The Door of the Sheep

The future is still bright, for the Lord, Jesus Christ, is Faithful and True.

With our faith anchored in Him, He’s promised to see us through.

At each day’s dawn, we look to Him, our leader in the spiritual war–

For green pastures now and eternal life, Jesus said, “I am the door.”

P. A. Oltrogge


“Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door.  If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  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.  I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”  John 10:7-11 

Jesus…called “Faithful and True” in Revelation 19:11

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” …spoken by Jesus in John 16:33

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:19-20

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

The Lord’s Prayer

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father, who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

“In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” 

Matthew 6:6-15 NKJV

“After this manner therefore pray ye: 

Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen”

“And if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” 

Matthew 6:9-15 KJV

Photo/Unsplash…Hallstatt, Austria

Inspired Words to Pray

Photo/Porch of the Lord

Lord,
Make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred–let me sow love,
where there is injury–pardon,
where there is doubt–faith,
where there is despair–hope,
where there is darkness–light,
and where there is sadness–joy.

Divine Master, grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive–
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi

…Some versions of this prayer add “where there is friction, union, and where there is error, truth.” You may want to add those thoughts in praying the prayer, as well.

God bless you today,

P. A. Oltrogge

The Chastisement for our Peace was upon Him

“Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. ‘Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,’ he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed His last.” Mark 15:36-37 NIV

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’ Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.  So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’  And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”  John 19:28-30 NKJV

He was betrayed in a garden
for purpose of our pardon…

Then brought, as a Lamb,
to a “trial” that was a sham…

Spit upon and crowned
with thorns that they found…

He was whipped on His back
and endured each loud crack…

Made to carry the cross,
despite His strength’s loss…

His hands and feet were nailed down
on a cross, rugged and brown…

His bleeding and His pain
were meant for all our gain…

Wine vinegar for His thirst,
on a sponge, was among the worst…

Of the things He did endure
for a motive, which was so pure…

He knew His Father so loved the world,
that He took the mocking that was hurled…

Then, being obedient unto death,
He took His final breath…

From the cross unto the tomb,
it all became a kind of womb…

For, from it, Christ emerged
in victory–all our sins were purged…

So that, now, whosoever will
may freely have their fill…

Of His living water that’s yet presented
for any person who has repented…

Christ still gives, with a love that doesn’t cease;
a simple prayer will bring you His peace.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up unto everlasting life.’” John 4:13-14 NKJV

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:38 NKJV

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”

Isaiah 53:5 NKJV

“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

“Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God. There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”
Hebrews 7:22-25 NLT

Photo/Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem, Israel

The Impact of Genuine Love

by Jen Janssen,
Guest Contributor

I was driving down the road today with my sunroof open, tunes cranked, and the wind blowing my hair. Then, all of a sudden, something came over me, and I missed my mom. Now, the truth of the matter is I always think about my mom and I miss her in some way each day. But this, this was different…this was coming from that deep yearning to have her in the seat next to me to have one more conversation, to sing together, to just be together. I wanted to share all that is going on in life and hear her advice about it all. I wanted one more day to tell her what has happened over the last nineteen years since she has been gone. To have one more laugh over the silly things and to be able to cry over the moments of heartache. To be able to dream together and to mourn the things hoped for that had to die. It will be nineteen years this autumn that my mom has been gone; and, like I said, I always think of her. But then there are these moments that the grief is thick and washes over me. So I feel it, I cry for what I have lost, and I wait. I wait for the day we are reunited and I know even in these moments I am not alone. All of this to say if you have lost someone, something you are not alone. Helen Keller said, “We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world–the company of those who have known suffering.”

Forgive the long post, but I thought maybe someone else needed to hear this. Grief comes and goes in waves, and even nineteen years later, it can still sneak up on me and wrap around my heart. And that is okay. So if you are grieving something, someone please know you are not alone and this is not the end! ♥️

“…for He (Jesus) Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Qualified through Christ

Photo/Porch of the Lord

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-14 NASB

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name….” John 1:12

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 (and all of John 17)

“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

If you’ve happened to come upon this blog:

I pray you’ll understand fully the importance of the good news,
God has given you an offer, which is much too wonderful to refuse…

Receive of God’s forgiveness and goodness for all time.
Of the many decisions you’ll make in life, this one is prime.

P. A. Oltrogge

Faith resource: http://www.govictory.com

Lydia Becomes Part of the Royal Priesthood

“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

____________________________________________________

It’s recorded that the apostle Paul received a vision—of a man putting forth a request, that Paul should come over to Macedonia, so that the people there could be blessed.

So Paul, and those with him, pursued the vision, setting sail on the Aegean Sea–landing at Neapolis, they went to Philippi, a leading city of Macedonia in which to be.

On the Sabbath, they went out to a riverside, where some women were who customarily prayed. Prayer and worship were woven as fabric in Lydia’s life, while selling fabrics of purple was her trade.

She listened to that which Paul spoke to them about Jesus Christ being the Lord—then took heed in her heart that it was through Jesus, that true relationship with God is restored.

Embracing what Paul said, she went from reverencing God to knowing Him in a personal way. God had opened her heart to respond to the good news, just as anyone can do today.

Then she and her entire household were baptized, representing their being washed from sin. With joy, she invited the missionaries to her home to stay, prevailing upon them to come in.

