Come, you blessed of My Father

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34

Did you learn to love (as I’ve loved you) in your daily walk;
Or was it not really genuine, but, instead, merely talk?

That’s an outline of a question Jesus will ask one day
In separating His sheep and removing the goats away.

If you took care of others, even “one of the least of these,”
He’ll say you did it to Him, and will have found that to please.

Kindnesses done for others in His Name, with sincerity of heart,
Are implied to be noted by Jesus, as if on a heavenly chart.

The righteous will ask, “When did we do these things for You?”
While the unrighteous will insist that they did them, too.

Faith in Jesus saves us through His service, highest of all;
But we serve Him, out of love…it’s our heavenly call.

“Works” left undone or devoid of Him won’t carry any weight;
Make Jesus your Savior and Shepherd before finding it’s too late.

P. A. Oltrogge

“All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? 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.’

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you game Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You? Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Matthew 25:32-46

Photo by Karen Roe/Flickr
See archived post for direct link.

The Sea of Galilee

also called Kinnereth, Lake of Gennesaret, and Sea of or Lake Tiberias

I’ve not ever visited the Holy Land of Israel or viewed Galilee’s beautiful sea,
but I can visualize the prominence of its waters in Jesus’ life and ministry.

Peter, Andrew, James, and John made their living there–then suddenly were called
to follow the Messiah, after which they experienced some miraculous catches hauled.

Near to its shores, five thousand men, and women and children, were divinely fed
through a little boy’s blessed lunch of just two fish and only five loaves of bread.

After leaving Nazareth, Jesus settled in Capernaum, which lies beside its waters;
and Mary, of Magdala, a seaside town, became one of God’s beloved daughters.

We know that Jesus walked on its waves; and Peter did, too, to some degree.
Another time, the disciples called on Jesus to save them when it became a raging sea.

Jesus told His disciples to cross over it at times in following His Father’s direction.
And from a mountain above it, He shared The Beatitudes–a major spiritual reflection.

You may not have seen the Sea of Galilee, that Jesus and the disciples traveled along;
but you can experience the Spirit’s “living water,” which is God’s gift to make us strong.

P. A. Oltrogge

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37-39

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
John 16:7 KJV

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. Acts 1:8 and all of Acts 2

When Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. Acts 10:44-45

So I say to you, ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! Luke 11:9-13

Excellent books on the Holy Spirit: “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” and “How You Can Be Led by the Spirit of God” (book or CD) by Kenneth E. Hagin at http://www.rhema.org under Bookstore.

Also: “The Holy Spirit is a Genius” by Mark Hankins at http://www.markhankins.org and other of his books on the Holy Spirit (and other topics).

Photo/Unsplash

The day that Jesus was crucified, as Simon of Cyrene might have related it…

Like other people, I’d heard some stories about the man named Jesus.
He’d done unheard-of miracles and had lived a life that was upright and clean.

So I never thought I’d arrive in Jerusalem at such a terrible time,
of seeing Him being brutally led to His own crucifixion…that was the scene.

It seemed incomprehensible that His acts of compassion
were being “rewarded” with this punishment to which He was going.

I could see that He was becoming too weak to bear the heavy cross;
He’d obviously been scourged, and blood from the stripes was flowing.

Suddenly, I was pressed into service by some of the Roman soldiers.
I was ordered to carry His cross, in His stead, as His strength was depleted.

Had He done something criminal that I hadn’t heard of in His recent past?
I didn’t know, but the mocking and reviling were being repeated.

Of course, I didn’t appreciate being singled out for such a despicable task.
It seemed obvious to me that I’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But something in the eyes of this Jesus, who staggered beside me,
reflected kindness; and I sensed something noble or majestic—nothing of crime.

After reaching the destination, I couldn’t bear to watch the proceedings.
If He’d been wrongly accused, there was nothing I could have done to stop the event.

So I left; but, later, darkness came over the land, and an earthquake caused tombs to open. Some people were reported as having been raised from the dead after the temple curtain was rent.

After all that had happened, a centurion and other guards declared that, truly, Jesus was the Son of God. Perhaps my unchosen role in this—being singled out—had, instead, been a divine appointment.

