The Fountain of Life and Hope

“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.”

Psalm 36:7-9

Through Jesus, the Messiah, we have the fountain of life.
He came down as a servant to a world full of strife.

The waters from this fountain can cleanse any soul,
bringing grace and promises for us to be made whole.

Just as watching a fountain is a refreshing thing,
it’s from looking unto Jesus that renewed hope will spring.

Out of a strong fountain shoot powerful sprays…
Thank you, Lord, for your power and love at work throughout all of our days.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now may God, the fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!” Romans 15:13 TPT

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” Hebrews 12:1-3 NKJV

A message for these times by Pastor George Pearsons of Eagle Mountain International Church from Sunday, October 17 is available at http://www.emic.org (latest message).

A Captivating Season

Colorado forest trail…
Porch of the Lord

The heavens and earth exhibit countless masterpieces of the Lord’s.
His seasons have beauty and variety–each one has its own rewards.

But one that’s especially captivating is the autumn, before it’s cold.
Shades of red, orange, and gold make His artistry evident and bold.

Hearing the crunching of fallen leaves under our feet as we walk,
makes for a reflective time of year to go out with a friend and talk.

When the sun shines on a hillside covered with trees which have “turned,”
it’s a far more exquisite gift God gives than anything I may have earned.

“Fall” is a time of the welcome harvest, when thankfulness comes to mind.
There are pumpkins and apple picking and bountiful crops of every kind.

So I thank God for His goodness and the beauty that He’s displayed;
and I thank Him that, in any season, He’s answered when I’ve prayed.

I know that I love spring and summer and the winter’s pure white snow;
but my favorite season still is autumn, with its glorious golden glow.

P. A. Oltrogge

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

“…Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah 6:3

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:1-4

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.'” John 14:6-7

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
when Jesus is my portion? My closest Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender words I hear,
and resting in His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears.
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Charles H. Gabriel, 1905

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8

…the following spoken by the Lord Jesus:

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 8:26)

(The Way, the Truth, and the Life) “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1)

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid.”
(John 14:27)

…and from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians:

“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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Scriptures: New King James Version

Photo/Pexels

Hard to believe?

Some view the Bible as just literature, or stories that are hard to believe,
the writers having used allegory or metaphor within its spiritual weave.

Noah, the predicted flood, and the building of the ark—
to proclaim that really happened, they say, clearly misses the mark.

For Jonah to be swallowed by a great fish seems a fairy tale—
to say that actually occurred is simply beyond the pale.

Daniel was unharmed, though locked up with hungry lions overnight?
To not doubt such a story, one couldn’t be too bright.

Three men walked out of a fiery furnace, but they weren’t even singed—
to believe that event, your mind must have become unhinged.

Jesus often used parables or allegories in order to convey
Kingdom truths made simpler, such as the prodigal who’d gone astray.

Referring to Himself, Jesus uses metaphors, like, “I am the door.”
And, “I am the true vine” or “I am the bread of life” are a couple more.

To those seeing only literary styles, believers have this to say—
Faith is a force, and it, and the Holy Spirit, must come into play.

Realize…there’s a real deceiver at work upon this earth,
who seeks to destroy the Bible’s incorruptibility and worth.

That’s why we find scriptures warning, “Don’t be deceived!”
Satan has webs of harmful deception that he’s regularly weaved.

He’d rather the Bible be read just as a literary work to explore,
but not too deeply, though, in hopes that you’ll ignore…

Jesus, your personal Savior and the Savior of all mankind—
Jesus Christ is “the door” that Satan doesn’t want people to find.

P. A. Oltrogge

“(Jesus the Good Shepherd) Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 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.’”
John 10:7-10 NKJV

“…let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands before you in good health. He (Jesus) is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” …from Acts 4:1-12 NASB

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB

“Let no one in any way deceive you….Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.” …from 2 Thessalonians 2 NASB

“Do not be deceived, evil company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 NASB

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” James 1:16 NKJV 

There is much evidence available in today’s world on the truth of the Bible and Jesus as Lord through research, books, internet testimonies, and Biblical messages. Avail yourself of those and, most of all, read the Bible and ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you personally by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Everything to Gain…Because of God’s Love

Whoever desires to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Jesus makes this statement yet today to us
because God’s great love is actually behind it.

For as we surrender to God’s perfect will,
we needn’t have any apprehensions still…

since the Lord of all creation wants to guide us
to that which is best as He walks beside us.

