spiritualsnippets.com

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

He Is Doing a New Thing

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Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

 

I heard a popular christian song on the radio, yesterday. It was about regret. I listed out some of the things in my life that I’d love to forget.

I have repented of them… confessed them to God… and He has forgiven me.

But, according to Isaiah, it doesn’t end there. God is doing a new thing in my life. His Spirit has changed me and my new path is not one of regret, but of looking toward the future and my new life in Christ. 

And this new thing He is doing is springing forth like a river in the desert.

How amazing!!!!

Christians, we are new creations.

Believers, we can be rivers in the desert to those who are spiritually parched and thirsty.

God created us to offer Christ, the living water to those who have never heard the gospel.

When they receive it, they will thirst no more.

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The Navigator

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Matthew 7:13,14-  “Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.”

 

Hospice invited all of its volunteers to a celebration dinner last month. I looked at the address of the hotel on the envelope, clueless as to where it might be located.

I punched the address into my car’s navigation system and followed the highway from my home, past dozens of intersecting roads, and finally arrived at my destination.

Roads.

Paul was blinded on one.

Palm fronds lined the road as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.

The disciples saw Jesus on a road after His resurrection.

Zacchaeus climbed a tree in order to see Jesus when he traveled down a road.

The Bible tells us that broad is the road that leads to destruction and narrow is the road that leads into heaven.

Not as many travel on it. 

It is easier to go the “way of the world” and follow after one’s own devices than it is to follow The Lord. For this reason, Jesus shows us the picture of masses traveling down a wide road—following each other to destruction instead of following The Lord through the Gateway to Life.

He encourages us to take the narrow road.

Just like Zacchaeus, Paul, Matthew and the other disciples. 

Just like believers everywhere who long to spend an eternity in Heaven with Him.

 

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Perfection, Holiness, or Both?

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Matthew 5:48- “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

 

I recently wrote a blog for authors about how similar words—even synonyms—have slight differences in meaning.

After I finished writing, I thought about the words holy and perfect, which have long been linked together in my mind. God instructs us to be perfect, but since he knows that we are human and can never be perfect, I figure He must not consider these words to be synonymous.

I looked up holy in the dictionary: dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred morally and spiritually excellent.

Next, perfect: having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be; free from any flaw or defect in condition or quality; faultless; precisely accurate; exact.

I focused on the words “good as it is possible to be,” remembering that the Bible tells us that our own righteousness is like “filthy rags” in comparison to His righteousness AND that He promises to present believers faultless before the throne of God.

So, I determined that any perfection we might attain is due to the workings of the Holy Spirit within us. Not what we can do on our own. 

I looked again at the definition of holy, realizing that we must dedicate ourselves to God and His purpose. It is the Holy Spirit who will do the work in making us perfect. (In God’s sight, of course! Remember, when He looks at us, He sees His perfect Son, our savior, Jesus Christ.)

So, there it is. I can only be holy—I can only be perfect—if I am willing to be changed for His purposes by the Holy Spirit.

 

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He Has Your Back

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                            I Peter 5:7– “Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you.”

 

Do you find yourself worrying about things?

Are there times you are fearful? Anxious?

Would it surprise you if I told you that worry and fear aren’t from God?

God really does want us to live a life in which we trust that He is in control and will take care of us.

I Peter 5:7 tells us that God has “got our back.”

He supplies our needs as we trust Him day-by-day. 

This week, I experienced an instance of this happening in my own life as my siblings and I faced a medical crisis with my father. 

In the moments following an accident, he brought us together to comfort and counsel with each other. We drew strength from God—and each other. And, behind the scenes was a network of prayer partners from my church and neighborhood.

How grateful I am for each one of these individuals who were supplied by God to be His hands and His feet here on earth as my father’s life was in crisis. 

Whether it is a financial, emotional, or spiritual need you have, remember God wants you to reach out for Him. 

Because He cares for you!

 

 

 

 

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Is There Such a Thing as Absolute Truth?

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Judges 21:25- “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.

 

On a newscast I saw recently, it was reported that 91% of American teenagers in America don’t believe in absolute truth.

They believe that truth is relative. They think that what is true for one person may not necessarily be true for someone else.

The article said this is what kids are being taught in school these days. It begins with classroom discussions of tolerance of others’ thoughts, beliefs, sexual orientation, and so on. 

Over time, this is carried to the extreme. No one is wrong. Everyone is right.

However, there are a lot of absolutes in our world. God gives many examples in the Old Testament of what happens when people do what is right in their own eyes, rather than following God’s commands. 

There are consequences to doing what we want when our ways go against God’s laws. 

One reason God’s Word was given to us was so that we would learn how God expects us to live… and see the results of disobedience. 

The Israelites fell away from worshipping God and into the worship of idols. When they did, God delivered them into the hands of foreign oppressors. When they cried out to God, he raised up judges who saved them from their enemies. But, after the judges died, the people went back to their old ways. 

When they served God, they prospered, but when they served idols they suffered. 

When they did what they felt was right in their own eyes, they suffered oppression from others and judgment from God.

God is clearly telling us that His Truth is Absolute. He expects us to do what is right in His eyes—not ours. 

