The “Foolishness” of the Message of the Cross

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The symbol of the cross is seen throughout the world.
Yet, at its life-saving message, contempt is sometimes hurled.
Many say that it’s foolish and that, to them, it doesn’t make sense.
For if God is loving, they think they should be able to dispense
with its message of Christ being Savior as the one way to God’s heart.
But that is its true meaning which God, the Father, still seeks to impart.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son….”
It’s through Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection that our salvation was won.
Life blessed and “more abundant” can also be ours, Jesus said–
not only for eternity, but for “today” and every new day ahead.
We can do philanthropic deeds, but they won’t carry enough weight.
We must accept Christ’s sacrifice to secure entrance at heaven’s gate.

This isn’t always accepted by some who’ve earned higher learning,
but it’s through study of the scriptures, that one comes to be discerning.
Sometimes it takes a demonstration, by the Holy Spirit, of God’s power
to convince them of Christ’s Lordship; and it’s then, that faith will flower.
The message of the cross is that God loved us beyond measure–
May those who find it “foolish” find, instead, their greatest treasure.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us, who are being saved, it is the power of God. For it is written:

‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent, I will frustrate.’

“Where is the wise person? Where is the leader of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’”

1 Corinthians 1:18-31 NIV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:9-11 NKJV

(Read or view testimonies of the Lord’s
power at the websites of Andrew Wommack,
Joseph Prince, and others previously
mentioned on this site.)

With love, to Japan

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Every country and its people are unique, and the Lord loves the people in each one. Having visited Japan at one time, these thoughts come to mind…

Biblical excerpt from the
early morning encounter at the garden tomb:

“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” Matthew 28:5-7 NASB

“The Land of the Rising Sun”…It’s Japan’s name that’s widely known.
May it be “The Land of the Risen Son,” when knowing Christ has grown.
The uncertainties of ancient religions can never offer that which is true.
Receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord makes each person a creation anew.

Japan is made up of islands; its cities have lovely, inviting gardens.
The Lord sought refuge in a garden–before giving His life for the pardons…
which He earned for us by His obedience in taking the penalty for our sins.
For God so loved the world, that through Jesus, new life begins.

In a lush garden that was called Eden, God originally communed with man.
Then man sinned against God, but the Father had already made a plan…
to send a Savior, His very own Son, who would be heralded by angels in the sky.
“Christ, the Lord,” they called Him–He was born, that on a cross He would die.

Throughout His ministry, Jesus showed caring to those who were oppressed;
He shared the goodness of God–by His many miracles, people were blessed.
He told of the love of His Father in heaven and taught His disciples to pray.
We, too, can experience the love of God, sensing His presence with us today.

Jesus came to be our Redeemer, so relationship with God would be restored.
Those who receive Him as their Savior, have found the TRUE and LIVING Lord.
No longer are spiritual things vague. The love of Jesus is beyond compare…
so much so that those in Christ cannot help, of His wonderful love to share.

P. A. Oltrogge

“…the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands, as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is the footstool of My feet….'”
Acts 7:48-49 NASB

“For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods…
The idols of the nations are but silver and gold, the work of man’s hands.”
Psalm 135:5,15 NASB

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 NKJV

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus….” (from Romans 3:21-26 NASB)

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:3 NIV

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 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

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Photos/Unsplash
and Pexels

Angels on Assignment

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The delicate beauty of this Queen Anne’s lace
was designed by the Lord, who gives amazing grace…
Those who make Jesus their Lord, gain the gift of salvation;
and angels are assigned to minister to them in every nation.

_______________________________________________

When Joseph, betrothed to the virgin, Mary, learned that she was pregnant, a situation troubling for him to understand,

an angel in a dream revealed to him that the child had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, for the Savior’s birth which God had planned.

At Jesus’ birth, in Bethlehem, then, the skies were filled with rejoicing angels of great number,

appearing to shepherds, keeping watch over their flock, amid people’s nighttime slumber.

Again, in a dream, an angel spoke to Joseph, to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s attack,

until he would tell him, at a later time, when and where it would be safe for them to come back.

As an adult, and after His baptism by John, Jesus experienced a time of temptation.

He fasted in the wilderness and withstood the devil’s taunts. Then angels ministered to Him after its duration.

Much later, at prayer in Gethsemane’s garden, Jesus began to feel very great distress

about fulfilling His Father’s will at the cross. So His Father sent an angel there to bless,

strengthen, and comfort Him…as the time for His trial and crucifixion had begun to loom.

Perhaps the angel reminded Jesus that He would be raised up—in victory over the tomb.

Scripture states that Jesus endured the cross because, ahead, He could see the joy—

He would be loved as our Redeemer…from the devil’s works, which He had come to destroy.

Upon His resurrection, heaven sent angels to greet early mourners at the tomb’s site,

to tell them that Jesus had been raised from the dead, dispelling any sorrow they’d had or fright.