P. A. Oltrogge

“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

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulnrss.” Lamentations 3:21-23 RSV

“…For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:5 NLT

His love blesses us, and we seek to love and bless others…

“‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

“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

Scriptures: NKJV or as noted.

Nicodemus Meets with Jesus

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Him by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ Nicodemus answered and said to Him, ‘How can these things be?’” John 3:1-9 (from John 3:1-21)

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain:
This is my story; this is my song:
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story; this is my song:
praising my Savior all the day long.

“After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.” John 19:38-40

“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

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:11

They Thought for Themselves by Sid Roth is an inspirational book available at http://www.christianbook.com and from other book sources.

Those who are on the Lord’s Side

“Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, ‘Who is on the Lord’s side?'” …from Exodus 32:26 KJV

The one true God is on OUR side,
for JESUS’ BLOOD has been applied.

No good thing will be denied…
for we are standing on the GOOD LORD’S side.

The devil’s power has been defied
through JESUS’ BLOOD-BOUGHT OVERRIDE.

Heaven’s windows have been opened wide…
In our giving, every blessing will be supplied.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is our faithful guide
and Prince of Peace–in His perfect peace, we abide.

Sins and sicknesses have been cast aside.
By His stripes, Christ healed His church–His bride.

If the trustworthiness of God’s Word is being denied,
we know and say, instead, that God has never lied.

God’s angels support us, traveling far and wide,
hearkening to His Word, which is their constant guide.

For the persecuted, we pray that God will turn the tide,
bringing daring help and angels to come alongside.

The world hated Jesus, and He Himself warned
that believers, by the world, would also be scorned.

For the enemies of the Gospel, who’ve been deceived,
we pray they’ll find the King, on whom they must believe.

From the Lord’s hand, the born-again believer can’t be snatched…
Eternal life is ours by Jesus’ name and blood, which are unmatched!

P. A. Oltrogge

“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” …spoken by Jesus in John 10:28-30 NKJV

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11 KJV or Psalm 34:10

“‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.'” Malachi 3:10 NKJV

“…it is impossible for God to lie….” (from Hebrews 6:18)

“Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5

“The Lord executes righteousness and judgment and justice for all who are oppressed.” Psalm 103:6

“Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.” Psalm 103:20 NKJV

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 NKJV

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” …spoken by Jesus in John 15:18-19 NKJV

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” …spoken by Jesus in Matthew 3:43-45 NKJV

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and are in him that is true, even in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”  1 John 5:20 KJV

“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

The poem above was inspired by poetic words written by Trina Hankins in Mark Hankins’ book, “The Spirit of Faith” available at www.markhankins.org

For encouragement on healing: www.rhema.org offers the book, “Bodily Healing and the Atonement,” by Dr. T. J. McCrossan, reedited and reprinted by Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin and Dr. Roy Hicks.

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised….”) Hebrews 10:23 KJV

This Jesus…

“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths, reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.’ And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.” Acts 17:1-4

This Jesus…
Who suffered and died
and rose again from the dead–
This Jesus is the Christ,
the Chief Cornerstone and Head
of His Church.

Through this Jesus…
our lives can take on
a whole new scope…
The Father has provided us new birth
into a living hope.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…”
1 Peter 1:3 NIV

“Therefore, it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’”
1 Peter 2:6 NKJV

Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16; Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Ephesians 2:19; 1 Peter 2:4-10

The above image of Jesus
used by permission of Bob Berran
at http://www.bobberran.com
See his Online Store to
purchase reprints of
various sizes.

Jacob’s Encounter with a Heavenly Visitor

“As he (Jacob) slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather, Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.’” 

“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it! But he was also afraid and said, ‘What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, The very gateway to heaven!’” 

Genesis 28:12-17 NLT

verse 19: “He named that place Bethel (which means ‘house of God’)….”

“Then he (Jesus) said, ‘I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth!’”

John 1:51 NLT

…and from Genesis 31-33:

After twenty years of service to Laban, the Lord told Jacob to take his family and livestock and return to his father, Isaac’s, land.

At a place, which he called Mahanaim, the angels of God met Jacob while he was journeying as God had planned. 

“This is God’s camp,” he declared. Despite having seen angelic support, he was worried and sent messengers before him to meet Esau, his brother.

Due to cheating Esau of the patriarchal blessing years before, he had great fears about Esau and himself getting along with one another.

