One Lamb, the “I Am”

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“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14 NKJV

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’”
John 8:58

“He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and he was afflicted. Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.” Isaiah 53:3-7

One Lamb, the “I AM”

Complete redemption is every person’s need, and there is just One Lamb,
Who was silent before His accusers–though He was, and is, the great “I AM.”

All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, but never did this One Lamb.
He kept God’s laws perfectly, while our own “righteousness” is a sham.

One Lamb bore our sins and sicknesses; we can look to Him still today–
For as in when He walked the earth, He doesn’t want it any other way.

One Lamb, one sacrifice, alone, was sufficient on the cross at Calvary’s hill.
There’s no other than this Lamb of God–there’s no need to be seeking still.

The Almighty God Himself ordained great grace through His One Lamb;
Thank you, Jesus, for having humbled Yourself for us, despite being the great “I AM.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 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 2:5-11

“…And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment….” Isaiah 64:6

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.” Psalm 103:3

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” John 6:35

“Again therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly.” John 10:9, 10

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.” John 11:25

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” John 14:6

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser.” John 15:1

Pink Sky in the Morning

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After we’ve come through the dark hours of night,
a pink sky in the morning is a magnificent sight.

In that very first light when the morning is breaking,
it uplifts and inspires—and is truly breathtaking.

Our Creator coats masterfully the sky with His paints,
and gives a song to the birds for the waking of His saints.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1 NASB

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” Psalm 143:8 NIV

“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24 NKJV

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 RSV

“For lo, the winter is past. The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come. And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” Song of Solomon 2:11-12 NKJV

“…giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
Colossians 1:12-14 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 loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV

photo Unsplash

Biblical Steps…Ask, Seek, Knock

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Photo by Porch of the Lord,
Bequia Island

Let “Ask, and it will be given to you,” and “Seek, and you will find,”
and “Knock, and the door will be opened to you,” often come to mind.

God has so many possibilities, when we are thinking there are none–
The disciples were distraught at Jesus’ death ’til they beheld the risen Son.

When hope seems to have ended, remember your mighty God’s deeds.
He’s a “beyond all that we ask or think” God, who supplies beyond our needs.

So be blessed to be a blessing to others as God pours out His love.
Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights above.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen”.
Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17KJV

“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. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him? Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:7-12 NKJV

There’s Still Light in Goshen

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The Lord was working out a major plan to set free–the captive Hebrew people of old. There would be ten plagues, so the actions of Moses and Aaron would need to be brave and bold.

When they came before Pharaoh, they had commands from the Lord on what to say or do, to warn him of, or initiate, every plague that his nation was soon to go through.

The ninth plague of darkness was so severe that the Egyptians couldn’t get around. For three days, the darkness was “felt” and thick, in the air and on the ground.

One of Egypt’s chief deities was the sun “god,” so such darkness proved the Lord’s might, to prevail over any of the “gods” of the Egyptians. Only His power could end the dark night.

But the Hebrews were under God’s protection; and, in the midst of that constant night, there was light in Goshen in their dwellings because God was in charge of their fight.

Today, people experience darkness, not of God and not a kind where you can’t visibly see, but darkness in their minds when they’ve not recognized “the door,” through which anyone’s able to go free.

Jesus pointed the way, saying, “If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” You can experience “Goshen” through God’s Son yet today, and you’ll have all of the light that you’ll need.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt. So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Exodus 10:21-23

“If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 KJV

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

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill, and destroy: I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.’” John 10:9-10

“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 NKJV

Abraham’s Absolute Trust

This poetic telling is of the account in the Bible, which was written of in Genesis, chapter twenty-two. It’s the story of Abraham’s act of trust, in a most difficult thing God had asked him to do.

God called upon Abraham to take along Isaac, his much loved and only son…and journey to the land of Moriah, where, He said, a sacrifice would need to be done.

The unthinkable thing about this, was that the sacrifice Abraham was to make…was to be that of his very own son. Abraham must have felt that his heart would break.

God specifically designated Isaac as the sacrifice, leaving no room about it to doubt. So Abraham rose early the very next morning, saddled his donkey, and then set out.

He took two of his young men with him and Isaac, as God had, with certainty, decreed. Abraham had split wood to bring for burning–he would be obedient as the Lord would lead.

On the third day, Abraham looked up and saw at a distance, the designated, sacrificial site. He told the others to stay behind; he and the lad would go to worship there in the early morning light.

Abraham took the wood that was needed for the offering and strapped it upon Isaac’s back. He took the fire and a knife and they walked on together, until Isaac began to realize their lack.

“My father!” he said, and went on to say to Abraham, that the fire and the wood they had–but where was the lamb that they needed for the offering? Then Abraham answered the lad…

that God would provide for Himself the lamb, for the burnt offering that they would be needing. So Abraham and Isaac walked on again together, his absolute trust in God still leading.

Then they came to the place that God had specified, where Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood. He bound his son, Isaac, and laid him upon both, which Isaac certainly couldn’t have understood.

So Abraham stretched out his hand, with the knife to slay his son, but was stopped from doing the act…because the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, saying his fear of God was now shown as fact.

“You have not withheld your son, your only son from Me,” the Lord conveyed. Then Abraham saw a ram…caught in the thicket by his horns, it became the sacrifice–the replacement offering to the Lord by Abraham.

