.Candace ..He.easily.could.have.felt.superior.to. Philip,.or.vice.versa,.and.yet.he.accepted.Phillips.generous.and.kind.offer. to.help ..That.is.a.lesson.both.ways,.for.us .

Some May be Feeling Worry, Anxiety

196 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 197 Faith, Hope, and Love “Damsel,.I.say.unto.thee,.arise” ..She.arose.and.walked.and.the.followers. were.amazed .

Matthew.9:1-8.This.is.a.story.of.a.man.sick.with.the.palsy,.lying.in. bed ..Jesus.said.to.the.man,.“Be.of.good.cheer.thy.sins.are.forgiven.thee” .. The.religious.leaders.of.the.time,.scoffed.at.Jesus.saying.his.sins.were.forgiven ..But.Jesus.admonished.them.with.what.do.you.think.is.easier,.your. sins.are.forgiven.or.to.heal.him?.Jesus.then.commanded.the.man.to.arise. and.walk ..The.man.arose . Matthew.20:30-34.Is.the.story.of.two.blind.men.sitting.by.the.road.as. Jesus.is.returning.from.Jericho ..A.great.multitude.is.now.following.Jesus. and.when.the.two.blind.men.heard.that.Jesus.was.passing.by.they.cried. out ..“Have.mercy.on.us,.O.Lord,.thou.son.of.David .” He.multitude.rebuked.them,.because.they.should.hold.their.peace:. but.they.cried.the.more,.saying,.“have.mercy.on.us,.O.Lord,.thou.son. of.David” . Jesus.stood.still,.and.called.them,.and.said,.“What.will.you.have.me. do?”.Lord,.“that.our.eyes.might.be.opened” ..So.Jesus.had.compassion.on. them,.and.touched.their.eyes:.and.immediately.their.eyes.received.sight,. and.they.followed.him . Can.we.get.just.a.picture.of.how.impossible,.in.the.natural,.that. might.have.appeared?.Think.about.what.you.might.hope.for,.and.whether. it.could.in.any.way.equal.what.those.two.blind.men.were.having.faith.for?. They.may.have.been.20.or.forty.years.and.have.never.had.sight ..There.was. no.medical.procedure.or.glasses.or.whatever.that.would.in.any.way.be.of. help,.yet.their.faith.in.the.man.walking.down.the.road.was.such.that.they. cried.out.for.help,.even.when.the.other.followers.bid.them.not.to ..We.at. times.may.desire.provision.or.the.healing.of.some.minor.infirmity,.and. we.may.sometimes.feel.this.is.not.possible.or.too.inconsequential,.but.we. should.not . Think.of.the.children.of.Israel.wandering.in.the.wilderness.with.no. food.and.no.water,.at.times,.and.yet.for.40.years.God.sustained.them.and. cared.in.every.way.for.them ..There.was.no.infirmed.among.them . Matthew.17:24-27.When.Jesus.and.his.disciples.came.to.Capernaum,. a.tax.collector.asked.Peter.if.Jesus.paid.tribute?.Peter.said.yes,.but.then. went.to.Jesus.to.see.if.he.had.said.correctly ..Jesus.told.him.“to.take.a.fishing.

*..So.your.daughter.has.died? *..Why.would.it.help.to.go.to.Jesus? *..You.might.not.even.be.one.of.his.followers *..But,.do.you.have.faith? *..What.have.you.heard.which.gives.you.this.faith? *..Be.not.afraid,.only.believe .” *..Did.those.around.him.believe? *..Did.it.take.a.whole.multitude.to.see.victory? *..“Why.make.you.this.ado,.and.weep?.The.daughter.is.not.dead.but.sleeps” *..Your.problem.or.crisis.is.never.as.severe.as. the.devil.would.make.you.think . *..Jesus.heals.a.bleeding.woman,.Mark.5:.24-34 *..The.Lord.was.busy. But.never.too.busy 1 .. To.help.a.woman.in.trouble 2 .. The.crisis.was.large 3 .. Her.faith.brought.her.to.Jesus’.garment 4 .. If.I.may.only.touch.his.clothes,.I.will.be.made.whole 5 .. She.felt.in.her.body.that.her.crisis.was.over . 6 .. Jesus.wanted.to.know,.who.touched.him . 7 .. But.his.disciples.basically.belittled.the.question . 8 .. She.fell.before.him.and.told.him.the.truth . But.through.it.all,.Jesus.came.to.Jairus,.but.on.the.way.he.healed. the.woman.with.the.issue.of.blood ..There.is.no.question.that.God. can.multi-task . Jesus.tells.those.surrounding.Jairus’.daughter.that.she.is.not.dead,.but. only.sleeps ..They.laugh.him.to.scorn ..Jesus.takes.the.child’s.hand.and.says,.

198 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 199 Faith, Hope, and Love In.this.passage,.the.Lord.is.telling.us.to.fill.our.thoughts.with.him.and. to.serve.him.with.our.whole.being ..Take.all.of.our.present.and.future.cares. and.replace.them.with.thoughts.of.Jesus.and.hos.righteousness,.then.our. worries.will.pale.in.comparison ..We.truly.will.gain.the.joy.of.the.Lord.and. that.will.be.our.strength ..Others.around.you.will.marvel.how.peaceful.you. are.in.the.midst.of.a.turbulent.world ..Another.good.passage.is.the.following.one.found.in.the.book.of.Isaiah ..It.is.OK.to.plan.for.tomorrow,.but.to. worry.about.tomorrow.is.wasteful . Isaiah.41:10.“Fear.thou.not,.for.I.am.with.you:.be.not.dismayed;.for.I. am.thy.God:.I.will.strengthen.thee,.yea:.I.will.help.thee;.yea,.I.will.uphold. thee.with.the.right.hand.of.my.righteousness .” In.the.beginning.it.was.the.children.of.Israel.who.were.God’s.chosen. people ..Now,.all.believers.are.God’s.chosen.people.and.he.is.saying.we.are. not.to.lose.hope.because.we.are.his.people ..He.will.watch.over.us ..and.will. strengthen.us.and.will.protect.us.and.give.us.victory.over.sin.and.death . Rom.15:13.“Now,.the.God.of.Hope.fill.you.with.all.joy.and.peace. in.believing,.that.you.may.abound.in.hope,.through.the.power.of.the. Holy.Ghost .

Yet, For This Light Affliction

2.Cor.4:13-18.“We.having.the.same.spirit.of.faith,.according.as.it.is. written,.I.believed,.and.therefore.have.I.spoken:.we.also.believe.and.therefore.speak; Knowing.that.he.which.raised.up.the.Lord.Jesus.shall.raise.up.us.also. by.Jesus,.and.present.us.with.you . For.all.things.are.for.your.sakes,.that.abundant.grace.might.through. the.thanksgiving.of.many.rebound.to.the.glory.of.God . For.which.cause.we.faint.not;.but.though.our.outward.man.perish,. yet.the.inward.man.is.renewed.day.by.day . For.our.light.affliction,.which.is.but.for.a.moment,.worketh.for.us.a. far.more.exceeding.and.eternal.weight.of.glory; While.we.look.not.at.the.things.which.are.seen,.but.at.the.things. which.are.not.seen:.for.the.things.which.are.seen.are.temporal;.but.the. things.which.are.not.seen.are.eternal” .

line.and.go.to.the.sea.and.cast.the.hook.and.you.will.catch.a.fish ..Then.look. in.the.fishes’.mouth.and.you.will.see.a.piece.of.money.and.give.that.to.the. collector.for.you.and.for.me .” There.are.times.when.the.money.supply.is.just.insufficient.and.maybe. we.hesitate.to.tithe.or.whatever ..Do.we.really.ever.believe.God.will.miraculously.provide.in.a.manner.similar.to.this? John.11:1-45.This.is.the.oft.told.story.of.Lazarus.in.the.town.of. Bethany,.where.Mary.and.her.sister.Martha.lived ..Lazarus.was.the.brother. of.Mary.and.Martha ..They.went.immediately.to.Jesus.to.tell.him.Lazarus. is.sick ..Jesus.said.his.sickness.was.not.unto.death . Jesus.didn’t.get.up.and.immediately.move.to.where.Lazarus.was.but. spent.two.days.where.he.presently.was.residing ..But.Jesus.delays.actually. until.Lazarus.has.been.dead.for.four.days.and.was.in.the.grave . Martha.said.to.Jesus,.“if.you.had.been.here.my.brother.would.have. lived” ..But.she.went.on.to.say,.“but.I.know.now.that.whatsoever.you.will.ask. God,.God.will.give.it.to.thee” ..That.takes.faith,.and.Martha.had.it ..Jesus.had. made.the.statement.earlier.that.he.was.glad.he.wasn’t.there.when.Lazarus. died ..He.knew.what.he.had.to.do . Jesus.said.to.Martha,.“Your.brother.shall.rise.again” ..Martha.thought. Jesus.meant.at.the.resurrection.at.the.last.day ..But.Jesus.came.back.with,. “I.am.the.resurrection,.and.the.life,.he.that.believes.in.me,.though.he.were. dead,.yet.shall.he.live:” A.bit.later.on.at.the.grave,.Jesus.said,.“take.away.the.stone ..He.then. said,.If.thou.would.believe,.you.shall.see.the.glory.of.God .”.He.then.said,. “Father,.I.thank.you.that.you.have.heard.me .”.“Lazarus,.come.forth .”.And. he.that.was.dead,.came.forth ..Jesus.then.said,.“Loose.him,.and.let.him.go .” There.is.nothing.impossible.with.God .

Seeing God’s Perspective . Do Not Worry .

Matthew.6:33-34.“Seek.ye.first.the.kingdom.of.God,.and.his.righteousness;.and.all.these.things.shall.be.added.unto.you ..Take.therefore.no. thought.for.the.morrow:.for.the.morrow.shall.take.thought.for.the.things. of.itself . Sufficient.unto.the.day.is.the.evil.thereof .”

201 

Now What? Lord? In.this.short.book.I.have.attempted.to.gather.some.passages.which.will. give.you.hope.at.a.time.when.everything.else.may.be.topsy-turvy ..It.may. be.that.every.circumstance.in.your.life.has.so.changed.that.you.can.find. little.to.anchor.your.faith.on . Perhaps.your.marriage.has.seemed.to.dissolve.and.fail ..Maybe.it.is. your.finances.or.perhaps.it.is.your.job ..It.could.be.the.relationship.which. you.longed.for.with.your.children.or.even.your.parents,.or.some.friend.has. totally.changed ..Maybe.we.have.had.some.bad.news.about.our.own.health,. or.that.of.a.loved.one ..Any.one.of.these.things.can.put.anyone.of.us.in.an. emotional.tailspin ..Our.feelings.of.self.worth.are.shaken . Whatever.it.might.be,.there.is.only.one.way.to.see.our.self.worth. returned.to.a.normal,.or.near.normal.state ..It.is.in.crying.out.to.Jesus,.our. Lord.and.our.Savior ..Nothing.else.will.truly.fill.the.gap.caused.by.the.losses. which.I.have.just.described . I.am.most.hopeful.that.you,.like.my.wife.and.I,.can.find.the.comfort. and.hope.that.we.need.in.the.times.of.perhaps.outright.rejection,.terrible. or.tragic.loss,.or.changing.circumstances,.and.will.again.feel.the.peace.and. joy.of.God.in.our.lives.as.we.face.another.day .

In.His.mighty.name, Bob.Christensen

The Greatest of these is Love

205 

Introduction Just.prior.to.writing.this.small.book.I.had.written.a.book.on.Faith ..The. Bible.has.a.great.deal.to.say.about.Love.and.if.we.were.to.review.the. message.and.ministry.of.Jesus.Christ,.we.would.find.the.central.theme. has.to.do.with.love ..It.basically.has.to.do.with.loving.God.and.then.loving. your.neighbor.as.yourself ..Sounds.easy.doesn’t?.But.it.will.likely.take.your. whole.life.in.your.attempt.to.fulfill.that.command.of.the.Lord . Our.upbringing,.the.time.we.were.born,.the.country.we.live.in,.how. we.were.taught,.whether.we.are.Christians,.our.families,.neighbors.and. acquaintances.all.play.a.part ..Nothing.about.that.message.is.easy,.but.it.is. so.desirable ..Some.people.may.never.try.to.fulfill.that.command,.but.then. they.miss.out.on.so.much.in.God’s.blessings.which.come.from.fulfilling. His.command . This.book.is.very.short.but.hopefully.it.may.give.the.reader.some.small. amount.of.information.in.how.we.all.might.live.to.be.better.Christians,. better.family.members,.spouses,.neighbors.or.just.acquaintances ..Lynne. and.I.had.many.challenges.in.our.walk.with.the.Lord,.but.we.learned.a.bit. about.how.to.love.God.and.love.our.spouse.and.our.neighbors.as.ourselves . Enjoy!

207 

In the Beginning “Many.waters.cannot.quench.love,.neither.can.the.floods.drown.it” ..From. the.Song.of.Solomon.8:7.Yes,.human.love.is.an.unquenchable.force.that. can.be.used.for.extravagant.loving.purposes.as.God.has.desired,.or.it.can. be.perverted.into.a.horrendous.force.for.evil,.but.then.that.isn’t.love . If.we.go.back.to.Genesis.1.we.can’t.help.but.see.a.loving.God.who. created.the.earth.and.the.heavens.above.with.such.a.loving.hand ..He. desired.only.the.very.best.for.the.people.he.would.carefully.place.in.the. Garden.of.Eden . What.a.beautiful.garden.that.must.have.been.with.sights.and.fragrances.that.we.can.only.imagine,.and.have.yet.to.experience ..I.suspect. it.was.so.much.more.beautiful.than.we.can.appreciate,.but.that.we.get. only.glimpses.of.it.all.around.us,.presently ..The.sheer.beauty.and.the.love. showing.forth.in.that.original.garden.must.have.been.overwhelming.to.the. first.inhabitants.placed.there.by.God . Our.loving.God.then.created.man,.male.and.female,.after.his.own. image.and.planted.them.in.the.most.beautiful,.almost.unimaginable. Garden ..The.skies.and.the.earth.and.all.that.grew.there.must.have.exuded. his.extravagant.love.on.Adam.and.Eve ..The.amount.of.peace.and.love.in. their.hearts,.and.even.in.the.animals.must.have.been.something.to.behold .. The.lion.and.the.lamb.could.be.at.peace.with.each.other ..Most.importantly,. the.man.and.the.woman.could.be.totally.honest.with.each.other ..There. would.be.no.condemning.or.finger.pointing,.just.the.most.beautiful.loving. relationship.ever.imaginable.between.two.humans ..After.all,.God.had.first. created.Adam.and.the.put.him.in.a.deep.sleep.and.took.a.portion.of.him. and.created.Eve . What.a.perfect.union.of.two.into.a.one.flesh.entity ..This.was.certainly. God’s.way.of.saying.you.two.are.united.in.a.one.flesh.covenant,.which.will. be.duplicated.in.the.marriage.ceremony.of.any.two.of.God’s.people,.but. never,.perhaps,.duplicable.in.such.an.intimate.and.binding.way ..Yet,.that.

208 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 209 Faith, Hope, and Love If.we.consider.what.God.was.wanting.to.do.with.Abram,.the.consequences.of.that.covenant.would.affect.millions.of.later.generations,.nations. and.the.entire.world.until.the.end.of.time ..We.seldom.ever.consider.the. permanence.of.a.God.covenant.and.the.effect.it.will.have.on.future.generations ..Let’s.consider.God’s.covenant.with.Abram ..God.had.appeared.to. Abram.and.told.him.to.take.his.wife.and.travel.unto.a.land.that.God.would. show.him ..God.told.him.he.would.make.a.great.nation.of.his.seed.and.the. generations.which.would.follow . God.told.him.that.I.will.bless.you.and.you.will.be.a.blessing.and.I. will.curse.them.that.curse.you ..He.was.showing.his.love.in.guaranteeing. protection.from.any.enemy ..When.Abram.had.taken.his.wife,.Sarai,.and. his.brother’s.son,.Lot,.and.all.the.substance.and.helpers.they.had.gathered,. they.departed.from.Haran.for.the.land.of.Canaan ..Abram.at.this.point. was.about.75.years.old ..God.told.him.that.he.would.give.him.all.the.land. that.he.could.see.from.the.Euphrates.all.the.way.to.the.River.Nile.and.the. Mediterranean.Sea . Some.25.years.later,.in.Genesis.15,.we.see.where.God.told.Abram. that.he.would.have.a.son.in.old.age ..Abram.laughed.and.so.did.his.wife. Sarai ..They.were.both.in.the.ninety.to.one.hundred.year.range.of.years.and. it.would.be.physically.impossible.for.them.to.have.a.child,.together ..With. God,.there.is.no.such.thing.as.impossible ..Abram.asked.God.how.can.I.be. sure.that.what.you.are.telling.me,.is.true? This.is.where.God.establishes.a.blood.covenant.with.Abram ..He.asks. him.to.prepare.an.offering.of.a.three.year.old.heifer,.a.three.year.old.she. goat.and.a.ram,.and.a.turtle.dove.and.a.young.pigeon ..Divide.them.all. except.the.birds.and.that.will.be.the.offering.that.you.are.making ..As.the. sun.was.going.down.and.a.sleep.came.upon.Abram,.God.reiterated.that. his.seed.shall.be.a.stranger.in.a.land.that.is.not.theirs.and.they.shall.serve. them:.and.they.shall.be.afflicted.for.some.400.years ..God.tells.Abram.that. he.shall.judge.that.nation,.and.then.you.shall.come.out.with.great.substance ..It.was.at.that.moment.that.a.burning.lamp.and.a.smoking.furnace. passed.through.the.meat.offering ..In.that.same.day.the.Lord.made.a.covenant.with.Abram . So,.like.most.of.us,.they.chose.to.try.a.different.course.than.what. God.had.planned ..Whenever.we.receive.specific.directions.from.God.it. is.most.important.that.we.do.exactly.what.is.expected.of.us.by.our.Lord .. was.to.give.us.a.picture.of.the.unity.God.was.expecting.and.allowing.in. each.of.the.couples.choosing.to.unite.in.a.covenant.of.marriage.and.love . When.I.consider.how.he.created.man.out.of.the.dust.of.the.earth.and. then.in.perfect.love,.he.breathed.into.man.the.breath.of.life,.I.just.can’t. help.but.feel.the.pride.and.love.which.he.was.expressing.at.that.moment .. God.recognized.it.was.not.good.for.a.man.to.be.alone . Any.of.you.who.have.lived.your.adult.lives.alone,.know.full.well.that. is.not.what.God.had.desired.for.man ..After.all,.God.had.desired.that.the. man.and.woman.would.be.one.flesh.and.that.they.would.not.only.care.for. the.Garden,.but.they.would.consummate.their.loving,.one.flesh.nature.in. sexual.intercourse.and.bring.forth.children.in.a.manner.planned.by.their. own.Creator ..In.essence.God.was.allowing.this.first.of.his.creation.to.join. with.him.in.creating.the.following.generations.of.people.who.would.eventually.occupy.his.Garden.of.Eden . What. abundant. love. God. was. showing. toward. his. first. human.creations . What.a.wonderful.plan.this.was.to.produce.a.larger.family.which. God.could.freely.walk.and.commune.with . Because.God.is.so.loving.and.desirous.that.we.truly.love.him,.in. return,.it.was.necessary.that.God.give.mankind.a.free.will,.otherwise.it. would.be.the.more.powerful.God.causing.obedience.of.the.less.powerful. man,.and.that.would.not.allow.one.to.freely.choose.to.love.the.Creator . There.would.be.no.want.in.this.Garden,.no.need.for.anything ..God. had.it.all.perfectly.planned ..Not.only.would.there.be.no.dissention.or.strife. between.the.husband.and.wife,.but.they.could.and.would.be.totally.naked. before.each.other.and.before.their.God ..If.God.had.created.Eve.in.the.same. manner.in.which.he.created.Adam,.then.the.two.would.have.not.depicted. the.one.flesh.union.which.he.had.planned.all.along ..He.created.them.to. belong.to.each.other.and.to.not.be.complete.in.themselves . His.creation.of.these.first.two.humans.was.showing.the.uniting.in. a.one.flesh.union.that.he.expected.to.bring.forth.in.all.later.generations .. Remember,.it.is.in.establishing.covenants.which.shows.us.the.permanence. and.beauty.of.God’s.promises.to.his.people ..When.God.establishes.a.covenant,.such.as.the.covenant.he.made.with.Abram,.God.is.relying.on.his. man.of.the.hour.to.totally.be.obedient.to.the.covenant.being.made.and. then.to.recognize.all.of.the.promises.God.is.making.to.mankind .

