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

An Awakening to Love

3CA5BD11-7090-4CA8-B752-921454A774F2

Using scripture passages, such as that below, Pastor George Pearsons spoke on Sunday regarding the love and value we should always have for one another.
If you’d like, see http://www.emic.org for the entire service or scroll to the message.

Loving One Another

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

“Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”

1 John 4:7-12 NLT

During Sunday’s service, a hymn from out of the Welsh revival of 1904, “Here is Love, Vast as the Ocean,” (William Rees) was sung at the end of the message by the worship team.

Here is love,
vast as the ocean…
lovingkindness as a flood,

when the Prince of Life,
our ransom,
shed for us His precious blood.

Who His love will not
remember? Who can cease
to sing His praise?

He can never be forgotten
throughout heaven’s
eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion,
fountains opened
deep and wide.

Through the floodgates
of God’s mercy,
flowed a vast and gracious tide.

Grace and love,
like mighty rivers,
poured incessant from above,

and heaven’s peace and
perfect justice
kissed a guilty world, in love.

In Your truth, You will direct me
by Your Spirit,
through Your Word.

And Your grace, my need is meeting
as I trust in You,
my Lord.

Of Your fulness, You are pouring,
Your great love
and power on me,

without measure,
full and boundless,
drawing out my heart to Thee.

God’s Provision in Tough Times

If you missed going to http://www.kcm.org this last week, you may want to go to the site and click on “Watch,” at the top, to view a series by Pastor George Pearsons. When Friday’s program comes up, you’ll see all the previous days as well. Friday’s program is titled, “A Supernatural Economic Turnaround” and, towards its end, there is an interview with a couple from the Ukraine giving their encouraging testimony.

It’s an excellent series if you’ve suffered a setback, possibly due to the pandemic or other circumstances, or just need encouragement about God’s provision.

Consider the Birds and the Lilies

022B5A91-F60E-42D4-8A88-32B81E32927B

Look at the birds of the air…
They don’t sow, reap, or gather
their needed food into barns,
but are dependent upon God, rather.

Consider how the lilies are clothed…
They toil not, nor do they spin,
but to the heavenly Father’s care
they’re blessed to give in.

Yes, consider these,
and consider giving in,
to the message of Christ’s love
above this world’s din.

Partake, through the Bible, from God’s table
of spiritual food fit for a King’s heir–
and be clothed in the love of Jesus,
the finest thing you could wear.

Consider the children,
so gentle and so tender.
What kind of faith
to them will you render?

One that speaks dislike
and contempt of others—
or one that speaks love
and draws all men to be brothers?

The heavenly Father gave Jesus
to tell of God’s care and to guide.
When we take Him as Savior, He gives love
for all others for whom He has died.

So just like the lilies
or the birds of the air,
may people of all nations be blessed to give in
to Jesus—the way to the Father God’s care.

P. A. Oltrogge

E0DDE2F3-A881-45F4-8082-F1FD81AA0347

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies….” Luke 6:27

“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’”
Matthew 22:37-40

“For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?

“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious, can add a single cubit to his life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.

“But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:25-34

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

Jesus’ Blood Speaks Better Things

Recently, our nation has been gripped by man’s inhumanity to man.
Certainly, this was never a part of God, the Father’s, plan.

Back in time, when the human family had only first begun,
Abel was killed by his brother, Cain, in the first murder ever done.

God said to Cain that his brother’s blood cried out to Him from the ground.
Others, too, have died wrongfully–their blood has become a loud sound.

Jesus Christ was sent of God, to teach of love, forgiveness, and brotherhood.
And, on Calvary’s cross, He died for us all–but some haven’t yet understood.

Only God can change someone’s heart, by Christ Himself entering in.
His sacrificial blood is the powerful voice that speaks “redemption” for anyone from sin.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation….” Ephesians 2:13-14

“…to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel.” Hebrews 12:24

Praying today for the Floyd family and other families now affected by recent events in the U.S., and for our country, other nations, and for Nigeria, in particular, where over six hundred Christians have been killed this year simply because of their faith.

Thankfully, we also hear of many other reports of God working mightily in people’s hearts to bring them to repentance and faith in His Son, Jesus.

“…’Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts.”
Zechariah 4:6

The Sword of the Spirit

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all….

1 Timothy 2:1-6 NKJV

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. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

Luke 10:19-20

And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 16:19

Assuredly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 18:18

Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints….

Ephesians 6:10-18

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.

Nahum 1:7

Praying with Confidence in God

The following is a poetic account derived from
Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9…

Peter, James, and John had gone up with Jesus to pray on a mountain when He was transformed before them and was talking with Moses and Elijah. “This is My beloved Son,” was spoken by God from out of a cloud.

After this amazing supernatural experience, they came down together with Him to find the other disciples involved in a dispute with some scribes–the group was surrounded by a large crowd.

When Jesus asked about the discussion, a father came and knelt before Him in regard to the plight of his son–who was possessed by a troubling evil spirit that never was done.

The boy was mute, experienced foaming of the mouth, and would grind his teeth and become rigid–his life unsound. Additionally, this violent spirit would often throw him onto the ground.

The father said that Jesus’ disciples had been unable to cast out the demon with which his son had been defiled. Later, he would share that the trouble had been happening ever since the boy had been a child.

Having just come down from the mountain and the time of His transfiguration, Jesus must have felt such a difference, saying, “Oh faithless generation!”

“How long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” They brought him to Jesus and the spirit convulsed him; his plight was plain for all to see.

The father told Jesus how it had tried to destroy his son’s life by throwing him into water or fire. “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us,” the man said, expressing his deep desire.

