spiritualsnippets.com

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

Don’t Be Turned Away at the Gate

 

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Luke 13:28– “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.”

 

An avid watcher of daily newscasts, I saw heart-wrenching photos of immigrants this week reaching the United States borders, only to be turned away. The dream of living in America, it seems, is not going to be a reality for some of them.

There will be many who are turned away at Heaven’s gates, also. It will be a great disappointment for many.

As a Christian, my heart breaks for those who will not spend eternity in Heaven. I feel a great urgency to share the gospel whenever and wherever I can.

There is a familiar Christian song that asks God to break our hearts with what breaks His—and I cannot think of anything that breaks His heart more than knowing that He will have to refuse anyone the blessing of an eternity with Him.

Christians, with our changing culture, more than ever we need to take the commission seriously.

If you are reading this and aren’t a believer, please heed the warnings in the Bible and from your Christian friends. I urge you to make it your mission over the next six months to learn what the Bible has to say about God’s love for you, forgiveness of sins, and His gift of eternal life.

Don’t be turned away at The Gate!

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The Perfect Choice

 

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Matthew 1:20- “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

 

Jesus took on the form of a man and came to earth. 

There are many instances of him praying to his Heavenly Father in scripture. But what about Joseph and the role he played as the earthly father to Jesus?

God chose him because he exemplified all of the good qualities that the Bible tells us are important to Him—things like gentleness of spirit, encouraging, humble, of godly character, honesty, truthfulness, patience, compassionate, loving, just/fair, and wise. 

He was a hard-working carpenter. Even though he didn’t make a lot of money, he was a good provider for his family. He was a man of prayer.

God chose Mary as a mother for His only begotten son, Joseph as a husband for Mary and father for Jesus. Knowing the heart of every man, God chose the perfect one.

I believe he chooses the perfect earthly father for each of us because he knows the kind of man each of us will need to nurture us and help us grow.

You may not realize it, now. You may even think I’m crazy. “If you only knew my dad,” you shout. “He’s far from perfect.”

You are right. I don’t know your earthly father. But, I know our Heavenly Father. And, I also know that we sometimes do not see the truth of things until many years later. 

I heard a story about a guy who had a harsh father who emotionally and physically abused him as he grew up. Yet, the circumstances of his life after he left home were hard and the strong character he had developed as he struggled with his mother to make ends meet, gave him the exact skills he needed to keep him alive during the next twenty years. It was later, as a missionary, that his story  was instrumental in bringing countless souls to Christ.

Today, I’m thankful for Joseph. God’s man on earth, who—with God’s help—protected and guided Jesus to manhood. 

 

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Reaching the Goal

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Philippians 3: 13-15. “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

 

I had finally achieved my goal weight.

I rewarded myself with a decadent hot fudge sundae.

Just kidding.

I took all of my bigger-sized clothes out of the closet, bagged them up, and put them on a shelf in the garage—just in case I ever back-slid…

Have you ever done that—failed to put the past completely behind you—and focus, instead, on what is ahead?

I know someone who gave up pornography, boxed up his magazines and put them in the tool shed.

See, he hadn’t completely given up the thought of them. They were still in the back of his house, enticing him. His focus was off. His resolve to lead a new, clean lifestyle was hampered by the temptation of the sinful behavior he had once practiced.

I kept the larger clothes at my fingertips. It made it easier for me to consider giving in to cheesecake and brownies, knowing I could always pull out my larger jeans.

The Bible verse in Philippians is one of my favorites. In it, Paul encourages us to keep our eyes on the prize and not look back.

Whether you are struggling to control a sinful behavior or simply wanting a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God, follow Paul’s example.

Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t look back.

Don’t keep things that tempt you within reach or consider them in your thinking.

I pray that the Holy Spirit will keep you strong.

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The Wedding

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Hosea 2:19– “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.”

 

Were you among the thousands of people who watched the Royal Wedding?

People celebrated the historic event all over the world. 

The joining of two people into the special relationship called marriage brings happiness and wholeness. 

The Bible tells us that Christians (the church of believers) are the Bride of Christ. It speaks of the marriage supper of the Lamb (Jesus) as joyous celebration in Heaven.

This is a complex and sometimes hard concept to understand—and I am not going to attempt to do that here.

My purpose is to say that Jesus desires a special relationship with us.

He cherishes us as a groom does his bride. 

He loves us and wants to spend time with us so that our relationship with Him will grow and flourish. He wants good and perfect things for each of us.

He looks forward to the “wedding” and the “supper” with great anticipation. He is preparing a place for us in Heaven far greater than the one in which the British Royals will reside.

Will you answer, “Yes!”? 

 

 

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