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

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

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

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

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

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

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

P. A. Oltrogge

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

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

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

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As White as Snow

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“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”
These are gracious words that the Lord has said, and only He would know,
whatever sins have been in your life that you have come to regret.
What peace it is to know that God will forgive…and will also forget.

We read in the Bible of Peter, James, and John being led up by Jesus on a mount, where His clothing became radiant—white, like snow, it’s told in that account.
This spoke of His glory and was a demonstration that He was the Holy One—God’s voice, coming out of a cloud, said to listen to Jesus, His beloved Son.

This brings to my mind the garment of salvation that makes us white as snow.
In Him, we become new creations—sinners cleansed by His blood’s outflow.
To any who take Him as Savior, the One who died for sin on the cross in their place—any guilty stains are thoroughly lifted; no sinful spot can leave a trace.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now after six days, Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up on a high mount apart by themselves, and He was transfigured before them. His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.” Mark 9:2-4 NKJV

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10 NIV

“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’” Matthew 26:27-28 NKJV

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NASB

“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12 NKJV

“For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17 NASB

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

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

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Two Daughters Receive Miracles from Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

P. A. Oltrogge

…a poetic telling of the account in Mark 5…

(“Talitha cumi” in the King James version)

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

“My son, give attention to My words; incline your ear to My sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those that find them, And health to all their flesh.”
Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJV

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The Leader We All Need

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

P. A. Oltrogge

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8 NASB

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

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

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ship of Faith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

P. A. Oltrogge

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

And JESUS IS MY ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST:

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

Photo by Porch of the Lord

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

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

Postscript:

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

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

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

Everything to Gain…Because of God’s Love

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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 NKJV
 
“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 NKJV

“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 NKJV

“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…

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

“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

Wake Them to Your Word

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

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

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

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

P. A. Oltrogge

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

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

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

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

2 Timothy 3:14-16 KJV

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

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

Cross Over to the Other Side

Photo by Josh Matthews
Jumonville Cross
Photo by Josh Matthews

A cross on a hillside beckons for our attention,
and can bring to mind something that Jesus Christ mentioned
when He and His disciples launched out for a sail–
“Let’s cross over to the other side,” were His words that didn’t fail.

Have you been on the side with those who have apprehensions,
or reject that Christ is Lord or doubt God’s intentions?
Look thoughtfully to the cross, for a strong message it bears–
God wants you to cross over to knowing that He cares.

Any other “religion” hasn’t the cross’s personal touch–
God sent His Son to die for you because He loved you that much.
There, Jesus made the sacrifice for your well-being and sins–
so you could cross to the place where new life in Him begins.

Despite a storm, His words didn’t fail in that Biblical account recorded.
They won’t fail in your destiny either, but you’ll be greatly rewarded,
as you come under the shadow of the Almighty and cross to the other side.
You’ll be so thankful you heeded the message of the wonderful cross as your guide.

P. A. Oltrogge

“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’

“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’ And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!’”

Mark 4:35-41 (NKJV)

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

John 5:24 (NIV)

“…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.”

Romans 6:4 (NKJV)

Have the Heart of Ruth

We read in the Bible that Ruth, of Moab, had a loyal and loving heart.
So upon the death of her Hebrew husband, she felt that she couldn’t part
from Naomi, her beloved mother-in-law, who had urged her to make her way
back to Ruth’s own parent’s home; but, instead, Ruth begged to stay.

She shared her heart, stating that where Naomi went, so, in fact, would she;
where she lodged and the God she worshiped–these would also be
what she desired for her own particular life, even to her day of dying.
To stay with her late husband’s “family” was the future on which she was relying.

Naomi allowed Ruth, then, to go with her on her Bethlehem-Judah return;
there Ruth would find a special blessing that only God could have discerned.
For there was a kinsman-redeemer through Naomi’s husband’s line,
whom Ruth would meet, while gleaning in his fields, by God-ordained design.

Related by blood, willing and able to redeem this woman, Boaz entered her life;
a prominent free man, total provision was hers, when she later became his wife.
One can easily see an analogy here to the Bible’s New Testament account that we read of God becoming Man, through Jesus Christ–the Kinsman-Redeemer He knew we would need.

Like Ruth, leave the “god” you once were told about; find shelter under the
true God’s wings. Look to the Way, the Truth, and the Life–and experience the peace that Christ brings. Don’t try to make it on your own with God, through acts of service, however kind; there’s provision for us as “the bride of Christ,” which He, the Bridegroom, wants us to find.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But Ruth said, ‘Entreat me not to leave you or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.’”
Ruth 1:16-17 NKJV

“May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.”
Ruth 2:12 NASB

“You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:28-30 NASB (words of John the Baptist regarding Christ, the Bridegroom)

Other references:

Matthew 9:15, Mark 2:19,20

Rejoicing to hear of those of today who have left their perception of God to find faith in Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life–

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1 NKJV

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6 NKJV

The Only True God

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Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Regarding Christians, Muslims, and Jews,
some say the God they all worship is the same.

But the Bible is clear that the only true God
is the One who is known through Jesus’ name.

Realize it’s a fallacy that knowing God is the same to all three,
for Jesus said that “No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

His words hold true for other “faiths,” too, no matter which they may be.
“No one comes to the Father,” Jesus emphasized, “except through Me.”

There aren’t “many paths to God,” but He has provided a blessed one–
opened for us by way of Calvary’s cross through Jesus, His beloved and only begotten Son.

P. A. Oltrogge

“You know neither Me nor My Father. If you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” John 8:19

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 (and all of John 17)

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'” John 14:6

“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17

“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

“While he (Peter) was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!'” Matthew 17:5

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:37

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

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

“And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.” Matthew 1:16

“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess…coming in that instance, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him (Jesus) to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” From Luke 2:36-38

“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. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:9-11

“Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6

Scriptures NKJV

Photo Unsplash
by Robert Nyman