He, a Rose

” I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys.” Song of Solomon 2:1

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” Luke 12:27

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The variety of flowers God created are such a feast for our eyes–
And, besides their beauty, most have a pleasing fragrance that will arise.

No wonder Jesus said that we should consider the lilies of the field–
Their essence is a tribute to His Father’s care to which they yield.

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross arose, as a pleasing fragrance, to the Father’s throne–
An aroma so pleasing that Christ now, as the rose of Sharon, is known.

Yes, like a rose, that was crushed and associated with thorns upon His head,
Jesus paid for our redemption through scourges and His sacred veins that bled.

All who are in Christ give sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him as well,
To remind those who are saved of heaven, and to warn those unaware of hell.

So consider how the lilies are clothed, and therefore put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
For His sacrifice on your behalf is the one that the Bible says sufficed.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Romans 13:14

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5:1-2

“But thanks be to God, Who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?” 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And they also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day, and granted that He should become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us, who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” Acts 10:38-43

Praise God, it was for you that He arose!

The Tomb That Became Glorious

“And so they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where He was crucified, there was a garden; and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been laid. Therefore on account of the Jewish day of preparation, because the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.” John 19:40-42

from John 20….

At a new tomb, a garden tomb, a great stone had been rolled away–
Just to show that the victorious Jesus Christ didn’t stay!
Briefly, His body, in linen, with spices, had been placed therein,
But lasting death, for this Man, was not destined to win!

That morning, Mary Magdalene came while it was not yet dawn–
Then ran to get Simon Peter when she found that Christ’s body was gone.
Upon hearing this, Peter and John went out and came unto the tomb;
Only the linen wrappings were lying there within its room.

They went away then after they’d seen for themselves what she had said;
They hadn’t understood Jesus’ words, that He would rise again from the dead. But Mary remained outside the tomb, and while she was weeping, she looked inside again to find two angels, their posts keeping.

“Woman, why are you weeping?” was the question they put to her–
She replied that her Lord’s body was taken–by whom or where, she wasn’t sure.
Turning around, she saw a “gardener,” but didn’t yet recognize
That standing there was the beloved Christ, before her very eyes.

When He said, “Mary,” her eyes were opened to every familiar feature
Of the One she loved, and for whom she’d wept, “Rabboni,” the Master and Teacher. He had yet to ascend to His Father–so, therefore, He bid Mary go,
To tell the brethren of His ascension–He wanted them all to know!

We, too, can go from the garden tomb, a place that had seen God’s glory,
To tell all the world of what Christ has done–this world’s greatest love story.
“I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God,” Jesus said–
They’re still words that speak of “Family” to those who’ll believe that He rose
from the dead.

At that garden tomb, a much greater “stone” had actually been rolled away…
Of death and darkness, now removed, to reveal the Light of Jesus Christ’s Way!

P. A. Oltrogge

“So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” John 20:8-9

“For He was teaching His disciples and telling them, ‘The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He has been killed, He will rise three days later.’ But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask Him.” Mark 9:30-32

Other references: Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:22-23; Matthew 27:62-64; John 2:16-22; John 10:17-18

“And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood, and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelations 1:5,6 

“I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelations 1:18 

Scriptures: NASB

The Depth of My Love

“As I Have Loved You” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.  http://www.GregOlsen.com

What do you think drove me from heaven above
down to this earth? It was the depth of my love.
Betrayed by a kiss, a symbol of such–
yet what drove me on was that I loved you so much.
When they led me away and gave me a shove,
what kept me going was the depth of my love.
They gave me a trial, but it was not just–
bitter to go through, but my heart said, “I must.”
A crown of thorns pushed down with a glove,
it bruised my head to show the depth of my love.
The whipping I took for sin in your place,
I found strength to take because I saw your face.
I’ve loved you, I’ve called you–you are my dove,
for whom I laid down my life with the depth of my love.
The weight of the cross became hard to bear–
I staggered but made it to Calvary there.
On those merciless beams, my hands and feet were nailed down.
Next, I was put on display to be mocked throughout town.
Then came the time of greatest agony and despair,
when I felt forsaken but still kept my care
for all of mankind and, yes, just for you.
For your welfare and soul, I had made it through.
So what kept me going when push came to shove?
From your “down to earth” God, it was the depth of my love.
Though your sins be as scarlet, they’ll be white as snow.
They’re forgiven and forgotten and now you can grow
in the knowledge and wisdom that comes from above,
and my Word will remind you of the depth of my love.

