spiritualsnippets.com

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

What Should We Do?

34379292095_ba4260142e

 

2 Timothy 3:16- “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

 

Magazine, books—even television shows—give consumers a lot of free advice nowadays.

Consider these titles:

Eat This, Not That!

Wear This, Not That!

Do This, Not That!

Say This, Not That!

Whether it is advice on eating healthy or using correct grammar, you may find that you agree, or disagree, with the author or television host by determining the outcome yourself. In other words, you look in the mirror to see if, indeed, horizontal stripes make you look overweight, or if eating a certain fruit makes your hair shine, and so on.

But, what about actions that are more serious? For example, those of a moral or spiritual nature? How is one to determine if advice given in a magazine—even a Christian magazine—is “right?”

The BIBLE declares that it is the standard Christians should use. If the advice we get  from our contemporaries aligns with scripture, we can be confidant in following it.

If not, we must defer to that which is wise and most excellent—the Truth in God’s Word.

Advertisements
1 Comment »

The “Christian Game”

 

6951654552_3bf54aaf25

 

John 14:6- “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 

When I visit my parents at their assisted living apartment, they often suggest playing “the game.” (Actually, there are two games they like and we alternate playing them.) It’s a great ending to what sometimes is a stressful day filled with personal care, doctor visits, and organizational issues.

Playing games is fun. People connect, laugh, and relate to each other in an atmosphere that is usually non-threatening.

But, there is a game—a very serious one—that people sometimes play. It is very misleading to others, but can also be just as deceptive to the player, himself.

It’s the “Christian” game.

Let’s say a guy (we’ll call him Sam) accepts someone’s invitation to church. He’s comfortable there. He gets to know people. He joins in activities, sings the songs, listens to the sermons.

He looks—and acts—the part of a Christian.

He tells himself that he is a Christian because he does all these “Christian” things. And, others may see him as a Christian, too, not realizing that he has not yet made the most important decision of his life. 

In order for Sam to become a Christian, he needs to recognize that Jesus died on the cross for his sins, repent and place his faith in Him. He must depend upon Jesus--not himself–for his salvation, realizing that He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.

Sam now desires to worship God and serve others because he in relationship with his Heavenly Father. Sam feels different inside because he is different. He is a child of God and his actions are now a result of this new life in Christ.

“Behold, all things have become new.”

The Christian “Game” is a thing of the past.

Leave a comment »

A Tweet or a Psalm?

Psalm 22:22- “I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you.”

31788062326_d4c8a302fc

One of my goals this year, has been to better understand—and even navigate—in the world of TWITTER.

I started out slowly by reading TWEETS.

Now that I am feeling comfortable with that, I am moving on to Replying to TWEETS.

Yesterday, I replied to a one that asked me to share my thoughts by completing this sentence: “I Like it When:” I clicked on the reply icon and wrote a few comments.

As I finished my Bible Study this morning, I was prompted to spend a few moments in praise. I decided to “phrase my praise” as “I Love it When:”

Here are a few I sent heavenward:

I Love it when a cool breeze blows on my face. Thank you, Lord, for cool breezes.

I Love it when I see a rainbow after a storm. Thank you, Lord, for your promise in the rainbow.

I Love it when God sends me a special verse of comfort or direction at just the right time. Thank you, Lord, for the truths in your Holy Word.

David’s Psalms were too lengthy to qualify as modern day Tweets. If he were living today, he’d probably choose to share his praises on Facebook or a website where he could expand his thoughts.

But, whatever the length, our God is Most Worthy of Praise! 

Leave a comment »

Enjoy the Bounty

John 4:36- “Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.”

2818005042_745ed734ed

My sister and her husband plant a garden every spring. This requires a lot of work—especially in the hot Arizona sun. However, they reap the rewards of fresh vegetables for many weeks.

I have a friend whose parents are farmers. They have many acres devoted to corn. Even though family members have other jobs outside of farming, each one also helps with some aspect of the endeavor.

Each of them has distinctly different responsibilities. 

Some plant. Some harvest. All enjoy the bounty.

It is the same principle in God’s kingdom. The one who plants and the one who harvests are not necessarily the same person(s).

