Angels on Assignment

The delicate beauty of this Queen Anne’s Lace
was designed by the Lord, who gives amazing grace…
Those who make Jesus their Lord, gain the gift of salvation;
and angels are assigned to minister to them in every nation.


When Joseph, betrothed to the virgin Mary, learned that she was pregnant, a situation troubling for him to understand,

an angel in a dream revealed to him that the child had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, for the Savior’s birth, which God had planned.

At Jesus’ birth, in Bethlehem, then, the skies were filled with rejoicing angels of great number,

appearing to shepherds, keeping watch over their flock, amid people’s nighttime slumber.

Again, in a dream, an angel spoke to Joseph, to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s attack,

until he would tell him, at a later time, when and where it would be safe for them to come back.

As an adult, and after His baptism by John, Jesus experienced a time of temptation.

He fasted in the wilderness and withstood the devil’s taunts. Then angels ministered to Him after its duration.

Much later, at prayer in Gethsemane’s garden, Jesus began to feel very great distress

about fulfilling His Father’s will at the cross. So His Father sent an angel there to bless,

strengthen, and comfort Him…as the time for His trial and crucifixion had begun to loom.

Perhaps the angel reminded Jesus that He would be raised up—in victory over the tomb.

Scripture states that Jesus endured the cross because, ahead, He could see the joy—

He would be loved as our Redeemer…from the devil’s works, which He had come to destroy.

Upon His resurrection, heaven sent angels to greet early mourners at the tomb’s site,

to tell them that Jesus had been raised from the dead, dispelling any sorrow they’d had or fright.

Then, we read in Acts, of when Simon Peter, the Lord’s disciple, had been wrongfully jailed,

that God sent an angel to work a jailbreak, proving that Peter’s brethren’s prayers hadn’t failed.

And the apostle, Paul, was on a ship to Rome, sailing in a turbulent storm at sea—

when an angel appeared to him with a message, that no loss of life would there be.

Angels are noted throughout scripture. They minister to the heirs of salvation.

As believers, we are recipients of their aid, and they serve throughout every nation.

I thank the Lord for their service, for their presence as we walk life’s many trails.

I can think of times past when I sensed their protection. Through faith, prayer, and their help, God’s Kingdom never fails.

P. A. Oltrogge

References: Matthew 1:18-24; Matthew 2; Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:9-12; Luke 22:41-44; Hebrews 12:2; 1 John 3:8; Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:11-13; Acts 12; Acts 27:23-25; Hebrews 1:13-14

“I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears…
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” Psalm 34:4, 7 NKJV

“Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.” Psalm 103:20 KJV

“Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, Who cover yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind, Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.” Psalm 104:1-4 NKJV

“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ, the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’” Luke 2:10-12 NKJV

“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Matthew 18:10-11 NKJV

“…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.” Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

”He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 NKJV

“Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:13-14 NKJV

“For He shall give His angels charge over you , to keep you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11 NKJV

“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!” Psalm 148:1-3 NKJV

Photos/Unsplash

Led by the Light of the Lord

We read of Jesus: “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35 KJV

When the sun is up and shining, there’s still a greater light…
that’s with us through the daytime and deep into the night.
God’s Word lights every pathway when, on it, we’ve meditated;
its everlasting words are the Truth that will never be outdated.

Before the day would dawn, Jesus prayed and sought to hear
direction from His Father–very early, drawing near.
As believers, we need prayer, the Holy Spirit, and the Word–
We walk in greatest confidence once the voice of God is heard.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12

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

“Your testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul keeps them.
The entrance of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:129-130

“I cry out with my whole heart; Hear me, O Lord!
I will keep Your statutes. I cry out to You;
Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.
I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help; I hope in Your word.
My eyes are awake through the nightwatches,
That I may meditate on Your word.
Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
O Lord, revive me according to Your justice.
They draw near who follow after wickedness;
They are far from Your law.
You are near, O Lord, And all Your commandments are truth.
Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever.” Psalm 119:145-152

“For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” Psalm 36:9

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.” words of Jesus in John 14:16-17 AMP

“I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” John 14:25-27 AMP

“The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8

Scriptures NKJV or as noted.

