Father, thank You for what Your Son has done…

Father,

I thank You for Your answers even before my prayers have begun…
because of what Your Son, Jesus Christ, has done.

I’m seated in the heavenly places—my victory’s been won…
because of what Your Son, the Lord Jesus, has done.

At Calvary’s cross, the curse was defeated. All fear I now can shun…
because of what Your Son, the Messiah, has done.

Not by my own merit, but by the blood from His veins that had run,
I can come before You boldly because of what He’s done.

Regarding the name of Jesus—a greater name, there’s none,
because He so pleased You as a perfectly obedient Son.

And, one day, when my race on earth has been completely run,
I’ll be immediately in Your presence because of what Your Son has done.

P. A. Oltrogge

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“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18

“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” Words of Jesus in Matthew 6:7-8

“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.” Ephesians 1:15-21

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespassses, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:17-19

“So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13:6

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8

“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

Scriptures NKJV

The Wonderful Works of Jesus

A man with deafness and a speech impediment was in need of Jesus’ touch.
Those who brought him begged the Lord to heal him, being confident of such.

Jesus led him, then, away from the crowd so that they could be alone.
He put His fingers into the man’s ears—the beginning of his hearing tone.

Jesus spit upon His own fingers and touched the man’s tongue as well.
“Ephphatha,” (“Be opened!”) He said, looking up to heaven—then the man instantly heard clear as a bell!

The man’s tongue was also freed—his speech became perfectly clear.
Jesus told the crowd not to spread the story, but they couldn’t help tell that the man could now speak and hear.

“Everything Jesus does is wonderful,” they shared, in relating this event.
The deaf could hear, the dumb could speak. God’s goodness was being displayed wherever Jesus went!

P. A. Oltrogge

From Mark 7:31-37

“Everything He does is wonderful! He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”
Mark 7:37 NLT

Be encouraged…

Find encouragement at http://www.oralroberts.com and click on “The Place for Miracles” under “Broadcasts.” Many have found help and answered prayers through involvement with that ministry. Their Abundant Life prayer line is: 918-495-7777 if you have a particular need.

You may want to participate in their campaign in India as they share ministry materials, bicycles, and prayer with Indian pastors who are reaching out to those in their country for Jesus.

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(Richard Roberts and the pastors)

A Gentile Woman’s Plea

A woman from Canaan, who’d heard of Jesus, came to Him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, oh Lord, Son of David,” and she fell at His feet.

Her little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit; and she knew that only Jesus could cause it to retreat.

Jesus didn’t answer right away; but as she was a Gentile, He told her that He needed, first, to feed those of His own family—the Jews.

At that, it might have seemed that His final answer to her, a Canaanite woman, was to refuse.

He said it wouldn’t be right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs, after she’d repeated, “Lord, help me!”

Though the disciples had said that Jesus should send her away, her vision remained strong of seeing her daughter being set free.

She replied to the Lord that even the dogs were allowed to eat the crumbs that had fallen under the table, from food that the children had been fed.

Jesus noted her faith, through those words, and told her to go home—the demon was gone. Upon doing so, she found her daughter there peacefully lying in bed.

“Oh, woman, your faith is great,” He had said, and that it would be done for her as she’d desired.

Just hearing of the compassionate things He’d done for others caused her to worship and have faith that was tenacious and inspired.

P. A. Oltrogge

(From Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30)

“But He answered and said, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’” Matthew 15:24

“Yes, Lord, but even the dogs feed on the crumbs….” Matthew 15:27

The Lord’s Commission to His disciples before His ascension:
“…but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’” Acts 1:8

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16

Scriptures NASB

Mark 7 refers to the woman as
a Syrian from the region of Phoenicia

“Where is your faith?”

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“Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, ‘Let us go over to the other side of the lake.’ So they launched out. But as they were sailing along, He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, ‘Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?’” Luke 8:25 NASB

Does it seem as though it’s your darkest hour?
Remember that our Mighty God is clothed with power.

He knit you together in your mother’s womb…

He can take a desert and cause it to bloom…

And by His great power, Christ was raised from the tomb!

You may have to pray in the Spirit at length;
but as you wait upon the Lord, He will renew your strength.

“Where is your faith?” Jesus asked, discouraging doubt.
He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever—

He’s still out and about!

P. A. Oltrogge

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“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His Name will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

‘By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of the far-off seas; Who established the mountains by His strength, being clothed with power; You who still the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.” Psalm 65:5-7 NKJV

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 NIV

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27 NKJV

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 KJV

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

Be strengthened by teachings on the Holy Spirit:
http://www.moorelife.org
http://www.awmi.net

Search You Tube, Chip Brim, Branson Tornado
for a storm story of today….
Romans 5:17, Ephesians 1:18-23,
Ephesians 2:4-10, Ephesians 6:16

May the account of Jesus calming the sea be encouragement to us to continue to grow in our faith in Him.

