The Powerful River

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“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…” 1 John 4:18

Are you at a point where fears are trying to dominate your thinking?
Or are you in a situational “boat” that makes you feel as though you’re sinking?

Then let this scripture permeate your thoughts, to make things perfectly clear,
that “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”

God’s perfect love surrounds you like pleasant views down a wilderness river.
Knowing you’re afloat on the river of His perfect love has great power to deliver.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:16-19 NASB

“How precious is Your lovingkindess, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fulness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” Psalm 36:7-9 NKJV

“…and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:19-21 NASB

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High…The Lord of hosts is with us, The God of Jacob is our stronghold.” Psalm 46:4 and 7

further encouragement:
http://www.moorelife.org “Faith in the Power” series
(Click on “Word Supply,” “Series,”
and then “Alphabetical List”)

Photo/Unsplash

A Word of Encouragement

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“And He (Jesus) said to them, ‘What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?’ And they stood still, looking sad. And one of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, ‘Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?’” Luke 24:17-18

“And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” Luke 24:27 (NASB)

(from the account, after Jesus’ death and burial, of the walk to Emmaus by Cleopas and another, who met the risen Lord on their walk, verses 13-32)

There’s nothing like ENCOURAGEMENT when the way seems hard–
There’s nothing like its bolstering to keep a day (or life) from being scarred.

A word of praise can be depended upon to keep enthusiasm or creativity flowing,
causing a downcast countenance to be one that’s actually “glowing.”

There’s nothing like a caring friend who sends a note or gives a call.
There’s nothing like an encouraging word to keep us from a downfall.

There is an enemy in the world, who wants to ruin God-given potential,
which is why a word of praise from someone is often vital and essential.

Cleopas, while on the road to Emmaus, was talking with his friend
about the recent discouraging facts–on Christ’s life having come to an end.

Then later, when they were joined by Jesus, the Lord opened up their eyes
to the truth of His resurrection–likewise, we need the truth that God supplies.

Of course, the Lord is always there for us, speaking by His Spirit and His Word–but through friends or even strangers, He can also often be “heard.”

So, as you look around to start your day, be attentive if God is showing to you
someone who needs encouragement–let His supportive words be flowing through you.

P. A. Oltrogge

Like the wind that fills the sails of a boat, enabling it to glide upon the sea, a word of encouragement in our lives is so important to you and me.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

“Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:31 and 37 (NKJV)

Painting/Robert Zund

Your Stronghold in Times of Trouble

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If a dream of your heart has fallen apart, and you can only see the rubble,
remember the Lord is a refuge for you and a stronghold in times of trouble.

Hold firmly to Christ, your Redeemer, who Himself was resurrected.
Regarding that which concerns you, God has promised it will be perfected.

As a Christian, you have a covenant with God, by the blood of His dear Son. Give the matter over to Him, in faith, knowing that His resurrection power has begun.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”
Psalm 9:9 NIV

“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 NKJV

“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 NKJV

“…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 NKJV

“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 NKJV

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.” (the believer) from Romans 8:11 NLT

An Awakening to Love

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

Loving One Another

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

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

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

1 John 4:7-12 NLT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Out of the Ashes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Life Redeemed

If you’ve never come across his story, I would like to suggest to view the true account of one of the Lord’s redeemed, Pastor Al Jandl. His personal testimony can be viewed on You Tube (choose “Testimony”)

He, along with his wife, Judy, founded Living Stones Church in Alvin, Texas. His is the story of a life that was in turmoil until Jesus helped him to resolve so many things after he came to understand and truly know and trust Him as Savior and Lord.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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

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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

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