Then, we read in Acts, of when Simon Peter, the Lord’s disciple, had been wrongfully jailed,

that God sent an angel to work a jailbreak, proving that Peter’s brethren’s prayers hadn’t failed.

And the apostle, Paul, was on a ship to Rome, sailing in a turbulent storm at sea—

when an angel appeared to him with a message, that no loss of life would there be.

Angels are noted throughout scripture. They minister to the heirs of salvation.

As believers, we are recipients of their aid, and they serve throughout every nation.

I thank the Lord for their service, for their presence as we walk life’s many trails.

I can think of times past when I sensed their protection. Through faith, prayer, and their help, God’s Kingdom never fails.

P. A. Oltrogge

References: Matthew 1:18-24; Matthew 2; Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:9-12; Luke 22:41-44; Hebrews 12:2; 1 John 3:8; Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:11-13; Acts 12; Acts 27:23-25; Hebrews 1:13-14

“I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears…
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” Psalm 34:4, 7 NKJV

“Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.” Psalm 103:20 KJV

“Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, Who cover yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind, Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.” Psalm 104:1-4 NKJV

“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.’” Luke 2:10-12 NKJV

“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Matthew 18:10-11 NKJV

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

”He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 NKJV

“Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:13-14 NKJV

“For He shall give His angels charge over you , to keep you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11 NKJV

“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!” Psalm 148:1-3 NKJV

His Sheltered Ones

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The Bible says God is a shelter for us.
Could He ever be a shelter that leaks?

Hardly, since He made the planets and stars
and wonderfully built all the mountain peaks.

Under His wings, there’s strong shelter,
even in situations that are dire.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
were sheltered by Him in the midst of fire.

Daniel, thrown into the lions’ den,
and Noah, obeying and building an ark…

Both were sheltered by Almighty God
in two different circumstances that were dark.

Likewise, today, we need a shelter
in perils and plagues that could distress.

As Christians, we become sheltered ones,
under the wings of the true God who loves to bless.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in your tabernacles forever; I will trust in the shelter of your wings. Selah.” Psalm 61:3-4 NKJV

“They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones….Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish, that they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord; are the Most High over all the earth.” Psalm 83:3, 17-18 NkJV

“Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; In You I take shelter.” Psalm 143:9 NKJV

“The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:16 NKJV

and Psalm 91 NASB:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most high will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”

For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day;

Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you.

You will only look on with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked.

For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place.

No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.

For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.

They will bear you up in their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down,

Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honor him.

With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold My salvation.

poem postscript:
(Some might ask, what about those persecuted for their faith in Christ? Surely, the Lord has helped/helps them in trouble in supernatural ways. We do earnestly pray for them, at this moment, for deliverance from their enemies, and that those who persecute will find Jesus Christ, the true God, themselves.)

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3 NIV

Talk by Faith

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“I an not afraid; I only believe!”

…from the account of the raising up of the daughter of Jairus…

“When He was still speaking, someone came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, ‘Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher any more.’ But when Jesus heard this, he answered him, ‘Do not be afraid any longer, only believe, and she will be made well.'” Luke 8:49-50 NASB

“I am not afraid; I only believe…”
After I pray, I believe I receive.

“I am not afraid; I only believe…”
By speaking in faith, worries are relieved.

“I am not afraid; I only believe…”
overcomes any fears that the devil may weave.

If a matter hasn’t yet come to its desired perfection,
just say, “Everything is headed in the right direction.”

Even if it seems as if all hope is gone,
remember the Lord’s mercies are new at every dawn.

Trusting God has heard and will answer your prayers,
cast upon Him, every one of your cares.

P. A. Oltrogge

“–for we walk by faith, not by sight–we are of good courage….”
2 Corinthians 5:7-8 NASB

It follows that if we walk by faith, we also talk by faith! Though that’s not always easy if faced with challenging circumstances, it’s greatly beneficial, according to the Word of God.

“He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles.” Proverbs 21:23 NASB

“The mouth of a righteous man is a fountain of life….” Proverbs 10:11 NASB

“The one who guards his mouth preserves his life.” Proverbs 13:3 NASB

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24 NASB

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope. 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 3:21-23 RSV

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all you care upon him, for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 KJV

Quote by Kenneth Copeland:
“Fear tolerated is faith contaminated.”

Excellent book, “Faith to Faith”
available at http://www.kcm.org

Enter into God’s Kingdom

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Yes, Christians, in every walk of life, are working to persuade
that “the way” to eternal life for every person has been made.

Because of Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection–
through Him, our Father God sees any believer in perfection.

And you don’t have to take one Christian’s word alone,
for there’ve been many testimonies that conclusively have shown

that Jesus is alive–His Father is still giving time to decide
to accept His invitation, which is going out worldwide,

to be a part of His kingdom through Jesus, His spotless Lamb–
an invitation very graciously extended by the great “I AM.”

