Consider the Birds and the Lilies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

P. A. Oltrogge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meditation

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God has given us instruction that’s meant to keep us from being uptight,
which is to meditate upon His Word throughout the day and night.

If you find you’re feeling troubled, with thoughts that need to be curbed,
think, instead, upon His promises, so your peace won’t be disturbed.

Just as Jesus immediately encouraged Jairus when others said his daughter had died, we need to immediately hear His voice–over ones which say victory’s been denied.

People, thoughts, and what is felt and seen may “say” otherwise than what is said in God’s Word. If we’ve meditated upon it, however, other voices won’t discourage what, through God, we’ve already heard.

P. A. Oltrogge

“How blessed is the man…(whose) delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (from Psalm 1:1-3 NASB)

“Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165 KJV

“While He (Jesus) was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official (Jairus), saying, ‘Your daughter has died, why trouble the Teacher anymore?’ But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, ‘Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.’” (from Mark 5: 21-24 and 35-43 NASB)

(…and Jesus went on to the home of Jairus and raised his daughter up.)

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 KJV

“…and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!’” (from Matthew 17:1-8 NASB)

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More Precious than Silver and Gold

(From Acts 3)

Peter and John went up together to the temple at the ninth hour, which was the hour of prayer. There was a man laid daily at the gate, lame from his mother’s womb, who asked charitable alms from those who entered there.

Seeing Peter and John about to enter, he asked alms of both of them, too. Then Peter, with John, looked directly into his eyes, telling him to look at them; and he began to tell the man of something better they could do.

That through faith in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, he could rise and walk–a far better gift than silver or gold. Then Peter took him by the right hand and lifted him up. He received strength in his feet and ankle bones upon Peter’s hold.

The words that Peter said to the man were “Silver and gold have I none…” And he told him of that which he did have to give–a gift of healing, through the name of Jesus, God’s Son.

The man who’d been lame began leaping, walking, and praising God at the temple’s “Beautiful” Gate. He entered the temple with them, and Peter went on to share with the people that it was the power of Jesus’ name that had changed that lame man’s fate.

Excerpt from Acts:

“Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: ‘Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And His name, and faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.’” Acts 3:11-16 NKJV

Peter continued, saying that Christ had been crucified by them in ignorance, but that He had fulfilled all that the prophets had foretold. Now, forgiveness of sins and salvation could be theirs through Jesus–again, a gift from God far greater than silver or gold.

P. A. Oltrogge

Psalm 91 (protection from pestilence/plague)

Psalm 103 (forgiveness of all sins; healing of all diseases)

You may want to do an internet search for messages
regarding this by Joseph Prince.

The Benefit of Blinders

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I’m hoping that this poem makes a little bit of sense–
I’m reminded today that it’s not good to be tense.
But it’s best to look to Jesus in situations big or small,
for He’s the problem solver, we know, after all.

I’m thinking of those who race horses and know a lot about
keeping a horse calm, despite the crowds that shout,
and from distraction by other horses that are running in a race–
they use blinders to keep the horse focused to better win first place.

I want to look to Jesus only and keep thanking the Lord,
for faith pleases Him; and those who seek Him find reward.
“The battle is the Lord’s” was David’s decree against the giant–
faith in the Almighty made a “Goliath” problem be compliant.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-6

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

(Blinders, also known as blinkers, have been shown to help some horses stay focused in a race.)

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The Life and Ministry of Jesus–God’s Gift to Us

I think that it could be said about Jesus that, even as their twelve-year old son, when Mary and Joseph found Him sharing in the temple, His ministering had already begun.

His first recorded, actual miracle was at the wedding where He turned water into wine. That’s when His connection to His heavenly Father really began to shine.

He called twelve men to be His disciples–to learn from Him and follow His ways. He taught them through parables and the scriptures, and made them mindful of thanksgiving and praise.

Jesus performed many miracles–from provision to healing, and raising some people from the dead. He said to forgive your enemies–not retaliating, but praying for and loving them instead.

On this day, we begin the Lenten season, remembering His sacrifice on behalf of our sins. He was the perfect Lamb of God on the cross; it’s through Him that new life begins.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, and old things have passed away. That’s a free gift of God for all to receive. If you haven’t yet received it, then let this be your day.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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

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

Matthew 5:43-48
Luke 2:41-52
John 2:1-11
John 21:25

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As White as Snow

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“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 mount 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

“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

“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

“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

“For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14 KJV

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

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Two Daughters Receive Miracles from Jesus

Jairus, a synagogue official, came earnestly looking for Jesus, and knelt at the Teacher’s feet. His daughter was at the point of death; and he knew it was Jesus whom he needed to entreat.

He begged, “Please come and lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” Jesus went off with Jairus–a great throng followed, for they knew He had so much to give.

On the way to Jairus’s home, a woman who needed healing, too, would draw from the Lord’s power first. She had suffered twelve years, and had sought help of many physicians, yet the condition was at its worst.

Having heard about Jesus, she thought of putting action to the faith that had risen inside her heart–that a mere touch to His garment would release enough power for the constant plague to depart.

She may have rehearsed in her mind what she intended to do, complete healing being her goal. But she also gave voice to the faith in her heart, “If I may touch but His clothes, I shall be whole.”

She came up in the crowd; and upon touching His cloak, immediately sensed she was healed! Perceiving that His power had just gone forth, Jesus asked that the recipient be revealed.

The disciples were surprised that He would ask this, as so many were pressing in on Him all about. Jesus looked around to see the woman who had touched Him, who’d received by faith, without any doubt.

Fearing and trembling, she came and fell at His feet; and He listened to her story that she then told. He said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace…” Her faith had been subtle, but yet it had been bold.

