spiritualsnippets.com

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

Sharing the Reason for Hope

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1 Peter 3:15- “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

 

I gather up my things and exit the passenger side of the car. Outside stands my husband with “that look” in his eyes. He cannot understand why it takes me so long to exit.

I tell him that I have to get my bottled water. (It’s hot in Arizona and I get thirsty).

Next, my sweater. (It’s often cold in church, restaurants, malls, and meetings).

I also take an umbrella. (You never know…)

I take my coupon organizer. (I’m prepared for discounts anywhere we go).

I often have a soft drink, bottle of lotion, sunglasses, a few coins for change, and breath mints, too.

Then, of course, there are my purse and keys.

Oh, you think some of those things should go into my purse?

No room.

You see, in there I keep my wallet, checkbook, business cards, kleenex packet…

I guess you could say I’m prepared.

There are certain situations in the Bible in which God warns us to be prepared. One of them is in the verse from 1 Peter, chapter 3, verse 15.

Just as there may be an unexpected shower, or the need for sunglasses or breath mints, undoubtedly someday someone will ask us about our faith.

And, when they do, we need to be ready to give them an answer, explaining how we came to know and trust Jesus as our Savior.

Being prepared will mean that we will be able to make the most of every opportunity that comes our way in order to gently, respectfully, introduce someone to the God who loves them and gave himself for them, too.

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Choose Your Own Ending

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John 3:16- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

When I taught my creative writing unit to my third graders, I sometimes used what we called “story starters.” These were usually a paragraph or two which “started” a story.

Although the initial paragraphs were typed onto the students’ papers, I usually read them aloud—very dramatically, if I do say so myself—following up with the directions for the students to finish the story, using their imaginations. Afterward, volunteers read their story endings in front of the class or posted them on a bulletin board.

Most students loved creating their own endings. Some were happy, some exciting, some sad. All of the many variations, which had each started from the same initial teacher-written paragraph(s), ended differently.

In real life, we have choices to make which affect the stories of our lives, don’t we?

And, then there’s the ultimate decision—whether or not to follow Christ.

No matter what our personal “story starter” was, we each have the power to choose our own ending.

In my latest book, The Choice, Will Hayes rejects Jesus and later experiences the reality of hell.

It didn’t have to be that way, of course. He could have chosen Christ. He could have chosen life.

I wrote the book as an urgent message to those who have, yet, to make the choice.

The Bible says that God doesn’t want any of us to perish. He gives us the freedom to accept or reject Him.

The ending of our story depends on the choice we make.

Yes, the beginning of our story has already been written, but, we can still experience forgiveness for the less-than-perfect choices that have shaped our lives from that point forward.

We can still be assured of eternal life in Heaven, by accepting Jesus as our Savior.

 

How will your story end?

The choice is yours.

 

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Dear Friend

 

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John 15: 13-“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

 

Veteran’s Day means, to some people, a day off school and or/work. But to many Americans, it is a day to honor those who serve—and have served—our country.

Whether in the lines of battle or as support behind them, we owe veterans a debt of gratitude. The freedoms that we enjoy are due to the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.

Few of us can truly understand the depth of love of country—or for their fellow man— that motivates these brave soldiers to make the ultimate sacrifice for the rest of us—while we sit at home and watch television, enjoy family barbecues, or play golf.

Life goes on for us, virtually uninterrupted, unless we are the family members of a loved one claimed by a sniper’s bullet or a surprise ambush.

For those who served in the past, those currently stationed in faraway countries, and for those who are contemplating enlisting in the future, I am grateful.

You don’t know me.

We may never meet.

But, I want you to know that I appreciate your standing in the gap for me.

Because of you, I enjoy a beautiful home and family, I can walk the streets of my neighborhood in relative safety, I am able to worship without persecution.

When I look into the sky, I see a sprinkling of white clouds and expansive wings of an eagle flying overhead—not planes being shot down, rockets exploding, and smoke filling the air.

Because of you, I enjoy a quality of life that is only a dream for many others in the world.

Jesus reminds us that the greatest among us are those who lay down their own lives for others…

Thank you for being my friend.

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Need Help Doing What is Right?

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Romans 7:15-  “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

 

Have you ever felt like Paul in this verse from Romans?

Does it seem the more you try not to do something you know is wrong, the more you find yourself doing it?

It could be lying.

Perhaps speaking your spouse with sharp words.

Maybe it’s being critical of someone else’s actions.

Or watching something inappropriate.

You try not to do it. You really make an effort. You pray to God for help.

We all have similar stories, don’t we?

So, what gives?

The Apostle Paul wrote the words in Romans 7:15. Even though he was a mature christian, but he admitted to doing the very things he didn’t want to do!

Perhaps one of the marks of a mature Christian is the awareness of this struggle with evil in our lives.

So, like Paul, we find ourselves saying, “What is wrong with me? How come? The very good that I want to do, I do not do. That which I don’t want to do, is precisely what I do?”

If we read on to the end of Chapter 7, a verse pops out at us: “Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ our Lord.” And, if we proceed into Chapter 8, Paul talks about the power of the Holy Spirit to give us strength to conquer our sins…our destructive behaviors that hurt us, those we love, and strain our relationships.

One of the reasons He gave us the Holy Spirit was to help us do what is right.

If we are forgiven through the death of Christ on the cross, why do we still live with the truth from chapter seven?

The truth is, we are both saint and sinner. And, as long as we live here on earth, we will experience this struggle.

So, take hold of the power of the Holy Spirit to help you conquer your weaknesses as they show up in your daily life.

Then, thank God for victory over the very things that keep you from a deep and satisfying relationship with Him and those you love.

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