This woman, Lydia, who sold fabric of a royal color, had found peace at the riverside that day. Through the Prince of Peace, her Lord, Jesus Christ, she’d been welcomed into His royal family to stay.

P. A. Oltrogge

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

A reference to baptism by Peter in Acts 2:38-39: “…Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself.”

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace..” Isaiah 9:6

(The poetic account is based on Acts 16:9-15 about Lydia from Thyatira)

Some references to purple’s use in the Bible:

“Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet material; you shall make them with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman.” Exodus 26:1 (for the Tabernacle)

“And now send me a skilled man to work in gold, silver, brass and iron, and in purple, crimson, and violet fabrics, and who knows how to make engravings, to work with the skilled men whom I have in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided.” 2 Chronicles 2:7 (for Solomon’s Temple)

The Greatest of These

Something to remember about the story of Joseph, whose brothers had him sold,
is that bitterness towards them isn’t recorded in the story as told.

It relates the various trials of Joseph–being imprisoned unjustly was among the worst. Perhaps a bit of revenge was enacted when, as Egyptian ruler, he treated them harshly at first.

But when Joseph observed their attitude towards Benjamin and now how much they cared, he could no longer keep from revealing himself to them, but wanted brotherly love to be shared.

He completely forgave his brothers for the evil to him that they’d done;
and they, in turn, came to love Joseph, who’d been their father’s favorite son.

Most often noted is Joseph’s great faith in God, from which he never departed;
but he was also a very gracious man, loving, and tenderhearted.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 NKJV

“But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.” 1Thessalonians 4:9 NKJV

“Let brotherly love continue.” Hebrews 13:1 NKJV

“Weeping with joy, he embraced Benjamin, and Benjamin did the same. Then Joseph kissed each of his brothers and wept over them, and after that they began talking freely with him.”
(from the story of Joseph in Genesis 45:14-15 NLT)

Find encouragement on the love of God for you at: http://www.govictory.com or http://www.mylon.org where you will find daily ministry from the Word of God. Mylon Le Fevre has a testimony of deliverance from drugs to faith in Christ–then helping others in their Christian walk, along with his gracious wife, Christi.

The Voice of Jesus

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 comes 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. John 4:34-36 NKJV

So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” John 20:21 NKJV

The old hymns have messages that still ring so true…
this one speaks of what we believers can do:

1. Hark! the voice of Jesus crying,
“Who will go and work today?
Fields are white and harvests waiting,
Who will bear the sheaves away?”
Loud and long the Master calleth,
Rich reward He offers thee;
Who will answer, gladly saying,
“Here am I, send me, send me”?

2. If you cannot speak like angels,
If you cannot preach like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus,
You can say He died for all.
If you cannot rouse the wicked
With the Judgement’s dread alarms,
You can lead the little children
To the Savior’s waiting arms.

3 If you cannot be a watchman,
Standing high on Zion’s wall,
Pointing out the path to heaven,
Offering life and peace to all,
With your prayers and with your bounties
You can do what God demands;
You can be like faithful Aaron,
Holding up the prophet’s hands.

4. Let none hear you idly saying,
“There is nothing I can do,”
While the souls of men are dying
And the Master calls for you.
Take the task He gives you gladly,
Let His work your pleasure be;
Answer quickly when He calleth,
“Here am I, send me, send me!”
_____________________


from The Lutheran Hymnal
Author: Daniel March, 1868
Composer: Joseph Barnby, 1883

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

‘Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?’

Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.'”

Isaiah 6:8 NKJV

In partnering with our local church and with other far-reaching ministries that share the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are going out into the fields that are white (ripe) for harvest. God bless us all as He leads us near or far….

To support your own faith walk, consider the devotional book, “From Faith to Faith” available at http://www.kcm.org

Photo/Unsplash

You’ve Never Seen Anything Like It

“But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV

Verse 10 goes on to say, “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” So, while the text is referring to the Gospel and things revealed through the Holy Spirit, the 9th verse does make one think of the almost hard-to-comprehend beauty, glory, and peace of our heavenly home and destination. Thus, these thoughts:

Eye hath not seen, nor ear yet heard,
neither our hearts, says God’s Holy Word,
have envisioned the things which the Lord has in store
for all those who will meet Him on heaven’s shore.
A river like crystal and a Main Street of gold
are just some of the beauty that we will behold.
But, then, best of all, at last we will view—
our Savior, Jesus Christ, Faithful and True.
Though we face trials down here on this earth,
they’re nothing compared to heaven’s great worth.
You’re more than a conqueror—He gives you His grace,
both now and in eternity’s unfathomable place.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.” Revelation 19:11 NASB

“The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun, or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” Revelation 21:19-23 NASB

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1 KJV

“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 KJV

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” Romans 8:18-19 NKJV

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 NKJV

I’m thinking today of Dodie Osteen, who despite their best efforts and prayers, lost her husband, John Osteen, the founder of Lakewood Church to illness. Yet she shares her faith in God’s desire and ability to heal in her booklet, “Healed of Cancer,” which was a major healing of her terminal liver cancer diagnosis. She’s also written an autobiography called, “If My Heart Could Talk” and a devotional book. These are available at http://www.lakewoodchurch.com

Photo/Pixabay