Dear one…

This was written some years ago for a young child whose parents were divorced. It was simply my thoughts on what I felt the Lord might say to a young person in that circumstance. You might want to share it with a child you know of who is growing up in the same way. You could insert their own name after “Dear,” as I did in the original poem.
(P. A. Oltrogge)

My love for you is very deep–
I gave you a kiss while you were asleep.
That funny feeling you felt on your cheek
was from My kiss, but you couldn’t peek.
You were sound asleep as I was standing there,
which I love to do because I care.

I died on the cross for you, dear one,
and for your Dad and for your Mom.
I send My blessings wherever you go–
to Mom’s or Dad’s, come rain or snow.
I love to give you sunny days,
and I’m glad when you learn about My ways.

“Jesus loves me, this I know,”
is good to remember as you grow.
Share it with others who don’t realize
that having faith in Me is really wise.
Remember I always hear you when you pray,
and I’m with you always, wherever you stay.

Reading Bible stories will help you be strong,
and a song praising Jesus is the vey best song.

I love you!

Jesus

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Triumphal Arch

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“And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”
Genesis 9:12-17 KJV

The rainbow is a token of the covenant that God promised to fulfill.
It can be called an arch or an arc; choose whichever you will.

But an arch can be formed over a doorway–and that gracious bow
speaks of the entrance to God’s kingdom, through which anyone can go.

To enter, requires putting faith in His Son, Jesus, who said, “I am the door.”
The “door” leads to all of God’s covenant promises and life forevermore.

P. A. Oltrogge

“I am the door: If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and he will go in and out and find pasture. 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.” John 10:9-10 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 from 11-15 NKJV

“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.” 2 Corinthians 8:14 NKJV

“But now He (Jesus) has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6 NKJV, and Hebrews 7:22, Hebrews 12:24

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” …spoken by Jesus in John 17:3 NKJV

“And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”
1 John 2:25 KJV

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11 KJV

“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

Prayer and Confession of the Blood of Jesus

Father, in the name of Jesus, thank you for the blood of Jesus. Thank you that I have revelation of the blood of Jesus today. I declare that I have a bloodline over myself and my family. We will not be killed prematurely. No evil will befall us, by the blood of the Lamb. In the name of Jesus, I draw a bloodline around my home. There will be no accidents, fear, destruction, pestilence, plague, calamity, terror, oppression, want, lack, sickness or disease or any part of the curse in my home.

I plead the blood of Jesus over myself and everyone else in my family. I declare that we are safe in the blood. The blood of Jesus is upon my household. Thank you for the blood. I speak the blood and testify to overcome the devil. In the name of Jesus and by the blood of the Lamb, I have rights, and the devil has no rights regarding my property or possessions. He has no rights on my or my family’s bodies and no rights in my finances or in my church. By the blood of Jesus, I’m testifying that God liberates me.

Morning and night I declare for the blood to be upon us, within us, around us, and between us and all evil and the author of evil. We are covered with the blood. Thank you for the protection of the blood. In the name of Jesus, I apply the blood of Jesus between me and all the power of the enemy. I draw the bloodline around my home. In the name of Jesus, I apply the keeping power of the blood of Jesus over all my family. I declare to you, Satan, that every plan you have against me and my family and my church will not prosper in Jesus’ name. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father, who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

“In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Matthew 6:6-15 NKJV

“After this manner therefore pray ye:

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”

“And if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Matthew 6:9-15 KJV

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Tel-Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Photo by J. Barrientos
Unsplash

Washed with the Word and the Living Water

It’s emphasized that frequent washing of hands will bolster our protection.
A friend said that while she does so, she makes the Lord’s prayer her focus and reflection.

“Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name,” begins the prayer.
“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”–there’s no virus there.

Then, the prayer continues regarding daily bread and our sins that He’d forgive. It includes forgiving others, guarding against temptation, and being delivered from the evil of the world in which we live.

“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.”
It doesn’t take too long to say this prayer with every hand-washing endeavor.

If rushed for time, even a portion of the Lord’s prayer can be one’s thought.
As you wash your hands, think of His peace and use the prayer that Jesus taught.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth.” John 17:17

“He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38 NKJV

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV

The Our Father or The Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6,
quotes from KJV

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Doubly Blessed

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Lord, how I love to see the rainbow.
It seems one of the closest things
to You directly speaking to us upon earth
of Your faithfulness–the reminder it brings.

