About Pastor John van Gorkom

Pastor John is a retired pastor who loves to tell people about Jesus and bring them to a deeper understanding of His truth.


LifeLink Devotions

Friday, June 2, 2023

Isaiah 13:2  Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles.

Thirteen years ago my wife and I visited the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Minnesota Science Museum. I also had the privilege to visit the Dead Sea site and museum in Israel on a later trip. As we entered the general display areas in Minnesota, we were immediately overwhelmed with the spiritual darkness that exists there. We commented to each other about the tragedy of a scientific community that denies the existence of their Creator, and how the influence of such a place is affecting the next generation of students that come for a visit. Every display in some way renounces God and promotes evolution. They have even created a display that promotes the use of stem cells from aborted babies.

It was no surprise that the Dead Sea Scrolls display would be primarily treated from a secular humanistic perspective. Don’t get me wrong, the display was very educational and as you will see in a moment very moving, but my heart is heavy because the wonder and awe of this discovery is being packaged in a merely scientific and cultural wrapping. Granted there is much we can learn about the culture of Jesus’ day from these writings, but the primary focus should be on the spiritual truth they contain about the nature and work of God.

As Denise and I proceeded through the exhibit, we were moved by the history of God’s people. We were challenged by the political conflict between the Pharisees and the Sadducees of Jesus’ day that was discovered in the writings of the Scrolls. They fought over control of the Temple. The winner would be able to impose their standards of obedience and righteousness on the people. The Sadducees were much more demanding and wanted the Law of God in written form. The Pharisees wanted only an oral tradition of the law so that it could be changed easily to meet the lenient demands of a fickle culture. That is why Jesus said the Pharisees were like white-washed tombs, with the appearance of sacred holiness on the outside but filled with death and corruption on the inside.

Finally, the time came to enter the last room where five actual fragments of the scrolls were on display in sealed cases. As we stood outside the entrance and listened to the voice in our headsets introduce what we were about to see, my eyes filled with tears. They were bittersweet tears. The first tears were tears of joy, as I realized I was about to see what the Scribes of Jesus’ day had written to preserve the integrity of the Holy Scriptures. Then tears of pain came, as my heart broke for all the people who would not realize what they were seeing and would only see a scientific discovery with no spiritual value.

The first display of Scroll fragments was from the book of Leviticus, and explained the consequence of offering a child as a sacrifice to the false god Molech. I was overwhelmed with the awesomeness of God’s holiness, and wondered how many parents today are offering their children to the false God of humanistic thought and hedonistic pursuits.

Then was a display of fragments from the book of Genesis, where Jacob, now named Israel, meets Joseph’s sons Manasseh and Ephraim for the first time and chooses to bless them. I was reminded that no matter what happens in our culture, God is in control and His covenant cannot be broken. It is a covenant that has now been sealed in the blood of Jesus and guaranteed by His resurrection from the dead. I rejoiced in my heart that no scientist or professor can stop the plan of Almighty God, no matter how strong their arguments or loud their voices.

But then I realized that my voice has not been loud enough. I was convicted that the voices of millions like me around the world are not loud enough. We have been silenced by unjustified fear of what is weaker. Greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world! So it is time to raise the banner of Jesus Christ. It is time to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ. It is time to once again let the world know that truth shall prevail – the truth that Jesus is Lord! Let your voice be heard and let your life back up what you say.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Thursday, June 1, 2023

God promised that the day is coming when He will establish His King and Kingdom on the earth. His people, who have been scattered all over the earth for generations, will be reclaimed and reunited in Israel and become a great nation again under the reign of Jesus Christ.  All enemies will be cut off. All competition for recognition and prestige will end. Israel will become the most powerful and dominant nation of the world. God will make the way easy for them to return to the Promised Land. It will be the time of God fulfilling His covenant to Abraham as a testimony to His faithfulness.

In Isaiah 12 we have songs of praise that the people will sing when the promise has been fulfilled.

Isaiah 12:2  Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”

The people will proudly and boldly proclaim the marvelous works of Almighty God to save them and bring them into the Promised Land permanently. The whole earth will be overwhelmed with the greatness of God.

