The Shepherd’s Voice

I once saw a film clip about a shepherd of today…
It showed an imposter calling the sheep to come his way.

But the sheep went on grazing, just as if they couldn’t hear.
Then their true shepherd called… His voice, to them, was clear.

It was amazing to watch them immediately flock to his side.
Likewise, we flock to our true Shepherd, protector, and guide.

At times, a voice that is dangerous will come to us in disguise.
But the voice of our Shepherd, Jesus, and His truths make us wise.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:4-5 NKJV

“I am the good shepherd; and I know my sheep, and I am known by my own.” John 10:14 NKJV

“The wise in heart will receive commands….”. Proverbs 10:8 NKJV

“The law of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.” Proverbs 13:14 NKJV

“But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” from one of the parables in Matthew 25 (verse 4)

Excellent series at http://www.moorelife.org on
“My Sheep Hear My Voice” by Keith Moore

Picture Jesus

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“…keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
from Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

In peace or in a storm, picture the Lord…
If “walking on water,” keep your eyes toward
the Master who is out there, encouraging you to “Come.”
He’s the author of our faith–where it is from.
He’s the perfector or finisher of our faith, too.
If you feel your faith falter, He will yet see you through.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’

And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’

So He said, “Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid, and began to sink. He cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.'”

Matthew 14:22-33 NKJV

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 KJV

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 NKJV

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 NKJV

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….”
from Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV

Though Peter’s faith had faltered and his Lord he’d denied,
he ultimately came to the place where all doubt was defied.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 NKJV

The Night is Coming

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Photo by Porch of the Lord

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

And He saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

And they straightway left their nets and followed him.

And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee, their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.” Matthew 4:17-22 KJV

……………………………………………..

We’re serving in the Lord’s harvest fields while it’s still the day,
for in sharing the good news of His Gospel, we all have a part to play.

By direction of the Holy Spirit, God’s worldwide missions abound;
and through Christian teamwork, we’re notably gaining ground.

The night is coming up when no more work will be able to be done.
God desires that we find our place of service to Jesus Christ, His Son.

You call ordinary people today, Lord, as you called ordinary fishermen back then. We’re blessed as we go about sharing your love while being “fishers of men.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then will come the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored, others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” John 4:34-40 NKJV

Jesus said…
“I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9;4-5 NKJV

“Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38 NKJV

“A faithful man will abound with blessings….”. Proverbs 28:20 NKJV

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 NKJV

“I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.”
Ezekiel 34:26 NKJV

Some great Christian teamwork
anyone can be a part of at:
http://www.bvovn.com

Breakthrough Over Blues

Perhaps you’ve experienced disappointments…
I know that others and I have, too.
But when I recall precious moments I’ve had,
I can no longer stay feeling blue.

Realize this old world with its trials
can’t keep you from all that delights.
Disappointments may occur, but some very nice gifts
will come through from the Father of lights.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17 KJV

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Photo by Porch of the Lord

Opportunity to grow in faith at Southwest Believer’s Convention this week at http://www.bvovn.com. “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 KJV

Who would be the greatest…

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Photo by Porch of the Lord

“Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, ‘What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?’ But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone desires to be first, he shall be the last of all and servant of all.’ Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in his arms, He said to them. ‘Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.'”
Mark 9:33-37

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall…
Therefore, as instructed by Jesus, he who would be first
must be the last of all and servant of all.

So thank the Lord for the tasks before you because serving cheers the heart.
We’re blessed as we do what may even seem menial…blessed to do our part.

And before giving a “prominent” person of status your highest attention,
remember, it was of a humble little child that Jesus, our Lord, made mention.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 16:18 NKJV

“Therefore, if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Philippians 2:1-4 NKJV

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world in holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” Philippians 2:14-16 NKJV

ministry opportunity:
http://www.danitaschildren.org

Heritage of Protection

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Conservatory Photos by Porch of the Lord

Like having a protective “umbrella” over my head,
You guard me, Lord, as I’m being spirit-led.
You’ve given me this heritage, for I reverence Your name.
Thank You for protection, one of the benefits I can claim.

