On This Good Friday

Print by Waiting for the Word

Print by Waiting for the Word

“Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. ‘Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,’ he said.

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed His last.” Mark 15:36-37 (NIV)

He was betrayed in a garden
For purpose of our pardon…

Then brought, as a Lamb,
To a “trial” that was a sham…

Spit upon and crowned
With thorns that they found…

He was whipped on His back,
And endured each loud crack…

Made to carry the cross,
Despite His strength’s loss…

His hands and feet were nailed down
On a cross, rugged and brown…

His bleeding and His pain
Were meant for all our gain…

Wine vinegar for His thirst
On a sponge, was among the worst…

Of the things He did endure
For a motive, which was so pure…

He knew His Father so loved the world,
That He took the mocking that was hurled…

Then, being obedient unto death,
He took His final breath…

From the cross unto the tomb,
It all became a kind of womb…

For, from it, Christ emerged
In victory–all our sins were purged…

So that now whosoever will
May freely have their fill…

Of His Living Water that’s yet presented
For any person who has repented…

Christ still gives, with a love that doesn’t cease;
A simple prayer will bring you His peace.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

Something to Consider

Photo by Matt MacGillivray

Photo by Matt MacGillivray

Consider the Birds and the Lilies

Look at the birds of the air…
They don’t sow, reap, or gather
Their needed food into barns–
But are dependent upon God, rather.

Consider how the lilies are clothed–
They toil not, nor do they spin,
But to the heavenly Father’s care
They’re blessed to give in.

Yes, consider these,
And consider giving in
To the message of Christ’s love
Above this world’s din.

Partake, through the Bible, from God’s table
Of spiritual food fit for a King’s heir,
And be clothed in the love of Jesus,
The finest thing you could wear.

Consider the children,
So gentle and so tender–
What kind of faith
To them will you render?

One that speaks dislike
And contempt of others–
Or one that speaks love
And draws all men to be brothers?

The heavenly Father gave Jesus
To tell of God’s care and to guide.
When we take Him as Savior, He gives love
For all others for whom He has died.

So just like the lilies
Or the birds of the air,
May people of all nations be blessed to give in
To Jesus–the way to the Father God’s care….

P. A. Oltrogge

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies….” Luke 6:27

“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’” Matthew 22:37-40

“For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34

Come, you blessed of My Father

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34

Did you learn to love (as I’ve loved you) in your daily walk;
Or was it not really genuine, but, instead, merely talk?

That’s an outline of a question Jesus will ask one day
In separating His sheep and removing the goats away.

If you took care of others, even “one of the least of these,”
He’ll say you did it to Him, and will have found that to please.

Kindnesses done for others in His Name, with sincerity of heart,
Are implied to be noted by Jesus, as if on a heavenly chart.

The righteous will ask, “When did we do these things for You?”
While the unrighteous will insist that they did them, too.

Faith in Jesus saves us through His service, highest of all;
But we serve Him, out of love…it’s our heavenly call.

“Works” left undone or devoid of Him won’t carry any weight;
Make Jesus your Savior and Shepherd before finding it’s too late.

P. A. Oltrogge

“All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you game Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You? Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Matthew 25:32-46

Photo by Karen Roe

A Painter, and the Light of the World

(Likely, you’ll recognize the identity of this person of whom I’m writing.
If not, then I hope you’ll enjoy this brief “story” of an artist’s life.)

From a majestic mountain to a quiet glade,
paintings that featured light were this artist’s trade.
Inviting, lighted cottages by peaceful lakes or streams,
became sweet reflections of all of our dreams.

Churches, gardens, or a bridge that was quaint,
came into being through his brushes and paint.
A cabin in the woods; a lighthouse by the sea;
an American flag waving in the land of the free…

And famous landmarks or an old-fashioned street
were the many scenes that made his gallery complete.
Hidden in his paintings were initials he would write,
revealing the heart of this painter of light.

A tour filmed in Israel, where Jesus had walked,
came alive to the viewers as he painted and talked–
of Gethsemane’s Garden, where Jesus had prayed
that the way of the cross might not have to be paid.

