Mama duck paced anxiously to and fro on the edge of our pool. Her five babies clustered together and swam like Olympic hopefuls, unable to discover their way out.
Finally, when it seemed like they would not be able to escape on their own, we tried to scoop them out with our pool net. However, when we approached, Mama flew off. After a thirty minute struggle, all five babies huddled together on the grass. Where is Mom? Do I call DPS (Duck Protective Services) to report a mother who abandoned her children?
Sure enough, after huddling together for a while, they ended up back in the pool. We were ready for bed, and it was ready to storm. The thought of leaving them alone with thunder and lightning was disheartening.
“Lord, how can I pray? Can I believe for your protection over them?” Instantly, the scripture from Matthew 23:37 came to mind. “O, Jerusalem…how often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” Also, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.” (Psalm 27:10)
So I committed those little ones to Him and resisted worry as much as possible. My husband woke me up the next morning with the news. “The mother duck is here, and the babies are all out of the pool.”
With so much in the news to threaten our peace, this scenario affords a glimpse into the heart of God. It is not the size of our circumstance, but the size of our God we need to consider. Snuggle in–His wings are big enough to cover you.
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust.’
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you shall take refuge. His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”
Psalm 91:1-4 NKJV
“For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.” Psalm 47:2 NKJV
Keep your eyes upon the victory, though the miracle shore seems far. That’s what you need to do when you’re at “where you are.”
Don’t let your eye of faith become for you, instead, an eye of fear. Nearby winds and waves distract–especially when victory is near.
A double-minded person is, himself, like a wave of the sea–driven and tossed by the wind, giving attention to adversity.
So focus on the victory “lighthouse” that’s beaming out for you. Give it greatly your attention, and the Lord will see you through.
That lighthouse, you recognize, is God’s unfailing Word. It’s the light unto your pathway, and on which you’ve believed after having heard.
P. A. Oltrogge
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” Hebrews 11:1-2 NIV
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 NKJV
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:2-8 NKJV
“My son, give attention to My words; incline your ear to My sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJV
“Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT
“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
“But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly, You are the Son of God,’” Matthew 14:22-33 NKJV
“You will keep him in perfectpeace, whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
I couldn’t help but think of God’s “glad” flowers to go with all the verses listed below on gladness. I’ve read that the name, gladiolus, comes from the Latin word, meaning sword, which can remind of the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God…Ephesians 6:17.
Don’t dwell upon what’s bad, sad, or what you might have had; but rejoice in the Lord always, every moment, being glad. There’s fullness of joy in His presence, so give to Him your praise–of which He is so worthy–He will never leave you, but is with you always.
Jesus died on the cross for our redemption and rose victorious from the dead. That was done out of love for you, that His precious blood was shed. Expect the best–He’s given you eternal life, the moment you received Him. He daily loads you with benefits. It gives Him joy that you’ve believed Him.
Counting your blessings, thanking Him, brings an atmosphere of gladness; and you can leave your burdens with the Lord, forsaking any sadness. He knows your every circumstance, both the rough things and the mild. Keep walking by faith and looking to Him–you’re God’s beloved child.
Don’t let discouragement or disappointment cause your spirit to faint. A strong spirit sustains us in life, so be strong in the Lord, dear saint. Keep on expecting the best–God is able to do beyond what you can ask or think. Cast off any fear and “walk on the water.” Jesus, your Lord, won’t let you sink.