And who but You could have created its design,
with pastels or bright colors displayed,
in a beautiful arch in the heavens,
following the life-giving rains that You’ve made.

It’s always magnificent–the sight of a rainbow;
and a double one is especially thrilling.
Though it usually doesn’t last for a very long time,
it reminds of a covenant You’re still fulfilling.

Though the rainbow fades, leaving only a memory,
it speaks, too, of Your love, that doesn’t fade–
for You gave your Son, Jesus, as Savior for us all.
Those who believe, find the greatest covenant You’ve made.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then God said, ‘I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.’ Then God said to Noah, ‘Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.’” Genesis 9:14-17

“He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures.” Psalm 147:8

(The Lord will restore His people) Ask the Lord for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm clouds. And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture.” Zechariah 10:11

“Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” Hosea 6:3

“(Patience and Endurance) Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.” James 5:7

“As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, ‘Take it, for this is my body.’ And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And he said to them, ‘This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many.’” Mark 14:24

(“In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant between God and his people–an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.’” 1 Corinthians 11:25)

“But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6

Above Scriptures NLT

Psalm 91:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most high will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day;

Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you.

You will only look on with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked.

For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place.

No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.

For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.

They will bear you up in their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down,

Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honor him.

With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold My salvation.”

Psalm 91 NASB

Shut In

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
James 5;16-18 NKJV

As we join in prayer regarding the current crisis and praise God for His coming parting of the Red Sea, so to speak, (as one example), we might consider a few more Biblical accounts where God’s people were shut in:

We read in Genesis about the great flood–Noah and his family survived in an ark for many nights and days. As a preacher of righteousness, he must have warned others to turn to God; but the people didn’t change their ways. He had been obedient to God in building the ark, in anticipation of the coming flood. Today, there’s an “Ark” into which anyone can enter, through repentance and by faith in Jesus’ blood.

Moses had gone before the Egyptian Pharaoh, saying that God wanted the Israelites to be released. But Pharaoh still hadn’t complied with “Let My people go,” so the plagues over Egypt hadn’t ceased. Therefore, a final plague of death transpired–a heavy blow to Egypt in the midst of the night. But the blood of an unblemished lamb, applied around their doors, kept God’s people safe inside until the morning light.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were cast into a furnace that was ablaze. That came about because they wouldn’t bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol, in order to give it praise. Their faith in God to deliver created an amazing scene, whereby the king saw that they’d become unbound. And there was a fourth “Man” with them in the fire, with whom they were walking around. They came out of the furnace unharmed, their bodies and clothes were unaffected. Then Nebuchadnezzar revered their God, who had kept them so miraculously protected.

Daniel worshiped the Lord God only, and for doing so, was cast into a lions’ den. In refusing to comply with Darius’s rule, he was obeying God, rather than obeying men. That den would have been a place, in which, anyone shut in should have died. But God sent His angel to shut the lions’ mouths, for He was on this worshiper’s side!

Lazarus died and was shut inside of a tomb, but his resurrection caused the Lord to be glorified. And Jesus’ own resurrection from death and the tomb proclaimed God’s Good News that is being spread worldwide!

Paul and Silas were shut inside of a prison–praise to God was their only weapon of choice. Then God sent an earthquake to set them free, because they had chosen, wisely, to rejoice! They went from being jailed to being guests in the jailer’s home and recipients of his care. The jailer had become their brother in Christ–what an answer to their praises and prayer!

So being shut in, in these Biblical accounts, brought about some great and mighty things. If we find we’re shut in, ourselves, today, let’s expect to see the good from God that it brings.

P. A. Oltrogge

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

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The Power of Jesus’ Blood

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
Matthew 1:23 KJV
_______________

“Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Pick out and take lambs for yourselves, according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your house to strike you.’” Exodus 12:21-23
_______________

The significance of the blood of Jesus, God’s Holy and unblemished Lamb,
is questioned or rejected by some as being objectionable, or even a sham.

But the Bible speaks of its life and its shedding for the atonement of the soul. We can refer back to ancient Egypt and a lamb’s blood in a basin or bowl.

After the slaying of an unblemished lamb, the Israelites were given instruction, to dip some hyssop in the basin of blood to keep their lives from destruction….