Please respond as soon as you can–one thing unknown is the exact date,
of when things will come to a close, so it’s very wise not to wait.

There are really just two kingdoms, one of darkness and one of light.
Come into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, the only choice that’s right.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'” John 14:6 NKJV

“Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too.”
2 Corinthians 5:11 NLT

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3 NIV

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” 1 John 5:11 NIV

“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12 NIV

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NKJV

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:36-37 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

“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 to life.” John 5:24 NKJV

Testimonies to watch or read at http://www.awmi.net
Also search: You Tube Jerry Savelle Terri’s Fingers

Photo: “Little Heaven”
Unsplash

Where the Spirit of the Lord is…

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“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV

So grateful, as we see the fireworks displayed,
that this is a land founded by people who prayed…

So many who recognized that this world’s true King—
is Jesus, the Christ—Lord above everything.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty;
and it’s through God’s beloved Son that men are truly free.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'” John 8:31-32 NKJV

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 NKJV

“…no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost.”
1 Corinthians 12:3 KJV

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” spoken by Jesus in Luke 4:18-19 KJV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” spoken by Jesus in John 3:16-17 KJV

Scatter Genuine Love

A clanging cymbal, a noisy gong,
that’s how a life is without love–so wrong!
If you speak of the future, possessing that gift,
know mysteries and knowledge, but don’t show love, you’re adrift.

Even if you have faith that seems to be heaping,
in God’s eyes–without love–nothing is what you’ll be reaping.
If you have faith that could remove a mountain,
without love, your life can be compared to a dried-up fountain.

If you give all your possessions to feed the poor
but have not love, you’ll always be unsure
of the mark you’ve made in this world that needs
your true love and compassion scattered as seeds.

If you give even your life, with your body being burned–
without love in your heart, there’s nothing you’ve earned.
Be patient, be kind–don’t be jealous or brag–
nor be arrogant or act unbecomingly–those things bring a snag.

Don’t let yourself be provoked, and forsake insisting upon your own way;
don’t take into account wrongs suffered in a fray.
Don’t be glad about things unpleasing to God, but be glad about what’s good.
In love–bear, believe, hope and endure all things as He would.

Other gifts will cease, but real love is enduring;
the partial will give way to a full maturing.
Now things in the mirror are dimly seen,
but, one day, all will be clear with a crystal sheen.

Faith, hope, and love–these three you can rate,
but love will always be the greatest of the great.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control–
Scatter these seeds and be a contented soul.

P. A. Oltrogge

(poetic thoughts from 1 Corinthians 13)

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” words of Jesus in John 13:34-35

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us; an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 4:32-5:1-2

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor….Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12: 9, 10, 21 (and all of the chapter)

Scriptures NASB

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A Father’s Love

The Prodigal Son, a parable Jesus told….

Once there was a man who had two sons fully grown,
and the younger asked for his inheritance to go off on his own.
So the father divided his wealth and the younger son went away,
while the older one was loyal to his father and knew that he would stay.

In a distant land, the younger squandered all of his part of the estate.
He lived in a wild and unwise manner, and poverty became his fate.
A famine occurred in that country, and he couldn’t get ahead;
he was hired to take care of swine and longed to eat what they were fed.

At that time, he came to his senses and remembered his father’s care–
even his father’s servants had always had meals that were generous fare.
So he thought out what he would say about the restoration he desired.
“I’m no longer worthy to be my father’s son–I’ll just ask to be one who’s hired.”

He then traveled back to his home, and the father saw him when still far away–
then ran to embrace and kiss him, before even hearing what he had to say.
The son repented of all he’d done, telling all that had been on his mind;
and there he found compassion and a heart that was only kind.

The father called to his servants to clothe the young man with all of the best–
the best robe, ring, and sandals—even with a banquet, he’d be blessed.
A celebration was called for everyone, for this was a time to rejoice!
But out in the fields, the older son stopped, having heard his father’s voice.

At the sound of the merriment, he inquired of the servants of what had just transpired. They told him that his brother was home, and that a celebration was what his father desired. He became angry then and wasn’t willing to even go inside, but his father came out to entreat him–he wanted him to be alongside.

The older son said, “…For so many years I’ve been serving you, and I’ve never neglected a command….” He complained that he felt what his brother deserved was his father’s reprimand. “My child, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours,” the father said. But they needed to rejoice for this son now lived. “This brother of yours was dead–

He was lost and has been found,” he said–much like a Shepherd rejoices to find
a lost sheep that had strayed far from the fold but had always remained on His mind.

P. A. Oltrogge

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From Luke 15:11-32

“I am the good shepherd and I know My own, and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father, and I lay down My life for the sheep.” words of Jesus in John 10:14-15