While He still spoke, some from Jairus’s house came, with news that cut to the heart’s core. With finality, they said to Jairus, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher any more?”

Jesus heard what they’d said, but turned to Jairus, with these calming words that assured: “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe,” which gave him hope that she still could be cured.

Only Peter, James, and John, the brother of James, were allowed to follow further to Jairus’s place. There, they found many people loudly weeping and wailing, because of his daughter’s case.

“Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died but is asleep,” Jesus declared. Then they laughed Him to scorn; but He sent them all out, knowing that her life was already spared.

He took along the child’s father and mother and His companions to enter where the child lay. Taking her by the hand, “Talitha, kum!” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” was all that He needed to say.

Immediately, Jairus’s daughter got up; and she began to walk, to the amazement of those in the room. This was another of the miracles of Jesus–where what spoke of death suddenly reversed to live and bloom!

The faith of a father acting on behalf of his daughter, or a daughter acting on her own–in either case, the compassion of God to answer is certainly emphatically shown.

Likewise, the miracle power of Jesus Christ is available for any of us today…
Perhaps think of the stories of either of these daughters at those times when you have a need about which to pray.

P. A. Oltrogge

…a poetic telling of the account in Mark 5…

(“Talitha cumi” in the King James version)

Encouragement:
http://www.moorelife.org
http://www.kcm.org
http://www.josephprince.org/blog/praise-reports

“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 that find them, And health to all their flesh.”
Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJV

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The Leader We All Need

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Looking for a trusted leader? Then, you need to look no more,
for Jesus Christ is the leader every one of us is looking for.

Kingdoms of this world arise, and there are those that fall;
but Christ and His eternal kingdom reign preeminently over them all.

We can read of the rulers of history, both the bad or the good;
but it’s the Lordship of Jesus Christ that must be fully understood.

Sent from His Father, God, Jesus came to us as a servant,
sharing God’s love on earth in a manner that was selfless and fervent.

He emptied Himself of His position, to live and die as a man,
winning redemption for all who’ll believe, in fulfillment of God’s plan.

He spoke of His Father’s goodness, and He told us how to live.
He said that we were to love others, to serve them, and to forgive.

Jesus said that if we followed Him, we’d actually find what’s best.
He taught the importance of prayer, and that, thereby, we’d be blessed.

Looking for a trusted leader? He can be contacted from any nation.
“If anyone is in Christ, they’ve become a new creation.”

Receive, for yourself, Jesus’ leadership, the ruler who shall reign forever.
What a true and faithful King He is. Will He fail us or forsake us? Never!

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. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8 NASB

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?'” Matthew 16:24-25 NKJV

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 KJV

“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

“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:23-24 NKJV

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 NKJV

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

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.'” Revelation 11:15 NKJV

“And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns.'”

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True….”

“And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:6, 11, and 16 NKJV

The Ship of Faith

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A sail ship of today…
Photo by Porch of the Lord

“Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.’ And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.” Luke 5:3-7 NKJV

“JESUS IS MY HEALER”–four words that please the Lord;
“Jesus is my healer” shows Him my faith’s “on board.”

“JESUS IS MY PROTECTOR,” against life’s waves and winds.
“JESUS IS MY REDEEMER,” Who’s forgiven all my sins.

“JESUS IS MY PROVIDER”–At His word, I let down my “nets;”
With each provision, Jesus reminds that I’m one whom He never forgets.

“JESUS IS MY ENCOURAGER,” against fear, unbelief, or doubt;
As in Peter’s walk on the water, I can trust the Lord’s hand will be out.

“JESUS IS MY EXAMPLE OF LOVE”–His love fills my heart’s sails,
So I may serve others, as He has said, showing that “Love never fails.”

“JESUS IS MY PEACE AND JOY”–His joy has become my strength.
“JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD,” guiding throughout my life’s length.

Or I might call him MY CAPTAIN, on watch for any rocky shoal;
And Jesus is the STRONG ANCHOR of my very soul.

“JESUS IS MY TEACHER;” May I strive to follow in His steps–
To rescue those whose lives have sunk, even to the depths.

For there isn’t anybody, who’s not welcome to come aboard;
Take Christ as Savior and join the crew of the SAIL SHIP OF THE LORD.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” Psalm 103:1-5

And JESUS IS MY ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST:

“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:18-20 NLT

Photo by Porch of the Lord

“When I remember Thee on my bed, I meditate on Thee in the night watches, for Thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to Thee; Thy right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:6-8

“My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Thy word.” Psalm 119:148

Postscript:

You can’t worry and truly worship at the same time.
Cast your cares upon Jesus and make worship prime.

Take the “ry” off of worry and add “ship” instead.
Worship Jesus, who knows the way through all that’s ahead.

Encouragement on topics listed in the poem:
http://www.moorelife.org
http://www.kcm.org
http://www.josephprince.org

Wake Them to Your Word

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The Bible is widely heard of, yet many people haven’t actually “heard”
of much that’s written within its pages. Lord, wake them to Your Word.

For it’s written that it’s the scriptures that make us “wise unto salvation.”
Lord, we pray, You’d wake people to Your Word throughout ours and every nation.

Send laborers across the paths of those whose hearts You will have prepared
to be ready to receive the Gospel invitation, which those laborers will have shared.

We thank You, Father, for Your great love and for the Holy Spirit’s power
to draw souls to Jesus, our Savior and Good Shepherd, in this important hour.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And he (Jesus) said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
Mark 4:9 KJV

“And continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

“And that from a child thou hast learned the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

2 Timothy 3:14-16 KJV

“Therefore, said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
Luke 10:2 KJV

“And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.”
Acts 16:13-14 NKJV