spiritualsnippets.com

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

Character Arc

Acts 9:27– “(Barnabas)…brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.”

Yesterday, at a writing workshop, we discussed the “character arc”. This simply means the change that happens within the character, over the course of a movie or book. In other words, the growth resulting from what they learn along their journey…the transformation.

Real life is like that, too, isn’t it? It’s a journey. Hopefully, we learn a lot along the way so that, by the end, we are not the same person we were when we started out.

We’ve changed.

Paul was someone with a HUGE character arc. He went from being a persecutor of Christians to being called of God on the road to Damascus.

What made the change?

It was the experience of meeting Jesus.

He was transformed from being a person filled with hate to a man so filled with compassion and love for others that he spent the rest of his life as a missionary, taking God’s message wherever he was led.

The change on the inside was manifested by a change on the outside—in his actions and behavior that everyone could see.

Because of this, he was beaten, thrown into jail, and eventually martyred.

This is character arc of the highest degree. A person so changed that he willingly gives his life for the cause.

There are brave people in our world right now who are being persecuted and killed for their belief in God. When asked if they are Christians, they bravely answer “yes”, giving their lives for the sake of the cross.

We may not ever face death for our beliefs, but let’s ask ourselves if we are willing to give our lives for our beliefs…an hour or two a week to help those in need…60-90 minutes to share the gospel?

If we know Jesus—if we have met Him and allowed Him to change us as we journey our own Damascus Road—then we will be willing to help bring His message to a lost and dying world.

One hour, one day, one compassionate act at a time.

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ADONAI Acrostic

In high school, I loved to do acrostics for my friends for their birthdays. It was a personal, yet inexpensive, way to celebrate each of them and their uniqueness.

In case you’re not familiar with them, you print a word, vertically, down the left hand side of the page. Then, you write a one-word adjective beginning with that letter, horizontally on the line next to each letter. An example might be:

“A” -adorable; “B” -brainy’ “C” -cute, and so on.

Instead of using one word, you can write an entire sentence or paragraph, if you like.

You might find it interesting to try doing one for your family members, grandchildren, etc. I promise, it will be the one thing they’ll save long after the Hallmark cards are forgotten!

Today, I would like to do a slight variation on this form of verse for ADONAI (Lord) by using a favorite verse from each book of the Bible beginning with the six letters in His name:
A cts 4:12- “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

D aniel 2:20-22 “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.”

O badiah 1:15- “The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.”

N ehemiah 9:6- “You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to

everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.”

A mos 4:13- “He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth—the Lord God
Almighty is his name.”

I saiah 6:3- “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

It takes a while to find just the right verse for each letter, but what a blessing it was to me while I was working on this to read chapter after chapter of His Word! I was overwhelmed to see, when I finished, that in most cases the verses spoke about our Lord’s attributes and/or were praises to Him.

Blessings,

Brenda

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Timeless, Relevant, Eternal

Genesis 28: 12-14  “(Jacob) had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it[c] stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”

 

 

On July 4th, Chinese artist, Cai Guoqiang, put on a stunning fireworks display featuring a 1,650 foot long ladder made of steel and gunpowder in the sky over Quanzhou, China. He created the fireworks in tribute to his grandmother turning 100 years old. It was a dazzling thank you for supporting his dreams as a young man.

Although this is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen with my own eyes (via U-Tube), it reminded me of Jacob’s Ladder and a Bible story I heard as a young child. In his dream, Jacob saw an even more spectacular display: angels ascending and descending a ladder that reached all the way to heaven! Through the dream, God gave Jacob a promise of land, descendants, and His protection.

It must be pretty awesome to receive a promise from God, you say. It sure is—and  although we may not receive a promise through a vision or a dream, the Bible is packed full of promises for each of us from our Heavenly Father.

The Bible is more than just a collection of old stories handed down through the ages. Each entry was included for God’s intended purpose. The verses weave together truths learned by those before us to help us in our own lives today because His Word is timeless and is just as relevant to our present situations as it was theirs hundreds of years ago.

Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word is “alive and active.” It’s not just a bunch of stale writing that has long since lost its appeal or relevance.

