Nothing Halfway

Our Lord Jesus doesn’t do things for us in a manner that’s halfway.
We need to keep that in mind in regard to that for which we pray.

Just as He provided Peter with a net-breaking, miraculous catch,
or made a few fish and loaves into an enough-for-a-multitude batch…

and as He healed the blind man who first saw men as trees that were moving,
Jesus went on to heal the man’s sight totally, His “completion” power proving.

Still today, He’s with us always, not doing things by half-measure;
but He desires to see us whole, for that’s always His will and pleasure.

And for any kind of “answer to prayer” that doesn’t seem quite right,
we wait upon the Lord for His very best, for His is the power and might.

Remember the wedding banquet, where the best wine served was the last.
It was Jesus’ miraculous touch that caused the first wine to be outclassed.

Let’s be assured He will answer our prayers in a way that’s truly complete,
thereby displaying to all, once again, that Jesus secured the devil’s defeat.

P. A. Oltrogge

See Mark 8 for the feeding of thousands and the instance of the blind man receiving full sight.

“But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 NLT

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you with all joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ….” Philippians 1:3-6 NKJV

And Jesus’ words on the cross, “It is finished!” were words of completion of the will of God and His Father’s calling upon His life.

“But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:25-27 NASB

For more on praying in the spirit: http://www.awmi.net
Look for teaching articles on the Holy Spirit

A Psalm to Take to Heart

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Photo by Porch of the Lord

Psalm 91 NASB

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!”

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day;

Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you.

You will only look on with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked.

For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place.

No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.

For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.

They will bear you up in their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down,

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honor him.

“With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold My salvation.”

The Power and Authority of the Creator in the Name of Jesus

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Photo by Porch of the Lord

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners,
spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,
whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,
and upholding all things by the word of his power,
when he had by himself purged our sins,
sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
Being made so much better than the angels,
as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”
Hebrews 1:1-4 KJV

How impressive and powerful are these words that we read about God’s Son, who has been “appointed heir of all things,” and “by whom” God’s creation of the worlds was done!

How awesome to think that Jesus is the brightness or reflection of God, the Father’s, glory–and that He is His express image, as was demonstrated in many a true Biblical story.

He upholds all things by the word of His power, yet He humbled Himself to purge us of sin. Then He “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Thus, it’s through faith in Jesus that we win.

Being made so much better than the angels, the greatness of His Name is inherited from the Father, a Name more excellent than theirs. And it’s every believer’s inherited right to use the Name of Jesus, to receive answers to their prayers.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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

Written after reading a devotional on this topic by Kenneth E. Hagin, founder of Rhema Bible College, Tulsa, OK

More Precious Than Silver or Gold

(From Acts 3)

Peter and John went up together to the temple at the ninth hour, which was the hour of prayer. There was a man laid daily at the gate, lame from his mother’s womb, who asked charitable alms from those who entered there.

Seeing Peter and John about to enter, he asked alms of both of them, too. Then Peter, with John, looked directly into his eyes, telling him to look at them; and he began to tell the man of something else that they could do.

That through faith in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, he could rise and walk–a far better gift than silver or gold. Then Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up. He received strength in his feet and ankle bones upon Peter’s hold.

The exact words that Peter said to the man were “Silver and gold have I none…” Then he’d told him of that which he did have to give–a gift of healing, through the name of Jesus, God’s Son.

The man who’d been lame began leaping, walking, and praising God at the temple’s “Beautiful” Gate. He entered the temple with them, and Peter went on to share with the people that it was the power of Jesus’ name that had changed that lame man’s fate.

Excerpt from Acts:
“Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: ‘Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And His name, and faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.'” Acts 3:11-16

Peter continued, saying that Christ had been crucified by them in ignorance, but that He had fulfilled all that the prophets had foretold. Now, forgiveness of sins and salvation could be theirs through Jesus–again, a gift from God far greater than silver or gold.

P. A. Oltrogge

Scriptures, New King James Version

You can read of a similar miracle, which took place in our time in Jos, Nigeria, and other miracles at http://www.oralroberts.com. Other encouragement on healing at http://www.awmi.net, http://www.kcm.org.

Under His Wings

by J. Vetter, Guest Contributor

Mama duck paced anxiously to and fro on the edge of our pool.  Her five babies clustered together and swam like Olympic hopefuls, unable to discover their way out.

