spiritualsnippets.com

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

He’s Got This

2 Corinthians 4:16-18- “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

We are living in times of unrest, frustration, and discontent.

It is all too easy for us to look around and see the consequences of evil as they play out before our eyes each day on television and in our streets.

However, God comforts us by reminding us not to lose heart… not to be disillusioned because “he’s got this.”  

On the eternal timeline, our present troubles are only a blip on the screen. One day we will see how all of human history fit together according to His plan.

Remember: “…our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

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The Enemy Within

Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous …”

My book, Simon Says, tells the story of a boy who is taunted by bullies—enemies on the outside.

A 1994 movie, The Enemy Within, is about a military officer who uncovers a sinister plot perpetrated by his own superior officer.

Enemies within and without.

Political unrest and the worldwide pandemic have left people skeptical, frustrated, and anxious.

But the Bible tells us not to worry. 

Worry is the enemy within. 

And, when taken to the extreme, worry becomes hate.

Christians, if ever there was a time for us to pray for our enemies, it has to be now. 

Only when we let the spirit of forgiveness rule in our hearts can we truly heal.

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Abandoned or Adopted?

Ephesians 1:5- “He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—”

Alyce was adopted as a fifteen-year-old. Being terribly lonely for most of her “growing-up” years, she knew (for the first time) what it felt like to be valued and loved… “complete.”

It didn’t take long for new purpose and belonging to replace the old feelings of abandonment. 

As Christians, the Bible tells us we have been adopted as sons. We enjoy the full rights and even the inheritance of sons, just as Jesus (the “firstborn of many brothers”).

We can experience, daily, the love and completeness only He can offer. And, we can look forward to spending eternity in Heaven—that place where we belong.

    (Other passages:  2 Corinthians 6:18; Romans 8:14,15.)

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Love Across the Miles

Revelation 3:20- Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Rob and Amber had been inseparable all summer.

Then, in the fall, Rob left for college.

At first, he called her every night.

Then one day he realized it had been a week since he’d phoned.

He chided himself. 

If he wanted to rekindle his relationship with Amber, he needed to stay in touch. If he loved her, as he had said, it would be up to him to make sure to let her know it.

He reached for a card in a local drug store. Love Across the Miles.

Just like Amber, God tells us that He is always there. Waiting.

If we want a relationship with Him, we have only to come to Him.

He remains the same, never changing in His desire to be our God… our friend… our refuge… 

He wants to be our first love…

Across the Miles.

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True Adoration

Luke 2:20- The shepherds “returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.”

*Part 2, from last week’s “Behold!”

Come, let us adore our Christ.

What is meant by the term adore?

Worshipping Him (and the truth of who He is) and rejoicing in Him with great joy.

Exceeding great joy is at the heart of true adoration.

LOVE, HONOR, ESTEEM, WORSHIP, ADMIRE, GLORIFY, PRAISE, REVERE, RESPECT DEEPLY.

With Genuine Faith in Who Jesus Really Is: 

The Child born king of the Jews.

God’s Son, our Savior, who reigns on His throne at the right hand of The Father.

Let’s adore Him with every thought we have, every goal we set, each decision we make, the words we speak and the actions we take.

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BEHOLD!

Ephesians 1:18-  “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.”

It’s that time of year when we think of the Christmas Story. 

“BEHOLD” the angels sing.

It means more than just “look at, or observe.”

A deeper meaning is “to look intently at…”

Letting the eyes of our hearts be enlightened and focused on Jesus—who He IS and what He has DONE for us.

Scripture tells us we were made to BEHOLD Him.

The more we come to know Him through scripture, prayer and worship, the more we can truly do that.

As we decorate our tree, BEHOLD HIM.

As we wrap our gifts, BEHOLD HIM.

As we light our candles, BEHOLD HIM.

As we sing our carols, BEHOLD HIM.

As we eat our Christmas dinner, BEHOLD HIM.

As we read the Christmas story, BEHOLD HIM.

As we wash the dishes, box up the decorations for another year of storage, as we dispose of the tree and pack away the box of Christmas C.D.’s… Each and every day all year long,

LET US BEHOLD HIM!

