spiritualsnippets.com

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

The Father of Compassion

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2 Corinthians 1:3-4  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

 

The word father refers to the male person who is the source of life for his offspring. But, the term father is so much more than simply referring to procreation, the physical act.

It is a man who gives care and protection to his offspring.

Someone who begins or originates an idea or work is also referred to as a father. For, instance, we say that George Washington is the Father of our country… that James Madison is the Father of the constitution… the term founding fathers credits certain men for their work in establishing our government…

Christians pray to God, our Heavenly Father.

The verse in second Corinthians tells us that God is the Father of Compassion. 

Because God IS love, compassion for us and our sufferings naturally flows from Him.

Through prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can tap into that source of love and compassion and use it to comfort others.

God is the originator. 

The source.

Our compassionate Heavenly Father.

 

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Six Words

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2 Timothy 4: 1-7 “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

 

Women giving birth anticipate hearing their baby’s first cry.

Lovers long to hear those three little words: “I Love You.”

Christians look forward to seeing Jesus in Heaven and hearing Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

We have believed that Christ died for our sins and accepted His saving grace.

We have done our part in spreading the gospel.

We have used the talents God gifted us with for the good of our Christian community and local church.

We have helped those less fortunate than ourselves.

We have accomplished the purpose God had for us.

We have interceded for others in prayer.

We have encouraged others to persevere in the midst of adversity.

We have run the race…finished the course.

Someday we will rejoice with others as we hear Him say, “Well, done, good and faithful servant.” 

 

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Digging Deeper

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                            Psalm 46:10a- “Be still and know that I am God.”

 

I recently decided to “dig deeper” into the meaning of scripture by apply a technique that I used in college when studying for exams. I have chosen the short, but powerful, verse from Psalm 46 to illustrate.

By emphasizing a word at a time, I can peel back the layers. Here’s what I mean:

Be still and know that I am God.”  (Stop the busyness and striving. I need to listen to Him more and enjoy His presence).

“Be still and know that I am God.” (If I am still, I can know—gain understanding—be sure… )

“Be still and know that I am God.” (I shouldn’t try to be in control. I am not God. He is! I need to trust in Him.) 

“Be still and know that I am God.”  (He’s not just some great and capable person. He is the almighty God… the Creator… our Savior. I need to meditate on who God is… His attributes… wisdom… His power… I need to trust in Him. There is nothing He cannot do!)

By emphasizing a word or phrase at a time, I find deeper meaning and greater understanding. And, as I meditate on scripture, I find myself drawing nearer to HIM.

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Finding Strength in Promises

 

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Romans 4:20– “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.”

 

 

I live in the desert southwest. One of my favorite plants is the Ocotillo cactus. But, they can be very finicky. If the soil or sunlight is not to their liking, they simply won’t grow.

We have planted several in the past and while our neighbors boast leafy ones with bright red flowers, we have never had one to leaf out. Ours look like dry… gray… dead.

We decided to try again. We planted one  prominently out front.

We followed the directions from the nursery salesman and waited.

I even prayed over the five-foot “sticks” and we continued our vigil.

As I passed by our living room window last week, I stopped dead in my tracks. Could it be a tiny red bud at the top of one of the arms? I rushed outside to get a better look.

Yes. There it was!

And, then this morning… behold, a second.

Now, Ocotillos leaf out, first, and then flower. But, not ours. We now have two flowers atop our non-leafy plant, which I call our “flowers of promise—our assurance of a healthy plant that will someday leaf out!

The Bible is full of God’s promises for those who love Him. In fact, my research shows that there are 7,487 promises that God has made to humans. Among them are: wisdom to Solomon; a son for Sarah and Abraham, eternal life for those who believe; the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for believers; and thousands more have been given and thousands already fulfilled!

The verse above refers to Abraham. I like it because it says he didn’t waiver through unbelief. He was strengthened when he received God’s promise.

The Bible is full of promises for us who love HIM. So, when we are discouraged or feel like giving up, we can turn to the scriptures and be refreshed by claiming His promises for ourselves and our situations.

Don’t waiver. Be strengthened!

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“Behold, Your Mother!”

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John 19: 26,27- When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

 

It’s hard for me to believe that I have grown up to give birth to my own children, and they in turn, are parents. It seems not so long ago that I was a little girl, myself, with a loving mother to care for me. 

My mother took her role seriously. I always felt loved and safe.

For the last few years, our roles have been reversed. My parents have aged. My siblings and myself are now caring for them (along with a wonderful staff in their Memory Care unit.)

If you are in your mid-fifties or older, like I am, chances are you are taking care of your aging mother, too. 

Providing care for His mother was of utmost importance to Jesus. As He was dying on the cross, he made sure that John would take on this responsibility in His absence. 

No matter how little—or how much—was involved in John’s new role as Mary’s caregiver, He pledged to do whatever was necessary.

You may not be at that place in your life, yet. But, as our medical care improves, the reality of providing care for our aging parents is becoming more and more of a reality.

