This I know…

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“Then my enemies will be turned back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.” Psalm 56:9

In any situation that you may be in,
these words remind that God wants you to win.
This I know, that God is for me…
lifts you above the things that are “stormy.”

P. A. Oltrogge

Jesus loves me, this I know,
for the Bible tells me so.
Yes, Jesus loves me…

“In the same way, the Spirit helps our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27 NASB

“With all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18 NASB

On the Porch of the Lord

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A place of refreshment, the porch of the Lord…
Pull up a chair, take in spiritual air.
Jesus always has time, and His is the power–
Receive there His touch in this end-time hour.
Like Mary, take time to sit at His feet;
Come to His porch for relief from life’s heat.
Only one thing is needful and truly can please–
His Word and His presence, felt on each breeze.
He offers living water, quenching everyone’s thirst;
And that’s yours there daily, by seeking Him first.
There’s joy on His porch, with your sisters and brothers,
As you find your needs met while caring about others.
The healing and peace which only Christ can bring
Are found there at all times—an everlasting spring.
Taste there His love, so generously poured;
Your “cup will run over” on the porch of the Lord.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things; But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.'” Luke 10:38-42 NKJV

“But one thing is needful…” verse 42, KJV

A Glorious Choice

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First Easter by Pauline Voorhees Eikenberry

First Easter by Pauline Voorhees Eikenberry

Jesus Christ of Nazareth had taken His destined place
On a cruel cross upon a hill–for the task He’d been born to face.
His sinless life had made Him the chosen Lamb of God–
Though now He sits at God’s right hand and bears a Shepherd’s rod.
Three days after Christ’s burial, and just at the brink of dawn,
Some, in love, had come to the tomb and had found that His body was gone.
But the pain of their grief concerning His death had then given way
To amazing angelic tidings on that glorious Resurrection day!
Jesus, the Man on the center cross, on the hill of crucifixion had been
The focus of God’s judgement upon all of mankind’s sin.
But now, with joy, the angels reminded that just as He had said,
Jesus, God’s Son, had risen in victory, up from the dead!
His Father’s gracious plan of redemption for all people had been met;
And all of their faults or sins, a holy God could now forget!
There’s just one requirement remaining; and it’s your choice–
To believe in your heart He’s Savior, and confess it with your voice.
Angels rejoice in heaven over one sinner who’ll repent,
And put their faith in Jesus Christ–the One Whom God has sent.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Romans 10:10 (New King James)

“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:10 (New American Standard)

“For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 6:2 (New King James)

“Therefore, I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Isaiah 53:12 (New King James)

Resurrection references: Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler

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Christ and the Rich Young Ruler by Pauline Voorhees Eikenberry

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler by Pauline Voorhees Eikenberry

A rich young ruler, with eternal concerns, made a mental list–
Then sought out Christ to see if there was anything he’d missed.
In contemplating heaven, he hoped he’d done God’s will
By following His laws, from his youth, but wondered still.

He addressed Christ as a good teacher, but didn’t realize
That Christ wasn’t just a good teacher, but God before his very eyes.
He asked the Lord what he could do to aid him on eternity’s quest,
And Jesus confirmed that to keep the commandments is best.

The young man replied he’d done that from as early as he could recall–
Then Jesus told him of his need to follow Him and surrender all.
His wealth and possessions had become too strong of a hold
And kept him from seeing the purity of God’s desires–true gold.

With sadness, the ruler left because he couldn’t see the reward.
He hadn’t yet grasped the higher life offered through Christ, the Lord.
You see, making Christ your Lord doesn’t actually cost–in fact, it pays,
With dividends of God’s blessings throughout all your days.

The greatest blessing of all is getting to know God as you should–
A loving heavenly Father whose care and plans for you are good.
Then, committing your life and resources, in faith, as He leads
Will help you to reach exactly those He knows of who have needs.

