Come, as a Little Child

“And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.’” Matthew 18:2-5 (KJV)

A heart that is very tender, like that of a little child,
is needed to perceive God’s chosen Lamb, who was perfect and undefiled.
Sweetly, Jesus came, long ago, as a baby on the hay;
and, tenderly, He calls to each person yet today,
to recognize God’s pathway to the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
for eternity and, also, in this present world of strife.
Jesus laid down His life on a cross, and rose again, so that we can be free
to draw from His strength in our own lives, helping others to also see
that they can be restored–to a heavenly Father who is gracious
to lead them in this life and to a heaven, fair and spacious.
There’s room there for any person, who, like a little child, took
the gift freely offered by Jesus Christ, as recorded in God’s Holy Book.
Remember, please, its warning–not to be too “wise,”
but to take of the offer that is proper in His Father’s eyes.
Harden not your heart, for you’re meant to be relieved,
of search for Truth by any other, than by Christ, in whom we’ve believed.

P. A. Oltrogge

“That is why the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness. There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years.'” Hebrews 3:7-9 NLT

“So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: ‘Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.'” Hebrews 4:7 NLT

“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” spoken by Jesus in Matthew 11:28 NASB

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:5-7 KJV

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17 KJV

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 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. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8 NKJV

“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.” Matthew 19:13-14 NIV

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:1-5 NKJV

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NKJV

The Name of the Lord Jesus

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10 NASB

Whenever there’s a “darkest hour,”

the name of Jesus is our strong tower.

When things are rough and are looking bleak,

it’s then that faith must confidently speak.

All things are possible with our God…

He makes flowers to rise through the stubborn sod.

God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear–

the message from Him is to be of good cheer!

We often want to be able to see the victory first,

but faith sees a good outcome when things seem at their worst.

Look past any image that speaks of defeat.

See (and say) it as God sees it–your victory’s complete!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26 

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” …spoken by Jesus in John 16:33

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….” …from Hebrews 12:1-3

“So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.'” …from Mark 11:20-26

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:36

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:1-5

“Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and 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 (NASB)

Scriptures NKJV or as noted

Thomas’s Moment of Doubt

When Jesus had risen from the dead, His first appearance was to Mary Magdalene. On the evening of the same day, where the disciples were gathered, He came again upon the scene.

“Peace be with you,” He shared with them, showing them His hands and side.
“As the Father has sent Me, I also send you,” was the immediate instruction from their beloved Master, teacher, and guide.

He breathed on them, saying to receive the Holy Spirit, and that He was sending them out to declare…the forgiveness of sins through His shed blood for all with whom they would ultimately share.

Thomas hadn’t been present at that wonderful moment, so only later, was he told. His fellow disciples were saying that they, too, had seen the Lord–but Thomas’s reaction to this was cold.

“Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Eight days later, Jesus again appeared to the disciples; but this time, Thomas was there. Again, Jesus greeted them with His peace but turned to Thomas with words of faith that He began to share.

“Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

Of course, Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God!” He now believed with every fiber of his being. Yet Jesus wanted him (and us) to understand that believing is seeing!

Jesus said, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Lord, may this teaching of Yours on faith, and faith in You, be one that’s wholeheartedly received.

Some people today, too, have doubts that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead actually took place. But be blessed to believe, as Jesus said, in the miracle of His resurrection–the unmerited gift to us of God’s love and grace.

P. A. Oltrogge

(Based on the account in John 20)

“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:30-31 NKJV

As White as Snow

“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 mountain 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

“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

“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14 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

“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

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

Photo by Phil Roeder/Flickr; see link in original archived post

Be Rich Towards God

Photo/Porch of the Lord

Please, dear friend, be rich towards God, thinking not only of your own pursuits; But think about turning your heart to Christ and others, putting down good spiritual roots. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his own soul? Helping others spiritually and in tangible ways is God’s plan, in which we’re all to have a role.

Have you spoken to Jesus in a personal way today, or do you just run out to meet the day? A relationship with Him makes a difference for the better–it’s wise to take time to pray. One day Jesus will be coming back in glory and will repay His saints for selfless deeds. Not only for that reason, but for the joy that’s returned, ask Him to show you another’s needs.

God’s not against your having enjoyment of certain things…
But doesn’t want you to miss the fulfillment which living for Him brings.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.” Matthew 16:25-27

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared? So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:20-21

“Knowing What Belongs to Us” by Kenneth E. Hagin is a booklet which shares the benefits we have, in turn, as believers…available at http://www.rhema.org under “Bookstore” and emphasizes Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”

(You may want to consider helping in the building of needed bomb shelters in Israel. Go to http://www.sidroth.org and scroll down. To the left of the site is the story of Barry and Batya Segal, who tell of that need there.)

