spiritualsnippets.com

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

Manna From Heaven

Family posing with their dirty car

 

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. 

 

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Finding Strength in Promises

 

26469212200_3a4c99fee5

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!

Leave a comment »

Don’t Be Turned Away at the Gate

 

27652979179_5e4750dae2

 

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!

Leave a comment »

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.

.

 

Leave a comment »

Hands

17771265060_679fc89c4e_m

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.

 

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/130333033@N08/17771265060″>IMG_0055</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Leave a comment »

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.”

 

afternoon-nap-1239990-1280x960

 

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?

 

Leave a comment »

Coming Into Focus

I Corinthians 13:12- For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

Yesterday, I had my yearly eye exam. As we neared the end, the doctor had me compare a series of letters. He wanted to know which seemed clearer, “Row A or Row B.” Over and over, he presented examples until he felt certain that I’d chosen the one that helped me see the clearest.

Driving home, I thought about the Bible, God’s Word. I remembered reading about seeing through a glass, darkly, in I Corinthians.

Here is the conclusion I drew:

We read a verse or passage in the Bible by ourselves. Maybe the meaning is not all that clear.

We hear a sermon which helps us understand the words a little better.

We consult a commentary. Ah, now we begin to see a deeper meaning.

We have an opportunity to study the scripture, in depth, at a group Bible Study. Now, we have even better insight.

Finally, as we apply the principles we’ve learned, the Holy Spirit enlightens us even more.

Things come into focus.

We learn, I submit to you, in layers, over repeated exposure.

We may hear/read a certain passage multiple times and then one day we are reading at home or sitting in a church pew and all of a sudden the light dawns. “Eureka!”

Given our human limitations, we think we have uncovered a golden nugget of understanding. Even then, God’s Word tells us that we often cannot even fathom the deeper meaning He has for us.

But, He promises that we WILL someday. We WILL know Him—we WILL see Him—as He truly is.

Until then, we continue to grow and learn as we seek Him through His Word…until one day we arrive in Heaven and it all comes into focus and we SEE CLEARLY because we see Him face-to-face.

1 Comment »

Reminders

Psalm 111:3,4:  “Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.”

 

I am the Queen of Post-It-Notes.

They are all over my bathroom, office, and kitchen counter.

If I want to remember to DO something…CALL someone…SEND something…PURCHASE something…GO somewhere…

I have to write it down, or I forget it.

So far, the colorful Post-Its, are the best way of insuring that I remember things.

As I get older, the more reminders I seem to need.

I buy them in bulk. I buy them on sale. I even have Post-Its reminding me to purchase them when my supply is running low.

And, yes, I always have a few around to remind me to do my Bible Lesson.

To me, God’s Word, The Bible, is the ultimate Post-It Note.

Every page reminds me of His love, His mercy, grace, goodness, righteousness,  faithfulness, and forgiveness.

I read it, daily, lest I forget that

I am his child

and I belong to Him.

1 Comment »

Timeless, Relevant, Eternal

Genesis 28: 12-14  “(Jacob) had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it[c] stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”

 

 

On July 4th, Chinese artist, Cai Guoqiang, put on a stunning fireworks display featuring a 1,650 foot long ladder made of steel and gunpowder in the sky over Quanzhou, China. He created the fireworks in tribute to his grandmother turning 100 years old. It was a dazzling thank you for supporting his dreams as a young man.

Although this is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen with my own eyes (via U-Tube), it reminded me of Jacob’s Ladder and a Bible story I heard as a young child. In his dream, Jacob saw an even more spectacular display: angels ascending and descending a ladder that reached all the way to heaven! Through the dream, God gave Jacob a promise of land, descendants, and His protection.

It must be pretty awesome to receive a promise from God, you say. It sure is—and  although we may not receive a promise through a vision or a dream, the Bible is packed full of promises for each of us from our Heavenly Father.

The Bible is more than just a collection of old stories handed down through the ages. Each entry was included for God’s intended purpose. The verses weave together truths learned by those before us to help us in our own lives today because His Word is timeless and is just as relevant to our present situations as it was theirs hundreds of years ago.

Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word is “alive and active.” It’s not just a bunch of stale writing that has long since lost its appeal or relevance.

Since it can be challenging reading, however, you may find it helpful to get a Study Bible with added historical and geographical information. In addition, you may want to use a commentary. What the Bible is All About, by Henrietta Mears is easy to understand. I have used it for many years. If you want more in-depth information, your neighborhood Christian Bookstore has many to choose from.

Being involved in a small group Bible Study is another good way to gain understanding of God’s Word. Through discussion of passages/verses led by experienced leaders, we gain valuable understanding we might otherwise miss.

God’s word is TRUTH. It is ETERNAL. It NEVER RETURNS TO HIM VOID, or without accomplishing it’s intended purpose.

May He bless you, richly, as you let His Word speak His timeless truths to your soul today.

Brenda

Leave a comment »

You Can Count On It!

Matthew 5:18- For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

It was announced this week, that Merriam Webster has just added 1700 new words to the dictionary. This amazes me—and will no doubt confuse me–for a long time to come.

I am sure that teenage slang, changes in technology, and social networking account for a large percentage of the new listings. And one thing is for certain: my aging brain will not be able to remember a fraction of them—nor does it want to!

Well, my friend, the dictionary may change, but the Bible never will. In fact, God warns us not to add or subtract even the smallest stroke to His infallible Word.

His Word is truth. It is perfect. It never needs to be revised, updated, or corrected.

His Word stands the test of time. It is as true today as it was when it was first written. It will not change with the whims of society, revised political policies, or rulings by the Supreme Court.

Isn’t there comfort in knowing that God doesn’t change the rules in the middle of the game? Aren’t you glad that the guidance He gives in His Word will still be good next week, next month, and for years to come?

His Word never fails, gets obsolete, or expires. His Word stands.

You can count on it.

1 Comment »

%d bloggers like this: