Two Significant Births

The Hebrew people had prayed for a deliverer to be their long-promised King. While living under Roman rule, they looked for the answer that God would bring.

Then it came to pass that two little babies were born in the same time span. The lives of each one of them would be major in God’s great redemptive plan.

One would be a prophet named John, the baptizer, and was the son of Zacharias, the priest. The other was Jesus, who would be the focus and celebration of God’s greatest Passover Feast.

John’s mother, Elizabeth, had longed for a child and rejoiced at the birth of her son. And Jesus’ mother, Mary, told the angel who came that God’s will for her should be done.

The angel, Gabriel, had first appeared to Zacharias and told him what to name his son…John, “The Lord is gracious,” a preparer of the way for the Messiah, God’s Anointed One.

When betrothed, Mary’s Joseph had gained assurance from God, by having been visited in a dream too. Mary stayed with her cousin, Elizabeth, for a time, before her own baby would become due.

These four parents realized, through faith, the significance of those entrusted to their care. A messenger of God, and Immanuel, “God With Us,” were birthed in answer to prayer.

P. A. Oltrogge

(from Luke 1 and Matthew 1:18-25)

“It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24

God’s words in the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve disobeyed Him, to the serpent (Satan) about a Redeemer: “And I will put enmity (open hostility) between you and the woman, And between your seed (offspring) and her Seed; He shall (fatally) bruise your head, And you shall (only) bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15 AMP (the promise/prediction of Jesus’ birth, His redemption for us through the shedding of His blood on the cross, and His victory over Satan)

“…for the devil has sinned and violated God’s law from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” from 1 John 3:8 AMP

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” Colossians 1:19-20 NKJV

Written of Jesus:

“And the angel said unto her, ‘Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father, David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ Then said Mary unto the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’ And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:30-38 KJV

Written of John:

“And his father, Zacharias, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying… ‘And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’” Luke 1:67 and 76-79 NASB

…poetry from Christmas on the Porch….

Advent of a Rose

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming
from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming
as men of old have sung.
It came, a flower bright,
amid the cold of winter
when half spent was the night.

Isaiah ‘twas foretold it,
this Rose I have in mind.
With Mary we behold it,
the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright,
she bore to men a Savior
when half spent was the night.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender
with sweetness fills the air,
dispels with glorious splendor
the darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God,
from sin and death He saves us
and lightens every load.

This hymn originally appeared in 1599,
Translated from German by Theodore Baker 1894

“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” Isaiah 11:1

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.’” John 8:12

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 2:15

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30

Scriptures NKJV

Meditation of the Heart

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

The Bible is very clear about the importance of the words that we speak. But keeping the meditation of our hearts acceptable to God is that which we should also seek.

Are the meditations of your heart more like worry or negativity in recent days? Think, instead, upon God’s promises, thanking Him, and rejoicing in Him always….

P. A. Oltrogge

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:2 NKJV

“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!'” Psalm 91:1-2 (and all of Psalm 91)

“The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.” Psalm 46:7 

“Jesus said, ‘Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall; for it had been founded upon the rock.'” Matthew 7:24-25 NKJV

“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”  Psalm 118:22

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things. As for the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:7-9 NASB

“Seven times a day I praise You
Because of Your righteous judgments.
Those who love Your Law have great peace,
And nothing causes them to stumble.” Psalm 119:164-165 NASB

“…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:26-27 KJV

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

“Then my enemies will be turned back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.” Psalm 56:9 NASB

“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:9 KJV

Postscript, Tuesday, November 29

I thought I’d entered the website in the right way; but, I’m sorry, there was an error on it today. You’re likely already familiar with it, knowing how it should be, but here, again, is the website for VICTORY!

http://www.govictory.com

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:1-5

“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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

The Faith Connection of Believing and Speaking

“But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed, therefore I spoke,’ we also believe, therefore also we speak.” 2 Corinthians 4:13

If ever there was a time of very great need, to believe in the supernatural power of God to feed, to provide for the people, as Jesus fed…it’s in these present days.  So, as you feel led, give unto those ministries of which you know, that are carrying out God’s will–His love to show. Thank God for those who go, bringing His care, and for His supernatural help–beyond what they can share.

We believe, therefore we speak, so use your voice–in your own life, to say that the devil has no choice, but to leave because he has, long ago, been defeated–the truth that he doesn’t want to hear being repeated. The supernatural power of God is in His spoken Word. We believe it, we speak it, until circumstances have heard. Yes, we have the power of God to move mountains away. When David faced Goliath, his faith in the Lord gave him confident words to say…

“Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:45-47

…and David, as you know, defeated the giant, Goliath….

P. A. Oltrogge

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19 (supernatural help)

“…but the mouth of the upright will deliver them.” Proverbs 12:6 (Proverbs 10:11; Proverbs 12:14; Proverbs 12:18; Proverbs 13:3; Proverbs 15:4; Proverbs 18:20-21; Proverbs 21:23 and others)

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, ‘Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’” Mark 11:22-24 KJV

Mark Hankins often shares on the importance of the above–believing and speaking, which open the door to the supernatural.  His book, by that name, Faith Opens the Door to the Supernatural, is available at www.markhankins.org

This week at www.kcm.org George and Terri Pearsons are sharing truths from God’s Word on His provision in these times.  

