Thank God in Advance

“Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the congregation of the godly ones. Let Israel be glad in his maker; Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.” Psalm 149:1-3

Thank God in advance…
Let that always be your stance.
Put your measure of faith to use–
Your thankful praise to Him turns it loose!

Faith pleases God, so guard against despair;
Though possible, it’s not best to meet Him there.
If pain or problems seem to go unbroken,
Remember the words that Jesus has spoken.

When you pray for the things you’ve desired,
Believe you receive and they will be acquired.
If your breakthrough seems to be taking too long,
He’s promised you strength–you can be strong!

But keep the faith for a sure turnaround.
In trusting God’s Word, you’re on solid ground!
Thank God in advance–
Come with joyful praise or dance!

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.
In advance, see your victory flag fully unfurled!

P. A. Oltrogge

“For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone…” Mark 11:23, 24 (paraphrased in the poem)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25

“O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving. Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods, in whose hand are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:1-7

“And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.” 2 Samuel 6:13-15 KJV

“Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplication. The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. The Lord is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed. Be their shepherd also and carry them forever.” Psalm 28:6-9

Scriptures NASB,
or as noted

For encouragement on this same topic, refer to http://www.emic.org and the message yesterday, November 14, by Pastor George Pearsons, “The Force of Thanksgiving.” (It can be found under “Latest Service” at the bottom right-hand corner of the site.) At the end of the service, you can join in with Pastor George as he prays for any particular difficulty or need which has been of concern to you. God bless you….

“Fear not, for I AM with you, be not dismayed, for I AM your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 RSV

In Support of Israel

“I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3 NIV

On November 7, Pastor George Pearsons of Eagle Mountain Church gave a message, “Why do we Support Israel?” If you don’t have time to watch the entire service, you can scroll to about 35:00 where his message begins.

Further on in the message (about 1:13:15) Pastor Terri Pearsons and others relate (with accompanying videos) how they were able, despite the pandemic, to help Jewish people to make Aliyah, (a return to the Promised Land) which is regarded as the fulfillment of God’s Biblical promise to the descendants of the Hebrew patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Simply go to http://www.emic.org and click on “Latest Service” (bottom right hand corner of the site) and “More”…then click on “View All EMIC Services,” and choose the November 7 service, “Why do we Support Israel?”

Sea of Galilee…also called Kinnereth, Lake of Gennesaret, and Sea of or Lake Tiberias

God Meant it unto Good–Joseph, part seven

from Genesis 46-50

Having been assured by the Lord, Jacob arose, with his descendants, to make the journey with their property and livestock to Egypt, God’s ordained place. And to Goshen, the final destination, Joseph headed in his chariot for their reunion, where he wept on his father’s neck upon seeing his face.

He wept there a long time; and Jacob spoke of the peace he would have now in death, due to seeing that his beloved Joseph was, wonderfully, still alive. In acknowledgement of God’s love, Joseph likely thought of all he could now offer, which was worth all the adversities with which he’d had to strive.

So Joseph took five of his brothers to appear before Pharaoh, where they stated their desire to sojourn as shepherds in Goshen, a choice part of Pharaoh’s land. Pharaoh’s answer, to Joseph, was that Egypt was at their disposal–and that if some of them were capable, then put his own livestock under their command.

Joseph presented also his father to Pharaoh, who inquired as to his age, which Jacob shared; and he blessed this Pharaoh who had exalted his son. Then Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them a possession in the land, and provided them food–all of which his obedience to God had won.

“I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your children as well,” Jacob said to Joseph; and he blessed his children in this true Bible story. After Jacob’s death, Joseph’s brothers needed reassurance of his forgiveness, which he freely gave, comforting them kindly–and it was to God that Joseph gave all of the glory!

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Genesis 50:20 KJV

P. A. Oltrogge

God Meant it unto Good–Joseph, part six

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Genesis 50:20 KJV

from Genesis 45, 46

Joseph could no longer control his emotions, and he ordered his servants to leave. Things on his heart for his brothers, he now was ready to share. His feelings over the years came out as he loudly wept. Then he began to tell his brothers who really was standing before them there.

“I am your brother, Joseph,” he said; and he asked again if their father was alive. But they couldn’t answer, for they were taken aback. He told them not to be grieved or angry with themselves for what they’d done to him years before–for God had His purposes behind their attack.

