Come, as a Little Child

“And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.’” Matthew 18:2-5 (KJV)

A heart that is very tender, like that of a little child,
is needed to perceive God’s chosen Lamb, who was perfect and undefiled.
Sweetly, Jesus came, long ago, as a baby on the hay;
and, tenderly, He calls to each person yet today,
to recognize God’s pathway to the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
for eternity and, also, in this present world of strife.
Jesus laid down His life on a cross, and rose again, so that we can be free
to draw from His strength in our own lives, helping others to also see
that they can be restored–to a heavenly Father who is gracious
to lead them in this life and to a heaven, fair and spacious.
There’s room there for any person, who, like a little child, took
the gift freely offered by Jesus Christ, as recorded in God’s Holy Book.
Remember, please, its warning–not to be too “wise,”
but to take of the offer that is proper in His Father’s eyes.
Harden not your heart, for you’re meant to be relieved,
of search for Truth by any other, than by Christ, in whom we’ve believed.

P. A. Oltrogge

“That is why the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness. There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years.'” Hebrews 3:7-9 NLT

“So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: ‘Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.'” Hebrews 4:7 NLT

“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” spoken by Jesus in Matthew 11:28 NASB

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:5-7 KJV

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17 KJV

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8 NKJV

“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.” Matthew 19:13-14 NIV

“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 NKJV

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NKJV

The Name of the Lord Jesus

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10 NASB

Whenever there’s a “darkest hour,”

the name of Jesus is our strong tower.

When things are rough and are looking bleak,

it’s then that faith must confidently speak.

All things are possible with our God…

He makes flowers to rise through the stubborn sod.

God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear–

the message from Him is to be of good cheer!

We often want to be able to see the victory first,

but faith sees a good outcome when things seem at their worst.

Look past any image that speaks of defeat.

See (and say) it as God sees it–your victory’s complete!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26 

“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

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

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….” …from Hebrews 12:1-3

“So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘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. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.'” …from Mark 11:20-26

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:36

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5

“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

“Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 (NASB)

Scriptures NKJV or as noted

The Trusted Guide

Photo/Unsplash

How well does our Guide we’ve been given actually know the terrain? Well, you can trust a Guide thoroughly who’s made your own intricate brain.

When He says that He has numbered even the very hairs on your head, you can trust that He’s the caring One by whom you want to be led.

The world can seem like a jungle path on which many dangers might lurk. Thankfully, our Guide has given us His promises, which definitely do work.

Some persons, by their own efforts, have tried to find their way–then found it better to seek the Guide who is available to those who pray.

To make our destination, especially before the night will fall, we must keep confidence in the amazing Guide upon whom we’re privileged to call.

P. A. Oltrogge

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever..” words of Jesus in John 14:16

“…when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” words of Jesus in John 16:13-14

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25

“The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.” Proverbs 4:18 NLT

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you seek for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye.” Psalm 32:8

“He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” from John 10:1-18 NLT

“Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

“Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created.” Psalm 119:90 NLT

“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. You have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35-36

“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows–one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” spoken by Jesus in Matthew 10:28-31 NLT

“For you are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.” Psalm 31:3

“Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 136:13 NLT

“…casting ALL your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Psalm 89:5; Psalm 89:8; Isaiah 55:6; Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:22-24; John 10:11-18; Hebrews 1:1-3; Hebrews 6:12

Scriptures NKJV or as noted

Thomas’s Moment of Doubt

When Jesus had risen from the dead, His first appearance was to Mary Magdalene. On the evening of the same day, where the disciples were gathered, He came again upon the scene.

“Peace be with you,” He shared with them, showing them His hands and side.
“As the Father has sent Me, I also send you,” was the immediate instruction from their beloved Master, teacher, and guide.

He breathed on them, saying to receive the Holy Spirit, and that He was sending them out to declare…the forgiveness of sins through His shed blood for all with whom they would ultimately share.