His artistry placed the cross of Jesus Christ high,
which spoke of God’s love against a splendorous sky.
He spread the Lord’s peace, through scriptures quoted
by his kind voice; and, in books, they were noted.

An impact for good was made by this man–
a big splash on this world was his part in God’s plan.
But don’t look to the imperfect artist, he had said,
just look to the cross of Christ instead.

P. A. Oltrogge

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Pexels

“The Lord is my light and my salvation….” Psalm 27:1

“Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.'” John 8:12

“But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14

The Perfect Gift

Photo by Jim Sorbie

Photo by Jim Sorbie

…A seasonal poem telling a story of a Christmastime visit–northern relatives visiting family in the southern U.S…. They appreciate some brisk weather for a southern state as it reminds them of home.  They shop for gifts and then take in an outdoor Christmas lighting display at a local church, where their attention turns to the most perfect gift of all.

A special time, pure white snowflakes,
Drifting down upon the roofs–
Moonlight reflecting on glistening snow blankets,
Years ago sleighs and horses hoofs…

Yet further south where palm trees stand,
It’s not so cold this time of year.
But some nights can get brisk and that’s all the better
To spread the feeling of Christmas cheer…

We’ve shopped for gifts
For this time of giving and receiving,
And have wrapped them quickly before they were seen.
Each one will be perfect, we’re hoping, believing…

The bustle of shops seems far away,
And evening is calling us now to reflect
On a Gift long ago that was given to us
And was perfect in every respect…

It’s time to take in a lighting display
On a pleasant walk in a peaceful church yard,
With cups of hot chocolate, wassail or cider
On a clear night that’s moonlit and starred…

The tour begins with miniature train sets,
Captivating the children with their tiny village sites.
But all are in awe of the amazing task done
By those who had strung high the Christmas tree lights…

Tones and bells, soft, then louder
Carolers round the bend–they’re rightly bringing
The message of what it is all about–
The birth of our Savior is why they’re singing…

Bethlehem, the manger, shepherds and wise men–
The Nativity glows, reminding us of these;
But mostly the Lord, Jesus Christ, we think on–
So grateful He came, we’re down on our knees….

Oh hear the angel voices! Oh night divine! Oh night when Christ was born!

P. A. Oltrogge

Photo by Jeff Weese

Photo by Jeff Weese

We Have a God in Heaven

We have a God in heaven who loves us so much;
We have a God in heaven, with a gentle touch.
You can know Him as Father; He’s calling today.
He speaks through the Bible, and He hears when we pray.
We have a God in heaven, who wants to abide;
Through the power of His Spirit, He’ll live right inside.
He’ll remove all your sins–just open your heart.
Then the dear God of heaven will never depart.
We have a God in heaven, He’s Jesus by name.
He cares just for you, though He has worldwide fame.
Yes, Jesus is Lord, the Savior of all–
Oh, come to Him now. Resist not His call.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19

“Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:12, 13

“…For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5 (New King James)

A Rose in the Rain…

Photo by Audrey J.M.

Photo by Audrey J.M.

When facing difficulties…

Beloved, to God, you are His rose in the rain;
And don’t ever think He doesn’t feel your pain.
Trials aren’t sent to us by the Lord;
No, they’re deep rivers that He alone helps us ford.
The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy,
But we’ve got God’s Word to foil the thief’s ploy.
God’s promises are sure–He never has lied;
And the desire of your heart will surely be supplied!
With our eyes on God’s Word, we persevere;
We know this fulfillment is already here!
For faith says right now what isn’t seen with our eyes,
Because we know that our God has heard our hearts’ cries.
A rose in the rain, but you’re hardy and strong—
You trust in God’s Word and in Him to Whom you belong.
There’s an answer in God for every problem we face;
So we thank You, Heavenly Father, for the answer by Your grace.

P. A. Oltrogge

“The righteous cry and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Psalm 34:17-19

“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12

Thoughts From the 23rd Psalm

Photo by Roger Davies

Photo by Roger Davies

The Lord is my Shepherd–my faithful guide;
And through His leading, He always will provide.
He causes me to rest in pastures so green,
Beside quiet waters that speak of the serene.