That’s the historical and prophetic picture of what happens in God’s chosen people Israel. But there is a bigger picture for us today. Notice the spiritual applications to our lives today:

  • People are living in the bondage of sin, held captive by its deceptive influence on the fleshly desires we all have to seek acceptance and recognition. They are scattered all over the earth seeking fulfillment in a myriad of ways, all of which drive them deeper into sin and further from their true homeland in Christ.
  • Jesus has raised up a banner for all the world to see, so that people can be reclaimed and reunited in God’s true family. That banner is the cross, where Jesus died to pay for the sin of the world and reconcile people to God. Jesus declared that truth in John 3:14 when He said, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” Then in John 12 Jesus said, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” 
  • God has made the way easy to come home. He has prepared every path of your life with crossroads that lead to Him. You may have ignored them or been so focused on the path of self-fulfillment that you didn’t see them, but they have been there. If you will open your eyes and look you will see the path of God leading you to the cross where your life can begin.
  • Once you come to the cross, the joy of salvation will so fill your heart that you will burst forth in words of praise so that others will be able to hear about God’s greatness. No longer will your heart be filled with complaints or criticism. No longer will resentment and bitterness rule your thought life. There will be no more grudges harbored in a heart of unforgiveness because you will have experienced ultimate forgiveness from the Lord and will be ready to do the same for others no matter what they have done.

Everyone reading this today can relate to one point on this path. Maybe you are the one who is still living on your own path, rejecting every crossroad that would lead you to Jesus so you can fulfill your own desires. I have news for you – God never gives up designing crossroads in your life to draw you to Jesus. You will come across one even today.

Maybe you are the one who has started toward Jesus, but the desires and influence of the world are distracting you. Don’t stop moving to the point of repentance and surrender to Jesus. Consider how unfulfilling and literally deadly the pursuits of the world have been. Now consider what you are missing by not having the fullness of Jesus Christ the Lord living in you by the power of the Holy Spirit. Choose life, not death.

Many of you have already met Jesus at the cross. Why has the singing stopped? Why has the proclamation of the greatness of God been replaced with the pursuits of personal well-being in the world? Why are we living like we don’t believe the truth of these words from Isaiah?

“Surely God is my salvation: I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

It is time for the followers of Jesus to stand up and do what Isaiah says we will do when the day of salvation comes.

“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

This week I am making final preparations for the first camping trip of the season with my family. All the kids and grandkids will be there at one time or another. We will share meals and spend time on the beach. And of course we will have campfires. I love campfires. It’s the best time of the day, so as much as possible, we keep the fire burning all day to make the whole day great. Anytime there’s any stress at all you can just go sit in a lawn chair by the fire and relax. It’s therapeutic.

But fires take fuel. I have a large firewood pile at my house, so part of the preparation is to fill my transport tubs with my share for the weekend. Everyone brings some so we always have enough. But it takes a lot of work to get that wood cut and split and stacked so it’s ready when I need it.

Yesterday I was thinking about fire and fuel. It reminded me of this passage from the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 10:17-20 “The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame; in a single day it will burn and consume his thorns and his briers. The splendor of his forests and fertile fields it will completely destroy, as when a sick man wastes away. And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few that a child could write them down. In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.”

Years ago I read something from a friend on Facebook, and I’m more convinced than ever of the truth I heard from him. He said, in my paraphrased version, that “we have no right to ask the refining fire of God to come upon us unless we are willing to become the fuel!!

When God’s people had wandered far enough into the ways of sin, the Light of Israel became a consuming fire to purify them. He burned everything so that those who were willing to be refined would rely upon Him alone and not on their own wisdom and strength. That is what God wants to do to each one of us – refine us with fire so His light shines in and through us.

When we sit around the campfire, making sure the kids don’t get too close, we take turns poking at it and moving coals around so that everything burns as brightly as possible. We add more fuel when necessary.

In our spiritual lives we must do the same. We must let the Holy Spirit poke around in our hearts and minds and stir up the coals that are blackened with sin. We must search the entire campsite of our lives for any fuel that has been left behind by past failures – fuel that if not burned in God’s Holy fire will darken our lives. We must want the fire of God’s holiness to burn as brightly as possible in us.

So today, spend some time looking for firewood. Then let the Holy One become the flame in you that burns every log, stick, and woodchip so that you no longer rely upon yourself, but on the LORD!

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Isaiah 11:10  In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. 

I wish there was a greater patriotic spirit in our land today. I remember as a child the pride we had in our country. We were not all that far removed from the end of World War 2, and there was a sense of national pride and unity that permeated our country. I can’t remember ever seeing a single person sitting while a flag would be carried by in a parade. I also can’t remember anyone ever standing without having their hand over their heart in a personal salute to what the flag represents.

