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

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


LifeLink Devotions

Friday, May 19, 2023

This morning I am overwhelmed with this simple yet profound thought – I am privileged to know the LORD personally and intimately! My passion to press on to know is completely satisfied in the privilege of knowing Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD. As a result, I choose to make that my constant priority.

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.”

Let’s review the progression of truth in this incredible passage of Scripture:

  1. We press on – it is our passion, regardless of the pain it involves, to press on toward the prize of the high calling we have in Christ Jesus.
  2. We press on to know – it is our privilege to be able to know. We have been created in the image of God with the ability to reason – to think rationally. Praise God for this privilege.
  3. We press on to know the LORD – it is our priority to use the privilege of knowledge to know the Lord Jesus Christ intimately as Savior and LORD.

Many times, privilege is taken for granted and ceases to be a priority. The value of privilege is diminished by time and choice. The passion to pursue the fullness of the privilege is lost and replaced with what we think are more significant, meaningful, and rewarding objectives, usually based on nothing more than a deep need for immediate gratification. How quickly we turn from the priority of our privilege to know the LORD to the priorities of life as we assign value to their importance.

Once there was nothing, followed by everything being spoken into existence by the voice of Almighty God. Beyond the limitations of what we can see and know is the One True God of eternity, with no beginning and no end, no boundary or limitation, and with no need of anything outside of Himself for His sustenance. His knowledge is limitless, His power cannot be diminished with time or exertion, and His presence is not limited to time and space. His thoughts are beyond our thoughts, and His ways, plans, and purposes are beyond our understanding. He answers to no one, seeks the counsel of no one, and needs the approval of no one. He exists as One God in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – each one fully and completely God in Himself, a mystery that is received by faith in the Word of all three and yet unexplainable in human understanding.

Yet – oh the glory of this thought – God has made Himself known to us and has invited us to know Him! How long has it been since we have basked in the splendor of that privilege? And if indeed we say we believe that He is all that He is defined to be in the Bible, then why is the privilege of knowing Him not our highest priority? Why have we replaced Him with things that are less than Him? Why do we press on to know more about financial freedom, job security, personal relationships, sports, politics, business, or any other secular and social pursuit when we have the privilege of pressing on to know the LORD of all those things? We are settling for less than our privilege permits.

We are living beneath our privilege. We have forsaken our first love. We have set as the priority of our lives the pursuit of this life rather than the eternal life we have been granted in Jesus Christ. We who were created in God’s image for God’s glory, sacrifice that glory for the temporal benefits of sin. Yet God, in His infinite grace and love has extended Himself to us in Jesus Christ, to reconcile our relationship and offer us restoration of intimacy. We have the privilege – how glorious this thought and yet how indescribable it is – we have the privilege of pressing on to know Him in a personal, intimate, and fulfilling relationship that provides all that we need for life and eternity.

My friends, I am writing in tears. My LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, God’s revelation of Himself to sinful mankind, was sent to earth to reconcile us to God through His own sacrifice for sin on the cross. He has guaranteed us a permanent relationship with the Father through His resurrection from the dead. Yet we press on to know the world more than we press on to know Him. We have lost the passion of our privilege. May this not remain true any longer!

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Thursday, May 18, 2025

Let’s do a little mental exercise. Finish this sentence – “I have an insatiable need to _____________.

I can only imagine some of the answers that are coming from all of you. “Finish first. Make money. Be successful. Find love. Be known.” That last one is the one I spend the most energy trying to resist. The answer that best describes me is “know.” For as long as I can remember I have had an insatiable need to know everything I can about everything that is relevant to my life.

As a child, I took things apart to see how they worked and to challenge myself to make them work again. I investigated everything I was told to seek to understand the truth of it. I took classes in high school specifically to learn everything I could about electronics and how radios and televisions worked. (Yes, they were color by then, but we owned a black & white.)  I tore lawnmower and car engines apart to learn how they worked. Don’t leave anything broken lying around, because if I have time, I will attempt to fix it. I read instruction manuals. I read rules for games before playing them. I have an insatiable need to know.

