spiritualsnippets.com

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

Spiritual Stents

Acts 8:22- “Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.”  

Several years ago, my father went into the hospital for routine heart testing. 

Approximately a half-hour into the procedure, the doctor called the family into a conference room and showed us (via computer screen) Dad’s heart. He indicated areas of blockage and asked for permission to place two stents.

Watching on the screen, we saw the stents inserted and the rush of blood into the arteries that had been previously blocked. 

What a miracle to witness. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

Driving home, I thought about my how I needed a change of heart toward a close friend and an attitude adjustment toward a family member. Continuing to harbor resentment would only lead to further strain (block) those relationships.

I turned to the scriptures, asking God to show me what to do. I found guidance in His Word. Acts 8:22 said I needed to repent of my wrong attitude and ask forgiveness—first of God, and then of them.

It wasn’t easy, but I knew it was right

When I was obedient to God’s Word, a heavy weight was lifted. Today, our relationships are closer than ever!

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Calling All Sheep!

John 10:14- “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—My sheep hear my voice and they follow me.”

Most of the kids in our neighborhood played outside from the time we got home from school until we were called for supper.

Although there would sometimes be several parents calling their own brood home at the same time, each of us knew when it was our mother’s or father’s voice shouting  “dinnertime!”  

God reminds us that He is our Good Shepherd. When He says that His sheep know His voice, he is referring to those of us who are “His”—those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

How do we distinguish His voice, from that of others?

Simple: If it is written in His Word, the Bible, then we can be certain it is truly His voice. The Bible also tells us that He will speak to us when we seek the wisdom of Christian friends, pastors and other church leaders. Many Christians tell of instances when they “hear” God’s voice in the form of an “impression” in their mind after a time of prayer, meditation, and/or fasting.

What we do when we hear His voice is important.

If I had heard my mother calling me to dinner, and had not heeded her call, I would have been pretty hungry by bedtime. In the same way, if we do not follow-up on God’s call with some kind of action on our part, we will likely find that we have missed more than a meal. We will have missed a banquet!

I’m not saying that you are going to miss the Marriage Supper of The Lamb. I am referring to missing out on the daily relationship with God and His blessings for those who respond to Him out of obedience.

Set aside time for daily prayer and get back into The Word. 

Become familiar, again, with the voice of The Good Shepherd.

**Revised from an earlier blog post.

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Looking Beyond

Hebrews 12:2– “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endurethe cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Both of my children had recurring cases of planter’s warts when they were youngsters. Each time, they begged me not to make them go to the doctor, knowing the removal from the soles of their feet would be very painful.

I explained that the procedure would bring about the desired result. Once healed, their feet would no longer be tender to walk on. 

A few days later, they’d be playing outside again. The memory of the surgical procedure was already a thing of the past.

Have you ever put off a medical appointment because you thought the treatment would have been too painful, avoided having a conversation you felt might threaten a friendship or delayed making a decision that was just too difficult?

Jesus identified with those feelings. He faced a painful death on the cross. However, he looked ahead to the salvation of mankind and endured the anguish.

It was the only way to get the desired result.

There are times in life when the pain of the present must be endured in light of the promise of better days, better health, better circumstances to come in the future. 

But we don’t have to go it alone. Jesus will be beside us all the way—guiding, encouraging, healing.

He was here. He knows what it is like to be human. He also knows what it is like to be God. 

He doesn’t just hold our hands. He holds us in his hands.

He gives us the promise of a wonderful future because he was willing to look beyond his present circumstances and ahead to that glorious day when he will welcome his children into his kingdom—where he will sit at the right hand of God, to the glory of The Father!

***Reprinted from an earlier blog post.

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Bringing Things Into Focus

2 Corinthians 5:7- “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”

My vision became progressively worse until my world took on a hazy glow.

I consulted my ophthalmologist. Cataract surgery was in order.

I actually looked forward to it. The thought of a brighter world—maybe even a world free of the glasses I had worn since sixth grade—was very appealing.

Within a few minutes of surgery, I was released from my foggy world. 

I think about times when I fail to see clearly the actions I should take and the decisions I should make. When I wrestle with the “why’s” and “how’s.”

Those are the times I go to God’s Word. I need His healing for my “spiritual eyes” bringing purpose and direction—a clear focus on what is important.,

One day, God will reveal all things to us. But for now, it is His Word that encourages and gives us insight. We can come before God with confidence, knowing that what we ask for aligns with His will as outlined in scripture.

Are you having trouble seeing the path ahead? Do you need someone to lead the way?

Surrender your own will to His and just follow. 

Walk by faith, not by sight.

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Spiritual Direction

Psalm 23:1-3  “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake.”

My husband loves to drive. 

