spiritualsnippets.com

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

The Healing

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Luke 4:5-7   “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

 

I read a horrific story about a young man who was desperate to save his dying child. He had spent all of his money, borrowed from his mortgage, and sold all of his belongings in order to pay for the boy’s medical treatments.

Now, at the end of his resources and without another hope, he had an idea. He would bargain with Satan. He would offer to give his own soul to the devil if only his son’s life would be spared.

One day, he told his plan to an older man in the hospital waiting room. That man was able to share the scripture from Luke with the distraught father. He told him that in Jesus there is life. That all things were given to Him by God. That all authority is His, to the glory of the Father.

He convinced the young man that although Satan often tempted people with money, position, or power, the very idea that Satan had any authority to give these things was all lies. The older man persuaded the young father to put the life of his boy in the hands of the great healer—the author of life.

Just as Jesus wasn’t fooled by Satan’s offer of power and authority as they stood atop a mountain in Jerusalem, neither was the young father in this story.

Sadly, the little boy in this story did die. However, the young father’s faith was not shaken because he understood that his child was now with Jesus and that he would see him again one day.

He realized that it was he, himself, that had experienced healing—the healing of his own soul.

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Jesus, Others, and You

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Romans 12:10- “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

 

A young man, appearing to be in his early twenties, sat on a wooden crate on a street corner in Bellingham. He strummed his guitar and crooned a song about love. The point of the song was that one could not completely love another, unless he first learned to love himself.

A handful of young people clapped to the beat, nodding to each other in agreement.

I’d heard the song before. In fact, there have been quite a number written which echo that same theme. I shook my head as I continued to walk down the street.

When I was a child, I learned the song, “J.O.Y.” in Sunday School. It’s a simple song with an enduring message: true joy can only be found when we live by the biblical principal of putting Jesus, first. That is followed by loving others; and finally by putting ourselves last.

In the world we live in today, this world of I Phones and I Pads—this life filled with television commercials enticing us to buy whatever looks good to our eyes—it’s hard for us to comprehend that true joy and peace are only achieved by acting in a way which is contrary to our love of self.

But, that’s just what Jesus asks us to do. Because, like the song says, putting Him first in our lives, followed by love for others is the way to a “peace that passes understanding.”

Jesus, Others,—and You.

 

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A Place at the Table

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Revelation 19:7a- “Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”

 

Growing up, my Dad had a favorite chair in the living room. It was off limits, if he was home. It was his chair.

At the kitchen table, each of us had a designated chair. When Mom called us to dinner, we took our predetermined seats.

It probably works like this for most families—at least that’s what I’m told.

My sister is a terrific cook. When we eat at her house, we don’t care which chair we sit in. We’re happy just to be invited to dinner.

I look ahead to Heaven and the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, as described in the book of Revelation. Imagine having dinner with our Lord and Savior!

I hope to be surrounded by family and friends, but I don’t care how the table is decorated or what kind of food is served.

I will be grateful just to be there—to have a place at the table.

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STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN

Luke 6:42-  “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

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My son ran to my side, hiding behind my full skirt. “Mom, she pinched me!”

“Well, he started it.” My daughter retorted, hands on her hips.

I sighed. Would this bickering back and forth ever end?

“Can’t you two just be nice to one another for a single afternoon?”

My daughter rolled her eyes. “I’d be nicer if he would.”

“Well, I’d leave her alone if she’d stop bothering me, first.

 

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone else would change their behavior and we could just go on behaving as we always have?

But the Bible says that we need to look within and see our own faults as they really are—and be willing to be the first one to change. When we are perfect, then we can start to work on the other guy.

God says that the way to truly change marriages, friendships, and business interactions is for us to be the catalyst for change.

It may be no fun to look within.

And, change is hard…especially when we feel it’s clearly the other person who should be making the effort.

But, the change we want will only happen when we

STOP complaining,

LOOK within and

LISTEN to God’s direction.

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THE SWEATER

Matthew 25:43-45 “I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

 

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I scrambled around for an hour or so, decorating the room for the church Christmas Dinner.

I had turned the temperature down low, anticipating that the room would become warmer once it was filled with people. When all the tasks were accomplished, I sat down to rest. After a few minutes, I shuddered, running my hands over the goose bumps on my arms.

I headed to my car to get my sweater only to find that I had forgotten to bring it.

