A Perfect Redemption

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” Matthew 9:35 (NKJV)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

“…that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.'” Matthew 8:17 (New King James – NKJV)

“…for by His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

Jesus, You took my infirmities, You took my pains…
Through scourges and the bleeding that came from Your veins.
That blood was spilled out for my sins, well-being, and health–
A perfect redemption from God’s Son of great wealth.
There’s no point in my bearing a cruel disease–
You’ve already done so in order to please
The Father in heaven, Who gives in a loving way,
To any who come to Him in faith when they pray.
In this matter, some have been hurt by the devil’s wiles;
But Your compassion is steadfast in the midst of such trials.
To keep my words in the past tense is what You’re telling me–
“For me, the battle’s been won!” and the devil has to flee.
I’ll continue to thank You despite how I feel
And practice faith laughter since it’s a “done deal.”
In faith, through my actions, I’ll pursue any route
That, if led by Your guidance, would assist in the way out.
But “mountains” melt like wax in Your presence, oh Lord,
And the one that’s before me must yield to Your Sword.
In remembrance of You, I’ll often take
Of the covenant meal provided for my sake.
I won’t quit in giving thanks, but see myself whole,
For You didn’t just attempt–but achieved–redemption’s goal.
A message in Your Word, a message that’s true–
“He heals all my diseases”–I know You’ve seen it through.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases….” Psalm 103:1-3

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'” 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 (NKJV)

“My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22

“The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.” Psalm 97:5

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-15

“With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold My salvation.” Psalm 91:16

(If you’ve experienced doubts or even disappointment regarding healing, I pray you will cast the care of that over on the Lord and persevere, retaining faith for healing, for God’s Word is His will.)

Further scripture references:

In Deuteronomy 28:15-22, 27-29, 35-61 sicknesses and disease are listed as a curse of the Law. Galatians 3:13-14 states that “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us….”

Exodus 15:26; Exodus 23:25-26; Psalm 91:3; Psalm 91:10; Psalm 107:19-20; Psalm 118:17; Proverbs 12:18; Proverbs 16:24; Proverbs 17:22; Isaiah 53:4-5; Isaiah 55:11; Isaiah 57:19; Matthew 7:11; Matthew 8:2-3; Matthew 15:30-31; Mark 11:23-26; Mark 16:15, 17-18; Luke 18:27; John 10:10; Acts 10:38; Romans 8:11; James 1:17; 1 John 4:4; 3 John:2 and others.

God’s Flower of “Brass”

Photo by Arturo Yee

Photo by Arturo Yee

The Easter lily with its trumpet-like flower
Is a pure white tribute to Christ’s cleansing power.
It heralds, through its trumpet, His resurrection–
And that now we are made clean through His life of perfection.
That’s why you see the lilies on each Easter day,
And you can “hear” the song, which they yearly play.
The winter of separation from our heavenly Father is ended.
Through all Jesus did, that relationship is mended.
The heavens are telling of the glory of God–
While other flowers join the symphony, coming up through the sod.
These proclaim His handiwork, and even the stones cry out.
The sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him we, too, can spread about.
This Jesus is the Lord of all new birth,
Being the firstborn from the dead, God’s Son of great worth.
There was none that did good, no, not one–
Until God, in His love, sent us His only Son.
Perhaps there’s a lily representing the cleansing of your soul;
If not, just surrender your heart to be on God’s roll.
Then at Easter, consider the lilies and pray all will “hear”
God’s wonderful proclamation for why they appear.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1

“But thanks be to God who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

“Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.'” Luke 19:37-40 (New King James)

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” Revelation 1:5

“…There is no one who does good, not even one.” Psalm 14:3 and Psalm 53:3

Just as He Said

After the Sabbath at the beginning of day,
Mary and others were on their way
To anoint the body of the Lord they held dear.
But they were taken aback at the tomb as they came near,
For they were greeted by an angelic being
And could hardly believe what they were seeing.
From the tomb the great stone had been rolled away,
And on it was the angel as bright as day.
The angel pointed to the place where Jesus had been lying,
Saying, “He has risen, just as He said”–truly death defying!
The women went quickly to tell His disciples as well
Of the Risen Lord Who holds the keys to heaven and hell.
With fear and great joy, they went on their way
But met up with Jesus that first Easter day!
They fell down at His feet, giving Him praise,
Rejoicing because He’d risen in three days.
He greeted them with love and said He would be
Appearing again to His disciples in Galilee.
Today in His promises we have a share,
For He said He would meet us again in the air.
So though some are doubtful or wonder just when
Jesus will really be coming again–
Remember that He said He would rise from the dead,
And He’s coming again—just as He said!