God knows that when possessions become your highest treasure,
You’ll fail to find the things that He knows are of greater measure.
Christ looks for our faith and love for Him and where our loyalty lies;
Let’s not fail to see that investment in His Kingdom is certainly wise.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now behold, one came and said to him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So He said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But, if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said to Him, ‘Which ones?’ Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”

Matthew 19:16-22 (New King James)

The Only True God

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Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Regarding Christians, Muslims, and Jews,
some say the God they all worship is the same.

But the Bible is clear that the only true God
is the One who is known through Jesus’ name.

Realize it’s a fallacy that knowing God is the same to all three,
for Jesus said that “No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

His words hold true for other “faiths,” too, no matter which they may be.
“No one comes to the Father,” Jesus emphasized, “except through Me.”

There are not “many paths to God,” but He has provided a blessed one–
opened for us by way of Calvary’s cross through Jesus, His beloved and only begotten Son.

P. A. Oltrogge

“You know neither Me nor My Father. If you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” John 8:19

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 (and all of John 17)

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'” John 14:6

“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“While he (Peter) was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!'” Matthew 17:5

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:37

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
Romans 1:16

“And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.” Matthew 1:16

“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess…coming in that instance, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him (Jesus) to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” From Luke 2:36-38

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:9-11

“Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6

Scriptures NKJV

Photo Unsplash
by Robert Nyman

A Very Present Help

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 KJV

Troubles come to all of us, trials are an unsolicited part of life;

but there is One who is a very present help in the midst of any kind of strife.

He’s not only present, but He’s VERY present amidst things which can be dire–

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, remember, weren’t burned though engulfed by fire.
__________

The men had refused to worship the gold idol, as King Nebuchadnezzar had decreed–

Such a decree to these men of faith was something they simply wouldn’t heed.

Anyone who disobeyed would be cast into a fiery furnace that had been stoked very hot–

At the sound of the horn, flute, harp, or lyre, all were to bow down, but these
three men would not.
__________

Called before the king, he gave them another chance to obey, but they bravely made it clear…

that their God could deliver them; yet if not, they served Him only and had nothing to fear.

Then, thrown into the furnace, divine intervention left them without even the smell of fire–

Their hair wasn’t singed, nor their clothes affected, because no other “god” was higher.
__________

In the midst of the fiery furnace, a fourth “man” had appeared, among the other three.

His appearance was “like the Son of God;” and He’d loosed them and had set the men free.

Though they’d initially been bound together, Nebuchadnezzar saw them unhurt and walking separately around–

This miraculous event became proof to him that there was no God but theirs to be found.
__________

God has promised to be our sure refuge, whom we can run to for shelter from any storm–

If the “winds” of life become threatening or cold, under His wings, we’ll be protected and warm.

He’s the strength upon which we’ve come to depend; and we’re blessed by the love He supplies.

Keep looking to Jesus, your very present help. In every circumstance, that will prove to be wise.

P. A. Oltrogge

(The poetic account is derived from Daniel 3)

…trials sometimes come, but confidence in God’s love and care for us (Psalm 91:4) and the presence of His Holy Spirit within strengthen those who believe….
Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 (and through 26)

Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:1-4

Of such is the kingdom of God

I wrote a poem once about Christmas in heaven and how that might actually be…

imagining the beautiful carols sung there or heaven’s magnificent Christmas tree.

But I missed picturing the children of abortion there, opening the gifts that God, their Father, would give.

God’s greatest gift to them, however, is that there, in heaven, they can experience, in a new way, what it is to live.

So many children, torn from their mother’s womb, never got to see the light of day;

but some have escaped that cruel blow because of those who speak up for them and because of those who pray.

Life in heaven must be glorious, but one wonders what their lives might have accomplished on earth…

Let’s earnestly pray for those considering abortion to, rather, choose the blessed path of giving birth.

Lord, cause the darkness that pushes abortion to be pushed away itself, instead.

“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God,” are loving words of life that Jesus said.

