spiritualsnippets.com

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

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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Admission Granted

 

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Psalm 139: 13-16 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

 

I walk up to the door of the school office. Before I can enter and sign in at the front desk, I must enter my security passcode and look up at a computer camera which verifies my identity, using facial recognition.

Fingerprints.   DNA.  Voice.  Security questions.  Birthdate and social security number.  These—Or a combination thereof—are also used worldwide to help us make sure who we are admitting into our space.

God doesn’t need any of this because He created us.

He knew us even before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs.

He planned everything about us, so how we look and the essence of who we are is no surprise to Him.

He even knows our thoughts—even the bad stuff–and thankfully, He still loves us.

Still forgives us.

And, if we accept His free gift of salvation, He will grant us admission—not based on facial recognition, but because He sees our soul, cleansed by the blood of His one and only Son.

 

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In All Circumstances

 

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1 Thessalonians 5:18- Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Look close.

Just what does this verse say God’s will is for us?

His will is that we give thanks in the midst of life’s circumstances.

Give thanks that we are saved by His grace.

Give thanks that He loves us and we will be in heaven with Him one day.

Give thanks for our many blessings.

When we face difficult circumstances, we may not feel thankful, but He knows our future and He knows where today and its circumstances will take us.

God wants us to be able to rejoice in His grace—even when we aren’t feeling well.

He wants us to pray for others, even when we have needs, ourselves.

He wants us to be thankful for our many blessings.

God knows what is best for us because He alone knows the future.

In the midst of it all, He is with us. He will not leave us or forsake us.

He will see us through.

And, because of all of that, we can be thankful in all circumstances.

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The Master of “Fake” News

 

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“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Every time I turn on the television, I am bombarded with what we have come to call “fake news”: The President did this or that, a famous person died, someone was secretly married, and so on. Often, we find out the story was totally fabricated.

Some of the lies are fairly easy to spot, but others are more difficult to discern.

Satan is the master of lies, the Bible tells us. And, the lies he wants us to believe are those that affect our eternal lives.

Here are just two examples of his lies that mean the difference between life and death:

The first lie is that there are many ways to get to Heaven.

Oh, it sounds good to some people who want to believe that no one religion or group has all the answers. It may sound plausible to them that as long as we are sincere and do our best, it will turn out well for us in the end.

But, the Bible says that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

Secondly, Satan wants you to think that as long as you believe in something, it’s okay. 

But, God’s word says in Acts 4:12- “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” And, in 1 Timothy 2:5. it says “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

The Bible is not fake news, a scam or a lie.

THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD AND ONE WAY TO GET TO HIM. It is THROUGH JESUS CHRIST ALONE. 

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GRATEFUL HEARTS GIVE PRAISE

 

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Hebrews 13:15- Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”

 

Recent accounts of terrorist attacks tell of people who stepped into the line of fire to save loved ones.

Parents often sacrifice things they want in order to clothe and feed their families.

In the Old Testament, people sacrificed animals to cover their sins.

Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on an altar on Mt. Moriah.

God sacrificed his son as atonement for our sins.

Sacrifice: “An act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.”

Many give of their time and resources to further the gospel.

Some believers may even lose their lives in defense of it.

For most of us, this won’t happen, of course.

But, we can offer a “sacrifice of praise” from truly grateful hearts.—ones that openly profess his name.

 

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No More Night

 

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Revelation 22:5– “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”

 

 

When I was a youngster, we often played outside with the other kids in our neighborhood. We’d stay out until it started getting dark and our parents would call us inside for supper.

Yes, when the light started to fade, we knew our play time was nearing an end.

The most enjoyable times in life go by much too quickly, don’t they?

But the Bible tells us that an eternal place is being prepared for each of his children who know him as Savior. In heaven we will have unimaginably wonderful experiences that will never end.

No pain or suffering. No boredom. No hunger. No pain.

We will have friendships and laughter.

We won’t need to go to church, because we will live constantly and consciously in God’s presence.

Luke 6:23 says we will “Rejoice…and leap for joy, because great (will be our) reward in heaven.”

And although many of us will know the happiness of having our parents there with us, they won’t be calling us in when it gets dark…

for Jesus, the Light of the World, will be there.

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What Will It Cost?

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Luke 14:28- ““Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”

 

Nothing is ever simple when my husband and I begin a new home renovation, but things go a lot smoother when we can keep “surprises” to a minimum.

That begins with a construction budget. If we leave something out of the original “to-do” list, it can cause sleepless nights later on.

“Counting the cost” in most basic terms is simply good planning. But, I’ve found this concept is applicable to other aspects of our lives, too.

The cost of a lie could be a lost friendship or job. Maybe it leads to contempt of court and jail time.

See the point?

The “cost” of certain actions may be loss of trust or imposed financial penalties. The cost of eating that extra brownie will be measured in pounds and inches.

I’m contemplating actions right now that need to be considered carefully. The affects are sure to be far reaching. The scripture above cautions me to take it slow, count the cost in terms of family dynamics and financial responsibilities, and take it to the Lord in prayer.

Have you a weighty decision to make? Have you counted the cost?

 

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The Double Whammy

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James 4:17- “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

 

If you had it to do all over again, what would you do over again?

Or, what would you not want to do over again?

Lies? Unkind thoughts? Cheating?

What about things you didn’t do? Things you wished you had…

Regrets.

James 4:17 reminds us that it is not only the wrong things we do that are sins, but also the good things we know we should do, but don’t.

Although I have committed my share of overt sins, it is those acts of kindness or promptings by The Holy Spirit to help others that I haven’t acted on that sadden me most.

Oh, sure, I have my reasons for not heeding the prompting of the Holy Spirit. For instance, I might reason that I didn’t give money to a homeless man on the street corner because he looked like he might just use it on drugs. Or, I didn’t fill a bag of clothing for the Veterans because what I had to give wasn’t appropriate for the season.

But, The Holy Spirit tells me that my responsibility is to be obedient. His reasons for nudging me might be to meet someone else’s physical or financial need. Or it could be that his request is about me exercising my faith, believing that he knows what he is doing.

It is my job to simply be an instrument to make that happen—

The Hands and Feet of Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are You Here, Again?

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Ephesians 1:13- “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”

 

Think back to the moment in time when you accepted Jesus as your Savior.

I can still feel the exhilaration, the freedom, the joy.

It was an indescribable feeling. Nothing else has ever compared to it.

But, I kept going back.

That’s right. I needed the assurance that this was real—that God wasn’t going to change his mind…that I really was saved.

So, each week, when our pastor gave the invitation, I would walk to the front of the church and meet him at the altar. I saw the quizzical look on his face. He smiled with understanding.

Finally, he called me into his office for a conversation about salvation and explained why I could be assured of it…why I could be confident that I was, indeed, “really saved.”

Yes, salvation IS wonderful. It IS the best news ever. It IS amazing.

But, we don’t need to get saved, again, week after week. We don’t need to constantly pursue that initial feeling we had when the weight of sin was lifted from our shoulders.

We can rest in the assurance that faith in Christ brings.

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