A Spiritual “Driver’s Training Course”

“We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe and therefore speak.”
2 Corinthians 4:13 KJV

If you were training a new driver who was going wrongly in reverse,
you wouldn’t wait until you saw things get worse.
You’d shout out, “Stop, put it in forward gear!”
Likewise, using words of faith in life is the right way to steer–
Not only that, it helps us to “drive away” from fear!

P. A. Oltrogge

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photo/Unsplash

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

“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

“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:23-25 NKJV

“…the just (the righteous man) shall live by faith.” (from Galatians 3:10-12, verse 11 NKJV and NASB)

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus in all generations, forever and ever. Amen” Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV

Proverbs 18:20-21
Proverbs 21:23
Luke 18:1
Philippians 4:8

Be blessed at
http://www.faithschool.org

Lord, Remember Me

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From Luke 23…

Two criminals on punishing crosses were next to the one which held the Lord.
One of the men rebuked the other, saying they were receiving a just reward…

for the other had blasphemed Jesus, ridiculing Him because He hadn’t saved
Himself and them—words which showed no fear of God but were, instead, depraved.

The criminal who defended the Lord must have known of His ministry of peace,
saying, “This Man has done nothing wrong,” though, for Christ, there’d been no release.

Then he, with humility, asked Jesus simply to remember him at the time, later… when He would come into His kingdom—he knew, in his heart, it was eternal and greater.

“Lord, remember me”…a simple, reverent plea, but so very wise…
for Jesus gave him the promise that that day, he would be with Him in Paradise.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10 NKJV

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJV

“…and after he brought them out (of the inner prison), he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they answered, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus (as your personal Savior and entrust yourself to Him), and you will be saved, you and your household (if they also believe).” Acts 16:30-31 AMP

Billy Graham called it the hour of decision–a wonderful one it is!
http://www.billygraham.org/classics

You Were There for Me

Sometimes in a crisis, either in our minds or that’s real,
we need the patient listening of someone who can feel…

the pain that we’re going through, the stress that is there.
By listening to our “story,” they show us the care…

that we are so in need of at times of trouble or pain.
Advice offered and a listening ear make Jesus’ love plain.

Best of all is when they offer to pray with us on the spot,
cooling things down in situations that are simply too “hot.”

P. A. Oltrogge

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15

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

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 NKJV

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Pathways Walked with Mom

Pathways of love,
pathways where you guided–
sweet memories of those pathways,
dear Mother, you’ve provided.

Much like a gardener,
you tended to my care–
weeding out some tendencies,
while cultivating those that were fair.

And if there were problems
at school or at play,
the pathway to Mom’s door
would help them go away.

Best of all, we walked pathways
which caused my spirit to be fed
with the truths in God’s Word,
so that by His Spirit I’d be led.

Now as I go about, on my own pathways since I’ve grown,
I’m grateful for the pathways that together we’d known.

P. A. Oltrogge

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Photo/Porch of the Lord

(The white stone borders along the flowers in this photo brought to mind the concept of the pathways in the poem. Hope you enjoy the blooms in the photo, which was taken by my daughter.)

He’s Opened the Life Gate

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To God be the Glory

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Refrain
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
Oh come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

Oh perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.

Words by Fanny Crosby
Music by William Howard Doane
Published 1875

Like Sheep Without a Shepherd

“And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

“And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.

“Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Matthew 9:35-38

There wasn’t any kind of sickness or disease which Jesus couldn’t cure. Today, He’s still alive; and, of His mighty healing power, we can be equally sure.

Jesus felt compassion for the multitudes, knowing that they were downcast and distressed. Like sheep without a shepherd, they were in need of His touch to be blessed.

It’s still the same in the world today–there’s need for healing and protection, even from any plague. But of greatest need is healing for the soul–as the ability to know God, for many people, has seemed vague.

Jesus said the harvest is plentiful and that we’re to pray for workers to bring it in before the night. And we ourselves can answer the call to share with others, near or far, about His love and light.

Yes, “like sheep without a shepherd” is descriptive of multitudes still today. Open their eyes, heavenly Father, to the Lord Jesus, as their healer, Savior, and Shepherd. This, for them, we pray.

P. A. Oltrogge

Lost No More

“Lost No More” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. http://www.GregOlsen.com

“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.” John 10:14

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

(Scriptures NASB)

The Living One

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…from Luke 24, a poetic account…

Some of the women who had loved Jesus set out at early dawn with spices they’d prepared…in order to anoint His body. How they might enter the tomb must have been discussed and shared.

