spiritualsnippets.com

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

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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No Password Necessary

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I was so frustrated last week.  

I had my bottled water on the desk, a comfortable pillow at my back, and good intentions of spending time writing Chapter 7 of my next book.

I sat down at the computer and typed in my password.

Multiple times.

What was going on? 

I’ve had the same password for years. I could type it in my sleep!!

I envisioned being on the phone with tech-support for hours… having to create a new password… 

About to try for one last time before the computer locked me out, I noticed that the Caps Lock key was lit. 

In one swift movement, I clicked it off.

I was in business!

Believers will never find themselves in that predicament when wanting to connect with God in prayer.

We have access to the Father 24/7 and we don’t need a password!

 

 

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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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