210 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 211 Faith, Hope, and Love time.when.God.is.wanting.you.to.pray.for.healing.or.some.other.serious. problem,.for.an.individual,.and.we.may.hesitate.or.resist.doing.what.God. would.be.asking.us.to.do ..Or,.as.has.happened.to.me,.someone,.perhaps. a.spouse.or.a.fellow.worker.questions.what.are.you.doing.or.thinking.just. long.enough.that.you.never.do.what.God.was.wanting.you.to.do ..But,.we. walk.by.faith,.not.by.sight . Sarai,.feeling.she.could.not.have.a.child.with.Abram,.because.of.her.age,. decided.that.Abram.should.also.have.sexual.relations.with.her.younger. maid.servant.named.Hagar ..That.different.plan.produced.a.son.with.Hagar,. but.would.not.be.the.son.of.promise ..That.son.was.called.Ishmael ..This.was. not.what.God.had.told.Abram.would.happen . The.Lord.appeared.again.unto.Abram.and.told.him.that.the.son.he. had.with.Hagar.would.not.be.his.heir,.but.in.one.year.he.and.Sarai.would. bring.forth.a.son.and.his.name.shall.be.called.Isaac ..Abram.now.is.99.years. old ..He.told.him.again,.later,.that.he.would.be.the.father.of.many.nations. and.the.covenant.he.was.making.will.be.recognized.by.the.circumcision.of. every.male.as.the.token.of.the.covenant ..You,.Abram,.are.now.to.change. your.name.to.Abraham,.which.indicated.you.belong.to.God ..Sarai’s.name. will.be.changed.to.Sarah.which.again.indicates.she.is.God’s.person ..God. told.him.he.would.bless.Sarah ..God.says.to.Abraham,.as.you.circumcise. every.male.in.your.house.that.will.be.a.covenant.in.your.flesh ..If.you.do. not.do.that,.then.every.male.child.that.is.not.circumcised.has.broken.my. covenant ..Those.of.your.seed.which.have.established.the.covenant.by.circumcision,.God.will.bless.him.and.his.seed.forever . Through.this,.God.was.showing.his.unconditional.love.for.his.faithful. and.obedient.people,.the.Jewish.nation ..By.instilling.the.faithfulness.of. future.generations.in.the.act.of.the.circumcision,.he.was.saying.in.essence. you.have.been.faithful.to.cut.off.the.prior.life.of.sin.and.are.purifying. oneself.to.a.life.of.obedience.to.God ..To.any.one.that.sees.you,.you.will.be. recognized.as.a.Jew ..The.God.type.of.covenant.is.originated.by.the.“flow”. of.blood ..That.is.true.whether.it.was.in.the.original.Abrahamic.Covenant. with.the.separating.of.the.animals.in.the.offering,.or.the.token.of.the.covenant.each.male.undergoes.by.circumcision.or.even.the.marriage.covenant. established.between.the.husband.and.his.virgin.wife.during.their.first. sexual.intercourse.following.completing.their.covenant.vows.of.marriage . In.considering.Abraham’s.doubting.God.earlier.as.to.whether.he. and.Sarah.might.have.a.child,.it.seems.incredulous.that.this.man.of.faith. might.have.had.any.hesitancy.in.this.matter ..But,.it.confirms.what.we.see. in.our.own.lives.when.we.hesitate.or.even.doubt.that.what.we.know.God. is.leading.us.to.do,.will.even.be.possible . At.other.times.we.may.wonder.if.a.circumstance.or.a.situation.will. ever.lead.to.a.good.or.victorious.ending ..Or,.as.I.have.encountered,.a.

213 

God’s Love Extends Beyond Our Comprehension Genesis.19:29.“And.it.came.to.pass.when.God.destroyed.the.cities.of. the.plain,.that.God.remembered.Abraham,.and.sent.Lot.out.of.the. midst.of.the.overthrow,.when.he.overthrew.the.cities.in.which.Lot.lived .” Do.you.remember.when.God.told.Abram.I.will.bless.thee.and.make. thy.name.great,.and.thou.shall.be.a.blessing?.God,.because.of.his.covenant. of.love.for.his.faithful.Abraham.was.accomplishing.exactly.what.he.had. first.told.him . Remember.in.Genesis.18.God.had.warned.his.covenant.partner. Abraham.that.he.was.going.to.go.down.and.destroy.the.cities.of.Sodom. and.Gomorrah.because.their.sin.is.very.grievous ..Abraham.asked.God. if.he.would.destroy.the.righteous.with.the.wicked?.Shall.not.the.Judge. of.the.earth.do.right?.What.a.powerful.and.righteous.question.Abraham. was.putting.to.God ..How.would.God.answer.such.a.tough.question?.God. honored.Abraham’s.question.by.saying.he.would.spare.the.city.if.God. could.find.fifty.righteous.within.the.city ..At.this.point.Abraham.has.to.play. a.game.of.chicken.with.God ..Abraham.knew.there.were.a.few.righteous,. but.he.was.not.sure.how.many . He.was.seeing.the.loving.nature.of.a.just.God.being.willing.to.be. reasonable.and.honorable.with.his.covenant.partner,.Abraham ..Finally. Abraham.gets.God.to.agree,.if.there.are.ten.righteous.within.the.cities.of. Sodom.and.Gomorrah,.God.says.he.will.spare.the.city ..What.God.finally. does.is.to.send.two.angels.to.bring.Lot,.his.wife.and.two.daughters.out.of. the.cities.before.they.are.destroyed ..Even.all.of.the.men.of.the.city.came.to. seduce.the.angels ..The.city.had.become.so.perverse.over.the.decades.and. centuries.that.they.thought.nothing.of.wanting.to.attack.the.angels.that. came.to.rescue.Lot.and.his.family ..Only.by.the.might.and.angelic.power. of.the.angels.were.they.able.to.escape.at.that.moment ..The.angels.had.to.

214 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 215 Faith, Hope, and Love Jesus ..God’s.love.extends.to.all.people.but.his.promises.are.on.the.people. in.covenant.with.him . A.bit.later.on.in.the.bible.we.see.that.even.Abraham’s.complete.faith. in.God.was.being.severely.tested ..Does.that.mean.that.God.really.doesn’t. love.mankind?.No,.it.just.establishes.the.fact.that.he.expects.total.and.a. freewill.obedience.to.him ..Does.that.give.us.a.clue.of.what.God.expects.of. his.faithful,.today?.He.expects.us.to.not.only.be.obedient.to.his.word,.but. also.his.commands.individually.to.us,.but.then.for.us.to.have.absolute.faith. in.what.he.is.doing.in.our.lives?.There.are.so.many.times.that.what.we.are. going.through.seems.impossible.to.see.a.way.through,.but.after.coming. spiritually.against.any.enemy.attack,.we.are.to.rest.and.to.know.the.battle. truly.is.the.Lord’s . In.the.case.at.point.is.where.the.Lord.says.to.Abraham.“Take.now.thy. son,.thine.only.son.Isaac,.whom.thou.loves,.and.get.thee.into.the.land.of. Moriah:.and.offer.him.there.for.a.burnt.offering.upon.one.of.the.mountains.which.I.will.tell.thee.of .” That.is.exactly.what.the.Lord.said.to.Abraham ..Surely.it.must.show. that.God.hates.Abraham ..No,.no.way ..He.is.just.proving.to.Abraham.how. much.he.loves.him.and.how.much.he.will.continue.to.provide.for.him .. How.could.any.of.us.have.handled.that.request?.It.would.take.the.utmost. faith.that.God.must.have.a.very.special.reason.for.that.request.and.he.has. never.done.anything.to.hurt.me.or,.my.family ..I.must.trust.him.totally,. now ..Knowing.most.of.us.are.far.from.that.level.of.faith,.we.must.somehow. realize.and.trust.our.God.that.increasingly.with.our.lives,.our.fortunes,.our. destiny.and.those.who.we.are.in.covenant.with ..Abraham.passed.the.test. and.God.supplied.the.burnt.offering . I.wonder.how.many.times.because.of.the.love.God.has.for.us,.that.he. has.supplied.for.us.many.things.we.needed.just.in.the.nick.of.time,.and.we. were.forgetful.of.the.fact.He.was.supplying.all? literally.blind.the.perverted.men.at.the.door.of.Lot’s.house.and.pull.Lot. to.safety . Had.it.not.been.for.the.covenant.God.had.made.with.Abraham,.and. Lot.being.a.member.of.that.covenant.as.a.nephew,.was.it.possible.to.have. saved.Lot.and.his.family ..It.is.in.our.Covenant.with.the.Father.through.the. blood.of.the.perfect.Lamb.of.God,.that.we.too.can.rely.on.the.promises.of. God.to.take.us.through.the.battles.we.face.in.our.lives . It.is.interesting.in.the.continuing.story.of.Lot,.you.will.remember. when.Lot.and.his.wife,.Sarah,.went.against.God’s.command.that.they. look.not.back.when.Sodom.and.Gomorrah.were.being.destroyed.and.she. turned.into.a.pillar.of.salt ..In.some.ways.it.seems.quite.like.God.went. against.his.word.about.not.destroying.these.two.cities,.but.God.is.not.only. a.loving.God,.but.also.a.just.God ..The.awful.sin.being.perpetrated.in.those. cities,.required.the.justice.that.only.God.can.give,.and.he.did ..He.removed. the.few.righteous.and.covenant.people.in.that.town,.and.thus.he.felt.he. must.destroy.these.horrible,.God.forsaking.people.who.were.literally.desecrating.the.land.they.lived.on ..So,.he.destroyed.Sodom.and.Gomorrah .. I.can’t.help,.personally,.comparing.those.cities.with.many.in.America. and.the.world.today ..In.our.cities.and.in.our.country.we.are.seeing.a.total. disrespect.of.of.God.and.his.word.with.such.open.sin.as.abortion.and. homosexuality.being.presented.as.godly.lifestyles.to.our.young ..How.long. will.God.tolerate.such.immorality? Later.when.Lot.and.his.daughters.were.living.in.a.cave.in.the.mountains.near.Zoar,.that.the.two.daughters,.who.were.not.married,.decided.to. trick.their.father.into.having.intercourse.with.each.of.them.so.they.might. conceive.and.have.each.a.son ..That.certainly.was.not.what.God.would. expect.of.his.righteous,.but.the.bible.records.no.Godly.wrath.against.them .. The.older.daughter’s.son.was.named.Moab.who.is.the.father.of.the.tribe. known.as.the.Moabites ..The.second.daughter.had.a.son.named.Bennami;. and.is.the.father.of.the.children.of.Ammon . Those.two.sons.were.the.product.of.incest.and.became.the.fathers.of. two.enemy.states,.the.Moabites.and.the.Ammonites ..These.two.nations.are. east.of.the.Jordan.and.are.two.nations.never.conquered.by.the.Israelites.as. they.were.forbidden.by.Moses.knowing.they.were.distant.relatives.of.the. Jews ..It.is.interesting.that.Ruth.was.a.Moabite.and.was.a.distant.relative.of.

217 

The Love of Jacob for Rachel This.is.a.love.story.that.needs.to.be.told.so.that.we.can.really.better. understand.what.true.love.between.a.man.and.a.woman.should.be. like ..Today,.we.find.couples.meeting.and.expecting.to.be.living.together. within.the.first.month,.maybe.sooner ..In.the.biblical.story.of.Jacob.and. Rachel.we.see.a.great.number.of.important.points.and.principles . First,.Jacob.was.a.direct.descendant.of.Abraham.and.then.Isaac.and. certainly.in.the.lineage.of.God’s.Abrahamic.Covenant.and.blessings ..Jacob. had.tricked.his.father.Isaac.into.giving.him.the.firstborn.blessing,.instead. of.Esau,.and.once.given.it.would.become.so . This.causes.him.to.have.to.leave.the.area.where.he.was.living.with.his. father.Isaac.and.mother.Rebekah ..He.slept.out.in.a.field.one.evening.and. had.a.dream.of.a.ladder.extending.from.earth.to.heaven ..In.the.dream.the. angels.of.heaven.moved.up.and.down.the.ladder,.but.above.it.stood.the. Lord ..The.Lord.spoke.to.him.in.the.dream.and.said.I.am.the.Lord.God.of. Abraham.thy.father.and.the.God.of.Isaac:.the.land.whereon.you.lie.will.be. given.to.you.and.your.seed ..Your.seed.shall.be.as.the.dust.of.the.earth;.and. you.shall.spread.to.the.east,.the.west,.the.north.and.the.south,.and.in.thy. seed.shall.all.the.families.of.the.earth.be.blessed ..In.short,.this.vision.of.the. Lord.caused.Jacob.to.dedicate.his.life.to.God . You.see,.even.at.times.when.we.almost.wonder.what.we.are.doing. and.what.our.next.step.might.be,.God.is.faithfully.and.lovingly.there.to. direct.our.paths,.first.to.him,.but.then.to.going.the.direction.he.would.have. us.go ..God.loves.his.creation.with.an.unconditional.love.that.can.only.be. understood.as.we.live.out.our.lives.and.truly.see.what.he.has.planned.and. what.he.is.capable.of.directing.us.to.do.in.our.lives,.when.submitted.in.love. to.him ..At.that.very.point.geographically,.Jacob.placed.a.stone.pillar.and. called.the.place.Bethel . It.is.most.revealing.and.interesting.that.though.God.had.made.his. covenant.with.Abraham.and.gave.the.promises.to.Abraham.and.Isaac,.it.

