Consider the Birds and the Lilies

“In His Constant Care” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. http://www.GregOlsen.com

Look at the birds of the air…
They don’t sow, reap, or gather
Their needed food into barns—
But are dependent upon God, rather.

Consider how the lilies are clothed—
They toil not, nor do they spin,
But to the heavenly Father’s care
They’re blessed to give in.

Yes, consider these,
And consider giving in,
To the message of Christ’s love
Above this world’s din.

Partake, through the Bible, from God’s table
Of spiritual food fit for a King’s heir,
And be clothed in the love of Jesus,
The finest thing you could wear.

Consider the children,
So gentle and so tender—
What kind of faith
To them will you render?

One that speaks dislike
And contempt of others—
Or one that speaks love
And draws all men to be brothers?

The heavenly Father gave Jesus
To tell of God’s care and to guide.
When we take Him as Savior, He gives love
For all others for whom He has died.

So just like the lilies
Or the birds of the air,
May people of all nations be blessed to give in
To Jesus—the way to the Father God’s care…

P. A. Oltrogge

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies….” Luke 6:27

“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’”
Matthew 22:37-40

“For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?

“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious, can add a single cubit to his life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.

“But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:25-34

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Of such is the kingdom of God…

I wrote a poem once about Christmas in heaven and how that might actually be…

imagining the beautiful carols sung there or heaven’s magnificent Christmas tree.

But I missed picturing the children of abortion there, opening the gifts that God, their Father, would give.

God’s greatest gift to them, however, is that there, in heaven, they can experience, in a new way, what it is to live.

So many children, torn from their mother’s womb, never got to see the light of day;

but some have escaped that cruel blow because of those who speak up for them and because of those who pray.

Life in heaven must be glorious, but one wonders what their lives might have accomplished on earth…

Let’s earnestly pray for those considering abortion to, rather, choose the blessed path of giving birth.

Lord, cause the darkness that pushes abortion to be pushed away itself, instead.

“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God,” are loving words of life that Jesus said.

P. A. Oltrogge

Wonderful true story on this topic:
http://www.ilivedonparkerave.com

See also today’s post at:

http://www.dutchsheets.org (video)

http://www.givehim15.com (written)

“Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God,’” Mark 10:13-14

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” From Jeremiah 1:5

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.” From Psalm 139:13-16

More scriptures are listed under the archived post, “God’s Word on the Unborn”

See also: you tube soundslikereign turn your eyes upon Jesus

Psalm 91, an Oasis in These Times

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most high will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ein Gedi Oasis, Israel
Photo/Unsplash

Thank God in Advance

“Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the congregation of the godly ones. Let Israel be glad in his maker; Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.” Psalm 149:1-3

Thank God in advance…
Let that always be your stance.
Put your measure of faith to use–
Your thankful praise to Him turns it loose!

Faith pleases God, so guard against despair;
Though possible, it’s not best to meet Him there.
If pain or problems seem to go unbroken,
Remember the words that Jesus has spoken.

When you pray for the things you’ve desired,
Believe you receive and they will be acquired.
If your breakthrough seems to be taking too long,
He’s promised you strength–you can be strong!

But keep the faith for a sure turnaround.
In trusting God’s Word, you’re on solid ground!
Thank God in advance–
Come with joyful praise or dance!

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.
In advance, see your victory flag fully unfurled!

P. A. Oltrogge

“For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone…” Mark 11:23, 24 (paraphrased in the poem)

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

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25

“O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving. Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods, in whose hand are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:1-7

“And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.” 2 Samuel 6:13-15 KJV

“Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplication. The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. The Lord is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed. Be their shepherd also and carry them forever.” Psalm 28:6-9

Scriptures NASB,
or as noted

For encouragement on this same topic, refer to http://www.emic.org and the message yesterday, November 14, by Pastor George Pearsons, “The Force of Thanksgiving.” (It can be found under “Latest Service” at the bottom right-hand corner of the site.) At the end of the service, you can join in with Pastor George as he prays for any particular difficulty or need which has been of concern to you. God bless you….

“Fear not, for I AM with you, be not dismayed, for I AM your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 RSV

Our Christian Walk is Really a Marathon

“…The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” Psalm 145:13-14 (New International Version)

by J. Vetter, Guest Contributor

Perhaps that’s where I first went wrong–believing walking with the Lord was just that–only a walk. Lately, it seems like the speed has increased, and I have to run to keep up! There have been a few times I’ve “hit the wall” too. So I searched out what it means to run a marathon.

First, you need to train–not just any way you want to, but by listening to experts and following a schedule. Then, you need to eat the correct foods, drink appropriately, and learn to pace yourself.

But the most important thing is realizing you will “hit the wall” sometime during your race; and that doesn’t mean it’s over. It means if you keep on going, you will make it! Others go through this and still finish the race.

Legend has it that marathons got their beginning when a Greek messenger was sent from the town of Marathon to Athens, announcing that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. He ran the entire distance without stopping, and then burst into the assembly exclaiming, “We have won!” before collapsing and dying.

We, too, have a message–that we have won–and to proclaim it fully, we have to die to only focusing on ourselves or the problem or, better put, the magnitude of our race.

One of the walls we hit in our Christian race is discouragement. There are times when we feel nothing is changing and our prayers are not being answered. Perhaps an affliction increases its grip with a fury that cries “unfair.”

We may think our race is just our own, but the Christian race is also a team effort. We’ve got to take a drink from that brother or sister on the sidelines. We’ve got to cheer and encourage others in their race and be able to accept words of encouragement from others along the road. One of the interesting aspects of participating in a marathon is that few people enter expecting to win. Their goal is to finish.

