Angels On Assignment

When Joseph, betrothed to the virgin, Mary, learned that she was pregnant, a situation troubling for him to understand,

an angel, in a dream, revealed to him that the child had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, for the Savior’s birth, which God had planned.

At Jesus’ birth, in Bethlehem, then, the skies were filled with rejoicing angels of great number,

appearing to shepherds, keeping watch over their flock, amid people’s nighttime slumber.

Again, in a dream, an angel spoke to Joseph, to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s attack,

until he would tell him, at a later time, when and where it would be safe for them to come back.

As an adult, and after His baptism by John, Jesus experienced a time of temptation.

He fasted in the wilderness amid the devil’s taunts. Then angels ministered to Him after its duration.

Much later, at prayer in Gethsemane’s garden, Jesus began to feel very great distress

about fulfilling His Father’s will at the cross.   So His Father sent an angel there to bless,

strengthen, and comfort Him…as the time for His trial and crucifixion had begun to loom.

Perhaps the angel reminded Jesus that He would be raised up—in victory over the tomb.

Scripture states that Jesus endured the cross because, ahead, He could see the joy—

He would be loved as our Redeemer…from the devil’s works, which He had come to destroy.

Upon His resurrection, heaven sent angels to greet early mourners at the tomb’s site,

to tell them that Jesus had been raised from the dead, dispelling any sorrow they’d had or fright.

Then, we read in Acts, of when Simon Peter, the Lord’s disciple, had been wrongfully jailed,

that God sent an angel to work a jailbreak, proving that Peter’s brethren’s prayers hadn’t failed.

And the apostle, Paul, was on a ship to Rome, sailing in a turbulent storm at sea—

when an angel appeared to him with a message, that no loss of life would there be.

Angels are noted throughout scripture. They minister to the heirs of salvation.

As believers, we are recipients of their aid, and they serve throughout every nation.

I thank the Lord for their service, for their presence as we walk life’s many trails.

I can think of times past when I sensed their protection. Through faith, prayer, and their help, God’s Kingdom never fails.

P. A. Oltrogge

References: Matthew 1:18-24; Matthew 2; Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:9-12; Luke 22:41-44; Hebrews 12:2; 1 John 3:8; Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:11-13; Acts 12; Acts 27:23-25; Hebrews 1:13-14

“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ, the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’” Luke 2:10-12 NKJV

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

”He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 NKJV

“Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:13-14 NKJV

“For He shall give His angels charge over you , to keep you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11 NKJV

He is the Everlasting God

To whom will you compare me?
Who is my equal? asks the Holy One.

59FB6344-1A84-41EC-A613-F0B19310CFE7

Look up into the heavens.
Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.
O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:25-31 NLT

4341CCE2-B08A-4B7E-8A56-47BE41FC0D81

Trusting Jesus, the Good Shepherd

15E717B7-8835-4FD6-B51F-BE636E68E35C

…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

5DFEDEE7-A2BA-416B-AB57-6644805C1969

“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

A Gentile Woman’s Plea

A woman from Canaan, who’d heard of Jesus, came to Him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, oh Lord, Son of David,” and she fell at His feet.

Her little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit; and she knew that only Jesus could cause it to retreat.

Jesus didn’t answer right away; but as she was a Gentile, He told her that He needed, first, to feed those of His own family—the Jews.

At that, it might have seemed that His final answer to her, a Canaanite woman, was to refuse.

He said it wouldn’t be right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs, after she’d repeated, “Lord, help me!”

Though the disciples had said that Jesus should send her away, her vision remained strong of seeing her daughter being set free.

She replied to the Lord that even the dogs were allowed to eat the crumbs that had fallen under the table, from food that the children had been fed.

Jesus noted her faith, through those words, and told her to go home—the demon was gone. Upon doing so, she found her daughter there peacefully lying in bed.

“Oh, woman, your faith is great,” He had said, and that it would be done for her as she’d desired.

Just hearing of the compassionate things He’d done for others caused her to worship and have faith that was tenacious and inspired.

P. A. Oltrogge

(From Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30)

“But He answered and said, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’” Matthew 15:24

“Yes, Lord, but even the dogs feed on the crumbs….” Matthew 15:27

The Lord’s Commission to His disciples before His ascension:
“…but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’” Acts 1:8

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16

Scriptures NASB

Mark 7 refers to the woman as
a Syrian from the region of Phoenicia

The One Who Sent Jesus

When you believe in Jesus Christ and have settled that He’s the God who is true, you will not simply be believing in Him, but in the One who has sent Him, too. Jesus came into the world as God’s Light, so that darkness would be dispelled–that none should miss knowing their God, nor have their salvation withheld.