218 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 219 Faith, Hope, and Love was.willing.to.work.for.the.father.for.another.seven.years.for.the.hand.of. the.woman.he.loved ..What.are.we.willing.to.do.to.gain.and.keep.the.hand. of.the.one.we.love?.Today,.if.a.spouse.is.at.all.upset.with.the.person.he/she. married,.for.whatever.silly.reason,.they.up.and.demand.a.divorce ..Not.so. in.Jacob’s.time.and.certainly.not.so.in.God’s.order.of.things . This.story.is.also.a.story.of.God’s.love.for.his.people ..He.had.wanted. a.people.who.would.love.and.serve.him.and.he.chose,.out.of.love,.Abram. and.Sarai.to.start.that.very.walk ..He.wasn’t.unfamiliar.with.the.fact.that. none.of.the.people.he.has.chosen.for.pretty.spectacular.things.to.get. accomplished,.would.somehow.let.him.down.or.fail,.but.then.would.get. up.and.start.over.again.to.be.obedient.to.the.call.which.God.had.placed. on.that.person . In.Abram’s.case.he.had.killed.the.Egyptian.and.then.later.lied.to.the. Pharaoh.about.Sarah.being.his.sister,.not.his.wife ..In.Jacob’s.life.he.had.lied. and.deceived.his.own.father.Isaac.to.gain.the.firstborn’s.blessings.by.the. father ..Rachel.was.jealous.of.the.fact.her.sister.Leah.was.able.to.conceive. and.have.children.and.she.was.barren,.so.she.sought.to.gain.Jacob’s.affection,.which.he.already.had.freely.given ..This.is.much.like.our.attempting.to. earn.the.love.of.our.heavenly.Father,.when.it.has.already.been.given.to.all. who.would.receive.it.by.committing.their.love.and.devotion.to.Jesus,.the. Son.of.God,.who.had.paid.for.the.sin.of.all.of.us.sinners . Consider.an.interesting.point.at.this.junction.of.the.story.of.love.we. are.attempting.to.depict.in.the.lives.of.some.biblical.characters.and.then. more.perfectly.of.Jesus.and.also.the.Father ..The.grandfather.Abraham,. the.father.Isaac.and.the.son.Jacob.all.had.wives.who.had.some.difficulty. first.having.children ..In.Sarah’s.case,.Abraham.chose.to.bear.a.child.with. the.handmaid,.Hagar ..Certainly.not.God’s.first.choice,.nor.plan ..That.act. brought.in.all.sorts.of.aches.for.Sarah.and.for.Hagar.and.for.Abraham .. Bitterness,.hatred,.anger,.rejection.and.Lord.knows.what.else.entered.their. family ..In.Isaac’s.case.Rebekah.took.forever.to.have.children.and.then. bore.him.twin.boys,.while.Jacob,.married.two.sisters.Leah.and.Rachel.and. finally.had.children.with.servants.who.became.his.concubines ..Certainly,. Israel’s.Patriarchs.did.not.necessarily.have.model.lives,.but.God.was. patient.and.loving.of.them,.despite.their.imperfections,.as.he.is.with.us. despite.our.imperfections . . would.be.necessary.for.Jacob.to.make.his.own.allegiance.to.God,.just.as.we. too,.need.to.verbally.commit.our.lives.to.the.Father,.through.the.Son,.Jesus .. So.many.times.we.may.see.in.our.present.lives.where.some.grandfather.or. grandmother.may.have.devoted.his/her.life.to.Jesus,.but.the.grand.son.is. living.his.life.following.the.world.system ..There.is.no.gaining.the.blessings. of.God.without.accepting.the.Son.very.personally.for.each.person ..In.a. different.way,.we.see.this.same.thing.in.Jacob’s.life ..He.is.personally.having. to.acknowledge.God.on.God’s.terms . As.this.story.of.Jacob.unfolds,.many.different.and.interesting.things. happen.in.his.life ..At.this.time.in.his.life’s.journey.he.is.traveling.eastward. and.comes.upon.a.well.in.a.field.where.three.flocks.of.sheep.are.lying.by.it .. He.meets.there.with.some.locals.and.inquires.about.his.family.members. and.they.tell.him.the.family.is.well.and.that.the.daughter.of.Laban,.his. mother.Rebekah’s.daughter.is.just.coming.to.water.her.sheep ..When.Jacob. saw.Rachel,.the.daughter.of.Laban,.who.was.his.sister’s.son.that.she.came. over.and.he.kissed.her ..Jacob.said.to.Laban.surely.you.are.bone.of.my.bone. and.my.flesh,.and.he.abode.with.him.for.a.month ..Laban.wished.for.Jacob. to.stay.on.and.to.work.for.him,.but.when.he.asked.Jacob,.what.should.I. pay.you?.Jacob.said.he.would.serve.him.seven.years.if.he.would.give.him. Rachel.in.marriage ..Laban.agreed . And.the.bible.tells.us.that.Jacob.served.seven.years.for.Rachel,.and. they.seemed.unto.him.but.a.few.days,.for.the.love.he.had.for.her ..Jacob.said. unto.Laban,.Give.me.my.wife.that.I.may.go.in.unto.her ..So.Laban.made. a.feast.with.all.of.the.gathering.with.wine.and.all.the.food.etc ..But.at.this. point.Laban.fooled.Jacob.and.brought.his.eldest.daughter,.Leah.into.him. and.he.went.in.unto.her . In.the.morning.when.Jacob.awoke.he.realized.he.had.been.tricked. by.Laban,.but.Laban’s.excuse.was.that.since.Leah.was.the.firstborn,.she. should.be.married.first ..It.was.the.custom.of.the.country ..Laban.made.him. a.deal.if.he.would.work.for.him.seven.more.years.he.would.give.him.Rachel. in.marriage,.so.that.is.the.love.that.Jacob.had.for.Rachel,.he.was.willing.to. give.fourteen.years.of.his.labor.as.a.token.of.his.love.for.Rachel . Genesis.29:20.says,.“And.Jacob.served.seven.years.for.Rachel;.and. they.seemed.to.him.but.a.few.days,.for.the.love.he.had.to.her” . I.suspect.today.any.male.who.had.been.so.tricked.would.have.killed. the.perpetrator,.or.least.made.life.awfully.tough.for.that.person ..But.Jacob.

220 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 221 

The Son of David, Lust Not Love In.today’s.society.everything.is.happening.so.rapidly.that.even.the. romance.cycle.of.the.young.is.being.pushed ..It.is.seen.in.the.time.of. instant.decisions.and.too.frequently,.instant.gratification ..The.differences. between.lust.and.true.love.can.be.seen.in.the.story.of.Amnon.found.in.2. Samuel.13:11-15 The.story.goes.back.into.the.life.of.King.David ..Remember.that.King. David.had.committed.adultery.with.Bathsheba.and.later.married.her .. He.had.repented.of.his.sin.to.God,.but.the.effect.of.that.sin.lingered.into. David’s.children ..In.today’s.society.we.see.young.and.old.seeking.to.pervert. God’s.most.sacred.covenant.of.marriage.by.living.in.a.sinful.lifestyle.before. marriage.and.feeling.that.is.OK ..As.we.see.in.King.David’s.situation,.his. adultery.with.Bathsheba.had.some.dire.circumstances ..When.they.got. married,.they.lost.their.first.child,.but.the.story.about.his.son.Amnon.and. his.half-sister.Tamar.is.tragic.and.brings.in.even.more.judgment.of.God. against.David’s.family ..In.this.story.we.easily.see.that.sin.has.consequences .. King.David.repented.for.his.sin.and.was.blessed.by.God.in.many.ways,.but. the.consequences.of.his.sin.lingered.throughout.his.family . First,.the.child.David.had.with.Bathsheba.died.seven.days.after. childbirth ..It.was.said.to.be.the.result.of.David’s.sin.with.Bathsheba,.and. certainly.not.any.sin.of.the.child ..The.death.of.the.child.had.a.profound. effect.on.King.David.as.he.realized.how.seriously.God.looks.on.sin ..He. and.Bathsheba.could.have.seen.their.lives.vanish.had.God.not.any.more. things.for.King.David.to.do ..The.Lord.sent.the.prophet.Nathan.to.tell.King. David.that.he.would.not.die,.but.the.child.would.die ..The.entire.story.is. compounded.by.King.David.having.already.killed.Bathsheba’s.husband. Uriah,.earlier ..What.a.web.we.sew,.and.what.destruction.we.unleash.in. future.generations.of.our.families.when.we.sin .

Back.in.the.days.of.these.early.people.it.would.be.common.for.the. prospective.husband.to.give.a.pretty.substantial.dowry.to.the.parents.of. the.woman.he.was.wishing.to.marry ..The.young.woman.was.part.of.the. family’s.workforce.and.now.she.is.being.coaxed.away.in.marriage ..But. I.wonder.today.how.many.young.men.would.be.willing.to.work.for.the. parents.of.the.young.woman.they.would.hope.to.marry,.to.receive.her. hand.in.marriage?.In.this.case,.Jacob.was.tricked,.first.by.the.father.into. marrying.the.eldest.daughter,.Leah ..That.was.not.Jacob’s.plan ..Yes,.he.was. furious.with.Laban,.but.he.still.kept.his.side.of.the.bargain.and.worked.an. additional.seven.years.for.the.hand.of.the.one.he.really.loved ..He.wasn’t. even.moved.by.the.fact.his.true.love.remained.barren.for.a.period ..But.in. time.Rachel.was.able.to.conceive.and.bear.a.child,.as.she.had.been.praying .. This.is.more.the.representation.of.the.loyalty.of.God.and.the.love.most.of. us.desire.in.our.marriages ..Do.we.see.that.degree.of.loyalty.in.marriages. today?.Not.often,.unfortunately ..As.I.have.found.out,.not.even.in.the.business.world .

222 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 223 Faith, Hope, and Love But.when.that.which.is.perfect.is.come,.then.that.which.is.in.part. shall.be.done.away . When.I.was.a.child,.I.understood.as.a.child,.I.thought.as.a.child:.but. when.I.became.a.man,.I.put.away.childish.things . For.now.we.see.through.a.glass,.darkly;.but.then.face.to.face:.now.I. know.in.part:.but.then.shall.I.know.even.as.I.am.known . And.now.abides.faith,.hope.and.love,.these.three;.but.the.greatest.of. these.is.love .” In.those.verses,.the.Apostle.Paul.gives.us.much.evidence.of.what.love. should.look.like . In.this.chapter.of.Corinthians.we.see.that.love.is.not.only.the.most. important.quality.of.a.God.filled.life,.but.that.its.main.direction.is.toward. blessing.others,.not.as.Amnon.did.in.gratifying.just.himself ..In.true.love,. the.person.wishing.to.love.another.is.always.considering.what.is.best.for. that.other.person . In.the.case.of.Amnon.whereas.he.claimed.to.be.in.“love”.with.Tamar,. he.truly.was.acting.out.his.lust.for.her ..He.had.no.consideration.as.to.what. this.would.do.to.this.lovely.young.woman,.nor.did.he.care ..She.did.everything.she.could.to.talk.him.out.of.raping.her,.yet.he.went.ahead.anyway,. and.then.he.“hated”.her.afterwards . As.it.says.in.the.love.chapter,.Love.is.patient.and.kind,.does.not.behave. unseemly,.love.suffers.long,.seeks.not.her.own.way,.thinks.no.evil.and.is. not.puffed.up ..That.is.a.far.cry.from.where.Amnon.was.at.that.moment.in. his.life ..But,.again,.God.will.not.be.mocked . Two.years.later,.King.David’s.son.Absalom,.brother.of.Tamar,.took.it. in.his.own.hands.and.had.Amnon.killed,.for.raping.his.sister ..This.certainly. was.not.God’s.preferred.situation,.but.it.certainly.had.a.retaliatory.effect. on.Amnon . Amnon.was.the.first.born.child.of.David.and.Ahinoam,.one.of.King. David’s.many.wives ..Amnon.feigned.sickness.at.one.point.because.he.was. in.love,.or.actually.lust,.for.his.half.sister,.Tamar.who.was.a.virgin.and.very. fare.to.look.at ..Tamar.had.a.full.brother.Absalom.whose.enters.the.story. shortly ..In.verse.3.we.see.where.Jonadab,.one.of.Absalom’s.cousins.ask.him. why.he.is.so.downhearted?.Absalom.answered.because.he.loves.Tamar . Jonadab.tells.him.a.plot.to.get.Tamar.in.his.room ..The.plot.would.be. to.feign.sickness.and.tell.King.David.to.have.the.King’s.daughter,.Tamar,. bring.him.food.and.feed.him.in.bed ..Which.is.what.unfolds.in.the.story . In.verse.11,.He.tells.her.to.come.lie.with.him,.my.sister ..She.replies,. No,.my.brother.do.not.force.me ..She.asks.him.how.could.her.shame.ever. be.taken.away.from.her.and.if.you.do.this.awful.thing,.you.will.be.like.one. of.the.fools.in.Israel . He.would.not.listen.to.her.comments.and.forced.himself.on.her .. Immediately.following.this.episode.of.forced.rape,.he,.Amnon,.hated.her. exceedingly ..Trust.me.folks,.that.is.not.love ..Let’s.take.a.look.now.at.1. Corinthians.13,.the.love.chapter ..In.this.chapter,.speaking.of.charity,.love. by.another.name.we.see.the.actual.differences.between.what.Absalom.was. defining.as.love,.and.what.God.says.is.love . “.Though.I.speak.with.the.tongues.of.men.and.of.angels,.and.have.not. love,.I.am.become.as.sounding.brass,.or.a.tinkling.cymbal . And.though.I.have.the.gift.of.prophecy,.and.understand.all.mysteries,.and.all.knowledge:.and.though.I.have.all.faith,.so.that.I.could.move. mountains,.and.have.not.love,.I.am.nothing . And.though.I.bestow.all.goods.to.feed.the.poor,.and.though.I.give.my. body.to.be.burned,.and.have.not.love,.it.profits.me.nothing . Love.suffers.long,.and.is.kind;.love.envies.not,.love.vaunts.not.itself,. is.not.puffed.up . Does.not.behave.unseemly,.seeks.not.her.own,.is.not.easily.provoked,. thinks.no.evil; Rejoices.not.in.iniquity,.but.rejoices.in.truth; Bears.all.things,.believes.all.things,.hopes.all.things,.endures.all.things . Love.never.fails:.but.whether.there.be.prophesies,.they.shall.fail;. whether.there.be.tongues,.they.shall.cease;.whether.there.be.knowledge,. it.shall.go.away . For.we.know.in.part,.and.we.prophesy.in.part .

225 

The Jesus Kind of Love Now,.let’s.talk.about.true.love.as.expressed.in.the.life.of.Jesus ..The. bible.tells.us.God.is.love.and.certainly.there.is.no.force.on.earth.that. equals.the.power.of.love ..When.true.love.comes.into.a.life.or.a.marriage. there.is.nothing.that.can.equal.it ..That.may.sound.strange,.but.it.is.true ..As. we.go.through.the.remainder.of.this.book.about.love.we.will.speak.about. many.of.the.ways.that.our.dear.lord.showed.his.love ..The.one.we.all.know. best.is.seen.in.John.3:16.“for.God.so.loved.the.world.that.he.gave.his.only. begotten.Son,.that.whosoever.believeth.in.him.should.not.perish,.but.have. everlasting.life” .

227 

The Jesus of Isaiah’s Prophesy Nothing.predicts.the.life.of.Jesus.and.the.love.of.he.and.his.Father. more.than.what.Isaiah.gave.us.in.Isa:53:1-12 . To.whom.is.the.arm.of.the.Lord.revealed? *..He.shall.grow.up.as.a.tender.plant,.and.as.a.root.out.of.dry. ground:.he.has.no.form.nor.comeliness;.and.when.we.shall. see.him,.there.is.no.beauty.that.we.should.desire.him . *..He.is.despised.and.rejected.of.men;.a.man.of.sorrows,. and.acquainted.with.grief:.and.we.hid.as.it.were.our.faces. from.him;.he.was.despised,.and.we.esteemed.him.not . *..Surely.he.has.borne.our.griefs,.and.carried.our.sorrows:.yet. we.did.esteem.him.stricken,.smitten.of.God,.and.afflicted . *..But.he.was.wounded.for.our.transgressions,.he.was. bruised.for.our.iniquities:.the.chastisement.of.our.peace. was.upon.him;.and.with.his.stripes.we.are.healed . *..All.we.like.sheep.have.gone.astray;.we.have.turned.everyone.to. his.own.way;.and.the.Lord.has.laid.on.him.the.iniquity.of.us.all . *..He.was.oppressed,.and.he.was.afflicted,.and.yet.he.opened.not. his.mouth:.he.was.brought.as.a.lamb.to.the.slaughter,.and.as.the. sheep.before.shearers.is.dumb,.so.he.opened.not.his.mouth . *..He.was.taken.from.prison.and.from.judgment:.and.who.should. declare.his.generation?.For.he.was.cut.off.out.of.the.land.of.the. living:.for.the.transgression.of.my.people.was.he.stricken . *..And.he.made.his.grave.with.the.wicked,.and.with. the.rich.in.his.death;.because.he.had.done.no.violence,.neither.was.any.deceit.in.his.mouth .

228 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 229 

The Blessings Depict God’s Love In.Deuteronomy.28:1-14.We.see.God’s.love.portrayed.to.all.mankind. in.a.very.unusual.manner ..These.blessings.and.curses.were.given.to. Moses.as.he.led.God’s.chosen.people.out.of.bondage.in.Egypt.and.into.the. promised.land ..Moses.with.the.backing.of.the.elders.of.Israel.let.his.people. know.that.they.need.to.keep.all.of.the.commandments.he.was.about.to. give.them . He.first.let.them.know.that.as.they.passed.over.the.Jordan.River.they. were.to.set.up.a.monument,.or.tribute,.to.God.and.place.on.them.the. words.which.they.had.just.received.from.God ..They.were.to.set.up.a.stone. altar.unto.the.Lord.thy.God,.and.shall.offer.peace.offerings.and.were.to. take.a.meal.there.before.entering.the.land.flowing.with.milk.and.honey. which.the.Lord.was.giving.to.them ..He.instructed.the.people.that.they. were.to.write.the.laws,.very.plainly,.on.those.whole.stones ..He.wanted. them.to.realize.on.this.day.they.were.entering.the.land.the.Lord.had.given. them ..You.have.become.the.people.of.the.Lord.thy.God . There.is.a.point.here.which.I.feel.should.be.made.for.every.Christian. as.he/she.makes.his.confession.of.sin.and.acceptance.of.Jesus.Christ.being. his.Lord.and.Savior ..That.should.be.recognized.as.just.as.momentous.a. moment.for.the.Christian,.and.his.walk.into.his.promised.land,.as.it.was. for.the.children.of.Israel.those.many.years.ago ..We.would.be.smart.to.commemorate.that.date.and.time.either.in.the.dedication.of.a.book,.or.place.it. in.our.bibles.as.a.particular.moment.or.even.a.small.memento.or.plaque. which.tells.that.very.important.information ..We.should.memorialize.such. a.time.in.our.lives.so.that.others.will.know.what.happened.as.you.get.more. like.Jesus ..There.should.be.a.notable.and.distinct.change.in.your.life .

*..Yet.it.pleased.the.Lord.to.bruise.him;.he.has.put.him. to.grief:.when.thou.shall.make.his.soul.an.offering.for. sin,.he.shall.see.his.seed,.he.shall.prolong.his.days,.and. the.pleasure.of.the.Lord.shall.prosper.in.his.hand . *..He.shall.see.the.travail.of.his.soul,.and.shall.be.satisfied:.by.his.knowledge.shall.my.righteous.servant.justify.many;.for.he.shall.bear.their.iniquities . *..Therefore.will.I.divide.him.a.portion.with.the.great,.and.he.shall. divide.the.spoil.with.the.strong;.because.he.has.poured.out.his.soul. unto.death:.and.he.was.numbered.with.the.transgressors;.and.he. bare.the.sin.of.many,.and.made.intercession.for.the.transgressors . *..The.Father.is.explaining.through.the.prophet.Isaiah.the.fact.that. the.original.plan.for.salvation.as.found.in.Genesis.3:15.“And.I.will. put.enmity.between.thee.and.the.woman,.and.between.thy.seed. and.her.seed;.it.shall.bruise.thy.head.and.thy.shall.bruise.his.heal” . God.is.predicting.that.a.Savior.will.come.and.go.against.the.devil. in.such.a.way.that.he.will.be.permanently.maimed ..When.you.think.of. God.offering.his.only.Son.to.come.down.to.pay.the.price.not.only.for.the. original.sin.of.Adam.and.Eve,.but.for.all.of.the.sin.in.mankind.since.that. moment,.what.an.act.of.love .

