Joseph’s Example

Joseph, a son of David, took Mary for his wife, believing she was carrying God’s very sacred life. Joseph stood by her when others may have condemned. Joseph believed God when they didn’t comprehend.

He was chosen by God, and it was to him that Mary and the Child were sent. He became the protector of God’s great intent. Joseph was quick to recognize that in dreams God often spoke, with messages from His angel, and he obeyed when he awoke.

Joseph named the baby, Jesus, just as he’d been told, for He would save His people from sins as said by the prophet of old. In obedience, Joseph went to Egypt–“Out of Egypt did I call My Son.” Joseph had them stay until God said their time there was done.

We see him obeying God in Bible scene after scene; being warned of God, he went to Nazareth, so Jesus would be called a Nazarene. His part was that of an earthly father, and he obeyed God in that role. His heart to obey Him was needed to accomplish God’s great goal.

Joseph’s life seems an example of the importance of hearing and obeying God’s voice. Dear God, may I seek to do that in each and every choice.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’ And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” Matthew 1:20-25

(Further references in Matthew 2)

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 KJV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Psalm 32:8; Proverbs 4:18; Jeremiah 29:11-13; John 10:1-18; Hebrews 10:35-36

The Ship of Faith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

P. A. Oltrogge

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

And JESUS IS MY ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST:

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

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

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

God’s Love for you, Deeper than any Sea

There are times when it seems difficult for us to offer praise…

when we’re experiencing problems that are affecting our days.

But if we can just envision being held in Jesus’ loving arms,

we will be more confident that He will shield us from what harms.

Those same arms were outstretched for us on Calvary’s cross

in order to pay sin’s penalty, so that our souls would not be lost.

Life is not without its challenges, but an overcomer is who you are.

Jesus overcame the world–He’s our Bright and Morning Star.

Keep walking by faith and give to Him all of your worries and cares.

Praise Him for His love and promises to answer your prayers.

The Lord is fully aware of every concern that’s on your heart.

He’s the mighty God of Israel who caused the Red Sea to part.

If it seems that “pharaoh and his army” are ready to overtake you,

praise God for His powerful love and that He will not forsake you!

P. A. Oltrogge

“In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NKJV

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel, to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16 NKJV

“Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 GW

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15 NKJV

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (from 1 John 3:1-3) NKJV

“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 5:4-5 NKJV

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms….” Deuteronomy 33:27 NKJV

“Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 136:13 NLT

“…He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

Ravi’s Poem

From his native country of India, born over seventy years ago, came Ravi Zacharias, who, as a young man, would come to know…the real true meaning of living, having suffered from deep inner strife, before he found Jesus Christ after having almost taken his own life.

“Because I live, you will live also” were words of the loving Lord, that gave him the needed truth that there was a caring God to look toward. His life then started turning around, from the failures he’d sustained, when he prayed and studied the Bible–its words became ingrained.

A major move with his family to Canada was something that God directed; and, there, he kept trusting God’s Holy Spirit for his life to be perfected. When not at work, he sought fellowship at a church he would attend; and soon he met his Margie, who became his lifelong love and friend.

His great desire was to share the Gospel and also his personal story, of how God had rescued him from despair–for which he gave Him glory! For people from all walks of life, he pursued that mission of his heart–from war-torn Vietnam, to a great many countries that God would chart.

Often at universities, he presented the clear case for faith in Jesus Christ. He reached the doubters and questioners, telling them only Christ sufficed. His messages were shared in person and, in books, the Lord was extolled. He was loving and compassionate to all he met, yet his faith was very bold.

Ravi fervently shared the Savior and what a life entrusted to Him could be. “Because I live, you will live also” were words that he knew could set others free.

P. A. Oltrogge

Some books by Ravi Zacharias: Beyond Opinion; Can Man Live Without God; Cries of the Heart; Deliver Us From Evil; Has Christianity Failed You; I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah; Jesus Among Other Gods; Light in the Shadow of Jihad; New Birth or Rebirth; Recapture the Wonder; The End of Reason; The Grand Weaver; The Logic of God; The Lotus and the Cross; The Real Face of Atheism; Walking From East to West (Ravi’s autobiography); Why Jesus

The One Who Sent Jesus

When you believe in Jesus Christ and have settled that He’s the God who is true, you will not simply be believing in Him, but in the One who has sent Him, too. Jesus came into the world as God’s Light, so that darkness would be dispelled–that none should miss knowing their God, nor have their salvation withheld.

