spiritualsnippets.com

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

A Gardener’s Lesson

Psalm 1:2, 3- (Blessed is the one) “whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”

Plant guru, Val Russo, reminded Facebook friends in a recent post that correct watering is “half the battle” in caring for our house plants. Light conditions, air humidity, and temperature should also be considered if we want to help our plants thrive.

Psalm 1 reminds us that Christians who delight in our Lord and His Word, can be likened to plants that flourish and yield fruit. 

The truths we learn from the scriptures help us grow. And we become fruitful when we share what we have learned with nonbelievers—sowing seeds of faith. 

Once they profess faith in Christ and, in turn share with others, it doesn’t take long to grow a veritable “garden.”

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Suicide: What YOU Can Do To Help

2 Samuel 17:23- “When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.”

One of my extended family members got an alarming phone call a few days ago. A good friend had just committed suicide.

There were seven people in the Bible who committed suicide (Abimelech, Samson, King Saul and his armor bearer, King Zimri, Ahithophel, and Judas Iscariot). 

Since Bible times, cases of suicide have been rising each year at an alarming rate. 

I am writing about this today, not to debate whether God will forgive this particular sin or not. There are many differing opinions on the internet for those of you who are interested in pursuing this question.

What I am focused on today is what we can do, as Christians, to help people in our lives that are struggling with heavy issues. 

1-Bathe them in prayer, offer encouragement, extend a listening ear and friendship.

2-Share scripture about God’s love. There are hundreds of such verses in the Bible. The internet has lists which can be accessed easily.

3-Refer them to the pastor or Bible Study leader for spiritual counseling when you feel their problem goes beyond your ability to help.

4-Statistics tell us that most people who commit suicide have been suffering from depression. So, if they don’t seem to be getting better as the days and weeks go by, help them find an agency dealing specifically with suicide prevention. State and local agencies are listed on the internet. They are literally a phone call away. They offer encouragement, psychological, and/or medical assistance. 

**Here are a few of the signs of depression to look for: low mood, low self-esteem, loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. They may have occasional delusions or hallucinations. Suicide attempts often occur due to family history, chronic pain/health problems/disabilities, and/or substance abuse.

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Need a Little Nudge?

James 4:17– “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”

Brad’s wife worried when he was an hour late coming home from work. When he did arrive, he lied and said he had a flat tire instead of where he had actually been.

Sins of commission are sinful actions that are done on purpose, such as lying and cheating.

Rachel knew a family that needed food, but she failed to offer them money or groceries. 

A sin of omission is a sin that takes place when one fails to do what he knows is right. 

The Holy Spirit nudges Christians toward right behavior. He speaks to our hearts, convincing us to step out in faith and follow His lead.

The key to determining whether a sin is one of omission is if we know what we should do, but don’t act on it.

If we listen to the Holy Spirit and let Him guide our actions, we will know the right things to do and we will be able to encourage each other to do them!

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Comfort and Compassion

Isaiah 49:13- “Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord comforts his people and has compassion on his afflicted.

I currently have two friends battling cancer and one who recently lost a loved one to Covid-19. In all three cases, these Christians tell me that they feel much closer to God now than at any other time in their lives.

Why?

Could it be that they realize they do not have control over these situations and so rely on the one true God for help and comfort?

Maybe they are spending more time in prayer and in reading the scriptures, such as  

Deuteronomy 31:8- “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Or, this one from 2 Corinthians, chapter one, verse 3- “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.”

He’s not a God on a lofty throne who has no idea what we are going through. His Word tells us that Jesus came to earth as a man and suffered many of the same things we do. He is well-acquainted with suffering and so He has given us His Holy Spirit to bring us comfort like no one else can. 

My friends have found the Holy Spirit to be compassionate… loving… understanding… and comforting.

No matter what the circumstances, He is there for His children.

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Don’t Be Afraid

Matthew 10:26- “So do not be afraid (of them), for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known.”

Did you notice there was no blog post from me last week?

That’s because my computer died. It was sudden. I’m sure it felt no pain.

But I sure did.

In Matthew, Jesus is giving directions to his disciples as they are being sent out “into the world.” But, as I prayed for my computer’s memory to be restored, the last part of the verse kept coming to mind. So I prayed that all of my data would be disclosed and made known.

