Have Faith in the Power of God

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

Raindrops in the air act as prisms, producing rainbow light,
and the moon glow through the clouds disrupts the dark of night.

Mankind has lit up buildings, using electricity as an energy source,
but Almighty God lit the many stars and set each planet on its course.

Imagine the power it takes to keep all those heavenly lights burning–
As proof of the existence of God, His lights make us discerning.

The sound of mighty ocean waves, day or night, speak of His power,
as do the majestic mountains and each uniquely-crafted flower.

Then, consider a newly-born baby or every individual’s special face…
the mighty to very small animals, the seasons and their systematic pace.

To have faith in the power of God is easy to do by just looking around
at all of the creative beauty with which this world has been crowned.

P. A. Oltrogge

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:1-5

“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” Genesis 1:14-19 (and all of Genesis 1)

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”  Romans 1:20

Scriptures: NKJV

This post inspired by a message at http://www.moorelife.org

Photo/Unsplash

A Paralytic and Four Faithful Friends

Jesus had been back to Capernaum for some days, and the news of this became known. Many people gathered at the house to hear Him speak, and the crowd had really grown. In fact, there were so many who wanted to come inside that you couldn’t get near the door. But there was a paralytic, with four friends who had a goal–to hear Jesus say, “Restore!”

So fervent were they in their earnest goal, that though it didn’t seem possible to get through, they weren’t downcast, but instead looked up–gaining entrance through the roof was what they’d do. Their faith in the Lord, their tenacity to attain, moved them to hoist their friend and his pallet up. They made a rooftop hole and let him down to the Lord–it didn’t matter to them to interrupt.

Jesus, seeing their faith, immediately was moved. “Son, your sins are forgiven,” He then said. This prompted thoughts in some scribes who were there, that He was blasphemous and clearly misled. Jesus knew in His spirit the things they were reasoning and confronted them before they could talk. He asked which was easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or “Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk.”

But so that they would know He really did have this authority, He further went on to say–that the man who’d been paralyzed should get up and take his pallet and be free to go on his way. Immediately, the man arose and picked up his pallet and walked out in the sight of all who were there. The people were amazed and glorified God, saying they’d never seen anything like this anywhere.

After that, Jesus went out to the shore of the sea, which can bring to mind the “waves” of God’s grace. The people followed Jesus to the shore, as well, and He continued to teach them at that place. A fitting scene it was to conclude this narrative, for God’s grace does come in wave upon wave. If a problem seems insurmountable, look up, not down–He’ll help you, just be bold and be brave.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

“Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.”
Psalm 43:5

“And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33

Scriptures NKJV
From the Biblical account in Mark 2:1-13

Powerful Prayers for Peter

Herod began to persecute those who believed in Jesus, it’s told in the twelfth chapter of Acts. James was martyred by the sword and Peter was seized, though there had been no criminal facts.

The church was offering up constant prayer for Peter–imprisoned by Herod Agrippa, the king. So in the dark of the night, God sent an angel to visit Peter there, who was asleep despite everything.

Four squads of soldiers had been assigned to him; and he was chained as he slept that night. A soldier on each side of him and guards were there, who were keeping the prison door barred tight.

Suddenly, the angel of the Lord stood by Peter, and a light shone inside the prison cell. The angel struck him on his side and raised him up; and from Peter’s hands, the heavy prison chains fell.

At the angel’s instruction, Peter dressed quickly to follow him–though it all seemed to be unreal. They went past the first and second guard posts. “This must be a ‘vision,’” was how it made him feel.

They came to the iron gate that led to the city, which simply opened to them of its own accord–then went out and down one street, and the angel departed. What a rescue from an angel of the Lord!

Peter came to his senses, realizing it had actually happened–he’d escaped Herod and leaders of the Jews. He proceeded on to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where they’d fervently prayed for this news.

Peter knocked at the door of the gate to the house, and a girl by the name of Rhoda came to see who was there. In her joy at hearing his voice, she ran to tell the others it was Peter, and that God had answered prayer.

They just couldn’t believe her, so Peter had to continue to knock, until they opened the door themselves to see… that God, indeed, had heard their prayers for Peter, and had sent His angel–to miraculously set him free!

At dawn, back at the prison, there was a commotion among the soldiers, as to how Peter’s captivity was defied. After a search was endeavored, Herod ordered the soldiers’ deaths; but the Bible records that he, too, soon afterward died…

“But the word of God grew and multiplied!”