As our King, our Creator, our Savior, our Provider and

OUR GOD.

I

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Grandmother’s Example

Luke 6:38-Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Her gnarled fingers slipped into her coat pocket and retrieved a dollar bill. She put it into the pot beside the bell ringer. As her eyes met mine, she whispered these words, “There—but for the grace of God—go I.”

My grandmother taught me many Christian principles by example. And, as far as I know, she never lacked for anything she really needed.

She wasn’t rich, monetarily. That wasn’t her motivation for giving (as some nowadays interpret the verse in Luke). No, she gave because Christ asked her to—and in doing so, He reminded her that He was supplying her needs. In turn, He used her—and others like her—to meet the needs of the poor. 

Because of her giving, she was blessed in other ways. A happy, healthy family. A faithful, God-fearing husband. Fellowship with a community of believers.

Especially in this Christmas season, I am reminded both of her words—and His. For it is by His grace that God blesses us with the same measure we use to help meet the needs of others.

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Need Directions?

Jeremiah 6:16- “This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

As we sat around the table last week, talking with friends, we reminisced about times “gone by.” We related stories about games we used to play, foods we ate, freedoms we had as youngsters growing up.

It saddened us to think about all of the experiences we had in childhood that our children and grandchildren will never have.

They are living in a world run by technology and some will only read about hayrides, fishing derbies, and The Andy Griffith Show in books or online searches. Perhaps a few will sit still long enough to listen to stories told by Grandma and Grandpa.

Jeremiah reminds us that, indeed, we stand at a crossroads. There is much for all of us to learn from the past. Even more to learn from the Bible.

And, although we may have a Bible App on our phone or tablet, the words written in the Bible have not changed through the ages. In fact, they are still just as applicable to our current lives as they were when they were written.

Need direction for your life?

Listen to Jeremiah:

Stand at the crossroads and look;

Ask for the ancient paths…where the good way is.

Walk in it and find rest for your soul.

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“Here I Am!”

Revelation 3:20- “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Rhonda and Dwayne drove slowly through the once-small city in Arizona where they both had been born and raised. Where they met, fell in love, and married.

Nothing looked the same. High rise apartment buildings seemed to have sprung up on every corner. Old landmarks had disappeared. The place was almost unrecognizable.

Dwayne pulled over and studied the handwritten map Joe had sent. He doubled back. They had missed the turn.

Joe and Sandy were waiting on the porch when Dwayne pulled the SUV into their driveway. They had changed. Gray hair. Lines on their foreheads and at the corners of their eyes. 

Rhonda and Dwayne had aged quite a bit, too. Fourteen years will do that to you. 

But three hours later, the uneasiness at seeing each other after such a long time was gone. The awkward conversation had vanished. It was just like old times. 

They were family. Laughing, joking, telling stories. Eating a Thanksgiving meal together.

As Rhonda and Dwayne started for home the next morning, both couples promised to keep in touch and visit more often. Even if face-to-face trips weren’t possible, phone calls, emails, and Face Time would suffice until they could be together again.

God must feel that way, sometimes, too.

Listen. You can hear Him say

“Come over more often…”

“Stay longer…”

“Don’t forget to call…”

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A Change in Routine

Matthew 7:25– “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

Mel and Agnes sat on the balcony outside their small Assisted Living Apartment. Nothing seemed the same anymore. People to cook their meals, do their laundry, put them to bed at night.

Their routines were changed, the food was not always prepared to their liking, the cleaning wasn’t the way Agnes would have done it.

Then, on top of everything else, Covid-19 struck. And, with it, regulations on who could visit, how to deal with doctor’s appointments and family gatherings. Even the ability to go to church or shopping.

Not long afterward, an explosive political climate and uncertainty in the stock market took a big chunk out of their investments.

Their situation seemed more serious by the day. 

What would they do?

Instead of listening to the newscasts and becoming anxious, they sought comfort in God’s Word. Matthew 7, reminded them of their firm foundation in the Lord.

So, instead of complaining, they chose to be thankful.

Instead of tears, they chose joy.

Instead of listening to the “world” and seeking their own solutions, they chose the comfort and assurances they found in God’s Holy Word.

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