So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will Provide,” as it is said to this day. “In the Mount of the Lord, it will be provided.” These words remind us of one who trusted God in a great way.

A second time, the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and spoke of blessings that were yet to be…that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars in heaven and as the sand on the shores of the sea.

In his seed would all the nations of the earth be blessed, because he’d obeyed the voice of the Lord. So Abraham and Isaac returned to the other men, and went to Beersheba, happy and with God’s reward.

In the same manner, many years later, God, the Father in heaven, actually did give us of His only beloved Son. He spared not His Son, so that we could have reward. When we take Jesus as Savior, our eternal life has begun.

God is the One who taught us of sowing and reaping. You see, He “sowed” His Son as the sacrifice for sin in our place. He’s expecting a great harvest of souls to be His sons and daughters. That’s a gift given to us simply by His grace.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Scriptures: NASB

Trusting Jesus, the Good Shepherd

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…from Luke 15, putting the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son into a bit of the poetic…

If a man has a hundred sheep but just one of them has gone astray,
doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness to search for the one lost without delay?

And when he finds it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing that it’s found.
Then, once home, celebrations of his joy with friends and neighbors abound.

In the same way, there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner who comes home
than over ninety-nine righteous persons who, wisely, never wanted to roam.

P. A. Oltrogge

You may not be “little,” but the following verse from an old song describes our security in Christ very well. And if any of us learned this song when young but got away from the Good Shepherd, we can know from Luke 15 that He’s so very happy to have us back…

I am Jesus’ little lamb,
ever glad at heart I am;
for my Shepherd gently guides me…
knows my needs and well provides me—
loves me every day the same,
even calls me by my name.

from the song, “I am Jesus’ Little Lamb”
by Henrietta Louise von Hayn

Book Recommendation:
A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23
by W. Phillip Keller

Father, thank You for what Your Son has done…

Father,

I thank You for Your answers even before my prayers have begun…
because of what Your Son, Jesus Christ, has done.

I’m seated in the heavenly places—my victory’s been won…
because of what Your Son, the Lord Jesus, has done.

At Calvary’s cross, the curse was defeated. All fear I now can shun…
because of what Your Son, the Messiah, has done.

Not by my own merit, but by the blood from His veins that had run,
I can come before You boldly because of what He’s done.

Regarding the name of Jesus—a greater name, there’s none,
because He so pleased You as a perfectly obedient Son.

And, one day, when my race on earth has been completely run,
I’ll be immediately in Your presence because of what Your Son has done.

P. A. Oltrogge

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“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18

“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” Words of Jesus in Matthew 6:7-8

“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.” Ephesians 1:15-21

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespassses, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:17-19

“So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13:6

“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 4:16

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8

“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

Scriptures NKJV

Breakthrough over the Blues

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Photo/Porch of the Lord

Perhaps you’ve experienced disappointments…
I know that others and I have, too.
But when I recall precious moments I’ve had,
I can no longer stay feeling blue.

Realize this old world with its trials
can’t keep you from all that delights.
Disappointments may occur, but some very nice gifts
will come through from the Father of lights.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17 KJV

Beauty is in the Eye of God, the Beholder

The story of a “different” duckling was one that, as children, most of us had read…This duckling was ridiculed because of his appearance–so much so, that he finally fled.

He then went through various experiences, away from the home he originally knew; but all of those experiences were bitter and caused him to keep feeling “blue.”

As the story progressed, he came upon a flock of magnificent swans, while downcast, who welcomed him as a most beautiful swan; and there he found happiness at last.

We learn, in reading the Bible, that God doesn’t look at how you outwardly appear–You may feel you haven’t much value, yet you’re a distinctive “swan” in His mirror.

And if blessed with what man defines as great beauty, God still looks within to start…His search for a person who is devoted to Him, humble, but courageous of heart.

Remember, too, that when God sees you, He sees the righteousness of His own Son; and He has promised to perfect the good work in you that, through Christ, He has begun.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For Thou dist form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14 KJV

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him, for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” 1 Samuel 16:7

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

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Out of the darkness into His light…

Jesus was teaching in the temple when some scribes and Pharisees approached,
bringing a woman caught in adultery, who they thoroughly had reproached.

Setting her down before Him, they brought up the command that she be stoned;
and what were His thoughts on that—should Moses’ law now be condoned?

Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground, as though He didn’t hear.
Soon the woman would find, through Christ, her deliverance from a death fear.

So when they persisted in asking Him, she surely was fearing the worst.
But He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

He again stooped down to write—perhaps knowledge of the sins of those accusing. They began to all leave, then, one by one, knowing their own sins they couldn’t be excusing.

Jesus stood up then, seeing only the woman, left there in the midst of the crowd. He asked her where her accusers had gone, their condemnation having been so loud.

“Has no one condemned you?” Jesus asked. “No one, Lord.” Not one of them had stayed. Then He said He didn’t either, but to go and sin no more. She received pardon despite having strayed.

After this event, Jesus declared that He was this world’s light…and that those who follow Him will not walk in darkness but, through Him, will “see” to live right.

P. A. Oltrogge

(from the account in John 8:1-12)

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Photo/Unsplash