The Resurrected Lord appears at the Sea of Galilee

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples several times–for instance, once at the Sea of Galilee. In the group were Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, two other disciples, and the sons of Zebedee.

Peter announced he was going to go out to fish; and they all decided they would join him, too, on the boat. They fished all night but caught nothing; and in the morning they saw Jesus on the shore as they were afloat.

They didn’t realize this was the Master when He called to them as “friends,” asking if they had fish aboard. “No,” they said–but then took His advice, that a shift of the net to the right side shouldn’t be ignored.

When they did as He said, they came into such an abundance of fish that they weren’t able to haul in the net, which caused them to remember a previous miraculous catch–an incident they could never forget.

John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, spoke up first, saying, “It is the Lord!” They all were overwhelmed and excited. Peter, in his eagerness, threw on his tunic, and jumped into the sea for the shore–so unable to wait to be reunited.

The others followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, with which Jesus had just blessed–such a great haul. A fire of burning coals with fish and also bread was ready on shore, where the Lord wanted to dine with them all.

Jesus said that they should bring some of the fish just caught–153 large fish in all, and yet the net wasn’t torn. “Come and have breakfast,” was His warm greeting to His disciples there on that joyful and, to them, miraculous morn.

Have you fished all night, are you not expecting to see the Lord show up, do you think miracles are few and far between? Well, He’s the resurrected Lord, and is “ALIVE forevermore!” We can expect to see miracles yet like none we’ve ever seen!

P. A. Oltrogge

(from John 21:1-14
and reference to Luke 5:1-11)

“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.’” Revelation 1:17-19

It’s most often attributed that John was “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Of course, Jesus loved all of His disciples–all were the recipients of His unmerited love, as we also are today!

I hope that you enjoyed remembering this Bible account. God bless you today and always as you expect His best! Enjoy coming to have “breakfast” with Him through the Word!

The Truth in Three Words

Are you facing some problems that can’t be ignored?
That’s when it’s so vital to say, “Jesus is Lord.”

He’s Lord over any circumstance or thing that seems lacking.
These words express faith in God’s absolute backing.

They enforce the devil’s defeat which, for your sake, was won
by the Lord of the universe–Jesus, God’s Son.

JESUS IS LORD!

P. A. Oltrogge

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.”

“For to which of the angels did He ever say, ‘Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee’? And again, ‘I will be a Father to Him, and He shall be a Son to Me’ And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, ‘And let all the angels of God worship Him.’ And of the angels He says, ‘Who makes His angels winds, and His ministers a flame of fire.'”

“But of the Son He says, ‘Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His Kingdom.'” Hebrews 1:1-8 NASB

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.” Colossians 2:6-10

“And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”  Colossians 2:13-15 NASB

On the Legend of the Dogwood

Dogwood

Photo by Audrey

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

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 Scriptures 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

“Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed–for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.” John 20:8-9 New Living Bible

“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 NASB

“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 NASB

The Trial of Jesus Christ

He was brought before Pilate by God’s divine plan;
Pilate said, “I find no guilt in this man.”
Questioned before Herod, Christ gave no reply,
For He knew in His heart He was destined to die.

Then brought back to Pilate once more to stand–
Pilate still found no guilt justifying a crucifixion demand.
But the crowd was insistent–their voices prevailed;
And God’s Sacrificial Lamb was thereby unveiled.

Led away with two criminals while women mourned
To a place called, “The Skull,” where He would be scorned–
There He was lifted, nailed to a cross’s wood,
Though His service to God had been perfect and good.

An inscription said, “This is the King of the Jews.”
He came to lay down His life–it was His role to choose.
He was taunted by soldiers and a criminal in despair,
Saying if He was the Christ, He could come down from there.

The other criminal feared God, saying their misdeeds were strong,
“But this man has done nothing wrong.”
A promise of Paradise and a cry from Christ’s voice–
“It is finished!” Thus, we can take Him as Savior by our choice.

Darkness had fallen, the temple veil tore in two–
“Certainly, this man was innocent,” the Centurion said, too.
So went the trial of an innocent man;
But He was God and our Messiah by His Father’s divine plan.

P. A. Oltrogge

from Luke, Chapter 23
and John 19:30

“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will but as You will.’”
Matthew 26:39 (New King James)

“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” John 10:17, 18 (New American Standard)

The God-sent Gift of a Substitute

“…he (Pilate) went out again to the Jews, and said to them, ‘I find no guilt in Him (Jesus). But you have a custom, that I should release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then, that I release for you the King of the Jews?’ Therefore, they cried out again saying, ‘Not this Man, but Barabbas.’  Now Barabbas was a robber.” John 18:38-40

“Crucify Him!” the crowd shouted to Pilate, calling for Barabbas to be released.
It was only when Jesus’ fate was sealed, that the people’s uproar ceased.

Of Barabbas–insurrection, robbery, and murder were the history of the man.
But Jesus was destined to take Barabbas’s place, in accordance with God’s plan.

For those who’ve received Christ as Savior, the following applies...

The Bible states that ALL of us have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory.
Like Barabbas, we were due for punishment, but Jesus changed the ending to our story.

We’re not only pardoned, but are made fellow heirs with Christ, who fully paid our debt. His obedience to His dear Father was the example of a love that we will never forget.