Not so today, is it? There is a disrespectful disregard for patriotism. Some would say it is because we have drifted so far from what our founding fathers designed, so they are excused from honoring what currently stands. I believe that the reason we are where we are today is because we, the generations since those days of honor and respect, have failed to live it and teach it as we should. We became complacent. We stopped rallying around a common banner and hope, and the resulting disrespect for our Republic and the changing philosophies of our leaders is what we should have seen coming.

William Arthur Ward wrote these moving words:

“I believe in America.

“I believe it became great because of its faith in God, its hope for independence, and its love for freedom.

“I am grateful for America’s glorious past; I am awed by its unbelievable present; I am confident of its limitless future.

“I am not ashamed to take my hat off and to stand at attention when Old Glory passes by. I do not apologize for the lump in my throat when I repeat the Pledge of Allegiance. I am not embarrassed by the tears in my eyes when I hear ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’

“Like millions of Americans, I want a free choice, not a free handout. I prefer an opportunity to prove my abilities on the job rather than a license to demonstrate my frustrations in the street.

“I am an old-fashioned American with a new-found determination to do my part to make democracy work.”

Like Ward, I too still get tears in my eyes when I sing the Star Spangled Banner. Just think of what that song meant to the people of that day, and what it should still mean to us. In the midst of a predictably unwinnable war against a vastly superior army from a long-established country, our troops were fighting to preserve our young Republic. During the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake in the War of 1812, the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. The flag was the rallying point for the army. It was the signal to all around that there was still fight left in the troops. The flag is our symbol of liberty, and it should be held high and in high regard.

As Christians we belong to a spiritual Kingdom. The Ruler of this Kingdom has also established a flag – a banner – that flies over us as our rallying point. It is the cross on which He died for our sins. One day, maybe very soon the way things are going, the banner of the cross will be replaced by the One who hung on the cross. The day is coming when a new Ruler will rise, or rather descend, to power. He will become the new banner for the people of the world. He will be the One to bring true world peace. He will be the One to unite the world again. All nations will bow before Him. All nations will be united in Him. He will bring peace that is glorious.

His name is Jesus, and His banner is to be lifted high and held in high regard.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Monday, May 29, 2023

I was blessed to begin my life in an erawhere people respected and honored the heritage of liberty. I was taught the history of our country both at home and in school. I learned about the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution of the United States of America. I understood the difference between a Republic and a Democracy. And I was consistently exposed to the sacrifice of life that paid for my freedom.

I also lived through the era of rebellion when people lost the knowledge of true freedom and returned to the slavery of self-fulfillment. I saw, and even participated in the passionate pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Fortunately for me the Lord Jesus Christ rescued me from that philosophy of life, but I am deeply burdened with the sad state of our country today. Our nation has lost the true meaning of freedom and has again become slaves to an evil governing authority – PRIDE.

Pride and sacrifice are incompatible. Pride promotes self. Sacrifice denies self for the benefit of others. And true freedom is found only in sacrifice.   

2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Jesus Christ offers true freedom because He modeled true sacrifice. He left His throne in glory to become a servant of mankind. He made the ultimate sacrifice of His own life so that we could be set free from slavery to sin and death. He rose from the dead to guarantee eternal life and eternal freedom from sin. He indwells His children today so that we might live in the freedom of sacrificial service rather than the slavery of pride.

Yet our nation, and every other nation in the world, rejects Jesus Christ as Lord and therefore has rejected sacrificial service. Instead, governments are ruled by pride, resulting in the exaltation of man’s ways rather than God’s ways.

Soon, every one of those prideful knees will have to bow before the King of Kings and declare that He is Lord. Unfortunately, it will be at their judgment to eternal death. They will enter into eternity knowing that they had a chance to be free and they chose pride. But not so for those who sacrifice pride and become humble servants of Jesus Christ. We will be exalted in Christ’s presence one day and reign with Him over all creation.

Today, I celebrate those who made the ultimate sacrifice of life to pay for my constitutional freedoms. They are worthy of our honor. But more than that, I celebrate true freedom found in Christ Jesus who paid the ultimate sacrifice of His life for my eternal freedom from sin and death. For where the Spirit of the Lord is, and He is in me, there is freedom. May my life always be free from pride and self-gratification, and may I always be a sacrificial servant of others. Then I am truly free, for then I am most like Jesus.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Friday, May 26, 2023

My wife and I just returned from a trip to North Dakota to see Denise’s mother. Every time we go there I am reminded of how my kids would make fun of me every time we got close to our destination. You see, I love windmills. If I had my way, I would have a tall traditional farm windmill in my front yard. For some reason they have an aesthetic appeal as my eyes scan the farmlands of the Midwest.