P. A. Oltrogge

“From the end of the earth, I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

You have been a shelter for me,
a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah

For you, O God, have heard my vows;
You have given me the heritage of those who fear your name…”

Psalm 61:2-5 NKJV

“But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.”
Proverbs 1:33

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT

“My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” Isaiah 32:18

“I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Psalm 18:3 KJV

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” Psalm 103:2

Psalm 68:19
Psalm 116:12
Psalm 23
Psalm 91

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His Tender Mercies are Over You

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Conservatory Photo by Porch of the Lord

“The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” Psalm 145:9 KJV

“Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; he crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” Psalm 103:4 KJV

“Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.” Psalm 25:6 KJV

And Jesus demonstrated that tender mercy during His life and ministry and still does so today.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NKJV

Expectation

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Caribbean Photo by Porch of the Lord

Recently, I heard a minister express an important thought–
which was that storms don’t last forever but eventually come to nought.

So if you’ve been walking through a storm, be encouraged by what he said.
As you continue to walk by faith, expect a rainbow to come out instead.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. And while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:1-6 NASB

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.”

“That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:18-23 NIV

the name of Jesus…like the fragrance after rain…

Meditation

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Photo by Porch of the Lord

God has given us instruction that’s meant to keep us from being uptight,
which is to meditate upon His Word throughout the day and night.

If you find you’re feeling troubled, with thoughts that need to be curbed,
think, instead, upon His promises, so your peace won’t be disturbed.

Just as Jesus immediately encouraged Jairus when others said his daughter had died, we need to immediately hear His voice–over ones which say victory’s been denied.

People, thoughts, and what is felt and seen may “say” otherwise than what is said in God’s Word. If we’ve meditated upon it, however, other voices won’t discourage what, through God, we’ve already heard.

P. A. Oltrogge

“How blessed is the man…(whose) delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (from Psalm 1:1-3 NASB)

“Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165 KJV

“While He (Jesus) was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official (Jairus), saying, ‘Your daughter has died, why trouble the Teacher anymore?’ But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, ‘Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.'” (from Mark 5: 21-24 and 35-43 NASB)
(…and Jesus went on to the home of Jairus and raised his daughter up.)

“…and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!'” (from Matthew 17:1-8 NASB)

THE Gang to Belong to…

I belong to a gang called, “The Redeemed”–
against which the devil has schemed.
He wants us to think that he always prevails;
but he can’t, for our God (who is Love) never fails!

It’s great to proclaim you’re “The Redeemed”–
that with the Father, Son, and Spirit you’re teamed.
Evil, demonic forces can come across tough;
but Jesus is Lord, and He’s more than enough.

For we’re more than conquerors through Him,
and the devil’s predicted future is grim.
Jesus came down to earth to destroy the devil’s works,
which is one of “The Redeemed” membership perks.

Christ rescued us from sin and heading the wrong way…
and gives to us guidance when we seek and pray.
He gives us a heart for other gang members,
and the “fire” to invite others whom He yet remembers.

We’re a gang that has armor to combat any foe–
We’re redeemed from the curse, so any sickness must go.
Our well-being all around is on our “gang leader’s” heart,
He always stands by us…and won’t ever depart.

In this world, we will have tribulation, Jesus said;
but we’re of good cheer for He went on ahead…
and overcame the world for those of us who believe.
Join “The Redeemed” and receive your eternal reprieve.

P. A. Oltrogge

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“…the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” (from 1 John 3:1-8)

“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.” John 16:33 NKJV

“Love never fails.” (from 1Corinthians 13:8)

“He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you.'” (from Hebrews 13:5)

“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

Ephesians 6:10-17
Psalm 103:1-5
3 John 1:2
Psalm 91
Revelation 20:10

Hear from some of “The Redeemed”
gang members at: http://www.bvovn.com