Thomas hadn’t been present at that wonderful moment, so only later, was he told. His fellow disciples were saying that they, too, had seen the Lord–but Thomas’s reaction to this was cold.

“Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Eight days later, Jesus again appeared to the disciples; but this time, Thomas was there. Again, Jesus greeted them with His peace but turned to Thomas with words of faith that He began to share.

“Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

Of course, Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God!” He now believed with every fiber of his being. Yet Jesus wanted him (and us) to understand that believing is seeing!

Jesus said, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Lord, may this teaching of Yours on faith, and faith in You, be one that’s wholeheartedly received.

Some people today, too, have doubts that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead actually took place. But be blessed to believe, as Jesus said, in the miracle of His resurrection–the unmerited gift to us of God’s love and grace.

P. A. Oltrogge

(Based on the account in John 20)

“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:30-31 NKJV

The Word of God

Standing firm in the heavens and fastened to eternity
   is the Word of God.
Your faithfulness flows from one generation to the next;
   all that you created sits firmly in place to testify of you.
By your decree everything stands at attention,
   for all that you have made serves you.
Because your words are my deepest delight,
   I didn’t give up when all else was lost.
I can never forget the profound revelations you’ve taught me,
   for they have kept me alive more than once.
Lord, I’m all yours, and you are my Savior;
   I have sought to live my life pleasing to you.
Even though evil men wait in ambush to kill me,
   I will set my heart before you to understand more of your ways.
I’ve learned that there is nothing perfect
   in this imperfect world except your words,
   for they bring such fantastic freedom into my life!

Psalm 119:89-96 TPT

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 NKJV

The Beauty and Benevolence of God

through Jesus Christ, His Son….

Evidence of a creative Master is seen throughout the earth;

Jesus, who was called, the Master, came to teach us of the new birth.

Unless you are born again, He said, you can’t see the kingdom of God.

His heart is that of a caring shepherd, who guides with staff and rod.

The beauties and wonders of creation amaze, seeming never to cease;

such things are divine reflections, which point to the Prince of Peace.

Jesus told us to consider the lilies and also the birds of the air—

that they could show us how to serenely rest within His Father’s care.

What a wonderful God we have; He taught us the blessing of serving—

Jesus was our example, sharing God’s love, though we were undeserving.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men—God’s very glory revealed.

We do have a beautiful Savior, who gave us the beauty of the lilies of the field.

P. A. Oltrogge

“All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:3-4 NKJV

“Jesus answered and said to him, (Nicodemus) ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” John 3:3 NKJV

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 NKJV

“God, who at sundry times and in diverse 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

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6 NKJV

Remembering the Hymn,
Beautiful Savior

Beautiful Savior, King of Creation,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Truly I’d love Thee,
Truly I’d serve Thee,
Light of my soul, my Joy, my Crown.

Fair are the meadows,
Fair are the woodlands,
Robed in flowers of blooming spring;
Jesus is fairer,
Jesus is purer;
He makes our sorrowing spirit sing.

Fair is the sunshine,
Fair is the moonlight,
Bright the sparkling stars on high;
Jesus shines brighter,
Jesus shines purer,
Than all the angels in the sky.

Beautiful Savior,
Lord of the nations,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor,
Praise, adoration,
Now and forevermore be Thine!

Author Unknown, 1677
Translated by Joseph A. Seiss, 1873

“The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” Psalm 103:13 NLT

A Confession of Faith in the Love and Power of God

As believers, we’re to keep our eyes on Jesus and the Word. Certainly, we know the Word of almighty God and its (His) integrity can be trusted fully. Like Mary’s reply to the angel, we can say to the Lord, “…be it unto me according to Thy (God’s) word.” Therefore, today I submit the following, after these verses:

“Christ purchased our freedom and redeemed us from the curse of the Law and its condemnation by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs (crucified) on a tree (cross).’” Galatians 3:13 AMP

“…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 NKJV

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NKJV

********************

I believe the power of Jesus Christ, the Greater One, is at work within…
I receive His cleansing from every sickness, even pain, and every sin.

