Outpourings of Love

…from Luke 7:36-50
(likely in Capernaum)

A certain woman of the city heard that Jesus was at the home of Simon, a Pharisee. So she came with an alabaster flask of ointment–her sins had weighed her down very heavily. Her tears washed Jesus’ feet, which she kissed and wiped with her hair–then anointed them with the oil–all tokens of the love she had come there to share.

Simon’s thought was that Jesus should have known that she was a woman to shun. If Jesus was truly a prophet, he would not have permitted her because of the things she’d done. Jesus then told him a story of two debtors, freely forgiven of debts of lesser and greater amounts. It was an explanation to Simon of a sinner’s gratefulness–her debt of sin was large (and, therefore, so was her love) by all accounts.

Jesus expressed appreciation for her kisses and for the tears that she had shed. “Your sins are forgiven” and “Your faith has saved you; go in peace,” He said. Those who sat at the table with Him began to discuss that, saying “Who is this?” His forgiveness of her sins was an authoritative statement they really couldn’t dismiss. 

…from John 12:1-8
(in Bethany at the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary)

In another narrative, six days before Passover, the scriptures tell of Mary–who used spikenard, a costly oil–the fragrance of which, the entire house would carry. After supper, there in Bethany, she anointed Jesus’ feet, also wiping them with her hair. Judas then asked why the oil hadn’t been sold and the money been given to the poor–not that he actually did care.

Jesus told Judas to let her alone for she had kept the oil for His burial day. “For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always,” was what He had to say.

…from Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9
(in Bethany)

A similar occurrence at the house of Simon the leper, Matthew and Mark record,
was that of a woman who took spikenard, pouring it, this time, upon the head of Jesus, her Lord. There were some who, like Judas, criticized her, saying that the oil might have been sold for the poor. But Jesus said she had done this for His burial, speaking of her with grace, and that in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, she would forever have a place.

Today, God is pouring out His love and the Holy Spirit upon each open heart. May we fill our own “alabaster jars,” with love for Him, and eagerly do our part. There’s a world of people Jesus died for, and many are in great need. Guide and strengthen us, Lord, as we seek to be Your servants, caring with both word and deed.

We thank You for Your great sacrifice; we thank You for Your steadfast love. We appreciate so much what it cost You to visit us from heaven above.

P. A. Oltrogge

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

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:7-11

“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 

“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly I say to you inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” Matthew 25:40 (and verses 31-46) NKJV

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and are in him that is true, even in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20 KJV

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10 

Scriptures: NASB/Ryrie Study Bible, or as noted

(These accounts were described as they’re told in the four different scripture references.)

What time is it?

I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1

When troubles disappoint, overwhelm, or sometimes shock, remember, then, what time it is–it’s always Praise o’clock!

As much-loved members of the Good Shepherd’s flock, His goodness makes us praise Him all around the clock.

After praise and a mighty shout, the walls of Jericho fell down flat. The people followed Joshua’s instructions, and that was that!

When Daniel faced the lions in their den ’til morning light, an angel at Praise o’clock came there to keep their jaws shut tight.

Paul and Silas were imprisoned; their feet were placed in stocks; but they just sang with all their hearts, and made that prison rock!

If your prayer is for a miracle, but it seems to be “out of stock,” don’t give up, don’t give in–look at the time, it’s still Praise o’clock.

Surely when the way seems hard, there’s an answer to any “block,” for continually and forever, the correct time is Praise o’clock!

P. A. Oltrogge

“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 (NASB, Ryrie Study Bible)

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height–to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” Ephesians 3:14:21 NKJV

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13 NKJV

“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

It’s in serious times or circumstances that it’s exactly right to praise God in expectation of His help. At the same time, we take our authority, through the blood and name of Jesus, over evil spirits that would hinder or harm in any circumstance, as we’re seated with Christ in the heavenly places, far above them. (Reference Ephesians 1:18-23 and 2:4-10)

“What time is it?” can also make us contemplate the time of Jesus’ return. We’re to occupy until He comes…

“And as they heard these things, he (Jesus) added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, ‘Occupy till I come.'” Luke 19:11-13 KJV

And on his encouraging post today, Dutch Sheets refers to “chronos,” the Greek word for general or chronological time, and “kairos,” strategic and opportune time. It can be read or viewed at:

http://www.givehim15.com 

I believe in…

Father,

I believe in Your great love, which the Bible says that You have for me.  I believe in Your merciful love–You sent Your Son, Jesus, to set people free.

I believe in coming boldly to Your throne of grace when I pray.  I believe in what Jesus said–that answers are supported by the words I say.