When they discovered that the stone had been rolled away, they stepped inside the tomb and found…that Jesus’ body was not there–they were perplexed in looking around.

Suddenly, two men in dazzling clothing appeared to them–the women were terrified! The angels had come with a message about His resurrection…and death having been defied.

“Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen….” as the women could plainly see. Then the angels said to recall how Jesus had spoken of this very thing while still with them in Galilee.

Jesus had told them how the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men…and then be crucified; and on the third day, He would rise again.

So they remembered Jesus’ words and returned from the tomb to share with the eleven and all the rest. But the apostles couldn’t believe them–though Peter went to see for himself about this news that was blessed.

Two of the Lord’s followers were going to Emmaus on that very third day. They were discussing with each other the things that had happened in Jerusalem as they went their way.

Then Jesus Himself, not actually recognized by them, approached and began to travel beside them on the road. He asked them what they’d been discussing–their demeanors reflected that they were carrying a heavy load.

One of them, named Cleopas, asked how he could have been visiting Jerusalem and not have known or heard…of the fate of Jesus, the Nazarene, –a prophet mighty in deed and word.

They said that they had hoped He would be Israel’s redeemer…meaning by His leadership or even by being its king. But His death, instead, by crucifixion, had definitely changed everything.

Next, they shared that, on this third day, some women had gone to the tomb at dawn…and told them that, but for having seen there a vision of two angels, it was empty–His crucified body was gone.

Jesus addressed them, then, as foolish men, who were slow of heart to believe…in what the prophets had spoken of the Christ, implying that the wise would understand and receive.

Jesus went on to explain the things foretold of Him in the scriptures by Moses and other prophets, throughout. All this while, their eyes were prevented from recognizing Who was really with them on their route.

As they approached the village of Emmaus, their traveling companion, Jesus, acted as if he might travel on, but they urged him to stay with them, for the night was almost upon.

So Jesus went in to stay with them and reclined at the table to break bread. When He took it, blessed it, and gave it to them, their eyes were opened to see the living One, risen from the dead!

Jesus then vanished from their sight, and they reflected on how their hearts had been burning…as He spoke of how the Christ needed to suffer these things–this “stranger” had been so discerning.

At that very hour they got up to return to Jerusalem to share with the eleven what had transpired. As they were telling these things, there came in their midst, He whom their hearts desired.

It was Jesus, Himself, the Master, saying, “Peace be unto you.” Startled and frightened, they needed His assurance, once again, to see them through.

He asked them why they doubted and then showed them His hands and feet. They still couldn’t believe it, for joy and amazement. He then asked for something to eat.

After having the broiled fish that they gave, He again opened their minds to understand all that had needed to be fulfilled. Repentance and forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His Name, starting from Jerusalem…and from there, it would build.

They were to wait until they were clothed with power from on high…. Then He led them out as far as Bethany, where He blessed them and departed from them up into the sky.

After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy that was hard for them to contain. They were continually in the temple, praising God for their redemption, which had been made so plain…

and for their beloved King’s reign!

P. A. Oltrogge

“Why do you seek THE LIVING ONE among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen!” Luke 24:5-6

In the Twinkling of an Eye

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 NASB

At God’s appointed time, I’ll be saying goodbye.
That time is getting close, and I’ve tried to explain why.
I love you so much–please come along;
Don’t neglect Jesus for that would be wrong.
He’s preparing a party, and it will be grand.
Please don’t miss out because you don’t understand.
He’s made it so plain in the true Gospel story–
He, the Christ, is our way to Glory.
One thing’s for sure–all lives draw to a close,
so it’s best to put faith in the One who arose.
But we could see Jesus more quickly than we think
for the Bible speaks prophetically of what’s on the brink.
“In the twinkling of an eye…we shall be changed.”
Take Jesus and your place in Glory that He has arranged.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and the mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’” 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 NASB

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” words of Jesus in John 14:2-3 NKJV

Recommended reading:
The Last Hour
An Israeli Insider Looks at the End Times
Book by Amir Tsarfati