Lord, your Word says that you’ve already healed us if we should fall ill,
for redemption from the curse has always been the Father’s will.

It was at the whipping post that you were scourged for our healing;
on the cross, you died for our sins–God’s redemptive plans revealing.

There were times you raised the dead, and you also healed the maimed…It’s obvious that in these, too, God’s goodness was being proclaimed.

Jesus, your name and blood are all-powerful, you are faithful and true.
Your name and blood nullify what the enemy attempts to do.

You triumphed over satan as God’s perfect Lamb, who was resurrected.
Those who’ve received you now can trust that their own lives are being perfected.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, oh Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8

“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21

“…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 1:6

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Romans 8:11 NLT

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“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

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.” Psalm 103:1-6

Scriptures: NKJV or as noted.

Websites that encourage regarding healing: http://www.awmi.net, http://www.rhema.org, http://www.kcm.org, http://www.moorelife.org, http://www.jerrysavelle.org, http://www.HealedOvernight.com, http://www.oralroberts.com, http://www.billwinston.org, http://www.markhankins.org, http://www.josephprince.org, http://www.lenandcathymink.org, http://www.covenantfamily.cc, http://www.cappsministries.com, http://www.billyburke.org, http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com, and others previously mentioned on this blog.

At http://www.ifapray.org today is an article on the importance of words and how they can bless or curse in life.

Be Rich Towards God

Photo/Porch of the Lord

Please, dear friend, be rich towards God, thinking not only of your own pursuits; But think about turning your heart to Christ and others, putting down good spiritual roots. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his own soul? Helping others spiritually and in tangible ways is God’s plan, in which we’re all to have a role.

Have you spoken to Jesus in a personal way today, or do you just run out to meet the day? A relationship with Him makes a difference for the better–it’s wise to take time to pray. One day Jesus will be coming back in glory and will repay His saints for selfless deeds. Not only for that reason, but for the joy that’s returned, ask Him to show you another’s needs.

God’s not against your having enjoyment of certain things…
But doesn’t want you to miss the fulfillment which living for Him brings.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.” Matthew 16:25-27

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared? So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:20-21

“Knowing What Belongs to Us” by Kenneth E. Hagin is a booklet which shares the benefits we have, in turn, as believers…available at http://www.rhema.org under “Bookstore” and emphasizes Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”

(You may want to consider helping in the building of needed bomb shelters in Israel. Go to http://www.sidroth.org and scroll down. To the left of the site is the story of Barry and Batya Segal, who tell of that need there.)

The Four Miracles of Dunkirk

During the darkest hours of World War II, King George VI called for a national day of prayer and churches across Great Britain were filled with people. See how those prayers were answered.

(By Evan Miller from Mysterious Ways posted in God’s Grace, Nov. 14, 2017, Guideposts, permitted to be shared…)

You may have seen the hit movie Dunkirk, director Christopher Nolan’s powerful tribute to the real-life World War II drama that unfolded over 10 days in 1940, on the shores of France. But there’s more to the story than what was shown on the screen. To wit, four miracles that changed the course of the war.

For Winston Churchill, the new British prime minister, it all began with an early phone call on May 15 that roused him from sleep.

“We have been defeated,” said the French premier, Paul Reynaud. “We are beaten.”

Churchill was well aware of the Nazi advance. Days earlier, Adolf Hitler’s army had taken Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg, with Denmark and Norway already in his grip. England had sent more than 200,000 troops to France and Belgium. All for nothing, it now seemed.

“Surely it can’t have happened so soon?” the stunned Churchill said.

“The front is broken,” Reynaud said. “The Nazis are pouring through in great numbers.”

The Allies had severely miscalcu­lated the path the Nazis would take. The Germans had swept south, through the supposedly impenetrable Ardennes Forest, a region the Allies had barely bothered to defend. Now British and French troops found themselves surrounded, in disarray. Their only possible escape was across the English Channel. Through Dunkirk, a city in northeast France. A mass evacuation would require funneling thousands upon thousands of soldiers, spread across hundreds of miles, into one space while the Nazis closed in with 1,800 tanks and 300 Stuka dive-bombers.

For days, Churchill resisted that escape plan. It seemed like a suicide mission. They’d be lucky to get 20,000 men home via the English Channel, let alone more than 300,000 Allied troops. But there was no other option. On May 23, Churchill met with the British monarch, King George VI, to brief him. Though a naval rescue operation were under way, pitifully few ships were ready to sail. The lo­gistics of defending against the inevitable German air attack while ferrying the troops seemed impossi­ble. Allied soldiers were scrambling to reach Dunkirk. They barely knew which direction to go.

“We must pray,” King George VI said. “This next Sunday, I’m calling for a national day of prayer.”

Famously nonreligious, Churchill was surely not looking at prayer as the answer. But he could hardly refuse the king. On May 24, King George VI addressed the nation: “Let us with one heart and soul, humbly but confidently, commit our cause to God and ask his aid, that we may valiantly defend the right as it is given to us to see it.”

On May 26, at Westminster Abbey, the Archbishop of Canterbury called on God to protect the troops. Across Great Britain, tens of thousands of people responded to the king’s call, uniting as never before. Cathedrals and churches, mosques and syna­gogues were packed to overflowing. At Westminster Cathedral, the line extended for blocks and hundreds kept vigil outside. The people didn’t know exactly why they were praying, yet they prayed even so. “Nothing like this has ever happened before” was how one English newspaper described the scene.

The following day, though, the Ger­man High Command reported, “The British army is encircled, and our troops are proceeding to its annihila­tion.” The war, it appeared, was over for the Allies. Few would have argued otherwise. Certainly not James Brad­ley, a British machine gunner. His unit had made it to Belgium before en­countering overwhelming force from the Germans.

The soldiers were instructed to “get back to Dunkirk.” Where? Most British soldiers had probably never even heard of Dunkirk. Handed a rifle with a bayonet, Bradley was told he was on his own. “If they had said [get to] New York, I couldn’t have been more surprised,” Bradley recalled, years later. “I didn’t know where Dunkirk was.”

Everywhere, the roads were filled with British and French soldiers. Abandoned tanks and equipment lit­tered the countryside. Thousands of refugees marched with escaping troops, some driving cars, everyone fleeing in advance of the Germans. From out of the skies would come the Stukas, strafing everything in sight. The scene was horrific.

But all was not as it appeared.

Something happened that histori­ans, even 77 years later, can’t ex­plain. With German tanks rumbling just 10 miles from Dunkirk, Hitler did the unthinkable. On May 24, the day King George VI called the nation to pray, Hitler inexplicably halted the offensive. For nearly three days, as England knelt as one, those tanks remained grounded. Nothing moved.

It was the exact window of time the British needed to form a defen­sive perimeter, to temporarily fight back the Germans and establish a funnel for their troops to flow through to the English Channel.

Then came something else. Rain and clouds. German planes bombed Dunkirk on three separate days, but each time, for days afterward, the city was enveloped by inclement weather, making any effective follow-up from the Nazis difficult. What’s more, a breeze seemed to collect smoke emitted from the German bombs and distribute it over the area the British were using to load men into boats. The Allied exodus went undetected for days.

Meanwhile, word was spreading across England of the need for boats to cross the channel to Dunkirk. For what purpose no one was exact­ly sure. Almost any vessel would do. Rowboats. Fishing trawlers. Tugs. Motorboats. Hundreds of would-be skippers responded. Some had nev­er been out of sight of land before. Many of the crafts lacked compass­es. None of them were armed.

Robert Hilton, a physical educa­tion instructor, and Ted Shaw, a cin­ema manager, were among those who answered the call. They joined a makeshift crew with a motorboat, Ryegate II. But when they reached the town of Ramsgate, off the tip of southern England, the only supplies they were given were two cans of water. Not even a cup to drink with. The two of them went to a pub, downed a pint, pocketed the glasses and set off toward France.

The English Channel is notoriously rough, choppy—no place for novice seamen—but once again something peculiar happened. The water Hilton and Shaw encountered was like that of a bathtub, with barely a ripple to disturb the journey. No one had ever seen anything like it. There were so many boats that in places the waters resembled a freeway at rush hour.

James Bradley, the machine gun­ner, eventually reached De Panne, Belgium, just east of Dunkirk. Over the sand hills, he could see thousands of soldiers huddled, a line of small boats coming in to the shore and ferrying the men to larger vessels in the deeper water, guarded over by ships with guns. They’ll never get these people off here, he thought.

But it was happening. From De Panne and Dunkirk. A few boats at a time, offloading a few dozen men, then coming back for more, round the clock, a dizzying spectacle.

The Ryegate II limped into the wa­ters off France, her engines broken, her propeller twisted by wreckage. Robert Hilton and Ted Shaw tied up to a larger boat and manned one of its lifeboats. For 17 hours straight, they rowed soldiers from shore to ship.

In the first five days of the rescue mission, more than 100,000 soldiers were evacuated. That still left more than 200,000 men, tens of thousands desperately fighting to hold the perimeter. They’d be the last to go.

Bradley never forgot the hero’s welcome he received when he at last reached the shores of England. The tables loaded with tea and buns. The crowds of people waving, cheering. This is England, he thought. You’re worth fighting for. Hilton and Shaw would also remem­ber the cheers that greeted them. Exhausted, they and the other crew members somehow managed to get the crippled Ryegate II back to Eng­land, throngs of jubilant well-wishers at every bridge on the Thames River.

By then, 338,000 soldiers had made it safely across the English Channel as well, thanks to the efforts of about 850 “little ships.” There was a feeling of determination, not surrender. Deliverance by a divine hand. It was exactly what the British soldiers—and civilians—needed to forge ahead. Especially so early in the war.

On June 4, Churchill went to the House of Commons to deliver the news. “We shall fight on the beaches,” he thundered. “We shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets.”

The Prime Minister called it a mira­cle, a word he was not known to often use. There seemed no other word to describe it. Not just one, but a whole series of miracles. Without any one of them, the entire operation would have failed. Hitler halting the blitzkrieg. The thick, protective cloud cover. The English Channel growing still. The hundreds of tiny boats, appearing seemingly from out of nowhere.

What turned the tide? For the king, there was no question.

There’s Still Light in Goshen

The Lord was working out a major plan to set free–the captive Hebrew people of old. There would be ten plagues, so the actions of Moses and Aaron would need to be brave and bold.

When they came before Pharaoh, they had commands from the Lord on what to say or do, to warn him of, or initiate, every plague that his nation was soon to go through.

The ninth plague of darkness was so severe that the Egyptians couldn’t get around. For three days, the darkness was “felt” and thick, in the air and on the ground.

One of Egypt’s chief deities was the sun “god,” so such darkness proved the Lord’s might, to prevail over any of the “gods” of the Egyptians. Only His power could end the dark night.

But the Hebrews were under God’s protection; and, in the midst of that constant night, there was light in Goshen in their dwellings because God was in charge of their fight.

Today, people experience darkness, not of God and not a kind where you can’t visibly see, but darkness in their minds when they’ve not recognized “the door,” through which anyone’s able to go free.

Jesus pointed the way, saying, “If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” You can experience “Goshen” through God’s Son yet today, and you’ll have all of the light that you’ll need.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Exodus 10:21-23 NKJV

“If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 KJV

“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 NKJV

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.’” John 10:9-10 NASB

“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 NKJV