You Were There For Me

Yesterday’s post was something I use to bolster faith, sometimes despite feelings or circumstances. Today’s poem/post speaks of those times when a problem has been or has seemed overwhelming:

Sometimes in a crisis, either in our minds or that’s real,
we need the patient listening of someone who can feel…

the pain that we’re going through, the stress that is there.
By listening to our “story,” they show us the care…

that we are so in need of at times of trouble or pain.
Advice offered and a listening ear make Jesus’ love plain.

Best of all is when they offer to pray with us on the spot,
cooling things down in situations that are simply too “hot.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 NKJV

Lord, may I “be there” for someone else, as well…even in praying for those in troubled areas of the world, though I don’t know them by name….

His Strength is Our Strength

Thank you, God, for sending Jesus for us all…
To pay the ransom for our souls–redeeming us from man’s fall.

Thank you, God, for good strong angels that are mine;
And thank you–for this earthly body made so fine.

Thank you, Father, for my heart’s strong and steady beat;
And thank you for strong health–from my head down to my feet.

Thank you that you’re there, if I come under attack;
Thank you, Good Shepherd, that you’ve always got my back.

Thank you that I can look for miracle answers to come my way
For problems that seem difficult, for you hear me when I pray.

Thank you, Jesus, for your promise of a blessed, abundant life;
Thank you, too, that you taught us to keep from strife.

Thank you for giving servants who teach your Word for these days;
Thank you for their anointing and that they emphasize your praise.

Thank you, Lord, that as I sow Kingdom seeds to you,
A goodly harvest is produced in everything I do.

P. A. Oltrogge

This poem can be used as a confession of faith, along with many wonderful scriptures:

“The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.” Habakkuk 3:19

“Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7 KJV

“Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.” Joel 3:10 KJV

“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

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” Psalm 139:14 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

“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11

“My flesh and my heart may fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

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

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

“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.” Ephesians 6:10

“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3 KJV

Seeing “us” in the story of Zacchaeus

“And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received Him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:1-10 KJV

When this first came to mind, it seemed humorous (Prov. 17:22); but I think there is some truth to it.

Sometimes….

Like Zacchaeus, do we find ourselves “up a tree,”
Feeling strained about whether or not we can see
Jesus, the Lord, in the midst of our day,
even though we really took no time to pray?

Mercifully, Jesus calls us to quickly come down–
We sense His smile and not a frown;
He wants to come to where we live
To share counsel and love that He has to give.

Short in stature, Zacchaeus was,
“Short on time” is our daily buzz…
If we seek Christ’s Kingdom first of all,
We can avoid high trees and a possible fall.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35 KJV

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6 NKJV

“Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there.” Acts 16:7 NLT

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 KJV

“Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.” Proverbs 28:26

In light of so many serious things going on in the world these days, I hesitated to post this, but, hopefully, it can at least be a reminder about the importance of prayer and then also to:

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” Psalm 122:6 KJV

Are You Experiencing Famine?

“Give us this day our daily bread…” from Matthew 6:9-14

There’s famine in the world today, though there’s “Bread” that is abounding;
So many walk with uncertainty when personal concerns become confounding.

They’re out the door to earn their living to buy life’s necessities and more;
But the “Bread” they’re missing in their lives can’t be purchased at any store.

Instead, it’s there in the Bible, where Jesus’ words of nourishment are found,
That feed our spirits about the blessings with which God wants us to be crowned.

Not only for things that we may desire, but there are blessings of a still greater kind–
Peace amidst troubles, faith that endures, and love of others comes to mind.

Never taking the time to read it, or ever searching out a church where it’s taught,
Can all make up for a very draining day, or for times when they’ll feel distraught.

Let’s pray all the more for those around us, even believers–and those who are not yet–
To realize they don’t have to starve any more–there’s a hearty feast of “Bread”
they can get.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.'” John 6:35 NKJV

When the poem says, “even believers,” it’s simply meant that the writer or any person who has already received the Bread of Life, Jesus, will benefit by coming to Him daily, through His Word, not neglecting it.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 NKJV

See John 1:1-18 — John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

postscript to this poem:

There are some places on this earth
where there are shortages or it’s not been translated;
Pray for the people there, and for those working to bring
this great “Bread” for which they’ve waited.
(see http://www.wycliffe.org)

Who do you say that Jesus is?

“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, and others, Elijah, but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.'” Matthew 16:13-16

Some say that Jesus Christ was just a man in a world history book,
While others call Him God–so it’s best to take another look.
Assurance of eternal destiny is a topic that’s talked about–
If your answers for that are doubtful, the truth can easily be found out.

