Where the Spirit of the Lord is…

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“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV

So grateful, as we see the fireworks displayed,
that this is a land founded by people who prayed…

So many who recognized that this world’s true King—
is Jesus, the Christ—Lord above everything.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty;
and it’s through God’s beloved Son that men are truly free.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'” John 8:31-32 NKJV

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 NKJV

“…no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost.”
1 Corinthians 12:3 KJV

“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 broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” spoken by Jesus in Luke 4:18-19 KJV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” spoken by Jesus in John 3:16-17 KJV

Train Ride

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I was traveling on a train that had many stops it would be making…
but I knew my destination and which stop that I’d be taking.

I thought I’d ask the traveler next to me where he was going to go;
then, surprisingly, he said it wasn’t something he could know.

I thought that that was rather odd, for one needs to be quite sure,
for travelers can’t ride indefinitely on a never-ending tour.

I’d researched my destination, having heard it was a beautiful place;
but my fellow traveler’s plans were vague and uncertain in his case.

Eventually, he’d need to get off—there would come an end to the trail.
It reminded me of those who travel equally vaguely, but on a spiritual rail.

They think that any exit will get them to a final place of peace,
but they haven’t secured the ticket to where God’s love will never cease.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life…don’t travel until it’s too dark.
Secure your ticket by taking Him as Savior—then you’ll KNOW where you will disembark.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6 NKJV

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 NKJV

For those who like to have a good book along to read on a journey,
the Holy Bible is the very top of the list. An inspiring one
also is Living a Life of Fire, the autobiography
of Reinhard Bonnke, bearer of good news to Africa and the world.
Available at http://www.christianbook.com or other book sources.

Who do you say that Jesus is?

“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, and others, Elijah, but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” Matthew 16:13-16

Some say that Jesus Christ was just a man in a world history book,
while others call Him God–so it’s best to take another look.
Assurance of eternal destiny is a topic much thought about–
If your answer for that is doubtful, the truth can easily be found out.

Wouldn’t a loving God provide help to find your way?
Yes, through the Holy Bible–it’s where He has His say.
In fact, God wants the news to spread about sending us His Son.
Through Christ’s death on a criminal’s cross, redemption for all was won.

“Why would I need ‘redemption,’” you ask; “I’ve lived a life that’s good.”
Well, we were meant to live holy, but God saw that we never could.
He alone is holy, righteous, almighty, and the supreme justice-keeper.
He’s the very source of love, of which there’s none that’s deeper.

It’s an often-told and familiar truth that Christ came down to earth
to pay the penalty for our sins, offering to every one of us “new birth.”
“In the beginning was the Word,” and in Christ, “the Word became flesh.”
He is that Word, and it’s by Him that our lives can begin afresh.

There’s no other name under heaven that has been given among men
by which we must be saved than that of Jesus Christ, my friend.
Sadly, some who don’t believe still use His name in swearing,
not recognizing that it’s the Name that signifies God’s caring.

And others, in profanity, speak carelessly, using “hell.”
Many doubt its existence, but it’s real and where some dwell.
“On what proof,” you ask, “does anyone stand who so emphatically states
that there is really no other way to gain entrance at heaven’s gates?”

The proof is in God’s goodness, confirmed as the Holy Spirit flows,
through all that’s said in the Bible and as all creation shows.
The Bible says we’re without excuse if we don’t perceive these things–
Please trust the words of Jesus and find the blessings that He brings.

Those who go on to eternity, rejecting the gift of God’s grace
will miss the joy of one day seeing our loving Savior’s face.
So simply answer Christ’s question now of, “Who do you say that I am?”
by receiving Him as your own Savior and Lord–God’s sacrificial Lamb.

P. A. Oltrogge

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even 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. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:12-14

“Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead–by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:10-12

“…because that which is known about God is evident within them for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:19,20

“But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe, for there is no distinction; 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; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26

“For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12

“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you who to fear: fear the One who after He has killed has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? And yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:4-7

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:8-10

“The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'” John 1:29

Scriptures NASB

Consider books, studies, You Tube:
of Ravi Zacharias, Billy Graham, Reinhard Bonnke

http://www.awmi.net
undeniable testimonies of Jesus as healer–
scroll down to Vonya Currey, currently featured, and others

“Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.” words of Jesus in John 14:11 NKJV

He’s Opened the Life Gate

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To God be the Glory

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Refrain
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
Oh come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

Oh perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.

Words by Fanny Crosby
Music by William Howard Doane
Published 1875

Like Sheep Without a Shepherd

“And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

“And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.

“Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Matthew 9:35-38

There wasn’t any kind of sickness or disease which Jesus couldn’t cure. Today, He’s still alive; and, of His mighty healing power, we can be equally sure.