The Four Miracles of Dunkirk

During the darkest hours of World War II, King George VI called for a national day of prayer and churches across Great Britain were filled with people. See how those prayers were answered.

(By Evan Miller from Mysterious Ways posted in God’s Grace, Nov. 14, 2017, Guideposts, permitted to be shared…)

You may have seen the hit movie Dunkirk, director Christopher Nolan’s powerful tribute to the real-life World War II drama that unfolded over 10 days in 1940, on the shores of France. But there’s more to the story than what was shown on the screen. To wit, four miracles that changed the course of the war.

For Winston Churchill, the new British prime minister, it all began with an early phone call on May 15 that roused him from sleep.

“We have been defeated,” said the French premier, Paul Reynaud. “We are beaten.”

Churchill was well aware of the Nazi advance. Days earlier, Adolf Hitler’s army had taken Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg, with Denmark and Norway already in his grip. England had sent more than 200,000 troops to France and Belgium. All for nothing, it now seemed.

“Surely it can’t have happened so soon?” the stunned Churchill said.

“The front is broken,” Reynaud said. “The Nazis are pouring through in great numbers.”

The Allies had severely miscalcu­lated the path the Nazis would take. The Germans had swept south, through the supposedly impenetrable Ardennes Forest, a region the Allies had barely bothered to defend. Now British and French troops found themselves surrounded, in disarray. Their only possible escape was across the English Channel. Through Dunkirk, a city in northeast France. A mass evacuation would require funneling thousands upon thousands of soldiers, spread across hundreds of miles, into one space while the Nazis closed in with 1,800 tanks and 300 Stuka dive-bombers.

For days, Churchill resisted that escape plan. It seemed like a suicide mission. They’d be lucky to get 20,000 men home via the English Channel, let alone more than 300,000 Allied troops. But there was no other option. On May 23, Churchill met with the British monarch, King George VI, to brief him. Though a naval rescue operation were under way, pitifully few ships were ready to sail. The lo­gistics of defending against the inevitable German air attack while ferrying the troops seemed impossi­ble. Allied soldiers were scrambling to reach Dunkirk. They barely knew which direction to go.

“We must pray,” King George VI said. “This next Sunday, I’m calling for a national day of prayer.”

Famously nonreligious, Churchill was surely not looking at prayer as the answer. But he could hardly refuse the king. On May 24, King George VI addressed the nation: “Let us with one heart and soul, humbly but confidently, commit our cause to God and ask his aid, that we may valiantly defend the right as it is given to us to see it.”

On May 26, at Westminster Abbey, the Archbishop of Canterbury called on God to protect the troops. Across Great Britain, tens of thousands of people responded to the king’s call, uniting as never before. Cathedrals and churches, mosques and syna­gogues were packed to overflowing. At Westminster Cathedral, the line extended for blocks and hundreds kept vigil outside. The people didn’t know exactly why they were praying, yet they prayed even so. “Nothing like this has ever happened before” was how one English newspaper described the scene.

The following day, though, the Ger­man High Command reported, “The British army is encircled, and our troops are proceeding to its annihila­tion.” The war, it appeared, was over for the Allies. Few would have argued otherwise. Certainly not James Brad­ley, a British machine gunner. His unit had made it to Belgium before en­countering overwhelming force from the Germans.

The soldiers were instructed to “get back to Dunkirk.” Where? Most British soldiers had probably never even heard of Dunkirk. Handed a rifle with a bayonet, Bradley was told he was on his own. “If they had said [get to] New York, I couldn’t have been more surprised,” Bradley recalled, years later. “I didn’t know where Dunkirk was.”

Everywhere, the roads were filled with British and French soldiers. Abandoned tanks and equipment lit­tered the countryside. Thousands of refugees marched with escaping troops, some driving cars, everyone fleeing in advance of the Germans. From out of the skies would come the Stukas, strafing everything in sight. The scene was horrific.

But all was not as it appeared.

Something happened that histori­ans, even 77 years later, can’t ex­plain. With German tanks rumbling just 10 miles from Dunkirk, Hitler did the unthinkable. On May 24, the day King George VI called the nation to pray, Hitler inexplicably halted the offensive. For nearly three days, as England knelt as one, those tanks remained grounded. Nothing moved.

It was the exact window of time the British needed to form a defen­sive perimeter, to temporarily fight back the Germans and establish a funnel for their troops to flow through to the English Channel.

