You’ve Never Seen Anything Like It

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“But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV

Verse 10 goes on to say, “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” So, the text is referring to the glorious Gospel revealed through the Holy Spirit (see all of chapter 2).

But the 9th verse does make me think of the almost hard-to-comprehend beauty, glory, and peace of our heavenly home and destination. Thus, these thoughts:

Eye hath not seen, nor ear yet heard,
neither our hearts, says God’s Holy Word,
have envisioned the things which the Lord has in store
for all those who will meet Him on heaven’s shore.
A river like crystal and a Main Street of gold
are just some of the beauty that we will behold.
But, then, best of all, at last we will view—
our Savior, Jesus Christ, Faithful and True.
Though we face trials down here on this earth,
they’re nothing compared to heaven’s great worth.
You’re more than a conqueror—He gives you His grace,
both now and in eternity’s unfathomable place.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.” Revelation 19:11 NASB

“The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun, or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” Revelation 21:19-23 NASB

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1 KJV

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 KJV

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” Romans 8:18-19 NKJV

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 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 8:37-39 NKJV

Regarding a House Divided

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IN THIS TEMPLE
AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION
THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
IS ENSHRINED FOREVER

I’m remembering today that…

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Yet, that’s what frequently seems to be happening in America, my land.

Every American should have the right to peacefully express their views,
without being threatened by others who are often ready to accuse.

Quoting Jesus, Abraham Lincoln emphasized the words above;
and it was only after a civil war that the nation could focus on love.

Jesus taught that hate and murder are really the same in God’s eyes.
May any who feel hate abandon it, thereby proving themselves to be wise.

Each person is made in the image of God, it says in the book of James;
and blessing God but cursing our fellow man isn’t right, it also proclaims.

We should be peace loving and gentle and be willing to yield to others
in this land whose founders envisioned living as American “sisters and brothers.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.’” Matthew 12:25 NKJV and similarly in Luke 11:17

“And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Mark 3:25 NKJV

“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say,’You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.” Words of Jesus in Matthew 5:21-22 NRSV

“People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.”

“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”

“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.”
James 3:7-18 NLT

“…He (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources for he is a liar and the father of it.” Words of Jesus in John 8:44 NKJV

“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”
1 John 3:14-16 NKJV

It’s the right time now—not just at Christmas, to pray the words of the old Christmas carol that “the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men.” The last words, of course, were proclaimed by the angels—God’s message to mankind on the birth of our needed Savior, Jesus Christ.

What Powers Your “Faith Train”

The Porch of the Lord

Photo by John Seb Barber Photo by John Seb Barber

Come into the Lord’s presence with thanksgiving in your heart and enter His courts with praise. Trust in Him at all times to direct your paths, as you acknowledge Him in all of your ways.

Don’t allow praise and thanks to be your faith train’s “caboose,” because the “engine” of your faith is praise! Waiting to thank Him until you “see” (the answer to your prayer) will only bring about delays.

“At all times,” your Father in heaven desires to have fellowship with you. You were created to bring Him that pleasure. He’s the trustworthy Engineer and Conductor of your life. Friendship with Him is your greatest treasure.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving. And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” Psalm 100:4 NKJV

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall…

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The Strength Which God Supplies

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“Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; Whoever serves, is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 4:11 NASB

A Christian who needs strength relies
daily on the strength which God supplies.

P. A. Oltrogge

“”He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength.” Isaiah 43:29 KJV

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10 KJV
and Ephesians 6:10-17, on the armor of God

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11 NIV

http://www.moorelife.org
See free downloads—Music:
Medley (Power to the Faint—Thanks be to God)

The Lord Always Comes Through

The Porch of the Lord

Photograph by Stephanie... Photograph by Stephanie…

Sometimes we try to figure things out;
We really should know that’s a precarious route.
God has a plan–He tells us so…
Then why do we act like there’s something He doesn’t know?
God’s THE most able to “do” for you;
The truth is, the LORD always comes through!

P. A. Oltrogge

Perhaps you’ve felt, at times, that He doesn’t always come through. I’ve had that feeling in the midst of trials, too. But He’s always wanting us to keep our confidence in Him, and there’s reward in that. I always like to remember the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. He had severe trials, but God saw the larger plan/outcome all the time!

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul…

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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)

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Joining Forces in Prayer

The Porch of the Lord

…thanking God for the storm downgrade on the Eastern coast, yet praying stil for its continued weakening, joining other Christians in the command of “Peace, be still!” to it in the name of Jesus. Praying for the protection of people and property…

There are so many needs requiring very many prayers—
situations that are coming in crises with cares.
Pray that aid will get through to meet all the needs,
and give tangible help, as the Lord leads.
We’re in a world battle of great spiritual proportions;
we serve a good God–He doesn’t send the misfortunes.
Many can be helped through our prayers and our giving,
and by sharing God’s Word, which restores hope for living.
We’re so grateful for those who actually go forth to care
for those in a crisis, showing Jesus is there.

P. A. Oltrogge

http://www.samaritanspurse.org
http://www.cbn.com (Disaster Relief organizations)

“For we wrestle not against flesh…

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An Ark So Strong

The Porch of the Lord

“So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.” Genesis 6:14 NIV

God has raised up many ministries to encourage
that, as a believer, you can build yourself an ark–
through faith in His Word and its promises to you,
in a world that’s increasingly getting dark.

Psalm 91 is a well-tested, protective psalm,
that we can claim as a shelter and a shield.
Many don’t consider that God’s Word could be so sure
and have let it become a Sword they only hesitantly wield.

“No evil will befall you…He gives His angels charge over you,”
and “With long life He will satisfy you,” are yours to claim–
Confession of God’s Word, and the Name and the blood of Jesus,
are the weapons, in a storm, that will conquer and tame.

But don’t wait for storms to develop in…

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Two Daughters Receive Miracles from Jesus

The Porch of the Lord

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…

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