P. A. Oltrogge

(From the account in Acts 12)

“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” Acts 12:5

“Then He (Jesus) spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart…” Luke 18:1

Book recommendation: “Releasing the Ability of God Through Prayer” by Charles Capps at the Bookstore at http://www.cappsministries.com where are found many other excellent books, articles, and materials.

The Weight of the World

Who can bear the weight of the world in these present days?
Only the Lord God Almighty–to Him belongs all praise.

Praying in the Spirit daily, as often as we can,
is surely one of the best things to do, in this end-time span.

But being bold to stand for what’s right against any evil oppression
is important, too–the world needs to hear our Christian faith confession.

There’s a wealth of opportunities now that God is bringing about…
for men to find the truth in Him, forsaking their unbelief or doubt.

Through every available voice, God’s Word is being preached
until the time that He declares the entire world has been reached.

The Bible says that God will pour out His Spirit upon all of mankind.
Life through His Son, Jesus Christ, is the gift He wants everyone to find.

God chose to lay upon Him, at the cross, the iniquity of us all…
We pray for multitudes to hear the gospel and respond to its gracious call.

P. A. Oltrogge

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”  Isaiah 53:6 KJV

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” …spoken by Jesus in John 10:10

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” …spoken by Jesus in John 17:3

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

“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

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times 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, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:1-4

The God’s Word translation reads “He holds everything together by His powerful words….”

Does something in your life need to be upheld or held together? Keep trusting in God, who holds all things together….

Scriptures NKJV except as noted

And Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2; John 17:17; Acts 2:16-18

Earth Photo/Unsplash

The Precious Blood of Jesus

Nothing but the blood of Jesus, shed for us by grace…
will make us stand in righteousness before His Father’s face.

Without it, claims of righteousness are as filthy rags before God’s eyes.
Be cleansed by the blood of Jesus, and by the living Word, become wise.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6 KJV

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

“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.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple…” Psalm 19:7 NKJV

“The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming to him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me. And I did not recognize Him, but in order that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.’ And John bore witness saying, ‘I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.’” John 1:29-34

“And when He (Jesus) had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:27-28, also Mark 14:24; and Luke 22:20

“The Jews therefore began to argue with one another, saying, ‘How can this man give us His flesh to eat?’ Jesus therefore said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven, not as the fathers ate, and died; he who eats this bread shall live forever.’ These things He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum.” John 6:52-59

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28

“But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 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; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness because in the forbearance of God, He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26

“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” Romans 5:9

“Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” 1 Corinthians 10:16

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

“For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself.  He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”  Colossians 1:19-21 NLT

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. ” Hebrews 4:12 NKJV

Scriptures NASB or as noted.

The Blood-bought Church (song, N. Harmon)

They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for joy
They shall cry aloud and be free
They shall glorify the name of the Lord
It’s the blood-bought, the church, the redeemed

[Verse 2]
Oh pick up your hearts, O Zion of the Lord
Let the earth spring forth with its praise
For the children rejoice from the islands of the sea
It’s the blood-bought, the church, the redeemed

[Chorus]
And we are in that army of the Lord
We’ve been washed in the blood and we are going forth
There is nothing that can stop this mighty moving force
With a shout of praise, a two-edged sword

[Verse 3]
Ev’ry stronghold of bondage must fall beneath our feet
Ev’ry prisoner held captive must be free
For our deliverance has come through the power of the Son
It’s the blood-bought, the church, the redeemed

[Verse 4]
Let the earth be silent, the winds cease to blow
Every created being fold your wings
For there’s a new song being sung with a new melody
It’s the blood-bought, the church, the redeemed

Pathways Walked With Mom

Pathways of love,
pathways where you guided–
sweet memories of those pathways,
dear Mother, you’ve provided.

Much like a gardener,
you tended to my care–
weeding out some tendencies,
while cultivating those that were fair.

And if there were problems
at school or at play,
the pathway to Mom’s door
would help them go away.

Best of all, we walked pathways
which caused my spirit to be fed
with the truths in God’s Word,
so that by His Spirit I’d be led.

Now as I go about, on my own pathways since I’ve grown,
I’m grateful for the pathways that together we’d known.