Paul’s Rough Sea Voyage and Shipwreck to an Island

Photo by Porch of the Lord

I’ve shared this Biblical poetic account previously, but would like to add, if you’ve not yet come across it, recommendation of the book, by Robert Cornuke, The Lost Shipwreck of Paul. In it, the author takes you on his captivating journey to Malta to research the actual location of Paul’s shipwreck and any possible remains of the ancient Roman anchors mentioned in the Biblical account. The book is available at Amazon.com, where you can also find many positive reviews of it.

(Having appealed to Caesar, Paul is sent to Rome…
a poetic narrative of Acts 27-28)

When it was decided to go to Italy, Paul and some other prisoners entered a ship at Adramyttium and were put to sea, to sail along Asia’s coasts.

Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment, treated Paul kindly, letting him receive care at Sidon from people who were Paul’s friends and hosts.

From Sidon, they sailed under the shelter of Cyprus due to the strong, contrary gales.

Then, over seas off of Cilicia and Pamphylia, they came to Myra, Lycia, where they were put aboard another ship bound for Italy in their forthcoming sails.

They sailed slowly many days, arriving with difficulty off Cnidus—the wind didn’t permit them to proceed.

So they sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone, passing it also with difficulty, coming to Fair Havens, a stop of need.

They’d lost a lot of time, and the weather was becoming dangerous as it was so late in the fall.

So Paul spoke to the ship’s officers about it—that he perceived trouble ahead, with great damage to the cargo and ship and even to the lives of them all.

But the centurion was more persuaded by the pilot and captain of the ship than by anything that Paul had said.

And because the harbor wasn’t suitable for wintering, the majority reached the decision to put out to sea, going ahead.

If, somehow, they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing southwest and northwest, they could spend winter there, they thought.

So when a moderate south wind came up, they supposed they’d attained their purpose, weighed anchor, and began sailing along Crete, on the route they sought.

But before very long, a violent wind, called Euraquilo, rushed down to sea from the land.

And when the ship was caught in it, and couldn’t face the wind, they gave way to it and were driven along—totally unplanned.

Running under the shelter of a small island called Clauda, they were scarcely able to get the ship’s lifeboat under control.

After they’d hoisted it up, they used supporting cables in undergirding the ship and let down the sea anchor. Avoiding being run aground on the shallows of Syrtis was the goal.

The next day, as they were being violently storm-tossed, they began to throw the cargo overboard.

On the third day, they threw the tackle over, another thing the ship was carrying but which they could no longer afford.

Sun nor stars appeared for many days, and of the thought of being saved, they’d gradually lost hope.

After having gone without food for a long time, Paul reminded them that if they’d listened to him, with this storm and loss they wouldn’t have had to cope.

Yet he urged them to not lose courage, saying there would be no loss of life among them, but only of the ship.

He shared that this he knew by way of the appearance of an angel of God, who had come and stood before him on the trip.

The angel told Paul that he would yet stand before Caesar and that God had granted him the lives of all those sailing along.

So Paul, again, strongly encouraged them, saying that he believed God and that God’s predictions were never wrong.

He added, however, that on a certain island, they would run aground.

And after the fourteenth night in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight, some of the sailors began to sense that land ahead might soon be found.

They took soundings as they approached; and not wanting to run aground on the rocks, they cast four anchors from the stern, wishing for dawn’s light.

Then the sailors tried to abandon the ship, lowering the lifeboat as though they were going to put out anchors from the front, but they couldn’t quite…

for Paul said to the centurion and his soldiers, “Unless these men remain in the ship, you yourselves cannot be saved.”

So the soldiers cut away the ropes of the lifeboat and let it fall away before any escape could be braved.

Until the day was about to break, Paul encouraged them that not a hair of their heads would perish—that they should not be anxious, going without eating—but to take some food.