God desires to be a loving Father to all, but His justness will require judgment one day; Jesus did not come to judge but to save, and to teach us to be followers of His Way. All Jesus ever said or that He did, were things only from His Father that He’d heard. A blessed life now and eternally are the gifts of which a Christian can be assured.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus shouted to the crowds, ‘If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know His commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells Me to say.’” John 12:44-50 (NLT)

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9:27-28 (NIV)

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” John 5:24 (NKJV)

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

“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.’” John 14:8-10 (NKJV)

Even in this, Jesus said, ”Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Luke 6:22-23 KJV

Photo by Porch of the Lord

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

E81C9596-ECCC-4663-9867-34BE1D3959AD

Meet Nurse Georgee (Part 2)

Part 2 (a continuation of Big John—I saw Jesus)…having left off at:

“John, I’m here. What’s wrong?”

“I SAW JESUS! I SAW JESUS!”

“Oh, John! What did He look like? I never saw Him. What color were His eyes, His hair?”

“I can’t tell you that. All I know is that He is love. Look, He’s here,” pointing to the left side of his bed. “You want to know something? That devil is a mean devil.”

“What do you mean, John?”

“You know all those fights I told you I was in? Well, I never fought so hard as I did with that devil. I was sweating buckets full. That devil almost got me, but Jesus saved me. So, then I asked Jesus if I could come back for a little bit. So then, Jesus went through the gate to the Dad and asked the Dad if I could come back.”

It was at this point that I felt it necessary to interrupt John and inform him that Jesus went to the Father. I thought it necessary to have a theological discussion about the trinity.

“Nurse Georgee, Jesus went to the DAD. He went to the DAD.”

I heard the Lord yell at me as loudly as John screamed my name earlier, GEORGIA, BE QUIET. LISTEN TO JOHN.

But I just had to ask one more question. “John, did you see the Dad?”

“Oh, no, I didn’t see the Dad, but I heard the Dad.”

“What did the Dad sound like?”

“Well…I guess it was like He was talking through a great big megaphone.”

“WOW! You mean like thunder?”

“Yeah, that’s what the Dad sounded like.” Then, John sat straight up in bed and pointed his finger at me, commanding my attention. “Nurse Georgee, I want you to know something. No one goes through that gate to the Dad unless Jesus takes them.”

I literally froze in amazement at what John just said to me. I’m sure my eyes were as big as cantaloupes. John had quoted my favorite scripture in the Bible. It is found in the book of the gospel of John chapter 14, verse 6:

…..”Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

My mind was racing with questions. John told me before his cardiac arrest that he never saw a Bible. He said he was never in church. Yet, he was quoting from the Bible a truth that I knew. How could this be? He couldn’t be making it up. He knew nothing about the Bible. Did he really see Jesus? I was so confused. I am ashamed to admit that I doubted his account of what happened to him. Was John hallucinating? When he said Jesus went to the Dad, I asked John if he saw the Dad. I asked him that question because I doubted his story. The Bible tells us in the gospel of John chapter 6, verse 46:

…..“No one has seen the Father except the one (Jesus) who is from God; only He has seen the Father.”

I knew this passage of scripture. Therefore, if John would have said he saw the Father, then I would know he was hallucinating. God forgive me. Why do You even bother with me? I battle fears, doubts, and unbelief. Is there any hope for me? Forgive me for doubting You.

John continued to yell at me at the top of his lungs. “Nurse Georgee, I’m telling you the truth. NO ONE GOES THROUGH THE GATE TO THE DAD UNLESS JESUS TAKES THEM!” It was like John knew I doubted his story. How much clearer can it be? JOHN SAW JESUS. Glory be to God. John had an encounter with the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Who am I to discredit his encounter? God forgive me.

Again, John very emphatically yelled, “Nurse Georgee, I’m telling you the truth. NO ONE GOES THROUGH THE GATE TO THE DAD UNLESS JESUS TAKES THEM. You don’t believe me. Nurse Georgee, I’m telling you the truth.”

“John, I believe. I believe.” Once John knew that I finally believed him, he was ready to tell the world he saw Jesus and that Jesus was for real. With the door wide open to John’s room and the nurse’s station within earshot, John yelled as loud as he could, “Is there anyone out there that doesn’t know Jesus?” Immediately, all staff and even some visitors gathered in John’s room. John radiated while he related his encounter with Jesus. Even his dear wife, who sat quietly in the corner of John’s room, took it all in.

Eventually, John’s room was cleared of nurses and visitors; however, the presence of Christ continued to permeate the atmosphere.

“John, let’s talk about what just happened to you. Jesus revealed Himself to you as the Lord of lords and the King of kings. John, are you now ready to surrender your life to Jesus?”

“I sure am. What do I need to do? I know that Jesus is for real. I want to be with Him forever.”

“John, you need to pray and invite Jesus into your life. You don’t need to worry about fancy words. Talk to Jesus just like you talk to me.”

“O.K., Nurse Georgee, here it goes. Jesus, it’s John, the one you just saved from the devil. Don’t leave me, Jesus. Forgive me of all the fights I was in. Sorry I beat my wife up. Come live in me. Thank you for loving me. I’m YOURS. Amen!”

