spiritualsnippets.com

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

The Blessings of Being a Lamb

40045948283_5fa5c00f20Hosea 4:16- “The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. How then can the Lord pasture them like lambs in a meadow?”

 

You can learn a lot about life when you are waiting your turn in the waiting room at the dental office.

In the midst of reading a magazine article a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a toddler scurry down from his mother’s lap and almost into the parking lot before she tackled him.

Back inside, she opened a container of Goldfish crackers and gave him a toy to play with. That worked for a few minutes, but before I’d even finished reading, she was calling out to the little boy who had once more wriggled out of her grasp.

Mom had met her match. The chase continued several more times before my name was finally called. And, by that time, the child’s mother was using a sterner voice and threatening stiffer “punishment.”

The children of Israel were guilty of the same type of behavior. And, so are we. We keep doing the very things we know we shouldn’t.

We often ignore God’s warnings because we want to do it our way. We want to be in charge.

Just like the little boy in the dental office, we do know better. Hosea 4 tells us that God wants to treat us like obedient lambs. Psalm 23 adds that He wants to give us rest, healing, guidance. His desire is to protect us, give us support and comfort. He wants to bless us with all good things, just as the mother in the dental office probably wanted for her little boy.

But, he was stubborn, so she had to treat him like a heifer. It won’t be until he becomes a loyal and obedient lamb, that he can enjoy all that she wants for him.

Jesus set the example as the “Lamb of God.” He was obedient and his father exalted him above every other. 

I used to read the scripture about the Lamb of God, thinking that meant Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins—which is very true. But, as God’s lamb, he is also a perfect picture of obedience.

And, obedience leads to a beautiful parent/child relationship in which God blesses those who keep His commandments. 

 

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Without a Trace

 

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Isaiah 1:18– “Come now, let us settle the matter,’’ says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

 

The home team wore white pants and jerseys.

When Polly saw her son’s uniform after the game, she shuddered at the mixture of grass stains and ground-in dirt. How was she ever going to get them clean?

She went online and got a few ideas. Then she called a couple of the other mothers she’d met at the beginning-of-the-year BBQ. She asked them for laundering advice. She wanted a pristine result, nothing left behind to remind her of what she’d seen when he walked through the door.

Polly’s son will stand before his coach at the next home game in a perfectly cleaned uniform—without a trace of stains. (His mother is using Fels Naptha).

We can stand before God and be seen by Him as perfect in every way. All because the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

Forgiveness of sins through the power of His blood.

Hearts that were once stained with sin, now whiter than snow.

Without a trace left behind.

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What Distracts You From God?

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Romans 8:5– “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

 

Last week a teenage driver texted a friend. He looked up from the phone too late to see a pedestrian in the crosswalk. That person died before the ambulance arrived.

An extreme case of distraction, it happened when the young man took his eyes off the road for just a “split second.”

It may not be our cell phones, but many other things in life distract each of us—take our attention from where it should be and put it somewhere more interesting, more fun …

What comes between us and God?

What distracts us from spending time in Bible reading, prayer, and attending church?

For some of us, it may be the computer or television. Others are distracted by reading, scrapbooking, shopping, gambling, sports or even just “hanging out” with friends. Still others give the excuse that they are just “too busy.”

Jesus warns us not to be distracted by things of this world—things that will some day be left behind … things having no eternal value. Instead, He says to keep our minds on “things above” and set our direction toward our eternal home “like a flint.”

Getting caught up in the things of this world—even when we’re doing “good”— keeps us from putting God first in our hearts and minds. When we fail to cultivate our relationship with Him, the path ahead begins to darken and we become unsure of our purpose … His will for our lives. 

If we set our minds on “what the Spirit desires,” we won’t get distracted by things of the flesh.

Instead, we’ll be keeping our hearts and minds on Christ Jesus, our “first love.”

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Finding Strength

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Proverbs 27:17- “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

 

The chef approached the buffet table with two knives in his hands. He smiled at those in line to get a slice of prime rib, then rubbed the knives back and forth against each other before he began to carve.

Because he had sharpened his knife ahead of time, each piece of meat he cut was perfect, just as he intended.

Sure, a blunt knife is still a knife, but not a very effective one. However, when two iron blades are rubbed together, the edges become sharper.

So it is with Christians.

In times of fellowship and prayer, we help each other to shine—to be more effective.

Like David and Jonathan, let’s do what God has called us to do. Let’s help each other find strength from God, remind each other of His goodness, and hold one another accountable. As a result, we will grow in our faith.

In Malachi 3:16, we read that when we fellowship together, the Lord bends an ear from heaven and is pleased. He’s listening to our conversations, watching our actions. 

Fellowship is more than just doing activities with other Christians. It’s encouraging each other in our Christian walk. When difficulties arise, we’ll be ready because we have been upholding each other along the way.

 

 

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