After a week of repeated disappointments from those I went to for repair help and data recovery—along with much prayer, God directed me to just the right young man to tackle the problem.

As of last night, my computer is up and running.

Knowing that all perfect gifts/blessings come from the Father above, my praise is to Him for restoring my computer to good health and for providing skill and wisdom to the troubleshooter who helped me here on earth.

If I ever doubted that God cared about the little trials in our lives, I will never do so again! 

God’s love is eternal and all-encompassing.

No matter the circumstance, we need not be afraid.

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Mount Up!

Isaiah 40:31– “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Admit it.

You find it difficult to wait patiently for answers to your prayers.

Me, too.

When I questioned why God often made me wait for so long, my pastor said it was so I would learn patience.

I accepted that, knowing I certainly did need to work on patience in many areas of my life.

However, I recently discovered another purpose to waiting.

The verse in Isaiah reveals that those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.

We are all aware of the mighty eagle…its powerful wings.

So, next time you are waiting, draw on the strength of God’s Word. You’ll not only receive your answer, but the strength to deal with anything that comes your way.

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The Mediator

I Timothy 2:5- “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.”

We recently sold our house. 

We used a realtor to write the listing, manage the showings, and see the process through escrow to the day of closing. 

A home inspector did his job and an appraiser set a number for the value. 

All these people played a vital role as intermediaries between us and the buyer.

I felt a new appreciation that Christians, because of Jesus bearing our sins on the cross, don’t need an intermediary between ourselves and our wonderful God.  

Once we have professed faith in Jesus as our Savior, we can come directly to the Father’s throne of grace in prayer. We can have a personal relationship with Him, bringing Him our concerns, our requests, our praise.

 Because nothing and no one can come between us!!!

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Once Lost. Now Found.

Luke 15:8- “What woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost’.”

**You are on my heart this morning. I don’t know your name or exact circumstance, but you have a loved one who needs the love of Jesus in their life. I remembered this blog that I wrote years ago. I hope it is just the message you need today. Here is a reprint of my earlier blog post:

Last week, I lost my cross necklace. I reached up to straighten its chain and it was gone!

I checked in our bed, the shower, the car, and on the floor of every room in the house. It just wasn’t there. I was devastated!

I had worn the “lost” cross for more than 15 years. It was precious to me.

“Please God, let me find it!” I asked, fervently. I prayed for Him to shine his light on it…to guide us to wherever it was.

Two days later, I rejoiced with a friend when my husband found it atop a roll of carpet we had pulled up in our renovation. It glistened in the bright morning sun.

I thought of the lady in the Bible who went around her house looking everywhere for a lost coin. She rejoiced when she found her lost silver coin. She even called her friends to let them know.

The verse following Luke15:8, above, reminds us that “…there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” 

You and I were the reason for their rejoicing at one time, when we repented and came to Christ. When we tell others of His love and forgiveness of sins, and they become believers, the angels will rejoice with us in their salvation, too!

What better day, than today, to ask God to shine His light onto the heart of a relative or friend? 

We can all rejoice together that the one that was once lost is, now, “found”!

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The Best Way to Start Your Day

Colossians 4:2- “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.”   

Periods of earnest prayer for the needs of family and friends seem to be a way of life for most of us. Asking for God’s intervention, healing, and guidance often take up the bulk of our prayer time.

Then, we wait for His answer and send our prayers of Thanksgiving.

However, the verse from Colossians reminds us that in addition to praying earnestly for things that concern us, we still have much to be thankful for. We need to thank God for his blessings and for meeting our needs at the same time we are praying about matters that concern us.

Beginning each day with a thankful heart will keep the rest of our day in perspective. Instead of focusing only on our needs, we can thank Him for His abiding love, His provision, and then for answered prayers. This is the perfect way to remind us to praise our Creator, Savior, and Lord.

How and when do you thank God? 

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Keep the Faith

Nahum 1:7– “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.”

Keep the faith.

Keep trusting God.

God is omniscient.

He knows everything from beginning to end.

Be assured of His love for us.

God is omnipresent.

Always there for us. For everyone, everywhere, at all times.

God is omnipotent.

All powerful.

He can—and does—turn even the worst of situations into good.

Even though we may be disappointed in current circumstances, we know that

God is able.

He loves us.

He will make a way for us.

He reigns!

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