Ravi’s Poem

From his native country of India, born over seventy years ago, came Ravi Zacharias, who, as a young man, would come to know…the real true meaning of living, having suffered from deep inner strife, before he found Jesus Christ after having almost taken his own life.

“Because I live, you will live also” were words of the loving Lord, that gave him the needed truth that there was a caring God to look toward. His life then started turning around, from the failures he’d sustained, when he prayed and studied the Bible–its words became ingrained.

A major move with his family to Canada was something that God directed; and, there, he kept trusting God’s Holy Spirit for his life to be perfected. When not at work, he sought fellowship at a church he would attend; and soon he met his Margie, who became his lifelong love and friend.

His great desire was to share the Gospel and also his personal story, of how God had rescued him from despair–for which he gave Him glory! For people from all walks of life, he pursued that mission of his heart–from war-torn Vietnam, to a great many countries that God would chart.

Often at universities, he presented the clear case for faith in Jesus Christ. He reached the doubters and questioners, telling them only Christ sufficed. His messages were shared in person and, in books, the Lord was extolled. He was loving and compassionate to all he met, yet his faith was very bold.

Ravi fervently shared the Savior and what a life entrusted to Him could be. “Because I live, you will live also” were words that he knew could set others free.

P. A. Oltrogge

Some books by Ravi Zacharias: Beyond Opinion; Can Man Live Without God; Cries of the Heart; Deliver Us From Evil; Has Christianity Failed You; I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah; Jesus Among Other Gods; Light in the Shadow of Jihad; New Birth or Rebirth; Recapture the Wonder; The End of Reason; The Grand Weaver; The Logic of God; The Lotus and the Cross; The Real Face of Atheism; Walking From East to West (Ravi’s autobiography); Why Jesus

The One Who Sent Jesus

When you believe in Jesus Christ and have settled that He’s the God who is true, you will not simply be believing in Him, but in the One who has sent Him, too. Jesus came into the world as God’s Light, so that darkness would be dispelled–that none should miss knowing their God, nor have their salvation withheld.

God desires to be a loving Father to all, but His justness will require judgment one day; Jesus did not come to judge but to save, and to teach us to be followers of His Way. All Jesus ever said or that He did, were things only from His Father that He’d heard A blessed life now and eternally are the gifts of which a Christian can be assured.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus shouted to the crowds, ‘If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know His commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells Me to say.’” John 12:44-50 (NLT)

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9:27-28 (NIV)

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” John 5:24 (NKJV)

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

“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.’” John 14:8-10 (NKJV)

The Night is Coming

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“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

And He saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

And they straightway left their nets and followed him.

And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee, their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.” Matthew 4:17-22 KJV
……………………………………………

We’re serving in the Lord’s harvest fields while it’s still the day,
for in sharing the good news of His Gospel, we all have a part to play.

By direction of the Holy Spirit, God’s worldwide missions abound;
and through Christian teamwork, we’re notably gaining ground.

The night is coming up when no further work will be able to be done.
God desires that we find our place of service to Jesus Christ, His Son.

You call ordinary people today, Lord, as you called ordinary fishermen back then. We’re blessed as we go about sharing your love while being “fishers of men.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then will come the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored, others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” John 4:34-40 NKJV

Jesus said…
“I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9;4-5 NKJV

“Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38 NKJV

“A faithful man will abound with blessings….”. Proverbs 28:20 NKJV

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 NKJV

“I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.”
Ezekiel 34:26 NKJV

The Trusted Guide

Photo/Unsplash

How well does our Guide we’ve been given actually know the terrain? Well, you can trust a Guide thoroughly who’s made your own intricate brain.

When He says that He has numbered even the very hairs on your head, you can trust that He’s the caring One by whom you want to be led.

The world can seem like a jungle path on which many dangers might lurk. Thankfully, our Guide has given us His promises, which definitely do work.

Some persons, by their own efforts, have tried to find their way–then found it better to seek the Guide who is available to those who pray.

To make our destination, especially before the night will fall, we must keep confidence in the amazing Guide upon whom we’re privileged to call.

P. A. Oltrogge

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever..” words of Jesus in John 14:16

“…when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” words of Jesus in John 16:13-14

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25

“The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.” Proverbs 4:18 NLT

“For I know the thoughts that I think 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 seek for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye.” Psalm 32:8

“He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” from John 10:1-18 NLT

“Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

“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

“Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created.” Psalm 119:90 NLT

“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. You have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35-36

“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows–one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” spoken by Jesus in Matthew 10:28-31 NLT

“For you are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.” Psalm 31:3

“Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 136:13 NLT

Psalm 89:5; Psalm 89:8; Isaiah 55:6; Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:22-24; John 10:11-18; Hebrews 1:1-3; Hebrews 6:12

Scriptures NKJV or as noted

The Children’s Bread

“And He was saying to her, ‘Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’” (Mark 7:27) These were Jesus’ words to a Syrophoenician woman, regarding the healing of her daughter… Here He was referring to healing as “the children’s bread.” She was not Jewish (“the children”) but persisted in faith, to ask for His help, which He gave.

We read in the Bible’s book of Acts that in the course of Peter’s travels, he arrived at the town of Lydda to visit with some of the saints.

There He came upon a man named Aeneas, who’d been bedridden for eight years with paralysis and its constraints.