One sows the word in the heart of an unbeliever, another may nurture that person and lead him along, and someone totally different may be the one who leads him in the confession of faith, bringing him to salvation in Christ.

And all rejoice with gladness—along with heaven’s angels—when a new soul comes into the kingdom. 

Leave a comment »

A Commandment With A Huge Blessing

36288083083_4b0ccda65e

 

Deuteronomy 5:16– “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

 

I sighed as I waited for Dad to put in his hearing aids and Mom to retrieve her purse. Looking up at the clock, I realized we would likely be late for their doctor’s appointments. I asked my sister get our parents up to the front of their care center while I pulled the car around the building so we could load them—and Mom’s wheelchair— inside with easy access.

If you assist with the care of aging parents, you know very well the time and patience—not to mention commitment—it takes to keep going back day after day.  

It also takes a lot of love. And, for most of us, it is because of love that we persevere.

The Bible tells us to honor our father and mother. Growing up, honoring may have meant showing respect and obedience. Later on, it might have meant remembering to visit, observing holidays, birthdays, etc.

But as they have grown older, our parents may need “honoring” of a different sort. It may require running errands, assistance with household chores, helping with bills, and even physical care.  

I am fortunate to have a brother and two sisters to help do all that is necessary for our aging parents. In their nineties, this requires a lot of time—even if it only means sitting down with them to look—over and over again—at old family photos or listen to stories of times-gone-by.

If you are in similar circumstances, I want to encourage you from God’s Word, today. 

Even though you may grow weary, you will be blessed beyond measure. You still have your loved one(s) with you. You can still do things together that create beautiful memories you will treasure when they are no longer physically here.

As you follow God’s commandment to honor your parents, you will be a blessing to them, and you will be blessed by God for your obedience, in return. 

As your own children observe your actions toward your mother and father, they learn a powerful lesson from God’s Word. They will be there for you, when the time comes.

I pray that The Holy Spirit will guide you, give you patience, and bless you with peace and wonderful memories.

Leave a comment »

Restored

36872576442_3f415a4e15

Matthew 26:28- “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

 

We experienced a huge Monsoon storm in the middle of last week. It began with a gentle breeze blowing as I left my Bible Study group at 8:00 p.m. About ten minutes down the road, it began to rain. It was a full-fledged storm by the time I neared home.

I entered my neighborhood to find that the power had gone out. That meant I had to run from my driveway around the house to the front door, since my non-working electric opener prevented me from pulling into the dry garage.

My umbrella bent in the strong wind, so that by the time I got the door to the house open I was drenched. My hair, cut and styled earlier that day, was sopping wet. My shoes and legs were muddy. My hallway, littered with grass and twigs.

I was a total mess. The face that had looked passable enough to me to take a “selfie” a few hours before, now needed a good scrubbing.

Power was finally restored around 2 a.m.

Have you ever felt wonderfully clean inside after you partake of communion at church? After you spend time in quiet reflection, confession of sins, and then experience the feeling of being totally forgiven? And, for those few moments following, as you listen intently to the sermon, feeling so much closer to God…without that load of sin between you and Him?

Then, before you know it, your mind wanders and you think a sinful thought? Or, you get all the way to the car before making an unkind remark to your spouse?

You suddenly find yourself in that sin-confession cycle once again…in need of cleansing…going before the throne and asking for forgiveness…wanting to be in right relationship with the Heavenly Father…knowing that although you mean well, you are human and will mess up many more times? 

The good thing is that He is willing to forgive and restore us each time we come to Him with a humble and contrite heart. We don’t have to wait for communion Sunday or until 2:00 a.m. 

We have access to the Father—and his cleansing grace—twenty-four seven!

1 Comment »

The Great “I AM”

 

36864705500_9c5537d648

Exodus 3:14- “And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.”

 

A friend was relating his son’s experience taking “Spanish” instruction last semester. He said the difficulty was with conjugating verb tenses.

I remember taking Spanish in high school, myself, and doing drills on verb tenses: I was. I am. I will be…and so on—words denoting past, present, and future states.

God refers to himself the I AM. Tenses don’t apply to Him since He has always existed, He exists now, and He always will. 