He said he was to go before them into Egypt to become lord over it, preserving the lives of many, for great deliverance from a famine’s blight. He asked them to come closer–to know that it really was the voice of their brother, Joseph, and that this “lord” was actually him in their sight.

So, God’s plan was ongoing; and now Joseph wanted them all to come to Goshen, for there would be five more years of famine before its cessation. He fell on his brother, Benjamin’s neck and wept. Then he kissed also all of his brothers, and there was weeping and conversing in celebration.

When Pharaoh heard that Joseph’s brothers had come, both he and his servants were pleased; and he then instructed Joseph on what to do. He said they should take Egyptian wagons on their journey back to their father in Canaan. Pharaoh would give them much before he was through.

He didn’t want them to be concerned about bringing all their goods, because the best of all the land would be theirs by Pharaoh’s decree. So Joseph provided greatly for their journey; and, in many things, gave more to Benjamin, who he was so happy again to be able to see.

Then the brothers traveled back to Canaan, bringing the wagons and donkeys loaded with gifts from their brother, Joseph, who was alive and not dead. When they told Jacob he was still alive, he was at first stunned and couldn’t believe it. But he finally believed because of the gifts and having heard of all that Joseph had said.

The spirit of their father, Jacob, was revived that day; and he rejoiced that Joseph was alive–and so highly esteemed, by an act of God’s own hand. Jacob made an offering unto God and received visions from Him in the night; and the things relayed in them would be exactly as God had planned.

P. A. Oltrogge

The story of Joseph will conclude in the next post.

God Meant it unto Good–Joseph, part five

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Genesis 50:20 KJV

from Genesis 44

When it came time for their departure, Joseph commanded that the brothers’ sacks should be filled–with food and their money, too. But he had his steward put his silver cup into the sack of Benjamin, because he wanted to further test their integrity and what they would do.

At first light of day, the men were sent away with their donkeys and had just gone out of the city, when Joseph sent his steward in pursuit. He told them that Joseph’s silver cup had been stolen; and he needed to search their bags–to find out which of them had taken it as loot.

“Far be it from your servants to do such a thing,” they told him, and again restated their honesty and integrity in coming to Pharaoh’s land. So they lowered their sacks to show their innocence, but were shocked when the cup was found in Benjamin’s, which they couldn’t understand.

So distraught were they, knowing that this would kill their father, that they tore their clothes in despair before returning to the city. Upon arrival again at Joseph’s house, they fell to the ground before him; and Joseph began to accuse them, without showing them any pity.

Then Judah approached Joseph, who was threatening to take Benjamin as his slave and let the others go back to their father in peace. Judah explained, in desperation, the entire story regarding their brother, Benjamin–and his brother, Joseph–who, he said, was deceased.

Repeatedly, he emphasized that he had promised his aged father that his youngest son would be protected and brought back to him for sure. So Joseph saw their sincerity and how his brothers had changed. They showed remorse for their jealousy and motives that were pure.

P. A. Oltrogge

Judah even offered himself as a substitute for punishment so that Benjamin could be free to return to his father. Many years later, Judah’s descendant, Jesus Christ, offered himself as a substitute for our punishment so that we could be free to return to relationship with our heavenly Father.

The story of Joseph will be continued in the next post.

God Meant it unto Good–Joseph, part four

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Genesis 50:20

from Genesis 42, 43

It came to pass that Joseph’s brothers found that the famine had reached Canaan as well, and Jacob had heard that Egypt had grain. So he instructed his sons to go there and buy; but he held back Benjamin, for he didn’t want harm to befall him, causing more pain.

When they had reached Egypt, they bowed down before Joseph, who was prominently in charge, with their faces to the ground. From the dreams of his youth, this fulfillment of them was taking place before Joseph’s eyes–his, the main sheaf, and theirs gathering around.

Joseph recognized his brothers immediately; but he disguised himself to them and spoke harshly, by interpreter, accusing them of having a spy’s intent. The brothers declared that they were honest men, sons of one man, though their youngest brother had been kept back and had not been sent.

At that, Joseph reemphasized that he was sure that they were spies who had come to look at the undefended parts of Egypt’s land. Then he put them to a test of their truthfulness, saying that they needed to go home and bring their youngest brother back, by his command.

Then Joseph put his brothers all together in prison for the span of three days, after which he released all but one–Simeon, whom he bound. Joseph had heard their discussion. They didn’t know he’d understood what they’d said of how the evil they’d done to Joseph had now come around.

