spiritualsnippets.com

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

Is Your Heart Troubled?

 

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                                          John 14:1a- “Let not your hearts be troubled…”

 

One of the talk shows I watch regularly ends with this encouragement from the scriptures: “Let not your hearts be troubled.” 

The need for solace and peace is abundantly clear as each day’s news is presented and analyzed.

Couple that with our own personal problems and no wonder more people suffer from anxiety.

A mound of bills to pay, family relationships falling apart, health issues.

So how do we find true peace in these uncertain times?

First, rely on the Holy Spirit to bring us peace…the deep peace within that knows God is in control; not the peace that we feel we can create ourselves because that peace doesn’t last.

Second, rely on the encouragement of the scriptures and other believers. Renew our thoughts and minds, speaking the words aloud in moments of apprehension.

Thirdly, pray right away when the need arises. And keep praying throughout the day. Pour out your fears to Jesus. Lay your burdens at his feet. And, once you feel your anxieties lift, resist the desire to take them back up again and worry about them. 

Claim victory over them in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

 

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Too Wonderful for Words

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Psalm 145:5– “They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works.”

 

One of my favorite songs, growing up, was from an old movie I saw on a Saturday afternoon as I babysat for the neighbors.

Once I got the kiddos down for their naps, I turned on the television. I’ve long since forgotten who sang the song, but this young teenage girl swooned at the words, “You’re just too wonderful. Too wonderful for words.”

These words apply to human (and perhaps idealistic) love, but let’s see how they apply to our Lord and Savior.

Besides today’s verse in Psalms, other verses use synonyms for wonderful: marvelous, glorious, awesome—to describe Him:

Job 37:5– “God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.”

Psalm 111:3– “Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.”

Psalm 47:2– “For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.”

The Bible tells us that God is our “first love” worthy of our love and praise. So, as you worship Him today, let’s tell Him that He is marvelous, glorious, awesome, and “too wonderful for words.”

 

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Hiding God’s Word in Our Hearts

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Psalm 119:11- Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

 

The Bible says scripture is more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey. Each page is filled with eternal truth and wisdom. So what is the value of memorizing God’s Word?

1- The deeper we know God, the deeper we know his will for us.

2-The Word has power! If you are fighting against a specific sin, hiding God’s Word in your heart will help you overcome temptation.

3-Keeping Scripture at the forefront of our minds helps us receive spiritual transformation from Almighty God.

4-Having God’s Word fresh in our minds, will help us avoid temptation.

5-The Word will bring us hope and greater communion with God.

6-Scriptures help us understand the heart and desires of God.

7- When we memorize Scripture, we can readily share the salvation message with unbelievers and help them understand their sin and need for a Savior.

8-The Bible is a book of tremendous wisdom that can have an impact on every area of our lives. By memorizing Scripture we are able to have wisdom with us at all times.

9-When we have verses committed to memory, we can more easily encourage other believers in the truth.

Let’s challenge ourselves to memorize just one verse each week. Start with short verses that “speak” to us, and gradually work our way up to more challenging ones. God will honor our commitment by blessing us with a closer walk with him.

 

 

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Growing Our Faith

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Romans 10:17- “…faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”

The subject of faith came up in our Bible Study Group this week.

How does one get faith? How does one grow faith?

The answer was surprisingly simple. 

Romans tells us that first we need to hear the word of God. (This plants the seed of faith in our hearts).

How?

There are two main ways: 1) We hear it preached from the pastor’s pulpit  and/or 2) We hear it as we read the Bible.

Then, we need to take care of that seed—help it grow.

Don’t overlook the word “hearing.”  

As a teacher, I know that when students memorize something, it is an immense help if it is repeated out loud. That way, it gets into their brains using both visual AND auditory senses.

Pray that God will increase your faith as you follow these two principles. 

Next week, we will talk about the value of memorizing scripture.

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No Worries, No Fears

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Psalm 23:4- “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

 

In last week’s sermon, my pastor showed the congregation a picture of The Valley of Jehoshaphat, otherwise known as The Valley of the Shadow of Death.

If you’ve ever lost a loved-one, experienced extreme sadness, or found yourself in a fearful situation, you can relate to what David was saying in this psalm. But, I never knew the “Valley of the Shadow of Death” was an actual place. I thought it was simply figurative language.

The Valley of Jehoshaphat (which means “God has judged.”) is a narrow furrow of land in the Kidron Valley between the Temple Mount and The Mount of Olives where it is said that one day the events of Judgement Day will take place. (Joel 3:12) and all nations will be judged. At its southern end is a series of tombs.

