spiritualsnippets.com

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

Have You Changed?

 

 

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2Corinthians 5:17- “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

 

A man tries to convince a woman to give him a second chance. He pleads, “I’m not the man I used to be.”

A political figure urges Americans to vote for him because he has changed his beliefs on certain key issues.

A son admits he can hardly believe how he behaved in high school. “But, you’ll be glad to know I’ve really grown up in the last couple of years. I don’t do that stuff anymore.”

Recently, an old friend from elementary school (who seemed to always be in trouble) showed himself to be a respected businessman in his community. He’s a changed man.

Lying, cheating, filthy language, addictions.

They keep us from experiencing the lives we really want to live.

God says when we come to Him, our “old ways” can be things of the past. We become a new creation in Him. The old habits, thoughts, cravings, and actions can be conquered.

We CAN be a “changed man.” We can become responsible citizens, good parents, caring friends.

When others see the changes in us, they will want to know what made the difference in our lives…

And, then we can tell them, unashamedly, that it was the Power of God unto salvation.

And that it is available to ALL who BELIEVE.

 

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BELIEVE

Mark 11:23 For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain,’Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but Believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says.

 

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Believe.

I see this word on bumper stickers, jewelry, greeting cards, wall decor, and T-shirts.

It seems society has embraced it.

But, what does it really mean?

Believe in who?

Believe in what?

Believe in oneself?

Believe in the power within?

Believe in God?

I have a picture hanging in my home office, with simply “Believe” written in script.

It tells me that I can do it…achieve it…

But, I realize it is not me alone that makes anything happen in my personal life or my career.

It is God who leads me.

It is God who empowers me.

It is God who gives me the skills necessary to achieve.

But, it means still more.

To me, it is a reminder that I believe that Jesus is God’s Son and that I have eternal life through Him.

John 20:31 but these are written, that you may Believe

that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing

you may have life in his name.

It IS important to have confidence in oneself…if that confidence comes from God.

It IS important to have a “can do” attitude…if one realizes that their giftedness comes from our Creator.

It IS important to have faith…if it is in God.

We can have every confidence in Him.

For it  is in Him WHO IS TRUTH that we have the power to BELIEVE.

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The Cross of Christ

I Corinthians 1:18- “The message of the cross is the Power of God.”   6298781578_b3e7278622

I wear a cross necklace. I rarely take it off. It is a daily reminder to me that Jesus died for my sins.

It is not an amulet. It does not protect me against evil, danger, or disease. It is a symbol of God’s great love for me.

I see crosses on walls in churches and homes. I see them on car windows and tattooed on arms. I see them on rings, bracelets, earrings.

Some are made out of stained glass, some are cast in silver, some made out of barn wood, some even tooled onto leather headbands and wristbands.

I would like to think that the cross is more than a fashion icon, room decor, or body art.

I would like to.

I would also like to think that everyone knows the real meaning of Easter.

I would like to think that everyone has heard the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

I would like to.

But, just in case…

The story is a simple one, really.

A story about how God—because of His great love—left Heaven to be born of a virgin and live among men. How, according to His plan and purpose, He allowed men to take his life.

He became the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. He gave himself—shed His perfect blood—to make it possible for us to live with Him in heaven for all eternity.

It had to be this way. Because there was no other way.

Because perfect love didn’t say, “I won’t.”

Because perfect love said, “I will.”

The cross?

Its message is the Power of God unto salvation for all who will believe.

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Will He Call Your Name?

Revelation 21:27- Nothing impure will ever enter it (heaven) , nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The National Football League held their yearly drafting of eligible football players last Thursday night. It is the NFL’s most common source of player recruitment. Each team is given a position in the drafting order and can use it to select a player, trade their position, or in several other options.

Currently consisting of seven rounds, the first player chosen is most likely given the highest paying contract, reflecting the fact that he is the most sought after player and deemed the one with the most potential.

Just imagine what it must have been like for these young men to learn that they were in the draft and for them to sit, waiting on Thursday night, to hear their names called—to be chosen for the coming season by a prestigious NFL team.

Some of you may be able to identify with their emotions because you, too, may have waited—or may be currently waiting—to hear if you have been selected as the chairperson of a committee, if your painting received the blue ribbon, if your book or song will get major recognition, if your recipe is voted as the most delicious, and so on.

I recall a song they used to sing quite often in church when I was a child. It was called “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder (I’ll Be There)” This, of course, refers to the fact that Jesus will open the Book of Life in heaven and present the names written there to God. As Christians, I’m sure that none of us can imagine a list we would rather be on!

So, how does one get their name written in this Book of Life? Pay a fee? Perform an unusual feat? Help society in some way? Follow on the coat tails of ancestors?

What if I told you there is NOTHING you can do? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Why?

Someone already did it for you. All you need to do is acknowledge the gift and follow the giver. It is so simple; yet, millions will miss it.

You see, prior to Jesus dying on the cross, God had a system of laws in place. Those who broke the law were to use a sacrificial system, requiring the blood of animals to “cover” each individual’s sin. The problem was, they had to keep sacrificing because—you guess it—they kept sinning. Thus began a vicious sin-sacrifice cycle.

When God gave his son, Jesus, as the only perfect sacrifice for man’s sins, He did away with the prior sacrificial system once and for all because sins were not just covered—they were forgiven.

Jesus was able to end the sin-sacrifice cycle because His blood—and only his blood—wasn’t tainted by sin. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23-25 “ “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith by all who believe.

So, that is our part in the story of forgiveness. We must confess our sins and receive our new life in Christ by putting our faith in Him. We read in 1John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

So you see, our sin is a barrier to the relationship God wants to have with us—so much so that He was willing to sacrifice his own Son for us. On the third day, God raised him up in victory over sin and death. Our part is to put our faith in Jesus. When we do, we will not only have our sins forgiven and lead a life on earth that is in relationship with our Heavenly Father, but we will be assured of eternal life in heaven, as well!

When the Book of Life is opened, will He call your name?

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Believe!

John 20:31- “These words are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”

One minute I was baking cookies for my grandsons’ school, and the next I was transfixed in front of the television watching the local breaking news. A horrific roll-over accident had taken place only a few miles from my house. Twisted metal and shattered glass littered the highway. Two ambulances, a firetruck, and five police cars were on the scene. Traffic was stopped in all directions. Fatalities were a certainty as onlookers stared with tear-stained faces.

A sudden acrid smell brought me back to the reality of my kitchen. I turned away from the television and rushed to pull charbroiled cookies from the oven.

An hour later, I decided to look for an update on the crash on the midday news. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw an injured man on a stretcher give a thumbs-up to the camera. No. It couldn’t be! Had someone actually lived through that dreadful accident? I just couldn’t believe it!

I could identify with how the disciples must have felt when the women rushed in with the news that Jesus was alive. He had told them what would happen, but they stared in disbelief. Even after they saw Him face to face, they had a hard time, at first, comprehending the miracle that had taken place. Jesus was alive!

If you are already a believer, today is a day for celebration because through His resurrection He bought for us eternal life. If you have not yet found faith in Christ, please take time today to read the accounts of His death and resurrection found in the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Ask God to reveal the truth of the scriptures to you and join us in celebrating our risen Lord!

Brenda

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