Joseph turned away from them and wept. He ordered his servants to restore their money into their sacks of grain for the journey back–not wanting to take his father’s money; and he gave other supplies. But his brothers were distressed later on when they found the money in each sack.

They worried that, in addition to being accused of being spies, they now would be accused of being thieves. Their concern increased…that God had done this to them because of their sin against Joseph. They didn’t know that Joseph ruled in Egypt and was not a slave nor deceased.

Arriving home, Reuben and Judah tried to reason with their father, that they needed to have Benjamin along on their next journey, as Joseph had said. Jacob resisted this strongly until finally giving in. He told his sons to take extra gifts along for this ruler, with double the money, before moving ahead.

They then returned to Egypt, this time with Benjamin along. When Joseph saw Benjamin, he ordered his steward to make ready a noon meal–and to bring the men to Joseph’s home. The brothers, however, feared that Joseph was going to accuse and ask them, “Why did you steal?”

So the brothers approached Joseph’s house steward about their fears, saying they’d come to Egypt only to buy food, with no ill intention. They didn’t know how the money, which they’d found on their way home, had turned up again in their sacks–and were dreading Joseph’s contention.

At that, Joseph’s steward told them to be at ease and not be afraid, saying that their God and the God of their father had provided that treasure–and Egypt had gotten their payments. This caused them relief, while preparing the gifts they’d brought, which they hoped would bring Joseph pleasure.

When Joseph returned to his house, the brothers presented their gifts and bowed to the ground before him. Then Joseph began to make request–of their own welfare, but also their father’s–if he was alive and well. When his brothers said that he was, it was news that, to Joseph, was blessed.

Then, seeing Benjamin, he asked if he was the youngest, of whom they’d spoken before; and he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” But Joseph hurried out and sought a place to weep in a private room of his home. It was much to take in; so, by his emotions, he was overcome.

After washing his face, Joseph regained composure and went out to join his brothers for the meal. By their ages, he’d arranged his brothers’ seating. This caused them to be amazed as they dined before Joseph, who was at his own table. But to Benjamin, five times as many portions were served at this meeting.

P. A. Oltrogge

The story of Joseph will be continued in the next post.

God Meant it unto Good–Joseph, part three

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Genesis 50:20 KJV

from Genesis 41:

Two years passed and Pharaoh himself had dreams which needed interpretation. In one, he had been standing by the Nile, when there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, grazing in the marsh grass. Then seven other cows came up after a while.

These cows were ugly and gaunt and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river; and the ugly cows ate those that were good. Pharaoh awoke then, but fell asleep again and dreamed of a stalk, with seven ears of grain, which had grown fully as grain should.

Then, similarly to the first dream, seven ears of grain that were thin and scorched sprouted, which swallowed up the full grain ears. Pharaoh was troubled about these dreams and called for all Egypt’s magicians and wise men who might interpret, to calm his fears.

But none of them could tell the meaning of the things Pharaoh had dreamed. Then the cupbearer, at last, remembered Joseph again–and he ventured to tell Pharaoh of the Hebrew youth who had sorted out some dreams, when he was in prison back then.

So Joseph was taken from the prison, cleaned up and given a change of clothes, to stand before Pharaoh regarding this need. Joseph said, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” After hearing a retelling of the dreams, Joseph began to proceed.

He told Pharaoh that the dreams of the cows and the ears of grain were one and the same–both referred to a coming event. There would be seven years of abundance in Egypt, but then there would be seven years of famine–this was what the dreams meant.

Then Joseph told Pharaoh to search for a man who was discerning and wise to oversee the affairs of the country for this time. Pharaoh noted a “divine spirit” in Joseph and quickly determined that if anyone was discerning and wise, Joseph was prime.

So Pharaoh set him over all his house and over all the land. Except for the throne, Joseph himself would be in command. Pharaoh put the signet ring from his own hand onto Joseph’s hand, put a gold necklace on him, and clothed him with linen garments of the finest brand.

Joseph rode in the second chariot, and the people shouted, “Bow the knee!” to this one who ruled over Egypt for as far as the eye could see. Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah and gave him a bride, Asenath–all this was from God, through Pharaoh’s decree.