Finally, when it seemed like they would not be able to escape on their own, we tried to scoop them out with our pool net.  However, when we approached, Mama flew off.  After a thirty minute struggle, all five babies huddled together on the grass.  Where is Mom?  Do I call DPS (Duck Protective Services) to report a mother who abandoned her children?

Sure enough, after huddling together for a while, they ended up back in the pool.  We were ready for bed, and it was ready to storm.  The thought of leaving them alone with thunder and lightning was disheartening.

“Lord, how can I pray?  Can I believe for your protection over them?”  Instantly, the scripture from Matthew 23:37 came to mind.  “O, Jerusalem…how often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”  Also, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.”  (Psalm 27:10)

So I committed those little ones to Him and resisted worry as much as possible.  My husband woke me up the next morning with the news.  “The mother duck is here, and the babies are all out of the pool.”

With so much in the news to threaten our peace, this scenario affords a glimpse into the heart of God.  It is not the size of our circumstance, but the size of our God we need to consider.  Snuggle in–His wings are big enough to cover you.

J. Vetter

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust.’

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you shall take refuge. His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”

Psalm 91:1-4 NKJV

The Trustworthy One

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This is the day that the Lord has made…

May His perfect peace be yours as your mind is stayed

upon the Lord Jesus, and His great love for you.

In an imperfect world, He’s always faithful and true.

P. A. Oltrogge

“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”  Psalm 118:24 NKJV

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

“Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.”  Psalm 36:5 NKJV

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”  Psalm 27:13 NKJV

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope, without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”  Hebrews 10:23 NKJV

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:9 NKJV

Reference to Jesus, called, “Faithful and True” in Revelation 19:11

…above photo from Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

To the uttermost…through Jesus Christ

“But He holds His priesthood unchangeably, because He lives on forever. Therefore, He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them. (Here is) the High Priest (perfectly adapted) to our needs, as was fitting–holy, blameless, unstained by sin, separated by sin, separated from sinners, and exalted higher than the heavens.” Hebrews 7:24-26 (The Amplified Bible)

God is able to save to the uttermost…

He’s able to reach any soul.

He’s able to love to the uttermost…

Forgiving and making them whole.

He’s able to comfort to the uttermost…

When things have gone hurtfully wrong;

He can heal broken hearts to the uttermost…

Replacing their grief with a song.

He’s able to guide to the uttermost…

Leading beside quiet waters.

He possesses all wisdom to the uttermost…

And shares it with His sons and daughters.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity….” Proverbs 2:6-7

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians1:3-4

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:18, 19

“The Lord is my strength and song….” Exodus 15:2 and Psalm 118:14

A Mighty Forest and The Mighty Fortress

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither, and in whatever he does, he prospers.”  Psalm 1:1-3 NASB

Like a tree firmly planted by streams of water–

that’s what each of us will become, as God’s son or daughter,

when we meditate, continually, in God’s written Word.

Our growth in Christ will increase–it can’t be deterred.

Jesus reminded us that man doesn’t live by bread alone–

It’s by regular feeding on God’s Word that we will have grown

to be strong trees in a  mighty “forest,” the planting of the Lord–

rooted in God, our mighty fortress, our faith having soared.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”  Psalm 18:2 KJV

“For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore, for thy name’s sake, lead me, and guide me.”  Psalm 31:3 KJV

“I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.'” Psalm 91:2 NKJV

Photo by VASTATEPARKSSTAFF

Photo by VASTATEPARKSSTAFF

The Winter is Past

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…Caribbean Photo by Porch of the Lord

“For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”  Song of Solomon 2:11-12 NKJV

“This, too, shall pass” is a statement often quoted,

which lines up with the words of our Lord, so devoted,

to our well-being through any winter-like season

or storms of life, which seem to arise without reason.

The wintry blast shall pass, so keep listening to hear

for the sound of the turtledove…there’s nothing to fear.

P. A. Oltrogge

Jesus said, “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.”  John 16:33 NKJV

…and He said, “Fear not, little flock,; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32 KJV

also, “This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 15:12 NKJV

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”  (from Psalm 23…verse 4) KJV

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19 NKJV

“And now I exhort you to be of good cheer….” Acts 27:22 KJV

“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 KJV