A Word of Encouragement

“And He (Jesus) said to them, ‘What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?’ And they stood still, looking sad. And one of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, ‘Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?'” Luke 24:17-18 (NASB)

“And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” Luke 24:27 (NASB) (from the account, after Jesus’ death and burial, of the walk to Emmaus by Cleopas and another, who met the risen Lord on their walk, verses 13-32)

There’s nothing like ENCOURAGEMENT when the way seems hard–

There’s nothing like its bolstering to keep a day (or life) from being scarred.

A word of praise can be depended upon to keep enthusiasm or creativity flowing,

causing a downcast countenance to be one that’s actually “glowing.”

There’s nothing like a caring friend who sends a note or gives a call.

There’s nothing like an encouraging word to keep us from a downfall.

There is an enemy in the world, who wants to ruin God-given potential,

which is why a word of praise from someone is often vital and essential.

Cleopas, while on the road to Emmaus, was talking with his friend

about the recent discouraging facts–on Christ’s life having come to an end.

Then later, when they were joined by Jesus, the Lord opened up their eyes

to the truth of His resurrection–likewise, we need the truth that God supplies.

Of course, the Lord is always there for us,speaking by His Spirit and His Word–

but through friends or even strangers, He can also often be “heard.”

So, as you look around to start your day, be attentive if God is showing to you

someone who needs encouragement–let His supportive words be flowing through you.

P. A. Oltrogge

Thank you to those who follow or sometimes visit this blog for your encouraging notes of appreciation for things posted here. God bless you!

racing
Photo by Heather Temske

Like the wind that fills the sails of a boat, enabling it to glide upon the sea,
a word of encouragement in our lives is so important to you and me.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

“Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:31 and 37 (NKJV)

Picture This…

Picture great crowds, coming to be taught…
Picture the sick, whom others had brought.
Picture them healed through miracles wrought
By Jesus, God’s Son, Whom so many had sought.

Picture a day where the sun was getting low.
“Hear” the disciples saying they just didn’t know…
How the people would eat—and should be told to go;
But picture a lad with loaves and fish that would grow.

“Listen” to Jesus say, “Bring them here to me…”
Picture loaves and fish multiplied by His decree,
With five thousand being fed, at a cost that was free,
And full baskets left over before the disciples put out to sea.

Picture Jesus sending the multitudes away,
Going up to the mountain by Himself to pray–-
Then joining the disciples, through water and spray,
On the fourth watch of the night, just before day.

Picture Peter bravely wanting to join the Lord,
Picture him boldly stepping overboard;
Then see his faith waver as sea and wind roared–
Picture him sinking but, by Christ, being restored.

Picture your own life and remember these things;
Remember that “greatness” to small things Christ brings.
Look to the Lord for your faith to take wings,
As you walk on life’s waters with the King of Kings.

P. A. Oltrogge

Deep Thoughts

Photo by Phil Dolby

Matthew 14:14-31

Remember Job’s Final Outcome

…spoken by the Lord, to Job:

“Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane? Do you make him leap like the locust? His majestic snorting is terrible. He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength; he goes out to meet the weapons. He laughs at fear and is not dismayed; and he does not turn back from the sword. The quiver rattles against him, the flashing spear and javelin. With shaking and rage he races over the ground; and he does not stand still at the voice of the trumpet. As often as the trumpet sounds he says, ‘Aha!’ And he scents the battle from afar, and thunder of the captains and the war cry.” Job 39:19-25

Wild Horses

…photo by firelizard5

In Job, we read a reflection by God of the horse’s boldness and might–
a description that can inspire us in our own lives in any spiritual fight.

“He laughs at fear and is not dismayed…”
We can rely on and be confident in God, rejoicing after we’ve prayed.

“From the sword, he does not turn back–”
God’s equipped us with a powerful Sword (His Word) in any attack.

We confront and resist the devil, knowing our covenant with God is in force.
Laughing at fear, continuing in praise, we know that God is our source.

“As often as the trumpet sounds,” we carry on in our spiritual race–
seeking to find, follow, and fulfill God’s will, for a final reward by His grace.

Always remember the Lord’s outcome at the ending of the story of Job–
when he, after all, was blessed very richly, despite the devil’s probe.

P. A. Oltrogge

probe — an investigation
Satan sought to investigate just how strong Job’s faith in God would be if he was visited with adversities.

“You know we call those blessed (happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God) who were steadfast and endured (difficult circumstances). You have heard of the patient endurance of Job and you have seen the Lord’s outcome (how He richly blessed Job). The Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.” James 5:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)

“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NASB)

For your interest: “How to Find, Follow, and Fulfill God’s Will,”
by Andrew Wommack, http://www.awmi.net, see “Store” (Books)

Qualified through Christ

Close up tulips - by Porch of the Lord

Photo by Porch of the Lord

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-14

A Step on the Ladder to Success

I’ve heard it said that if you want to be a success, then help someone else to succeed. This surely reflects, “Give, and it shall be given unto you,” that Jesus has decreed.