Now Joseph was thirty years old when he went out to take command over the great planting, harvesting, and storing that was to come. For seven years, the land produced abundant grain, “like the sand of the sea.” And, in time, Joseph could no longer measure its sum.

Asenath bore him two sons–Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” Then Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” His faith in God had been tested and had come out as gold.

After seven years of abundance, the famine did come about. Pharaoh told the Egyptians to go to Joseph and do as he would tell. But the famine was severe in all the earth, and all people were coming to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, for the price at which he’d sell.

P. A. Oltrogge

The story of Joseph will be continued in the next post.

God Meant it unto Good–Joseph, part two

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Genesis 50:20 KJV

from Genesis 39:

The officer was Potiphar, captain of the guard, and Joseph became his servant and found favor in his sight. Potiphar saw that the Lord was with Joseph, so he put him over all that he owned, knowing things would be done right.

But as Joseph was a handsome young man, Potiphar’s wife no longer cared about loyalty to her husband at all. She desired the love of Joseph instead, but his love of God made loving her a temptation for which he wouldn’t fall.

“How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?” he told her. At a later time, he had to escape her presence, and he ran. She then made up a false accusation about Joseph to Potiphar, who, in anger, no longer kept Joseph as his right-hand man.

Potiphar had him thrown into prison, wrongfully accused. But, again, God was with Joseph in that dreadful place. The chief jailer trusted him, putting him in charge over all prisoners–a sure sign of God’s favor on Joseph in another case.

from Genesis 40

Then it came about that the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt offended the king and were jailed there, too. Joseph was put in charge of them; and after being there for some time, they each had dreams, about which they had no meaningful clue.

Joseph found them, dejected, because they had no one, they said, to interpret the meaning of the dreams they’d had. Joseph, knowing interpretations belonged to God, was able to interpret the dreams, one of which was good and one was bad.

The cupbearer would be restored to Pharaoh’s service–then Joseph asked to be remembered by him after this would go through. The chief baker would be hanged–both interpretations were correct, but the cupbearer forgot about Joseph when things came true.

P. A. Oltrogge

However, Joseph was not forgotten by the Lord…

The story of Joseph will be continued in the next post.

God Meant it unto Good–Joseph of the Old Testament

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Genesis 50:20 KJV

from Genesis 37:

An inspiring account in the Bible is of the life of Joseph of old;
which is a story that turned out well, though his brothers gave him up to be sold.

Jacob, his father, had great love for him, and Joseph’s mother was dear to Jacob’s heart. Through others, he had had sons, too, but he’d really loved Rachel from the start.

To this son of his later years, he provided a colorful, distinctive coat–which gave his favoritism away. Due to seeing this, Joseph’s older brothers hated him; and then his dreams caused an even greater fray.

Joseph told them of those dreams. In one, they were binding sheaves in a field. Then, his sheaf stood up straight–while theirs gathered round in a circle and bowed down to his, as if prophetic of something at a future date.

Another dream that he shared, including his father on the telling, was of seeing the sun, moon, and eleven stars. These, too, were all bowing down to him, Joseph said. So Jacob pondered this, but told him it was going too far.

One day, Jacob sent Joseph out to meet his brothers, who were in Shechem, watching over the flock. He looked for them there but was told they’d gone to Dothan. They saw him coming and began to mock.

“Here comes this dreamer!” Then they planned to kill him, until Reuben put a stop to their schemes. He told them to leave Joseph in a wilderness pit, intending to rescue him from their anger over his dreams.

But when Reuben was away, they came up with a new plot–to sell Joseph to some traders in a passing caravan. The Ishmaelites purchased Joseph from his own brothers then, putting twenty shekels of silver into their hands.

Jacob’s sons took Joseph’s tunic and stained it with blood from a goat they’d killed–then brought the coat back home. There, they asked their father, Jacob, if it was Joseph’s coat and allowed him to think a wild animal had been responsible alone.

This was a crushing moment in the life of Jacob–he refused to be comforted in his mourning for this favorite lad. Meanwhile, Joseph was sold in Egypt to an officer of Pharaoh’s; but God had a plan amidst something so bad.

P. A. Oltrogge

The story of Joseph will be continued in the next post.

He Upholds all Things by the Word of His Power

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds, who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:1-4 New King James Version

The God’s Word translation reads “He holds everything together by His powerful words….”

Does something in your life need to be upheld or held together? Trust the One, who holds all things together….