The account tells us that Peter spoke with sure faith, saying, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you: arise, and make your bed.”

At Peter’s words, the paralyzed man immediately arose; and all who lived at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord, having seen that healing is the children’s bread.

In another instance, in Joppa, there was a disciple named Tabitha, or Dorcas, who abounded with charity for others and deeds that were kind.

Just at that time, she had fallen sick and died–a loss which was felt deeply, for she had made garments for many; and by such acts of service she was defined.

Some of the disciples heard that Peter was in nearby Lydda, so they sent two men to him to entreat him to come and not delay.

He agreed to come with the men and there, in an upper room of the house where her body was lying, Peter sent out those who wept. He knelt and prayed–then turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, arise,” at which point, death couldn’t stay.

She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. He gave her his hand and raised her up, then called those who’d been there to return. Peter presented her alive to all of them, who were so grateful and amazed.

The raising of Dorcas became known all over Joppa and many there believed, too, on the Lord and that the Name of Jesus, of whom Peter preached, was greatly to be praised.

P. A. Oltrogge

A summary from Acts 9:32-43
Also refer to Acts 10 on the inclusion of the Gentiles in the Gospel, and Acts 11:18 “And when they heard this, they quieted down, and glorified God, saying, ‘Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.’”

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5

“And when evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘He Himself took our infirmities, and carried away our diseases.’” Matthew 8:16,17

Other examples of Peter and the other apostles extending healing in Jesus’ Name: Acts 3:1-10, 16 and Acts 5:12-16; Acts 14:8-10; Acts 19:11-12; Acts 20:9-10; Acts 28:3-5 (Paul suffered no harm himself); Acts 28:7-9

 

God’s Word on the Unborn

What does the Bible say about the unborn and abortion?

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live….” Deuteronomy 30:19 NKJV

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:13-16 NLT

“This is what the Lord says–he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.” Isaiah 44:2 NIV

“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born.” Isaiah 46:3 NIV

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 NIV

“They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn He has done it!” Psalm 22:31 NIV

“He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.” Psalm 78:5-6 NIV

“As you know not what is the way of the wind, or how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you know not the work of God, Who does all.” Ecclesiastes 11:5 AMPC

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Luke 1:41 NIV

For a message regarding abortion, legislation pertaining to it, and your vote, go to http://www.emic.org for the September 13 service at Eagle Mountain International Church.

Archived posts about the unborn: A Baby in a Basket Ark; Of Such is the Kingdom of God; A Time of Budding

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!

Reflections from the Master Designer

Faces—you see them everywhere you go,
having two eyes, a mouth, and a nose, although
each one is different except for a twin—
Then personalities differ, despite being such close kin.

Just look at your arms, your feet, legs, and knees.
You’re wonderfully made, and I’ve found it to please
My creative ability—and you won’t come unglued,
for I formed you in the womb and your life then ensued.

And inside each person I have given a soul;
to carry out My plans, each life has a unique role.
If you need further evidence, just consider your own hand—
with its fingerprints designed for you by My command.

Each snowflake is made to have an intricate pattern,
and assorted planets are out there, like Mars or like Saturn.
The oceans with waters I’ve given are vast—
trees, mountains, and flowers by My hand were cast.

You see, the heavens are telling the glory of God;
My handiwork’s proclaimed therein—yet it’s odd
that some in this world want to say My existence
should be denied or challenged with strong resistance.

“Man alone is master,” they proclaim, but deny
that trusting in a greater Master is really the heart’s cry.
And for those who say this world has merely evolved,
they haven’t yet realized around Whom it’s revolved.

Reflected as in a mirror, My image became more clear
when I sent My Son, Jesus, to redeem the world from sin and fear.
He spoke to everyone of the Father as you can see in My Word;
and from Genesis to Revelation, I’ve desired it all to be heard.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.” Psalm 139:13-15 NASB

“All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:3-4 NKJV

“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” John 1:17-18 NKJV

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person; and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:1-4 NKJV

“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

“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.'” Luke 2:10-11 NKJV

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1 NASB

See “About the Porch”

Jesus’ Life, Death, and Resurrection Matters

Who or what really matters, according to God’s heart? Answering that question is the most important place to start.

The redemption of every person’s soul matters to Him above all. He sent His Son to save the world because of mankind’s fall.

God, being just and holy, couldn’t overlook the sins of man. By bearing the penalty for them on our behalf, Jesus fulfilled His Father’s plan.

In ministry, He spoke of God’s love and that we should love one another–and that every born-again Christian becomes our sister or brother.

Then, loving our enemies was another command that Jesus taught. Praying for them and showing them His love is how they’re to be sought.

An awakening to Christ, the Lord, comes by the Holy Spirit’s touch. For all people to know and love His Son is what matters to God so much!

All lives and souls matter–this was proclaimed at Calvary’s cross. You mattered so greatly to God that He gave His only Son, the highest cost.

P. A. Oltrogge

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

“The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:35-36

“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

“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 10:10

“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6

After discussion with Zacchaeus, Jesus said that salvation had come to his house, “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (from Luke 19)

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth….” Job 19:25

(Scriptures NKJV)

He is the Everlasting God

To whom will you compare me?
Who is my equal? asks the Holy One.

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Look up into the heavens.
Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.
O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:25-31 NLT

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