spiritualsnippets.com

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

House of Bread

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My sister and brother-in-law joined us for dinner, last night, at an Italian restaurant.

For me, the highlight of any dinner is always the bread—and this restaurant definitely didn’t disappoint. The breadsticks were plentiful. They were soft and warm…buttery and covered with parmesan and garlic.

I ended up gorging myself on them and taking half of my spaghetti and meatballs home in a styrofoam to-go box.

Beggars, I am told, often ask for a crust of bread because it is filling…nutritious…a staple.

I don’t think it was by accident that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a city whose name means “house of bread.”

I also think that when Jesus talked about bread in the scriptures, he was making a great connection for us…telling us that we need HIM to fill us…make us complete.

Jesus satisfies every longing. He will never turn us away hungry because He is THE BREAD OF LIFE!

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The Single, Most Important Gift

 

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“…Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you… Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”                                                                                                Luke 6:27-31; 36-37

 

I love giving gifts—especially surprising someone with something they have been wanting or something they’d never buy for themselves (but would really like, of course).

One year, it was buying my parents new towels and matching shower curtain. They loved the gift—something they would not have thought of purchasing for themselves.

By the way, there is a gift that would be appreciated by almost anyone. A gift you can give any time of the year.

Whether it is a family member, a friend, or just a “crazy driver” on the road, the gift of forgiveness—even though difficult—is always appropriate.

God forgives us of our sins in order to restore a right relationship with Him. Forgiveness will do the same for us and those we love and care about. It clears the air. It says, “I care about you. I want to reconnect with you. I want you to be a part of my life.”

Forgiveness is as much about the one doing the forgiving as it is about the one receiving the forgiveness.

For the one being forgiven, it is like getting a gift you don’t deserve—a gift called grace.

But, for the one giving the gift of forgiveness it means the opportunity to restore the relationship.

Is there someone in your life who needs to be forgiven?

It could be the single most-important gift you give this season—bringing joy, peace, and restoration—a gift of grace.

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The Unopened Gift

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If someone told you that they have a Christmas present that they refrain from opening, and that year after year it remains wrapped underneath their tree, you would probably stare at them in disbelief and ask

“Why?”

Good question.

But, wait, do you have a gift you haven’t opened?

I think you know the one I’m talking about.

God gave us a gift when he sent his son, Jesus, to earth. But, have you put off opening your gift? Unsure of what to do with Him…how your life might change if you accepted God’s gift?

What if I told you that there’s not a gift—at any price—that could ever compare to God’s gift?

After all, could there be any better gift than forgiveness of sins…eternal life… unconditional love of Almighty God?

Amazing, huh?

This is a gift so special that you won’t want to exchange it, get a refund, or leave it unopened.

God is reaching out to you with a precious gift.

All you have to do is accept it.

Don’t think you’re worthy?

You’re right.

Not one person that has ever accepted God’s gift has been worthy of it.

Not one person has been able to earn it, either…because it’s a gift.

Right now, I’m asking God to give you the strength to lay your fears aside and reach underneath the tree—that place where you’ve left God’s gift unopened—and give you the courage to accept Jesus, His son, and the salvation that He brings to each of us who BELIEVE.

 

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Laying Aside Our Perspective

I Corinthians 13:12- “ For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”28684556474_5ed7a6dcbb

Have you ever seen one of those magazine pictures that is a “partial” picture and you’re to try to imagine what the entire picture might be?

For instance, the picture might be that of the frightened face of a young boy. You might think that, if you could see the entire picture, he is afraid of a bear…or he is lost in a department store…or he is facing an angry parent’s discipline. Then, when you turn the page, you find out if you have guessed correctly as the entire picture is revealed.

Situations in our lives are a lot like that because the Bible tells us that we can only see “in part.”

That accident, illness, or disappointing friendship that causes us worry and sorrow in the present, may just be the catalyst for bringing someone to Christ or averting a loved one from physical harm.

Since we only see part of the scene, we learn to trust God—to exercise our faith in Him—remembering that He is in control of it all and is able to see the BIG PICTURE.

A long time ago, the life of a college friend was spared because she wasn’t able to make a plane connection—a plane that crashed shortly after take-off.

So often through the years, I have thought about that incident. It has served as a reminder to me that I need to exercise my faith in God during difficult times.

One day, I am sure that we, too, will be able to see the BIG PICTURE. And, when we do, we will no doubt be surprised to learn of the many times God has protected us and guided us, using the trials in this life to fulfill His ultimate purpose.

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Healing Hearts

Luke 5:25- And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God.”

 

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My aunt had heart surgery a few days ago. The stent she received increased blood flow instantaneously. Within seconds her pallor changed from grayish-white to healthy pink. Energy level increased as cells were filled with oxygen.

What a difference change on the inside makes on the outward appearance.

That’s the way it is when we meet Jesus.

Over the years, I’ve watched faces change— faces once etched by years of disappointment and pain. Faces of those who have lived their whole lives without hope…without true meaning or purpose…carrying the burden of sin on their own shoulders.

Once that weight is lifted, these individuals experience true freedom. A smiling face and a spring in their step are outward evidence of internal change, just like the paralyzed man whose story of healing is recorded in Luke.

This is “spiritual surgery”—hearts and lives healed by the power of grace.

Praise God!

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