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

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“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

It Was for Me…a Poem to Personalize

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Jesus,

In Gethsemane’s garden, You prayed to be strong
in what would overtake You in not very long.

It was for me that You were then betrayed.
It was on You that the task was laid.

As filthy rags, God saw my righteousness claimed–
which is why You stepped in to be defamed.

It was for my sins that You went on trial.
You made the payment for everything vile.

It was for me–this undeserved attack.
It was for me You bore stripes on Your back.

It was for me that You wore the thorns,
and it was for me You bore merciless scorns.

It was for me You walked Calvary’s trail.
It was for me that You endured each nail.

It was for me that You hung in shame.
It was for me–You were taking my blame.

It was for me You painfully died.
It was for me that they pierced Your side.

You did it for me, but in three days You rose.
You did it for me that my case would be closed.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Isaiah 64:6 KJV

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1 NASB

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Romans 5:1 NLT

Peter on the Porch

After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, because it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times.” But Peter kept saying insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all were saying the same thing also. Mark 14:26-31

As Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came, and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Nazarene.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” And he went out onto the porch. The servant-girl saw him, and began once more to say to the bystanders, “This is one of them!” But again he denied it. And after a little while, the bystanders were again saying to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean too.” But he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this man you are talking about!” Immediately a rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he began to weep. Mark 14:66-72

Will you defend the Lord Jesus, learning a lesson from Peter?
It may take some courage, yet it’s the path that’s much sweeter.

If you find yourself among those who openly reject Him,
Will you stand up and share that you greatly respect Him?

Or will you go to the fire to pause and be comfortable and warm,
Rather than to speak out to those who need to be spiritually reborn?

No, the “fire” you should seek is the Holy Ghost’s torch;
Then you won’t have remorse, as Peter did on that porch.

Don’t wait for the “rooster to crow,” as in this Bible account’s denial;
But identify yourself as a follower of Christ whenever He’s “under trial.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” Matthew 5:10-13

“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Matthew 5:44-45

“If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” 1 Peter 4:14

On Stephen, from Acts 6:
“They put forward false witnesses who said, ‘This man incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law; for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us.’ And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel.”

“They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.” Psalm 34:5
(NASB)

Revelation’s Ride of the King

The following poetic thoughts were patterned after an old, historic poem. Though this Porch poem was written several years ago, it is still relevant with each passing day…

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
of the soon return of the King we revere.
In this present year with which we strive,
not a person is now alive
who knows the exact year, day, or hour, but it’s near.

Jesus plainly said that as the signs appear
on the world stage in obvious sight,
we should have our lamps lit with plenty of oil,
as if on a church tower as a signal light–
both to guide others and serve as our key
when He on the opposite shore will be.

Ready to ride, but first keep us from harm,
He will catch away His children through city and farm–
yes, those with His Word, who’ve been up and armed.
When Jesus descends from Heaven with a shout,
there will be no more time for those who claim doubt.

The dead in Christ will be raised up first.
Then believers still alive will leave the earth
to meet the Lord with them in the air,
while others will be left in the tribulation’s snare.

Some misunderstand and say, “None will be left out,”
but that thought is simply a satanic route
to keep you from seeing that God’s beautiful plan
of salvation was meant for each woman and man.

He lovingly yearns for you to come home–
don’t be like the prodigal son who would roam.
For, as in the garden of Eden, the lying voice
of Satan tells you to make your own choice:
“Surely, God didn’t say Christ was THE WAY–
There are many paths to God—think of Him another day.”

But if this life’s pursuits are all you’ve perceived,
You’ll find, in the end, that you’ve been deceived.
It’s a deceptive lie if you think this is all,
when God’s given each one of us a much higher call–
to love Him and others–then join Christ one day,
bringing all whom we can for an eternal stay.

To put faith in so-called prophets of merit
or even in good things you’ve done,
won’t gain you the heaven you hope to inherit–
since THE DOOR is the sinless Christ, God’s Son.

His blood sacrifice made on the cross
is the only assurance against heaven’s loss.
There won’t be a Messiah by any other name,
but Jesus Christ of world-renowned fame.
You’re sure of these things, you ask, by what right?
It’s all found in the Bible, which gives us the light.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good,
offering adoption as His children and true brotherhood.
Blessed beyond measure you’ll surely be
both now and for eternity.

So receive the Lord–it’s simple to pray.
Repent of your sins and turn to Christ’s way.
For as in the time of Noah, it’s now–
what God says is wrong, we must disavow.

The days will get darker in this world of sin;
but Christ is the “Ark,” and He’s urging us to come in.
Things are happening fast upon the world’s scene—
it’s time to embrace what God really did mean.

A hurry of hoofs from a heavenly street,
and the fate of all souls will then be complete.
Revelation tells us that Christ will appear
on a white horse to reign down here,
with a shout of victory and not of fear–
a voice piercing this world’s darkness,
the voice of Him Who is “the Way” and “the Door.”
His Word shall echo forevermore!