P. A. Oltrogge

(From the account in Matthew 28)

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,
and receive you to Myself; that where I am there you may be also.”
John 14:3

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until
the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord
Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with
the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and
remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,
and thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’
Amen. Come Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”
Revelation 22:20, 21

To the Uttermost…through Christ

“But He holds His priesthood unchangeably, because He lives on forever. Therefore, He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them. (Here is) the High Priest (perfectly adapted) to our needs, as was fitting–holy, blameless, unstained by sin, separated by sin, separated from sinners, and exalted higher than the heavens.” Hebrews 7:24-26 (The Amplified Bible)

God is able to save to the uttermost…

He’s able to reach any soul.

He’s able to love to the uttermost…

Forgiving and making them whole.

He’s able to comfort to the uttermost…

When things have gone hurtfully wrong;

He can heal broken hearts to the uttermost…

Replacing their grief with a song.

He’s able to guide to the uttermost…

Leading beside quiet waters.

He possesses all wisdom to the uttermost…

And shares it with His sons and daughters.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity….” Proverbs 2:6-7

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians1:3-4

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:18, 19

“The Lord is my strength and song….” Exodus 15:2 and Psalm 118:14

The Blessing of the Animals…

Photo by Martin Pettitt

“For by Him all things were created…” Colossians 1:16

In this world of great variety, the Lord’s signature is made very plain
From the spots upon a leopard to a majestic horse’s mane.
He gave many creatures to live on land, while others need the seas;
Some soar high into the skies, but seek to nestle in the trees.

Many animals need a caretaker and a home on ranch or farm–
Cattle and sheep, as examples, need protection from outside harm.
They’re among God’s provisions for man; and there’s also the ocean store–
Fishermen find their livelihoods there, off of any good coast or shore.

And getting a glance of sea creations, like the dolphins or the whales
Is a rewarding sight to be appreciated on an outing on a boat that sails.
Children are eager to tell you of their enjoyment of the animals at a zoo–
Elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras, monkeys, and bear–just to name a few.

Horses largely have been tamed, but have run wild upon some plains–
Many a man, woman, or youth has loved holding a horse’s reins.
Some people still need and appreciate them for the work they can perform,
While others love to race them and see their ability to “outperform.”

Dogs of a great many varieties are true companions, or work as aides,
To people who have special needs and to police, fire, or military brigades.
Down through the years there have been stories that often can astound
Of a dog’s relationship with its master and how their love and loyalty abound.

Kittens are enjoyed, especially, by children who love to watch them play;
Cats are company, as well, with their own distinct character and way.
Then there are the smaller things, like the bees, bugs, or butterflies–
Beauty is in their fine details, and the study of them can be wise.

Those who love the animals may be fond of one particular kind,
Or they may be the type who likes almost any animal that comes to mind.
So greatly we appreciate all the many creatures that we know–
It’s hard to think that there’s just one to call God’s “Best of Show.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast….” Proverbs 12:10

“The righteous care for the needs of their animals….” (NIV)

Photo by Vicky Frank

Photo by Vicky Frank

I Am Blessed

“Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Behold the ships, also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity, the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.”
James 3:3-6

Like a bit in a horse’s mouth directs a horse on a trail’s way,
Or as a rudder turns a ship around out upon a bay,
So our words, says the Bible, create good or bad,
Affecting whether we’re happy or whether we’re sad.
Three words that you can use to fight a melancholy spirit
Are, “I am blessed!” Say it out loud, so your own ears hear it!
To start your day with these three words will get you on the proper track;
Just don’t let circumstances cause you to take them back.
Speaking words of faith when things seem to be adverse
Are that bit or rudder needed to enforce victory over the curse.
Though the tongue is small, the Bible refers to it as being like a fire,
So set it on the course of all the good that you desire!
“I am blessed!” charges the atmosphere with God’s power and light,
And leaves no room for the powers that would bring darkness and blight.
Agreement with a friend or spouse can be a powerful thing–
Just think what agreement with Almighty God Himself can bring!
So remember, “I am blessed!” when your life seems to need a lift;
Such words and the promises of God can cause anything to shift!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever, Amen.” Ephesians 3:20, 21

“You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you; and light will shine on your ways.” Job 22:28

“A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are the snare of his soul.” Proverbs 18:7

“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.” Mark 11:23 (See also 24-26 on forgiving.)

“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

“With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; he will be satisfied with the product of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:20, 21

“He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles.” Proverbs 21:23

“I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.” Isaiah 57;19 (KJV)

“The mouth of a righteous man is a fountain of life….” Proverbs 10:11

“…the mouth of the upright will deliver them.” Proverbs 12:6

“A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words….” Proverbs 12:14

“…but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

“The one who guards his mouth preserves his life….” Proverbs 13:3

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

Other scripture references: Proverbs 14:3, Proverbs 15:2, 4, Proverbs 16:23

Why do Some Persecute Him?