230 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 231 Faith, Hope, and Love crease.of.thy.kine,.and.the.flocks.of.thy.sheep . 5 .. Blessed.shall.be.thy.basket.and.thy.store . 6 .. Blessed.shall.thou.be.when.thou.comest.in.and. blessed.shall.thou.be.when.thou.goest.out . 7 .. The.Lord.shall.cause.the.enemies.that.rise.up.against. thee.to.be.smitten.before.thy.face:.they.shall.come.out. against.the.one.way,.and.flee.before.thee.seven.ways . 8 .. The.Lord.shall.command.the.blessing.upon.thee.in.the.storehouss,.and.to.all.that.you.set.your.hand.unto;.and.he.shall. bless.thee.in.the.land.which.the.Lord.thy.God.giveth.thee . 9 .. The.lord.shall.establish.thee.an.holy.people.unto.himself,.as.he.has.sworn.unto.thee,.if.thou.shall.keep.the.commandments.of.the.Lord.thy.God,.and.walk.in.his.ways . 10 .. And.all.people.of.the.earth.shall.see.that.thou.are.called.by. the.name.of.the.Lord;.and.they.shall.be.afraid.of.thee . 11 .. And.the.Lord.shall.make.thee.plenteous.in.goods,. in.the.fruit.of.thy.body,.and.in.the.fruit.of.thy.cattle,. and.in.the.fruit.of.thy.ground,.and.in.the.land.which. the.Lord.swore.unto.thy.fathers.to.give.thee . 12 .. The.Lord.shall.open.unto.thee.his.good.treasure,.the. heaven.to.give.rain.unto.thy.land.in.his.season,.and. to.bless.all.the.work.in.thy.hand:.and.thou.shall.lend. unto.many.nations,.and.thou.shall.not.borrow . 13 .. And.the.Lord.shall.make.thee.the.head,.and.not.the.tail:.and. thou.shall.be.above.only,.and.thou.shall.not.be.beneath;.if.that. thou.hearken.unto.the.commandments.of.the.Lord.thy.God,. which.I.command.thee.this.day,.to.observe.and.do.them . 14 .. And.thou.shall.not.go.aside.from.any.of.the.words. which.I.command.thee.this.day,.to.the.right.hand,.or. to.the.left,.to.go.after.other.gods.to.serve.them . In.this.half.chapter.on.the.blessings,.we.see.some.profound.promises. of.God.if.we.are.willing.to.follow.him.and.to.be.obedient.to.his.commandments ..Sometimes.a.person.feels.these.things.will.just.be.mine,.without. any.effort.or.action.on.our.part ..First,.we.must.be.part.of.God’s.kingdom,. and.for.the.Christian.that.means.we.need.to.ask.Jesus.to.be.our.Savior.and. our.Lord ..Sometimes.we.may.feel.that.there.are.just.all.of.these.laws.that. we.must.follow.to.be.in.his.church ..Actually,.God.wants.a.relationship.with. us,.just.as.though.he.were.our.earthly.father.or.grandfather ..That.relationship.will.allow.a.daily.conversation.with.him.and.his.Holy.Spirit.which.will. reside.within.us.as.we.ask.him.to.be.our.Savior . Remember.in.Acts.where.Jesus.was.just.being.ready.for.his.ascension. into.heaven.he.told.his.Apostles.to.wait.for.the.Holy.Spirit.which.would. teach.them.all.things ..It.was.God’s.act.of.love.toward.those.who.would. follow.in.Jesus.footsteps.in.which.the.Spirit.of.Jesus.would.live.and.reign. in.the.lives.of.those.who.chose.to.follow.him,.and.to.teach.them.whatever. they.would.need.to.know.in.living.in.God’s.kingdom.here.on.earth . But.now.let.us.go.back.to.the.blessings.which.God.said.would.come. on.those.who.were.obedient ..Even.though.these.blessings.were.recited.by. Moses.and.the.Elders.to.God’s.chosen.people,.they.are.still.blessings.which. can.come.into.our.lives.and.overtake.us ..These.are.instructions.not.unlike. the.instructions.which.a.parent.would.give.one.of.their.children,.as.an.act. of.love.in.wanting.to.keep.that.child.from.falling.into.harms.way ..Let.me. now.list.them . Deut ..28:1-14 1 .. And.it.shall.come.to.pass,.if.thou.shall.hearken.diligently.to.the. voice.of.the.Lord.thy.God,.to.observe.and.to.do.all.his.commandments.which.I.command.thee.this.day,.that.the.Lord.thy. God.will.set.thee.on.high.above.all.of.nations.of.the.earth: 2 .. And.all.these.blessings.shall.come.on.thee,.and.overtake.thee,. if.thou.shall.hearken.to.the.voice.of.the.Lord.thy.God . 3 .. Blessed.shall.thou.be.in.the.city,.and. blessed.shall.thou.be.in.the.field . 4 .. Blessed.shall.be.the.fruit.of.thy.body.and.the.fruit. of.thy.ground,.and.the.fruit.of.thy.cattle,.the.in

233 

But So Do The Curses Represent God’s Love? Yes,.God.loves.us.so.much.that.he.wants.his.laws.of.nature.and.the. spiritual.laws.to.be.obeyed.by.those.who.call.him.Lord ..That.is.His. giving.us.protection.from.what.otherwise.would.cause.us.harm ..When.you. are.raising.your.children,.there.are.some.hazards.which.need.to.be.brought. forth.and.that.is.exactly.what.our.Lord.is.doing.for.us ..Remember,.when. God.spoke.to.Cain.in.Gen,4:7.God.warned.Cain,.“If.thou.does.well,.shall. thou.not.be.accepted?.And.if.thou.does.not.well,.sin.lies.at.the.door” ..God. had.noted.that.when.he,.God,.admonished.him.for.his.offering.of.grain. offering,.that.Cain’s.countenance.fell,.thus.God.made.the.statement.about. doing.well.or.not.doing.well ..Over.and.over.again.the.Lord.commanded. his.chosen.people.that.they.needed.to.be.obedient.to.his.commandments .. Moses,.at.God’s.direction.did.the.same . When.you.think.of.the.children.of.Israel.being.delivered.from.their. over.400.years.in.bondage.in.Egypt,.they.were.all.kept.from.sickness.or. being.infirmed.all.of.those.40.years ..Their.clothes.didn’t.even.wear.out .. It.was.a.fantastic.testimony.to.the.love.of.the.Father ..Today,.we.are.supposed.to.walk.in.those.same.blessings ..I.suspect.much.of.our.problems. with.health.and.other.expected.blessings.from.God.are.caused.by.our. decades.of.family.and.national.disobedience.to.God ..Can.that.curse.be. reversed?.Yes,.by.the.strict.obedience.to.what.the.Holy.Spirit.is.showing. each.believer ..I.am.always.reminded.of.the.benefits.coming.to.a.family,. over.some.generations,.by.the.tremendous.prayers.of.some.aging.grandmother ..Over.and.over.again.we.hear.wonderful.stories.of.families.where. generations.are.coming.into.God’s.kingdom.following.years.of.prayer.by. some.grandmother.or.father ..I.know.in.my.own.case,.there.were.two.particular.people.who.had.prayed.for.my.being.born.again ..One.was.a.patient.

234 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 235 

Jesus, The God of the Living and the God of Love In.Matthew.22:32.Jesus.is.speaking.with.the.religious.leaders.of.his.time,. and.has.been.speaking.about.the.resurrection ..He.goes.on.to.say,.I.am. the.God.of.Abraham,.Isaac.and.Jacob ..God.is.not.the.God.of.the.dead,. but.the.living ..Then.one.of.the.Pharisees,.who.was.a.lawyer,.asked.him. a.question?.Master,.which.is.the.great.commandment.in.the.law?.Jesus. answered,.“Thou.shall.love.the.Lord.thy.God.with.thy.whole.heart,.and. with.thy.whole.soul,.and.with.thy.whole.mind ..This.is.the.first.and.great. commandment ..And.the.second.is.like.it,.Thou.shall.love.thy.neighbor.as. thyself ..And.all.these.two.hang.all.of.the.laws.of.the.prophets” . As.a.person.lives.his.life.out.after.his.conversion.and.born.again. experience,.he.can’t.help.but.recognize.the.love.God.put.in.his.heart.for. all.of.mankind,.but.especially.for.those.close.to.him ..One’s.desire.becomes. wishing.to.tell.others.about.Jesus,.often.to.the.point.of.distraction.to.those. who.think.they.have.no.desire.to.go.that.direction ..Most.of.us.have.seen. that.episode.unfold.in.our.family.members,.but.also.in.our.workplace.or. wherever ..Sometimes.one.will.wonder.why.the.antagonism.to.what.you. may.be.saying.or.presenting ..It.will.seem.so.simple.to.you,.but.there.is.a. spiritual.realm.to.what.you.are.saying.or.doing.and.that.goes.against.the. spiritual.realm.of.that.person.you.are.dealing.with ..At.times.those.battles. can.rage,.and.you.may.wonder.why.such.an.outburst . The.passage.and.words.which.the.Lord.spoke.to.the.Sadducees.about. loving.first.your.God,.then.your.neighbor.as.yourself.is.very.important ..As. Jesus.said,.these.are.the.most.important.commandments ..I.really.suspect. as.we.get.grow.older.in.our.life.and.hopefully.closer.to.the.Lord,.that.we. can’t.help.but.feel.the.love.for.the.Lord,.but.also.for.all.of.mankind ..I.know. for.me.I.get.more.concerned.about.grave.injustices.which.we.see.occurring.

who.had.prayed.some.25.years.for.me.to.become.God’s.person ..Her.name. was.Dorothy.Gillespie,.a.minister.of.the.Gospel.of.Christ ..She.was.given. the.opportunity.of.seeing.my.life.changed ..The.other.was.my.eldest.daughter,.Joan,.who.had.likewise.prayed.over.the.years.for.a.true.conversion.to. occur ..All.I.can.say.is,.Thank.you,.to.these.two.lovely.ladies.who.sought.my. acceptance.of.Jesus,.my.Lord . I.will.list.just.a.few.of.the.curses.mentioned.in.Deuteronomy.28. verses.15.on . If.you.will.not.obey.his.commandments,.that.all.these.curses.will. come.upon.you . Cursed.shall.thou.be.in.the.city,.and.cursed.shall.thou.be.in.the.field . Cursed.shall.thou.be.in.thy.basket.and.thy.store . Cursed.shall.be.the.fruit.of.thy.body,.and.the.fruit.of.thy.land,.and.the. increase.of.thy.kine,.and.the.flocks.of.thy.sheep . Cursed.shall.thou.be.when.thou.comes.in.and.when.thou.goes.out .

In.this.one.he.is.saying.that.all.you.are.putting.your.hand.will.be. cursed.and.destroyed . That.all.sorts.of.diseases.will.cleave.unto.you . 25 ..You.shall.be.smitten.before.your.enemies . 28 ..The.Lord.shall.smite.thee.with.madness.and.blindness 30.You.shall.marry.and.divorce.will.come.upon.you . 32 ..Thy.sons.and.daughters.shall.be.given.to.another.people . Without.going.in.to.the.various.curses,.it.is.easy.to.see.they.would. cause.complete.destruction.not.only.of.your.life,.but.that.of.your.family,. too ..Certainly,.any.average.individual.would.have.little.trouble.recognizing. the.tremendous.blessing.God.wishes.to.impart.to.those.who.choose.to. follow.him,.but.then.the.awful.tragedies.that.befall.those.who.choose.to.go. against.God’s.plan ..I.can’t.help.but.think.of.the.destruction.that.will.come. to.lives.and.to.a.nation.that.allows.abortion.of.their.unborn.and.who.foster. pornography.and.homosexual.lifestyles ..What.a.tragedy.for.a.country.like. America.that.has.been.so.blessed.by.the.early.pioneers.and.so.many.godly. principles.put.into.our.Constitution.and.way.of.life .

236 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 237 Faith, Hope, and Love *..Blessed.are.the.meek:.for.they.shall.inherit.the.earth . *..Blessed.are.they.which.do.hunger.and.thirst.after.righteousness:.for.they.shall.be.filled . *..Blessed.are.the.merciful:.for.they.shall.obtain.mercy *..Blessed.are.the.pure.in.heart:.for.they.shall.see.God . *..Blessed.are.the.peacemakers:.for.they.shall. be.called.the.children.of.God . *..Blessed.are.they.which.are.persecuted.for.righteousness’.sake:.for.theirs.is.the.kingdom.of.heaven . *..Blessed.are.you,.when.men.shall.revile.you,.and.persecute.you,. and.shall.say.all.manner.of.evil.against.you.falsely,.for.my.sake . *..Rejoice,.and.be.exceeding.glad:.for.great.is.your.reward.in.heaven:. for.so.persecuted.they.the.prophets.which.were.before.you . This,.of.course.was.Jesus’.sermon.on.the.mount.which.certainly. shows.God’s.love.for.those.who.choose.to.follow.him.and.to.do.his.bidding. in.a.hurting.world . When.we.go.back.into.scripture.and.see.why.the.Father.sent.his.only. begotten.Son,.perhaps.that.alone.can.convince.us.of.the.love.of.God.for.his. people ..In.Mark.1:2.we.see,.“As.it.is.written.in.the.prophets,.Behold.I.send. my.messenger.before.thy.face,.which.shall.prepare.thy.way.before.thee .”. Here,.the.word.is.telling.us.that.that.very.baby.that.jumped.in.his.mother’s. womb,.Elisabeth’s.son,.will.be.sent.first.to.prepare.hearts.for.the.coming. of.the.Messiah . In.verse.3.the.word.says,.“The.voice.of.one.crying.in.the.wilderness,. Prepare.thee.the.way.of.the.Lord,.make.his.paths.straight . John.did.baptize.in.the.wilderness.and.preach.the.baptism.of.repentance.for.the.remission.of.sins .” A.little.later.in.Mark,.we.see.where.Jesus.came.to.John.and.was.baptized,.himself,.in.the.Jordan.River ..“As.he.came.out.of.the.water,.he.saw.the. heavens.opened,.and.the.Spirit.in.the.form.of.a.dove.descending.upon.him .. And.there.came.a.voice.from.heaven,.saying,.Thou.are.my.beloved.Son,.in. whom.I.am.well.pleased .” It.wasn’t.enough.that.Jesus.was.baptized.into.the.very.ministry.in. which.he.was.called,.but.the.next.thing.that.happened.to.him.was.that. he.was.confronted,.also,.by.the.devil ..Oftentimes.we.feel.it.is.strange.that. in.so.many.parts.of.the.world.and.even.in.our.own.country ..These.things. just.seem.to.touch.ones.heart.a.bit.more,.not.that.they.didn’t.before,.but. you.also.feel.how.they.must.affect.the.Lord ..I.think.we.all.should.become. very.grateful.for.even.the.littlest.of.things.which.have.been.given.to.us . In.John.13:34-35.Jesus.speaking.to.his.disciples.says,.“By.this,.all. men.shall.know.you.are.my.disciples,.if.you.have.love.one.to.another” ..In. essence.we.have.been.given.the.command.to.love.others.as.Jesus.loved.all .. Remember,.he.gave.his.life.for.all.of.us.sinners,.and.by.our.laying.down.our. lives.for.our.spouses,.our.family,.our.neighbors.and.even.those.we.may.not. know,.we.become.the.wonderful.attraction.which.will.bring.many.others. to.him ..As.Jesus.was.the.one.who.pointed.us.to.God’s.love,.we.are.the. ones.to.point.others.to.the.love.of.Jesus ..As.much.as.we.might.say.we.love. another,.nothing.says.it.like.actions . What.is.the.life.which.we.show.to.others?.Is.it.a.life.filled.with.his. love.or.a.life.filled.with.gossip,.bickering,.jealousy.or.what?.Real.love.is.an. attitude.which.exudes.a.love.that.truly.is.unquenchable ..Do.we.go.out.of. our.way.to.help.others,.sometimes.even.when.it.either.costs.us.our.leisure. or.our.treasure ..I.think.of.the.widow.lady.that.gave.her.last.pence.to.Jesus .. The.story.was.told.in.Luke.21:2.“He.saw.a.poor.widow.casting.two.mites. into.the.offering ..Of.a.truth.I.say.unto.you,.that.this.poor.widow.has.cast. in.more.than.they.all . For.all.these.have.of.their.abundance.cast.into.the.offerings.of.God:. but.she.of.her.penury.has.cast.in.all.the.living.that.she.had” . In.the.other.story.about.the.woman.who.brought.the.jar.of.ointment. before.his.crucifixion.to.anoint.his.head ..Judas.and.others.complained. about.wasting.such.a.costly.ointment.on.him,.but.she.did.it.in.perfect.love. knowing.that.he.would.be.killed.and.in.preparation.for.his.burial . Is.that.the.kind.of.love.our.life.shows?.If.not,.can.we.seek.ways.to. exhibit.that.kind.of.love?.Because.in.showing.forth.a.sacrificial.love.of. Jesus,.in.our.own.lives,.we.are.given.the.opportunity.of.being.co-.participants.for.spreading.God’s.love.to.a.very.hurting.world ..If.we.look.at. Matthew.5:1-2,.we.see.a.Jesus.who.loved.enough.that.when.he.saw.the. multitudes,.he.went.up.into.a.mountain:.and.when.he.was.set,.his.disciples. came.to.him:.and.he.opened.his.mouth,.and.taught.them.saying, *..Blessed.are.the.poor.in.spirit:.for.theirs.is.the.kingdom.of.heaven . *..Blessed.are.they.that.mourn:.for.they.shall.be.comforted .