He prayed to God about his fears, seeking His mercy, and decided to offer, for the sake of peace, some herds of his livestock to Esau, each one as a gift.

But God would cause Esau to greet his brother with a heart of love—not bringing up or even thinking of their earlier rift.

Having sent his animals, servants, and family before him, Jacob was alone for the night.

At that point, Jacob had an unusual encounter with a Man with whom he wrestled until the morning light.

Not prevailing, the Man touched the socket of Jacob’s hip, putting it out of joint—then urged him to let Him go, for it was break of day.

Jacob, however, would not let Him go, he said, unless He would bestow a blessing that he could take away.

The heavenly visitor asked his name. And “Jacob,” (one who supplants) was his name that he related.

Because he had “wrestled with God and men and prevailed,” his name would no longer be Jacob, but would be Israel, (to have power, as a prince) the visitor stated.

Jacob, too, asked the Man His name, which He didn’t offer—only asking him why he would inquire about it; but He blessed him there. 

Jacob called the place, Peniel, for he knew that he had seen God face to face, yet his life had been spared.

In our own lives, we may “wrestle” with God, our own self-will resisting submission to Him, though at any time, He could conquer us.

If we fully understood His love and goodness, we would never resist submission to His will, for He only desires to “conquer” us to bless us… 

Trust in the Lord, follow His leading…and be blessed!

P. A. Oltrogge

Laban pursued Jacob after he left but God intercepted any friction by speaking to Laban in a nighttime dream. So Laban wound up making a covenant with him, and Jacob’s reunion with Esau was not disastrous as he had feared—things turned out well for him. 

We should remember that the angels are with us, too, as they were with Jacob, and that we can turn to the Lord with any problem, reminding Him of His promises, just as Jacob ultimately did in this account.

Many believe that “the Man” Jacob wrestled with could well have been Jesus Himself, temporarily in a human form, rather than an angel, for Jacob said he had seen God face to face.

In Genesis 32:9, Jacob prayed to the God of his grandfather, Abraham, and the God of his father, Isaac. But after wrestling with God, he addressed Him as God, the God of Israel (Genesis 33:20).

”Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah”. Psalm 62:8 NKJV

“He took his brother by the heel in the womb,
And in his strength he struggled with God.
Yes, he struggled with the Angel, and prevailed;
He wept, and sought favor from Him.
He found Him in Bethel,
And there He spoke to us—
That is, the Lord God of hosts.
The Lord is His memorable name.
So you, by the help of your God, return;
Observe mercy and justice,
And wait on your God continually.”

Hosea 12:3-6 NKJV

“…As he (Jacob) approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept. Then Esau looked at the women and children and asked, ‘Who are these people with you?’ ‘These are the children God has graciously given to me, your servant,’ Jacob replied.” (Jacob then introduces his entire family.)

“‘And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?’ Esau asked. Jacob replied, ‘They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship.’ ‘My brother, I have plenty,’ Esau answered. ‘Keep what you have for yourself.’ But Jacob insisted, ‘No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God! Please take this gift I have brought you, for God has been very gracious to me. I have more than enough. And because Jacob insisted, Esau finally accepted the gift.” (From Genesis 33 NLT)

Team Jesus

Led by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, Christians are a formidable “team.”
Some “players” are led, at times, by God speaking to them through a dream.

Some are led to start and pastor churches, and some are called to teach…
Some become evangelists or missionaries to the souls God wants them to reach.

Then, too, many serve the Lord in other of the various walks of life–
as businessmen and women or as lawyers or judges who settle strife.

Doctors and nurses, builders, those who work on roads or out on a farm…
firemen, police, and soldiers–all serve God, some keeping us from harm.

Every Christian is called to pray and, with humility, to serve others…
especially those of the household of faith–their “sisters and brothers.”

Many Christians have great courage, and they’re quick to meet critical needs.
Having studied the Word of God, their faith is developed for noble deeds.

As good Samaritans, the love of Jesus, is the believer’s guiding light.
It’s that love that keeps TEAM JESUS glowing in the midst of the darkest night.

Our “Coach” is Jesus Christ, whose words and example keep us strong.
If you’ve not signed on to TEAM JESUS–it’s the winning team to which YOU can belong!

P. A. Oltrogge

Just to name some members of TEAM JESUS: http://www.irisglobal.org, http://www.kcm.org, http://www.rhema.org, http://www.awmi.net, many others, and your own local church.