spiritualsnippets.com

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

Release Your Rage

 

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                                        Ephesians 4:26- “In your anger, do not sin.”

 

Last week, a Groupon Headline caught my eye. 

I read the advertisement for a “Rage Room” at a Family Rage Release Center. The Groupon listed a number of activities that promised to help participants get rid of their pent up anger. The accompanying picture showed a teenage boy bashing a television with a baseball bat.

Out-of-control anger is so prevalent in our world that the evening news is filled with stories of mass shootings, road rage, and so on.

The Bible is full of much safer and effective suggestions to help us alleviate our anger.

Here are just a few:  

Proverbs 15:1- “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 21:14a- “A gift given in secret soothes anger.”

Ecclesiastes 10:4b- “Calmness can lay great offenses to rest.”

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Of Great Worth

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I Peter 3: 3,4– “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

 

Thinking ahead to Christmas, holiday get-togethers, luncheons and so on, I took a survey of my closet to see what I might need to buy to wear… or at least to add in the way of a sweater or new shoes to an existing outfit. 

The prospects seemed dismal as I settled into my reading chair and picked up my Bible.

Then, I read the verse from first Peter. Inner beauty, not a glittery new sweater, was what it said that pleases God. And, in the noise and hustle involved in holiday celebrations, He asked me to instead focus on developing a gentle, quiet spirit. 

I may not be sporting new clothes this holiday season, but you will find me wearing a big smile… because I will be concentrating on what is important to God.

It is my gift to Him this Christmas Season.

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Reconnect

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James 4:8- “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”

 

I ran into a friend at the grocery store the other day. Just seeing her face reminded me of our conversation last spring when I promised to reconnect over a leisurely lunch following our vacation.

Heat instantly covered my neck and traveled up my cheeks. We’d already been back home for over a month and I hadn’t called!

I apologized and we set the “date” right then and there. 

As I put away my groceries, I still felt bad at having dropped the ball like that…

I turned off the kitchen light and walked down the hall, glancing into the dining room. My open Bible on the table caught my eye. 

Had it really been two days since I spent time with the Lord?

I grabbed a cup of coffee and slid into my chair to reconnect. 

What do you have for me today, Lord? 

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Directions Are Essential

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John 14:6- “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 

Friends invited us to their vacation home for the weekend.

Saturday morning, we set out early. It would take 5 hours to drive there.

Halfway to our destination, my husband turned to me and asked, “You do know how to get there, right?”

“Sure. I have the address. We know the area. How hard can it be?”

He rolled his eyes.

When we got into “town” we called our friends and they stayed on the phone with us, giving us directions for each turn until we arrived at their cabin. 

It was not enough to have only the address. We needed directions.

Heaven may be our destination, but we need to know THE WAY. We can help others find Jesus, The Way, through God’s Word, the Bible.

These ministries are looking for donations of money or physical Bibles. They also need people who will act as distributors of their FREE BIBLES to others.

Bible senders.org

FreeBibles.net

Gideons International

Giveawaytheword.com

International Bible Givers. (They can be contacted at biblegivers@gmail.com.)

Little Bibles – http://www.littlebibleministry

Spirit One Ministry

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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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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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Don’t Be Turned Away at the Gate

 

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Luke 13:28– “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.”

 

An avid watcher of daily newscasts, I saw heart-wrenching photos of immigrants this week reaching the United States borders, only to be turned away. The dream of living in America, it seems, is not going to be a reality for some of them.

There will be many who are turned away at Heaven’s gates, also. It will be a great disappointment for many.

As a Christian, my heart breaks for those who will not spend eternity in Heaven. I feel a great urgency to share the gospel whenever and wherever I can.

There is a familiar Christian song that asks God to break our hearts with what breaks His—and I cannot think of anything that breaks His heart more than knowing that He will have to refuse anyone the blessing of an eternity with Him.

Christians, with our changing culture, more than ever we need to take the commission seriously.

If you are reading this and aren’t a believer, please heed the warnings in the Bible and from your Christian friends. I urge you to make it your mission over the next six months to learn what the Bible has to say about God’s love for you, forgiveness of sins, and His gift of eternal life.

Don’t be turned away at The Gate!

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That’s Who He Is

2 John 1:3– Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Ah, love.  It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

When we are “in love,” we feel a certain way, which causes us to act in a more or less predictable manner. Perhaps we are more thoughtful, more giving, more…

You get the picture.

