spiritualsnippets.com

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

Unchangeable Truth

Ephesians 4:21– “… when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.”

A friend bought the third edition of a well-known non-fiction book. He was thrilled with his purchase, convinced he’d bought it at a good price.

Why did he want the third edition? Being a scientific book, he wanted to always have the most up to date information.

It is not unusual for books to reprint when so-called “facts” become obsolete, especially those about vitamins, diet, and child-rearing.

The Bible, however is unchangeable. Its message, its truths, remain the same throughout all eternity—past, present, and future.

There will never be a reason for an update, or a change due to inaccuracy. It is perfect and will always remain so.

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Transformation: On the Inside

Romans 12: 2a- “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

A new prescription pill is on the market, targeting individuals with mental issues. I perked up when I heard these words: “You cannot change what goes on in the world, but you can change what goes on inside you.” (Perhaps not a perfect quote because I wrote it down later).

As believers, we can change a lot of what goes on inside us. Developing the daily habit of prayer and spending time in the Word are key to “renewing our mind.”

And we must guard our hearts and minds. That’s a matter of monitoring what goes into us—the visual, oral, and auditory.

Movies. Conversation. Music. Books.

It’s been over fifteen years ago that I began to listen exclusively to Christian radio. Now, granted many of the secular songs on the radio are beautiful and there is nothing wrong with them, per se. However, I found that often the commercials and commentary were often chocked full of negativism and sexist remarks that I knew held the potential for keeping my mind off things “above.” 

Over the years, I have developed a “filter,” making it possible for me to “guard my heart and mind.” The Holy Spirit has changed my mind and my desires, just as Christ promised.

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A Nourishing Spiritual Diet

Colossians 3:1 6a- “Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly…

How many times are we told to eat foods that are good for our bodies? Lean meats, vegetables, fruits, whole grains… 

When given the choice, do we often grab a handful of chips or a couple of chocolate chip cookies instead?

Sometimes it takes a lab report or a visit to the doctor to set us straight and help motivate us into making healthier choices. And when we do, we feel better and have more energy.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with reading a good mystery novel now and then, we need to be on a regular diet of good spiritual food.

We are able to grow in our walk with the Lord through daily reading of the scriptures and application of the principles from God’s Word.

Look at that word, “richly” in the verse from Colossians. Spiritual food isn’t diet food, where we don’t feel satisfied. Spiritual food has substance. It nourishes our souls.

As with healthy eating, spiritual food gives us the energy to face whatever the day may bring. We won’t feel depleted by day’s end, but rather we will find ourselves energized and encouraged as our day unfolds.

Keeping a New Testament or small Bible with you at work or in your car or purse will also make it possible for you to get a spiritually-healthy “snack” in the middle of the afternoon. 

A spiritual diet of truths from God’s Word will guide you, and grow you in your faith.

Let God’s Word dwell in you richly.

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Sweeter Than Honey

Psalm 119:103- “How sweet are Your words to my taste; Sweeter than honey to my mouth.”

Bibles can be purchased in a vast array of styles, covers, print options, sizes, and so on. In fact, many of us have several copies: thin, New Testament only, study Bibles. Some zip, others have handles, some children’s Bibles sparkle—variations abound. 

Because the Bible is so accessible, so plentiful, many of us take it for granted. 

However, there are some countries where seeing a copy of the Bible is a rarity. And whether that is because of poverty or lack of religious freedom, the Bible is revered as the precious Word of God that it truly is. If those people had an opportunity to see—even touch—a Bible, it would cause quite a stir. 

Glance in the direction of your bookshelf or bedside table and see the miracle displayed there in the form of a book inspired by the Holy Spirit. 

Now open it to Psalm 119:103. Meditate, along with the psalmist, on the words written there. In the wonder of the moment, imagine the words to be as sweet on your own tongue, as they were to him when he penned them. 

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Spiritual Stents

Acts 8:22- “Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.”  

Several years ago, my father went into the hospital for routine heart testing. 