He himself took bread and gave thanks to God in their presence and began to eat. So all the others on board took food as well, encouraged and their spirits renewed.

Two hundred seventy-six persons were aboard; and when all had eaten enough, they lightened the ship by casting overboard their wheat.

When day broke, they couldn’t recognize the land but observed a certain bay with a beach. They resolved to drive the ship onto it, if they could accomplish the feat.

So, casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea, loosened the ropes of the rudders, and hoisted the foresail to the wind—then headed for the beach.

But they struck a reef where two seas met and ran the vessel aground. The prow stuck fast and remained immovable. The stern began to break up by many a wave’s forceful reach.

The soldiers had planned to kill the prisoners so that none would swim away and escape; however, the centurion wanted to bring Paul safely through.

So, he kept them from those intentions and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first—the others to follow on planks from the ship or anything with which they could make do.

Thus it happened that all were brought safely to the land—they found that Malta was this particular island’s name.

There, the natives showed extraordinary kindness… Due to rain that had set in and the cold, they received them all and kindled for them a fire’s warming flames.

When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out, due to the heat, and fastened on his hand.

Seeing this, the natives expressed the thought that, likely, Paul was a murderer, lucky to escape the sea, but that death by snakebite was somehow justice served—perhaps divinely planned.

But Paul shook the creature off, back into the fire—the incident, for him, was not ill-fated.

Then the natives, who had expected him to swell up and die, suddenly changed their minds and said that with a “god” he could be equated.

In that region, there was a leading citizen, Publius, by name, at whose estate they were welcomed for three days.

The father of this man lay sick with a fever and dysentery. So Paul went in to him, laid his hands on him, and he was healed. Paul was continuing to follow his Lord Jesus’ compassionate healing ways.

When this was done, other natives on the island who had illnesses also received from Paul’s healing ministry during his stay.

The islanders honored Paul in many ways, giving him and the others much in provision before the time when they would again sail away.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness, has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said.” Acts 27:23-25 NLT

An archived post, “Lost at Sea,” from 2015, could be a blessing to you if you’ve not heard of or would like to review Michelle Hamilton’s modern-day true account of accidentally drifting out in a small craft into the vastness of the ocean and how she was rescued by the Lord.

A Baby in a Basket Ark

The following is reprinted in light of this year’s March for Life taking place in Washington D.C. today…. To join others in prayer, refer to http://www.ifapray.org

An account from ancient Egypt…

The Bible tells of a Pharaoh who sought to kill every newborn Hebrew boy.
One woman, Jochebed, hid her baby, to weaken the plot to destroy
his valuable life, which God had ordained, for a great work He had planned–
the deliverance of the Hebrew people from out of Pharaoh’s hand.

When she no longer could hide the baby after three months had passed by,
she put him in a basket by the bank of the river, leaving him under the sky.
At that place, Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe, never thinking she’d find
an unusual woven basket there, with treasure of the greatest kind.

Jochebed’s daughter, Miriam, watched to see how her baby brother would fare–
she waited, staying at a distance, after they’d placed the little child there.
Not only that, she was ready to speak up when the baby, then, was found;
her courage to “find” her mother as a nurse turned the whole situation around.

Jochebed’s faith, and her daughter’s caring heart, helped save her baby that day,
when Pharaoh’s daughter beheld the child, and God turned her heart his way.
The compassion she felt caused her to want the child, to raise him as her own,
with no realization it was divine intervention of God reigning upon His throne.

For that particular child was destined to grow up to become Moses, the liberator–
hidden, at first, among reeds–but then welcomed into Pharaoh’s palace later.
Yet God put within Moses a knowing that he was no Egyptian royal;
instead, to his own Hebrew people and their God, his heart was strongly loyal.

In present times, God is pleased to find other “Jochebeds” and their assistants,
who work to save the very young and are today’s abortion trend “resistance.”
Their prayers are protective baskets for children fashioned by God’s hand–
Like Miriam, they seek to bond mother and child–or place them in the home
He has planned.