Then came something else. Rain and clouds. German planes bombed Dunkirk on three separate days, but each time, for days afterward, the city was enveloped by inclement weather, making any effective follow-up from the Nazis difficult. What’s more, a breeze seemed to collect smoke emitted from the German bombs and distribute it over the area the British were using to load men into boats. The Allied exodus went undetected for days.

Meanwhile, word was spreading across England of the need for boats to cross the channel to Dunkirk. For what purpose no one was exact­ly sure. Almost any vessel would do. Rowboats. Fishing trawlers. Tugs. Motorboats. Hundreds of would-be skippers responded. Some had nev­er been out of sight of land before. Many of the crafts lacked compass­es. None of them were armed.

Robert Hilton, a physical educa­tion instructor, and Ted Shaw, a cin­ema manager, were among those who answered the call. They joined a makeshift crew with a motorboat, Ryegate II. But when they reached the town of Ramsgate, off the tip of southern England, the only supplies they were given were two cans of water. Not even a cup to drink with. The two of them went to a pub, downed a pint, pocketed the glasses and set off toward France.

The English Channel is notoriously rough, choppy—no place for novice seamen—but once again something peculiar happened. The water Hilton and Shaw encountered was like that of a bathtub, with barely a ripple to disturb the journey. No one had ever seen anything like it. There were so many boats that in places the waters resembled a freeway at rush hour.

James Bradley, the machine gun­ner, eventually reached De Panne, Belgium, just east of Dunkirk. Over the sand hills, he could see thousands of soldiers huddled, a line of small boats coming in to the shore and ferrying the men to larger vessels in the deeper water, guarded over by ships with guns. They’ll never get these people off here, he thought.

But it was happening. From De Panne and Dunkirk. A few boats at a time, offloading a few dozen men, then coming back for more, round the clock, a dizzying spectacle.

The Ryegate II limped into the wa­ters off France, her engines broken, her propeller twisted by wreckage. Robert Hilton and Ted Shaw tied up to a larger boat and manned one of its lifeboats. For 17 hours straight, they rowed soldiers from shore to ship.

In the first five days of the rescue mission, more than 100,000 soldiers were evacuated. That still left more than 200,000 men, tens of thousands desperately fighting to hold the perimeter. They’d be the last to go.

Bradley never forgot the hero’s welcome he received when he at last reached the shores of England. The tables loaded with tea and buns. The crowds of people waving, cheering. This is England, he thought. You’re worth fighting for. Hilton and Shaw would also remem­ber the cheers that greeted them. Exhausted, they and the other crew members somehow managed to get the crippled Ryegate II back to Eng­land, throngs of jubilant well-wishers at every bridge on the Thames River.

By then, 338,000 soldiers had made it safely across the English Channel as well, thanks to the efforts of about 850 “little ships.” There was a feeling of determination, not surrender. Deliverance by a divine hand. It was exactly what the British soldiers—and civilians—needed to forge ahead. Especially so early in the war.

On June 4, Churchill went to the House of Commons to deliver the news. “We shall fight on the beaches,” he thundered. “We shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets.”

The Prime Minister called it a mira­cle, a word he was not known to often use. There seemed no other word to describe it. Not just one, but a whole series of miracles. Without any one of them, the entire operation would have failed. Hitler halting the blitzkrieg. The thick, protective cloud cover. The English Channel growing still. The hundreds of tiny boats, appearing seemingly from out of nowhere.

What turned the tide? For the king, there was no question.

There’s Still Light in Goshen

The Lord was working out a major plan to set free–the captive Hebrew people of old. There would be ten plagues, so the actions of Moses and Aaron would need to be brave and bold.

When they came before Pharaoh, they had commands from the Lord on what to say or do, to warn him of, or initiate, every plague that his nation was soon to go through.

The ninth plague of darkness was so severe that the Egyptians couldn’t get around. For three days, the darkness was “felt” and thick, in the air and on the ground.

One of Egypt’s chief deities was the sun “god,” so such darkness proved the Lord’s might, to prevail over any of the “gods” of the Egyptians. Only His power could end the dark night.

But the Hebrews were under God’s protection; and, in the midst of that constant night, there was light in Goshen in their dwellings because God was in charge of their fight.

Today, people experience darkness, not of God and not a kind where you can’t visibly see, but darkness in their minds when they’ve not recognized “the door,” through which anyone’s able to go free.