You’ll be blessed to share in the joy of their success, as a result of your interaction. And you’ll be giving the journey to your own goals and success that much greater traction.

God wants us to grow in our relationship with Him and also in relating to our neighbor. Caring about their welfare and sharing the love of Christ is our most rewarding labor.

When we look for opportunities to do this–through prayer or action on our part–as always, the Lord will bless us, too, when others are largely on our heart.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’” Matthew 22:37-40

“Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” John 13:5

“…Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.” John 13:12-15

“But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” Matthew 23:11

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” Psalm 37:23 (NKJV)

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6

Except as noted, all scripture (NASB)

You Walked Away

Bridge to Darkness

…photo by Jeroen van Abeelen

The following was written that it might speak to certain individuals…

You walked away, though you were taught about
the name of Jesus, but it seems you’ve come to doubt.
I’ve tried to show you My love in every way,
but you’ve looked to other people and to whom and how they pray.

I can tell you this–that answers come from Me,
and fulfillment now and always is for those who I set free.
Sure hope that you’ll sense you’re missing being fed
from My Words in the Bible–they’re your daily bread.

Somehow you missed the truth that you must connect
by accepting My Gospel and its power to resurrect.
I remain Jesus Christ of Whom you’ve heard,
and it’s only by My name that salvation is assured.

Not only that, but through My loving sacrifice I won
the right to redeem you, to be a precious daughter or son.
So please head home–the time is very late.
The porch light’s still on, but don’t, please don’t wait.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'” John 14:5-6

“…by the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene…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.” (From Acts 4:10-12)

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:12 KJV

“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 bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Romans 8:14-16

“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

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

Except as noted, all scripture (NASB)

(See “About the Porch”)

And also: http://www.lamblion.com

National Day of Prayer

spring meadow

…photo by Junio

“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Psalm 29:2 (KJV)

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Martin Luther

“Prayer imparts the power to walk and not faint.”

“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”

(The above quotes: Oswald Chambers…)

Abraham’s Absolute Trust

This poetic telling is of the account in the Bible, which was written of in Genesis, chapter twenty-two. It’s the story of Abraham’s act of trust, in a most difficult thing God had asked him to do.

God called upon Abraham to take along Isaac, his much loved and only son, and journey to the land of Moriah, where, He said, a sacrifice would need to be done.

The unthinkable thing about this, was that the sacrifice Abraham was to make–was to be that of his very own son. Abraham must have felt that his heart would break.

God specifically designated Isaac as the sacrifice, leaving no room about it to doubt. So Abraham rose early the very next morning, saddled his donkey, and then set out.

He took two of his young men with him and Isaac, as God had, with certainty, decreed. Abraham had split wood to bring for burning–he would be obedient as the Lord would lead.

On the third day, Abraham looked up and saw at a distance, the designated, sacrificial site. He told the others to stay behind–he and the lad would go to worship there in the early morning light.

Abraham took the wood that was needed for the offering and strapped it upon Isaac’s back. He took the fire and a knife and they walked on together, until Isaac began to realize their lack.

“My father!” he said, and went on to say to Abraham, that the fire and the wood they had–but where was the lamb that they needed for the offering? Then Abraham answered the lad…

that God would provide for Himself the lamb, for the burnt offering that they would be needing. So Abraham and Isaac walked on again together, his absolute trust in God still leading.

Then they came to the place that God had specified, where Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood. He bound his son, Isaac, and laid him upon both, which Isaac certainly couldn’t have understood.

So Abraham stretched out his hand, with the knife to slay his son, but was stopped from doing the act…because the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, saying his fear of God was now shown as fact.

“You have not withheld your son, your only son from Me,” the Lord conveyed. Then Abraham saw a ram–caught in the thicket by his horns, it became the sacrifice–the replacement offering to the Lord by Abraham.

So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will Provide,” as it is said to this day. “In the Mount of the Lord, it will be provided.” These words remind us of one who trusted God in a great way.

A second time, the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and spoke of blessings that were yet to be–that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars in heaven and as the sand on the shores of the sea.

In his seed would all the nations of the earth be blessed, because he’d obeyed the voice of the Lord. So Abraham and Isaac returned to the other men, and went to Beersheba, happy and with God’s reward.

In the same manner, many years later, God, the Father in heaven, actually did give us of His only beloved Son. He spared not His Son, so that we could have reward. When we take Jesus as Savior, our eternal life has begun.

God is the One who taught us of sowing and reaping. You see, He “sowed” His Son as the sacrifice for sin in our place. He’s expecting a great harvest of souls to be His sons and daughters. That’s a gift given to us simply by His grace.

P. A. Oltrogge

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

“…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 3:23-24 (NASB)

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32 (NASB)