Since it can be challenging reading, however, you may find it helpful to get a Study Bible with added historical and geographical information. In addition, you may want to use a commentary. What the Bible is All About, by Henrietta Mears is easy to understand. I have used it for many years. If you want more in-depth information, your neighborhood Christian Bookstore has many to choose from.

Being involved in a small group Bible Study is another good way to gain understanding of God’s Word. Through discussion of passages/verses led by experienced leaders, we gain valuable understanding we might otherwise miss.

God’s word is TRUTH. It is ETERNAL. It NEVER RETURNS TO HIM VOID, or without accomplishing it’s intended purpose.

May He bless you, richly, as you let His Word speak His timeless truths to your soul today.

Brenda

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God Working Through You

Psalm 128:6a – May you live to see your children’s children—

I attended a Christian conference this week and was blessed by every speaker. I basked in a lush oasis of truth and love from God during that time. It is no secret that one way Christians hear from God is through other Christians.

One of the speakers talked about the time a friend sent him the words to a song. It was the perfect one for him to hear that day. He played it over and over again, letting it minister to his parched soul until he was refreshed and overflowing with joy.

Yesterday, I talked with a friend who shared a struggle their family is currently going through regarding visitation of her baby granddaughter. My heart broke, hearing that the baby’s father and grandparents had not seen this precious one for more than three months!

How can my friend possibly be smiling—finding peace—amid struggles like that? How can she sleep at night when her days are filled with law enforcement and legal issues?

After three months of prayer, God spoke to her through His written Word. She read His promise from Psalm 128 (above). Her heart leapt for joy with the assurance that she would see her granddaughter!

Moments after reading this verse, she received a telephone call from a relative, directing her to look at a specific Facebook page. Imagine her unspeakable joy when she saw the beautiful face of her granddaughter smiling back. The child’s mother had posted the picture and God used it to fulfill His words to her grandmother, my friend.

Her granddaughter is safe and healthy. God had not only heard her prayer, but blessed the reading of His Word by supplying tangible evidence of His love.

God can use our words of encouragement, our prayers, His Word, His people—in any way and any form—to bring hope, healing, and peace to those around us.

Pray for someone today, share a scripture, remind them that we worship a God who cares.

The encouragement they need, today, just may come from God, working through you.

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Is God On The Throne?

Exodus 20:3 and Deuteronomy 5:7- “You shall have no other gods before me.”

You may say, with a sigh of relief, “That’s an easy command to keep. I worship God and Him, only. The Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

On the surface, this may seem to be true. However, let’s dig a little deeper into the true meaning of this otherwise “simple” command. Some of us, would have to admit that at some point in our lifetime, something or someone else has become a “god” to us.

Let’s look at the definition of “god”: an adored, admired, or influential person. For example, a renowned designer may be regarded as a “god” in the fashion industry.

  • a thing accorded the supreme importance appropriate to a god: For example, don’t make money your god.

This word “god” is often used interchangeably with the word “idol”, an object that is worshipped.

Anything can become a god in our lives if we let it take control of our thoughts and actions…if we put it on the throne of our lives in place of our Lord and Savior who rightfully belongs there.

Here are a few such idols I thought of. (There are, undoubtedly hundred more.) Fame, family, fitness, food, football, golf, fortune, free time, fun, television…

To alcoholics, alcohol may have become their god, taking control of their thoughts, actions, and desires. To addicts, it is the drugs their bodies crave.

The list goes on to include gambling addicts, shopaholics, those trapped in a lifestyle of pornography, and on and on.

Some of these things are good, such as food. But when eating gets out of control and we begin the worship food…let it control us, we have crossed the line into dangerous territory.

So, how do we keep that from happening? We ask God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in turning away from these “false gods” and back to Him. We pray for the strength necessary to repent from this kind of sin in our lives and toward the One True God. We ask others to pray for us, too.

We “keep our hearts and minds on Christ Jesus” as we are reminded to do in the scriptures. Daily Bible reading and memorization is key to renewing our minds.

If we need to, we seek Christian Counseling from our pastors and/or mental health professionals.

Jesus asks us to worship Him with all our hearts, our souls, and our minds.

Anything else we allow on the throne of our lives will steal our joy and erode our relationship with Him.

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