He encourages my soul if I should ever feel down,
Reminding me I’m wearing God’s “lovingkindness” crown.
Knowing the wisdom of following as Christ leads,
I walk paths of righteousness, sowing Kingdom seeds.

If at times there are valleys, with storms very dark,
I’m safe with my Shepherd–He is my strong ark.
I refuse any fear–His rod and staff keep me stable;
And before any enemy, He prepares me a table.

With divine Kingly oil, He’s anointed my head;
My cup overflows, as by His Spirit I’m led.
Of His goodness and mercy, He always will give;
And in the house of my Shepherd King, I forever will live.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:3-5 (New King James Version)

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17 NKJV

“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.'” Revelation 5:9-11 NKJV

Those Who Pray

“…the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.” (from James 5:13-18)

Shut away where no one sees,
Those who pray are down on their knees.
It’s a very high call, but only I know
Of what they do since there’s nothing to show
Until a later event or final outcome
Shows “something” was done–that’s where it came from.
With confidence to the throne of grace they draw near,
To receive mercy and help–they know I’ll hear.
At times it may seem like a lonely place,
But they’ve learned to love to seek My face.
My eyes are toward them, My ears hear their cry.
They know My promises–it’s impossible for Me to lie.
According to 1 John 5, verses fourteen and fifteen,
They pray and then know–there’s no in between.

P. A. Oltrogge

“And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” 1 John 5:14, 15

“Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.” Psalm 34:15

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
Numbers 23:19

“…it is impossible for God to lie…” (from Hebrews 6:18)

“…in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago.”
Titus 1:2

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret, will repay you.” Matthew 6:6

A Perfect Redemption…

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” Matthew 9:35 (NKJV)

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

“…that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.'” Matthew 8:17 (New King James – NKJV)

“…for by His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

Jesus, You took my infirmities, You took my pains…
Through scourges and the bleeding that came from Your veins.
That blood was spilled out for my sins, well-being, and health–
A perfect redemption from God’s Son of great wealth.
There’s no point in my bearing a cruel disease–
You’ve already done so in order to please
The Father in heaven, Who gives in a loving way,
To any who come to Him in faith when they pray.
In this matter, some have been hurt by the devil’s wiles;
But Your compassion is steadfast in the midst of such trials.
To keep my words in the past tense is what You’re telling me–
“For me, the battle’s been won!” and the devil has to flee.
I’ll continue to thank You despite how I feel
And practice faith laughter since it’s a “done deal.”
In faith, through my actions, I’ll pursue any route
That, if led by Your guidance, would assist in the way out.
But “mountains” melt like wax in Your presence, oh Lord,
And the one that’s before me must yield to Your Sword.
In remembrance of You, I’ll often take
Of the covenant meal provided for my sake.
I won’t quit in giving thanks, but see myself whole,
For You didn’t just attempt–but achieved–redemption’s goal.
A message in Your Word, a message that’s true–
“He heals all my diseases”–I know You’ve seen it through.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases….” Psalm 103:1-3

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'” 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 (NKJV)

“My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22

“The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.” Psalm 97:5

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-15

“With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold My salvation.” Psalm 91:16

(If you’ve experienced doubts or even disappointment regarding healing, I pray you will cast the care of that over on the Lord and persevere, retaining faith for healing, for God’s Word is His will.)

Further scripture references:

In Deuteronomy 28:15-22, 27-29, 35-61 sicknesses and disease are listed as a curse of the Law. Galatians 3:13-14 states that “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us….”

Exodus 15:26; Exodus 23:25-26; Psalm 91:3; Psalm 91:10; Psalm 107:19-20; Psalm 118:17; Proverbs 12:18; Proverbs 16:24; Proverbs 17:22; Isaiah 53:4-5; Isaiah 55:11; Isaiah 57:19; Matthew 7:11; Matthew 8:2-3; Matthew 15:30-31; Mark 11:23-26; Mark 16:15, 17-18; Luke 18:27; John 10:10; Acts 10:38; Romans 8:11; James 1:17; 1 John 4:4; 3 John:2 and others.

See http://www.rhema.org
Study Center, Articles on Healing
and http://www.awmi.net
Testimonies on Healing