P. A. Oltrogge

Wonderful true story on this topic:
http://www.ilivedonparkerave.com

“Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God,'” Mark 10:13-14 NKJv

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” From Jeremiah 1:5

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.”
From Psalm 139:13-16

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The Creator versus the Atheists

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Even within a city or out on a rural farm,
we’re blessed to always enjoy the vast creation’s charm.

To say, then, as some do, that there is no God,
is a kind of blindness that seems, to me, so odd.

For there are many masterpieces on which our eyes can feast–
from the starting of a snowfall to the landscape when it’s ceased.

From the city to the beauty of the peaceful countryside,
the signature of the Creator is something atheists cannot hide.

P. A. Oltrogge

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“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 NIV

“For he (God the Father) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son (Jesus) he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible….” Colossians 1:13-16 NIV written by the apostle Paul to the Christians in Colossae

Look unto the Hills

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“I will lift up my eyes to the hills–
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2

Lord, you are the source of my help on any given day.
You made the heavens and the earth–On you, my hope will stay.
I will look even to the hills–On their horizon, I’ll always see,
through the eye of faith, my Savior, heading down with help for me.

P. A. Oltrogge

“He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.”

Psalm 121:3-8 NKJV

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

words of Jesus in John 14:27 NKJV

Dear Child of Mine

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Read My Word daily,
dear child of Mine,
for I have a plan
for your life that’s fine.

Blessed and happy
I want you to be…
Every good and perfect gift
comes down to you through Me.

I’ve seen your sorrows,
and I’ve seen your tears.
Look to Me as your Father
and abandon any fears.

Don’t worry about anything…
instead, just pray.
Then you’ll hear My voice;
I’ll shepherd your way.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Psalm 23:1 KJV

and see Jeremiah 29:11-13,
James 1:17, John 10:27

What a Friend…

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“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” John 15:9 NKJV

I’m sharing today the poetry of the old hymn–“What a Friend we Have in Jesus”

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there.

Joseph M. Scriven
(Written in 1855)

Jesus is our solace, our refuge and strength. I hope you enjoyed remembering this old hymn.

“…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV

The above image of Jesus
used by permission of Bob Berran
at http://www.bobberran.com
See his Online Store
to purchase reprints of various sizes

I would add a few scriptures of encouragement, though, regarding any weakness we may sometimes feel:

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:29-31 NKJV

“The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.”
Psalm 29:11 NIV

“…let the weak say, I am strong.” Joel 3:10

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. The Lord is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed. Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; be their shepherd also and carry them forever.” Psalm 28:6-9

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

The Lord’s blessings be upon you today is my prayer…

Snow Poem

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There’s a quietness…the air is brisk;

and now it’s getting thick with snow

as I take a walk along the street,

with nowhere necessary today to go.

Heard in the distance are joyful shouts

of some children who are out at play.

Predictions are…the snow will be deep—

the schools have been called off today.

Cars are few out on the streets;

and those that are out are going slowly.

The beauty of the snowfall makes one think,

for the moment, only of its presence wholly.

“Have you entered the treasury of snow?”

That was a question God asked of Job.

“He gives snow like wool,” is from the Psalms.

The neighborhood seems to be in a “snow globe.”

Underneath my plush-lined boots,

the snow keeps crunching as I walk.

Heading back to my front porch,

I meet some neighbors and stop to talk.

They invite me to come inside for coffee,

where the fireplace in their home is glowing.

It’s a perfect time for fellowship

on a day set aside because it’s snowing.

P. A. Oltrogge

Scripture references:
Job 38:22
Psalm 147:16

God Knows

I was recently reminded about a poem written by Minnie Louise Haskins, and an excerpt from it, which was quoted by Queen Elizabeth’s father, George VI, in his 1939 Christmas radio address, at a time during World War II when things were very dark for England. Here are its encouraging words, which actually are a reflection on Jesus, the True Light (John 1:6-9):

The Gate of the Year

“God Knows”

“i said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: ‘Give me a light that I may tread softly into the unknown.’ And he replied: ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.'”

King George concluded his radio address by saying,

“May that Almighty Hand guide and uphold us all.”

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