238 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 239 Faith, Hope, and Love word.of.God.but.failed.to.follow.it ..We.are.to.learn.and.know.God’s.word. and.then.to.follow.the.word.of.God . Secondly,.the.devil.takes.Jesus.up.into.the.holy.city.and.sets.him.on. a.pinnacle.of.the.temple.and.says,.if.thou.be.the.son.of.God.cast.thyself. down:.for.it.is.written,.He.shall.give.His.angels.charge.over.thee ..Jesus. again.answered,.Thou.shall.not.tempt.the.Lord.thy.God ..He.just.wanted. Jesus.to.sin ..There.are.times.when.some.friend.or.acquaintance.may.wish. for.you.to.sin,.but.here.is.the.correct.way.to.respond ..In.Deuteronomy.6:16,. You.are.not.to.tempt.the.Lord.thy.God,.as.you.tempted.him.in.Massah .. They.had.asked.back.in.Exodus.whether.the.Lord.was.with.them ..We.are. to.constantly.know.our.God.is.with.us.and.has.put.his.Spirit.within.us.to. guide.us.in.our.walk.with.him ..This.is.a.sign.of.our.walking.in.faith.as.we. come.against.the.temptations.which.the.devil.places.before.each.one.of.us .. In.his.love,.he.has.given.us.all.of.the.tools.we.need.to.overcome.the.works. of.the.devil . But.the.devil.wasn’t.through.with.tempting.of.Jesus ..He.takes.him.up. to.a.high.mountain.and.shows.him.all.of.the.kingdoms.of.the.world.and. the.glory.of.them ..He.then.says.to.Jesus,.All.these.things.will.I.give.thee,.if. you.will.fall.down.and.worship.me ..Jesus.calmly.replied,.Get.thee.hence,. Satan,.for.it.is.written,.Thou.shall.worship.the.Lord.thy.God.and.him.only. shall.thy.serve . At.that.point.the.tempter.left.Jesus,.and.behold.the.angels.came.and. ministered.to.him ..Satan.today.tempts.us.in.ways.to.make.it.appear.he. has.every.right.to.do.so,.but.God.warns.us.not.to.get.so.caught.up.in. this.world,.because.that.too,.can.become.an.idol,.a.false.God ..We.are.to. worship.only.God ..It.seems.to.me.that.our.young.people.are.being.offered. a.cheap.replacement.for.marriage,.by.saying.we’ll.just.live.together.for.a. few.years.to.see.if.we.really.wish.to.get.married ..What.a.lie.of.the.devil .. Marriage.is.one.of.God’s.most.precious.moments.and.offerings.to.the. young,.and.to.a.great.extent.they.have.been.lured.into.a.false.belief.that.it. isn’t.that.important.to.do.it.God’s.way ..Each.of.us.have.acquaintances.or. family.members.we.know.who.have.decided.not.to.make.a.commitment. in.stating.a.marriage.vow.and.establishing.a.marriage.covenant.with.the. one.they.love,.before.engaging.in.sexual.relations,.and.too.many.times.we. let.them.get.by.without.showing.our.disdain.for.going.against.God’s.word .. we,.who.are.living.our.lives.for.Jesus.are.also.confronted.with.sometimes. spectacular.obstacles.to.our.faith ..Remember,.the.thief.comes.to.steal,.kill. and.destroy ..He,.the.devil,.comes.to.steal.God’s.words.and.promises.from. us ..But.Jesus.came.to.give.us.life.more.abundantly ..It.forever.amazes.me.to. what.lengths.God.goes.to.show.us.how.much.he.loves.us ..Here.he.is.not. only.sending.his.only.begotten.Son.to.redeem.us,.but.that.the.Son.will.be. required.to.suffer.all.of.the.attacks.and.humiliation.which.we.mortals.are. also.going.through . Let’s.see.how.he.attacks.Jesus?.The.word.tells.us.that.the.Spirit.drove. Jesus.into.the.wilderness,.right.after.he.was.baptized.by.John.the.Baptist .. It.says.he.was.some.40.days.in.the.desert.and.was.tempted.by.Satan ..It.says. the.angels.ministered.unto.him ..It.is.in.these.times.of.temptation.or.conflict.when.we.as.Christians.either.learn.to.grow,.or.we.become.ones.who. always.speak.the.problem,.not.the.answer ..Let’s.see.how.Jesus.handled.it . First.he.fasted.40.days.and.forty.nights.and.then.it.says.he.was.hungry .. It.says.the.devil.came.and.first.stated.if.he.be.the.Son.of.God,.command. these.stones.be.made.bread ..Isn’t.that.just.like.the.devil.to.attack.you.when. and.where.you.are.the.weakest ..But.Jesus.retaliated.in.the.very.manner. in.which.too.are.to.retaliate,.with.the.word.of.God,.when.he.said.Man. doesn’t.live.by.bread.alone.but.by.every.word.that.proceeds.out.of.the. mouth.of.God . Jesus.was.surely.in.a.very.weakened.condition.having.been.in.the. hot.dry.desert.for.these.forty.days.and.forty.nights,.plus.the.fact.he.was. hungry,.exhausted ..The.desire.for.food.of.course.is.a.normal.thing,.but.in. this.case.the.enemy.was.using.that.very.human.fact.to.get.Jesus.to.obey. him.and.to.not.resist.the.temptation ..It.can.be.like.stealing.food.or.for.that. matter,.being.engaged.in.sex.before.marriage ..God.has.shown.us.those. things.are.wrong.and.whenever.we.go.against.the.perfect.teaching.of.God,. there.will.be.a.price.to.pay ..In.overcoming.this.temptation,.I.believe.God. is.showing.his.love.and.his.manner.of.handling.the.temptation ..There.are. such.constant.and.massive.temptations.placed.before.our.young.people. today.that.it.will.take.not.only.will.power.to.resist.the.temptations,.but. also.a.knowledge.of.what.is.right.and.what.is.wrong ..We.must.get.better. at.bringing.up.our.children.in.the.admonition.of.the.Lord.and.all.of.his. statutes,.then.as.we.get.older,.we.are.less.likely.to.fall.away ..Satan.knew.the.

240 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 241 Faith, Hope, and Love him.in.Matthew.11:11,”.Verily.I.say.unto.you,.Among.them.that.are.born.of. women.there.has.not.risen.a.greater.than.John.the.Baptist:.notwithstanding.he.that.is.least.in.the.kingdom.of.heaven.is.greater.than.he .” That.is.an.odd.statement.and.isn’t.there.to.belittle.John.the.Baptist. and.the.mighty.work.he.carried.out ..It.is.to.let.people.know.that.to.be. listed.in.God’s.Book.of.Life.is.a.mighty.reward.for.just.knowing.that.Jesus. was.sent.by.God.to.redeem.all.of.mankind,.and.those.who.ask.him.into. their.lives.as.Savior.and.then.as.Lord,.will.truly.be.blessed.by.entering. God’s.kingdom.in.heaven.for.all.eternity ..We.can.only.get.a.glimpse.of. the.beauty.of.that.by.some.of.the.wonderful.beauty.we.see.on.this.earthly. planet.we.live.in . Are.we.not.acting.incorrectly?.Out.of.our.God.given.love.for.each.one,. should.we.not.in.some.form.of.love,.let.them.know.it.is.morally.wrong? In.that.time.of.Jesus.in.the.wilderness,.we.see.Satan.offering.Jesus. the.whole.world.if.he.will.just.bow.to.the.devil ..Doesn’t.the.devil.do.the. same.to.us.by.offering.us.all.sorts.of.benefits.if.we.will.accept.his.offer.of. materialism.and.power? The.Lord.is.just.beginning.his.ministry.here.on.earth,.and.the.devil.is. quick.to.tempt.him ..He.will.do.the.same.to.us ..When.we.make.a.decision.to. follow.Jesus,.no.matter.what.the.cost,.we.will.find.all.sorts.of.obstacles.and. temptations.get.in.our.way ..Look.at.the.call.on.John.the.Baptist’s.life ..His. whole.life.was.concentrated.in.going.out.before.the.time.of.Jesus’.ministry. to.tell.the.people.to.repent.and.expect.the.Messiah.to.arrive.and.change. their.lives ..He.was.at.that.for.a.period,.but.sometime.after.Jesus.starts.his. ministry,.John.the.Baptist.was.thrown.into.jail ..He.had.certainly.been.set. aside.for.the.purpose.of.service.to.God . Here.is.a.man.who.would.appear.did.nothing.in.a.normal.manner .. He.wore.odd.clothes,.ate.no.meat,.but.honey.and.grasshoppers ..He.was. obedient.to.God’s.call.on.his.life.no.matter.what.others.might.think ..His. entire.life.was.telling.the.people.of.the.coming.of.their.Savior ..It.had.been. prophesied.over.him.to.Zacharias.that.this.young.boy.had.a.specific.call. on.his.life ..John.the.Baptist.was.more.than.desirous.of.being.obedient.to. that.call . As.he.prophesied.to.the.people.they.were.moved.by.the.authority. with.which.he.spoke ..He.even.spoke.against.Herod.and.his.sin.when.he. married.Herodias,.whom.he.married.illegally ..In.retaliation.she.ordered. his.death.and.the.severing.of.his.head,.which.was.to.be.presented.to.her. on.a.platter ..It.is.hard.to.see.God’s.love.in.that.maneuver,.but.we.are.to. see.things.in.the.spiritual.realm,.not.with.secular.eyes ..Even.though.John. the.Baptist’s.knowledge.was.confined.to.the.Old.Testament,.it.was.all.the. knowledge.he.would.need.to.carry.out.God’s.purpose.in.that.very.life . That.is.true.for.each.of.us.seeking.to.follow.God ..We.are.given.what. we.need.to.carry.out.such.a.ministry.and.mission ..God’s.love.for.you.specifically.and.mankind,.generally,.allows.for.all.that.we.need.to.carry.out. that.very.mission ..Although.Herodias.was.able.to.have.John.the.Baptist. killed,.she.couldn’t.stop.his.message.of.repentance ..His.story.has.been.told. in.the.New.Testament.for.all.of.these.centuries ..As.the.scripture.defines.

243 

The Love of Christ Over.and.over.again.God.showed.his.mighty.love.for.us.by.sending. his.beloved.Son.to.die.on.the.cross.for.us ..Then.Jesus.obediently. came.and.laid.his.life.down.for.us ..He.was.only.doing.what.the.Father.was. instructing.him.to.do ..He.knows.that.as.we.gain.the.absolute.knowledge. that.our.God.not.only.loves.us.but.that.he.provides.for.us.on.a.daily.basis. then.can.we.not.lay.our.lives.down.for.him?.Can.we.not.bring.others.into. God’s.kingdom.by.the.love.we.show.for.each.other?.What.a.different.world. that.is.than.what.we.are.seeing.be.offered.by.those.that.have.been.radicalized.in.the.Muslim.faith . In.Romans.8:31-39.we.see.some.powerful.verses.that.ought.to.give. us.assurance.of.the.love.of.Jesus.for.we.who.have.chosen.to.make.him.our. Lord ..The.passages.follow: *..If.God.be.for.us,.who.can.be.against.us? *..He.that.spared.not.his.own.Son,.but.delivered.him.up.for.us. all,.how.shall.he.not.with.him.also.freely.give.us.all.things? *..Who.shall.lay.any.charge.to.God’s.elect?.It.is.God.that.justifies . *..Who.is.he.that.condemns?.It.is.Christ.that.died,.yea. rather,.that.is.risen.again,.who.is.even.at.the.right. hand.of.God,.that.makes.intercession.for.us . *..Who.shall.separate.us.from.the.love.of.Christ?.Shall.tribulation,.or. distress,.or.persecution,.or.famine,.or.nakedness,.or.peril,.or.sword? *..As.it.is.written,.For.thy.sake.we.are.killed.all.the.day. long:.we.are.accounted.as.sheep.for.the.slaughter . *..Nay,.in.all.these.things.we.are.more.than.conquerors.through.him.that.loved.us . *..For.I.am.persuaded,.that.neither.death,.nor.life,.nor.angels,.nor.

244 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 245 

Jesus at the Well The.story.of.Jesus.talking.to.the.Samaritan.woman.at.the.well.gives. just.another.glimpse.of.his.remarkable.love.for.all.of.mankind ..It. is.a.story.found.in.John.4:1.and.beyond ..It.talks.about.Jesus.departing. from.Judaea.to.go.to.Galilee.and.he.must.go.through.Samaria ..He.was. finding.resistance.to.his.teachings.by.the.religious.leaders.of.the.Jews ..He. was.about.to.do.something.which.was.frowned.on.and.that.was.to.enter. Samaria,.on.his.trip.northward.out.of.Jerusalem . The.area.of.Samaria.had.been.the.region.which.the.Assyrians.had. conquered.earlier.when.they.deported.many.of.the.Jews.to.Assyria ..Then. the.Northern.Kingdom.capital.of.Samaria.was.inhabited.by.some.foreign. born,.non-Jewish.people.who.would.intermarry.with.the.remaining.Jews,. causing.the.offspring.to.be.regarded.as.unholy.and.to.be.frowned.upon. and.shunned ..This.intermarriage.would.result.in.half-breed.individuals. that.would.follow.none.of.the.Hebrew.customs ..The.race.was.known.as. the.Samaritans,.and.the.Jews.whenever.going.north.or.south.would.avoid. that.area . So.for.Jesus.to.travel.right.through.this.land,.certainly.didn’t.improve. his.popularity.with.the.Pharisees.and.other.religious.of.his.time ..He.and. his.disciples.stopped.in.Sychar,.near.to.the.parcel.of.ground.that.Jacob.gave. to.his.son.Joseph ..Jesus.was.weary.of.travelling.and.stopped.at.Jacob’s.well. to.rest ..It.was.there.that.a.woman.of.Samaria.came.to.draw.water.and.when. Jesus.asked.her.give.him.water.to.drink ..The.passage.says.that.his.disciples. had.left.earlier.to.go.to.town.and.buy.some.meat . The.woman.of.Samaria.recognized.that.Jesus.was.a.Jew.and.she.asked. him.the.question.of.why.he.being.a.Jew.would.speak.with.her,.being.she. was.a.Samaritan.woman?.She.let.him.know.that.she.was.certainly.aware. that.the.Jews.would.never.speak.to.a.Samaritan.person ..It.is.then.that.the. love.of.God.became.so.evident ..He.said.to.her,.If.you.knew.the.gift.of.God,.

principalities,.nor.powers,.nor.things.present,.nor.things.to.come, *..Nor.height,.nor.depth,.nor.any.other.creature,.shall.be.able.to. separate.us.from.the.love.of.God,.which.is.in.Christ.Jesus.our.Lord . I.don’t.know.how.anyone.can.make.a.more.profound.statement.about. the.love.of.Jesus.Christ.for.all.of.humanity ..He.more.than.proved.his.love. to.us.by.being.willing.to.lay.his.life.down.for.us . When.we.think.of.our.young.men.and.women.being.willing.and.at. times.anxious.to.join.the.military.services.of.our.country,.and.then.to.go.to. war.knowing.full.well.that.they.might.be.laying.down.their.lives.for.the.rest. of.us.citizens.of.this.great.country,.you.can’t.help.but.feel.proud.of.what. they.are.wanting.to.do.for.all.of.us. .Most.of.them.know.that.they.will.likely. not.be.called.to.lay.down.their.lives.for.others.who.they.do.not.even.know . In.Jesus.case,.he.knew.he.was.going.to.have.to.be.the.Sacrificial.Lamb .. There.was.a.price.to.pay.for.our.sin ..It.just.would.not.vanish,.without.the. payment.by.his.life.and.blood ..What.a.testimony.to.the.love.he.felt.for. each.of.us ..Had.there.only.been.one.person.in.this.world,.which.fit.that. description,.he.would.have.offered.up.his.life . Many.of.us.will.think.we.could.never.be.good.enough.for.such.a.wonderful.thing.to.happen ..There.is.certainly.some.truth.in.that.feeling,.but. God.didn’t.count.our.righteousness,.he.knew.we.could.never.pay.the.price .. Only.his.sinless.Son,.Jesus.could.be.that.perfect.offering.for.our.sin ..Our. part.is.to.come.to.him.and.to.receive.his.marvelous.offer.of.salvation.and. to.praise.and.honor.him.as.we.walk.out.our.lives.on.this.earth.and.also.to. be.with.him.eternally ..His.love.for.us.is.eternal . Paul’s.writings.to.the.Romans,.makes.it.very.clear.that.the.redemptive.power.of.Jesus.has.allowed.all.that.are.born.again.Christians.to.realize. it.isn’t.God.that.is.condemning.us,.but.it.is.the.voice.of.Satan .

246 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 247 

Jesus Eats With Sinners The.story.is.told.in.Matthew.9:9-13.about.a.time.when.Jesus.is.eating. with.sinners ..I.think.this.story.shows.the.love.of.Jesus.and.the.Father. for.all.of.us.who.have.sinned ..That.really.indicates.all.of.mankind ..The. story.in.this.chapter.is.interesting.in.that.in.verse.9.it.states.the.following:.“And.as.Jesus.passed.forth.from.there,.he.saw.a.man.named.Matthew,. sitting.at.the.receipt.of.custom:.and.he.said.to.him,.Follow.me ..And.he. arose,.and.followed.him” . Matthew.was.a.tax.collector,.appointed.by.the.Romans.to.collect.tariff. from.not.only.the.Jews,.which.he.himself.was,.but.also.from.the.merchants. passing.through.that.town ..They.were.persons.not.liked.by.the.locals.as. they.frequently.charged.a.good.deal.more.than.just.the.tax,.so.they.could. line.their.own.pockets ..They.were.disliked.and.even.hated.by.the.Jews. because.of.their.overcharging.and.being.in.league.with.Rome ..A.little.like. the.nation’s.tax.collectors.or.IRS.agents.in.our.times . If.it.weren’t.bad.enough.that.Jesus.would.be.asking.to.have.a.tax.collector.join.him.and.then.to.sit.down.and.eat.with.him,.the.story.in.the. earlier.part.of.that.very.chapter,.tells.of.Jesus.in.his.city.of.Capernaum,.by. the.Sea.of.Galilee,.healing.a.paraplegic ..He.not.only.healed.him.physically,. but.told.him.his.sins.were.forgiven ..Both.of.those.items.were.not.only. unheard.of.in.that.time,.but.seemed.impossible.to.those.watching ..Jesus. was.going.against.all.of.the.customs.of.the.Jewish.people.and.religious.men. of.that.time ..How.dare.he.say,.Your.sins.are.forgiven ..But.Jesus.was.not. moved.by.their.persecution.or.objections ..He.knew.the.power.he.had.and. in.love,.he.acted.as.the.God.man.that.he.was,.and.was.sent.to.be . Back.to.Jesus.with.Matthew.at.Matthew’s.house.having.lunch ..It.says. that.Behold.many.sinners.and.publicans.came.and.sat.down.with.him.and. his.disciples ..Matthew.had.just.been.called.by.Jesus.to.be.one.of.his.disciples,.and.the.story.tells.us.he.jumped.up.immediately.and.followed.Jesus ..

and.who.it.is.that.was.speaking.to.her,.you.would.have.asked.of.him,.and. he.would.have.given.you.“living.water .” Well,.that.confused.her.even.more ..What.is.this.living.water?.She. said.to.him,.Sir,.you.have.nothing.to.draw.any.water.with,.and.the.well.is. so.deep:.from.where.then.are.you.getting.this.living.water?.This.is.just.one. more.example.of.God’s.love.being.available.to.all.and.to.be.able.to.meet. any.circumstance . The.woman.began.to.question.Jesus.as.to.whether.he.was.greater. than.our.father.Jacob,.which.gave.us.the.well?.Jesus.then.confused.her. even.more.by.telling.her.that.whomsoever.drank.from.that.well.will.thirst. again,.but.whosoever.drinks.the.water.that.he.will.give.her.shall.never. thirst.again,.it.shall.spring.to.produce.everlasting.life ..Boy,.is.that.confusing.for.an.unsophisticated.Samaritan.woman ..But.then,.the.love.of.Jesus. comes.forth . Jesus.knows.all.about.this.woman.and.the.sin.which.she.is.living.in. and.the.fact.that.she.has.had.five.husbands.and.the.man.she.is.living.with.is. not.her.husband ..Talk.about.someone.reading.all.of.your.mail ..This.Jewish. man.is.so.different.than.any.others,.first.because.no.other.Jewish.man. would.even.speak.with.her ..His.mention.of.the.living.waters.relates.also.to. the.earlier.scripture.verses.which.talk.about.God.being.the.fountain.of.life. (Psalm.36:9) .