Another wall is believing the lie that we really can’t make it. I listened carefully to the interview with Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger as he described what he felt when he realized his plane was about to crash land in the Hudson River (January, 2009). His initial reaction was that he couldn’t believe this was happening to him. However, on the heels of that thought, he also proclaimed, “I was sure I could do it.” He was a man confident of his training and his experience. Because he was at the helm, 155 people survived that day. Incidentally, he also gave credit to the crew, passengers, and the first responders by sharing his belief that the miraculous outcome was a team effort.

Another stumbling stone is fear. Perhaps the fear of making a mistake. I believe a person who is afraid of making another mistake won’t make any significant steps further in his race. That’s why we are told in scripture to forget the past. “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 3:13-14 (New King James Version)

Sometimes during our struggles, we forget the message of Hebrews 12:2-4, “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because he never lost sight of where He was headed–that exhilarating finish in and with God–He could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourself flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility He plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Message Bible)

Race on!

A Table Spread by the Lord

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies….”

____________________

Knowing that some Christians are persecuted for their faith and are suffering….

we pray, Father, that to this miracle verse, they will be able to cling.

May it be unto them according to its amazing words found in Psalm 23….

that they’ll feast at the table of your goodness in the presence of any enemy.

Cause their enemies to be turned back from their evil agendas and intents…..

and the altering power of your Holy Spirit to be what the evildoers sense.

We ourselves don’t know how, but we believe, LORD, that you’re able…

in the presence of their enemies, to prepare for your children a table.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Psalm 23 KJV

“…’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 4:5-7 NKJV

“In the same way, the Spirit helps our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27 NASB

“With all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18 NASB

Refer to http://www.wallbuilders.com to contribute to the aid of those in persecuted areas.

More Prayer

“If, at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again…”
That’s an old saying, but there’s an even better one to pen…

If, at first, you don’t succeed, pray, pray again, mindful of God’s grace,
thanking God for His answer, even though you don’t know how or when it will take place.

Jesus touched a blind man again, as if not having immediately fully succeeded. Don’t cast away your confidence, for God still cares about what you’ve needed.

If things have occurred that weren’t what you hoped to see in the land of the living, don’t lose heart, but pray again, with “expectantyet” thanksgiving!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.

 “And he looked up and said, ‘I see men like trees, walking.’

“Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.” Mark 8:22-25 NKJV

…that second touch assisted the blind man’s faith, it seems to me…. Believe in that “second touch” through prayer and continued thankfulness to God that He’s heard your concern.

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14 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

“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint….” Luke 18:1 KJV

“Cast not away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.” Hebrews 10:35 KJV

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 KJV

I recall some time ago hearing some Christians discuss a dilemma that one of them had been going through, when another person among them concluded the conversation with just two words, “more prayer.” We can never underestimate its power. The following are quotes by Oswald Chambers:

“Prayer imparts the power to walk and not faint.”

“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”

The Fountain of Life and Hope

“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness 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

Through Jesus, the Messiah, we have the fountain of life.
He came down as a servant to a world full of strife.

The waters from this fountain can cleanse any soul,
bringing grace and promises for us to be made whole.

Just as watching a fountain is a refreshing thing,
it’s by looking unto Jesus that renewed hope will spring.

Out of a strong fountain shoot powerful sprays…
Thank you, Lord, for your power and love at work throughout all of our days.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now may God, the fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!” Romans 15:13 TPT

“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 NKJV

A message for these times by Pastor George Pearsons of Eagle Mountain International Church from Sunday, October 17 is available at http://www.emic.org (latest message).

Be Anxious for Nothing

It can be difficult not to be anxious when a problem seems very intense.
But keeping faith in the God of the Bible (and the universe) is the only thing that makes sense.

Cast your worries and cares, that the Lord knows of, over completely upon Him, trusting He knows how to work things out, even if, to you, hope seems dim.

Believe in the mercy and grace of God as expressed through Jesus, His Son…who went about healing and doing good, sharing God’s love with everyone.

Close the door on all fear–speak the promises of God, which make the believer secure. Remember we’ve a covenant with God through Christ’s blood–of that fact, we can always be sure.

Cry out to the Lord if things are overwhelming–Peter did, in a time of fright. Jesus reached out and kept him from sinking during his walk on the water that night.

God created all of the mountain peaks and sends flowers to bloom on a plain. He made the vast waters of the oceans–yet designed the intricacies of the human brain.

From mountain heights to the deep sea depths, He put everything together… Jesus said, “Have faith in God.” Rely on His peace through whatever storm that you weather.

P. A. Oltrogge

And a postscript:
At those times of anxiety, worry, or doubt,
believe for the good that GOD’s bringing about.

To some, these thoughts might sound simplistic, but they’re based on words that are God’s. “For with God nothing will be impossible.” He can help us against all odds.

Scriptures that encourage:


“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.”

Meditate on These Things

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:6-8

“Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God. There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” Hebrews 7:22-25 NLT

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7

“When I cry out to you, then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me.” Psalm 56:9 (and many other scriptures, especially in the Psalms, on crying out to the Lord)

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“Only be strong and very courageous….” Joshua 1:7

“So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.'” Matthew 17:20

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37

“Then He (Jesus) went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.” Mark 6:51

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” John 14:12

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
when Jesus is my portion? My closest Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender words I hear,
and resting in His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears.
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Charles H. Gabriel, 1905

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

…the following spoken by the Lord Jesus:

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 8:26)

(The Way, the Truth, and the Life) “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1)

“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.”
(John 14:27)

…and from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians:

“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

Scriptures: New King James Version

Photo/Pexels