Back inside, I hugging myself to keep warm, a lady I barely knew offered to let me wear her sweater.

Even though I protested, she insisted that I take it. I thanked her and took my seat.

Why would I remember a little incident like that?

I guess because a near stranger had given up something for me.

The Bible tells us that even small kindnesses, done in the name of Jesus, are noticed by Him.

Giving a bottle of water to a man on the street, holding the door open for an elderly lady, helping a young mother wipe up a spill on the floor of a fast food restaurant.

When we seek to show God’s love to others, we can be a blessing in someone’s life.

We can warm their hearts by being the hands and feet of Jesus.

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ALL POWERFUL

 

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Ephesians 1:19-21 “…and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”

 

 

I watched as the President of the United States was sworn into office.

A split second beforehand, he was an American citizen, like the rest of us, except perhaps for his great wealth.

But, after the oath of office was taken, reporters referred to him as the “most powerful man in all the world.”

What a difference a moment in time made in his status among the nations.

But, his power is nothing compared to the power of God in raising Jesus from the dead or the power conferred on Jesus who now sits at His right hand:

The power to heal, to create and destroy, to forgive sin.

He can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

We cannot cleanse ourselves from sin or its influence in our lives.

We cannot work hard or long enough.

We cannot achieve enough or perform enough “works.”

On our own, we cannot defeat sin and Satan.

All power is HIS and HIS ALONE.

We have only to put our faith in His great strength—put ourselves in His capable hands and allow Him to do the work only He can do

by His GREAT POWER.

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Spiritual Preventative Care

 

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Jeremiah 17:7– ““But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”

 

I have a great primary care doctor.

She knows what medications to prescribe when I am ill and she has me on a preventative care routine that keeps me healthy 99% of the time.

Based on years of good health under her care, I can say that I have confidence in her.

It means a lot to have someone caring for your physical health that you can place your confidence in, doesn’t it?

When it comes to my spiritual health, I put my confidence in God.

He created me.

He knows just what I need.

He keeps me spiritually healthy when I follow a daily routine of prayer and Bible study.

Fellowship with Christian friends, wise pastoral care, reading Christian books, watching moral television, and listening to wholesome music are also ways to keep my mind and heart on Him.

Spiritual preventative care.

A prescription for a healthy Christian life.

 

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When There Are No Words

 

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Romans 8:26- “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

 

I am a writer—at least that’s what I like to call myself.

Some stories come easy, but others take a lot of research and editing.

There are times when I find it difficult to find the exact words I am looking for.

At times when I am sad, or when something has occurred and I am so emotionally distraught that I cannot begin to express the extent of my anguish, I can ask the Holy Spirit to take over for me…to express to God such deep feelings that I find impossible to do on my own.

The Holy Spirit knows how to speak to the very heart of God. And, when he does, I experience God’s peace.

 

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Keeping an Eye On My Father

 

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Psalm 116:8- “For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,”

 

A family of four headed east to pay Grandma and Grandpa a customary visit the second week of June in 2014.

They had made the familiar trek once each summer for the previous ten years.

There was a map in the glove compartment, but the father (and primary driver) was sure he wouldn’t need it. After all, Jason had made the drive many times before.

Along about dusk, a doe and her fawn grazing by the side of the interstate, caught Jason’s attention. For a split second, he took his eyes off the road.

“Daddy!” His middle child screamed.

Jason saw the semi just in time, returning his car to his side of the road and avoiding certain death.

Through the years, I have found that when I take my eyes off of my spiritual father, I often experience difficulties in decision making, interpersonal relationships, and reaching goals (just to name a few). It’s when I refocus, get back in a close relationship with Him, that I find myself once again on the path he intended for me.

And, just like Jason, I’m back on the right side of the road.

 

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Plug In

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Isaiah 40:29-“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

 

After we moved, I couldn’t find the cord to my keyboard. I looked everywhere I could think of.

No cord meant no sound, no music.

Without plugging into the electricity in our home, the keyboard couldn’t perform as it was intended. The cord was essential.

I cannot display the fruit of the spirit, I cannot dispense grace in my dealings with family and friends if I don’t stay connected to God. I depend on Him for strength to do the right things when I am weak.

When I am not “plugged in” through scripture and prayer, my Christian life is devoid of the power I need to face different situations when they arise.

I am weak; often weary.

He promises to let me tap into His power when I need Him.

And, when I do, I function just as He intended.

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