248 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 249 

Jesus Warns Against Looking Down on Others In.Matthew.18:10-14.Jesus.says,. Take.heed.that.you.despise.not.one.of.these.little.ones;.for.I.say. unto.you,.That.in.heaven.their.angels.do.always.behold.the.face.of.my. Father.which.is.in.heaven . For.the.Son.of.man.is.come.to.save.that.which.was.lost . If.a.man.have.a.hundred.sheep,.and.one.of.them.is.gone.astray,.does. he.not.leave.the.ninety.nine.and.goes.to.seek.that.which.was.gone.astray? And.if.he.finds.it,.verily.I.say.unto.you,.he.rejoices.more.of.that.one,. than.of.the.ninety.nine.which.went.not.astray . Even.so.it.is.not.the.will.of.your.Father.which.is.in.heaven,.that.one.of. these.little.ones.should.perish .

As.we.can.see.by.the.above.words.of.our.Lord,.that.we.too.should.be. doing.all.we.can,.in.love,.to.save.every.person.on.this.planet ..He.has.given. us.the.commandment.to.love.the.Lord.our.God.with.our.whole.heart,. mind.and.soul,.and.then.to.love.our.neighbor.as.ourselves . There.certainly.will.be.many.we.may.meet.in.our.walk.here.on.earth. that.we.would.not.feel.much.desire.to.get.them.saved ..But.God.has.good. reason.to.command.that.of.us,.because.He.so.loved.the.world.that.He.sent. his.beloved.Son.to.die.for.us,.when.we.were.yet.sinners ..That.is.one.big. order.for.each.of.us.because.we.can.so.easily.remember.when.someone. rejected.us,.spoke.poorly.of.us,.or.told.lies.about.us,.or.maybe.even.spoke. the.truth.about.us.and.we.didn’t.like.that.either . Even.when.a.spouse.may.leave.you.after.some.years.of.marriage,.it. may.be.hard.to.forgive.and.love.that.person,.but.with.God’s.direction.and.

Is.that.exactly.what.we.are.willing.to.do?.After.all,.Matthew.had.a.good.and. lucrative.position.which.he.now.was.leaving . The.word.says.that.when.the.Pharisees.saw.it,.they.said.unto.his.disciples,.Why.eateth.your.Master.with.publicans.and.sinners ..I.wonder.if. we.would.have.been.like.the.Pharisees?.Would.we.proclaim.objection.to. some.former.sinner.receiving.blessings.from.God?.Perhaps.some.prison. person,.after.being.released.from.prison.getting.some.spectacular,.high. paying.job?.Or.might.we.consider.that.this.very.person.may.have.laid.his. life.down.to.serve.the.Master?.Repented.for.earlier.sin.and.having.been. forgiven,.now.is.able.to.start.life.over.again . The.story.then.tells.us,.that.when.Jesus.heard.their.comments,.he.said. to.them,.They.that.be.whole,.need.not.a.physician,.but.they.that.are.sick .. He.went.on.to.say,.You.go.and.learn.what.that.means,.I.will.have.mercy.and. not.sacrifice:.for.I.am.not.come.to.call.the.righteous,.but.sinners.to.repentance ..I.suspect.that.the.haughty.religious.of.that.time.and.moment.were. even.more.wroth.with.this.Jesus ..Like,.who.does.he.think.he.is?.Again,.we. see.God’s.love.for.his.people ..Any.sacrifice.that.needed.to.be.made,.he.was. willing.to.do ..After.all,.he.came.to.teach.us.all.and.to.love.us.all . Are.we.able.to.duplicate.his.love,.to.those.around.us?.Or.are.we. particularly.selective.to.whom.we.show.love?.We.will.discuss.briefly.the. various.types.of.love.which.are.talked.about.in.scripture,.but.the.God.kind. of.love,.expressed.here.by.Jesus,.is.a.love.which.we.should.be.able.to.extend. to.all .

250 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 251 

God’s Love Many.people.are.motivated.to.enter.covenant.relationships.on.the. basis.of.love ..Often,.what.they.call.love.is.much.closer.to.lust .. It.nearly.always.is.an.emotional.feeling ..A.euphoria.and.passion.which. demands.expression . God.certainly.has.nothing.against.love ..He.is.love ..The.bible.tells.us. in.1.John.4:16.the.very.character.and.nature.of.God.is.love . The.bible.tells.us.that.love.is.the.greatest.thing.in.the.world:.1. Corinthians.13:13.declares,.“and.now.abides.our.obedience.to.God’s.commandments ..Love.means.“working.no.ill”.saith.hope.and.love,.these.three;. but.the.greatest.of.these.is.love .”.The.bible.admonishes.us.to.love.God.and. to.love.others ..Jesus.said.we.are.to.love.God.with.our.whole.heart,.mind. and.soul.and.strength.and.to.love.our.neighbors.as.ourselves ..In.1.John. 4:21.John.wrote,.He.who.loves.God.must.also.love.his.brother . There.are.a.few.things.the.bible.teaches.about.love,.however,.that. aren’t.as.widely.taught.or.known . Romans.13:8,10.states,.Owe.no.man.anything.but.to.love.one.another:. for.he.that.loves.another.has.fulfilled.the.law…Love.works.no.ill.to.his. neighbor:.therefore.love.is.the.fulfilling.of.the.law . 1.peter.4:8.Love.shall.cover.a.multitude.of.sins . Love.is.the.attitude,.the.mindset,.the.“soul.environment”,.the.motivation,.the.perspective.in.which.we.are.to.exercise.our.obedience.to.God’s. commandments ..Love.means.“working.no.ill”.to.other.people ..It.means. doing.him.or.her.to.be ..Everything.that.builds,.promotes,.edifies,.encourages,.and.helps.another.person.to.be.the.person.that.God.created.him.or. her.to.be ..Love.means.doing.those.things.that.help.another.person.enter. into.relationship.with.Jesus.Christ.so.they.might.experience.forgiveness. of.sins.and.receive.eternal.life ..Love.is.not.just.a.nice.warm.feeling,.but.an.

help,.we.can.do.that.quite.easily ..It.just.takes.wanting.to,.and.wanting.to.be. obedient.to.what.God’s.Holy.Spirit.is.saying.to.our.spirit,.for.that.to.occur . Those.people.who.choose.to.walk.in.unforgiveness,.over.many.years,. will.show.the.harm.that.decision.has.made.in.their.own.lives ..Their.faces. will.show.the.anger.and.hatred.they.have.fostered.for.so.many.years.of. their.own.lives . With.the.love.of.Jesus.residing.in.our.hearts,.we.can.learn.to.walk. through.those.very.difficult.moments.and.know.too,.the.other.person.is. rejecting.God,.not.you ..That.direction.brings.absolute.peace.and.a.more. fruitful.and.God.filled.life .

252 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 253 

Four Types of Love The.bible.speaks.of.several.kinds.of.love.and.each.kind.is.related.to. covenant.relationships.in.very.unique.ways . Agape

This.is.the.word.for.“God’s.love’ ..In.the.Greek,.the.word.literally.means. “honor” ..It.describes.a.love.that.goes.beyond.the.limits.of.thinking.and. feeling ..It.is.a.love.without.limits.and.boundaries ..It.needs.no.rhyme.or. reason.to.put.into.effect ..It.is.love.for.love’s.sake ..It.is.love.because.the. person.who.is.expressing.this.love.chooses.to.honor.another.person.with. bestowal.of.genuine,.unconditional.love ..Agape.love.is.the.love.of.John. 3:16,.which.says,.“For.God.so.loved.the.world.that.He.gave.His.only.begotten.Son,.that.whosoever.believeth.in.Him.should.not.perish,.but.have. everlasting.life .” When.Jesus.said,.“Love.your.enemies,.bless.them.that.curse.you,.do. good.to.them.that.hate.you,.and.pray.for.them.which.despitefully.use.you,. and.persecute.you,”.He.was.talking.about.“agape”.love ..(Matthew.5:44) Agape.love.compels.a.person.to.make.the.first.move.and.then,.to. continue.to.express.love.even.in.the.face.of.rejection ..All.Christians.are. required.to.hve.and.to.nurture.this.type.of.love ..It.is.love.that.is.not.always. reciprocal,.but.it.is.the.most.potent.force.for.positive.change.this.world. has.ever.known.and.can.ever.know . A.covenant.relationship.calls.for.this.type.of.self-sacrificing,.givingfirst.love .

Phileo

attitude ..Love.is.potent!.Love.is.action!.Love.is.Doing.what.is.beneficial.to. others,.now.and.for.the.sake.of.all.eternity . When.we.love.another.person,.we.love.without.regard.to.their.sins,. shortcomings,.failures,.flaws.or.foibles ..That’s.what.it.means.for.love.to. “cover”.a.multitude.of.sins ..It.doesn’t.mean.that.we.are.blind.to.their.sin,. nor.does.it.mean.that.our.love.atones.for.their.sin ..No!.Only.the.blood.of. Jesus.can.atone.for.sin ..We.must.never.be.blind.to.what.is.wrong,.regardless.of.who.the.erring.person.might.be . We.are,.however,.to.love.with.such.loyalty,.perseverance,.and.commitment.that.no.matter.what.a.person.does,.we.continue.to.love.that. person.and.to.believe.for.God’s.highest.and.best.in.his.or.her.life . That’s.the.way.God.loves.us . And.that’s.the.way.God.desires.for.us.to.love.others . The.bible.tells.us: For.God.so.loved.the.world.that.He.gave.His.only.begotten.Son,.that. whosoever.believes.in.him.should.not.perish,.but.have.everlasting.life .. John.3:16.Love.gives.sacrificially . Though.I.speak.with.tongues.of.men.and.of.angels,.and.have.not. charity,.I.am.become.as.tinkling.brass ..Or.a.tinkling.cymbal ..And.though.I. have.the.gift.of.prophesy,.and.understand.all.mysteries,.and.all.knowledge,. and.though.I.have.all.faith.so.that.I.could.remove.mountains,.and.have.not. love,.I.am.nothing ..And.though.I.bestow.all.my.goods.to.feed.the.poor,. and.though.I.give.my.body.to.be.burned,.and.have.not.charity,.it.profits. me.nothing . 1.Corinthians.13:1-3 ..Nothing.material.or.tangible—.Indeed,.no. action.or.behavior---can.replace.the.value.of.love ..Everything.we.do.and. give.must.be.given.with.love . We.love.Him,.because.He.first.loved.us.1.John.4:19.Genuine.love. doesn’t.sit.back.and.wait.for.love.to.be.expressed.from.others ..No!.Love.is. proactive ..It.reaches.out.first,.gives.first,.apologizes.first,.makes.amends. first.and.forgives.first . There.is.absolutely.nothing.fake.or.frothy.about.the.kind.of.love.God. desires.that.we.give.to.those.with.whom.we.have.covenant.relationships .. Our.challenge.is.to.love.those.we.are.in.covenant,.just.as.Christ.loves.us .

254 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 255 Faith, Hope, and Love The.purpose.of.eros.is.the.satisfaction.of.one.other.person:.your. spouse ..It.is.not.love.that.results.in.self-gratification;.that.is.lust ..It.is. love.that.results.in.gratification.of.the.other.person.in.a.two.persononly.relationship . Agape.tells.us.“God.so.loved.the.world” . Phileo.tells.us.to.love.the.brotherhood Eros.says: Drink.water.from.your.own.cistern,.and.running.water.from.your. own.well . Should.your.fountains.be.dispersed.abroad,.streams.of.water.in. the.streets? Let.them.be.only.your.own,.and.not.for.strangers.with.you . Let.your.fountain.be.blessed,.and.rejoice.with.the.wife.of.your.youth . As.a.loving.deer.and.a.graceful.doe,.let.her.breasts.satisfy.you.at.all. times,.and.always.be.enraptured.with.her.love . For.why.should.you,.my.son,.be.enraptured.by.an.immoral.woman,. and.be.embraced.in.the.arms.of.a.seductress?.Proverbs.5:15-20 Eros.is.the.fulfilling.of.the.“one.flesh”.concept.God.initiated ..In.the. context.of.a.marriage.covenant,.eros.deepens.a.relationship.between.a. husband.and.a.wife . A.healthy.marriage.will.have.a.combination.of.all.three.types.of.love,. but.there.is.yet.another.love.that.is.often.overlooked.when.people.describe. biblical.love ..That.is.“chesed .”

Chesed

Also.spelled.as.“hesed”.in.some.reference.books,.this.Hebrew.word. refers.to.the.type.of.love.that.is.INSIDE.covenant.relationships ..It.is.often. translated.as.“loving.kindness”,.“merciful.kindness”.or.simply.“mercy”.or. “kindness” ..Read.a.few.verses.that.reflect.what.God’s.word.says.about.this. wonderful.expression.of.love: A.Psalm.of.David.when.the.Prophet.Nathan.came.to.him.after.he.had. gone.into.Bathsheba ..“Have.mercy.on.me,.O.God,.according.to.thy.loving. kindness:.according.to.the.multitude.of.thy.tender.mercies.blot.out.my. transgressions ..Psalm.51:1

This.is.“brotherly.love .”.The.bible.has.numerous.references.to.this.kind.of. love.among.Christians . Be.kindly.affectioned.one.to.another.with.brotherly.love,.in.honor. preferring.one.another ..Romans.12:10 *..But.as.touching.brotherly.love.you.need.not.that. I.write.unto.you:.for.you.yourselves.are.taught.of. God.to.love.one.another ..Thessalonians.4:9 *..Let.brotherly.love.continue ..Hebrews.13:1 *..Seeing.you.have.purified.your.souls.in.obeying.the.truth.through. the.Spirit.unto.unfeigned.love.of.the.brethren.see.that.you. love.one.another.with.a.pure.heart.fervently ..1.Peter.1:22 *..And.to.godliness.brotherly.kindness.and.to.brotherly.kindness.love. 2.Peter.1:7.Agape.love.has.no.boundaries.but.brotherly.love.has. limitations ..It.is.extended.to.those.who.are.in.relationship.with.one. another,.either.by.blood.or.by.mutual.faith,.cause.or.purpose ..It.is.a. love.that.is.“shared .”.Phileo.love.carries.with.it.expectation.of.acceptance ..We.expect.those.for.whom.we.have.phileo.love.to.“like”.us,. to.be.open.with.us,.and.to.engage.in.mutual.activities.and.vulnerable.communication.with.us ..This.love.is.developed.by.people.who. share.a.daily.life ..It.oftentimes.develops.after.a.marriage.ceremony .. Genesis.24:67.tells.us,.“Isaac.brought.her.(Rebekah).into.his.mother. Sarah’s.tent,.and.took.Rebekah.and.she.became.his.wife;.and.he. loved.her ..In.our.world,.we.often.think.that.the.formula.is.fixed:. love.leads.to.marriage ..In.many.cases,.marriage.can.lead.to.love .

Eros

This.is.passionate,.sexual.love ..It.is.the.most.intimate.physical.expression. of.love,.but.it.is.often.the.most.abused.type.of.love ..Eros.is.not.intended. for.expression.to.a.person.of.your.same.sex ..Nor.is.intended.for.expression. to.a.person.of.the.opposite.sex.who.is.not.your.spouse ..Eros.is.confined.to. covenant.marriage . Agape.love.is.all.encompassing . Phileo.love.is.limited.to.relatives.and.close.friends . Eros.is.limited.in.the.Bible.to.one.man.and.one.woman .