Near my wife’s hometown is a huge wind farm, with several miles of wind-powered generators reaching high into the sky. I love them. They can be seen from twenty miles away, which is about when the joking started. As the distance diminishes, an optical illusion begins. It becomes very difficult to discern the rotational direction of the arms on the tower. From one perspective they look like they are travelling clockwise, but as we get closer and the angle of perspective changes they are turning in the opposite direction. The fact is they always turn in the same direction, but one’s viewing perspective can make them appear to be turning the other way.

Perspective matters. Jesus told His church in Smyrna to look at life from the right perspective.

Revelation 2:9a (ESV)  I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich)…

From the human perspective they appeared to be in trouble and in poverty; but from God’s perspective they were rich.

This morning in my devotions, Charles Spurgeon wrote this:

“God’s people have their trials. It was never designed by God, when He chose His people, that they should be an untried people. They were chosen in the furnace of affliction; they were never chosen to worldly peace and earthly joy. Freedom from sickness and the pains of mortality was never promised them; but when their Lord drew up the charter of privileges, He included chastisements amongst the things to which they should inevitably be heirs.

“Trials are a part of our lot; they were predestinated for us in Christ’s last legacy. So surely as the stars are fashioned by his hands, and their orbits fixed by Him, so surely are our trials allotted to us: He has ordained their season and their place, their intensity and the effect they shall have upon us. Good men must never expect to escape troubles; if they do, they will be disappointed, for none of their predecessors have been without them.

“Mark the patience of Job; remember Abraham, for he had his trials, and by his faith under them, he became the “Father of the faithful.” Note well the biographies of all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and you shall discover none of those whom God made vessels of mercy, who were not made to pass through the fire of affliction. It is ordained of old that the cross of trouble should be engraved on every vessel of mercy, as the royal mark whereby the King’s vessels of honor are distinguished.

“But although tribulation is thus the path of God’s children, they have the comfort of knowing that their Master has traversed it before them; they have His presence and sympathy to cheer them, His grace to support them, and His example to teach them how to endure; and when they reach “the kingdom,” it will more than make amends for the “much tribulation” through which they passed to enter it.”

We are so rich in Christ. Our troubles do not define us as poor. Our lifestyles do not increase or decrease our value. Our earthly treasures will all be lost, but our eternal inheritance is secured and kept by the power of God, ready to be revealed in Christ’s presence. If you are struggling with that truth, maybe a change of perspective is necessary.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Revelation 2:4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.”

An old Gospel hymn is on my mind today.

There is a name I love to hear; I love to sing its worth;

It sounds like music in mine ear; the sweetest name on earth.

It tells me of a Savior’s love, Who died to set me free;

It tells me of His precious blood, the sinner’s perfect plea.

Oh, how I love Jesus; Oh, how I love Jesus; Oh, how I love Jesus;

Because He first loved me.

As I thought about the words “Oh, how I love Jesus,” I was immediately convicted by the Holy Spirit. “Do you really love Jesus all that much? Is Jesus the one true love of your life?”

I had to honestly answer no. At first, I attached a qualifying statement to that answer –“At least not as much as I should or could” – but quickly realized I was only attempting to validate the love I do have. We tend to do that when we answer questions: we defend ourselves rather than humble ourselves.

So the answer is simply NO! I do not love Jesus adequately as defined by Jesus in Matthew 22:37 – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” As a result, I also do not love others adequately either, for how can love flow from me when the Source of love is being ignored? I have promoted things of the world to a higher priority than my love for Jesus. Projects have become more important than prayer. Relaxation and recreation have replaced relationships. Personal success often becomes my agenda rather than the mission of Jesus Christ. Oh, how I love myself.

I discovered some interesting truths in Jesus’ letter to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:1-7.  Please read it.

Here’s what I discovered:

  • The people of this church were doing the work of God – vs. 2
  • They were enduring persecution and hardship and remaining faithful – vs. 2-3
  • They were taking a public stand against evil in their day – vs. 2
  • They were carefully holding to the truth of the Gospel – vs. 2
  • They hated the false teaching of Nicolas (Acts 6) that promoted sensual and materialistic living – vs. 6

Yet in contrast to all that Jesus said, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” He says they have fallen from a previous position of honor and needed to repent (vs. 5). And then Jesus says that all the other work they were doing would become meaningless unless they repented, for He would come and remove their lampstand from them.