The Pharaoh of that day, despite plagues God had sent throughout his land,
refused to let the Israelites go free, though Moses had said it was God’s command.

Despite rivers turning to blood, plagues of frogs, lice, flies, and livestock that died…boils, hail, locusts, and darkness, Pharaoh still felt their God could be defied.

Then God told Moses of the tenth plague, which would be the decisive blow–
death of the firstborn from Pharaoh’s home, and throughout the land it would go.

The Israelites, therefore, were to take the blood-dipped hyssop, using it to apply…to the lintels and doorposts of their homes, so that death would pass them by.

In the same way, Jesus’ blood must be applied to the “door” of every person’s heart, for without the shedding of blood, the wages of sin and its death won’t depart.

So, blood, which seems offensive to some, gives life eternal as God has ordained. Jesus’ blood is cleansing and powerful, to all who have been sin-stained.

And the blood of Jesus “applied” today protects against adverse things; and every Christian can claim that blood covering for the safety and security it brings.

Thank God for the “Lifeblood” of Jesus, which offers abundant life here and now…but will, one day, open for us the gates of heaven, where, before the Lord, we’ll bow.

P. A. Oltrogge

“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22 NIV

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11 NKJV

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NKJV

“…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 NKJV

“If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:6-7 NKJV

Of Moses, “By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.” Hebrews 11:28 NKJV

“No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.”
Psalm 91:10 NKJV

“…according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.” from 1 Peter 1:1-2 NKJV

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 KJV

Matthew 26:28
John 6:53-56
Revelation 12:10-12

…further reading in the book, “The Blood and the Glory,”
by Christian author, Billye Brim

Great encouragement at:
http://www.emic.org
to view the latest message by Mark Hankins
“Fill Up Your Praise Basket!”

Thomas’s Moment of Doubt

When Jesus had risen from the dead, His first appearance was to Mary Magdalene. On the evening of the same day, where the disciples were gathered, He came again upon the scene.

“Peace be with you,” He shared with them, showing them His hands and side.
“As the Father has sent Me, I also send you,” was the immediate instruction from their beloved Master, teacher, and guide.

He breathed on them, saying to receive the Holy Spirit, and that He was sending them out to declare…the forgiveness of sins through His shed blood for all with whom they would ultimately share.

Thomas hadn’t been present at that wonderful moment, so only later, was he told. His fellow disciples were saying that they, too, had seen the Lord–but Thomas’s reaction to this was cold.

“Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Eight days later, Jesus again appeared to the disciples; but this time, Thomas was there. Again, Jesus greeted them with His peace but turned to Thomas with words of faith that He began to share.

“Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

Of course, Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God!” He now believed with every fiber of his being. Yet Jesus wanted him (and us) to understand that believing is seeing!

Jesus said, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Lord, may this teaching of Yours on faith, and faith in You, be one that’s wholeheartedly received.

Some people today, too, have doubts that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead actually took place. But be blessed to believe, as Jesus said, in the miracle of His resurrection–the unmerited gift to us of God’s love and grace.

P. A. Oltrogge

(Based on the account in John 20)

“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:30-31 NKJV

Consider the Birds and the Lilies

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Look at the birds of the air…
They don’t sow, reap, or gather
Their needed food into barns—
But are dependent upon God, rather.

Consider how the lilies are clothed—
They toil not, nor do they spin,
But to the heavenly Father’s care
They’re blessed to give in.

Yes, consider these,
And consider giving in,
To the message of Christ’s love
Above this world’s din.

Partake, through the Bible, from God’s table
Of spiritual food fit for a King’s heir,
And be clothed in the love of Jesus,
the finest thing you could wear.

Consider the children,
So gentle and so tender—
What kind of faith
To them will you render?

One that speaks dislike
And contempt of others—
Or one that speaks love
And draws all men to be brothers?

The heavenly Father gave Jesus
To tell of God’s care and to guide.
When we take Him as Savior, He gives love
For all others for whom He has died.

So just like the lilies
Or the birds of the air,
May people of all nations be blessed to give in
To Jesus—the way to the Father God’s care…

P. A. Oltrogge

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies….” Luke 6:27

“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’”
Matthew 22:37-40

“For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?

“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious, can add a single cubit to his life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.

“But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:25-34

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16