spiritualsnippets.com

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

The Cross of Christ

I Corinthians 1:18- “The message of the cross is the Power of God.”   6298781578_b3e7278622

I wear a cross necklace. I rarely take it off. It is a daily reminder to me that Jesus died for my sins.

It is not an amulet. It does not protect me against evil, danger, or disease. It is a symbol of God’s great love for me.

I see crosses on walls in churches and homes. I see them on car windows and tattooed on arms. I see them on rings, bracelets, earrings.

Some are made out of stained glass, some are cast in silver, some made out of barn wood, some even tooled onto leather headbands and wristbands.

I would like to think that the cross is more than a fashion icon, room decor, or body art.

I would like to.

I would also like to think that everyone knows the real meaning of Easter.

I would like to think that everyone has heard the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

I would like to.

But, just in case…

The story is a simple one, really.

A story about how God—because of His great love—left Heaven to be born of a virgin and live among men. How, according to His plan and purpose, He allowed men to take his life.

He became the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. He gave himself—shed His perfect blood—to make it possible for us to live with Him in heaven for all eternity.

It had to be this way. Because there was no other way.

Because perfect love didn’t say, “I won’t.”

Because perfect love said, “I will.”

The cross?

Its message is the Power of God unto salvation for all who will believe.

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A Free Gift for You

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Luke 3:22- “… and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

 

From her hospital bed, Lois opens a card with a familiar picture of a white dove on the front. The very sight of it warms her heart and reminds her of the peace of God.

Jenny pulls into the parking lot of a hospice thrift shop. She notices a familiar dove symbol on the sign as she enters the building.

Bill buys his wife a new Bible for her birthday. He has her name inscribed onto the leather cover, choosing the symbol of a dove to accent the beautiful printing.

What is it about the dove that makes it a popular symbol among Christians?

Two prominent stories in the Bible involve the dove. One is about the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit descending upon him as a dove.

In Genesis 8, Noah released a dove after the flood. When the bird returned to him, it had an olive leaf in its mouth, letting Noah know there was dry land nearby. Many commentaries consider this as marking the end of God’s judgment and the beginning of a new covenant with man.

What is this “new covenant?” Jesus explained at his last Passover meal that his blood would be poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:28). By this, he was affirming that his death and resurrection was the means by which he would bring salvation to all who would believe.

No more would the offering of animal sacrifices be required to cover their sins, a ritual that required repetition on a daily basis. Instead, Jesus would shed his perfect blood once—for all.

A free gift for all who would believe in the Son of God for the forgiveness of sins.

Not because of righteous things that we might do, but because of His great mercy.

He loved us. He gave himself for us.

That we might have eternal life.

May the Holy Spirit descend on you, like a dove, declaring to you the good news of His salvation and the truth of the gospel…

For this reason, He endured the Cross.

 

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How Will They Know We Are Christians?

John 13:35- “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”      What-Is-The-Meaning-Of-The-Christian-Fish-Symbol

 

A horseshoe, a four-lear clover, and a wishbone. Each symbolizes good luck.

Manufacturers have unique symbols for their products, whether they be cars, shoes, clothing, or eyeglasses.

Sports teams and schools choose mascots to make themselves more recognizable to the public and to build team/school spirit.

Traffic signs utilize symbols to help drivers become instantly aware of the rules of the road, especially those involving emergencies/warnings.

One interesting symbol Christians sometimes use is that of the fish, often seen on fenders, jewelry, and stationary.

The use of the fish symbol by Christians began in the early days of Christianity. Since Christians were often put to death for practicing their faith, they often worshiped in secret places.

A fish painted on the outside door of a house let Christians know that they would be safe and welcome inside. It was also used as a Christian greeting. Upon meeting someone new, a believer would draw half of the fish symbol in the dirt and the other person (if a Christian) would complete the other half of the symbol, thus revealing himself or herself as a Christian.

However, if the other person did not recognize what was being drawn, he was most likely a non-believer. Thus, the believers’s religious beliefs remained hidden.

Today, the Christian fish symbol is often used to identify Christians and/or Christian businesses. Free from persecution, at least here in the United States, the fish symbol is proudly displayed for all to see.

Jesus tells us that it is not symbols, elaborate robes, or showy prayers that should identify Christians to the world.

He wants us to show love and understanding to each other… to grant others the same mercy and grace he extended to us.

They will know we are Christians by our love.

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Our Loaves and Fishes

Philippians 2:13- “For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.” (Amplified NT)

 

“I can’t do it as well as he does.

I’m not as talented.

I’m not smart enough.

I don’t have the necessary skills.     4739074036_740ba846b7

I’m not good at public speaking.

I’m just not athletic.

I’m too short…too homely…too introverted…”

There are lots of excuses NOT to do what God has called us to do.

But, God tells us that in our weakness, he will be our strength.

If he has called us to do something, he will equip us.

Nothing can thwart us. Nothing can triumph against us.

Like the boy with the five loaves and fishes, we simply need to show up and offer what we have.

He’ll use it, multiply it, expound on it, magnify it, and be glorified through it.

In His hands, our scarcity becomes His abundance.

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