Always faith-boosting is: www.sidroth.org “It’s Supernatural!”

http://www.govictory.com is at work for you, 24/7

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

When Mary was told by the angel Gabriel, sent by God, that she would conceive and bring forth the Savior, her final words to the angel were: “’Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:37

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45 …as spoken by Elizabeth to Mary

Respite on the Porch

Photo/Pixabay

It’s my hope that a visit to the Porch of the Lord may sometimes come to mind…if you’re in need of refreshment–the Lord’s peace being what you need to find.

Or, then again, that you may think to go there for an encouraging start, on any given new day, seeking the Lord, heart to heart.

The best thing about it are the Lord’s words quoted there. May you see and hear Him talking with you, all the while that you’re resting in a comfortable porch chair.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:27-29 NASB

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:9-17 NKJV

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:14-15 NKJV

If you can do so, sometime, the service and message at Eagle Mountain International Church from yesterday, November 27, is well worth taking in. The excellent message, by Pastor George Pearsons, is “God’s Word–Final Authority.” There are also some encouraging testimonies at the very beginning, read by his wife, Pastor Terri Pearsons. The service is found at http://www.emic.org

Also enlightening is today’s in-depth study at http://www.givehim15.com by Dutch Sheets

A Visit to the Creation Museum

For a visit to the inspiring and educational Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, (about thirty minutes from Cincinnati and forty-five miles from the Ark Encounter), see the program regarding it at:

http://www.originstv.org 

This state-of-the-art Museum allows you to venture through Biblical history, stunning exhibits, botanical gardens, planetarium, zoo, zip line adventure course, and much more. The 75,000-square-foot facility has welcomed a multitude of visitors since opening in 2007. Now is the time for its Christmas lighting displays, as well, on the beautiful grounds. Further information is available at http://www.creationmuseum.org

“Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.”  Psalm 102:25 NKJV

“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11 NKJV

Photos/Porch of the Lord

Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel

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

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A simple book of poems appeared a few short years ago, and that book reappears at the time of the winter’s snow.

Christmas on the Porch is Biblically-based research…on the birth of Jesus Christ, who is the head of His blood-bought church.

“Come, they told me, pa rum pum pum pum, to see the newborn King”…a carol tells of a little boy coming to play for Him on his drum.

Oh come, oh come…Jesus came, not just for some–God wants the WORLD to know …Emmanuel has come!

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“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12 KJV

“All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name. For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God.” Psalm 86:9-10 NKJV

Poetry/P. A. Oltrogge

Christmas on the Porch is available through http://www.christianbook.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com, and http://www.amazon.com

Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel

Oh come, oh come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel…shall come to thee, oh Israel.

Oh come, Thou Wisdom from on high, who orders all things mightily.  To us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel…shall come to thee, oh Israel.

Oh come, Thou Branch of Jesse’s tree, free men from Satan’s tyranny…from depths of hell, by Thy power to save, and give them victory o’er the grave.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel… shall come to thee, oh Israel.

Oh come, Thou Dayspring from on high, and cheer us by Thy drawing nigh.  Disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death’s dark shadows put to flight.  Rejoice!  Rejoice! Emmanuel…shall come to thee, oh Israel.

Oh come, Thou Key of David, come, and open wide our heavenly home.  Make safe the way that leads on high, and close the path to misery.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel…shall come to thee, oh Israel.

Oh come, Desire of nations bind, in one the hearts of all mankind.  Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, and be Thyself our King of Peace.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel…shall come to Thee, oh Israel.

J. M. Neale/C. W. Douglas

Jesus came–He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life of servanthood, yet died through crucifixion as a sacrifice for our sins, but was resurrected, and then ascended to His Father in heaven…and Jesus is coming back again:

“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.'” Acts 1:9-11 NKJV

Giving Thanks…

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100 KJV

Thanksgiving greetings, dear followers/friends of the Porch of the Lord,

Today, in America, Thanksgiving is that time when we observe a special day to stop and thank God for all of His goodness and blessings to us–most of all, for sending us His Son, Jesus, to be our wonderful Savior, Shepherd, Teacher, Healer, and Lord.

I’d like to take a moment today, also, to thank all of you who have been following the posts here and thanks to those of you who occasionally send a “like” or a comment. Though I don’t post and reply to comments, feel free to continue to send any thoughts to me, the writer, which are helpful and of encouragement when something posted has seemed good to you. I hope that coming to the “Porch” is a peaceful place, where you can take time to meditate on God’s Word.

I am praying for you and believe that you will find all of the goodness and mercy the Lord has for you today and always as you trust in Him. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches over you.

P. A. Oltrogge

‘Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” words of Jesus in Luke 12:6,7 NKJV

Visit: You Tube Lindsay Kirkland His Eye is on the Sparrow

Dutch Sheets prays today and reviews Proclamations of Thanksgiving by U.S. Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln at:

http://www.dutchsheets.org (video)

http://www.givehim15.com (written)

He is the Everlasting God

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

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

“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11 NIV

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7 NKJV