 

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You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

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Deuteronomy 31:6- “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

Lunch time and recess are viewed by most students as the best part of their school day. However, do you remember how lonely those times were when your best friend was ill?

There’s probably no worse feeling in all the world than being all alone. But, the reality is that in life

Friends argue and go their separate ways.

Relatives have a “falling out.”

Couples divorce.

Father’s leave their families.

Soldiers desert their platoons.

Even in the midst of one of those circumstances, God promises that you’ll never be completely alone if you acknowledge Christ as Savior and put your trust in Him.

He’ll never leave you or forsake you.

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Manna From Heaven

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Deuteronomy 8:3- “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”

 

As a child, I remember Sunday afternoons with Dad. Working long hours during the week, he was always sure to spend Sundays with us as a family. After church, we would eat lunch. That was followed by a drive in the family car, then a few hours at the park or swimming, Goofy golf, etc.

Dad did his best to maintain a relationship with his four children, although (as I recall) there wasn’t much time spent with us, individually.

Looking back on those days, I admire Dad’s commitment to family, even though I would like to have known him on a more personal level.

Maybe that is why daily communication with God is so important to me. Through prayer and Bible reading I can know my heavenly father—as He knows me. He provides for my needs, first, and then showers me with the blessing of a deepening relationship with Him.

God supplied the Israelites with manna (bread from heaven) daily. For what purpose? To teach them that spiritual food is more important than physical food. We need to feast on God’s Word (our daily bread).

If we only eat physical food once a week, we will perish. In the same way, if we eat from God’s Word only once a week, we cannot enjoy a full and abiding sense of his presence—a deep relationship with Him.

Human fathers are limited in time and space, but in that God is omnipresent, our Heavenly Father is able to spend time with us, individually—each and every day. 

 

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Nature Obeys His Voice

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Luke 8:25– “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

 

The gulf coast is bracing for yet another hurricane.

Disturbances such as tornadoes, tsunamis, and tropical depressions are in weather reports every day.

Heavy rainfall, hailstorms, blizzards—each are experienced somewhere in our world every hour.

Meteorologists track them.

Newscasters report them.

Citizens try to prepare for them.

But, none of us can change the weather.

That’s why the stories of Jesus calming the storms in the Bible are so miraculous. All of nature, including catastrophic occurrences, recognize and obey, His voice.

Just as the disciples cried out to Jesus for help when they were on tempest-driven waves, we can ask Him to calm the physical seas and/or the “storms” in our lives. 

The verse in Luke reminds us that if we have faith, we can take concerns of every kind to Him in prayer and trust Him to answer in accordance with His sovereign will.

 

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God’s Billboards

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Psalm 19: 1-4. ““The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

 

I don’t think there are as many billboards along roadways as there were years ago.

And, people tell me that with so much information coming at them all of the time, they simply tune out the occasional one they do see.

Computers, television, cell phones, iPads, tablets—even our watches keep us connected nowadays with new products and ideas.

Despite all of these changes in our lives, God is still into the visual—sunrises and sunsets, rainbows after storms, stars in the night sky…

God is spirit and so is invisible to our human eyes, so he often makes us aware of His presence and great love for us in ways we can understand and appreciate. These little gifts from God are interspersed throughout our days as gentle reminders that He is with us.

But, as wonderful as these all are, we cannot deeply know Him without prayer and the truths we read in scripture. He doesn’t just want us to be aware that He exists. He wants us to really know Him because He knows us and—even with all of our flaws—He wants a relationship with us. 

All of creation testifies to His presence.

God’s “billboards” are everywhere. 

We will see them if we routinely take our eyes off our computer screens and, instead, spend time with God.

 

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Pray for Our Country

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Proverbs 29:2- “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked rule, the people mourn.”

 

As more and more newscasts are filled with biographical information about candidates and their stands on the issues concerning citizens of our great country, need we even ask if God cares about politics?

There is a lot of talk in the Bible about Kings. There are details regarding lineage, how they came to be Kings, their performance, and so on. Scripture tells us some did what pleased God. Some did “evil in the sight of the Lord.”

As we read, we learn how certain actions led to peace, while others started wars. We learn the difference in how Godly leadership and unholy leadership affected the lives of ordinary people.

Leaders who are humble and submissive to God can bring great blessings upon citizens. If we want our nation to truly have peace and prosperity, we must seek leadership that follows Christian principles.

I cannot imagine God devoting so much of the Old Testament to this subject if it wasn’t important to Him. I think God cares immensely about leaders around the world.

It’s not that long until Americans will again exercise their right to vote. In the days and nights leading up to casting our ballots, we need to pray as never before that God will guide us and that HIS choices for all of the offices will be elected. And, afterward? We need to continue to pray that their decisions and actions will be wise and honorable.

We cannot let up. 

Our prayers are important because our leadership matters… because God will act on behalf of His people if we earnestly seek His will in every circumstance.

Complacency or defeatist attitudes have no place in the lives of Christians. (Remember God’s warning to the church of Laodicea in Revelation that He would rather they would be hot or cold than to be lukewarm? That if they didn’t change, He would spew them out of his mouth?) 

May our pillows be hard and our beds uncomfortable from this day forward if we go to bed without praying for our country. 

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