P. A. Oltrogge

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10 NKJV

Lord, Remember Me

From Luke 23…

Two criminals on punishing crosses were next to the one which held the Lord.
One of the men rebuked the other, saying they were receiving a just reward…

for the other had blasphemed Jesus, ridiculing Him because He hadn’t saved
Himself and them—words which showed no fear of God but were, instead, depraved.

The criminal who defended the Lord must have known of His ministry of peace,
saying, “This Man has done nothing wrong,” though, for Christ, there’d been no release.

Then he, with humility, asked Jesus simply to remember him at the time, later… when He would come into His kingdom—he knew, in his heart, it was eternal and greater.

“Lord, remember me”…a simple, reverent plea, but so very wise…
for Jesus gave him the promise that that day, he would be with Him in Paradise.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10 NKJV

“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. 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 NKJV

“…and after he brought them out (of the inner prison), he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they answered, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus (as your personal Savior and entrust yourself to Him), and you will be saved, you and your household (if they also believe).” Acts 16:30-31 AMP

The Trial of Jesus Christ

He was brought before Pilate by God’s divine plan;
Pilate said, “I find no guilt in this man.”
Questioned before Herod, Christ gave no reply,
for He knew in His heart He was destined to die.

Then brought back to Pilate once more to stand–
Pilate still found no guilt justifying a crucifixion demand.
But the crowd was insistent–their voices prevailed;
and God’s Sacrificial Lamb was thereby unveiled.

Led away with two criminals while women mourned
to a place called, “The Skull,” where He would be scorned–
There, He was lifted, nailed to a cross’s wood,
though His service to God had been perfect and good.

An inscription said, “This is the King of the Jews.”
He came to lay down His life–it was His role to choose.
He was taunted by soldiers and a criminal in despair,
saying if He was the Christ, He could come down from there.

The other criminal feared God, saying their misdeeds were strong,
“But this man has done nothing wrong.”
A promise of Paradise and a cry from Christ’s voice–
“It is finished!” Thus, we can take Him as Savior by our choice.

Darkness had fallen, the temple veil tore in two–
“Certainly, this man was innocent,” the Centurion said, too.
So went the trial of an innocent man;
but He was God and our Messiah by His Father’s divine plan.

P. A. Oltrogge

from Luke, Chapter 23
and John 19:30

“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will but as You will.’”
Matthew 26:39 NKJV

“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” John 10:17, 18 NASB

It Was For Me…a poem to personalize

We read of Jesus, who was with His disciples in the garden of Gethsemane: “And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.’ Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:41-44

Jesus,

In Gethsemane’s garden, You prayed to be strong
in what would overtake You in not very long.

It was for me that You were then betrayed.
It was on You that the task was laid.

As filthy rags, God saw my righteousness claimed–
which is why You stepped in to be defamed.

It was for my sins that You went on trial.
You made the payment for everything vile.

It was for me–this undeserved attack.
It was for me You bore stripes on Your back.

It was for me that You wore the thorns,
and it was for me You bore merciless scorns.

It was for me You walked Calvary’s trail.
It was for me that You endured each nail.

It was for me that You hung in shame.
It was for me–You were taking my blame.

It was for me You painfully died.
It was for me that they pierced Your side.

You did it for me, but in three days You rose.
You did it for me that my case would be closed.

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

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1 NASB

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Romans 5:1 NLT

God’s Beloved Son–Hear Him

“And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying,“This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” …spoken by God, the Father, of Jesus at the time of His transfiguration upon a mountain….

Jesus came to heal the broken-hearted and those sick or wounded, as well.
Even in the midst of His arrest, there was a situation He moved to quell.

Soldiers with swords and clubs and torches had been led by Judas in the night.
Chief priests and Pharisees he led also, who were the driving force of the spiritual fight.

Peter had drawn his sword quickly, cutting off the high priest’s servant’s ear.
But Jesus said the arrest should be permitted–then healed the man so that he could again hear.

As regards hearing, Jesus had said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear…”
and receive the good news of the Gospel, which His words and works had made so perfectly clear.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then He asked them again, ‘Whom are you seeking?’ And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus answered, ‘I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,’ that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, ‘Of those whom You gave Me, I have lost none.’ Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?'” John 18:7-11

At an earlier time, before the betrayal:

“And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.’ When He had said these things He cried, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’

“Then His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘What does this parable mean?’ And He said, ‘To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And knowing they may not understand.’