A great many people were recipients of Jesus’ ministry, and believed that He was who He said He was. That day lives large in my memory; and His disciples are saying that His Name is God’s healing and saving ointment.

P. A. Oltrogge

One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, regarding a man made well through the name of Jesus, spoke to the rulers, elders, and scribes gathered in Jerusalem:

“…let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:10-12 NASB

Through Every New Bloom

Through the beauty of a flower, we see our great God’s creative heart.
Or the birth of a baby is an expression of another awesome part
of His endless creativity and His giving to us of others to love…
Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights above.

Praise and thanks to our beautiful Savior, Jesus, the King of Creation…
We trust You, placing our hand in Your loving hand through every situation.
Help us to share Your love with people who are near to us or far…
telling them that You’re the Lord of all, the Bright and Morning Star.

P. A. Oltrogge

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16 NKJV

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high….” Hebrews 1:1-3 NKJV

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

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 KJV

“The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—” Acts 10:36 NKJV

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.'” John 14:9-11 NKJV

Wonderful true account:
http://www.ilivedonparkerave.com

Photos/Unsplash

In Everything Give Thanks

When it looks to you, at times, like there’s simply no way out,
let thanking God, the Father, be your sure and chosen route.

When it seems that pressing problems have no known solution,
let thanking the Lord turn any worries into a grace revolution.

Paul and Silas were imprisoned but raised their praises high–
then found they were delivered, with praise their only cry.

When the way seems very foggy and you’re tempted to despair,
just know, though you can’t yet see it, the victory is there.

A great principle of the Bible is to walk by faith and not by sight–
so thank God for His presence when it’s dark and you need His light.

Like a pilot relies on instruments through weather good or bad–
let thankfulness be the “instrument” with which your life is clad.

P. A. Oltrogge

Acts 16:23-40:
“But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were unfastened.” (25-26)

“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:14-17 NKJV

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV and Hebrews 11:1

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57

Passing through…

God had parted the night clouds and, there, ever so bright,
was a beautiful, full moon seen through my bedroom window one night.

It was actually almost morning when it came into view.
It made me think of how God’s power and love also break through.

There are “clouds” or “deep waters” in life that can often overwhelm,
unless we look to Jesus Christ as being at our life’s “helm.”

So think of your life’s “sailship” as strong through any “night,”
for He’s on board to part deep waters and is your ever-guiding Light.

P. A. Oltrogge

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…
For I am the !ord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior….”
Isaiah 43:2, 3 NKJV

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’” John 8:12 NKJV

Photo/Porch of the Lord

Seek First God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually.”

1 Chronicles 16:11 NASB

“Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked abandon his way,
And the unrighteous person his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7

Seek the Lord while He may be found…
In doing so, your life will be crowned
with God’s lovingkindness, for God is love;
every good and perfect gift comes down from Him above.

a bit of the poetic by P. A. Oltrogge

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:7-9

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

“I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys.”

Song of Solomon 2:1 NASB

“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.”
Words of Jesus in Matthew 6:25-34

The Blessing of the Animals

In this world of great variety, the Lord’s signature is made very plain,
from the spots upon a leopard to a majestic horse’s mane.
He made many creatures to live on land, while others need the seas.
Some soar high into the skies, but seek to nest in the trees.

Many animals need a caretaker and a home on ranch or farm–
cattle or sheep, as examples, need protection from outside harm.
They’re among God’s provisions for man, and there’s also the ocean store.
Fishermen find their livelihoods there, off of any good coast or shore.

And getting a glance of sea creations, like the dolphins or the whales,
is a rewarding sight to be appreciated on an outing in a boat that sails.
Children are eager to tell you of their enjoyment of the animals at a zoo–
elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras, monkeys, and bears–just to name a few.

Horses largely have been tamed, but have run wild upon some plains.
Many a man, woman, or youth has loved holding a horse’s reins.
Some people still need and appreciate them for the work they can perform,
while others love to race them and see their ability to “outperform.”

