Jesus, Closer than a Brother

Photo by Porch of the Lord

Dear Lord Jesus,

You thought of the lowly, the forgotten, the oppressed…
You thought of us all; and, through You, we are blessed.

You’re always the Good Shepherd, our Savior and friend.
If any setbacks befall us, you help things to mend.

You’re closer than a brother; and we can draw near
to You for Your assurance that there’s nothing to fear.

You loved the little children and do to this day.
For the unborn, young, or old, You’ve taught us to pray.

And also our enemies, You’ve said, are in great need
of prayers to be enlightened, that Your Word they might heed.

Obedient to Your Father, You went to Calvary’s hill.
You prayed that cup might pass, but accepted Your Father’s will.

Yes, what a friend we have in Jesus, as the hymn goes…
You died for all of mankind, and, praise God, You then arose.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.” Acts 10:40-41 NKJV

If you have a half hour, the following regards the unborn:

Blindness “Wall” Falls at Jericho

While Jesus, His disciples, and a great multitude were going out of Jericho, a beggar was there sitting by the side of the road.

He was Bartimaeus; and though blind, his hearing was fine to have heard of how Jesus’ healing ministry had flowed.

So, when, that day, Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, Himself, who was passing by…

“Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” became his earnest and heartfelt cry.

Many, among the crowd, told him to be quiet, as if, for him, there could be nothing in store.

But his plea of “Son of David, have mercy on me!” he kept shouting out all the more.

So Jesus heard Bartimaeus, then stood still, and commanded that he be called.

The persistence and “prayer” of Bartimaeus had caused the pace of Jesus’ journey temporarily to be stalled.

Bartimaeus was now beckoned, instead, with words of encouragement, “Rise, be of good cheer; He is calling you.”

Throwing aside his garment, he got up and came to Jesus, who asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Victory was breaking through…

At that point, Bartimaeus said, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight!”

“Go your way, your faith has made you well,” Jesus said; and immediately his world turned from darkness to light.

Walls had fallen down at Jericho through faith in God in an earlier, historical Biblical story.

And a “wall” of blindness fell at Jericho for Bartimaeus, when by faith in God’s mercy, he saw the Lord’s glory.

The account closes with Bartimaeus following Jesus down that outside Jericho road…

He had been confident of mercy and grace through Jesus Christ—from whom God’s marvelous light had flowed….

and still does today!

P. A. Oltrogge

(Based on the account from Mark 10; Referenced is the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho at Joshua 6)

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.” Hebrews 11:30 NKJV

“But you are a chosen generation, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV


Further encouragement:

Abraham’s Absolute Trust

The Porch of the Lord

This poetic telling is of the account in the Bible, which was written of in Genesis, chapter twenty-two. It’s the story of Abraham’s act of trust, in a most difficult thing God had asked him to do.

God called upon Abraham to take along Isaac, his much loved and only son, and journey to the land of Moriah, where, He said, a sacrifice would need to be done.

The unthinkable thing about this, was that the sacrifice Abraham was to make–was to be that of his very own son. Abraham must have felt that his heart would break.

God specifically designated Isaac as the sacrifice, leaving no room about it to doubt. So Abraham rose early the very next morning, saddled his donkey, and then set out.

He took two of his young men with him and Isaac, as God had, with certainty, decreed. Abraham had split wood to bring…

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Remembering Billy Graham

I remember attending Billy Graham crusades when I was very young
and anticipating hearing Billy after George Beverly Shea had sung.

Cliff Barrows led the assembled choir in an always joyful way,
giving mighty praise to God before someone on stage would pray.

Then Billy would come forward; and with his powerful voice,
he’d say we needed to make a decision—God was giving us a choice.

He always pointed to the cross and what Jesus had achieved—
redemption through His shed blood on Calvary for anyone who believed.

He said we should repent of our sins and give our hearts to Christ—
that His was the only sacrifice which God says has sufficed.

He emphasized that “God loves you” and wants to be your friend,
counselor, and advocate—from beginning of life to its end.