However, that need to know is my biggest flaw in my spiritual life. Why? Because the need to know seems to get stuck in the intellectual mode most of the time rather than in the relational mode. That’s not healthy.

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.”

It is one thing to seek to know about God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but it is quite another thing to press on to know Him personally. Those of us who get stuck in the intellectual mode have a serious problem, because that’s the Devil’s territory. The Apostle Paul reminded us of this in his letter to the church at Corinth when he said, “We know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ This ‘knowledge’ puffs up, but love builds up.” (1 Corinthians 8:1) Herein lays the contrast between pride and love – the intellectual versus the relational. People who know a lot about God tend to become judgmental and critical of others who don’t “measure up”. People who know God are filled with the nature of Christ – compassion, love, joy, and peace.

Last night at 2:00 AM I woke up from an intense dream. I cannot tell you what it was about, but my whole body was on the verge of quivering with tension. It took me a long time to go back to sleep. During the time I was awake I thought about how to get back to sleep. I searched my memory for tricks I had used in the past. Then I started trying to figure out how to solve many of the issues that were on my list of responsibilities. I figured that if I was awake, I might as well put my mind to good use and fix some problems.

But I wanted to sleep. Finally, I realized that what was needed was some relational time with the Lord, so I started praying; not for solutions or answers but for intimacy with my Lord. I wanted to know His peace that passes all understanding. I wanted to know His love and His care for me. I pressed on to know Him, not to know what He could do for me or what I should do for Him. That’s the last thing I remember until I woke up at 5:30.

So, as you try to figure out what your greatest need is, and what you will press on to achieve, think about this: an insatiable need to know the Lord relationally and personally will satisfy all your other needs.

Press on to know the LORD!

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Wednesday, May 17, 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.”

There are four eternal truths found in today’s Scripture verse. The first is based on the words “Press On.” We are to have a passion to know God.

Have you ever thought about what the word passion means? For most of us it has an emotional context. We think of passion in terms of intense desire for things or goals. We equate passion with love – from love of things to love of people to love of activities. While all these applications of passion have some validity, did you know that the word passion primarily means suffering. Yet according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary that meaning is obsolete? Culture has re-defined the word passion from its original roots to something more definitive of man’s fleshly desires.

The real definition of passion originated in the Bible. Our English word passion is the translation of the Greek word paskho and is translated 39 times in the New Testament as suffering. That’s why the time of our Savior’s life between His arrest and His resurrection is called the passion of Christ.

So what does this mean for us today? Pressing on requires the courage to suffer for what one believes in. There is no true passion in a person’s life without the willingness to suffer as they press on to achieve what they believe in.

A rock-climber has a passion for reaching the top, which means they will suffer whatever physical pain and contortions of the body are necessary to accomplish it, all potentially based on a love for adrenaline and the belief that the meaning of life will be found in the view from the top.

A single mom has a passion to protect and raise her children in a safe environment and will endure whatever financial and emotional suffering she must to see her children grow up strong and stable.

A football player has a passion to be the best at his position and will endure whatever pain he must to recover from injury and play through pain to become the MVP of his league.

Passion always requires the courage to suffer for what one believes. It is the same in pressing on to know the Lord. We are not passionate for Christ if we live in fear of rejection or retribution from the world. It is unreasonable to state that we are passionate for the Lord and yet not press on to know Him through consistent prayer and Bible Study, using our busy schedules as an excuse. We dare not claim to be passionate for the souls of the lost while we hide our faith in public and seek to be accepted by our culture.

Passion always requires suffering. It is the nature of the word that originated with Christ and is fulfilled in the context of Christ’s life in us. Pressing on to know Christ is to be our passion, because Christ’s passion to know us sent Him to the cross. His love for us was courageously expressed in His sacrifice for our sins. He suffered for us, so we who are His children will also joyfully suffer for Him. He is our passion, and His passion becomes our life. We will press on to know Him no matter what it costs or how it hurts.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Psalm 119:176  “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant…

As we come to the end of the longest chapter in the Bible, filled with praise, prayer, problems, and practical wisdom for maturing disciples, consider two culminating truths in the very last verse:

  • All we like sheep have gone astray; every one of us has turned to his own way. (see Isaiah 53:6)
  • The Savior is constantly seeking the lost. (see Luke 19:10)

What joy it brings to the heart of every child of God to know that the Savior is constantly seeking us when we wander. What blessing there is to be found in the words “seek your servant.” Is this not the heart of God?