Jesus felt compassion for the multitudes, knowing that they were downcast and distressed. Like sheep without a shepherd, they were in need of His touch to be blessed.

It’s still the same in the world today–there’s need for healing and protection, even from any plague. But of greatest need is healing for the soul–as the ability to know God, for many people, has seemed vague.

Jesus said the harvest is plentiful and that we’re to pray for workers to bring it in before the night. And we ourselves can answer the call to share with others, near or far, about His love and light.

Yes, “like sheep without a shepherd” is descriptive of multitudes still today. Open their eyes, heavenly Father, to the Lord Jesus, as their healer, Savior, and Shepherd. This, for them, we pray.

P. A. Oltrogge

Lost No More

“Lost No More” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. http://www.GregOlsen.com

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” John 10:14

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3

(Scriptures NASB)

In the Twinkling of an Eye

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 NASB

At God’s appointed time, I’ll be saying goodbye.
That time is getting close, and I’ve tried to explain why.
I love you so much–please come along;
Don’t neglect Jesus for that would be wrong.
He’s preparing a party, and it will be grand.
Please don’t miss out because you don’t understand.
He’s made it so plain in the true Gospel story–
He, the Christ, is our way to Glory.
One thing’s for sure–all lives draw to a close,
so it’s best to put faith in the One who arose.
But we could see Jesus more quickly than we think
for the Bible speaks prophetically of what’s on the brink.
“In the twinkling of an eye…we shall be changed.”
Take Jesus and your place in Glory that He has arranged.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and the mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’” 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 NASB

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” words of Jesus in John 14:2-3 NKJV

Recommended reading:
The Last Hour
An Israeli Insider Looks at the End Times
Book by Amir Tsarfati

Reflections on the Legend of the Dogwood

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I think that I shall never see
as lovely a “bouquet” as a dogwood tree.

Pink-flowered, or purple, or snowfall white–
In the midst of a forest, they’re a breathtaking sight.

They’re reflections of the Master designer–
Of all beauty He’s created, there isn’t much finer.

They do speak of the divine, for a legend they bear–
On each flower’s center, a “crown of thorns” is there.

Like the beams of a cross, the petals connect,
having rust-colored tips–of Christ’s blood they reflect.

It flowed from His veins, pierced with a spike’s metal,
of which we’re reminded by a hole in each petal.

That dogwoods were once strong enough to be a cross is a story;
After Calvary, God took pity on them to yet speak of His glory.

But though just a story, not Biblical fact–
the legend has stuck and has made an impact.

For in springtime when blossoms of dogwoods begin,
we think, not only of their beauty, but of our Savior within.

Then, too, it can be said that, after winter, when they flower,
they remind not just of the cross, but of Christ’s resurrection power!

P. A. Oltrogge

“And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.” Romans 8:11 AMP

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die….'” John 11:25-26 NASB

Christ, Our Passover Lamb

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“…For, indeed, Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” 1 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

“He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 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. All of us like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and he was afflicted. Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.” Isaiah 53:3-7

“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM;’ and He said,’Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Exodus 3:14 NKJV

“Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, ‘Before Abraham was, I AM.'” John 8:58 NKJV

One Lamb, the “I AM”

Complete redemption is every person’s need, and there is just One Lamb,
Who was silent before His accusers–though He was, and is, the great “I AM.”

All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, but never did this One Lamb.
He kept God’s laws perfectly, while our own “righteousness” is a sham.

One Lamb bore our sins and sicknesses; we can look to Him still today–
For as in when He walked the earth, He doesn’t want it any other way.

One Lamb, one sacrifice, alone, was sufficient on the cross at Calvary’s hill.
There’s no other than this Lamb of God–there’s no need to be seeking still.

The Almighty God Himself ordained great grace through His One Lamb;
Thank you, Jesus, for having humbled Yourself for us, despite being the great “I AM.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11

“…And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment….” Isaiah 64:6

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.” Psalm 103:3

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” John 6:35

“Again therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

“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

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.” John 11:25

“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

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser.” John 15:1

Above Scriptures NASB

“The Power of Jesus’ Blood,” an archived poem, speaks of Exodus 12, where the Passover was instituted. An unblemished lamb was slain and its blood was applied to the lintel and doorposts of the homes of the Hebrews for their protection and deliverance, after which they ate the lamb, along with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast. Before His crucifixion, where He shed His blood on our behalf, Jesus, God’s pure Lamb, observed the Passover. We read this of that time:

“When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, ‘With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.'” Luke 22:14-20 NKJV

Outpourings of Love

…from Luke 7:36-50
(likely in Capernaum)

A certain woman of the city heard that Jesus was at the home of Simon, a Pharisee. So she came with an alabaster flask of ointment–her sins had weighed her down very heavily. Her tears washed Jesus’ feet, which she kissed and wiped with her hair–then anointed them with the oil–all tokens of the love she had come there to share.