P. A. Oltrogge
“…For He (Jesus) Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5
“…And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” Matthew 14:29-31
“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
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
“…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing! You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.” Psalm 30:11
“I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, For You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities…” Psalm 31:7
“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart.” Psalm 32:11
“My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.” Psalm 34:2
“Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor My righteous cause; And let them say continually, ‘Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.’” Psalm 35:27
“Let all those who seek You, rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, ‘The Lord be magnified!'” Psalm 40:16
“There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.” Psalm 46:4
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22
“Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For you shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth.” Psalm 67:4
“The Lord reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad!” Psalm 97:1
“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.’” Psalm 122:1
“Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; And let them say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns.'” 1 Chronicles 16:31
“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.” Psalm 103:1-6
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“…Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’” John 20:19-21
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-15
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:31-32 (from Romans 8:31-39)
“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 the 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
Sometimes retailers promote an ad, of celebrating “Christmas in July,” in order to coax shoppers towards goods they hope that they will buy.
So I’m following their example, by a bit of a reminder of the book, Christmas on thePorch, to promote a possible end-of-July look.
For the birth of Jesus, the Savior, can be remembered throughout the year–not only in December when the Christmas decorations appear.
The angel said to the shepherds that he was bringing to them joyful news–that a Savior had been born for all, “who is Christ, the Lord.” Then a multitude of angels came into view:
“Glory to God in the highest and, on earth peace, goodwill toward men” was that great angelic proclamation that can be shared again and again.
The birth of Jesus, at any time of year, is wonderful to contemplate–especially if you’ve yet to receive Him as your own Savior and Lord–for that, it’s not too late.
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: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!'” Luke 2:8-14
“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:9-11
“Fresh as a dewdrop,” My Word is to you. Go to it daily and find things new. You’ll find the familiar in it as well– Of comfort, wisdom, and truth it will tell. At times, for direction, it gives a faith hint, Bringing light to your path like a dewdrop’s glint. Fresh as a dewdrop, I want to impart More of its treasures into your heart. Like finding the dewdrops, you can depend On My being there always to instruct and befriend.
P. A. Oltrogge
“Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
“I will never forget Thy precepts, for by them Thou hast revived me.” Psalm 119:93
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort….” 2 Corinthians 1:3
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
“Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.” John 17:17
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 NKJV
“…I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39 NKJV (in the KJV, verse 38 says “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”)
For a detailed message on the benefits of praying in tongues, you would be blessed to visit http://www.josephprince.org today. The message is available in three parts or in its entirety and can be purchased as a CD.
“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.'” John 4:10
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:9-13
On His way to Galilee, Jesus went through Samaria to a city called Sychar, near land given by Jacob to Joseph, his son. Jacob’s well was there, and being wearied from His journey, Jesus sat down by the well before His traveling would be done.
While His disciples went away into the city to get food, Jesus asked a woman of Samaria there to give Him a drink that day. How He, a Jew, could ask a Samaritan woman for a drink was her immediate question, and she wondered what He would say.
“If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’” He said, “you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” She noted that He had nothing to draw up water with and the well was deep, so where could He have gotten such to have brought her?
She asked if He considered Himself greater than their father, Jacob, whose well it had been, but which was later left to them. Jesus said that though she drank from Jacob’s well, she’d thirst many times more; but the water He could give would keep her from ever thirsting again.
This Samaritan woman must have believed He possessed some special water, for she asked Him to give to her of that kind. Then Jesus revealed personal things about her life that could only have been known by One with divine knowledge in His mind.
At that, she said she perceived He was a prophet and raised the question of where the worship of God should best be done. Jesus said the important thing was how people should worship, which would be “in spirit and in truth,” or by hearts that were truly “won.”
He said that God, the Father, seeks people with such a heart to worship Him and that she’d worshiped what she didn’t really know. He told her that salvation was of the Jews. Though she was a Samaritan and He a Jew, He was reaching out as a friend to her and not a foe.
The woman from Samaria said she agreed that the Messiah would come and would reveal to the world all things. Then Jesus said, “I who speak to you am He,” declaring He was (is) the One from whom the fountain of water to everlasting life springs.
Amazed, she left her water jug to make her way back to the city, telling the men of how He’d known all the pages in her life’s book. “Could this be the Christ?” she was inquiring and told them that they should really go out for themselves to hear and take a look.