My own heart is overwhelmed this morning with the indescribable love of God that compels Him to seek and save the lost. You can hear His heart throughout the Scriptures:

  • Ezekiel 34:6, 16
    My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.”
  • Matthew 18:12-14
    What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

From the very beginning of recorded history God has been seeking those who have wandered into sin.

“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9)

What a conclusion to this majestic symphony we call Psalm 119. All the music of the songs of praise and movements of prayer crescendo to this final chord – no matter where we go or what we do, God is seeking us!

My mouth bursts forth with songs of its own. “My Jesus, I love thee, I know Thou art mine. For thee all the follies of sin I resign. My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou; if ever I love Thee my Jesus ‘tis now.”

“I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me, And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree; I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow; If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.”

“I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death, And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath; And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow, If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.”

“In mansions of glory and endless delight, I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright; I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow, If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.”


Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Monday, May 15, 2023

After college I took a special interest in photography. Obviously, I wasn’t very good at it or I would still do it. I bought a wonderful thirty-five-millimeter camera with several lenses, and took to the prairies of North Dakota to take pictures. I love ducks and geese, and they were the subject of most of my photographs, although I did get some pretty good shots of a certain chick.

I soon learned that certain lighting conditions required certain settings on the camera, and that the final picture quality could be improved by using lens covers that altered the light. I had a variety of colored lenses that changed the image on the film and brought out certain features, colors, or qualities that I wanted enhanced. The goal was to make the photo look as much like what God created as possible.

Just like a camera, we also wear lenses on our eyes. We put on the ones we think will make the picture of our life look better. We have telephoto lenses we use to look closely at the lives of others. We have wide angle lenses to help us see as much of life as possible. We put on colored lens covers to alter the real picture – lenses of denial, selfishness, and judgmentalism – in hopes that we will like the new look.

Many times, no matter what lens we put on the camera, the picture doesn’t improve.  We look for the lens of hope but we seem to have misplaced it. That’s when we finally cry out to God to change the picture.

The issue is that we haven’t tried the only lens we ever need – the lens of God’s Word. Every picture of life, when seen through the lens of God’s promises and commands, turns out exactly the way God created it to look.

Just look at the words of the Psalmist today.

Psalm 119:169-172  “Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word!Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word.My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes. 172 My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.”

His cries for understanding are changed into praise as he begins to see the picture of his life through the lens of God’s word. His pleas for deliverance and a change of scenery are transformed into singing about the Word of God because through that lens everything looks right. Everything changes when seen through the right lens.

God wants us to see the picture of our life from His perspective, as He created it to look. The only way to do that is to see it through the lens of His Holy Word the Bible. Every detail of our lives, every event, every interruption, every hardship, every blessing, is His design to create a masterpiece of faith. We will only start to see its true beauty when we see it through His lens. Let’s stop trying to alter the photo to fit our preferences. Let’s enjoy the beauty of what God is creating in us – the life of Jesus Christ.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Friday, May 12, 2023

Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.”

When I was a 10-years old my family moved from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to the lower peninsula town of Oscoda. We lived in a church parsonage right next to the church just north of town. Across the highway was Lake Huron, and behind the house were woods with a small creek running through them. Next door to the north was another church, and in its backyard were small sand dunes left from an era when Lake Huron was much larger.

I will never forget the treasure hunting I would do in those sand dunes and along the edges of the woods. The reason was because I would find old arrowheads that had been carved out of stone. I wish I still had some of them, but they were all lost somewhere in subsequent moves.

How fascinated I was with imagining how they had been made, by whom they had been made, and how they had been used. Every arrowhead held a different story for me. I never grew tired of looking for another one, and I would be overwhelmed with joy whenever I would find one. Not only was it a treasure to find, but it held unending possibilities for my imagination.