256 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 257 Faith, Hope, and Love How.difficult.is.it.at.times.to.show,.mercy.and.kindness.when.we.have. been.shown.NO.mercy.or.have.been.treated.in.a.very.unkind.manner!.And. yet.this.is.what.Christ.commands.us ..His.words.are.not.a.suggestion-they. are.a.command ..We.are.to.love.even.when.the.object.of.our.love.is.unlovable!.We.are.to.do.“good”.to.our.enemy,.even.when.that.enemy.is.a.beloved. spouse,.child,.parent.or.friend ..We.are.to.pray.for.those.who.persecute.us. and.show.kindness.in.word.and.deed.to.those.who.have.set.themselves.up. against.us . Countless.marriages.in.our.nation.seem.to.portray.a.picture.of. perfect.love… .on.the.“exterior .”.Countless.families.seem.to.be.“loving”….on. the.“exterior .”.The.truth.is,.countless.marriages.and.families.are.seething. on.the.“interior”.with.anger,.bitterness,.and.resentment . Spouses.often.say.and.do.unkind.things.to.one.another ..Perhaps. the.most.unkind.stab.to.the.heart.is.to.have.a.spouse.file.for.divorce.and. reject.the.marriage.and.at.times.the.entire.family ..The.response.of.love. that.Christ.commands.is.a.selfless.response,.a.response.that.extends.mercy. and.kindness.even.in.the.face.of.the.most.cruel.insults,.criticisms,.and. hateful.actions . “But.what.about.situations.of.abuse”?.you.may.ask . Abuse.is.not.rooted.in.love ..It.is.rooted.in.a.need.for.“power” ..The. abuser.is.often.acting.out.of.deep-seated.resentments.and.hatred,.which. may.have.festered.for.decades.or.from.early.childhood ..Abuse.is.a.persistent.hurtful.behavior.and.there.is.nothing.in.the.bible.that.commands.a. person.to.stay.in.an.abusive.situation ..That.does.not.mean,.however,.that. a.person.has.a.“release”.from.a.command.to.love ..The.abuser.may.have. become.“as.an.enemy”,.but.if.that.is.the.case,.then.the.abuser.needs.to.be. treated.in.the.way.Jesus.commanded:.“Love.your.enemies,.bless.those.who. curse.you,.do.good.to.those.who.hate.you,.and.pray.for.those.who.spitefully.use.you.and.persecute.you ..Matthew.5:44 Note.the.four.specific.things.Jesus.commanded: Love.your.enemies ..To.love.is.to.give-to.find.an.opportunity.to.do.or. say.something.kind.and.merciful.to.the.person.who.has.assaulted,.insulted,. or.rejected.you ..At.times,.to.love.is.to.give.a.person.“space”.to.cool.of,. reflect.on.their.behavior,.and.seek.God ..At.times,.to.love.is.to.give.the. person.the.very.thing.that.he.or.she.wants---separation,.which.is.not.the. *..The.merciful.man.does.good.to.his.own.soul:.but.he. that.is.cruel.troubles.his.own.flesh ..Proverbs.11:17 *..Now.therefore,.I.pray.you,.swear.unto.me.by.the.Lord,.since. I.have.showed.you.kindness.that.you.will.also.show.kindness.unto.my.father’s.house,.and.give.me.a.true.token . *..For.the.mountains.shall.depart,.and.the.hills.be.removed;.but.my.kindness.shall.not.depart.from.thee,.neither.shall.the.covenant.of.my.peace.be.removed,.says. the.Lord.that.has.mercy.on.thee ..Isaiah.54:10 *..Thou.shall.not.bow.down.thyself.to.them,.nor.serve.them:.for.I. the.Lord.thy.God.am.a.jealous.God,.visiting.the.iniquity.of.the. fathers.upon.the.children.unto.the.third.and.fourth.generation.of. them.that.hate.me;.and.showing.mercy.unto.thousands.of.them. that.love.me,.and.keep.my.commandments ..Exodus.20:5-6 *..For.I.desired.mercy,.and.not.sacrifice;.and.the.knowledge.of.God.more.than.burnt.offerings ..Hosea.6:6 *..Chesed.is.God’s.unfailing.love,.a.love.that.never.weakens.but.is. always.present.and.never.diluted ..It.is.the.mercy.a.parent.has. when.he.or.she.looks.upon.a.child,.even.though.the.child.is.weak. and.vulnerable ..Chesed.is.love.PLUS.loyalty.and.mercy ..When.we. are.determined.to.be.faithful.to.our.covenant.vows,.our.love.goes. beyond.feelings.to.become.a.love.that.is.a.“decision”.or.“Choice”. to.extend.mercy.and.kindness.in.all.situations,.at.all.times . The.extending.of.mercy.and.kindness.to.others.is.a.central.teaching. of.Jesus,.who.is.recorded.in.the.Gospel.of.Matthew.as.saying: But.if.you.love.those.who.love.you,.what.credit.is.that.to.you?.For. even.sinners.love.those.who.love.them ..And.if.you.do.good.to.those.who. do.good.to.you,.what.credit.is.that.to.you?For.even.sinners.do.the.same .. And.if.you.lend.to.those.from.whom.you.hope.to.receive.back,.what.credit. is.that.to.you?.For.even.sinners.lend.to.sinners.to.receive.as.much.back .. But.love.your.enemies,.do.good.and.lend,.hoping.for.nothing.in.return;. and.your.reward.will.be.great,.and.you.will.be.sons.of.the.Highest ..For. He.is.kind.to.the.unthankful.and.evil ..Therefore.be.merciful,.just.as.your. father.is.merciful ..Luke.6:32-36

258 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 259 

Jesus, His Death On the Cross Mark.15:25.And.it.was.the.third.hour.and.they.crucified.him . And.the.subscription.of.his.accusation.was.written.over,. THE.KING.OF.THE.JEWS . And.with.him.they.crucify.two.thieves;.one.on.his.right.hand,.and.the. other.on.his.left . And.the.scripture.was.fulfilled,.which.says,.And.he.was.numbered. with.the.transgressors . And.they.that.passed.by.railed.on.him,.wagging.their.heads,.and. saying,.Ah,.thou.that.destroys.the.temple,.and.builds.it.in.three.days, Save.thyself,.and.come.down.from.the.cross . And.the.ninth.hour.Jesus.cried.from.the.cross,.My.God,.my.God,.why. have.thou.forsaken.me? And.Jesus.cried.with.a.loud.voice.and.gave.up.the.Ghost .

Can.you.imagine.the.love.that.Jesus.and.the.Father.have.for.you.and. me?.That.he.would.volunteer.to.die.for.me.and.my.sins.and.you.and.your. sins ..Why?.Only.because.He.wanted.to.redeem.you.and.me.from.the.punishment.we.deserved.for.not.only.man’s.original.sin,.but.for.all.of.the.times. we.voluntarily.broke.his.laws.and.were.disobedient.to.his.commandments . We.needed.the.Perfect.Lamb.of.God.and.His.magnificent.sacrifice. on.the.cross.to.redeem.us.from.what.we.deserved,.and.to.give.us.a.future. we.never.earned . What.a.life.he.lived.for.us.mortals ..We.can.never.fully.appreciate.or. maybe.even.understand.the.sacrifice.which.he.made .71

same.as.a.divorce ..At.times,.to.love.is.to.provide.the.person.an.opportunity. to.receive.wise.counsel . *..Bless.those.who.curse.you ..To.“bless”.is.to.say.something.positive.about.the.person.and.to.the.person ..It.is.to.replace.a.negative. and.hateful.barrage.of.words.with.positive.and.uplifting.words . *..Do.good.to.those.who.hate.you ..To.“do.good”.is.to.engage.in. a.tangible.and.visible.action.that.benefits.the.other.person . *..Pray.for.those.who.persecute.you ..To.pray.means. that.we.ask.God.to.deal.with.the.person.in.the.way. HE.sees.as.just.and.eternally.beneficial . *..Love,.bless,.do.good.and.pray—those.four.responses.to. negative,.hateful.or.abusive.behavior.can.be.done.“at.a.distance” ..You.do.not.need.to.remain.in.harm’s.way,.nor.are. you.required.to.keep.your.children.in.harm’s.way . There.is.no.substitute.for.mercy . There.is.no.equal.to.love . You.can.choose.to.be.an.agent.of.mercy.and.love.even.if.you.are. mistreated.or.even.rejected .

261 

The Life We lived In.writing.this.book,.I.decided.to.end.it.as.a.tribute.to.my.wife,.Lynne,. who.has.been.with.me.now.for.going.on.forty.years ..As.they.say,.when. you’re.having.fun,.time.really.flies . I.suspect.in.our.lives.together.we.have.seen.about.as.many.interesting. moments.as.certainly.the.average.marriage,.but.I.suspect.much.more.than. that ..We.have.learned.to.grow.through.our.mistakes.and.through.some. attacks.to.where.we.are.certainly.much.more.understanding,.forgiving,. and.resilient.in.our.one.flesh.covenant.of.marriage.which.we.enjoy.at.this. point.in.time . . Marriage.truly.is.an.interesting.adventure.and.especially.for.the.not. too.fainthearted ..In.some.ways,.I.think.we.take.our.lives.together.and.even. our.time.on.this.earth,.too.seriously ..In.many.ways.we.should.just.realize. so.much.of.what.we.are.going.through,.good.or.bad,.is.just.vanity ..We.need. to.be.more.light.hearted.and.keep.a.good.sense.of.humor ..Our.final.home. is.not.as.we.know.it,.but.eventually.in.heaven.praising.God.for.all.of.the. opportunities.He.has.given.to.us . Lynne.and.my.life.together.started.in.1970.when.we.were.both.living. in.an.apartment.in.Pasadena,.California ..Lynne.and.I.had.both.gone. through.divorce.earlier.and.were.both.getting.on.with.our.lives ..Let.me. state.at.this.moment.that.divorce.is.by.no.means.God’s.best,.and.should. probably.never.have.happened.in.either.of.our.lives,.but.unfortunately.did . Neither.of.us.had.any.strong.religious.affiliations.or.teachings.in.our. earlier.lives,.which.could.have.been.helpful.in.our.lives,.later ..But,.today,. that.is.the.norm.of.little.or.no.Christian.basis.for.marriage.being.really. taught.to.our.young.people ..That.is.sad,.because.a.good.understanding. of.the.strength.of.the.marriage.covenant.can.be.most.helpful.for.the. young.Christian . It.was.in.1972.that.Lynne.and.I.married.after.a.period.of.courting .. Lynne.was.an.administrative.assistant.to.a.fine.business.man.working.in.

262 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 263 Faith, Hope, and Love The.work.of.irrigating.the.hay.fields.during.the.summer.months.was. fairly.arduous,.but.when.the.haying.started,.that’s.when.the.work.really. got.tough ..I.wasn’t.supposed.to.lift.anything.much.heavier.than.a.phone. book.because.of.my.having.five.lumbar.disc.removals,.but.I.was.out.there. lifting.all.of.that.hay,.sometimes.multiple.times ..Lynne.always.helped.and. when.we.got.day.laborers.to.help.us.during.the.haying.season,.Lynne.had. her.hands.full.taking.care.of.the.baby,.the.house,.preparing.a.meal.for.the. “hands”.and.sometimes.taking.care.of.Josie,.the.cow . We.enjoyed.our.several.years.doing.that.work.and.Lynne.had.the. opportunity.of.helping.with.the.“branding”.and.the.“cutting”.of.the.calves .. In.that.department,.I.had.done.enough.of.that.as.a.child,.but.now.as.a. surgeon.I.felt.we.should.do.it.more.surgically.and.at.least.with.local.anesthesia.so.those.darling.calves.wouldn’t.be.hurting ..I.would.get.them.down. by.roping.or.in.the.squeezer.and.then.inject.them.with.some.xylocaine. anesthetic.and.then.proceed.with.a.surgical.castration.and.sew.them.up .. They.did.very.well.doing.it.that.way ..It.may.have.taken.a.little.longer.but. then.I.could.look.those.young.steers.in.the.eyes,.later,.and.know.I.hadn’t. made.that.procedure.either.too.painful.or.difficult.for.them ..Any.other. cowboy.probably.would.have.laughed.at.me,.but,.oh.well . I.tried.using.a.local.anesthetic.on.the.large.Angus.cattle.we.were. branding,.when.I.had.them.in.the.squeezer,.but.I.found.the.brands.were. not.effectively.branding.the.cattle ..It.was.too.bad.because.it.surely.was.less. painful.for.them,.but.I.wasn’t.doing.well.making.it.all.work ..I.figured.I.did. a.bit.better.doing.oral.and.maxillofacial.surgery.on.humans ..I.don’t.even. remember.the.cows.ever.saying.thanks ..A.few.times.it.seems.they.did.all. they.could.to.kill.me ..They.were.big.mothers . The.ranching.days.on.“The.Little.Creek.Ranch”.was.a.treat.for.Lynne. and.me.in.those.early.years.of.our.marriage,.but.the.income.was.never. sufficient.to.stay.on.the.ranch ..It.became.necessary.after.a.few.years.to. move.off.the.ranch.but.to.stay.in.the.area.of.Medford.and.to.purchase. small.pieces.of.land,.fix.them.up.and.sell.them ..I.now.purchased.a.backhoe. and.a.dump.truck.and.a.bulldozer.so.I.could.physically.accomplish.all. that.needed.to.be.accomplished ..Over.the.years.at.Julian,.in.my.youth,.I. had.done.much.of.this.type.of.construction.work.so.it.was.again.like.old. home.week . his.own.company.and.managing.and.owning.some.smaller.hospitals.in. the.Southern.California.area ..We.were.both.living.in.Pasadena.only.a.few. blocks.from.my.oral.surgery.practice . After.our.wedding,.Lynne.came.to.work.in.my.office.as.an.office. manager ..It.wasn’t.too.long.after.we.were.married.that.I.had.to.have.my. third.lumbar.surgery.which.kept.me.out.of.work.for.several.months ..At. that.time.we.decided.to.move.my.practice.down.closer.to.the.beach.cities. and.that.would.give.us.a.chance.to.live.in.Palos.Verdes,.which.is.known. for.its.beauty.and.even.for.some.smaller.horse.properties ..Our.time.living. there.was.most.enjoyable.and.our.first.son,.Andy,.was.born.at.the.Little. Company.of.Mary.Hospital.in.Torrance.in.1974 . Within.a.couple.of.years,.we.got.itchy.feet.to.move.to.the.vicinity. of.Medford.Oregon.and.to.buy.a.cattle.ranch.on.Williams.Creek.in.the. Applegate.Valley.area ..That.was.a.real.treat ..It.was.100.acre.hay.and.cattle. ranch.with.a.beautiful.creek.running.right.through.the.ranch ..I.had.grown. up.on.a.cattle.ranch.in.Julian.California.during.the.Depression.years,.so. cow.milking,.branding,.cutting,.doctoring,.roping.and.whatever.else.was. somewhat.old.hat.to.me ..Matter.of.fact.I.didn’t.think.I.would.ever.be.dumb. enough.to.purchase.a.milk.cow.after.milking.one.all.the.years.of.my.Grades. 3.through.12,.but.in.Oregon,.I.forgot.and.did.buy.a.Jersey.milk.cow . We.had.also.purchased.about.50.Black.Angus.cows.and.one.bull.and. that.started.our.“cattle.ranching .”.We.did.purchase.a.horse.for.Lynne.and. one.for.me,.too ..Mine.was.a.sorrel.quarter.horse.named.Tara ..She.was.a. beauty ..We.bought.a.tamer.horse.for.Lynne.and.she.learned.to.ride.and. I.sure.taught.her.“quick”.how.to.milk.that.5.gallon.a.day.Jersey.milk.cow. named,.Josie ..Lynne.did.very.well.at.that.particular.chore.when.I.would.be. gone.to.Los.Angeles.in.the.middle.of.the.week.to.operate.on.patients ..In. the.winter.months,.during.the.days.that.I.would.have.flown.back.to.LA,. Lynne.would.have.to.go.to.the.barn.and.milk.Josie.and.bring.young.Andy. with.her . We.raised.and.increased.our.cattle.herd.and.grew.about.300-400.tons. of.grass.hay.each.year.on.about.80.acres ..It.was.a.beautiful.ranch.with. the.river.winding.through.and.the.mountains.rising.to.about.6000.feet.in. height.at.the.southern.end.of.the.property ..The.weather.was.great.and.the. views.were.spectacular ..In.many.ways.we.felt.we.were.in.heaven .

264 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 265 Faith, Hope, and Love losing.everything.you.have.ever.worked.for.including.wife,.family,.ranch,. home.medical.practice.and.building.and.plane.it.seems.a.bit.ludicrous.to. take.up.flying.Cessna.Citation.airplanes . But,.that.is.exactly.what.God.was.calling.me.to.do ..Lynne,.of.course. was.getting.on.with.her.life.and.proceeded.with.the.divorce.action ..But,. I.moved.to.the.Southern.California.region,.close.to.where.Lynne.and.the. boys.lived.and.again.the.Lord.let.me.know.I.was.to.learn.to.fly.jet.airplanes,. which.I.did ..It.really.wasn’t.the.fact.that.I.could.become.a.jet.pilot,.but.God. had.another.plan.which.I.was.to.learn.about.shortly . God.knew.exactly.who.he.wanted.me.to.learn.to.fly.jets.under ..It.was. Captain.Dale.Black,.a.former.TWA.captain.who.had.started.his.own.jet. flying.school.on.the.Long.Beach.Airport ..It.was.Dale.Black.who.then.led. me.to.the.Lord.and.pointed.me.to.attempting.to.save.my.marriage . What.a.refreshing.idea,.that.somehow.a.marriage.may.be.brought. back.from.the.brink ..It.was.a.foreign.land.and.path.for.me.to.follow.in. 1983,.but.one.I.instinctively.knew.I.was.to.follow ..Nothing.about.getting. on.with.my.life.seemed.right.to.me ..I.just.was.not.in.the.mood.to.go.pursuing.a.new.wife.and.I.knew.that.there.would.be.no.guarantee.that.another. marriage.would.end.up.any.differently . As.Dale.and.his.dear.wife,.Paula,.instructed.me.in.the.ways.of.the. Lord,.I.became.a.sponge,.never.getting.enough ..In.the.meantime.Lynne. seemed.to.be.enjoying.her.freedom,.at.least.on.the.surface ..I.now.was.a. born.again.Christian.and.that.probably.bugged.Lynne.even.more ..In.time. I.got.the.boys.born.again.and.water.baptized,.as.was.I,.and.then.it.became. 3.against.1 ..Lynne.didn’t.have.a.chance,.but.she.didn’t.know.it.quite.yet . It.was.about.2.years.after.Lynne.had.left.for.greener.pastures.when,. because.of.my.continuous.prayers,.she.was.convicted.that.she.should. return.and.again.we.were.married,.but.this.time.at.Jack.Hayford’s.Church. On.The.Way,.with.all.of.us.being.born.again,.Spirit.filled.Christians ..I.was. being.so.enlightened.by.God.as.to.the.power.of.our.marriage.covenant,.that. I.just.knew.the.other.world.was.completely.against.what.God.had.ordered . God.measurably.increased.our.knowledge.and.belief.in.how.strong. our.marriage.covenant.was ..As.I.have.said.in.a.number.of.books.which. I.have.written.on.this.subject,.that.no.Judge.has.the.ability.or.power.to. destroy.a.covenant.of.marriage.between.two.born.again,.Spirit.filled. Lynne.had.been.busy.on.the.ranch.raising.a.few.head.of.colored. sheep.to.gain.wool.from.and.so.on.her.spinning.machine.she.would.make. herself.some.yarn.and.then.she.would.make.sweaters.and.other.clothing .. Lynne.was.very.good.in.those.tasks.and.the.clothes.which.she.made.were. excellent ..Beside,.she.enjoyed.that.variety.of.work,.too ..It.wasn’t.long.and. Lynne.was.expecting.again.and.this.time.Andy.would.have.a.young.baby. brother.about.three.years.younger.than.he.was . It.was.just.after.that.pregnancy.that.Lynne.got.very.sick.and.was. losing.a.lot.of.weight.and.getting.to.whether.I.was.wondering.if.she.was. going.to.make.it ..It.turned.out.because.of.the.stress.of.her.pregnancy.that. Lynne.found.out.she.had.Celiac.disease,.an.allergic.type.reaction.to.various. seeds.like.barley.and.oats ..It.was.causing.her.a.severe.health.problem.but. then.we.got.her.on.gluten.free.food.products.and.she.began.to.rally,.and. has.done.very.well.over.the.years . In.time.we.had.to.vacate.our.dream.life.in.Oregon.and.return.to.the. State.where.I.was.licensed.to.practice.surgery.and.hopefully.gain.a.bit.more. income ..After.a.few.years.where.we.lived.in.the.Ukiah.area.of.Mendocino. County.in.Northern.California,.and.where.we.had.initially.purchased.a. practice,.we.decided.to.build.a.new.home ..It.was.during.those.perhaps. more.stressful.moments.that.Lynne.decided.she.wanted.to.leave.our.marriage.and.she.returned.with.the.children.to.the.Southern.California.area. where.her.folks.resided ..It.was.devastating.to.me,.as.I.thought.we.were.just. getting.our.feet.grounded . Now,.what.Bob?.After.a.few.months.of.living.alone.in.the.small.town. of.Willits,.I.decided.I.thought.life.would.somehow.be.better.if.I.got.closer. to.my.children ..That.meant.leaving.the.Northern.city,.allowing.my.practice. to.fold.and.to.basically.lose.all.we.had.acquired.in.the.way.of.a.home,.our. small.ranch.in.Springfield.Oregon,.on.the.McKenzie.River,.a.plane.and. Lord.knows.what.else.to.be.lost ..It.was.a.terrible.decision.to.make,.but.I. had.enjoyed.our.lives.together.and.raising.the.two.young.sons.and.didn’t. feel.like.being.that.far.from.them . For.anyone.going.through.divorce,.it.is.very.devastating,.especially. to.the.one.who.is.being.rejected ..It.was.through.this.time.of.hurt.that.the. Lord.got.my.attention.by.directing.me.to.learn.to.fly.jet.aircraft ..I.had.my. private,.instrument.and.multiengine.approvals.and.if.I.was.going.to.go.any. farther,.I.guess.the.jet.aircraft.approval.would.be.next ..But.when.you.are.