He said this earth was not his home—that he was just passing through—
and that a home in heaven awaits every believer in Jesus Christ, too.

After many Biblical references, Billy would give an invitation.
Then, an amazing number in the place would come forward to his station.

As they came forward, a familiar song helped set so many hearts free—
“Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me.”

Today, Billy Graham is honored for faithful service to God during his life span.
May we continue to share the Gospel of Christ—God’s gracious redemptive plan.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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 NKJV


Passing through…

God had parted the night clouds and, there, ever so bright,
was a beautiful, full moon seen through my bedroom window one night.

It was actually almost morning when it came into view.
It made me think of how God’s power and love can also break through.

There are “clouds” or “deep waters” in life that can often overwhelm,
unless we look to Jesus Christ as being at our life’s “helm.”

So think of your life’s “sailship” as strong through any “night,”
for He’s on board to part deep waters and is your ever-guiding Light.

P. A. Oltrogge

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…
For I am the !ord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior….”
Isaiah 43:2, 3 NKJV

“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

Photo by Porch of the Lord

Compassion at the Pool of Bethesda

During a feast of the Jews, we see Jesus at the healing pool of Bethesda, which was by the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, that prominent city.

And He saw a certain man lying among the many others who had come to seek healing, whose infirmity had lasted thirty-eight years—and on whom no man had apparently had pity.

It was known and told that an angel came to stir the waters at a season and time at this pool of five porches, an esteemed place.

And whoever first, thereafter, made it into the water was healed of their illness—with no longer a trace.

Jesus, knowing that this individual had been crippled and infirm for a long time, asked him if he wanted to be healed.

The man replied that he had no man to help him into the waters after they were stirred. Others were always quicker, so his fate had been sealed.

Then, Jesus mercifully said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk,” stepping in for the said “no man.”

Immediately, the infirm man was made whole, got to his feet, took up his bed and walked, for health and healing has always been God’s plan.

Today, when we experience difficulties, even those long-standing, and may sometimes feel there is no one to help, not even the Lord…

remember, we still do have an advocate in Jesus, God’s Son—to get adverse things eliminated and have the good restored.

P. A. Oltrogge

”…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”  Acts 10:38 NKJV

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  (Words of Jesus in John 10:10 NKJV)

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

Poetic account, above, from John, chapter 5.

Miracles abounding today: (healing testimonies)

Practical health tips
by Dr. Don Colbert,
where books are sold.


The “Unknown” God Becomes Known

The Porch of the Lord

“…for in Him we live and move and have our being….”

The above quote is from Acts chapter 17, NKJV, verse 28… the apostle Paul’s address at Areopagus/Mars Hill.  The following is a brief synopsis of the chapter, during the course of travels of Paul and Silas….

From Thessalonica to Berea to Athens…they went to the synagogues, Paul reasoning with the Jews…about Jesus’ need to suffer and die and rise again in order to bring about “the good news.”

In Thessalonica, Paul persuaded a great number of devout Greeks and some Jews that Jesus was the Christ; but the Jews in Berea much more eagerly believed that his declarations about the scriptures and Jesus sufficed.

Those Jews, however, who didn’t embrace the truths of which Paul had spoken…stirred up mobs to discredit him, hoping that the success of his “campaign” would be broken.

In Athens, Paul saw the many idols…

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From Butterfly to Bay

The Porch of the Lord

Photo by Rodney Campbell Photo by Rodney Campbell

A butterfly on a flower or a beautiful blue bay…
Can you really see those exquisite things and then not say–
“There has to be a Creator to fashion things so fair,
For all the evidence needed is seen in each of them there!”

P. A. Oltrogge

“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”

Romans 1:20 (New Living Translation)

Photo by Robert Neff Photo by Robert Neff

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Living by Faith in the Son

“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 NASB

“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
Ephesians 5:2 NKJV

Photo by Porch of the Lord

God is Love

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so 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.

No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in Him, and he in God.

And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

We love, because He first loved us.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

1 John 4:9-21 NASB