God desires to be a loving Father to all, but His justness will require judgment one day; Jesus did not come to judge but to save, and to teach us to be followers of His Way. All Jesus ever said or that He did, were things only from His Father that He’d heard A blessed life now and eternally are the gifts of which a Christian can be assured.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus shouted to the crowds, ‘If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know His commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells Me to say.’” John 12:44-50 (NLT)

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9:27-28 (NIV)

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” John 5:24 (NKJV)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NASB)

“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.’” John 14:8-10 (NKJV)

The Night is Coming

IMG_0711

“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 further 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

The Trusted Guide

Photo/Unsplash

How well does our Guide we’ve been given actually know the terrain? Well, you can trust a Guide thoroughly who’s made your own intricate brain.

When He says that He has numbered even the very hairs on your head, you can trust that He’s the caring One by whom you want to be led.

The world can seem like a jungle path on which many dangers might lurk. Thankfully, our Guide has given us His promises, which definitely do work.

Some persons, by their own efforts, have tried to find their way–then found it better to seek the Guide who is available to those who pray.

To make our destination, especially before the night will fall, we must keep confidence in the amazing Guide upon whom we’re privileged to call.

P. A. Oltrogge

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever..” words of Jesus in John 14:16

“…when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” words of Jesus in John 16:13-14

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25

“The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.” Proverbs 4:18 NLT

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you seek for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye.” Psalm 32:8

“He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” from John 10:1-18 NLT

“Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

“Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created.” Psalm 119:90 NLT

“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. You have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35-36

“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows–one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” spoken by Jesus in Matthew 10:28-31 NLT

“For you are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.” Psalm 31:3

“Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 136:13 NLT

Psalm 89:5; Psalm 89:8; Isaiah 55:6; Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:22-24; John 10:11-18; Hebrews 1:1-3; Hebrews 6:12

Scriptures NKJV or as noted

On the Highway with God’s Protective Spirit (GPS)

When you have a decision to make…among equally appealing ways,

you’ll be heading in the right direction if you begin on the road of praise.

Then, if an unforeseen roadblock on your journey suddenly comes into view,

just keep up the praise to God, and He can easily wave you through.

There could, however, be a perplexing detour that’s totally unexpected;

but trust the Lord if that arises, the Spirit’s direction being greatly respected.

Trusting in Him with all your heart, and not leaning on what your mind decides,

will keep you on God’s high “way” for you, following as He safely guides.

And if you’ve made a wrong turn, not led by faith, but by your own sight,

know that your loving God of heaven will still lead you to His route that’s right.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them.” Psalm 44:3

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

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

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Romans 8:14-17

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 RSV

“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

Deuteronomy 31:8; Psalm 37:23-24; Proverbs 24:16; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Romans 8:1; Hebrews 4:16; 1 John 1:9

His Presence and Protection

You're cared for by My angels, who daily surround;
and as you seek for Me daily, you know I'm easily found.

I appreciate what you do to help and encourage others, 
thereby building up the faith of your sisters and brothers.

And your prayers are so important to all people of the earth;
they bear fruit in helping many to find the "new birth."

I've given you the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide you;
He is wonderfully present, living inside you.

I'm your shelter and shield...have faith and not fear.
Emmanuel, God is with you...My love is steadfast and near.

P. A. Oltrogge

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring
forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, 
which being interpreted is, God with us."  Matthew 1:23 KJV

"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another 
Helper, that He may abide with you forever--the Spirit of 
truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither
sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells
with you and will be in you."  John 14:16-17 NKJV

"Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, He will 
keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will 
come to him, and make Our home with him.'"  John 14:23 NKJV

2 kings 6:14-16
Psalm 34:7-8; Psalm 73:28; Psalm 91
Proverbs 30:5
Matthew 9:38
John 3:3
Romans 5:5
Galatians 4:6; Galatians 6:10
Ephesians 1:13-14
James 4:8

See: "About the Porch"

God’s Word on the Unborn

What does the Bible say about the unborn and abortion?

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live….” Deuteronomy 30:19 NKJV

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:13-16 NLT

“This is what the Lord says–he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.” Isaiah 44:2 NIV

“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born.” Isaiah 46:3 NIV

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 NIV

“They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn He has done it!” Psalm 22:31 NIV

“He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.” Psalm 78:5-6 NIV

“As you know not what is the way of the wind, or how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you know not the work of God, Who does all.” Ecclesiastes 11:5 AMPC

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Luke 1:41 NIV

For a message regarding abortion, legislation pertaining to it, and your vote, go to http://www.emic.org for the September 13 service at Eagle Mountain International Church.

Archived posts about the unborn: A Baby in a Basket Ark; Of Such is the Kingdom of God; A Time of Budding