Everything to Gain…Because of God’s Love

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Whoever desires to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Jesus makes this statement yet today to us
because God’s great love is actually behind it.

For as we surrender to God’s perfect will,
we needn’t have any apprehensions still…

since the Lord of all creation wants to guide us
to that which is best as He walks beside us.

P. A. Oltrogge
 
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?'” Matthew 16:24-25 NKJV
 
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulnrss.” Lamentations 3:21-23 RSV

“…For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:5 NLT

His love blesses us, and we seek to love and bless others…

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 NKJV

God’s Word Doesn’t Return to Him Void

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“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to Me void; but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 NKJV

Here’s a truth by which your spirit can be buoyed…
God’s word will never return unto Him void.

It will accomplish what He has sovereignly decreed.
So see that your own words, with His words, stay fully agreed.

Don’t be double minded, thereby tossed like a wave of the sea.
Stay with God, in agreement, causing things that “be not”…to “be.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be.” Romans 4:16-18 KJV

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1 KJV

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

“But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed, therefore I spoke,’ we also believe, therefore also we speak.” 2 Corinthians 4:13

“…but the mouth of the upright will deliver them.” Proverbs 12:6

(Reference: James 1:2-8 on not being double minded. And the following on the importance of our words: Proverbs 10:11; Proverbs 12:14; Proverbs 12:18; Proverbs 13:3; Proverbs 15:4; Proverbs 18:20-21; Proverbs 21:23 and others)

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, ‘Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’” Mark 11:22-24 KJV

“And Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way; let it be done to you as you have believed.’ And the servant was healed that very hour.” Matthew 8:13 (from the account in Matthew 8:5-13)

Encouraging teaching at:
http://www.faithschool.org

God’s Perfect Love

“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. We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19 NKJV

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Let God’s perfect love cast out any fear.
Remember Jesus’ words, to be of good cheer!

Anxiety in the heart weighs it down.
Thank the Lord for answered prayer, instead–
that He is turning things around!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.” Proverbs 12:25 NASB

“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.'” Matthew 14:27 NKJV

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 42:11 and 43:5 NKJV

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

See the story of the Shunammite woman
“…And she answered, ‘It is well.'”
2 Kings 4:26

The “Super” Natural Power of God

by J. Vetter,
Guest Contributor

“Oh, Lord, take your super glue and glue my bone together.” This was one of my first prayers after fracturing a bone in my foot. At the time, I did think it was sort of a silly prayer until I read the paperwork from my emergency room visit. It stated, “When a bone heals, the body puts a CALLUS together across the piece that is broken. This callus is made of new bone material and will eventually melt or glue the two broken pieces together.” What a sweet reassurance that the Lord was indeed with me in my pain, even in the formulation of my seemingly strange prayer.

Being forced to reduce my activities gave me time to reflect on the word, “broken,” and the pain involved. I realized my foot would eventually heal and the pain would then be just a memory, or maybe even forgotten. However, there are many people living with various degrees of brokenness–a broken relationship, broken health, or even being brokenhearted–all of which can be covered by God’s supernatural ability to heal.

My natural belief is that a bone progressively heals. My belief, as a Christian, is that God adds His “super” to the natural, and things that are impossible or difficult have a greater ability to heal when faith is released.

In the Bible narrative of the beggar man, who was lame from his mother’s womb, he was told, “In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” The story relates that immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength, and he began to walk and leap. This is the “super” element added to that poor man’s body. He was carried along and set down daily at the gate of the temple, so this man required assistance to even get there. His muscles hadn’t been exercised. This was not a progressive healing–it was a miracle. And it was brought about by two of Jesus’ disciples who were bold enough to believe that God could raise the man up. How many of us have seen this today? How many of us even believe it could happen?

I couldn’t help but compare the word, “callus,” (used for good–to bring healing to my bone) with the word, “callous,” which means hardened in mind, or unfeeling. My journey toward healing included much soul searching as to what I expected from my faith. It’s easy not to have very high expectations. Then there is no disappointment in God. However, the struggle to boost my faith to believe in God’s supernatural ability came with a sinister, mocking voice, “Has God really said?”

A few months before fracturing the bone in my foot, I had been running across the street with my schnauzer on his leash at night and tripped over the curb and landed flat on my face. It was a miracle I didn’t break much more, but I did find out I had broken a bone in my wrist. However, before I knew it was broken, I believed for healing; and by the time it was x-rayed, the family doctor said it looked like an old break. Then suddenly the pain went away, and I never followed up with the orthopedic doctor. So later, as I struggled with the pain in my foot, how easy it was to forget this previous incident of my God’s goodness and power.

Perhaps, it is like the disciples. Having seen the miracle of Jesus breaking the five loaves of bread to feed 5,000 people, they were still upset because they had forgotten to take bread and only had one loaf with them. Jesus spoke some heartbreaking words to them. He said, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? And do you not remember?” We can end up with a calloused heart when we stop believing that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We can be fresh from a miracle and still not perceive that our God can do it again!

J. Vetter

Acts 3:1-8 and
Mark 8:13-21

Wake Them to Your Word

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The Bible is widely heard of, yet many people haven’t actually “heard”
of much that’s written within its pages. Lord, wake them to Your Word.

For it’s written that it’s the scriptures that make us “wise unto salvation.”
Lord, we pray, You’d wake people to Your Word throughout ours and every nation.

Send laborers across the paths of those whose hearts You will have prepared
to be ready to receive the Gospel invitation, which those laborers will have shared.

We thank You, Father, for Your great love and for the Holy Spirit’s power
to draw souls to Jesus, our Savior and Good Shepherd, in this important hour.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And he (Jesus) said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
Mark 4:9 KJV

“And continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

“And that from a child thou hast learned the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

2 Timothy 3:14-16 KJV

“Therefore, said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
Luke 10:2 KJV

“And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.”
Acts 16:13-14 NKJV

Cross Over to the Other Side

Photo by Josh Matthews
Jumonville Cross
Photo by Josh Matthews

A cross on a hillside beckons for our attention,
and can bring to mind something that Jesus Christ mentioned
when He and His disciples launched out for a sail–
“Let’s cross over to the other side,” were His words that didn’t fail.

Have you been on the side with those who have apprehensions,
or reject that Christ is Lord or doubt God’s intentions?
Look thoughtfully to the cross, for a strong message it bears–
God wants you to cross over to knowing that He cares.

Any other “religion” hasn’t the cross’s personal touch–
God sent His Son to die for you because He loved you that much.
There, Jesus made the sacrifice for your well-being and sins–
so you could cross to the place where new life in Him begins.

Despite a storm, His words didn’t fail in that Biblical account recorded.
They won’t fail in your destiny either, but you’ll be greatly rewarded,
as you come under the shadow of the Almighty and cross to the other side.
You’ll be so thankful you heeded the message of the wonderful cross as your guide.

P. A. Oltrogge

“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’

“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’ And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!’”

Mark 4:35-41 (NKJV)

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

John 5:24 (NIV)

“…that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Romans 6:4 (NKJV)