OUCH! Not loving Jesus has dire consequences. The day is coming, and in fact may already be here for some, when those who have lost their first love of the Savior, who loved them first and saved them from their sin, will become ineffective in the work they are trying to do for the Lord. It all hinges on love.

Love for self and love for the world are opposed to love for Jesus and serve as barriers to the expression of His power in our lives.

Every time the lyrics or melody to that hymn flash across my mind today, may my heart be humbled to realize that it is at that very moment that the Lord Jesus wants me to love Him more than whatever else I am doing. Let the journey of growth continue.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Where do promises come from?

What is the source or motivation of a promise?

Those are good questions to ask and answer. We make promises out of selfish motives many times. Some promises are made because of the benefit they will produce for us. Some of our promises are made to simply meet what we believe are other people’s expectations of us so we can please them. But the promises of God are not so.

A careful reading of today’s Scripture passage reveals an important truth – the promises of God are precious and great because they originate in and are motivated by His glory and excellence.

2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,  by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature…”

This truth is not to be skimmed over quickly. Every promise of God comes from His glory and is motivated by His excellence, which can be translated as “Goodness”. Every word that He has spoken to us has its origins in His perfect nature. The promises come from His loving heart. Every promise is perfect and has no flaw in it or possibility of failure.

Every promise of God also has a purpose – so that we might become partakers of the divine nature of God. Faith in Jesus Christ and the application of His promises to our lives produces the very nature of Jesus Christ in us. Just look at what Peter says next:

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”(2 Peter 1:5-7)

As we believe and apply the great and precious promises of God to our lives, the growth of the divine nature of God begins. Just look at the qualities of the life of Christ that are developed in us:

  • To our faith God adds virtue, which is goodness.
  • To His goodness God adds more knowledge of who He is and His will for our lives.
  • To His knowledge God adds self-control – the ability to overcome impulsive desires.
  • To His self-control God adds steadfastness – the ability to persevere through hardship and trial.
  • To His perseverance, God adds godliness, or the capacity to reflect His life in our lifestyle choices.
  • To His godliness God adds brotherly affection – the desire and ability to love others in God’s family the church.
  • To His brotherly affection God adds love – the unconditional love of others with no expectation or demand of reward. This is the Divine nature of God to its fullest.

All of this is made possible through the promises of God flowing out of His glory and excellence. What flows from His divine nature can do nothing less than produce His divine nature when received and believed.

Let’s accept a challenge to read one promise of God every day for the next 18 years, because that’s how many promises God has spoken. But let’s do more than read them – let’s believe them and live them. Imagine what it will be like with all of us walking around this earth with God’s divine nature showing rather than our own.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

2 Peter 1:1 “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:”

Recently I was overwhelmed with a truth that God gives us in the very first verse of Second Peter. After introducing himself, Peter’s first statement blows me away – “To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Wait a minute! Isn’t this the same Peter who walked on water? Isn’t this the guy whom the resurrected Jesus told to take charge of the sheep? Yes it is! Sure, he had his problems. He had to be rescued from the water as his faith grew weak. He denied the LORD three times. He made brash statements about his superior faith and commitment but had no follow through – at least not prior to the resurrection. And even in the early church age he had to be corrected by the Apostle Paul for his segregation from the Gentiles. Yet this was Peter, the one whom Jesus transformed from an arrogant self-exalting fisherman to a humble, Christ-exalting servant-leader of the church.

I am amazed that this man of God, a hero of the faith, can say to all of us that we have obtained a faith of equal standing with him. Think about that for a moment…or for a lifetime. The same faith that God granted Peter to be His servant is the faith that we also have to be servants of the LORD. WOW!

How is this possible? Because our standing before God is not based on anything in us, but on the righteousness of God that has been granted to us through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul said it this way in Second Corinthians 5:21 – “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” The righteousness of God gives every follower of Jesus Christ equal standing before God.

I have trouble believing that. At times I have envisioned my place before the throne of God being somewhere near the back of the crowd. Literally millions of people are much more “qualified” to be closer to the throne than I am. Their lives of perseverance under severe persecution, even to the point of death, gives them a huge advantage on throne room placement. Their consistency of faith in the face of financial loss, family crisis, and fear puts them way up the list of invited guests to be honored. Who am I to think that I would ever be able to stand next to Peter in the presence of Christ?

