spiritualsnippets.com

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

A Sympathy Card

John 3:16- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Mia stood before the rack of greeting cards, shaking her head. She read card after card, unable to find a Sympathy card which accurately conveyed just what she wanted to say to her friend, Danielle, whose father had passed away over the weekend.

The cards reminded her of those she’d received when her own father died two years earlier—and of the comments friends and family had made at the funeral.

“He’s in a better place.”

“He was such a great guy.”

“He’d lived a nice, long life.”

“He’s no longer in pain.”

She knew they were meant to console and bring comfort, but instead they only emphasized the fact that her father didn’t know the Lord.

She walked over to the Christian/religious section. These were the kind of cards believers sent to each other. They brought real peace from the scriptures, each one telling of the hope of eternal life in Christ and the assurance that their loved one was in Heaven.

Mia took a moment right then and there to pray for her mother and oldest brother. She wanted them to know Jesus as their Savior and the Peace of God that passes all human understanding.

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Mom Taught Me How to Blow Bubbles

1 John 2:25- “And this is what he promised us—eternal life.”

My mother wasn’t perfect; but she was the perfect one for me.

She taught me how to embroider, to ride a bike, and blow giant bubbles with Bazooka Bubble Gum.

In my eyes, she was beautiful.

I miss her soft hands, the twinkle in her eyes, her encouragement, her unconditional love. 

I still listen for her voice, the shuffle of her feet, her laugh.

The sweet way she said my name.

If you’ve lost your mother recently, as I have, my prayer for you today is that you can rejoice in the small things you remember about her and in in knowing that this is but a brief time apart.

One day you will reunite.

And spend eternity together.

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It’s Not the End of the Story

John 11:25, 26a:  “… I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die….”

Are you in the throes of watching a loved one experience the final days/hours of life on earth, as I am?

What comforts you?

Memories? Sure.

The presence of friends and family? Of course.

But I have found my biggest comfort in the words of scripture.

Yesterday, I read the words of Jesus in John 11. I cling to the promise that Christians need not mourn as the world mourns because we know through faith that this life is not the end. 

To be absent in body will mean eternal life in the presence of our Lord.

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The Eternals

John 3:16- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

I watched the television previews for a new series this week. Called The Eternals, it is about a fictional group of super-powered beings whose job it is to preserve and safeguard the planet. The basic premise is that they have—and will—live forever. (At least that is what I conclude from the trailer.)

Humans have always been fascinated with the prospect of living forever. We’ve all heard about billionaires that die and have their bodies preserved for awakening at a predetermined time in the future.

Death, however, is seldom longed for—except, perhaps by those who are in intense physical pain, those emotionally disturbed, or the elderly.

But did you know that you can have the assurance of eternal life?

The Bible includes many verses referring to the promise of eternal life, given to believers by Jesus Christ. He is not a fictional character, like The Eternals. He is God’s Son who gave his life–shed his blood–to pay the penalty for our sin.

The gift of Eternal life is available to all who put their faith in him.

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Eternal Life with Christ

 

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Revelation 1:18- “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

 

Because Jesus took the cumulative sin of all mankind on himself at the crucifixion, he was completely cut off and separated from God the Father. He was punished in hell for the past, present, and future sins of every man.

In order to be restored back into fellowship with His Father, he had to be “reborn.” Revelation 1:5 says Jesus was the “first begotten from the dead.” And, He is now seated at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

When Jesus ascended, all believers were also brought to eternal life with Christ. That is why we are able to say, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”  Galatians 2:20.

All mankind was identified with Him in death, but only those who believe are identified with Him in His resurrection.

 

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Give Them a Nudge

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Mark 1:14,15- “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

 

I do my grocery shopping on Sunday afternoons following church, assuring my husband has fresh vegetables, fruit, deli meat, and bread for his lunch Monday thru Friday.

As I was entering my favorite supermarket today, I heard part of an announcement for a coupon give-a-way at a specific table at the far end of the store.

I watched as men and women alike, hastily turned their carts in that direction. “That’s worth eight bucks,” I heard someone say.

I’m sure I looked bewildered because someone gave me a nudge and shared the necessary information. “They are giving free rotisserie chickens to the first-twenty-five shoppers!”

What is there about the word FREE that sparks elation in our hearts?

I wonder why Eternal Life, Salvation, and Heaven—free gifts from Jesus—aren’t always met with the same sense of awe and jubilation… 

Is it because people cannot believe such wonderful gifts could be true, I asked God?