Approximately a half-hour into the procedure, the doctor called the family into a conference room and showed us (via computer screen) Dad’s heart. He indicated areas of blockage and asked for permission to place two stents.

Watching on the screen, we saw the stents inserted and the rush of blood into the arteries that had been previously blocked. 

What a miracle to witness. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

Driving home, I thought about my how I needed a change of heart toward a close friend and an attitude adjustment toward a family member. Continuing to harbor resentment would only lead to further strain (block) those relationships.

I turned to the scriptures, asking God to show me what to do. I found guidance in His Word. Acts 8:22 said I needed to repent of my wrong attitude and ask forgiveness—first of God, and then of them.

It wasn’t easy, but I knew it was right

When I was obedient to God’s Word, a heavy weight was lifted. Today, our relationships are closer than ever!

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Calling All Sheep!

John 10:14- “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—My sheep hear my voice and they follow me.”

Most of the kids in our neighborhood played outside from the time we got home from school until we were called for supper.

Although there would sometimes be several parents calling their own brood home at the same time, each of us knew when it was our mother’s or father’s voice shouting  “dinnertime!”  

God reminds us that He is our Good Shepherd. When He says that His sheep know His voice, he is referring to those of us who are “His”—those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

How do we distinguish His voice, from that of others?

Simple: If it is written in His Word, the Bible, then we can be certain it is truly His voice. The Bible also tells us that He will speak to us when we seek the wisdom of Christian friends, pastors and other church leaders. Many Christians tell of instances when they “hear” God’s voice in the form of an “impression” in their mind after a time of prayer, meditation, and/or fasting.

What we do when we hear His voice is important.

If I had heard my mother calling me to dinner, and had not heeded her call, I would have been pretty hungry by bedtime. In the same way, if we do not follow-up on God’s call with some kind of action on our part, we will likely find that we have missed more than a meal. We will have missed a banquet!

I’m not saying that you are going to miss the Marriage Supper of The Lamb. I am referring to missing out on the daily relationship with God and His blessings for those who respond to Him out of obedience.

Set aside time for daily prayer and get back into The Word. 

Become familiar, again, with the voice of The Good Shepherd.

**Revised from an earlier blog post.

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Spiritual Direction

Psalm 23:1-3  “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake.”

My husband loves to drive. 

I’d rather look at the scenery, read a good book, or recline my seat and take a little nap. 

Now and again, he’ll ask me to get the map out of his satchel and look for a certain road, landmark, or whatever. Often, he pulls over to the side of the road and interprets it for himself.

If we should happen to get lost (now really lost, you understand) and I suggest that we ask someone for directions, he gives me “the look.”

Why is it men are so against asking for directions? Think about how many hours could be saved and how many wrong turns could be avoided!

As Christians, we have an infallible source at our fingertips! God, who has always been in existence, knows the past, present, and future. With His Word as our “map” and His Holy Spirit as our Guide, we never have to face an uncertain future.

If we take a wrong turn, we can get back on the right path by heeding what scripture reveals to us as truth.

Confident and encouraged, with His help, we find our way.

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Googling It, Spiritual Style

Shorter and more concise seems to be best for most of our reading these days, so I am going to run back thru my past blog posts in the next weeks ahead, shortening them up a bit. Here’s the first one. I hope you like this shortened version.

Psalm 119:105- “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” 

I was visiting with my parents when a question about plant fertilizers came up. Dad, of course, touted the benefits of steer manure.

Mother brought up the effectiveness her own “compost.”

I suggested that we “GOOGLE IT”. After all, just about everything we need to know, is right there at our fingertips. Isn’t it?

But, what about questions of a spiritual nature? 

How should we respond to those who hurt us? What should we do with feelings of inadequacy, sadness, betrayal?

Proverbs 14:12 says, “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” 

It is God’s Word that provides the answers for all of our concerns and problems.

So, whether you seek an answer to a Biblical truth or just need encouragement, try “Googling It Spiritual Style” and turn to our ultimate source, The Bible.

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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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