Cares and a Crown

The very hairs of your head are numbered–
God shares that thought so you won’t be encumbered
With worries and cares that should be laid at His feet,
Since He knows the best way to make all lives complete.
He satisfies the desire of all living things
By opening His hand, and with it He brings
Bountiful blessings beyond what’s desired,
For He loves to give even more than the required.
To avoid any pitfalls, you need to become sharpened
By going to God’s Word daily, therein to hearken.
And don’t think, in any instance, His direction will cease–
Just go by what lines up with His Word and gives peace.
For Jesus is the Good Shepherd; He won’t let you down.
He has much for you here and then, one day, a crown.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

“Thou dost open Thy hand, and dost satisfy the desire of every living thing.” Psalm 145:16

“…Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.’ Revelation 2:10

If God Had Waited

If God had waited when He’d been wronged,
When His creation was altered from the way it belonged,
We wouldn’t have seen Him immediately begin
To set forth His plan to atone for man’s sin.
In our terms, it “hurt” that man disobeyed,
Ruining the perfection that He had made.
But stubborn resentment is not recorded–
No, provision and care were quickly afforded.
For their sin He would send them a righteous Savior
To gain back for them unmerited favor.
And until the promise of that was fulfilled,
He cared for mankind so that trust would be instilled.
Taking offense isn’t what we should do,
But returning with love is tried and true.
So why do you now in your life wait so long
For an apology for what you feel has been wrong
That another may have done to you–
Just forgive and forget right away and start new.
Or perhaps it’s you who should apologize;
Remember, waiting breaks fellowship and is really unwise.
Jesus said, “Whenever you stand praying, forgive.”
You’ll find that it’s freeing and the best way to live.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And Jesus answered saying to them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.'”

Mark 11:22-26

Adventures in Prayer

There are things in this world that may grab your attention,
But give greater thought to what Jesus did mention–
That life more abundant can be yours every day;
And that will increase if you take time to pray.
Give it your heart and give it your all–
Remember that, for you, there’s no greater call.
The things of this world–its gadgets and inventions,
Can never compete with all of God’s intentions,
Which are wrought by you through prayers effective and fervent,
Impacting lives–through prayer, you’re His servant.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”

James 5:16-18 (New King James)

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 Towering Name…

I’ve come across your path today, and I may not know your name,
But though we’re not acquainted, I’d like to speak of Jesus just the same.
He knows the details of your life–anything you’re going through;
Yes, even if you don’t know Him, He knows all about you.
I’ve found Him to be a faithful God, Who I know in a personal way.
He desires to help each person intimately–all we have to do is pray.
For those who’ve put their trust in Him, guidance becomes very sure;
His will is good and perfect, coming from a heart that’s loving and pure.
If you’re facing worries, never despair–the name of Jesus is a strong tower
To run into for help and wisdom, which flow richly from that Name’s power.
And at the name of Jesus, one day, every knee will bow;
But God’s Spirit is moving every day, seeking all who will honor Him now.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.”
Proverbs 18:10

“Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:9-11

Dear Jewish Friend

We’re meant to be family, I pray you can see,
That the Jewish carpenter, Jesus, was from your family tree.
Of the house and lineage of David, as Jewish as you yourself,
Yet he was God and Messiah, not a name in a Book on a shelf.
Your Torah, too, speaks about the sacrifices
Necessary for what a holy God saw as mankind’s vices.
God’s people couldn’t come to the priest with righteousness of their own,
But through the slaying of an animal, a cleansing was shown.
Your devotion to God is very commendable,
Yet your system of belief is not dependable
Before the God of Israel’s holy face–
You see, you must recognize the One sent in your place.
No, there won’t be a Messiah by any other name
But the revealed Jesus Christ of worldwide fame.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son–
Don’t look for another Messiah to do what Jesus has already done.

P. A. Oltrogge

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

The Man Above All Men

Have you met up with Jesus?
He’s your kind of man…
Came down here from heaven,
Carrying out God’s mighty plan.
He’s still here today, capturing hearts, lives, and souls,
Giving all whom He touches much worthier goals.
He doesn’t actually show up in visible form,
But you’re aware of His presence when prayer becomes norm.
And some have had visions or have seen him in dreams,
And what they remember is the love that He beams…
That’s also reflected in the Words of His book;
The renowned Holy Bible is the right place to look.
You might think you know what could give you life’s best,
But those who follow His lead are on a sure quest.
He wants to increase your every potential,
But living for Him and others is essential.
Dedicating all that you have to Him is not loss–
The best in mind for you is why He died on the cross.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5, 6

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Scriptures from the New King James Version of the Bible

The Depth of My Love

What do you think drove me from heaven above
Down to this earth? It was the depth of my love.
Betrayed by a kiss, a symbol of such–
Yet what drove me on was that I loved you so much.
When they led me away and gave me a shove,
What kept me going was the depth of my love.
They gave me a trial, but it was not just–
Bitter to go through, but my heart said, “I must.”
A plait of thorns pushed down with a glove,
It bruised my head to show the depth of my love.
The whipping I took for sin in your place,
I found strength to take because I saw your face.
I’ve loved you, I’ve called you–you are my dove,
For whom I laid down my life with the depth of my love.
The weight of the cross became hard to bear–
I staggered but made it to Calvary there.
On that merciless beam, my hands were nailed down;
Next, I was put on display to be mocked throughout town.
Then came the time of agony and despair,
When I felt forsaken but still kept my care
For all of mankind and, yes, just for you.
For your welfare and soul, I had made it through.
So what kept me going when push came to shove?
From your “down to earth” God, it was the depth of my love.
Though your sins be as scarlet, they’ll be white as snow.
They’re forgiven and forgotten and now you can grow
In the knowledge and wisdom that comes from above,
And my Word will remind you of the depth of my love.

P. A. Oltrogge

The Way to Please God

So many religions speak of various ways
To address pleasing God all of your days.
Five times a day, you could be down on your knees,
With prayers to the god you hope to please.
But, really, these things are ritual merely
And can’t please Him, no matter if done so very sincerely.
But there is a way to come to God,
And it’s by looking to the road that Jesus has trod.
He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
He paved the way for you through much strife
Released upon Him as He went to the cross,
Where He suffered in pain so you wouldn’t be lost
To the God who loves you and calls to you now
To embrace His Son, Jesus, to Whom one day every knee will bow.
But only grace through faith is involved—all works are in vain.
Through Jesus’ righteousness, our salvation is made plain.
You may want to fall to your knees when you recognize all that was done
By a God who loved so greatly, He gave His only Son.

P. A. Oltrogge

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

“Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” John 14:6

“Therefore, also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him, the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9