I’d rather look at the scenery, read a good book, or recline my seat and take a little nap. 

Now and again, he’ll ask me to get the map out of his satchel and look for a certain road, landmark, or whatever. Often, he pulls over to the side of the road and interprets it for himself.

If we should happen to get lost (now really lost, you understand) and I suggest that we ask someone for directions, he gives me “the look.”

Why is it men are so against asking for directions? Think about how many hours could be saved and how many wrong turns could be avoided!

As Christians, we have an infallible source at our fingertips! God, who has always been in existence, knows the past, present, and future. With His Word as our “map” and His Holy Spirit as our Guide, we never have to face an uncertain future.

If we take a wrong turn, we can get back on the right path by heeding what scripture reveals to us as truth.

Confident and encouraged, with His help, we find our way.

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Start All Over

Have you ever wished you could start all over? Erase something you said to someone in anger? Go back to a point in time when you made a hasty choice resulting in an unplanned pregnancy? Wished you hadn’t told your parent a lie to avoid punishment? 

Have you wanted an opportunity to do it all over again— make a better choice the next time around? 

Even though God knows everything you have done, He is willing to forgive. To wipe your slate clean.

He sent Jesus, his perfect son, to the cross to pay the price for our sins. Without the shedding of His perfect blood, the relationship with us which God desires would not be possible.  

And freedom from the sins in our past would not be a reality.

By acknowledging His gift today, you can begin a relationship with Him that will continue throughout eternity.

Because He loves you UNCONDITIONALLY.

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Promises Made Good

Numbers 23:19- “God is not a man, that he should lie, Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and will he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and will he not make it good?”

“But you promised!” My daughter cried—and even stamped her tiny foot—as she yelled the words. Tears ran down her cheeks. Four years old and she already knew the meaning –and the heartbreak—of promises not kept!

Earlier in the week, she had asked me if she could have a friend over to swim on Saturday. I said that she could, not knowing that she’d come down with a terrible cold by Friday.

We cancelled her plans. And, even though done with good reason, to a small child it became a “broken” promise.

She lay in bed all day, Saturday, coughing and sneezing, with a sore throat and a fever. She slept with the new bright orange and yellow beach towel I had bought her as a reminder of my new promise to ask her friend over, again, for a swim when she felt better.

Sometimes we may not be able to keep our promises. However, scripture reminds us that God’s promises are true. We can count on them with 100% certainty.

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Googling It, Spiritual Style

Shorter and more concise seems to be best for most of our reading these days, so I am going to run back thru my past blog posts in the next weeks ahead, shortening them up a bit. Here’s the first one. I hope you like this shortened version.

Psalm 119:105- “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” 

I was visiting with my parents when a question about plant fertilizers came up. Dad, of course, touted the benefits of steer manure.

Mother brought up the effectiveness her own “compost.”

I suggested that we “GOOGLE IT”. After all, just about everything we need to know, is right there at our fingertips. Isn’t it?

But, what about questions of a spiritual nature? 

How should we respond to those who hurt us? What should we do with feelings of inadequacy, sadness, betrayal?

Proverbs 14:12 says, “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” 

It is God’s Word that provides the answers for all of our concerns and problems.

So, whether you seek an answer to a Biblical truth or just need encouragement, try “Googling It Spiritual Style” and turn to our ultimate source, The Bible.

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Turn Pain Into Joy

Psalm 94:19- “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

My family was able to see my parents (residing in Memory Care) for the second time this month. It has been a great experience to spend time with them after being locked down for so long.

At the end of our visit Dad, with tears in his eyes, said, “We’ve been so lonely. You don’t know what these two visits have meant to us. You’ve turned our pain into joy.”

On the drive home, I thought about the millions of people worldwide who are in pain—physical, emotional, and/or spiritual.

Being isolated from family and friends is overwhelming. Even a visit from a stranger who is willing to listen, can turn their heartache into a day filled with joy. And, if you are a Christian, reading from the Bible and praying with them can help them reconnect with God.

Volunteers are needed in our communities now more than ever. Even if you do not personally know someone in a nursing home, please think about asking one near you if you can make a visit to someone who may not have family nearby.

A smile—YOUR smile—might be just what someone needs today to turn their pain into joy.

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Are YOU That Someone?

Psalm 139: 8-10- “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

News broadcasts report that loneliness and depression in the pandemic have resulted in a staggering number of suicides.

Isolated. Cut off from friends, relatives, and colleagues.

Most of these people didn’t know the love of Jesus. Weren’t able to rely on His unfailing love.

If they had only known Him as their guide, comforter, and protector.

But God reminds us that they will only know if someone is willing to tell them. 

Are YOU that someone?

Will you step out in faith and share God’s Word with a hurting world?  

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