For, borne on the night-wind of the past,
through all earth’s history, to the last,
in the hour of darkness and peril and need,
the people who know Him and have listened to hear
for the hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
heed the end-time message of the King we revere!

P. A. Oltrogge

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 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. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

“And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written. ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’” Revelation 19:11-16

“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

“Jesus therefore said to them again, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door, if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.’” John 10:7-9

“But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9

For faith in these times, visit:
http://www.moorelife.org
Faith School, “By Faith, Noah”
(Week 13)

“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.

You, too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.” Luke 12:35,40

Night of Betrayal

…a Lenten poem:

“When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place for Jesus often met there with His disciples. Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, ‘Whom are you seeking?’ They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am He.’ And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.” John 18:1-6 NKJV

On the night of His betrayal, Jesus permitted Himself to be found.
In the presence of the great I AM, the “pursuing” soldiers fell to the ground.

After they revived, He let them lead Him to that for which He’d been born.
Willing to do His Father’s will, He yielded to undeserved scorn.

Whippings, mocking, thorns, and then being nailed to Calvary’s cross—
All of this He endured as a Shepherd, so that sheep need not be lost.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Luke 19:10 NKJV

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
John 10:11 NKJV

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” John 10:17-18 NKJV

“…We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

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A Prosperous Life

Are you coming up short financially or do you find yourself in debt that’s deep?

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you”…is an assuring promise that God will keep.

You can trust the Almighty will care about you, whether you give to Him or not.

But those who give into His Kingdom find…that the more they give, the more provision they’ve got.

For God is a good Father and provider, who takes pleasure in giving back to you.

When we take Him at His Word in this, we’ll find…that His Word is absolutely true.

The Garden of Eden was a bountiful place, but there was a boundary for man that God had set.

In a similar way, if you don’t personally use His tenth, you’ll still have plenty for your own needs to be met.

As in any other business on earth, it takes funds for God’s Kingdom business to be done.

Give unto God, who provided a Savior for us…by giving of His one and only Son.

And a prosperous life isn’t just measured merely by money one has in the bank…

but health, happiness, family and friends come to mind, peace, and contentment. For all of these, we have the good Lord to thank.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 NKJV

“The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” Deuteronomy 28:8 NASB

Matthew 6:33
Galatians 6:7
Malachi 3:10
Luke 2:49
3 John 2
Psalm 35:27
John 3:16

A financial help ministry:
http://www.faithlifenow.com
with Gary Keesee

http://www.kcm.org
Book/Study Guide, “The Blessing of the Lord”
by Kenneth Copeland
Book, “God’s Will is Prosperity”
by Gloria Copeland

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Peace of Mind

I’d woken up feeling blessed–confident that my day was going to be good.
Then some things transpired that didn’t turn out like I had hoped they would.

Feeling troubled, I eventually remembered a verse that brought assurance back to me…
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee….”

I’d let “the winds and the waves” of life cause me to lose my sense of God’s peace– If you ever find you’re in a similar state, Isaiah 26:3 can bring freedom and release.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3 KJV

…more on His perfect peace:

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:26-27 KJV

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 KJV (and all of verses 31-39)

Photographed by Stephanie at a rose garden in Europe
Garden Photo by Stephanie

Inspired Words to Pray

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Photo by Porch of the Lord

Lord,

Make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred–let me sow love,
where there is injury–pardon,
where there is doubt–faith,
where there is despair–hope,
where there is darkness–light,
and where there is sadness–joy.

Divine Master, grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive–
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi

…Some versions of this prayer add “where there is friction, union, and where there is error, truth.” You may want to add those thoughts in praying the prayer, as well.

God bless you today,

P. A. Oltrogge

As we forgive our debtors…

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13 KJV

Jesus taught His disciples, and us, not to look at the “speck” in the eye of another, when we have a “log” in our own eye–greater than that in the eye of our brother.

To have truly forgiven others is important, He said, when we stand praying…
to a God who’s forgiven all of our sins. We should also forgive, without delaying.

Just as Jesus, on the cross, said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” His heart and forgiveness, even for those who opposed Him, we must demonstrate, too.

Regarding this, Peter asked if he should forgive his brother of offenses, at most, seven times. Jesus replied “seventy times seven” should be our attitude, even if the number climbs.

Jesus then told of a king, who settled accounts with a servant who’d owed him much. He had compassion on him and forgave it all, indicating we also should do such.

This servant then went out and found a fellow servant who owed him a debt, as well. Yet he didn’t, likewise, show mercy–only anger, and cast the man into a prison cell.

But, as in the story, if we don’t forgive, with the same mercy God’s given us by grace, He won’t be pleased; and it will hold us back in the course that He’s given us to race.

So pray for the power of His love if you’ve experienced things hard to forgive and forget. Then, you’ll enjoy His peace within as you race on…to make your best run yet!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3

“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 11:25-26

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Luke 23:33-34 KJV

“Then came Peter to Him, and said, ‘Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?’ Jesus saith unto him, ‘I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.’” Matthew 18:21-23 KJV and 24-35

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-3

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