spiritualsnippets.com

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

Prepare Your Heart to Seek God

2 Chronicles 19:30– “Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God.”

Gifts wrapped. Check.

Cookies baked. Check.

Christmas letter written. Check.

Tree trimmed. Check.

Preparations.

All year long we prepare for

Birthday parties.

Meals.

Exams.

Food drives.

Company.

The Bible tells us how the Israelites prepared for their journey into the Promised Land, Noah prepared for the flood by building the Ark, Solomon prepared to build the temple, the people prepared for the passover, and Mary for the birth of Jesus.

The Bible also tells us that we must prepare our hearts to seek God.

Not just at Christmas.

But every day.

Like David. Like King Jehoshaphat.

What does that look like, in real life, in the twenty-first century?

Perhaps it looks no different than it did back then: coming before the Lord in quiet contemplation, emptying our thoughts of the hustle and bustle of preparations and coming quietly before Him…

with praise on our lips

with thanksgiving in our hearts

with souls ready to be filled.

Expectantly.

Jubilantly.

 

With a desire to know Him.

 

The babe in a manger.

The Savior on a cross.

The Lord of All.

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Join The Army

Genesis 21:22– And it came to pass at that time that Abimelech and Phichol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do.”

 

Bells ringing. Red kettles.

It’s that time of year, isn’t it?

Salvation Army volunteers—outside stores and malls. Rain or shine. Warm or cold.

Whether ignored or embraced, there they are. Faithful to their cause.

I knew little more than the fact that they are a Christian-based organization.

This year, I was determined to find out more.

Here is just a fraction of what I discovered:

  • Founded by William Booth in 1852 in England.
  • Began as a ministry to win the lost multitudes to Christ.
  • Booth started by preaching in the streets of London to the poor, homeless, and hungry.
  • In 1865, he began tent meetings to preach the message of hope and salvation.
  • In 1879, Lt. Eliza Shirley held the first meeting of the Salvation Army in America.
  • Today, the Salvation Army is active in virtually every corner of the world.
  • Most centers hold weekly worship services.
  • Areas of ministry include: prison ministries, adult rehab, veterans services, elderly, combatting human trafficking, and missing persons via international social service.

I had no idea they did all of this, as well as offering residential housing and work opportunities to various individuals and groups.

They are literally an army of individuals whose main goal is GIVING SPIRITUAL DIRECTION TOWARD A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS PROVIDED BY JESUS CHRIST.

I remember, as a child, singing a song in Sunday School about being in the “Lord’s Army”. (I may never ride in the infantry, shoot in the cavalry, shoot the artillery,  but I’m in the Lord’s Army.) These words were followed with a salute.

It wasn’t until years later, when guys I knew were drafted into the U.S. Army, that the concept of God’s Army started coming into focus for me.

Now, more than ever, a vast army of God’s people needs to rise up in prayer and step out in faith. We need to join with other Christians around the world in serving those less fortunate and in proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel to a hurting world.

Fear and unrest dominate newscasts. Violence abounds.

Time is short.

We may not ring a bell.

We may not stand outside the mall beside a donation kettle.

But, we can pray, donate, serve, share the message of hope.

Because, when we do, like Abraham,

God will be with us.

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Make A Joyful Noise–and Join the Heavenly Choir!

Revelation 15:3- “They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!”

 

This morning, our church choir was a bit scant. Some were ill, others on holiday trips. The director did something that has never been done before. She did an all call, asking members of the congregation to walk to the front of the sanctuary and “fill-in” for one of the missing members.

Now, I admit to being “vocally challenged”. So, when the opportunity to sing with the choir arose, I jumped on it.

Like a lot of us folk who weren’t blessed with the most beautiful of voices, I LOVE to sing…to lift my voice in praise of the Almighty. So, I literally flew to the front and joined the group.

It was a great experience. I forgot all about being in front of the congregation and just sang—from my heart.

I couldn’t help but imagine, when I returned to my seat, what it will be like to sing in that heavenly choir one day…joining in with the angels in unending praise of our Lord.

Only then we will be able to fully express the depth of our love and our gratefulness to our savior.

I don’t think we will need any kind of a teleprompter. We will sing from the depths of our souls.

From that place deep inside that only Jesus can fully know or understand.

My voice may produce more of a noise, than a beautiful sound of a fine-tuned instrument, but it will definitely be filled with joy!

This IS indeed a joyful season, but for Christians every day is a reason to rejoice…every day is a new opportunity to lift our voices in praise to our king.

Even if it is for only five minutes in the warmth of a morning shower—my usual venue—let’s lift our voices as if in rehearsal for that heavenly choir that we will one day be able to join.

Because I have it from a good source that there are still a few openings left.

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