“The Parable of the Sower explained: ‘Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fall on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.'” Luke 8:4-15

“I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep….My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”  John 10:11, 27

“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.” John 3:16

People have speculated whether Malchus, after such an amazing event, might have become a believer in Christ as the Messiah. We pray and trust that the Lord, by His Spirit, is healing the spiritual hearing of many today, touching their ears–and hearts…to believe in God’s beloved Son!

(Scriptures New King James Version)

Night of Betrayal

“When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place for Jesus often met there with His disciples. Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, ‘Whom are you seeking?’ They answered Him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am He.’ And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.” John 18:1-6 NKJV

On the night of His betrayal, Jesus permitted Himself to be found.
In the presence of the great I AM, the “pursuing” soldiers fell to the ground.

After they revived, He let them lead Him to that for which He’d been born.
Willing to do His Father’s will, He yielded to undeserved scorn.

Whippings, mocking, thorns, and then being nailed to Calvary’s cross—
All of this He endured as a Shepherd, so that sheep need not be lost.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Luke 19:10 NKJV

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
John 10:11 NKJV

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” John 10:17-18 NKJV

“…We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

The following is the story of Rev. E. P. Scott and the hymn,
“All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” (written by Edward Perronet).

This beautiful hymn on the power of Jesus’ name
was used by a missionary; and he found it to tame…
a known, dangerous tribe, which he was endeavoring to reach,
in the Indian subcontinent, where he desired to teach.

He wanted to share Jesus, of whom they’d not heard,
knowing that “Go into all the world” was the Lord’s Word.
Though warned by some friends against going to that area of land,
he followed the Holy Spirit, regardless, and met with a band…

of warriors, who surrounded him, pointing their spears.
But he took out his violin, actually, despite obvious fears.
He began with the words, “All hail the power of Jesus’ name.”
To that name, “let every kindred, every tribe” lay claim!

Having closed his eyes while singing, in their language, the song,
upon opening them, it was clear that Jesus’ name had been strong.
God’s Spirit, thereby, had quenched any dreaded attack;
they’d lowered their weapons–shedding tears, sensing their lack.

For the following two years, the minister taught his new friends
of Jesus, the Savior, on whom the soul’s cleansing depends.
Not just for eternity, but God cares for His children here and now.
They become heirs through the name, to which every knee should bow!

P. A. Oltrogge

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

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12 NKJV

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ALL HAIL THE POWER OF JESUS’ NAME

All hail the power of Jesus’ name!  Let angels prostrate fall; Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown Him Lord of all; Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown Him Lord of all.

Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race, Ye ransomed from the fall, Hail Him who saves you by His grace, And crown Him Lord of all; Hail Him who saves you by His grace, And crown Him Lord of all.

Let every kindred, every tribe, On this terrestrial ball, To Him all majesty ascribe, And crown Him Lord of all; To Him all majesty ascribe, And crown Him Lord of all.

O that with yonder sacred throng, We at His feet may fall!  We’ll join the everlasting song, And crown Him Lord of all; We’ll join the everlasting song, And crown Him Lord of all!

A Bit of the Irish

“Top of the morning” to you, on this St. Patrick’s Day!
May all of God’s wonderful blessings graciously come your way.

It’s said that St. Patrick used the shamrock, which has leaves of three,
as an illustration to the Irish people of God’s holy Trinity.

Just as a shamrock is composed of three separate leaves, yet is one–
the almighty God of the Bible is the Father, Holy Spirit, and the Son.

Shamrocks have been associated with “luck,” but God’s promises are sure.
While shamrocks cannot last, God’s loving kindness will forever endure.

Today is a day when many will turn to thoughts of the Emerald Isle;
but may we daily be sure to turn our thoughts to the Lord for a while.

And on a day when some may be thinking of “wearing the green,”
may the people of God reflect His joy, which is the best thing to be seen.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7 KJV

Of the Word, Jesus, it’s written: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 KJV

Mark 12:28-30; John 14:6; John 14:9; 1 John 1:1-4; John 1:1-5

Inspirational tribute to the life of St. Patrick:
www.dutchsheets.org (video)
www.givehim15.com (written)