God, You are so amazing and awesome. Thank You for giving me the privilege to talk with a patient who has been in Your presence. You have blessed me beyond belief. I know, without a doubt, that every word is true in the Bible. Sorry it has taken me so long. Thank You again for Your patience with me.

_________________________

For other compelling stories, Georgia’s book, Nurse Georgee, is available at Barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com.

Meet Nurse Georgee (Part 1)

The following true account is told in a book written by Georgia Cohen, a nurse with a boldness to share her faith in Jesus with her patients. This particular story is reprinted, with her permission, from her book, Nurse Georgee—and she is “Nurse Georgee.” Except for her name, names have been changed to protect privacy. Due to its length, it will be posted in two parts.

P. A. Oltrogge

The following is Part 1.

Big John—I Saw Jesus

Yelling at the top of his lungs, John screamed, “Nurse Georgee, get in here!” All the nursing staff raced with me to John’s room. We all had been involved in his CPR and knew it was a miracle that John was still alive. What solicited John’s screaming? Was he again experiencing chest pain? “John…John…what’s wrong?”

John was a 40 year old man, flown by helicopter to us from West Virginia. His condition was extremely unstable, necessitating transfer to a big city hospital. The life-flight crew remained in charge, barking orders at Ruthie and me as they leaped from the helicopter. “Lead the way. We have to stay with John until he is in CCU. His heart stopped five times during flight. Run as fast as you can.”

Ruthie and I were yelling, “Emergency! Move it! Out of the way!” to everyone in our path, as we raced like marathon runners to the CCU finish line. Ruthie and I literally threw ourselves against the two, large, mahogany doors that led to the entrance to CCU. The noise from the doors hitting the walls as they opened was deafening. All CCU staff immediately came to attention as we raced into John’s new home. Within minutes, John was hooked up to the CCU monitor, had a Swan-Ganz catheter inserted with new IVs hanging, and new CPR patches applied to his chest. John presented as a perfect text book picture. We were ready and able for anything that might happen, or so we thought.

The life-flight crew was now gone. John was resting as comfortable as possible with his blood pressure stabilized at 118/80. His heart rate, at 88, continued to have some extra beats (PVC’s), with intermittent short runs of ventricular tachycardia (VT). The atmosphere in his room was now one of serenity. Formally introducing myself, I oriented John to his new home. While bathing John, I sensed that the Lord was asking me to talk to John about his relationship with God. Okay, Lord, I will do it, you gave me another chance with Joe. Thank you for this opportunity. “John, has anyone ever introduced you to Jesus?”

Scratching his head with a somewhat puzzled look on his face, John slowly responded, “No, I don’t reckon anybody ever has.”

“John, may I introduce you to Jesus?”

“Sure.”

Sharing with John for only a minute or two what Jesus did in my life, John interrupted me.

“Now wait a minute, Nurse Georgee. I just don’t know about this Jesus. I have never been to church. In fact, I have never even seen a Bible. I just don’t know about Jesus.”

“John, that’s okay.”

“Nurse Georgee, you don’t know what I have done. Don’t get me wrong. I have been laying here thinking about my life. I want to change. I don’t want to beat my wife up anymore. I have been in terrible fights with the guys. I need to think about some things. I just don’t know about this Jesus.”

“John, that’s fine. If and when you are ready to talk about Jesus, you know where I am.”

John fell asleep for about an hour. Alarms started blaring, and the monitor showed that John was in VT, with a heart rate of 196, which increased rapidly into ventricular fibrillation. All CCU staff responded immediately with the typical CPR. Chest compressions, proper ventilation and shocking John’s heart all seemed to be to no avail. We were losing him, and fast. Even the IV pressors didn’t help raise his blood pressure, which was nearly nonexistent. According to his monitor, John was flat-lining. No heart rate, no blood pressure, and no response to the repeated shocking at even 400 joules of electricity. We refused to give up. I don’t remember how long we worked on John. It seemed like an eternity. The flat-line was ingrained in John’s monitor and was not disappearing. No rhythm was in sight. Just as we were about to call it quits, John’s monitor revealed a rhythm. John was coming back, unconscious, but back and breathing on his own.

Report time was rapidly approaching. Gathering my nurse’s notes, my mind was racing with John’s last words to me. “I just don’t know about this Jesus.” Report went well; however, it was longer than usual. I had a few loose ends to tie up before leaving for home. After getting my purse, I gave John’s monitor one last glance. All seemed well. Breathing a sigh of relief, I was off. Placing my hand on the big doors to CCU, I was stopped dead in my tracks. John’s loud, demanding voice echoed throughout CCU.

“NURSE GEORGEE…E…E…NURSE GEORGEE…E…E, get in here.” Immediately, I turned and ran to John’s room. I heard my name bouncing off the walls surrounding CCU.

“John, I’m here. What’s wrong?”

(Continued in Part 2)

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)

8CBCD46B-5825-4EFD-9204-17A08D6882D5
Photo/Unsplash