spiritualsnippets.com

Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

Sweeter Than Honey

Psalm 119:103– “How sweet are Your words to my taste; Sweeter than honey to my mouth.” Last week, the morning news showed long lines of people at our local shopping mall, as well as many others across the United States and around the world. Some had been waiting in line more than two weeks to purchase the new I Phone 6.  Some slept in tents, others relaxed in lounge chairs, still others rested on full size mattresses! No, this wasn’t a bargain sale. The cost was astronomical. Still thousands couldn’t contain their excitement as they waited for the Apple Store to open. I asked myself, as I watched dumbfounded, what could even compare to the record number of people who had turned out to be among the first to own the newest version of the I Phone? Would crowds have gathered in such numbers to buy, say, a copy of God’s Word, The Bible? It is the best-selling book of all time, no denying that. But, would it set off such a buying frenzy? Not in the United States. Not in any affluent country in which Bibles are plentiful.  Those of us who want one, are able to purchase one in a vast array of styles, covers, print options, sizes, and so on. In fact, I’m sure there are a lot of us that have several copies: thin, New Testament only, study Bibles. Some zip, others have handles, some children’s Bibles sparkle—variations abound. Because the Bible is so accessible, so plentiful, I am afraid that many of us take it for granted. But, there are some countries where seeing a copy of the Bible is a rarity. And whether that is because of poverty or lack of religious freedom, the Bible is revered as the precious Word of God that it truly is. Yes, if those people had an opportunity to see—to even touch—a Bible, I can imagine it would cause quite a stir. For a moment, imagine what it would be like to witness such a spectacular turn out to purchase a Bible. And then, glance in the direction of your bookshelf or bedside table and see the miracle displayed there in the form of a book inspired by the Holy Spirit. After a word of thanks, open it to Psalm 119 and turn to verse 103. Meditate, along with the psalmist, on the words written there. In the wonder of the moment, imagine the words to be as sweet on your own tongue, as they were to him when he penned them. Brenda

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Spread the Joy!

Matthew 6:31– “Do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?”

A few years ago, we vacationed in Hawaii. We enjoyed the slower pace, the relaxed atmosphere. We also enjoyed the island music.

One popular song which played over and over the week we were there was “Don’t Worry; Be Happy.”  We couldn’t help but sing it throughout the day. It was a catchy tune with a positive message.

God’s Word reminds us that worrying about anything is useless and counter-productive. Instead, God says that real happiness is found, not in wishful thinking, but in obedience to His Word.

Our focus needs to be on others—not on ourselves. We will find that when we take steps to help a neighbor, donate our time at a local food bank, or visit a shut-in, we will forget about ourselves, leaving our worries up to our Lord. As acts of service and worship, when we act as the hands and feet of Jesus, we will find His provision for our own needs to be more than enough.

We will find that we are never depleted, but that He is continually refilling our reserves of energy and compassion toward those whom Jesus has called on us to serve. When we follow His example, we find that our joy (yes, not superficial happiness, but deep spiritual joy) overflows!

Don’t worry! Spread the joy!

Brenda

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Calling All Sheep!

John 10:14- “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—My sheep hear my voice and they follow me.”

I grew up in an era when children played outside with their friends from the moment they got home from school until they were called for dinner. For most of the kids in our neighborhood, this was about 5:30 p.m.

Although there would sometimes be several parents calling their own brood home at the same time, each of us knew when it was our mother’s or father’s voice calling “dinnertime!”  And, when we heard it, we’d bid our friends good-bye and hustle toward home.

In today’s verse, God reminds us that He is our Good Shepherd. When He says that His sheep know His voice, he is referring to those of us who are “His.” This means those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

How do we hear Him? How do we distinguish His voice, from that of others?

Simple: If it is written in His Word, the Bible, then we can be certain it is truly His voice. The Bible also tells us that He will speak to us when we seek the wisdom of Christian friends, pastors and other church leaders. Many Christians tell of instances where they “hear” God’s voice in the form of an “impression” after a time of prayer, meditation, and/or fasting.

Just hearing His voice isn’t quite the intent of this verse, though, is it? What we do when we hear His voice is important, too. If I had heard my mother calling me to dinner, and had not heeded her call, I would have been pretty hungry by bedtime. In the same way, if we do not follow-up on God’s call with some kind of action on our part, we will likely find that we have missed more than a meal. We will have missed a banquet!

Christians, please don’t think that I am saying that you are going to miss the Marriage Supper. No, I am referring to missing out on the daily relationship with God and His blessings for those who respond to Him out of obedience.

If His voice is becoming indistinguishable in the midst of all of the others in the world vying for your attention, I encourage you to set aside time for daily prayer and get back into The Word. Become familiar, again, with the voice of The Good Shepherd.

Keep your ear tuned for His call!

Brenda

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Spiritual Stents

Acts 8:22- “Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.”  

Several years ago, my father went into the hospital for what we thought would be routine heart testing. Approximately a half-hour into the procedure, the doctor called the family into a conference room and showed us (via computer screen) Dad’s heart. He indicated two areas of blockage and asked for permission to place two stents.

Watching on the screen, we were able to see the stents inserted and the resulting rush of blood into the arteries that had been previously blocked. What a miracle to witness. We were all spellbound. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

Driving home, I thought about my how I needed a change of heart toward a close friend and an attitude adjustment toward a family member. I knew that harboring resentment would only lead to strained (blocked) relationships.

My hurt was deep and my feelings were REAL. I wanted to change and I knew that until I did, those relationships would’t be restored. But, how could I achieve these changes on my own?

I turned to the scriptures, asking God to show me what to do. I found guidance in His Word. Acts 8:22 held the answer. I needed to repent of my wrong attitude and ask forgiveness—first to God, and then to them.

It wasn’t easy, but I knew it was right. When I was obedient to God’s Word, a heavy weight was lifted. Today, our relationships are closer than ever!

Brenda

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Bringing Things Into Focus

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

 

For months my vision had become progressively worse until my world had taken on a hazy glow. Nothing was clear anymore. I consulted my ophthalmologist. Cataract surgery was in order.

I actually looked forward to it. The thought of a brighter world—maybe even a world free of the glasses I had worn since the sixth grade—was very appealing.

The process was streamlined, painless, and went off without complications. Within a few minutes, I was released from my foggy world. I was amazed—and thankful.

I think about the times when I fail to see clearly the actions I should take, the decisions I should make, when I wrestle with the “whys”. Those are the times I know that I must go to God’s Word. I need His healing for my “spiritual eyes”, bringing purpose and direction—a clear focus on what is important.

Some day, God has promised to reveal all things to us. But, in the present time, it is His Word that encourages and gives us insight into the future. Based on it, we can come before God with confidence in prayer, knowing that what we ask for aligns with His will as outlined in scripture.

So, go to His Word when you are having trouble seeing the path ahead, when you need someone to lead the way, when you are willing to surrender your own will to His, and just follow—when you’re willing to “…walk by faith, not by sight.”

Brenda

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