In God’s Vineyard

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“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 NASB

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 NASB

“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 NLT

“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 NASB

“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 NASB

“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 NASB

“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 NASB

“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 NASB

Salvation and Providence by the Lord

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Psalm 65 NKJV

Praise to God for His Salvation and Providence
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A Song.

Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion;
And to You the vow shall be performed.

O You who hear prayer,
To You all flesh will come.

Iniquities prevail against me;
As for our transgressions,
You will provide atonement for them.

Blessed is the man You choose,
And cause to approach You,
That he may dwell in Your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
Of Your holy temple.

By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us,
O God of our salvation,
You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth,
And of the far-off seas;

Who established the mountains by His strength,
Being clothed with power;

You who still the noise of the seas,
The noise of their waves,
And the tumult of the peoples.

They also who dwell in the farthest parts are afraid of Your signs;
You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice.

You visit the earth and water it,
You greatly enrich it;
The river of God is full of water;
You provide their grain,
For so You have prepared it.

You water its ridges abundantly,
You settle its furrows;
You make it soft with showers,
You bless its growth.

You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.

They drop on the pastures of the wilderness,
And the little hills rejoice on every side.

The pastures are clothed with flocks;
The valleys also are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, they also sing.

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Stronger…on your knees

by LuAnn Mudrak
Guest Contributor

I’m reading this devotion today about being stronger on my knees. It’s an interesting devotion by Phebe Gamata Crismo from the Philippines.

Having put all five of us children and all our belongings into the cart, my father helped my mother get onto the carabao (water buffalo) and led us back to his church assignment about five kilometers across the river. It was raining hard, and the trail was muddy, knee-deep in some places. Father prodded the carabao to go faster because we had to cross the river before it became impassable. Going up the riverbank on the steep and slippery trail was difficult. Suddenly, my younger brother cried out, “Father, look! The carabao is kneeling. It can’t pull us up anymore!” Father looked back at us in the cart. “Don’t worry, son. The carabao is strongest when it kneels.”

I watched the carabao as it struggled on the slippery trail one step at a time. It would stop, kneel, strain, get up slowly and pull, until we were over the top. The carabao’s strength came from kneeling, just as Father had said. Each time it knelt, it pulled us up farther and faster.

That was many years ago. I often think of the carabao as I pass through difficult times in my personal life. I, too, have discovered extraordinary strength when I get down on my knees.

**********

Now I’ve only seen pictures of a water buffalo. They are very large animals and, obviously, very strong. I can’t imagine, first of all, wading across a river with five children and belongings. I can’t imagine doing it in the pouring rain. I can’t imagine trusting a large animal to get all of us up the other side. Wouldn’t you worry that the animal would lose its footing and we’d all roll into the water? That would be my first thought.

The Father was an amazing example of trust in God and that animal. He knew the animal would kneel down and keep going, muddy, rainy or not. Can we do that in our lives? Can we trust the God we kneel down to pray to? Can we trust the God who will get us through even the rainy times in life?

The verse attached to this devotion is Daniel 6:10 “Daniel knelt down, prayed, and praised his God three times (each) day.” Some days, God is lucky to hear from me one time a day. There isn’t a legitimate reason to forget about Him. I just do. It’s easy to go to Him with problems but not as easy to praise Him.
I have much to be thankful for. All of us do.

So, today, think about that carabao and the strength it had as long as it went to its knees. Realize that nothing is impossible with God—NOTHING. Praise Him for all you have and all He will provide.

A Thankful Heart

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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 will remain 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.

And I should 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.

Remind 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.

Thank You for giving me the 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 NASB

“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:17 RSV

“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 NKJV

“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

Following Jesus

…I am posting this poem in dedication to and memory of Nabeel Qureshi, who wrote, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 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.” (words of Jesus in Matthew 5:1-12)

In case you’re among those who have happened to come here,
who were raised in a totally different spiritual atmosphere–

If you’re grieving about causing your beloved family some pain
by embracing Christ’s Gospel, which, to you, has become plain,

remember His words, that “blessed are those who mourn.”
Trust there will be blessings in your being spiritually reborn.

Jesus said He didn’t come to bring peace once you’ve taken that stand–
There will be a sword of division when family members don’t understand.

Your heart of love is good, but you cannot love them more than loving Him;
To do so, would cause the light on your spiritual pathway to dim.

You must take up your cross, following Him as your Savior and Lord;
for it’s only in doing this, that you’ll have His guidance and reward.

Those who seek to find their life will lose it, and are misled.
However, if you lose your life for Jesus’ sake, you will find it instead.

Showing love by His Spirit within, and praying for your father or mother,
sisters, brothers–any you love, can open their eyes to see no other…

than Jesus Christ, our Lord.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”

“He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it. He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:32-42

Nabeel Qureshi’s book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, and other books authored by Nabeel, can be obtained through http://www.Christianbook.com and other book sources. Though he lived only into his thirties, his encounter with and faith in Jesus, his speaking and writing, made a big impact in this world.

Let’s continue to pray for the entire families of those, from other spiritual backgrounds, who have made the important decision to receive and follow Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

Photo by Josh Matthews