Look unto the Hills

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“I will lift up my eyes to the hills–
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2

Lord, you are the source of my help on any given day.
You made the heavens and the earth–On you, my hope will stay.
I will look even to the hills–On their horizon, I’ll always see,
through the eye of faith, my Savior, heading down with help for me.

P. A. Oltrogge

“He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.”

Psalm 121:3-8 NKJV

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

words of Jesus in John 14:27 NKJV

There’s still light in Goshen

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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

“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

“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

“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

This Jesus…

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“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths, reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.’ And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.” Acts 17:1-4

This Jesus…
Who suffered and died
and rose again from the dead–
This Jesus is the Christ,
the Chief Cornerstone and Head
of His Church.

Through this Jesus…
our lives can take on
a whole new scope…
The Father has provided us new birth
into a living hope.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…”
1 Peter 1:3 NIV

“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.’”
1 Peter 2:6 NKJV

Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16; Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Ephesians 2:19; 1 Peter 2:6,7

The above image of Jesus
used by permission of Bob Berran
at http://www.bobberran.com
See his Online Store to
purchase reprints of
various sizes.

Jesus, His Name, our Anchor

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For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:

“I will certainly bless you,
and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.”

Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.
Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:13-20 NLT

In calm times of life or in a storm, a strong anchor is what I need.
The name of Jesus is that anchor—demons have to take heed.

By quiet waters or a turbulent sea, my anchor firmly holds.
Sure and steadfast is my hope as every moment unfolds.

In the order of Melchizedek, Jesus is my High Priest FOREVER.
His covering of love gives me confidence in whatever I endeavor.

God has given us His promise and oath. It’s impossible for Him to lie.
We have covenant with Him through Jesus Christ—the Son of the Most High.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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 bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.’” Luke 1:30-33 NASB

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:14-15 NKJV

“And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath, (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him:

“The Lord has sworn and will not relent.
‘You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek’”),

by so much more, Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.”

Hebrews 7:20-28 NKJV

“…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” from Colossians 1:27

Highly recommended:
“The Name of Jesus” book by Kenneth E. Hagin
under Bookstore at http://www.rhema.org

Picture this…

Picture great crowds, coming to be taught…
Picture the sick, whom others had brought.
Picture them healed, through miracles wrought,
By Jesus, God’s Son, Whom so many had sought.

Picture a day where the sun was getting low.
“Hear” the disciples saying they just didn’t know…
How the people would eat—and should be told to go;
But picture a lad with loaves and fish that would grow.

“Listen” to Jesus say, “Bring them here to me…”
Picture loaves and fish multiplied by His decree,
With five thousand being fed, at a cost that was free,
And full baskets left over before the disciples put out to sea.

Picture Jesus sending the multitudes away,
Going up to the mountain by Himself to pray–-
Then joining the disciples, through water and spray,
On the fourth watch of the night, just before day.

Picture Peter bravely wanting to join the Lord,
Picture him boldly stepping overboard;
Then see his faith waver as sea and wind roared–
Picture him sinking but, by Christ, being restored.

Picture your own life and remember these things;
Remember that “greatness” to small things Christ brings.
Look to the Lord for your faith to take wings,
As you walk on life’s waters with the King of Kings.

P. A. Oltrogge

From Matthew 14:14-31

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Photo/Porch of the Lord

Compassion at the Pool of Bethesda

During a feast of the Jews, we see Jesus at the healing pool of Bethesda, which was by the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, that prominent city.

And He saw a certain man lying among the many others who had come to seek healing, whose infirmity had lasted thirty-eight years—and on whom no man had apparently had pity.

It was known and told that an angel came to stir the waters at a season and time at this pool of five porches, an esteemed place.

And whoever first, thereafter, made it into the water was healed of their illness—with no longer a trace.

Jesus, knowing that this individual had been crippled and infirm for a long time, asked him if he wanted to be healed.

The man replied that he had no man to help him into the waters after they were stirred. Others were always quicker, so his fate had been sealed.

Then, Jesus mercifully said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk,” stepping in for the said “no man.”

Immediately, the infirm man was made whole, got to his feet, took up his bed and walked, for health and healing have always been God’s plan.

Today, when we experience difficulties, even those long-standing, and may sometimes feel there is no one to help, not even the Lord…

remember, we still do have an advocate in Jesus, God’s Son—to get adverse things eliminated and have the good restored.

P. A. Oltrogge

”…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Acts 10:38 NKJV

“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.” (Words of Jesus in John 10:10 NKJV)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NKJV

Poetic account, above, from John, chapter 5.

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The God of Another Chance

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We should be trained about the importance…
of following “the inward witness,”
which is so vital to our well-being
and to our spiritual fitness.

If we believe in the goodness of God
and that our Shepherd knows what’s best,
then it follows that by praying and following His lead,
we’ll be on a most certain quest.