Love Sonnet to Jesus

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“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways…
I love Thee for giving me breath to praise.
I love Thee for all that you’ve done for me…
In deepest love, you bore my sin penalty.
And through what you have done on a cruel cross,
I can pray in faith and you’ll still “come across”
with answers to prayer as I continue to trust.
Your power has a loving and faithful thrust.
You provide shelter, food, and clothing to wear,
and commission me to the challenge with others to share
of the things of this life and that which is enduring–
the Gospel of Christ, our eternal, strong mooring.
I love Thee for causing your goodness to reflect
through family, friends, and teachers I respect.
I love Thee for your Word, which teaches right and wrong;
and my soul is pointed to you through beautiful song.
I love Thee for showing me your artistic impression
as seen in what you’ve created with gifted expression.
I love Thee for giving me the Holy Spirit,
my Comforter–not an audible voice, yet I can hear it.
I love that I can trust that by you I’m being led,
so intimately I’m known, even the number of hairs on my head.
I love Thee for your compassion–the goodness of your ways…
I love Thee that you promise to be with me all of my days.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7 NASB

“…He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.’”
Hebrews 13:5 NASB

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:13-14 NKJV

“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one. ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ.”
Galatians 3:16 NKJV

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29 NKJV

“If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
John 14:15-17 KJV

By Many Convincing Proofs…

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…after His suffering, Jesus presented Himself to the apostles alive. Thus, with any doubtful thoughts in their hearts, they’d no longer have to strive.

Gathering them together, the Messiah commanded that they shouldn’t leave…but stay in the city of Jerusalem, for, in not many days, they were about to receive…

what they had heard of from Him–the Holy Spirit’s power! Upon receiving, they would be the Lord’s witnesses from Jerusalem and beyond, from that very hour.

After Jesus had shared this, He was lifted up from them and was received into a cloud in the sky. As they watched, two men in white clothing stood beside them and asked the apostles why they were gazing so intently on high.

The two men went on to say that this Jesus, who was taken up from them in such a way, would come again in just the same manner, a reference to a future day.

The apostles, upon returning to Jerusalem, went to the upper room where they were staying. With one mind, they, and some women, including Jesus’ mother and His brothers, were all continually praying.

At that time, Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren, about one-hundred, twenty in all. He shared about the fate of Judas. After that was said, it was determined that Matthias would, instead, answer the Lord’s call.

And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. Suddenly, there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, which filled the house in every space!

Next, what looked like tongues of fire came to rest upon each one. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues of various languages before that first outpouring was done.

Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation all around. “The multitude” of them came together, bewildered, at this unusual sound.

They noted that all who were speaking in their language were Galileans by birth. Then Parthians and Medes and residents of many other areas joined in questioning it all, as well as visitors from Rome and other parts of the earth.

They were impressed, hearing them speak of the mighty deeds of God, “in a language that is mine.” But some others mocked them, saying, “They’re just drunk with sweet wine.”

This made Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raise his voice in a bold declaration–that they were not drunk so early in the day, but this was a phenomenon of God’s own preparation.

Peter referenced the prophet, Joel:

“‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘that I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even upon My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy. And I will grant wonders in the sky above, and signs on the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
Acts 2:17-21 and Joel 2:28-32

Then Peter addressed them, saying, “Men of Israel, listen to these words,” and he related the account of Jesus, the Nazarene–reminding them of the many miracles, wonders, and signs that many of them had actually seen.

Yet, by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, He was put to death by them through the hands of godless men. However God, Himself, raised Jesus Christ, the Messiah, up again.

Peter made reference to Jesus as the promised descendant of David, who had looked ahead…to the resurrection of Christ and His exaltation to God’s right hand after that raising from the dead.

Of that resurrection, Peter said, he and the apostles were witnesses to all that had taken place; and the promise of the Holy Spirit, of which Jesus had spoken, was further evidence of God’s grace.

And all of Israel should know for certain that God made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus, whom they’d crucified. Greatly moved, they asked Peter and the rest what they should do…their hearts were open wide.

Peter then told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. They would also receive the Holy Spirit…all part of how a new life in Christ begins.

So those who received his message and were baptized that day were about three thousand souls. Further teaching from the apostles, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer now were their devoted goals.

Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe…and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles that the people saw.

The believers had all things in common, sharing with one another where there was a need. In the temple and from house to house, gladness and sincerity of heart was shared in both word and deed.

The Lord was adding daily souls being brought into His fold, as He is doing still, if truth be told. The book of Acts continues to this day, so that “multitudes” may find the love of Jesus, as today’s Christ followers share and pray.

P.A. Oltrogge

(a poetic sketch of Acts 1 and 2)

Also referenced by Peter, Psalm 16:8-11 and Psalm 110:1