The Bible tells us to Honor our Father and our Mother. This goes beyond merely providing physical care. It means giving them love and respect… making them feel special and needed at a time in their lives when they may feel useless and no longer able to enjoy the activities that they did when they were younger.

A card… flowers… a special meal… a family gathering. 

Following Christ’s example is yet another case of showing His love to others—those who cared for us as helpless babes and who we now provide for as His love comes full circle.

 

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On Purpose, With a Purpose

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Psalm 57:2- “I cry out to God most high, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.”

 

A magazine article reported that depression is on the rise worldwide. One of the main causes is that people don’t see that they have any real purpose.

They feel that they should have a purpose. They just haven’t discovered what it is.

They fail to adequately answer the age-old question, “Why did God put me on this earth?” And, that often results in them living lives in which they don’t believe that they matter…that if they were not here, it really wouldn’t make a difference to anyone…

The psalmist relates to those feelings, and in desperation, he cries out to God for the answer, for it is He that created each of us on purpose, with a purpose.

Don’t doubt that you matter to God. Don’t doubt that He created you to make a difference in this world. Don’t ignore His direction… his leading.

It may not take you down the path you expected.

It may not nudge you in a way that is the most comfortable.

But, He will lead you, if you are sincere in your request… if you are patient… if you trust in His Word.

 

 

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Who Is Your First Love?

 

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Matthew 22:37, 38-Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”

 

God’s Word says that He is to be our first love.

We hear it from the pulpit, Christian radio, conferences, missionaries. 

We hear it in Sunday school and from our parents.

I saw this somewhere on the internet awhile back. (It didn’t give credit to anyone, so I apologize that I cannot do so, here, either). It is a great way to remember this principle:

F – finances

I  – Interests

R – relationships

S – schedule

T – troubles

We are to give Him the pre-eminence above all others. 

First in our thoughts and hearts.

We are to elevate Him in our lives to the highest place…Make Him first in our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18

 

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The Cross Was No Accident

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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.”

 

The Cross.

For Christians, the symbol of hope.

The death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation through the forgiveness of sins for all who believe.

The cross was no accident. 

His great love motivated the Creator to sacrifice His Son.

We have painted them, gold-plated them, encrusted them with jewels, decorated our walls with them, worn them around our necks…

What is it that draws our hearts to the cross?

The Bible says that we love Him because He first loved us.

I think we are drawn to the cross because it is there that He showed us the extent of His pure, unconditional, unending, indescribable love.

No, the cross of Christ wasn’t lovely. It was “rugged” as the old hymn describes it. Built with rough, splintered wood that was held together by crude nails.

Christ was nailed to it and died the death of a common criminal. How unbelievable He would do this for you and for me.

Yet, Jesus welcomed the cross. He had planned this moment from the beginning. It had all come down to this.

But the cross was no more the end for Jesus than it is for us. 

Coming to the cross with Thanksgiving for the love that put Him there, rejoicing at the open tomb announcing His resurrection, leaving our sin there and following Christ.

That’s just the beginning. 

Let’s celebrate it today. 

He is worthy of all praise. Crown Him with many crowns. Lord of Lords. King of Kings.

The precious  Lamb of God. 

 

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In The Midst of Devastating Loss

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2 Corinthians 1:3-4  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts using all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 

It happened at a fourth of July barbecue. 

Gerald was holding his daughter while he visited with Tom. As he got engrossed in their conversation, he didn’t notice when little Tina wriggled from the safety of his arms.

Minutes later, she was face down in the swimming pool.

Gerald loved his daughter. He had been entrusted with the the child’s safety, but he had failed to keep her from harm.

Why did God allow this to happen?

This is one of those questions that both Christians and non-christians ask in the midst of devastating loss.

There is no easy answer. 

After all, we reason, what good could possibly come from the death of a youngster—a little one with all of life ahead of them?

While saying, “God took her home” or “It’s all in God’s timing,” may be true, family and friends still have to deal with untimely loss—and, often—anger toward God.

God understands our feelings. He wants us to voice them to Him. He has also provided in His Word, encouragement for us when we experience the worst of times.

Gerald found many verses in the Bible that comforted him and his wife during the days following Tina’s death, but the verse I share with you, today, is one that he read many months later when he was called on to comfort a co-worker that lost a child in a car accident.

When he read this verse, Gerald realized that because of his loss and the comfort God gave him, he was then able to comfort a friend and, eventually, lead the friend to Christ!

We may not know, specifically, why tragedies happen at the time they occur, but as children of God, we can demonstrate His comfort and enduring love for others.

 

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The Perfect Name

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A recent survey reveals that a high percentage of people regret what they named their child.

I can see why, can’t you?

Naming children after fruit, old movie titles, or using inventive spellings…

God’s son, Jesus, was given the name above all other names. A name at which one day every knee shall bow.

God won’t regret the name He chose because it is

The perfect name

For God’s perfect son.

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