I still find earthly treasures today, and I still rejoice. But sadly the rejoicing I do over earthly treasure generally exceeds the rejoicing I do over spiritual treasure. Why is that? Why is it that we can jump and shout in a crowd of people watching a concert or sporting event, but we hold back from any visible display of emotion when worshipping Almighty God? When will the discovery of truth be to us as great a treasure as the discovery of material wealth?

Here’s one suggestion for us today. Count the number of text messages, Facebook posts, Tweets, emails, and phone calls you made yesterday. Now, count the number of all those that related to spiritual things. What does it reveal about where your treasure is? Did not Jesus say, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”?(Matthew 6:21)

I believe it’s time for a heart check. So here are some helpful verses to get us started on re-evaluating our priorities and treasures. Please take the time to read them carefully, prayerfully, and humbly. Ask the Lord to reveal any inconsistency in our heart so that He alone is our treasure and the reason for our rejoicing. Are you ready to discover some treasure?

Proverbs 7:1 “My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you;”

Proverbs 15:16 “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.”

Matthew 13:44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

Luke 12:19-21 “And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Luke 12:33 “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

1 Timothy 6:18-19 “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”

Rejoice in God’s Word like one who has found a treasure. Do not return to the comforts of our own making we think are found in the treasures of the earth?

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Thursday, May 11, 2023

When I was a child, I remember thinking that three-way light bulbs were pretty cool. I can’t find any reference on the internet to when the first 3-way bulb was introduced, but it seemed like they were fairly new when I was a kid. Any of you that are older than me remember having them?

I was fascinated by the way you could change how much light came out of one bulb just by turning the switch. I remember the two 3-way lamps in the living room of our house, and how my dad would constantly ask if we really needed the light to be that bright. He loved saving money. I liked playing with the lamps.

Now they have dimmer switches for everything with infinite possibilities, but somehow, it’s just not the same for me. You see, with dimmer switches, it’s too easy to just leave it on full and forget we actually have the ability to change the brightness. But with three-way switches, we have to go through all of the levels to get back to off, thus reminding us with each use of the opportunity for cost savings and mood creation.

I see a correlation to three-way lamps in today’s section of Psalm 119.

Psalm 119:159  See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your love.

Three times the Psalmist uses the phrase “preserve my life,” and each time a little more light is shed on our relationship with our heavenly Father. Look at the three verses with me:

  • 154 Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise.
  • 156 Your compassion is great, O LORD; preserve my life according to your laws.
  • 159 See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your love.

Each time the Psalmist asks God to preserve his life, it is for a different reason, and each request reveals a brighter intensity of the relationship.

  • Preserve my life because you promised to.
  • Preserve my life because you are just.
  • Preserve my life because you love me.

A thorough reading of verses 153 through 160 reveals that the Psalmist is in trouble. He is suffering at the hands of enemies who are persecuting him. He asks for deliverance and redemption. He asks for his life to be restored to a place of security. In the darkness of the day, he remembers that there is a light that will surround him with safety so he reaches for the switch and turns it on.

“Preserve my life because you promised to, and you cannot break a promise.”

After spending a few moments letting his eyes adjust to the light that now brings hope to his heart based on the remembrance of God’s promises, he turns the switch one more time. 

“Preserve my life because you are just, and everything is happening according to your laws. Those who break your laws are guaranteed to be held accountable to you, and those who live in righteous obedience to your laws will be rewarded.”

He confesses his personal failure to obey God’s laws, and the compassion and forgiveness that sweep over his soul restore his faith in God and His justice. The light shines brighter in his heart as he gives thanks for God’s grace and releases his plans for vengeance to the One who is the final Judge.

He turns the switch once more.

“Preserve my life because you love me, and I love you. Everything that has happened has been approved by your love for me to bring me to a place of rest in your arms.”

The light can shine no brighter than this. If we are not content with the love of God, and turn the switch again, all will become dark. The promises of God bring some light. The grace and forgiveness of God bring more light. But the love of God is the full expression of His light to us. Jesus is the Light of the world, and when the Light of God’s love shines fully in our hearts, we need nothing more.

Pastor John