He has no beginning and no end.

He will always be there for you.

He’s unchanging. He’s 100% committed to you. 

You’ve no need to wonder, worry, or fret.

You can count on the one who loved you before you even came into being—the one who will love you throughout all eternity…

Because

He is The Great I AM. 

 

1 Comment »

Real Comfort Food

 

43135352521_6de9b94312

 

2 Corinthians 1:3,4- “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

 

Sometimes I watch the Food Channel. The subject a few nights ago was “Comfort Food.” 

This food was aptly named in that it provides consolation or a feeling of well-being. It is typically any food with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking. It provides a nostalgic or sentimental value which may be specific to an individual, or culture.

Other things in life, such as bedspreads (comforters), pillows, cozy slippers, certain books/music, weather, and even colors offer a measure of well-being. As a Hospice volunteer, I have what is called a comfort bag stocked with restful CD’s, lotion and lavender scents that can be used during my visits. 

Human touch, the sound of a loved-one’s voice, and well-intended words bring comfort in certain circumstances.

In the scripture above, we are reminded that God is the “God of All Comfort,” offering us a deep sense of peace and a release from the worries and cares of our lives here on earth. His comfort—unlike others which only offer a measure of well-being—is deep and lasting.

Comfort from food is temporary, but words such as those in 2 Corinthians offer hope and peace each time we read them. When accompanied by prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit (also known as “The Comforter”) God’s Word gives lasting comfort.

Words of comfort—from the God of All Comfort—are given to us so that we may, in turn, may encourage others.

Leave a comment »

The Valley of Decision

34209236183_b1656dd3d0

 

Joel 3:14,15– “Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. There the day of the Lord will arrive. The sun and moon will grow dark and the stars will no longer shine.”

 

As I read from the book of Joel this week, the words I bolded in verse 14 stood out to me. I immediately felt a burden for those who are at a place in their lives where they must decide whether or not to follow Jesus—those who stand at a crossroads and know that the decision they have put off for so long must finally be faced.

The decision about what to do with Jesus is the most important one in a person’s life.

Who to marry, what car to buy, what job to take, how to discipline children effectively, which health strategy to follow—all are important, to be sure. But once a person realizes their eternal destiny is at stake, all other decisions pale in comparison.

Remember the old adage: Ignorance is Bliss? I would rewrite it to say: Ignorance is False Bliss.

A large percentage of people worldwide live each day for themselves, ignoring the spiritual side of life. Without regard for the eternal, they cling to a false sense of well-being.

But, whether they choose to say to themselves, “There is no God,” or believe God exists, but is  distant and unconcerned with the everyday lives of human beings, or hold to any number of beliefs in-between, the truth according to scripture is that each of us need to make a choice. 

God made His choice when he sent Jesus to the cross to pay for our sins. He chose to give us His gift of eternal life.

Then, he put the ball in our court. We must either accept his gift by placing our future in the hands of Jesus, or reject it. 

For me, that was an easy choice because I knew I wasn’t capable of saving myself.

What about you? 

Are you in the valley of decision today?

1 Comment »

Who Will They Look Up To?

29725041080_05239b25e7

 

Matthew 5:48– “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

 

Children want to be like their parents—or like big brother or big sister. Athletes look up to their heroes. Workers often look up to their bosses.

What about you? Do you live a life worth emulating? What special quality do you have that others admire?

There are several friends of mine at church who are humble, sweet of spirit, truthful, and have a quiet strength. They provide good examples for others.

They are worth emulating.

But, God tells us to emulate Him—not a preacher, a celebrity, a war hero, or a friend.

He is the standard. He wants us to be holy—for He is holy. He tells us that lives of service to others, selflessness, and humility are lives that will lead to the greatest joy. They are lives that will keep our relationship with Him the strongest.

Many are reluctant to share their faith openly, but over the years many people have shared with me that they came to Christ because they saw something in someone else and said, “That person has something and I must find out what it is. I want what they have.”

There is a simple, quiet testimony that is at work when Christians live their lives in the fullness that God offers us when we believe in Him. 

It is my prayer that others see Jesus in us—and He definitely is worth emulating!

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: