To best bless you, I want to recommend yesterday’s and today’s posts at the website of Dutch Sheets. Yesterday’s was “The Battle is Over the Voice,” and today’s is “Contending for Victory Over the Real Pandemic.” These are by guest contributors, Jane and Tom Hamon. Both are still available at Dutch’s site.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, From everlasting.” Micah 5:2 NLT
From destined Bethlehem Ephrathah, a town that was very small, would come the One who would be Ruler of Israel and the Lord of all.
The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, a virgin humble and mild, who God the Father had chosen to bear the Messiah—Jesus, His Holy Child.
Coming forth from the family of Judah, Jesus’ birth was lauded that night, by rejoicing angelic voices, as the world’s Savior from sin’s blight.
His goings forth, the prophet Micah said, were actually “from of old– from everlasting,” as He preexisted with God the Father, if the truth be told.
After His birth, Mary laid Him down in a manger—a depiction very sweet. But He was Immanuel, the eternal Mighty God, sent to bring about Satan’s defeat.
P. A. Oltrogge
…this writing inspired by a devotional written by Kenneth E. Hagin, Founder, Rhema Bible Training College
Joseph, betrothed to Mary, was troubled, having learned she was with child, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying…
“Joseph, Son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His Name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:20-23 NKJV
Prior to this, Mary had been visited:
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’
“But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.’
“Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.’
“Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.”
Luke 1:26-38 NKJV
“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’”
Luke 2:7-14 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
“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Matthew 18:11 NKJV
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NKJV
“The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—“. Acts 10:36 NKJV
To hear the Christmas carol, “Silent Night,” see Day 25 of the “25 Songs of Christmas” at http://www.kcm.org
And to followers and friends of The Porch of the Lord, I pray you will have a very blessed Christmas!
Joseph, a son of David, took Mary for his wife, believing she was carrying God’s very sacred life. Joseph stood by her when others may have condemned. Joseph believed God when they didn’t comprehend.
He was chosen by God, and it was to him that Mary and the Child were sent. He became the protector of God’s great intent. Joseph was quick to recognize that in dreams God often spoke, with messages from His angel, and he obeyed when he awoke.
Joseph named the baby, Jesus, just as he’d been told, for He would save His people from sins as said by the prophet of old. In obedience, Joseph went to Egypt–“Out of Egypt did I call My Son.” Joseph had them stay until God said their time there was done.
We see him obeying God in Bible scene after scene; being warned of God, he went to Nazareth, so Jesus would be called a Nazarene. His part was that of an earthly father, and he obeyed God in that role. His heart to obey Him was needed to accomplish God’s great goal.
Joseph’s life seems an example of the importance of hearing and obeying God’s voice. Dear God, may I seek to do that in each and every choice.
P. A. Oltrogge
“…behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’ And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” Matthew 1:20-25
(Further references in Matthew 2)
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 KJV
“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
Psalm 32:8; Proverbs 4:18; Jeremiah 29:11-13; John 1:10-18; Hebrews 10:35-36
I’ve posted today’s poems about Mary and Joseph previously, so I hope you don’t mind their repeat but might enjoy reflecting on them again, for ’tis the season. And their lives of trusting in and following God’s directives to them are wonderful, amazing examples to all believers today.
Mary changed the course of this entire earth, by accepting God’s plan for the virgin birth. Her agreement with the angel’s words affirmed God’s will, and the words that she spoke are often quoted still. She declared herself to be God’s handmaid or servant; in her, the Lord had found a heart that was fervent. She had faith the Lord loved her and all of mankind; she trusted in God’s heart and not her own mind. She was just a young woman of a tender age, but she stepped out in faith onto the world’s center stage. Though startled at first by the angelic visitation, her faith in God was strong enough to take up her station. Likewise, it’s wise today to ask the Lord to help us find the plans and purposes for our lives that He has in mind. By doing so, we ensure that we’re on His sure quest, for our loving Designer knows which plans are the best. Jesus called His disciples to leave earthly pursuits to follow Him and put down strong spiritual roots. What He has for our lives can be discerned by His Word; and through the power of the Holy Spirit, He also can be heard. The more that we listen to Him, the more we obey, the brighter the dawn grows to the full day.
P. A. Oltrogge
“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” Proverbs 4:18 NASB
“And in the sixth month, the angel, Gabriel, was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, ‘Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, ‘Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ Then said Mary unto the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’ And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:26-38 KJV
(Later, at a visit to Elisabeth, her cousin)
“And Mary said:
‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.'” Luke 1:46-55 NKJV
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9 KJV
You don’t have to faint inside
when, in Jesus, you abide.
He’s King of Kings and Lord of Lords;
by faith in Him, we’ll reap rewards.
Use your voice; be bold to say…
satan’s schemes can’t have their way.
As “living stones,” we’re not alone–
Christ is our “Rock” and Cornerstone.
Speak in faith–resist every fear.
Faith is the victory…God’s Word is clear!
P. A. Oltrogge
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
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; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
1 Peter 2: 4-10 NKJV
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 5:3-5 NKJV
I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 NKJV
“No weapon that is formed against you will succeed; And every tongue that rises against you in judgment you will condemn. This (peace, righteousness, security, and triumph over opposition) is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And this is their vindication from Me” says the Lord. Isaiah 54:17 AMP
For prayer support, visit http://www.govictory.com 24/7 (morning prayer M-F, 9:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. CT), for viewing the program). To call, the number is 877-281-6297, where you can pray with and for others for their needs or submit a prayer request of your own. That number can also be reached throughout the day until 11:00 p.m. ET, (10:00 p.m. CT).
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
“God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
“He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”
John 1:1-14 NLT
Jesus is the very Word of God, giving life to every created thing. The darkness can never extinguish the light of Him of whom we sing.
Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, the Word became flesh… to dwell among us, offering salvation, so that every life might begin afresh.
He’s the Light unto our path—the Way, the Truth, and the Life— and the Prince of Peace unto a world that’s been tainted by sin and strife.
His life brought the Light of the World to all—forever Jesus Christ will reign. Because He defeated death, “To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
P. A. Oltrogge
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 NKJV
“I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 NKJV
“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; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2: 9-10 NKJV
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 NKJV
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 NKJV
“(The Word Becomes Flesh) 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
Day 19 features the carol, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and Day 20 is “O Come Let Us Adore Him” in the “25 Songs of Christmas” at http://www.kcm.org
“Take with me your share of hardship (passing through the difficulties which you are called to endure), like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3 AMP
“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.” Ephesians 6:10-17 NKJV
The devil, who is known to steal, to kill, and to destroy… can’t stand against your shield of faith…and joy!
Whether the battle’s brief, or if it’s of greater length, ask the Lord for His superabundant joy, for it’s your strength.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue”–don’t lose by default… keep speaking words of faith and joy against any demonic assault.
P. A. Oltrogge
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” spoken by Jesus in John 10:10
“Behold, I give you theauthority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and overall the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” spoken by Jesus in Luke 10:19
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
“…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:7-9 KJV
“And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:11-12
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” Hebrews 12:1-3
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
“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
“Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.” Psalm 89:15
“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 5:3-5
“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His Spirit.” John 19:30
Rejoice, for Jesus is Lord!
If Satan Can’t Steal Your Joy, he Can’t Keep Your Goods, is a book by Jerry Savelle at http://www.jerrysavelle.org you may want to obtain. From Devastation to Restoration is another at his website.
As Christians, there are many battles of faith which we encounter that need our perseverance. Yet, read a wonderful testimony of healing today at http://www.josephprince.org simply through faith in Jesus’ finished work and partaking of holy communion.