Dogs of a great many varieties are true companions, or work as aides
to people who have special needs, and to police, fire, or military brigades.
Down through the years there have been stories that often can astound
of a dog’s relationship with its master and how their love and loyalty abound.

Kittens are enjoyed, especially, by children who love to watch them play.
Cats are company, as well, with their own distinct character and way.
Then there are the smaller things, like the bees, bugs, or butterflies–
Beauty is in their fine details, and the study of them can be wise.

Those who love the animals may be fond of one particular kind,
or they may be the type who likes almost any animal that comes to mind.
So greatly we appreciate all the many creatures that we know–
It’s hard to think that there’s just one to call God’s “Best of Show.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast….” Proverbs 12:10 KJV

“The righteous care for the needs of their animals….”. (NIV)

Photo by Porch of the Lord

The Lord of the Pillar of Cloud and Fire

Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” Exodus 13:20-22

“And with a pillar of cloud Thou didst lead them by day and with a pillar of fire by night to light for them the way in which they were to go.” Nehemiah 9:12
____________________________________________________

Moses, a Hebrew by birth, was called by God to lead His Hebrew people out
from the ancient land of Egypt to a prayed-for promised land route.

Through his obedience and God’s powerful hand, their burdened lives as slaves
came to be changed forever because the good Lord hears and saves.

God had heard their desperate cries–and had seen the severe oppression.
After many God-sent plagues, Pharaoh finally made his concession.

So hardhearted had he been, that it had taken a very mighty blow
to his own and all Egyptian families before he would let God’s people go.

Many pestilences had been tried–including frogs and boils on man and beast–
hail, insects, darkness, and finally, death of firstborns of the greatest man’s home to the least. 

That was the deciding plague, which caused the barrier to the Hebrews’ freedom to be broken– while they, in Goshen, were spared, for blood on their doorposts had “spoken.”

Yes, blood from an unblemished lamb on each lintel and doorpost was spread–
This proclaimed that their lives should be preserved because of a lamb that had bled.

They had shared the first Passover meal–a feast remembered to this day,
which points to God’s sacrificial lamb in Christ–now the Good Shepherd
who leads our way.

After the Passover, God guided His people with a pillar of cloud in their sight. And for gains through night-time travel, He led by a pillar of fire for needed light.

Quick to regret, Pharaoh pursued the former captives to the brink of the great Red Sea. But the angel of God and God’s pillar of cloud kept the Hebrews secure and free.

This protection and time were needed, for Moses to stretch forth his hand.
The Lord swept back the sea with a wind all night, creating for the Hebrews dry land.

God’s people then made their way safely, with walls of water on each side–
They followed the leadership of Moses, casting any fears they might have had aside.

God brought Pharaoh’s army into confusion; then the Lord gave Moses the instruction…to stretch forth his hand again, which made way for the pursuers’ destruction.

From out of the pillar of cloud, God caused the Egyptian’s chariot wheels to sway. The waters turned back and drowned them all, giving the Hebrews victory that day.

Protection and guidance were provided back then through God’s pillar of cloud and fire. Therefore, let’s seek the same Lord of those ancient days who calls us to a life that’s higher. 

Today a “promised land” is yours through the leading of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ, God’s Son. Abundant life now and an eternal home with God are freely offered to everyone.

P. A. Oltrogge

(Based on the Old Testament account in the book of Exodus) 

New Testament references:

“And Peter said to them ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 2:38

Words of Jesus:

“…I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” John 10:10

“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28 KJV

“…and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said…And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” John 17: 1. 4

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

Those with us are more…

“Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’

“So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:14-16 NKJV

When troubles surround, look to the beauty of a flower.
Its magnificence reminds us of our creative God of power,
who stands with us against those who would seek to defeat us.
At the point of our need, God and angel armies meet us!

There are more who are with us than those who oppose–
and our deliverer is the King. From the grave, He arose!
There’s no other name under heaven higher on which to call.
Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, Mighty God, and Lord of all!

P. A. Oltrogge

“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my strength, in whom I will trust, my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” Psalm 18:2 KJV

“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

“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
Ephesians 1:15-23 NKJV

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. Thus is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” from Acts 4:8-12 NKJV

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

“And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”
Revelation 19:16