From Out of the Miry Clay

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“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm.” Psalm 40:2

…just a little contemplation on what I envision the Lord might say to someone who just placed their faith in Him…

To My mind, your life without Me was like being in miry clay;
But I kept My hope that you’d respond to My love one day.
Where you had been didn’t matter so much,
For I knew that you were in need of My touch.
Ever so gently I drew you away–
I knew this would happen if you would just pray.
By the power of My Spirit you opened your heart,
And now, through My grace, you have gotten a new start.
That person you were has actually died;
A new life’s begun due to “Christ crucified.”

So rejoice in My love as I do in yours.
Share it with others despite troubles or wars,
For I have room for so many through heaven’s open doors.
And from out of heaven’s windows, My love surely pours–
Down to the miry clay–or wherever it may
Find people and lead them out to My way.

P. A. Oltrogge

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
Galatians 2:20
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“He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge. His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”
Psalm 91:4

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”
Matthew 23:37 (New King James)

Be willing to come to Christ and be blessed….

Our Refuge and Shield—Abba, Father

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“Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Proverbs 30:5

“Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” Matthew 19:14

“Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’” Galatians 4:6

Scriptures NIV

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The God of Another Chance

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We should be trained about the importance…
of following “the inward witness,”
which is so vital to our well-being
and to our spiritual fitness.

If we believe in the goodness of God
and that our Shepherd knows what’s best,
then it follows that by praying and following His lead,
we’ll be on a most certain quest.

To put it in God’s words, you are His son,
when you’re someone who’s Spirit led.
Make it your desire to do the will of the Father;
and, with the faith food of His Word, be fed.

Wait for peace regarding decisions;
never go against what God has said in His Word.
It’s a lamp to your feet and a light to your path,
whereby your success is established and assured.

Does your life seem to be off balance,
and that things aren’t turning out right?
Could it be that you’ve not been walking by faith,
but, instead, just by your own sight?

Wise men (and women and even children)
still seek the Lord today, it’s said.
Thankfully, He’s the God of another chance,
so seek Him strongly in the days ahead.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.”
Isaiah 55:6 NASB

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
Romans 8:14 NASB

“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

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

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

“The entrance of Your words gives light…” Psalm 119:130 NKJV

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:4-7 KJV

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’”
Lamentations 3:22-24 NRSV

More on the inward witness at http://www.rhema.org
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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 victorious 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 then after they’d seen for themselves what she had said;
They hadn’t understood Jesus’ words, that He would rise again from the dead. But 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

“So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” John 20:8-9

“For He was teaching His disciples and telling them, ‘The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He has been killed, He will rise three days later.’ But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask Him.” Mark 9:30-32

Other references: Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:22-23; Matthew 27:62-64; John 2:16-22; John 10:17-18

“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

“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

Scriptures: NASB

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Hearts Need to “Hear”

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Love, with no definite expression of outward action or word,
isn’t love at all–since, by our hearts, nothing is “heard.”
Kind words, loving service, time spent together, a gift, or a tender touch–
without these things tangible, we can’t really feel love much.

Just like most plants need regular sunshine and water,
we need regular caring expression from friend, spouse, son, or daughter.
Mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters can affirm and encourage–
we all can, for this world holds much that can discourage.

Friends and family are meant to uplift us and be a fortress in life;
and when loving gestures abound, there will be little, if any, strife.
When love is firmly founded thereby, we’ll be ready to reach out
to those needing love from us whom we may meet on a daily route.

Jesus also said that we should love those who don’t love us back;
sometimes, such love can move relationships onto the right track.
At times, we must look past the things in some that seem odd–
we may need to pray for the grace of the unconditional love of God.

For that love has been found to lead others to tangibly feel
the love of the heavenly Father in a way that is real.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5

“These things I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:17

“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:9-11

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful just as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:31-36

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11

The Precious Blood of Jesus

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Nothing but the blood of Jesus, shed for us by grace
Will make us stand in righteousness before His Father’s face.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming to him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me, and I did not recognize Him, but in order that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.’ And John bore witness saying, ‘I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.’” John 1:29-34

“And when He (Jesus) had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:27-28, also Mark 14:24; and Luke 22:20

“The Jews therefore began to argue with one another, saying, ‘How can this man give us His flesh to eat?’ Jesus therefore said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven, not as the fathers ate, and died; he who eats this bread shall live forever.’ These things He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum.’” John 6:52-59

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28

“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; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness because in the forbearance of God, He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26

“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” Romans 5:9

“Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” 1 Corinthians 10:16

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

“I never knew you”

The following is another message from “The Life Project.” Of course, the Lord knows those who have heartfelt, sincere relationship with Him, even those, who in their last moments, such as “the thief on the cross,” crucified next to Jesus, was told, when he asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His Kingdom, that he would be with Him in paradise. But Jesus’ words about knowing Him are important to remember, to encourage us to seek fellowship with Him and follow His leading in our daily lives.

TLP

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7:21-23

Right after He comments on false prophets, Jesus has a few things to say about false disciples. Many people say they believe in Jesus without doing the Father’s will; that isn’t going to cut it on the last day. I want to be careful here not to give the impression that I am suggesting that they somehow haven’t earned their salvation, for salvation is not something we earn…

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A Busy Day for Jesus

TLP

Matthew 9:18-26

In this story, Jesus is interrupted in His conversation with John’s disciples about fasting when a synagogue leader comes and kneels before Him to ask that He bring the man’s dead daughter back to life; an unusual request to be sure. Jesus heads for the man’s house, His disciples in tow, when a woman who had suffered from chronic bleeding for many years touched His cloak. She believed that if she could just touch His cloak that she would be healed of her affliction. When she managed to do so, Jesus stopped, telling her that her faith has healed her, and Matthew reports that at that moment, she was healed. Off again Jesus goes… just another day of bringing the Kingdom to earth.

When Jesus reached the man’s house, many people had gathered inside; Jesus told them to go, for the child was merely asleep. They actually laughed…

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