Jesus responded with, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” With tears, he answered, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” Doubtful thoughts had come from the devil, who deceives.

Before a greater crowd could gather, Jesus rebuked the spirit, telling it to never re-enter, after He’d commanded it to come out. It threw the boy into terrible convulsions, but he was delivered in spite of the father’s doubt.

The boy looked so limp and still that the people thought he must be dead. But Jesus, knowing otherwise, took him by the hand and raised him, and the boy stood up instead.

Jesus mercifully had answered the father’s plea, even though, after so many attacks, his faith had been marred. Then the disciples asked Him about their failure in the matter–why it had been so hard,

Jesus attributed it to their unbelief and said that prayer was needed–two of the texts add that fasting was due. But believing you receive when you pray, and doubting not, are important lessons within this account, too.

Mark 11:22-23 “…Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt IN HIS HEART, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”

Faith will work in the heart, even when doubts have come to the mind. Resist the devil and remember that his activities yet today we must cast down and bind.

(After the death and resurrection of Jesus, the disciples received the power of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, (Acts 2) as Jesus had said they would. This enabled them to speak/pray in tongues, a gift to believers, a supernatural help in prayer. For more on this, refer to http://www.rhema.org and go to Study Center, articles under “Holy Spirit.”)

Out of the Ashes

The following was written some years ago but is certainly applicable today.
by Guest Contributor, J. Vetter

Only a year ago, a tornado swept through our town, and trees became missiles of destruction. They slammed against houses, fences and vehicles with an angry vengeance.

This morning I took the time to investigate the new walking trail that was built in our area. Joy crowded into my heart and it overflowed with gratitude as I recognized that the pathway had been created with the remains of those fallen trees. Then, at the end of the trail, the joy that I felt gave birth to overwhelming revelation of new life! There, amidst the trees, an outdoor chapel had been built. There was a simple wooden cross, a pulpit, and there were six wooden benches.

Even though no one was standing behind the pulpit, I heard a message spoken loudly and clearly into my spirit. It was “Never give up! Never give up!” In spite of what may look like devastation, God declares, “There will be new life – trust Me! Learn to expect the good, for I know how to bring it about. Take your eyes off the distraction of loss and begin to expect the beauty of renewal.”

The Lord has much to say about being one who overcomes. I personally believe it thrills God’s heart when we choose to allow Him to rebuild what has been devastated or broken. It may not look the same; but in fact, often it can be even better. I’m thinking, for example, of the times people have had a water pipe break or some other kind of flooding. At first, it’s just a mess, and not very many people start out being thankful. However, after the insurance company pays for new flooring and restoration, it’s easy to forget the sense of frustration about the incident.

If only we could always see a snapshot of the finished project! But wait…God has something to say about that–how about, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

I remember reading about a woman whose son was severely injured. She was praying for his healing and happened to look up and out of her kitchen window and saw a vision of him riding his bike over the lawn. Time went by, and he was healed. One day, she actually saw that exact picture of him on his bike, just as she had seen in the earlier vision.

Many a person, when keeping faith in the Lord, has found that the loss of a job has yielded an even better one or a new situation that is more satisfying for them.

Sometimes, as in a personal experience of my own, a loss can be very hard–the loss of a precious loved one. Yet, I can give thanks for having had the joy of having known and loved that one, knowing the comfort that he is with Jesus; and I have found peace through Him, which passes all understanding.

If difficulties strike, I believe we can keep our hearts from being overwhelmed. In Psalms we read, “From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2) From the vantage point of that “Rock,” our Lord Jesus Christ, we are able to rise above any negative circumstance.

DAF3B6B5-3662-437C-9970-2E5D1E5EC92B

“Of the Truth”

“Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are you a king then?’

Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause, I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.'”

John 18:37 NKJV

Pilate went on to ask Jesus, “What is truth?”

I would like to dedicate this blog post to a humble soldier of the Lord’s army, who was born and raised in India. Ravi Zacharias was a strong defender of the Lord’s truth; and as you may have already heard, he recently went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

After a failed attempt, at seventeen years of age, to take his own life, he had an encounter with the Lord through reading the New Testament of the Bible, especially Jesus’ words, “Because I live, you will live also.” He went on to dedicate his life to Him, speaking to large numbers of people regarding Christianity during his life. He also authored many books on the subject, such as “Jesus Among Other Gods,” “The Logic of God,” “The Lotus and the Cross,” and “Why Jesus?” The following is a quote taken from his latest book, “Seeing Jesus from the East,” Zondervan 2020. Many of his messages can be viewed on You Tube, and see rzim.org

“The story of the gospel is the story of eternal life. My life is unique and will endure eternally in God’s presence. I will never be ‘no more.’ I will never be lost because I will be with the One who saves me.”

Ravi Zacharias

6EE52E24-6599-460A-8C64-F47967277A2B

All’s Right with my World

BD333F1B-CD3D-452B-8305-DC1981974137

All’s right with my world, my life every day,
because You are in it, dear Lord, to stay.

When storms crash around me, I command them to cease;
and if faith takes some battering, I still have Your peace.

Whatever the circumstances, I count it all joy;
I’m more than a conqueror whom this world can’t destroy.

The blessing of God is mine now and forever;
I’m secure in a covenant that cannot be severed.

The Lord is my Shepherd, the pastures are green–
With my mind stayed on Jesus, my life is serene.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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.” James 1:2-4 NKJV

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Romans 8:37 NKJV

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters….Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:1, 2, and 6 NASB

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3 KJV

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2 NKJV