“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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
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
“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases….” Psalm 103:1-3
Hear testimonies of the works of Jesus today…or receive prayer, M-F, 9:30 a.m. ET; 8:30 a.m. CT at http://www.govictory.com (Morning Prayer)
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Isaiah 40:28-29 NKJV
As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God….
Psalm 42:1-2 NKJV
Photos/Unsplash: Top, Gleason Falls, Hillsborough, NH, U.S., by Forest Simon Bottom, Rocky Mountain State Park, Estes Park, U.S., by Steve Adams
A statement that’s sometimes made, which needs to be corrected…is “We are all God’s children.” Not true–but by those words, it seems to be suggested.
That we’re all created by God is a fact that’s certainly true. But to become a child of God requires something every person must personally do.
“But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them gave He the right or power…to become the children of God”–an offer that, when accepted, becomes your most blessed hour.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, a teacher of Israel, that a man must be born again. He had visited the Lord in the night, having seen the miracles He’d wrought among men.
And Jesus told a group of Pharisees plainly that they were of the devil, their father. If they were already God’s children, then why did He die for them or even bother?
No, He was sent to die for the sins of anyone living here on the earth–the firstborn among many brethren, Christ became Man through the virgin birth.
Obedient to His Father’s plan, Jesus paid the ransom for our restoration…to relationship with the Holy One–for those who believe, from out of every nation.
“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.
No, we can’t all be called God’s children until we’ve put faith in His Son. That’s the defining moment when a new life, as God’s child, has begun.
P. A. Oltrogge
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…. John 1:12
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
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:1-3
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16…and see all of John 3
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
Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ” John 20:17
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” John 8:42-47
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans 8:12-17
A place of refreshment, the porch of the Lord… Pull up a chair, take in spiritual air. Jesus always has time, and His is the power– Receive there His touch in this end-time hour. Like Mary, take time to sit at His feet; Come to His porch for relief from life’s heat. Only one thing is needful and truly can please– His Word and His presence, felt on each breeze. He offers living water, quenching everyone’s thirst; And that’s yours there daily, by seeking Him first. There’s joy on His porch, with your sisters and brothers, As you find your needs met while caring about others. The healing and peace which only Christ can bring Are found there at all times—an everlasting spring. Taste there His love, so generously poured; Your “cup will run over” on the porch of the Lord.
P. A. Oltrogge
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things; But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:38-42 NKJV
“But one thing is needful…” verse 42, KJV
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Psalm 23:5 KJV
(See Porch of the Lord website for Sonja Lovas photo link)
The following was written before the pandemic. Thankfully, many churches have opened up again. But online churches are also available.
Recently I went out for lunch at a restaurant with one who’s a special friend. We talked about menu items that looked good and what we wanted to spend.
There was also offered a large brunch buffet, of which one could partake. But we opted for menu entrees, unaware of the time that those would take.
For some reason, our chosen meals from the menu took well over half an hour. We were seated right by the grand buffet and soon began losing willpower.
Here was all of this delicious food; each person came by with a full plate. Yet despite its nearness, we couldn’t partake, but simply were left to wait.
I thought about that, in a spiritual sense, especially in countries very blessed. Christian churches abound, yet are passed up–by people who choose Sundays to just rest.
God is offering His buffet of goodness and blessings, and the Bible teaches us His voice. But some are waiting and hungering still–due to simply making the wrong choice.
“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good…” These words from the Bible are for you! God wants you to join others in receiving “the Blessing” from Jesus, who is so Faithful and True.
P. A. Oltrogge
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.” Psalm 34:8-9
“And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Revelation 19:11
A local Christian church, where you can worship with other believers, is God’s pathway to many blessings; however, here are some online church services if you are new to following Jesus or if you simply want to receive more from Him:
A cross that’s fashioned of gems will remind of Jesus, God’s “gem,” who died for mankind.
He was (is) the Light of the world, yet was crucified. We, too, become lights when, in Him, we abide.
The sparkle of light from a jeweled cross speaks of light and life gained, and not of loss.
For Christ’s death on the cross, as His Father planned, became victory, by the Savior, who is at God’s right hand.
At the cross, Satan was conquered–a soundly defeated foe. This is shining light and truth from the cross’s glow.
In Jesus Christ, we’re strong and have good news to tell. We thank you, Lord, for victory won over darkness and hell.
Eternal life is ours, and you showed us how to live– a life turned to thoughts of others, and a life where we always forgive.
P. A. Oltrogge
“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and are in him that is true, even in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20 KJV
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'” John 8:12 NKJV
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15 NKJV
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:13-15 NKJV
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV
“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”
Ephesians 1:18-23 Ephesians 2:4-10 And archived post, “Seated in the Heavenly Places”
Hymns most often have poetic words–the following is a familiar one:
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in Him be found–in Him, my righteousness, alone; faultless to stand before the throne.
by Edward Mote, 1834
Christ Our Cornerstone Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 NKJV
Peter and John went up together to the temple at the ninth hour, which was the hour of prayer. There was a man laid daily at the gate, lame from his mother’s womb, who asked charitable alms from those who entered there.
Seeing Peter and John about to enter, he asked alms of both of them, too. Then Peter, with John, looked directly into his eyes, telling him to look at them; and he began to tell the man of something better they could do.
That through faith in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, he could rise and walk–a far better gift than silver or gold. Then Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up. He received strength in his feet and ankle bones upon Peter’s hold.
The exact words that Peter said to the man were “Silver and gold have I none…” Then he told him of that which he did have to give–a gift of healing, through the name of Jesus, God’s Son.
The man who’d been lame began leaping, walking, and praising God at the temple’s “Beautiful” Gate. He entered the temple with them, and Peter went on to share with the people that it was the power of Jesus’ name that had changed that lame man’s fate.
Excerpt from Acts: “Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: ‘Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And His name, and faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.’” Acts 3:11-16 NKJV
Peter continued, saying that Christ had been crucified by them in ignorance, but that He had fulfilled all that the prophets had foretold. Now, forgiveness of sins and salvation could be theirs through Jesus–again, a gift from God far greater than silver or gold.
P. A. Oltrogge
The Greek adjective used to name the gate can be defined as ‘1. happening or coming at the right time —2. beautiful, fair, lovely’. Some scholars believe the word may refer more to ripeness than to beauty.
Lord, cause our faith to be ripe to believe we receive of Your help when we pray….(in reference to Mark 11:24)
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. 2 Praise the Lord with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. 3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
4 For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. 11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
13 The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. 14 From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; 15 He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, 19 To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. 22 Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope in You.