Because of that obedience, we now can call Almighty God our Abba Father, too.
Like Jesus, may we discern and follow our Father’s will in anything He may ask us to do.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And they came to a place named Gethsemane, and He (Jesus) said to His disciples, ‘Sit here until I have prayed.’ And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. And He said to them, ‘My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death, remain here and keep watch.’ And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground, and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, ‘Abba Father, all things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt.'” John 14:32-36

“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” Romans 8:14-16

“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6

“The Spirit Himself testifies 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 so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:16-18

“But now apart from the Law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus…” Romans 3:21-24

And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.  1 John 3:23

“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.'”  John 8:42

“He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” 1 John 5:12

Jesus in Prayer 21

Artwork by Waiting for the Word

One Lamb, the “I Am”

“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14 NKJV

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’”
John 8:58

“He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and he was afflicted. Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.” Isaiah 53:3-7

One Lamb, the “I AM”

Complete redemption is every person’s need, and there is just One Lamb,
Who was silent before His accusers–though He was, and is, the great “I AM.”

All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, but never did this One Lamb.
He kept God’s Laws perfectly, while our own “righteousness” is a sham.

One Lamb bore our sins and sicknesses; we can look to Him still today–
For as in when He walked the earth, He doesn’t want it any other way.

One Lamb, one sacrifice, alone, was sufficient on the cross at Calvary’s hill.
There’s no other than this Lamb of God–there’s no need to be seeking still.

The Almighty God Himself ordained great grace through His One Lamb;
Thank you, Jesus, for having humbled Yourself for us, despite being the great “I AM.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 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 2:5-11

“…And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment….” Isaiah 64:6

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.” Psalm 103:3

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” John 6:35

“Again therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

I am the door; if anyone enter through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly.” John 10:9, 10

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.” John 11:25

“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

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser.” John 15:1

Hosanna to Jesus, our King

Palm Branches

Photo by Luke Jones

“And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.” Leviticus 23:40 NKJV

“Thus I will bless you while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.” Psalm 63:4 NKJV

from John, chapter 12:

Jesus came to Bethany, where He’d recently raised Lazarus from the dead;
so Martha prepared Him a supper where He, Lazarus, and others were fed.
Lovingly, Mary took costly perfume of pure nard and anointed Jesus’ feet.
She then wiped them with her hair, a gesture Jesus lauded as sweet.

Judas rebuked it as being wasteful; but Jesus knew that which was lying ahead–
it was an anointing upon His body before His crucifixion and resurrection from the dead. A great multitude of the Jewish people came out, to the town of Bethany that day, to see Jesus, and Lazarus, too–as news of his resurrection had traveled a long way.

The chief priests didn’t like this at all, and putting Lazarus to death was their thought. They were losing many because of this miracle, which Jesus’ power had wrought. The next day, those who had been at the feast learned Jerusalem was then on Jesus’ route. They took branches from the palm trees to wave–“Hosanna!” was the chorus they began to shout.

Further, they firmly cried out, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
even the King of Israel!” They thought an earthly King was what history would record. Humble and riding on a requested donkey that had never been ridden before,
Jesus entered Jerusalem, amidst their praise, knowing what was really in store.

For just outside of Jerusalem, on a hill called Golgatha, a cross would hold
the precious body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and another Kingdom’s story would unfold. There He would sacrificially die for all mankind, bearing all of their disgrace. But in three days, He would rise and return to His Father in Heaven, in order to prepare us a place.

You see, Jesus Christ IS the King of Kings, as sung in the glorifying Hallelujah Chorus. Those who are His, praise Him still with joy–both now and in the Eternal Kingdom yet before us.

P. A. Oltrogge

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 NKJV

Excerpt from Handel’s “Messiah,” “The Hallelujah Chorus”
“For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
The kingdom of this world
Is become the Kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign forever and ever,
Forever and ever, forever and ever;
King of kings, and Lord of lords!”

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” Revelation 7:9-10 NKJV

Palm branch

Photo by Tree-Species

Choose the Sunday Buffet

Recently I went out for lunch at a restaurant with one who’s a special friend.
We talked about menu items that looked good and what we wanted to spend.

There was also offered a large brunch buffet, of which one could partake.
But we opted for menu entrees, unaware of the time that those would take.

For some reason, our chosen meals from the menu took well over half an hour.
We were seated right by the grand buffet and soon began losing will power.

Here was all of this delicious food; each person came by with a full plate.
Yet despite its nearness, we couldn’t partake, but simply were left to wait.

I thought about that, in a spiritual sense, especially in countries very blessed.
Christian churches abound, yet are passed up–by people who choose Sundays to rest.

God is offering His buffet of goodness and blessings, and the Bible teaches us His voice. But some are waiting and hungering still–due to simply making the wrong choice.

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good…” These words from the Bible are for you!
God wants you to join others in receiving “the Blessing” from Jesus, who is Faithful and True.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.” Psalm 34:8-9

“And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Revelation 19:11

A local Christian church, where you can worship with other believers, is God’s pathway to many blessings; however, here are some on-line church services if you are new to following Jesus or if you simply want to receive more from Him:

http://www.flcbranson.org
http://www.flcsarasota.org
http://www.emic.org
http://www.covenantfamily.cc

A Bit of the Irish

shamrock

Photo by Liz West

“Top of the morning” to you, on this St. Patrick’s Day!
May all of God’s wonderful blessings graciously come your way.

It’s said that St. Patrick used the shamrock, which has leaves of three,
as an illustration to the Irish people of God’s holy Trinity.

Just as a shamrock is composed of three separate leaves, yet is one–
the almighty God of the Bible is the Father, Holy Spirit, and the Son.

Shamrocks have been associated with “luck,” but God’s promises are sure.
While shamrocks cannot last, God’s loving kindness will forever endure.

Today is a day when many will turn to thoughts of the Emerald Isle;
but may we daily be sure to turn our thoughts to the Lord for a while.

And on a day when some may be thinking of “wearing the green,”
may the people of God reflect His joy, which is the best thing to be seen.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7 KJV

Of the Word, Jesus, it’s written: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 KJV

Mark 12:28-30; John 14:6; John 14:9; 1 John 1:1-4; John 1:1-5