I believe in using Your Word and faith-filled words to keep the force of faith from stopping.  I believe in being sure of answered prayer–I won’t be just window shopping.

I believe in Your faithfulness to keep Your Word–You never could lie.  I believe in persevering despite setbacks, knowing You’ve heard my heart’s cry.

And I believe in Your supernatural power and love, Father God, in any of life’s details, for I believe in Your Word, which says, “Love never fails!”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Love never fails….” from 1 Corinthians 13:8

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:8

“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” Psalm 18:30 KJV

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17

“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.” Mark 11:22-24 (and 25-26, on forgiveness)

“And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” 1 John 5:14, 15

“…it is impossible for God to lie…” (from Hebrews 6:18)

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19

“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. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16

“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.” Psalm 34:15

‘…Be not afraid, only believe.” Mark 5:36 KJV

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

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

If you’ve experienced some disappointments, leave with God the reason why. Never give up on the love of God, His Word, and faith in Him, the Most High….

“Then they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.” Psalm 78:35

Be blessed at http://www.sandrakennedy.org

“Click on “Read/Articles” and “Watch/Featured Videos” (Of special note is “The Healing Collection Story”)

Daniel in the Lions’ Den

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 KJV

…from the account in Daniel 6:

Due to Daniel’s outstanding capabilities, and out of concern that the king had given thought to putting him in charge over the entire kingdom, the other officials, knowing of Daniel’s reverence for God, concocted a plan to persuade the king to make an irrevocable decree—that for thirty days, whoever would pray to any god or man other than to the king, Darius, should be cast into a den of lions. After he had signed the decree and it was brought to his attention that Daniel continued in worship of his God, the king was greatly displeased with himself for having agreed to issue it; and he sought for a way to exempt Daniel. Finding no way to do that, the account continues:

“So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, ‘Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.’” Daniel 6:16

The Bible tells of the faithfulness of Daniel, yet he was thrown into a lions’ den. But God sent His angel to foil that plot of some evil-intentioned men.

The angel shut the mouths of the lions, that normally would have killed–thereby saving Daniel’s life, which left his accusers…with a plan that was unfulfilled.

That the king had fallen for their words and created the outrageous decree, was a weak moment he quickly regretted, for he respected Daniel to a great degree.

Daniel remained steadfast in his worship of God–his prayers and praise were not diminished. We read that Daniel was delivered and prospered, and that his enemies met their own deaths before things were finished.

Today, there are those who seek to defeat our reverence for the one and only God, too. But we should recall the example of Daniel, and how strong faith in God brought him through.

Opponents of Christianity may make their strikes against us, the Bible, and Jesus’ name. But we, too, can continually worship the Lord, believing for His intervention, like Daniel of lions’ den fame.

Some Bible teachers have said of this account, that it points to Jesus, as well. For the plot against Him couldn’t thwart God’s plan, leaving only of Christ’s death to tell.

No, God raised His beloved Son up–to the place of victory and greatest acclaim. To this day, and forever, power and victory…are synonymous with Jesus’ Name.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then King Darius wrote:

“To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

“Peace be multiplied to you.

“I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,

“For He is the living God,
And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,
And His dominion shall endure to the end.
He delivers and rescues,
And He works signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

“So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”

Daniel 6:25-28 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

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

Philippians 2:5-11 NKJV

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I should not be a bond-servant of Christ.” 

Galatians 1:10 NASB

Bless the Lord, O my soul

Psalm 103, NKJV

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.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
22 Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Photos: Eagles, Pxfuel, Dandelion, Unsplash

A Work of God Near the Pool of Siloam

As told in John, chapter 9, Jesus’ disciples questioned Him one day, about a blind man they’d passed by who’d been born that way.

That he or his parents had sinned was their initial thought. Jesus said it was neither, but that a work of God should be wrought.

Then He spoke of doing God’s work before the coming night–and that while He was in the world, He was the world’s light.

After that, Jesus spit on the ground, to make some clay for the man, which He applied to his eyes, as the first step of God’s healing plan.

Then, washing in the pool of Siloam would turn out to be freeing. The man obeyed Jesus and washed there, and he came back seeing!

Those who’d known the man wondered if he could possibly be the same beggar they had known, who’d been blind, but now could see.

When he said, “I am the one,” they questioned him as to how…such a thing could have happened, for his total blindness to “bow.”

Well, it bowed to “the man who is called Jesus,” was his immediate reply. “Where is He?” they asked; but he didn’t know, for Jesus had passed by.