To put it in God’s words, you are His son,
when you’re someone who’s Spirit led.
Make it your desire to do the will of the Father;
and, with the faith food of His Word, be fed.

Wait for peace regarding decisions;
never go against what God has said in His Word.
It’s a lamp to your feet and a light to your path,
whereby your success is established and assured.

Does your life seem to be off balance,
and that things aren’t turning out right?
Could it be that you’ve not been walking by faith,
but, instead, just by your own sight?

Wise men (and women and even children)
still seek the Lord today, it’s said.
Thankfully, He’s the God of another chance,
so seek Him strongly in the days ahead.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.”
Isaiah 55:6 NASB

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

“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
Romans 8:14 NASB

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.” John 1:12 KJV

“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 NKJV

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Psalm 119:105 KJV

“The entrance of Your words gives light…” Psalm 119:130 NKJV

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:4-7 KJV

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’”
Lamentations 3:22-24 NRSV

More on the inward witness at http://www.rhema.org
Search Faith/Health Food Devotionals

Breakthrough over the Blues

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Photo/Porch of the Lord

Perhaps you’ve experienced disappointments…
I know that others and I have, too.
But when I recall precious moments I’ve had,
I can no longer stay feeling blue.

Realize this old world with its trials
can’t keep you from all that delights.
Disappointments may occur, but some very nice gifts
will come through from the Father of lights.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17 KJV

HE Strengthens Me

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I’ve got some mountains to climb

and I need to feel prime…

So I thought of that script,

which says that I’m equipped:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

He strengthens me; HE strengthens me…

With each step forward, He strengthens me;

with each step up, He strengthens me.

If I suffer a setback, He strengthens me.

If I feel weak, I’ll resist being distraught…

No, “He strengthens me” must be my thought,

for that is what the scriptures have taught.

This confidence I have, for I’m blood-bought.

So, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might,”

just as David found strength in God for a Goliath fight!

P. A. Oltrogge

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19 NLT

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31 NKJV

“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11 NIV

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28 NASB

“(The Armor of God) Finally, Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” Ephesians 6:10 NASB

“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands….’” 1 Samuel 17:45-46 NASB

“For by You I can run against a troop; By my God I can leap over a wall.”
2 Samuel 22:30 and Psalm 18:29 NKJV

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Photos/Pixabay

Postscript:
Whatever you have to do,
the Lord will see you through!

It’s a New Day

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by J. Vetter,
Guest Contributor

Don’t you love new beginnings?

A new baby?

A new job?

A blank canvas, if you are an artist?

But do you realize YOU are a blank canvas in God’s hands and that He is the Master artist? Instead of worrying so much about what we will do each day – just think of how much more would be accomplished if we asked God to bring forth His awesome, creative gifts through us every day.

A new year often means well-intentioned resolutions. However, we usually approach them with an “I” – I want to lose weight, I will exercise more, I will stop smoking, etc. Instead, let’s anticipate the blessings of God and the creative flow of His gifting.

Many of us have just gone through a season where we received gifts. Maybe some of them were the wrong size or not really what we wanted. However, the true giver of perfect gifts is the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He also created you and knows exactly who you are and what you need.

God’s word says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 NKJV

So if you didn’t receive the “perfect” gift at Christmas, trust the Lord to bring those precious gifts that speak of His knowledge of who you are. After all, He created you and knows even the number of hairs on your head. (That always amazes me – especially when the number changes daily!)

When you are on the lookout for God’s gifts, don’t expect them to arrive in tinsel or pretty bows. One of my favorites, at two different times, was a cardinal, (God knows how I love them) which appeared right when I needed a pick-me-up. Once, he sat quietly for a long time on the azalea bush outside our bedroom window. Another time, he flew to the tree close to our dining room window as I stood there asking the Lord to lift my discouragement.

A friend shared with me recently an incident that happened one day when she was out walking. The day was really chilly and her nose began to run. She said, “Lord, I really need a tissue.” A few minutes later, she looked up and saw a perfectly good tissue caught on a branch. I’m sure many a skeptic would say that was only a coincidence; and I can’t begin to understand how it got there, but I know she won’t forget that “gift.”

I remember the day of my grandson’s funeral – the end of a hot July in Texas – but a cool breeze danced around the gravesite as we sat there, and butterflies seemed to be led by an angelic symphony as they darted from flower to flower. My heart lifted with the certainty that this life is not the end. What a gift God’s presence was on that day.

In this new year, let’s learn to receive all the gifts God has to give, starting with the greatest gift of all – Jesus Christ. If Fed Ex comes to our door with a package that requires a signature, they won’t leave it until we sign to receive it. Likewise, we need to simply sign our name, so to speak, on the gift sent from heaven.

Have you said “yes” to the greatest gift of all?

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