In the meantime, Jesus’ disciples had returned with the food they’d gone to get, and urged that He should partake with them and eat. But Jesus said He had food of which they didn’t know–to do the will of His Father. Working to win the lost to God was His bread and meat.
He said the “fields” were white unto harvest! Then came out to hear Him many who’d been alerted by this “woman at the well’s” own story. And by hearing the Lord Himself, the life-giving “water” continued to flow greatly, as it still does to all today…to God be the glory!
P. A. Oltrogge
(from John, chapter 4)
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17 KJV
To view true accounts of encounters with the Lord in the lives of people today, see the 700 Club, available daily, at http://www.700club.org
Have you experienced some wounds that are deep? Trust your Abba, Father–His promises He’ll keep…
He redeems you from distress or any kind of destruction. Look to Him and listen for His wisdom and instruction.
He’s stated that He’s numbered even the hairs upon your head. He’ll give to you renewed hope as you seek to be Spirit led.
With love and with compassion, He heals the brokenhearted; His faithfulness to care for His children has never departed.
Cast all your cares upon Him–then, you’ll have nothing to fear. As you draw close to Him, He’s promised to also draw near.
God’s plans for you are of well-being, and not of things bad. He’s your loving Abba, Father–the very best Dad!
P. A. Oltrogge
“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 NIV
“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.’” Romans 8:15 NKJV
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18 NLT
“Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Proverbs 30:5 NIV
“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: Ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7 KJV
“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV
“But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all your works.” Psalm 73:28 NKJV
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you….” James 4:8 NKJV
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God; that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-8 NKJV
“For I know the thoughts that I have toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV
“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 NIV
“And He said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me, nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.’” words of Jesus to His Father in Mark 14:36 NKJV (His obedience to and trust of His Father’s plan brought us eternal life.)
“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.” Psalm 107:19-22 NKJV
“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24 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 faithfulness.” 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
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 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 4:15-16 NKJV
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” words of Jesus in Luke 4:17-19 KJV
A noteworthy program with an account of protection and deliverance in Ukraine and an encouraging story of healing was presented on Friday’s 700 Club (July 15) at http://www.700club.org
Every country and its people are unique, and the Lord loves the people in each one. Having visited Japan at one time, these thoughts come to mind…
Biblical excerpt from the early morning encounter at the garden tomb:
“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” Matthew 28:5-7 NASB
“The Land of the Rising Sun”…It’s Japan’s name that’s widely known. May it be “The Land of the Risen Son,” when knowing Christ has grown. The uncertainties of ancient religions can never offer that which is true. Receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord makes each person a creation anew.
Japan is made up of islands; its cities have lovely, inviting gardens. The Lord sought refuge in a garden–before giving His life for the pardons… which He earned for us by His obedience in taking the penalty for our sins. For God so loved the world, that through Jesus, new life begins.
In a lush garden that was called Eden, God originally communed with man. Then man sinned against God, but the Father had already made a plan… to send a Savior, His very own Son, who would be heralded by angels in the sky. “Christ, the Lord,” they called Him–He was born, that on a cross He would die.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus showed caring to those who were oppressed; He shared the goodness of God–by His many miracles, people were blessed. He told of the love of His Father in heaven and taught His disciples to pray. We, too, can experience the love of God, sensing His presence with us today.
Jesus came to be our Redeemer, so relationship with God would be restored. Those who receive Him as their Savior, have found the TRUE and LIVING Lord. No longer are spiritual things vague. The love of Jesus is beyond compare… so much so that those in Christ cannot help, of His wonderful love to share.
P. A. Oltrogge
“…the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands, as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is the footstool of My feet….’” Acts 7:48-49 NASB
“For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods… The idols of the nations are but silver and gold, the work of man’s hands.” Psalm 135:5,15 NASB
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 NKJV
“…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….” (from Romans 3:21-26 NASB)
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:3 NIV
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 NKJV
“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