266 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 267 Faith, Hope, and Love such.destruction.of.such.a.calamity,.would.want.to.be.helpful.to.those.on. similar.paths . As.the.Lord.had.shown.me,.it.was.imperative.that.we.first.be.born. again.and.then.with.the.extra.power.of.being.Spirit.filled,.with.evidence.of. speaking.in.tongues,.one.becomes.a.very.effective.force.against.the.wiles. of.the.devil . Today.as.Lynne.and.I.live.out.our.final.years.together.here.on.this. earth,.we.can’t.help.but.marvel.at.how.God.can.direct.our.steps.in.ways,. which.in.the.natural,.may.seem.odd.or.foreign.to.us,.but.in.the.pattern.He. has.chosen,.they.make.much.more.sense ..Certainly.today.we.can.laugh. over.mistakes.we.made.even.when.we.did.things.that.were.hurtful.to.our. spouse,.but.where.we.learned.from.those.mistakes.not.only.how.to.forgive,. but.how.to.laugh.over.them ..Certainly.humor.needs.to.be.a.force.in.our. lives.for.good ..Without.that.humor,.life.can.get.too.serious . Today,.our.boys.are.grown,.married,.in.good.positions.in.their.chosen. occupations.and.raising.their.children.to.be.God.fearing.Christians,.for. which.we.are.thrilled ..They.have.grown.up.to.marry.fine.Christian.women. who.walk.well.with.their.husbands.and.they.all.love.the.Lord . I’m.not.sure.how.a.parent.can.wish.or.ask.for.much.more.than.that. especially.since.their.own.walk.had.such.a.tough.time.getting.everything. straight ..Perhaps,.through.it.all,.the.Lord.was.able.to.help.us.help.them.get. it.all.figured.out.so.they.would.never.go.through.what.we.went.through. more.than.once . In.any.case,.we.are.grateful.for.what.the.Lord.allowed.us.to.go.through,. and.see.the.victory.in,.as.we.learned.more.about.the.love.of.the.father.for. Jesus.and.for.all.of.us.who.are.willing.to.lay.our.lives.down.for.His ..After. all,.Jesus.proved.his.love.for.us.by.being.willing.to.sacrifice.his.life.by.death. on.the.cross,.for.us.when.we.were.sinners ..His.perfect.love.has.allowed. Lynne.and.me.to.appreciate.and.be.most.grateful.for.the.opportunity.of. showing.His.love.to.a.hurting.world . Picture.of.Lynne.with.Boadin.Johnson,.the.youngest.of.our.great. grandchildren.(2011) believers,.where.at.least.one.spouse.is.willing.to.stand.uncompromisingly. on.God’s.word.for.that.marriage . That.is.a.concept.which.is.foreign.to.most.Christians.these.days.and. there.is.very.minimal.teaching.within.our.churches.to.fortify.that.position,.thus.our.families.are.being.destroyed ..As.the.word.says,.“My.people. perish,.for.lack.of.knowledge .” If.a.Judge.were.to.say.to.you.as.a.born.again.believer.that.your.salvation.covenant.with.the.Father,.through.the.blood.of.Jesus.was.destroyed.or. dissolved,.would.you.believe.him?.Hopefully.not ..But.that.is.exactly.what. that.same.judge.is.attempting.to.tell.you.about.your.marriage.covenant ..I. would.not.believe.him.the.first.time.and.when.it.happened.for.Lynne.and. me.again,.I.told.him.right.to.his.face,.in.court,.“that.my.covenant.of.marriage.didn’t.start.in.his.courtroom.nor.would.it.end.there .”.It.was.a.bold. statement,.but.I.meant.it,.stood.on.it.and.saw.our.marriage.brought.back. together.again.after.two.complete.divorce.actions.in.court . Because.of.standing.for.the.restoration.of.our.marriage.on.those.two. occasions.and.because.of.Lynne’s.sensitivity.to.what.the.Lord.wanted.in. her.life.and.our.life.together,.we.have.become.very.helpful.to.others.who. are.travelling.down.that.same.perilous.path ..Over.the.years.besides.leaving. my.surgery.practice,.we.started.a.medical.device.company.called,.TMJ. Implants,.Inc ..here.in.Golden.Colorado.alongside.of.a.Christian.marriage. ministry.called,.Covenant.Marriages.Ministry.also.here.in.Colorado ..The. Lord.had.given.me.the.idea.and.direction.for.both.entities.while.we.were. in.our.first.divorce.from.each.other ..Nothing.could.probably.seem.more. ridiculous.in.the.natural,.but.when.one.begins.to.live.his.or.her.life.in.the. spiritual.realm,.many.more.things.are.possible . The.fulfilling.of.those.two.tasks.became.a.daunting.experience. that.could.only.be.accomplished.by.having.a.profound.faith.that.God. was.leading.our.lives ..In.the.ministry.we.finally.developed.our.own.TV. program.to.marriages.which.was.seen.from.two.satellites.and.in.at.least. 50.cities.across.America.and.on.a.daily.basis ..It.was.a.major.undertaking. to.write.and.produce.those.daily.half.hour.programs,.but.it.was.an.effort. we.enjoyed.and.which.helped.thousands.of.people.who.were.experiencing. the.ravages.of.divorce ..The.harmful.effects.to.the.couple,.but.even.more. pronounced.in.the.families,.is.awful ..Anyone.having.been.rescued.from.

269 

The Covenant of Marriage In.my.earlier.book,.Unleashing the Power of Covenant,.I.wrote.about. the.fact.that.God.had.instructed.me.to.prepare.a.Covenant.of.Marriage. document ..This.was.in.about.1990.and.it.took.me.a.few.years.to.get.that. instruction.accomplished . The.document.would.spell.out.the.words.of.the.covenant.which.are. being.spoken.in.a.Christian.marriage.ceremony ..This.would.allow.the. couple.just.married.to.review.the.wedding.vows.which.they.made.and. agreed.to ..I.saw.the.document.could.be.framed.and.placed.on.the.wall.of. their.home,.for.them.to.see,.as.well.as.for.others.to.see . It.would.incorporate.all.of.the.words.and.promises.spoken.at.the. wedding.ceremony.and.would.have.a.place.for.the.officiating.Pastor.to.sign. along.with.another.15.witnesses,.and.the.husband.and.wife ..It.would.be.an. official.document.which.could.be.recorded.at.the.State.house.of.records,. and.would.be.like.any.other.pre.or.post-nuptial.agreement . As.a.Covenant.of.Marriage.document.it.would.have.the.same.legal. force.and.effect.as.any.other.such.document ..The.document.can.be.made. as.a.post-marital.document,.signed.at.any.time.the.couple.may.wish.to. solemnize.their.vows ..Many.couples.have.used.it.as.a.reaffirmation.of.their. vows.at.any.given.time-span.later ..The.document.is.shown.on.the.following.page .

Covenant of Marriage document 93 Covenant of Marriage document Originally,.when.the.Lord.gave.me.this.concept,.there.was.no.one.coming. forth.with.such.a.proposal ..A.few.years.later.when.I.had.gone.to.the. trouble.and.expense.to.have.such.a.document.produced.and.reviewed.by.

270 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 271 Faith, Hope, and Love to.prevent.one.person.from.being.able.to.seek.an.uncontested.divorce,.or. covenant.breaking . Should.you.as.a.couple.or.your.Pastor.wish.to.know.more.about.this. concept.and.document,.get.in.touch.with.the.author . attorneys.for.accuracy,.I.learned.that.centuries.earlier.the.Jews.had.produced.what.is.called.a.Ketubbah,.which.is.a.marriage.document,.but.has.a. slightly.different.direction ..That.document.started.back.in.the.Babylonian. times.and.was.a.document.of.marriage.which.was.supposed.to.guarantee. the.rejected.wife.would.be.guaranteed.financial.support.as.the.husband. left.that.marriage . In.the.document.which.the.Lord.was.leading.me,.the.main.purpose. of.the.document.was.to.take.the.dissolution.of.a.marriage.covenant.out.of. the.courts.and.to.have.the.vows.upheld.by.those.in.ministry.that.believed. in.not.only.the.sanctity.of.marriage.but.the.undisolvable.nature.of.the.marriage.covenant,.period . The.Jewish.Ketubbah.had.been.present.from.the.7th.Century.before. Christ.and.became.an.integral.part.of.the.wedding.ceremony ..The.document.for.the.Jews.was.very.ornately.decorated.and.was.made.a.part.of.each. family’s.documents.and.was.to.be.placed.conspicuously.on.the.wall.before. the.couple.could.even.consummate.their.marriage . In.the.Ketubbah.the.bridegrooms’s.financial.and.other.obligations. toward.his.bride.are.briefly.recorded ..The.Ketubbah.is.to.be.delivered.to. the.bride.before.the.marriage.ceremony,.and.most.definitely.before.the. marriage.is.consummated ..Should.the.Ketubbah.be.lost.or.misplaced,.a. new.one.is.required.before.the.husband.can.live.with.the.bride.for.even. one.hour ..That.is.how.important.the.Rabbis.believed.the.document.to.be. for.a.Jewish.married.couple ..A.sample.of.a.Ketubbah.is.shown.on.the.following.page . We.believe.the.Covenant.Marriages.Agreement.is.even.more.important.today.among.Christians.because.of.the.leniency.of.the.no-fault. divorce.laws.and.courts.across.our.Nation ..This.one.document,.when.fully. taught.and.comprehended.to.the.married.couple,.or.about.to.be.married. couple,.could.have.a.very.powerful.effect.in.stopping.the.no-fault.divorces. among.Christians ..Sadly,.the.rate.of.divorce.among.Christians.is.now.as. high.as.the.rate.among.non-Christians,.equaling.50%.or.more ..I.ask.myself,. “Where.are.the.Christian.Pastors.who.should.be.teaching.the.basics.of. the.marriage.covenant.and.the.undisolvable.nature.of.that.covenant?. Much.harm.would.be.reduced.to.the.families.of.America.and.the.world. if.we.taught.the.correct.things.about.marriage.and.used.this.document.

The Jewish Ketubbah

The.Jewish.Ketubbah.A.Song.of.Love

275 

A Song of Love In.the.early.months.of.2011.I.kept.getting.the.wish.to.be.able.to.write.a. song ..I.wasn’t.even.sure.what.God.meant.by.that ..Did.I.want.to.write.the. words,.or.did.I.think.I.was.smart.enough.to.write.the.music?.Both.seemed. preposterous.until.about.4:00.AM.on.March.27,.2011,.I.jumped.out.of.bed. and.went.downstairs.to.write.the.following.words.as.a.poem.or.song.to.my. beloved.Lynne . I.kept.humming.the.song,.“Because.He.Lives”,.which.I.believe.Bill. Gaither.composed.at.a.time.31.years.earlier.when.his.son.was.born ..It.was. to.that.tune,.I.was.attempting.to.write.the.words.which.were.coming.into. my.mind ..As.I.wrote.these.words.I.wasn’t.sure.whether.they.had.to.do.with. the.present,.or.possibly.at.a.later.moment,.when.I.might.be.in.heaven,.and. beckoning.Lynne ..In.any.case,.you.and.she.may.laugh,.but.here.is.my.first. attempt.at.writing.the.lyrics.for.a.tune,.or.maybe.it’s.just.a.poem ..In.any. case,.don’t.show.it.to.Bill.Gaither.because.he.may.just.laugh.hard.enough. for.me.to.hear.him.wherever.I.am .

276 Dr. Robert W. Christensen 277 Faith, Hope, and Love Dear.Lynne,

As.I.have.played.back.my.love.song.to.you, “One Sunny Day”,.over.and. over.again ..I.have.been.searching.for.its.exact.interpretation.and.meaning .. I.had.no.doubt.it.was.God.who.was.speaking.those.words.so.easily.through. me,.just.for.you .

At.times.I.felt.it.was.depicting.a.time.in.the.future.when.I.might.be. in.heaven.and.you.still.here.on.earth ..In.that.scenario.I.would.be.speaking. back.to.you ..I.now.feel.that.is.not.what.the.words.are.indicating.at.all .

I.now.feel.it.is.written.somewhat.prophetically.from.the.time.when.in. 1983.I.am.learning.to.fly.jets.and.my.instructor.Captain.Dale.Black.leads. me.to.the.Lord ..It.is.from.that.vantage.point.and.after,.that.I.am.calling.out. to.you .

*..The.1st.stanza.describes.my.Born-again.experience . *..The.2nd.stanza.I.am.describing.the.changes.occurring.in.my.life *..The.3rd.I.am.letting.you.know.the.water’s.fine,.just.jump.in . *..In.the.Refrain.stanza.(#4),.I.am.calling.out. to.you,.and.you’ll.know.it.is.me . *..In.the.5th.You.have.just.joined.me.as.a.Born-again.Christian *..In.the.6th.I.am.describing.for.both.of.us.the.love.of.the.Lord . *..In.the.7th.Now.we.join.fully.together.to.praise.and.love.the.Lord

Now,.it.makes.much.more.sense.to.me.and.I.suspect.it.will.also. for.you . In.any.case,.I.know.God.gave.it.to.me.as.my.love.song.back.to.you . Not.too.many.wives.can.say.their.husbands.even.attempted.to.write. them.a.Love.Song . So,.now,.I.dedicate,.One Sunny Day.to.you,.my.love ..(with.interpretation),.Bob (The.interpretation.of.the.song.was.given.to.Bob.on.June.27,.2011)

One Sunny Day

(The.Tune.of.“Because.He.Lives”).A.Love.Song. By.Bob.Christensen.For.his.wife,.Lynne

One.Sunny.Day,.He.Came.For.Me. And.When.He.Did,.I.Fell.In.Love .. And.Now.It’s.Like,.Life.Started.Over All.Things.are.New,.Life’s.Just.Begun, And.When.I.See,.My.Life.Unfolding I.Praise.the.Lord,.Who.Loved.Me.So Each.Day.is.New,.With.Love.Pervading I.Now.Am.Free,.So.Free.Indeed When.Love.Comes.Forth,.You’ll.Love.Tomorrows And.When.You.Do,.You’ll.Be.With.Me Don’t.Fear.This.Day,.His.Love’s.So.Pure That.You.Can.Always.Rest.Assured, But.Now’s.The.Time,.I.Join.the.Others, To.Sing.a.Love.Song,.Just.For.You . You’ll.know.I’m.Near,.You’ll.Smell.the.Roses Life’s.Worth.the.Living,.Because.You’re.Here .89.. When.We.wake.Up,.A.New.Day’s.Beginning To.Bring.His.Love,.In.Special.Ways I.Put.Your.Sweet.Head,.On.My.Shoulder And.Count.The.Days,.We’ve.Travelled.Here Just.Praising.Him,.For.All.He’s.Done What.Love.He.Gives,.When.We.Are.Willing To.Love.With.Love,.Just.Like.He.Gives . I’m.Thrilled.You.Came,.To.Join.the.Chorus To.Join.With.Me,.In.Loving.Him And.Now.We.Give.Our.Praise.To.Him . Another.Day.Has.Just.Begun, For.Us.To.Love.Him.Just.As.One

 

“One.Sunny.Day”

279 










About the Author Dr ..Bob.Christensen.is.known.best.as.an.oral.and.maxillofacial.surgeon. who.has.lectured.and.written.profusely.on.the.subject.of.temporomandibular.joint.reconstructive.surgery ..He.is.known.internationally.for. his.innovation.of.the.first.implants.for.the.temporomandibular.joint . In.1983.Bob.got.saved.as.he.was.learning.to.fly.jet.aircrafts ..At.that. moment.he.was.involved.in.divorce.from.his.wife,.Lynne,.but.God.showed. him.that.he.should.stand.for.the.healing.of.his.marriage.and.that.he.would. be.founding.a.marriage.ministry,.called.Covenant.Marriages.Ministry.with. his.wife,.Lynne . Since. then,. 1985,. they. have. hosted. a. daily. TV. program. called. “Building the Kingdom in Families” which.was.carried.on.two.satellites.for. a.dozen.years ..He.has.authored.some.16.books.on.Christian.topics.and. together,.he.and.Lynne.have.ministered.across.America,.and.in.other.areas. of.world,.on.the.sanctity.of.marriage .

Other Books by the Authors . The Seagull and the Pigeon  Standing in Love  Satan, You’re Not Stealing My Marriage  Why I Chose to Believe in My Marriage Healing  Miracles Along the Way  When You Say I Do . . . God Says I Will  Turning Earthly Profits Into Eternal Rewards  Run to Win  Unleashing the Power of Covenant  The Face of God  On My Heart  

280 Dr. Robert W. Christensen The Calling  The Breaking Point A Heart For God FDA, you were WRONG! and.now.. Faith, Hope, and Love

Bob and Lynne Christensen  Covenant Marriages Ministry  13120 W . 60th Avenue  Arvada, Colorado 80004  www .covenantmarriages .com