Then he was brought before the Pharisees.  It was a Sabbath day. He told them, also, about the pool and Jesus having applied the clay.

Because Jesus had done this on a Sabbath, His divinity was dismissed. Keeping that law was a matter on which most of them would always insist.

Other Pharisees said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” So there was a division among them as they considered this in their minds.

Again, they questioned the formerly blind man, calling for his parents, too. The Pharisees doubted he’d been born blind and asked them if it was true.

They confirmed that he was their son who’d been blind from even day one. But how or by whom he’d been freed, they couldn’t say–“Just ask our son.”

They were afraid of being put out of the synagogue by giving laud to Christ. But their son said he only knew this–that Jesus’ healing touch had sufficed.

The synagogue leaders kept questioning him, to the extent that he, in turn, asked if they were wanting to be Jesus’ disciples–a notion which they spurned.

Calling him a disciple of Jesus, they said that they followed Moses of old. At that point, the man who’d been healed made statements that were bold:

“Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes.  We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing, and does His will, He hears him.  Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.  If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

That was enough for the Pharisees to berate him as being a sinful man. “Are you teaching us?” they said, and made him subject to a synagogue ban.

Jesus heard of this and then found him and asked him a question of His own. “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  But of that title, he hadn’t known.

So he asked the Lord who that was, so that he could, therefore, believe. Jesus said the Son of Man was Himself.  (By God’s Spirit, He’d been conceived.)

“Lord, I believe,” were the heartfelt words of the man who had been born blind. Then he worshiped Jesus, who is the Son of Man and the Son of God combined!

Conclusion:
“Then Jesus told him, ‘I entered this world to render judgment–to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.’  Some Pharisees who were standing by heard Him and asked, ‘Are you saying we’re blind?’  ‘If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,’ Jesus replied.  ‘But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.’”

(Scriptures from John 9, NKJV and NLT)

P. A. Oltrogge

On a Desert Road

Does this world seem like a desert–parched and offering little shade? Thank God, we have an oasis, when our minds on Christ are stayed.

It’s there, we find “living water,” through God’s Holy Spirit and His Word. Why struggle, as if in a desert, when the “rain” of God has occurred?

It’s said that very little water can cause desert seeds to flourish. Likewise, you can be revived–just one word from God can nourish.

Troubles can bombard our minds through circumstances or daily news, so turn to the life-giving Word of God, the blessed oasis that’s yours to use.

P. A. Oltrogge

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3 KJV

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’” John 4:10 NASB

“Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.” Psalm 119:50 NLT

“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.” John 16:33 NKJV

Photo: Pixabay

The Southwest Believers’ Convention

“So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God.’” Mark 11:22

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

You can view this week’s encouraging messages from the Southwest Believers’ Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Look for info at http://www.kcm.org. It begins tonight with Flashpoint at 7 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. CT. Sessions will go from August 1st through August 6th.

God bless your week….

An Inspiring Story

Today’s story (an actual account) at http://www.givehim15.com is inspirational on prayer and is a blessing to read.

May God help those who are discouraged about their prayers…to yet trust Him. “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart….” Luke 18:1

We continue to pray for dire situations we hear of through news reports from around the globe…and pray for many to come to know Jesus, the Lamb of God.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'” John 1:29

“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

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Seeing Victory

Keep your eyes upon the victory, though the miracle shore seems far. That’s what you need to do when you’re at “where you are.”

Don’t let your eye of faith become for you, instead, an eye of fear. Nearby winds and waves distract–especially when victory is near.

A double-minded person is, himself, like a wave of the sea–driven and tossed by the wind, giving attention to adversity.

So focus on the victory “lighthouse” that’s beaming out for you. Give it greatly your attention, and the Lord will see you through.

That lighthouse, you recognize, is God’s unfailing Word. It’s the light unto your pathway, and on which you’ve believed after having heard.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” Hebrews 11:1-2 NIV

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 NKJV

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:2-8 NKJV

“My son, give attention to My words; incline your ear to My sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJV

“Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT

“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 

“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.

“But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly, You are the Son of God,’” Matthew 14:22-33 NKJV

At http://www.elijahlist.com today are articles/videos of victories and their nearness. One of the posts tells of victory for a pastor in Canada. If the destiny of the United States is on your mind and heart, see the post by Julie Green. You may want to visit her website: http://www.jgminternational.org

Excellent posts also today at http://www.josephprince.org and http://www.givehim15.com and, as always, there is continual encouragement in God’s Word, first and foremost, and at http://www.govictory.com

May we not doubt but believe….

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

photo/Unsplash