By His Grace

Jesus…

I’ve come to a situation that’s difficult to face,
so I ask of you, Lord, to sustain me with your grace.

Send down your grace…much of it may be needed
before this problem’s “flooding” will have receded.

But if it’s prolonged, I’ll keep drawing from your supply
of divine grace upon grace to help me get by.

Thanks for bountiful grace, poured into my being.
I’ve found it’s your grace that is absolutely freeing.

P. A. Oltrogge

“From his fulness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16 NRSV

It’s a Hard Subject

It’s a hard subject; but the truth is, it’s real.
There is a thief who is out to kill, destroy, and steal–
a being who is fallen because of his pride–
a being who’s purposed to conceal and to hide
the true God in Jesus, the Lord over all–
that’s what Satan does because of his fall.

His ways are deceptive, and he wants you to think
there isn’t heaven or hell beyond this life’s brink.
He’s supportive of “gods” of other names–
or “No God at all” is another one of his claims.
Devotion to a religion or philosophy, he’s approved–
especially those endorsing that Jesus’ Lordship be removed.

He draws those he can to reject Christ’s light,
causing more darkness over any spiritual sight.
But you’re called to leave old things you have thought
when you realize that, by Christ, your soul has been bought.
It’s simply a gift—but you must take and receive it.
Don’t listen to the naysayer, but simply believe it.

Of all time, the Bible is the best selling book–
if you think it’s inaccurate, then take a deeper look.
Please consider studies by Christians who aren’t slacking
in showing us the evidence that gives it absolute backing.
And to be the all-time best seller of books you can buy,
it must have the backing of Someone very high.

Be sober, be vigilant, the Bible warning is strong–
Jesus is The Way—any other way is wrong.

P. A. Oltrogge

201B27E2-8F33-433F-835A-9AEEAFC20A33

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’” John 14:6 NASB

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith….” 1 Peter 5:8-9 NKJV

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly.” John 10: 9, 10 NASB

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

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8 NKJV

“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 NKJV

We absolutely know that there is a deceiver, the devil, in this world. By simply turning on the news, we hear of lives and properties harmed or destroyed by his influence over people.  God, who is love, wants everyone who will, to receive the free gift of salvation through Christ and to experience His peace.

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Words of Jesus in John 14:27 NKJV

Books:

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel; Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell; They Thought for Themselves: Ten Amazing Jews by Sid Roth; Jesus Among Other Gods, The Logic of God, Walking from East to West, and others by Ravi Zacharias

Reassurances by Our Redeemer

Many situations come to mind nationwide, worldwide, and in our own lives that we bring to the Lord in prayer. And we continue to pray for people to put their faith in Jesus, our Savior and Lord. For those who have done so, God sends encouragement; and His goodness, faithfulness, and promises are their anchor.

Just a few months ago, this Word from the Holy Spirit was received by minister and evangelist Jerry Savelle. This has been shared with his ministry partners (jerrysavelle.org) and also by Pastor George Pearsons of Eagle Mountain International Church (emic.org)

Jesus said, “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

A Word from the Holy Spirit:

Do not fret and do not fear;
I still plan to give you a supernatural year.

It’s not over and you will not fail.
Didn’t I tell you that the gates of hell shall not prevail?

Rest in Me and I’ll see you through,
and I’ll bring to pass all that I said I would do.

So thank your Father in Heaven that you have a choice.
You can choose to fear or you can choose to rejoice.

So rejoice and do not cease.
This is how you tap in to My supernatural peace.

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” words of Jesus in Matthew 16:18

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

Be blessed to contribute to the ministry, and view touching videos at http://www.samaritanspurse.org of a young orphaned boy from Lesotho, South Africa, who received a shoebox gift that impacted his heart and life, children of the Pacific Islands receiving such gifts, and other stories of Christian love at work throughout the world.

Powerful Prayers for Peter

Herod began to persecute those who believed in Jesus, it’s told in the twelfth chapter of Acts. James was martyred by the sword and Peter was seized, though there had been no criminal facts.

The church was offering up constant prayer for Peter–imprisoned by Herod Agrippa, the king. So in the dark of the night, God sent an angel to visit Peter there, who was asleep despite everything.

Four squads of soldiers had been assigned to him; and he was chained as he slept that night. A soldier on each side of him and guards were there, who were keeping the prison door barred tight.

Suddenly, the angel of the Lord stood by Peter, and a light shone inside the prison cell. The angel struck him on his side and raised him up; and from Peter’s hands, the heavy prison chains fell.

At the angel’s instruction, Peter dressed quickly to follow him–though it all seemed to be unreal. They went past the first and second guard posts. “This must be a ‘vision,’” was how it made him feel.

They came to the iron gate that led to the city, which simply opened to them of its own accord–then went out and down one street, and the angel departed. What a rescue from an angel of the Lord!

Peter came to his senses, realizing it had actually happened–he’d escaped Herod and leaders of the Jews. He proceeded on to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where they’d fervently prayed for this news.

Peter knocked at the door of the gate to the house, and a girl by the name of Rhoda came to see who was there. In her joy at hearing his voice, she ran to tell the others it was Peter, and that God had answered prayer.

They just couldn’t believe her, so Peter had to continue to knock, until they opened the door themselves to see… that God, indeed, had heard their prayers for Peter, and had sent His angel–to miraculously set him free!

At dawn, back at the prison, there was a commotion among the soldiers, as to how Peter’s captivity was defied. After a search was endeavored, Herod ordered the soldiers’ deaths; but the Bible records that he, too, soon afterward died…

“But the word of God grew and multiplied!”

P. A. Oltrogge

(From the account in Acts 12)

To Cast and Not to Cast

“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 5:6-7 NKJV

I cast all my cares upon You, Lord,
for worry is something I can’t afford.