And who of us knows the destiny of any child not fully born or even grown?
It’s only by the God of the universe, that such things are surely known.
Moses was deemed a special child upon the very day of his birth;
yet to God all children are destined and special, and He counts them of
incalculable worth.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi (Jochebed). And the woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it, and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. And his sister (Miriam) stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him. Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her. When she opened it, she saw the child and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children.’ Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and call a nurse for you?’ And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Go ahead.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child away and nurse him for me and I shall give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, ‘Because I drew him out of the water.’” Exodus 2:1-10

Lessons from Snowstorms

I’m thinking of life in the winter months in America’s midwest
when sometimes heavy snowfalls there have put us to the test…

Not only have we had to work hard to dig our driveways out;
but it can be quite hazardous, driving out onto an icy, snowy route.

There’ve been the occasional times when we have even slid off the road;
but, then, people would stop to help so that we wouldn’t need to be towed.

These good Samaritans would push us as the wheels of the car were spinning…
because we had tried to back out on our own, with little success at winning.

It often took some time as the car rocked back and forth or swayed…
but the volunteers were confident that they could push us up the grade.

The piles of heavy snow and hidden ice, at last, had to give way…
to the determined push of the strong good guys who definitely saved the day!

When things in this world are troubling and certainly don’t seem right,
remember this picture–of determined teamwork and its breakthrough might.

With faith in God, we can even have His joy and an inner knowing….
We don’t have to stay in a “ditch,” though it’s been so heavily “snowing”!

P. A. Oltrogge

Postscript:

We might think the problems we’re facing are more like blizzard conditions;
but storms subside or end, so let’s persevere, giving God our fervent petitions.

The remembrance above is from country roads years ago, which didnt have the busy traffic of today; but the image in my mind spoke of Christian teamwork in action and of earnest continued prayer for life in today’s tough situations….so that we may not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12: 9-21 NKJV and all of Romans 12

“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 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

“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

Encouragement day or night at http://www.govictory.com and Morning Prayer at 9:30 a.m. ET

Come, as a Little Child

“And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.’” Matthew 18:2-5 (KJV)

A heart that is very tender, like that of a little child,
is needed to perceive God’s chosen Lamb, who was perfect and undefiled.
Sweetly, Jesus came, long ago, as a baby on the hay;
and, tenderly, He calls to each person yet today,
to recognize God’s pathway to the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
for eternity and, also, in this present world of strife.
Jesus laid down His life on a cross, and rose again, so that we can be free
to draw from His strength in our own lives, helping others to also see
that they can be restored–to a heavenly Father who is gracious
to lead them in this life and to a heaven, fair and spacious.
There’s room there for any person, who, like a little child, took
the gift freely offered by Jesus Christ, as recorded in God’s Holy Book.
Remember, please, its warning–not to be too “wise,”
but to take of the offer that is proper in His Father’s eyes.
Harden not your heart, for you’re meant to be relieved,
of search for Truth by any other, than by Christ, in whom we’ve believed.

P. A. Oltrogge

“That is why the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness. There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years.'” Hebrews 3:7-9 NLT

“So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: ‘Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.'” Hebrews 4:7 NLT

“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” spoken by Jesus in Matthew 11:28 NASB

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:5-7 KJV

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17 KJV

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8 NKJV

“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.” Matthew 19:13-14 NIV

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:1-5 NKJV

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NKJV

The Name of the Lord Jesus

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10 NASB

Whenever there’s a “darkest hour,”

the name of Jesus is our strong tower.

When things are rough and are looking bleak,

it’s then that faith must confidently speak.

All things are possible with our God…

He makes flowers to rise through the stubborn sod.

God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear–

the message from Him is to be of good cheer!

We often want to be able to see the victory first,

but faith sees a good outcome when things seem at their worst.

Look past any image that speaks of defeat.

