spiritualsnippets.com

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

Gift or Giver?

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Psalm 109:30- “With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.”

 

In this season, if you are anything like me, you are spending quite a bit of time focusing on the gifts you would like to give special people in your life.

I ask myself, what would they like? What would make them smile? What would let them know they are special to me?

Then, there is the wrapping…the sparkle…the glitz… (This is my favorite part.) Again, it just adds to the “specialness” of the whole gift-giving process.

Each year, when I feel I am getting too “caught up” in the whole process, I turn to my Bible and read the Christmas Story, reminding myself that I must not worship the gifts.

You and I were made with a purpose…

We were made by God to worship HIM.

We were made to worship the Giver.

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More Than Enough

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Ephesians 3:20- “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”

Sufficient

Ample

Plenty

Adequate

These words mean “just enough.”

Enough food to feed the family.

Enough money to pay the grocery bill.

Enough light to read by.

Enough gas in the tank.

And that’s fine for most things.

But, what if you could have an abundance?

Ephesians tells us that God isn’t the God of “just enough”—He is able to supply more than what we think we need… more than we ask for or imagine.

He’s the God of Abundance.

The God of Overflowing.

He’s the God of “more than enough.”

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Of Great Worth

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I Peter 3: 3,4– “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

 

Thinking ahead to Christmas, holiday get-togethers, luncheons and so on, I took a survey of my closet to see what I might need to buy to wear… or at least to add in the way of a sweater or new shoes to an existing outfit. 

The prospects seemed dismal as I settled into my reading chair and picked up my Bible.

Then, I read the verse from first Peter. Inner beauty, not a glittery new sweater, was what it said that pleases God. And, in the noise and hustle involved in holiday celebrations, He asked me to instead focus on developing a gentle, quiet spirit. 

I may not be sporting new clothes this holiday season, but you will find me wearing a big smile… because I will be concentrating on what is important to God.

It is my gift to Him this Christmas Season.

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A VERY LOUD Horn

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Psalm 34:4- “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

 

Each summer, our family made our trek to see our Grandparents and extended family back east. As it got closer to the time of the trip, I would grow more and more anxious about traveling over the Arizona mountains. I learned to pray for our safety in the days leading up to our vacation.

The one lane road over the Salt River Canyon (which was reconstructed and widened some years ago) had countless switchbacks and when another vehicle approached, coming from the opposite direction, Dad would need to pull to the side as far as possible in order to let the other car pass.

On one such trip, when Dad fell asleep at the wheel, a semi-trucker blew his horn to wake him just in the nick of time. It was then that I became a true believer in the importance of praying in all circumstances. 

All six of us had been sleeping, but God was watching over us and sent a huge eighteen-wheeler with a VERY LOUD horn to warn our father of impending danger.

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Finding Refuge

 

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Psalm 62:8- “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.”

 

A family vacationing abroad was recently thrust into a situation of international intrigue. They felt alone and isolated, due in part that they did not speak the language of the host country.

They turned to the American embassy, seeking safety and shelter from pursuit of dangerous foreigners.

There are times when we, too, may feel things/people are coming against us. 

Where can we turn… to whom should we turn?

Psalm 62:8 reminds us that we can cry out to the Lord “at all times.” We can pour out our hearts to our heavenly father.

He wants us to find our refuge in Him.

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Controlling Thoughts–and Words

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Psalm 19:14- “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”

 

A child in the grocery store accidentally dropped a bottle of catsup making quite a mess on aisle five. She let out string of expletives one wouldn’t think someone that age would even know.

Her face turned red as her mother’s hand clamped over her mouth. “You can think it, but remember not to say it.”

According to Matthew 15:11, what comes out of our mouths is what defiles us. 

While the mother’s admonishment might be good “earthly” advice, The Bible tells us that both our thoughts and our words should be ones our Lord would find acceptable.

Our language should reflect the fruit of the spirit, especially goodness, gentleness, and self-control.

Words are a reflection of what is in our hearts, so let’s be godly examples to everyone around us.

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Live Out the Truth

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1 John 1: 5, 6- “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 

 

Charlie slipped from the warmth of his bed and made his way down the hallway to the family room. He closed the door, keeping the volume on the television low as he watched a late night program that was vulgar and distasteful.

The next day, he talked with friends after the church service, as if he had done nothing wrong. He had a secret life—a dark life—of which no one was aware.

Lately, Charlie had been looking at pornography, listening to dirty jokes around the water cooler at work, and had begun an inappropriate relationship with a co-worker.

The fellowship he had once had with the Lord had been completely eroded as Charlie made one decision after another to walk in darkness.

When sinful thoughts take root, sinful behavior is what grows—it is the fruit of the flesh—whereas the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

Charlie ended up losing his wife, family, friends, and job before he finally repented and was restored into a right relationship with the Lord—a fellowship of goodness, hope, and LIGHT in which he is now living out the truth of God’s Word.

 

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Hungry?

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John 6:35– “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

 

I pull up to a stoplight, my eyes scanning the intersection as I wait for it to turn green.

I notice a man on the corner holding a cardboard sign with one word: HUNGRY.

I roll down the window, motioning for him to approach my car and take the bill from my outstretched hand. To it I have clipped one word: JESUS and a Bible verse written in calligraphy.

John 6:35. 

Even though money may have met his immediate need, the verse says that with Jesus acknowledged as Savior and Lord, he need never experience spiritual hunger again.

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Reconnect

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James 4:8- “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”

 

I ran into a friend at the grocery store the other day. Just seeing her face reminded me of our conversation last spring when I promised to reconnect over a leisurely lunch following our vacation.

Heat instantly covered my neck and traveled up my cheeks. We’d already been back home for over a month and I hadn’t called!

I apologized and we set the “date” right then and there. 

As I put away my groceries, I still felt bad at having dropped the ball like that…

I turned off the kitchen light and walked down the hall, glancing into the dining room. My open Bible on the table caught my eye. 

Had it really been two days since I spent time with the Lord?

I grabbed a cup of coffee and slid into my chair to reconnect. 

What do you have for me today, Lord? 

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Do You Get Hives?

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Romans 10: 14-15  “How can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him?  And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him?  And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?”

 

Three of my friends joined me for lunch. Our first topic of conversation was the lavish baby shower we had attended the previous week.

“Sorry you missed it Jean. It was really a fun time.”

Almost in tears, Jean replied that she hadn’t received an invitation!

Knowing there was no way her good friend wouldn’t have invited her to her daughter’s baby shower, we were all puzzled as to what might have happened to her invitation.

We cannot take it for granted that someone else will tell a friend or loved one about Jesus. 

Do you get hives (like I do) when you think about knocking on a stranger’s door and sharing the gospel?

Did you know that “cold calling” on doors has become a rare form of evangelism?

More often, nowadays, people come to know Christ in relationship/friendship settings. What starts as a social connection evolves into friendships where we both feel comfortable sharing our faith.

Taking a loaf of bread or pie to a new neighbor, inviting someone to a BBQ or coffee, offering to help with a home project or car repair—each of these can bring about opportunities to share our faith once we have first grown our relationship.

If we don’t, who will?

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