I’ll take Your peace, instead of stress;
Your thoughts towards me are always to bless.

Oh, what a compassionate God we have.
His love for us is like healing salve.

Cast your cares on Jesus–His peace in trade;
then leave them there once you have prayed.

Now, keep your confidence–don’t cast it away.
Hold fast to your faith in Him each day.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalm 55:22 NASB

“Turn all your anxiety over to God because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 GW

“Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks.” Philippians 4:6 GW

“Cast not away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.” Hebrews 10:35 KJV

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” Hebrews 4:14 KJV

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” Hebrews 10:23 KJV

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 KJV

Isaiah 54:17; Isaiah 55:10-11; Jeremiah 1:12; 1 Corinthians 14:15; 2 Corinthians 2:14

…thanking the Lord!

The Resurrected Lord appears at the Sea of Galilee

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples several times–for instance, once at the Sea of Galilee. In the group were Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, two other disciples, and the sons of Zebedee.

Peter announced he was going to go out to fish; and they all decided they would join him, too, on the boat. They fished all night but caught nothing; and in the morning they saw Jesus on the shore as they were afloat.

They didn’t realize this was the Master when He called to them as “friends,” asking if they had fish aboard. “No,” they said–but then took His advice, that a shift of the net to the right side shouldn’t be ignored.

When they did as He said, they came into such an abundance of fish that they weren’t able to haul in the net, which caused them to remember a previous miraculous catch–an incident they could never forget.

John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, spoke up first, saying, “It is the Lord!” They all were overwhelmed and excited. Peter, in his eagerness, threw on his tunic, and jumped into the sea for the shore–so unable to wait to be reunited.

The others followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, with which Jesus had just blessed–such a great haul. A fire of burning coals with fish and also bread was ready on shore, where the Lord wanted to dine with them all.

Jesus said that they should bring some of the fish just caught–153 large fish in all, and yet the net wasn’t torn. “Come and have breakfast,” was His warm greeting to His disciples there on that joyful and, to them, miraculous morn.

Have you fished all night, are you not expecting to see the Lord show up, do you think miracles are few and far between? Well, He’s the resurrected Lord, and is “ALIVE forevermore!” We can expect to see miracles yet like none we’ve ever seen!

P. A. Oltrogge

(from John 21:1-14
and reference to Luke 5:1-11)

“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.’” Revelation 1:17-19

The various versions of the Bible have Jesus calling out to His disciples in this account in different terms.  “Children” is written in the King James Version–which they were, beloved children of God.

In the Gospel of John, we read of John as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Of course, all of His disciples were the recipients of His unmerited love, as we also are today!

Truth and History

For a message on truth under attack, and for a lesson on men of history who affected the United States, anyone can go to http://www.emic.org to hear American historian, David Barton. (Go to “Latest Service” and click on “More,” for the August 30 message on that website.) It’s entitled “Truth Under Attack.”(part 2). If unable to view the entire service, his message begins about thirty minutes into the video.

We’ve seen erected statues of some of these people of history coming down or being defaced. David Barton explores the actual history regarding these men.

Beauty is in the Eye of God, the Beholder

The story of a “different” duckling was one that, as children, most of us had read. This duckling was ridiculed because of his appearance–so much so, that he finally fled.

He then went through various experiences, away from the home he originally knew; but all of those experiences were bitter and caused him to keep feeling “blue.”

As the story progressed, he came upon a flock of magnificent swans, while downcast, who welcomed him as a most beautiful swan; and there he found happiness at last.

We learn, in reading the Bible, that God doesn’t look at how you outwardly appear. You may feel you haven’t much value, yet you’re a distinctive “swan” in His mirror.

And if blessed with what man defines as great beauty, God still looks within to start…His search for a person who is devoted to Him, humble, but courageous of heart.

Remember, too, that when God sees you, He sees the righteousness of His own Son; and He has promised to perfect the good work in you that, through Christ, He has begun.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For Thou dist form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14 KJV

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him, for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” 1 Samuel 16:7 NASB

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 NASB

“By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.”  Proverbs 22:4 NKJV

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”  Psalm 31:24 NKJV

“For if by one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”  Romans 5:17 NKJV

Rains can’t endure; God’s mercies are sure…

After the rain, the sun will come out...
Of the Lord's faithfulness, we must not doubt.

Rain is most often a life-giving thing...
May the "rains" of life be faith-strengthening.

P. A. Oltrogge
"Bless the Lord, O my soul; 
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!  
Bless the Lord, O my soul, 
And forget not all His benefits:  
Who forgives all your iniquities, 
Who heals all your diseases, 
Who redeems your life from destruction, 
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 
Who satisfies your mouth with good things, 
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."  

Psalm 103:1-5 

Psalm 25:6; Psalm 40:11; Psalm 89:1; 
Psalm 107:1; Psalm 136:1-26; Psalm 145:9

"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

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter
various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith
produces endurance."  

James 1:2-3 NASB

"Then He spoke a parable to them,
that men always ought to pray and not lose heart...."

Luke 18:1

Jesus said:

"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them,
I will liken him to a wise man who built his house
on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came,
and the winds blew and beat on that house;
and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock."

...from Matthew 7:24-29

(Scriptures NKJV, or as noted)

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 have 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

See healing and other personal testimonies at http://www.josephprince.org or http://www.awmi.net and other websites previously mentioned on this blog.

Poetic account, above, from John, chapter 5.

Some versions of the Bible leave out the verse about an angel stirring the waters due to uncertainties about original texts. It’s included in the poem as found in the King James and New King James versions, The Passion Translation, Amplified Bible, J. B. Phillips New Testament, and others.