He asked of Saul and He asks today,
why is it wrong when people want to pray?
And why should a book as greatly hailed
as the Bible sometimes be assailed?

How have the ten commandments done harm
to people from any town, city, or farm?
And why does it cause some to be on edge
simply because “under God” is in a pledge?

Surely, all should see the need to refrain
from torturing the unborn with brutal pain.
If some people are old or infirm,
why not let God bring their lives to term?

He asked of Saul and He asks today,
why keep a God of love away?
Why do they resist a Name so renowned
and One who has been rightly crowned?

The world has heard of His virgin birth–
He is Jesus Christ of incalculable worth.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now Saul…fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who art Thou, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.'”
Acts 9:1-5

Reflections on the Legend of the Dogwood

Photo by Zest-pk

Photo by Zest-pk

I think that I shall never see
As lovely a “bouquet” as a dogwood tree.

Pink-flowered, or purple, or snowfall white–
They create a breathtaking sight.

They’re reflections of the Master designer–
Of all beauty He’s created, there isn’t much finer.

They do speak of the divine, for a legend they bear–
On each flower’s center, a “crown of thorns” is there.

Like the beams of a cross, the petals connect,
With rust-colored tips–of Christ’s blood they reflect.

It flowed from His veins, pierced with a spike’s metal,
Of which we’re reminded by a hole in each petal.

That dogwoods were once strong enough to be a cross is a story;
After Calvary, God took pity on them to yet speak of His glory.

But though just a story, not Biblical fact–
The legend has stuck and has made an impact.

For in springtime when blossoms of dogwoods begin,
We think not only of their beauty, but of our Savior within.

Then, too, it can be said that, after winter, when they flower,
they remind not just of the cross, but of Christ’s resurrection power!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.'” John 11:25

Photo by Nicholas Tonelli

Photo by Nicholas Tonelli

Snuggle into God’s Presence

When I was a child and had an anxious thought,
A loving parent’s presence was the first thing I sought.
When they took me into their arms, I found the very best place to snuggle;
Their loving embrace would relieve me completely of my struggle.

There’s still a child within today that sometimes is unsure;
And turning to our heavenly Father is what makes us be secure.
His arms are open wide for us–He says to cast our cares
Upon Himself, and that’s because great love is what He shares.

Many are the words of faithfulness and comfort He provides;
In His arms of shelter, we find the place where lifelong love abides.
Though I can’t see Him face to face, He says He’ll make my ears
To hear His voice, which will always bear a message to relieve my fears.

Isaiah 41:10
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you
with My righteous right hand.”

And if I have a day where it seems like I’m just drifting about,
Perhaps I need to stop and ask the Lord to help me sort things out.
What should I do each moment–each day that would be best?
I know if I stop and listen, I’ll hear a nudge towards the path most blessed.

P. A. Oltrogge

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me….”
John 10:27 (NASV)

(Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV))

The Tomb That Became Glorious…

“And so they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where He was crucified, there was a garden; and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been laid. Therefore on account of the Jewish day of preparation, because the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.” John 19:40-42

from John 20….

At a new tomb, a garden tomb, a great stone had been rolled away–
Just to show that the Almighty Jesus Christ didn’t stay!
Briefly, His body, in linen, with spices, had been placed therein,
But lasting death, for this Man, was not destined to win!

That morning Mary Magdalene came while it was not yet dawn–
Then ran to get Simon Peter when she found that Christ’s body was gone.
Upon hearing this, Peter and John went out and came unto the tomb;
Only the linen wrappings were lying there within its room.

They went away, believing, after they’d seen for themselves what she’d said;
Until then, they hadn’t understood the Scripture that “He must rise again from the dead.”
Then Mary remained outside the tomb, and while she was weeping,
She looked inside again to find two angels, their posts keeping.

“Woman, why are you weeping?” was the question they put to her–
She replied that her Lord’s body was taken–by whom or where, she wasn’t sure.
Turning around, she saw a “gardener,” but didn’t yet recognize
That standing there was the beloved Christ, before her very eyes.

When He said, “Mary,” her eyes were opened to every familiar feature
Of the One she loved, and for whom she’d wept, “Rabboni,” the Master and Teacher.
He had yet to ascend to His Father–so, therefore, He bid Mary go,
To tell the brethren of His ascension–He wanted them all to know!

We, too, can go from the garden tomb, a place that had seen God’s glory,
To tell all the world of what Christ has done–this world’s greatest love story.
“I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God, Jesus said–
They’re still words that speak of “Family” to those who’ll believe that He rose
from the dead.

At that garden tomb, a much greater “stone” had actually been rolled away…
Of death and darkness, now removed, to reveal the Light of Jesus Christ’s Way!

P. A. Oltrogge

“And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood, and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelations 1:5, 6

“I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelations 1:18