Although valleys, historically, have been fertile places for farming, they are also susceptible to attacks by invading armies. So, David’s use of this reference helps us visualize a place where ambushes might take place.

However, King David goes on to tell us that he isn’t afraid because he is comforted by God’s rod and staff. 

A royal scepter is called a rod. A staff is a ruler’s symbol of authority standing between his feet. What could be more fitting than this description of our Lord as both The Good Shepherd and The King of Kings?

Keep that in mind as you walk through your own Valley of the Shadow of Death.  Our Good Shepherd, Jesus, protects us against our enemies, guides, and rescues us just as a shepherd protects his flocks.

 

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One Out of Ten

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Luke 17: 16-18: “He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”

 

Christians all over the world have been praying for an end to the fires in Australia—asking God to send rain.

Last week, He did just that.

He sent rain AND hail.

How many of us pour out our hearts to God, only to “forget” to offer thanks when our prayers are answered?

A friend is healed from an illness.

A wayward child returns home.

Funds are provided to pay for unexpected bills.

In Luke, ten lepers are healed, but only one returns to thank Jesus.

Although there are scriptures reminding us to pray to The Lord to supply our needs (He wants to give His children good things), we are also told that giving thanks is the appropriate response.

 

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Always There

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Deuteronomy 31: 8- “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

 

I tip-toed into my father’s room last week and studied his face while he lay sleeping next to Mom.

I recalled some especially good times from the past and soon found tears trickling down my cheeks.

“Don’t leave me, Daddy,” I whispered just like I often did when I was a little girl.

I realize it will happen some day. After all, Dad is 93. But I’m just not ready to say good-bye to this gentle man quite yet.

I know I will see my earthly father again in heaven, but until then there will be a period of time we will be separated.

On the other hand, God tells us that He is eternal and will live forever. I am grateful that he created us and will watch over us both now and for all eternity.

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Release Your Rage

 

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                                        Ephesians 4:26- “In your anger, do not sin.”

 

Last week, a Groupon Headline caught my eye. 

I read the advertisement for a “Rage Room” at a Family Rage Release Center. The Groupon listed a number of activities that promised to help participants get rid of their pent up anger. The accompanying picture showed a teenage boy bashing a television with a baseball bat.

Out-of-control anger is so prevalent in our world that the evening news is filled with stories of mass shootings, road rage, and so on.

The Bible is full of much safer and effective suggestions to help us alleviate our anger.

Here are just a few:  

Proverbs 15:1- “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 21:14a- “A gift given in secret soothes anger.”

Ecclesiastes 10:4b- “Calmness can lay great offenses to rest.”

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His Purpose for YOU

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Esther 4:14- “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.”

 

If you are like me, the time has come to set goals for the New Year. I like to think of it as getting myself on course.

I begin by reading Esther 4:14. Then, I read the Tale of Three Trees. Like many outstanding works, its original author is unknown, but Angela Hunt retold this beautiful folktale and published it in 1957.

To recap, three trees grew on a mountainside. Each dreamed of what it would be when it grew up. The first tree dreamed of being used to build a beautiful treasure chest; the second wanted to be used to build the strongest sailing ship in the world; the third’s aspirations were to remain on the mountain where he would grow to be the tallest tree in the world so that when people looked up at him, they would raise their eyes to heaven, and think of God.

Years later, the trees had grown to maturity. They were cut down. Each was disappointed. The first was made into a plain box for animal feed; the second was crafted into a simple fishing boat, and the third was cut into strong beams.

But, that’s not the end of the story… because God fulfilled His purpose for each of them. 

The first box was used as a manger for Baby Jesus; the second became a fishing boat for Jesus and his disciples; and the third was used to build the cross and every time people saw it, they thought of God.

Each tree became so much more than he could ever have dreamed—because in the hands of God they fulfilled His purpose.

As we stand on the brink of 2020, may we yield to our Maker, praying that He will guide our lives and ultimately fulfill the purpose for which He created us.

Keep Looking Upward.

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The Gift God Sent

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John 3:16- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A friend recently gave me this, author unknown. You may have seen, or heard, it before. I hope it blesses you, yet again…

                                                           GOD SENT US A SAVIOR

                                           If our greatest need had been information,

God would have sent us an educator.

If our greatest need had been technology,

God would have sent us a scientist.

If our greatest need would have been been money,

God would have sent us an economist.

If our greatest need had been pleasure,

God would have sent us an entertainer.

But, our greatest need was forgiveness,

So God sent us a Savior.

Merry Christmas to you and thanks be to God who meets our greatest need.

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