Jesus pointed the way, saying, “If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” You can experience “Goshen” through God’s Son yet today, and you’ll have all of the light that you’ll need.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Exodus 10:21-23 NKJV

“If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 KJV

“Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.’” John 8:12 NKJV

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.’” John 10:9-10 NASB

“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 NKJV

A Message and Prayer from a Shepherd in the Field

Allow me to still speak of Christmas, now that its busyness is over, to post a message and prayer from a shepherd who had been in the field the night of Jesus’ birth:

I was out in the field with the other shepherds on what seemed like an ordinary night, when we suddenly were surrounded–by an extraordinary, glorious light.

I would never have thought to see an angel, but that’s what I saw appear. He began to give us a message, saying, first, there was nothing to fear.

He continued, speaking of good tidings of great joy, for all people of the earth–for that day, in the city of David, had been Christ the Lord, the Savior’s birth.

Then the angel spoke of a sign, which would help us to locate this wonder. He’d be wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger–then I heard what seemed like some thunder.

It turned out to be the sound of many angels–not just a few, but a multitude! They were praising God with great rejoicing, creating a festive mood.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men!” These were the words they left us with, so we went on to Bethlehem then.

We were eager to follow the heavenly directive given to us that night; and just as the angel had specified, we found the Baby in a manger–God’s “Light.”

We stood in adoration of the Christ child, knowing His destiny was divine…and that He had been born to be our Savior–I knew then also that He was mine.

We thanked Mary and Joseph for this moment, having told them of the visitation in the field…then went on to make known to others the good news, that, to us, had been revealed.

What an amazing night I had experienced–the Lord visiting me in such a way! And may people of all future generations, receive this heralded Savior, I pray.

P. A. Oltrogge

(from the account in Luke 2)

“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46 NKJV

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” Isaiah 9:2 NKJV

(Of course, the poetic account above came through the creative thoughts of myself, the writer, but speaks of the true account….)

Another inspiring message is an account of God’s guidance and intervention in these times, featured today in “Daily Grace Inspirations” at http://www.josephprince.org

Never a Blue Christmas….

A dimly lit stable or cave on that long-ago, destined night,
suddenly became a hallowed place, because of the newly arrived “Light.”

Animals were resting nearby as the baby took His first breath–
He was sent from heaven to deliver this world from the snare of sin and death.

Shepherds watching their flock by night were amazed by an angelic visitation–
telling them a Savior had been born–Christ the Lord, for people of every nation.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,”
was further proclaimed by a multitude of angels on what had taken place then.

Straightway the shepherds went to Bethlehem to worship the baby in the stall–
the One who’d been sent to live among mankind but would give His life for us all.

Death on a criminal’s cross, followed by a victorious resurrection,
were in the future of this newborn child, who would live a life of perfection.

If anything has gotten you down today, and at Christmas you’re feeling blue,
just remember that all of the love God has still shines through Jesus…for you.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Luke 2:14

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

“Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

For 24/7 encouragement: http://www.govictory.com

Photo: St. John the Evangelist Church
St John, IN

Son of the Highest, Son of Man

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth have been from of old,
From everlasting.”
Micah 5:2 NLT

From destined Bethlehem Ephrathah, a town that was very small,
would come the One who would be Ruler of Israel and the Lord of all.

The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, a virgin humble and mild,
who God the Father had chosen to bear the Messiah—Jesus, His Holy Child.

Coming forth from the family of Judah, Jesus’ birth was lauded that night,
by rejoicing angelic voices, as the world’s Savior from sin’s blight.

His goings forth, the prophet Micah said, were actually “from of old–
from everlasting,” as He preexisted with God the Father, if the truth be told.

After His birth, Mary laid Him down in a manger—a depiction very sweet.
But He was Immanuel, the eternal Mighty God, sent to bring about Satan’s defeat.

P. A. Oltrogge

…this writing inspired by a devotional written by Kenneth E. Hagin,
Founder, Rhema Bible Training College

Joseph, betrothed to Mary, was troubled, having learned she was with child, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying…

“Joseph, Son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His Name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:20-23 NKJV

Prior to this, Mary had been visited:

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’

“But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.’

“Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’
And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.’

“Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.”

Luke 1:26-38 NKJV

“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 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.’

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’”

Luke 2:7-14 NKJV

“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Matthew 18:11 NKJV

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NKJV

“The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—“. Acts 10:36 NKJV

To hear the Christmas carol, “Silent Night,” see Day 25 of the “25 Songs of Christmas” at http://www.kcm.org

And to followers and friends of The Porch of the Lord, I pray you will have a very blessed Christmas!

Artwork print
Pixabay