For some.

Do others feel they are undeserving? 

Are there some who don’t believe there is a God, so a gift from Him has no basis in their reality?

Maybe there are those who are unrepentant of their sins and want to keep the status quo?

Or, could it possibly be that they simply need to hear the announcement?

Give someone a nudge and tell them the Good News.

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The Cross Was No Accident

Night view of Antigua, Guatemala from "Cerro de la Cruz"

John 3:16- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 

The Cross.

For Christians, the symbol of hope.

The death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation through the forgiveness of sins for all who believe.

The cross was no accident. 

His great love motivated the Creator to sacrifice His Son.

We have painted them, gold-plated them, encrusted them with jewels, decorated our walls with them, worn them around our necks…

What is it that draws our hearts to the cross?

The Bible says that we love Him because He first loved us.

I think we are drawn to the cross because it is there that He showed us the extent of His pure, unconditional, unending, indescribable love.

No, the cross of Christ wasn’t lovely. It was “rugged” as the old hymn describes it. Built with rough, splintered wood that was held together by crude nails.

Christ was nailed to it and died the death of a common criminal. How unbelievable He would do this for you and for me.

Yet, Jesus welcomed the cross. He had planned this moment from the beginning. It had all come down to this.

But the cross was no more the end for Jesus than it is for us. 

Coming to the cross with Thanksgiving for the love that put Him there, rejoicing at the open tomb announcing His resurrection, leaving our sin there and following Christ.

That’s just the beginning. 

Let’s celebrate it today. 

He is worthy of all praise. Crown Him with many crowns. Lord of Lords. King of Kings.

The precious  Lamb of God. 

 

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The Valley of Decision

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Joel 3:14,15– “Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. There the day of the Lord will arrive. The sun and moon will grow dark and the stars will no longer shine.”

 

As I read from the book of Joel this week, the words I bolded in verse 14 stood out to me. I immediately felt a burden for those who are at a place in their lives where they must decide whether or not to follow Jesus—those who stand at a crossroads and know that the decision they have put off for so long must finally be faced.

The decision about what to do with Jesus is the most important one in a person’s life.

Who to marry, what car to buy, what job to take, how to discipline children effectively, which health strategy to follow—all are important, to be sure. But once a person realizes their eternal destiny is at stake, all other decisions pale in comparison.

Remember the old adage: Ignorance is Bliss? I would rewrite it to say: Ignorance is False Bliss.

A large percentage of people worldwide live each day for themselves, ignoring the spiritual side of life. Without regard for the eternal, they cling to a false sense of well-being.

But, whether they choose to say to themselves, “There is no God,” or believe God exists, but is  distant and unconcerned with the everyday lives of human beings, or hold to any number of beliefs in-between, the truth according to scripture is that each of us need to make a choice. 

God made His choice when he sent Jesus to the cross to pay for our sins. He chose to give us His gift of eternal life.

Then, he put the ball in our court. We must either accept his gift by placing our future in the hands of Jesus, or reject it. 

For me, that was an easy choice because I knew I wasn’t capable of saving myself.

What about you? 

Are you in the valley of decision today?

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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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The Unopened Gift

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If someone told you that they have a Christmas present that they refrain from opening, and that year after year it remains wrapped underneath their tree, you would probably stare at them in disbelief and ask

“Why?”

Good question.

But, wait, do you have a gift you haven’t opened?

I think you know the one I’m talking about.

God gave us a gift when he sent his son, Jesus, to earth. But, have you put off opening your gift? Unsure of what to do with Him…how your life might change if you accepted God’s gift?

What if I told you that there’s not a gift—at any price—that could ever compare to God’s gift?

After all, could there be any better gift than forgiveness of sins…eternal life… unconditional love of Almighty God?

Amazing, huh?

This is a gift so special that you won’t want to exchange it, get a refund, or leave it unopened.

God is reaching out to you with a precious gift.

All you have to do is accept it.

Don’t think you’re worthy?

You’re right.

Not one person that has ever accepted God’s gift has been worthy of it.

Not one person has been able to earn it, either…because it’s a gift.

Right now, I’m asking God to give you the strength to lay your fears aside and reach underneath the tree—that place where you’ve left God’s gift unopened—and give you the courage to accept Jesus, His son, and the salvation that He brings to each of us who BELIEVE.

 

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