Simon’s thought was that Jesus should have known that she was a woman to shun. If Jesus was truly a prophet, he would not have permitted her because of the things she’d done. Jesus then told him a story of two debtors, freely forgiven of debts of lesser and greater amounts. It was an explanation to Simon of a sinner’s gratefulness–her debt of sin was large (and, therefore, so was her love) by all counts.

Jesus expressed appreciation for her kisses and for the tears that she had shed. “Your sins are forgiven” and “Your faith has saved you; go in peace,” He said. Those who sat at the table with Him began to discuss that, saying “Who is this?” His forgiveness of her sins was an authoritative statement they really couldn’t dismiss.

…from John 12:1-8
(in Bethany at the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary)

In a second narrative, six days before Passover, the scriptures tell of Mary–
who used spikenard, a costly oil–the fragrance of which, the entire house would carry. After supper, there in Bethany, she anointed Jesus’ feet, also wiping them with her hair. Judas then asked why the oil hadn’t been sold and the money been given to the poor–not that he actually did care.

Jesus told Judas to let her alone for she had kept the oil for His burial day.
“For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always,” was what He had to say.

…from Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9
(in Bethany)

A similar occurrence at the house of Simon the leper, Matthew and Mark record,
was that of a woman who took spikenard, pouring it, this time, upon the head of Jesus, her Lord. There were some who, like Judas, criticized her, saying that the oil might have been sold for the poor. But Jesus said she had done this for His burial, speaking of her with grace, and that in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, she would forever have a place.

Today, God is pouring out His love and the Holy Spirit upon each open heart.
May we fill our own “alabaster jars,” with love for Him, and eagerly do our part. There’s a world of people Jesus died for, and many are in great need. Guide and strengthen us, Lord, as we seek to be Your servants, caring with both word and deed.

We thank You for Your great sacrifice; we thank You for Your steadfast love.
We appreciate so much what it cost You to visit us from heaven above.

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 eternal life.” John 3:16

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for 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.” 1 John 4:7-11

“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly I say to you inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'”
Matthew 25:40 (and verses 31-46)

“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

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Jesus Stops an Outer Storm and an Inner One

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Photo from the movie, “Jesus”

At evening, Jesus and His disciples were headed to the Gadarenes, across the sea. A storm arose and began to fill the boat with the wind-whipped waters of the Galilee.

Jesus was asleep in the stern in the midst of it all when His disciples cried out with fear. “Teacher, don’t you care that we are perishing?”—their lack of faith being made clear.

Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind and spoke to the sea, saying, “Peace, be still!” Then the disciples were amazed to see the wind and the waves conform to His will.

After the Lord questioned them why it was that they had no faith, they wondered aloud together. “Who could this be?” to have such authority over the power of wind, sea, and weather.

At their arrival at the Gadarenes, they would see the Lord do a work of another kind. There, Jesus was met immediately by a man who had an unclean spirit and whom no man could bind.

He stayed among the tombs and mountains and would cut himself with stones, crying out both day and night. Even shackles and chains couldn’t hold him, but he’d break them, due to an evil, inner might.

Seeing Jesus from afar, this man ran to Him and worshiped Him, and then he said… “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” He indicated fear of what was ahead.

Jesus told the unclean spirit to come out of the man and asked its name, which was Legion. “For we are many,” it said, and begged Jesus earnestly not to send them out of that region.

Then all the demons begged Jesus to permit them to enter a herd of about two thousand swine, which were feeding in the mountains there. At once, Jesus gave permission. The demons entered the pigs, which then ran violently down a steep place to drown in the sea, giving those who saw it a troubling scare.

The men who had fed the swine fled and told others in the city and country what had transpired. So, many came to see for themselves and were shocked to find, clothed and in his right mind, the madman whose life had been so degraded and mired.

Afraid, they pleaded with Jesus to depart from there, even though such a great deliverance had been shown. The man who’d been delivered very much wanted to leave with and follow Him, but Jesus said that, instead, his story should become more known.

He told him to go home and tell his friends of God’s compassion on him and what great things the Lord had done… So he departed and began to share in Decapolis, and the people marveled as he spoke about his life-changing encounter with Jesus, God’s Son.

P. A. Oltrogge

…from Mark 4-5

Thanking God that today, also, we hear of and have ourselves experienced
God’s love and power through faith in Jesus. Find encouragement by reading some of the praise reports at http://www.josephprince.org