See (and say) it as God sees it–your victory’s complete!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26 

“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.” …spoken by Jesus in John 16:33

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

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

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….” …from Hebrews 12:1-3

“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.'” …from Mark 11:20-26

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:36

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:1-5

“Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 (NASB)

Scriptures NKJV or as noted

The Trusted Guide

Photo/Unsplash

How well does our Guide we’ve been given actually know the terrain? Well, you can trust a Guide thoroughly who’s made your own intricate brain.

When He says that He has numbered even the very hairs on your head, you can trust that He’s the caring One by whom you want to be led.

The world can seem like a jungle path on which many dangers might lurk. Thankfully, our Guide has given us His promises, which definitely do work.

Some persons, by their own efforts, have tried to find their way–then found it better to seek the Guide who is available to those who pray.

To make our destination, especially before the night will fall, we must keep confidence in the amazing Guide upon whom we’re privileged to call.

P. A. Oltrogge

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever..” words of Jesus in John 14:16

“…when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” words of Jesus in John 16:13-14

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25

“The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.” Proverbs 4:18 NLT

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you seek for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

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

“He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” from John 10:1-18 NLT

“Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

“Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created.” Psalm 119:90 NLT

“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. You have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35-36

“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows–one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” spoken by Jesus in Matthew 10:28-31 NLT

“For you are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.” Psalm 31:3

“Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 136:13 NLT

“…casting ALL your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Psalm 89:5; Psalm 89:8; Isaiah 55:6; Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:22-24; John 10:11-18; Hebrews 1:1-3; Hebrews 6:12

Scriptures NKJV or as noted

Thomas’s Moment of Doubt

When Jesus had risen from the dead, His first appearance was to Mary Magdalene. On the evening of the same day, where the disciples were gathered, He came again upon the scene.

“Peace be with you,” He shared with them, showing them His hands and side.
“As the Father has sent Me, I also send you,” was the immediate instruction from their beloved Master, teacher, and guide.

He breathed on them, saying to receive the Holy Spirit, and that He was sending them out to declare…the forgiveness of sins through His shed blood for all with whom they would ultimately share.

Thomas hadn’t been present at that wonderful moment, so only later, was he told. His fellow disciples were saying that they, too, had seen the Lord–but Thomas’s reaction to this was cold.

“Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Eight days later, Jesus again appeared to the disciples; but this time, Thomas was there. Again, Jesus greeted them with His peace but turned to Thomas with words of faith that He began to share.

“Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

Of course, Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God!” He now believed with every fiber of his being. Yet Jesus wanted him (and us) to understand that believing is seeing!

Jesus said, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Lord, may this teaching of Yours on faith, and faith in You, be one that’s wholeheartedly received.

Some people today, too, have doubts that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead actually took place. But be blessed to believe, as Jesus said, in the miracle of His resurrection–the unmerited gift to us of God’s love and grace.

P. A. Oltrogge

(Based on the account in John 20)

“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:30-31 NKJV

As White as Snow

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”
These are gracious words that the Lord has said, and only He would know
whatever sins have been in your life that you have come to regret.
What peace it is to know that God will forgive…and will also forget.

We read in the Bible of Peter, James, and John being led up by Jesus on a mount,
where His clothing became radiant–white, like snow, it’s told in that account.
This spoke of His glory and was a demonstration that He was the Holy One–
God’s voice, coming out of a cloud, said to listen to Jesus, His beloved Son.

This brings to my mind the garment of salvation that makes us white as snow.
In Him, we become new creations–sinners cleansed by His blood’s outflow.
To any who take Him as Savior, the One who died for sin on the cross in their place–
any guilty stains are thoroughly lifted; no sinful spot can leave a trace.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now after six days, Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves, and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.” Mark 9:2-4 NKJV

“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

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10 NIV

“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’” Matthew 26:27-28 NKJV

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NASB

“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12 NKJV

“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14 NKJV

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV

“For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17 NASB

Psalm 103:12
John 1:29
Hebrews 1:1-4
1 John 2:1-2

Photo by Phil Roeder/Flickr; see link in original archived post