Wouldn’t a loving God provide help to find your way?
Yes, through the Holy Bible–it’s where He has His say.
In fact, God wants the news to spread about sending us His Son–
Through Christ’s death on a criminal’s cross, redemption for all was won.

“Why would I need ‘redemption,'” you ask; “I’ve lived a life that’s good.”
Well, we were meant to live holy, but God saw we never could.
He alone is holy, righteous, almighty, and the supreme justice-keeper–
He’s the very source of love, of which there’s none that’s deeper.

It’s an old familiar story that Christ came down to this earth
To fulfill God’s laws and offer every one of us “new birth.”
“In the beginning was the Word,” and in Christ, “the Word became flesh.”
He is that Word, and it’s by Him that our lives can begin afresh.

There’s no other name under heaven that has been given among men
By which we must be saved than that of Jesus Christ, my friend.
Sadly, some who don’t believe still use His name in swearing,
Not recognizing that it’s the Name that signifies God’s caring.

And others, in profanity, speak carelessly, using “hell.”
No one needs to go there, but it’s real and where some dwell.
“On what proof,” you ask, “does anyone stand who emphatically states
That there is really no other way to gain entrance at heaven’s gates?”

The proof is in God’s goodness, confirmed as the Holy Spirit flows,
Through all that’s said in the Bible and as all creation shows.
The Bible says we’re without excuse if we don’t perceive these things–
Please trust the words of Jesus and find the blessing that He brings.

Those who go on to eternity, rejecting the gift of God’s grace
Will miss the joy of one day seeing our loving Savior’s face.
So, simply answer Christ’s question now of, “Who do you say that I am?”
By receiving Him as your own Savior and Lord–God’s sacrificial Lamb.

P. A. Oltrogge

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:12-14

“Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead–by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:10-12

“…because that which is known about God is evident within them for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:19,20

“For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12

A Thankful Heart

Lord, help me to have a thankful heart, even if things seem to have gone wrong,
For it’s only by trusting in Your love, that the faith in my heart remains strong.

Help me to see what’s been good, and how You have touched my days;
Then, in thinking upon such things, my words will be given to praise.

Help me to thank You, in faith, for any specific blessing I might desire;
Let thankfulness be my “prayer” always, for it’s that which will lift me higher.

Help me to thank You in front of problems–there’s benefit and healing in laughter,
Believing in Your solutions before they’re seen–not waiting to have joy ’til after.

Keep me from forgetting to count blessings, or of thinking only of my own concerns;
For it’s in considering the various needs of others, that any discontent turns.

Help me to look to Your finished work and Your victory for us through the cross;
As the Israelites looked at the serpent on a pole, only then were they kept from loss.

Help me to learn from Your example, of earnestly seeking Your Father’s will,
So that I may do the same with my own life, seeking His plan to follow and fulfill.

Yes, even if I’ve gone through something hard or have come to a difficult place,
Help me to thank You for being there with Your presence, Your love, and Your grace.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” Psalm 100:4 NKJV

“Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15

“To Thee I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:17

“A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” Proverbs 15:13 NKJV

“All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15 NKJV

“A merry heart does good, like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 NKJV

“The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent (of bronze) and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.'” Numbers 21:8 AMP

In God’s Vineyard

Photo by Lori Branham

Photo by Lori Branham

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:1-5

Jesus, You are the True Vine, to which I’m blessed to have a strong connection;
It’s through Your truths and the Holy Spirit You sent, that I find wisdom and direction.

Before learning to trust Your guidance, I attempted some plans of my own;
But they only showed me my need to draw close–to You at Your heavenly throne.

There, You’d waited patiently for me, to learn more about You and abide
In the peace of Your presence in order to bear fruit, by which Your Father is glorified.

It’s written in Your Word, that I’m seated with You, together in the heavenly places;
I’m an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ, so I receive of divine daily graces.

“Much fruit” are actually the words that this portion of scripture has detailed;
You will perfect a good work in me, so I won’t be a branch that has failed.

Without You, I can do nothing; but, by drawing from the Vine, I become able
To tell of the One who changed water into wine–the best at the wedding table.

Many other miracles can come to mind as I think back on all that I’ve read;
Parables shared and words that were prophetic are among the things that You said.

In and through You, I’m the kind of branch that remains and continues to thrive,
sharing through kind deeds and words about Jesus, our God, who is very much alive!

P. A. Oltrogge

“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:6-11

“You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me.” John 15:3-4
(New Living Translation)

“Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7

“The spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.” Romans 8:16-17

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 KJV

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

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13 KJV

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6