Love motivates us.                                  371032725_9c92f53032

But, although loving another person prompts us to show our love for them through our actions, our behavior toward those we don’t love isn’t motivated in the same way—if at all.

Such is the way of man.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we felt such love for everyone that we showed it in our actions toward all people… at all times?

That’s not possible, you say.

You’re right.

Left to our own devices…acting according to our own nature…we simply are not capable of experiencing—and acting in accordance—with that kind of all-encompassing love.

What about God?

The Bible says that God IS love.

His very essence is love. One hundred percent of Him. One hundred percent of the time.

Essence: the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something that determines its character… without which it would not exist or be what it is.

So, following the definition, God’s very nature is love and without it, He would not exist.

He is completely love…all of Him.

He’s not just loving in his actions to some people at some times (when He feels like it).

He’s not just motivated by it, as human beings are.

HE IS LOVE.

Only love can love…everyone…all the time.

It’s impossible to wrap our heads around that truth, isn’t it?

And, because He acts in accordance with his very essence, he cannot act in opposition to it.

He loves unconditionally because the pure essence of His love doesn’t depend on you and I—or our actions—at all.

Because that’s how He is.

That’s who He is.

.

 

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Hands

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Deuteronomy 28:12– “…The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.”

 

The director raises his hands high above his head, out to the side, makes a circle with his fingers, holds his hands tight in front of him—a variety of signals to the choir, telling them how he wants them to sing. Loud or soft. Words to emphasize. When to hold a note… Every movement of his hands means something.

Hands.

An audience applauds to show appreciation for a performance.

Hands.

A lady uses sign language. A child watches intently, then uses his hands to communicate in return. Fingers fire rapidly, back and forth, as they “talk” to one another. The transference of  thoughts and feelings between two human beings.

Hands.

A student raises his hand in class. The teacher calls on him. There is an interchange—perhaps a question answered—and then back to work. A system of recognition and classroom organization.

Hands.

A volunteer touches the shoulder of patient in a wheelchair. The elderly man looks up with eyes of gratitude. Off they go for a “walk” down the hall of an adult care center.

Hands.

A wife brings her husband a hot cup of coffee as he reads the newspaper.

Hands.

A young girl pets her dog. He licks her face.

Hands.

A grandmother teaches her granddaughter how to stitch a quilt.

Hands.

People in church raise their hands during worship, reflecting their praise and devotion to the Lord.

Hands.

They offer love, help, and praise. They communicate an individual’s caring heart. They serve others.

The Bible says that hands were created for good things and He will bless acts of kindness and service done with our hands. It doesn’t matter if they are the hands of a young child or the crippled hands of a ninety-year-old senior citizen.

His nail-scarred hands should be our example.

 

 

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The Truth About Sleep

 

Proverbs 2:9-  “Then you will understand what is right and good, and right from wrong, and you will know what you should do.”

 

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Ah, sleep. Children fight it. Adults can’t seem to get enough of it.

I remember when I was a young adult (in the days before children) I used my entire day on Sundays to catch up on rest so I could make it through another week.

We all need the physical benefits of getting enough sleep.

But, sometimes sleeping can get us into trouble. “Sleeping on the job” can get us fired. And the Bible talks about the dangers of “being asleep”–in other words, not being aware of what is going on around us or recognizing things as being true or false…good or evil…

There are certain tabloids that we all probably recognize as being untrustworthy as far as reporting social news with accuracy. But information in other books and periodicals may be more difficult to discern. Over time, we come to know which sources are truthful and which may warrant skepticism.

In the area of the spiritual, we can always trust the Bible. Its “reporters” were 100% accurate because they were inspired by The Holy Spirit. God chose them carefully and all of the events, words of comfort, and instructions to us were written just as He intended because

He doesn’t want us to be asleep. He wants us to be aware…

To know such things as the dangers of temptations, our opportunity to approach Him in prayer, and how to pursue a relationship with Him.

To learn about the consequences of denying Christ his rightful place in our lives…

To experience the benefits of lives yielded to Him.

Next time you’re physically sleepy, consider taking a power nap.

But, when you feel spiritually sleepy, how about reading God’s Word for a few minutes, followed by praises for the Author and Finisher of our faith?

 

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