But wait – I am qualified! I have an equal standing with all the saints in glory. There is no single Bible hero or Christian who has ever lived that has more righteousness than I do. The same righteousness of God has been imputed to us ALL in Jesus Christ!

What an amazing thought. What a bondage-breaking truth that sets the prisoner free from the chains of approval and affirmation. We have obtained through our Savior Jesus Christ the same faith that brings the righteousness of God and grants us equal standing before the Father in heaven.

Let that truth sink in and set you free from the comparison game you’ve been playing. Let it release you from the chains of seeking affirmation and approval from people. Let it liberate you from the bondage of earning anything from God. You and I are completely and eternally accepted by the Father, and we will ALL stand right next to Jesus in the throne room, for we are all equal in His sight.

“Give thanks to the Father who has qualified you…” (Colossians 1:12)


Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Monday, May 22, 2023

Hosea 6:3  Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Has the sun ever not risen in the eastern sky? So surely as the sunrise can be expected, so can we expect the LORD to come to us.

The LORD’s coming will eventually affect us all. Working backwards from the end of all things, His final coming will bring ultimate and eternal judgment to all who reject Him. Prior to that He will come to rule the earth in His glorious Kingdom in which we His people will serve Him. Before that He will come to remove His Bride – the True Church – from the earth so He can prepare the world for His Kingdom reign. And prior to that – even now – He will come as the sunrise and the rain to those who press on to know Him.

No matter where you are or what you have done, if today you choose to turn your back on it all and press on to know the Lord, He will come to you. He will come as the sunrise at dawn, spreading light and warmth across your cold dark heart. He will come as the spring showers to water the dry and hardened soil of your heart so that the seeds of truth can be planted and grow to produce a harvest of righteousness. Because of the LORD’s great love and mercy, He will come to you.

The LORD will come to you if you break up the unproductive soil of your sinful heart and seek Him. “Break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.” (Hosea 10:12)

The LORD will come to you with healing and refreshment to restore life to you. “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.” (Malachi 4:2)  “He dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.” (2 Samuel 23:4)

If you ask Him to come, He will. “Ask rain from the LORD in the season of the spring rain, from the LORD who makes the storm clouds, and he will give you showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation in the field.” (Zech. 10:1)

The promise of the LORD Jesus is that He will not leave you alone as if you were fatherless. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”  

Right now, the LORD will come to you. Even the smallest step of turning towards Him is rewarded with His coming. His eyes are watching for the repentant prodigal to return to Him, and when the LORD sees you turn from your sin and press on towards Him, He runs to you. He runs! He comes with arms of forgiveness extended to embrace you with acceptance. He will come to you. He died on the cross so that He could come to you. The debt of your sin has been paid so there is no longer any barrier to His coming. Turn to Him, and He will come to you. He will run to you!

Years ago the music group Phillips, Craig, and Dean recorded a song that speaks to this marvelous promise of God. Let the words of the song minister to your heart.

Almighty God, The Great I Am, Immovable Rock, Omnipotent, Powerful, Awesome Lord. Victorious Warrior, Commanding King of Kings, Mighty Conqueror… and the only time, the only time I ever saw him run,

Was when He ran to me, He took me in His arms, Held my head to His chest, Said “My son’s come home again!” Lifted my face, Wiped the tears from my eyes, With forgiveness in His voice He said
“Son, do you know I still love You?”

He caught me By surprise, When God ran…

The day I left home, I knew I’d broken His heart. And I wondered then, if things could ever be the same. Then one night, I remembered His love for me. And down that dusty road, ahead I could see, It was the only time, It was the only time I ever saw Him run.
And then…

He ran to me, He took me in His arms, Held my head to His chest, Said “My son’s come home again!” Lifted my face, Wiped the tears from my eyes, With forgiveness in His voice He said “Son, do you know I still love You?”

He caught me by surprise. And He brought me to my knees. When God ran… I saw Him run to me.

I was so ashamed, all alone, and so far away. But now I know, that He’s been waiting for this day…

I saw Him run to me, He took me in His arms, Held my head to his chest, Said “My son’s come home again!” Lifted my face, Wiped the tears from my eyes, With forgiveness in His voice  I felt his love for me again. He ran to me, He took me in His arms, Held my head to his chest, Said “My son’s come home again!” Lifted my face,  Wiped the tears from my eyes, With forgiveness in His voice  He said “Son”

He called me Son.

He said “Son, do you know I still love You?”

He ran to me…

And then I ran to Him