P. A. Oltrogge

Photo/Porch of the Lord

(The white stone borders along the flowers in this photo brought to mind the concept of the pathways in the poem. Hope you enjoy the blooms in the photo, which was taken by my daughter.)

Led by the Lord of Love

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 NKJV

As followers of Jesus and friends of this blog, I know that you believe and give;
so this little poem is just one person’s story, of God leading her to a new place to live.

So a woman named Danita, of the United States, was only a young girl of eleven,
when her Dad sparked her interest in working for Christ and for the Kingdom of heaven.

They travelled to the nation of Haiti, joining in on a church mission trip there.
Then, later, Jesus led her to Haiti again, for the needy to come under her care

Not sensing God’s plan right away, she asked Him for what purpose she’d come. He led her to take in orphans, so that to poverty, even death, they’d not succumb.

Now her ministry has grown to be a trusted shelter for many people of that land.
Thank God for this and other ministries, which have taken to heart His great “love command.”

P. A. Oltrogge

For a video of Danita Estrella Watts’s story, go to www.danitaschildren.org

“Open your mouth for the speechless,
In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9 NKJV

Other outreaches for serving or giving as a way of service:
www.samaritanspurse.org
www.timothysministry.org and others with which you’re familiar

God bless you!

The Resurrected Lord appears at the Sea of Galilee

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples several times–for instance, once at the Sea of Galilee. In the group were Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, two other disciples, and the sons of Zebedee.

Peter announced he was going to go out to fish; and they all decided they would join him, too, on the boat. They fished all night but caught nothing; and in the morning they saw Jesus on the shore as they were afloat.

They didn’t realize this was the Master when He called to them as “friends,” asking if they had fish aboard. “No,” they said–but then took His advice, that a shift of the net to the right side shouldn’t be ignored.

When they did as He said, they came into such an abundance of fish that they weren’t able to haul in the net, which caused them to remember a previous miraculous catch–an incident they could never forget.

John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, spoke up first, saying, “It is the Lord!” They all were overwhelmed and excited. Peter, in his eagerness, threw on his tunic, and jumped into the sea for the shore–so unable to wait to be reunited.

The others followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, with which Jesus had just blessed–such a great haul. A fire of burning coals with fish and also bread was ready on shore, where the Lord wanted to dine with them all.

Jesus said that they should bring some of the fish just caught–153 large fish in all, and yet the net wasn’t torn. “Come and have breakfast,” was His warm greeting to His disciples there on that joyful and, to them, miraculous morn.

Have you fished all night, are you not expecting to see the Lord show up, do you think miracles are few and far between? Well, He’s the resurrected Lord, and is “ALIVE forevermore!” We can expect to see miracles yet like none we’ve ever seen!

P. A. Oltrogge

(from John 21:1-14
and reference to Luke 5:1-11)

“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.’” Revelation 1:17-19

The various versions of the Bible have Jesus calling out to His disciples in this account in different terms.  “Children” is written in the King James Version–which they were, beloved children of God.

In the Gospel of John, we read of John as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Of course, all of His disciples were the recipients of His love, as we also are today!

An inspiring miracle: https://www.awmi.net/blog/o-death-where-is-thy-sting/

The Sea of Galilee, today
Photo/Unsplash

Iron-sharpening from the “I Am”

“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
To be a friend or receive from one is good; but if man’s help seems to end…

and you feel you’re at a point where every hope has been erased,
then look for the Lord Himself to strengthen and uphold you by His grace!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Fear not, for I AM with you, be not dismayed, for I AM your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 4110 RSV

“Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, ‘I AM.'”

John 8:58 (Scripture quote in the poem: Proverbs 27:17)

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.  Selah….

“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!  The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah”  

Psalm 46:1-3 and 10-11

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4

“By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” 1 John 4:13

For a mini-book, refer to https://www.rhema.org/store/in-him-book.html for what you, as a believer, have “In Him.”

Photo/Unsplash

From a Destiny of Death to a Gracious Gift of Life

“The wages of sin is death,” but God, our Father, be praised…
for “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ,” who from death to life was raised!

Without having been “born again,” we are subject to sin, death, and strife;
but upon receiving Him, our hearts are changed, to want to walk in newness of life!

P. A. Oltrogge

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, 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. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:1-10

In John 3, Jesus told Nicodemus that a person must be born again, and He said:

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