A friend and I walk early mornings at a lovely park by a lake near where I live. Two weeks ago, even before the trees had shed all of their leaves, we got surprised by a sudden snow shower. It was incredibly beautiful.
The snowflakes were large and softly fell, staying “on my nose and eyelashes.” It was just dawn, and silence surrounded us while the softly-falling snow covered the woods and ground in white. As we glanced out over the lake, the falling snow was like a curtain of lace over the lake, and the two almost became as one.
It was an extraordinary experience, and we thought of the Artist’s gift of seasons, each as beautiful as the other.
written by Jane… a guest contributor
“Have you entered the treasury of snow…?” Job 38:22
“He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes.” Psalm 147:16
Have you read about or heard of a story…regarding a tough situation,
where prayer turned things around with a kind of heavenly litigation?
It’s good to remember such times, of great breakthroughs coming about,
when believers joined their faith in prayer, effectively driving out doubt.
This can also be likened to a soldier in battle–weary from fighting hard,
when suddenly fresh troops come to his aid, to relieve him and stand guard.
It’s wise to make declarations of faith when traveling down a difficult way;
but often we need our family in Christ, to join together with us to pray.
P. A. Oltrogge
“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:19-20
“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” Acts 12:5
“So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.” Acts 12:12
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints–” Ephesians 6:17-18
“Be kindly affectionate to one another, with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” Romans 12:10-13
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Perhaps you’ve heard these words from the Christian song, “I’ve Got the Life of God in Me”…
I’ve got the life of God in me…
I’ve got the life of God in me…
I’ve got His life, His nature, and His ability…
I’ve got the life of God in me!
(The song continues, supplementing the word, “life” with the additional words of “joy,” “faith,” “love,” “peace,” and “strength.” It can be found on You Tube, as sung by the Rhema Singers and Band.)
God goes with His children wherever they go. He gave us Jesus, for He loved us so. Being confident of His presence, we live our lives. Through His Word, prayer, and indwelling Spirit, the believer thrives.
P. A. Oltrogge
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
“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.” John 15:1-12
“…for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.'” Acts 17:28
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1
Matthew 1:23; Acts 4:10; Acts 17:28; Romans 6:4; Hebrews 13:5
Keep your eyes upon the victory, though the miracle shore seems far. That’s what you need to do when you’re at “where you are.”
Don’t let your eye of faith become for you, instead, an eye of fear. Nearby winds and waves distract–especially when victory is near.
A double-minded person is, himself, like a wave of the sea–driven and tossed by the wind, giving attention to adversity.
So focus on the victory “lighthouse” that’s beaming out for you. Give it greatly your attention, and the Lord will see you through.
That lighthouse, you recognize, is God’s unfailing Word. It’s the light unto your pathway, and on which you’ve believed after having heard.
P. A. Oltrogge
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” Hebrews 11:1-2 NIV
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 NKJV
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:2-8 NKJV
“My son, give attention to My words; incline your ear to My sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJV
“Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT
“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
“But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly, You are the Son of God,'” Matthew 14:22-33 NKJV
After reading the above poem, you will not want to be lost at sea, so to speak, in situations of life, but you may be encouraged by reviewing the true account, “Lost at Sea” in the archives of this blog–a story in which the speaker found herself with very little hope but for God’s intervention.
Help us, Lord, to “rise above….” How can we do it? Through Your love.
We’re to love and pray for our enemies or those who mistreat us, You’ve said. Surely for them, Your redeeming blood on Calvary was also shed.
Even if they’ve opposed or hurt us to any kind of degree, we can’t love God, whom we’ve not seen, if we don’t love those we see.
To forgive, for us, is sometimes a very difficult task; but You can give us Your love for them, and grace in such situations, if we will ask.
When on trial and, then, on the cross, Jesus’ example was displayed. As He asked His Father to forgive, we must forgive before we’ve prayed.
Love doesn’t take into account the wrongs that we’ve withstood. To forgive others, through God’s help, is “overcoming evil with good.”
P. A. Oltrogge
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:43-48
“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
“If someone says, ”I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” 1 John 4:20-21
“When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.” Luke 23:33-34
“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:25
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
When we speak of Jesus Christ–not necessarily at another’s request,
it’s only because we know that God wants them to have His best.
There are those who haven’t yet realized that God is immensely good;
there’s so much about the Lord which they haven’t understood.
He sometimes has been blamed when bad things have occurred,
even though the devil’s existence is clearly warned of in God’s word.
We’re living in a fallen world, though God pronounced it “very good.”
Sin altered it when Adam and Eve didn’t live as He’d said they should.
Some people are deceived in believing that there’s no God at all–
they’re missing the truth that He sent Jesus to redeem us from man’s fall.
Now, we can have salvation and God’s peace as we journey on earth;
Jesus proclaimed abundant life and told of our need for the “new birth.”
God’s Word is more desirable than gold, and even sweeter than honey;
yet after hearing it, some are still hesitant in trusting God over money.
Giving a tenth to His kingdom should be strong in our hearts’ desires.
It’s part of worshipping God and even shields us from financial “fires.”
Besides that, it’s a great blessing to participate in helping others…
in tangible ways, and then to see many become our sisters and brothers.
So continue to share the Lord with people–tell the goodness of His ways,
trusting that by His Spirit, they’ll come to know Him and give Him praise!
P. A. Oltrogge
“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.” …said by Jesus in John 10:10 NKJV
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'” John 3:3 NKJV
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
“He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish like a branch.” Proverbs 11:28 KJV
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” …said by Jesus in John 15:5 NKJV
“The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them, there is great reward.” Psalm 19:9-11 NKJV
Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 10:41-42; Luke 6:38; Acts 20:35
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16 (New King James)j
Lights-are-us, that’s who we are, Disciples of Jesus, the Bright and Morning Star. The world is dark, yet here we are, Giving off light, both near and far. Like fireflies on a summer’s eve, From this world’s darkness, we can give reprieve. Guarding our hearts, so that we remain bright, We can pierce the darkness to give men light. As lights, we can make a difference that’s deep– Through prayers of intercession, from hell we can keep The souls of those who are otherwise blinded– And telling those we meet that they should be reminded Of redeeming love through a life lived right, By Christ, our Lord, this world’s great Light. Lights-are-us, we’re following Him, As we seek first His kingdom, our lights won’t dim.
P. A. Oltrogge
“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
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
“Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38 (New King James Version)
“…to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:18 (words of the Lord to Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus–Paul telling of it to King Agrippa)
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 (New Living Translation)
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
At http://www.renner.org you can obtain a free copy of “Unlikely,” the story of Rick and Denise Renner’s adventure, as lights for the Lord, pioneering a major work, beginning in 1991, for Him in the former Soviet Union. Rick also offers materials to encourage you on your own walk with God.
Mary changed the course of this entire earth, by accepting God’s plan for the virgin birth. Her agreement with the angel’s words affirmed God’s will, and the words that she spoke are often quoted still. She declared herself to be God’s handmaid or servant; in her, the Lord had found a heart that was fervent. She had faith the Lord loved her and all of mankind; she trusted in God’s heart and not her own mind. She was just a young woman of a tender age, but she stepped out in faith onto the world’s center stage. Though startled at first by the angelic visitation, her faith in God was strong enough to take up her station. Likewise, it’s wise today to ask the Lord to help us find the plans and purposes for our lives that He has in mind. By doing so, we ensure that we’re on His sure quest, for our loving Designer knows which plans are the best. Jesus called His disciples to leave earthly pursuits to follow Him and put down strong spiritual roots. What He has for our lives can be discerned by His Word; and through the power of the Holy Spirit, He also can be heard. The more that we listen to Him, the more we obey, the brighter the dawn grows to the full day.
P. A. Oltrogge
“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” Proverbs 4:18 (New American Standard)
“And in the sixth month, the angel, Gabriel, was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, ‘Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, ‘Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor 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 forever; 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 1:26-38 KJV