spiritualsnippets.com

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

Happy Birthday!

 

 

 

Isaiah 46:4- “Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he who will sustain you.”

This past week, my siblings and our spouses gathered at the Memory Care facility to celebrate our mother’s ninety-third birthday.

A woman of faith, God has sustained her since her profession of faith in middle school.

Through the years, our family faced problems common to all families. But, through it all, Mom’s faith has never wavered. 

And now, living with Alzheimer’s, her smile still lights up the room when she sings the words to favorite hymns or hears a familiar scripture verse.

The road ahead is uncharted, but my brother and sisters—along with our father—walk it with her. Our heavenly Father leads the way.

We’ll keep the faith.

Leave a comment »

Suit Up!

7539784386_cb7630c9f2.jpg

 

Ephesians 6:10-13 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

 

Wanda Sue Maxey said: “There isn’t a mask big enough to protect us from everything going on in the world today. We need to suit up with the whole armor of God.”

Of course, we should follow the mask and social distancing mandates. But God has given us all we need to withstand the assaults of satan.

Why live in fear that we will touch something or be around someone who will put us in harm’s way?

God has called us to be bold, speak in truth and share His Word.

He has given us- 

THE BELT OF TRUTH: The truth about who we are in Christ. Jesus is the Truth that sets us free. We must let God’s Word guide our prayers. Memorize verses so we can recall them quickly when we need their encouragement and direction.

THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS:  Christ’s righteousness protects our hearts. Scriptural truths help us to walk in the Lord’s will. We should ask someone we trust to pray for us when we struggle with obedience.  

THE GOSPEL OF PEACE:  The gospel is the Good News, the forgiveness of sins and access to God through faith in Christ. Satan wants us to worry, but oneness with the Lord produces peace. It keeps our feet anchored and standing firm.

THE SHIELD OF FAITH: Roman soldiers dipped their shields covered with animal hide. into water so when fiery darts hit them, the wet hide would extinguish the darts. A Christian’s shield of faith needs to be regularly dipped in the water of God’s Word. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” We must set our faith on God’s character, not on circumstances.

THE HELMET OF SALVATION: Salvation comes the moment we place our trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection as the payment for our sin. But salvation is also worked out through a lengthy process of sanctification when we allow Him to work in every part of our thoughts. The enemy fights for strongholds in our minds. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT:  “When we are tempted, the most effective weapon that God has given believers is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. When the devil tempts us, we need to respond with the Truth of God’s Word. 

Let’s put on the Whole Armor of God and walk in the fullness of His Grace.

 

Leave a comment »

Growing Our Faith

48085113438_113c5bc5f3

Romans 10:17- “…faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”

The subject of faith came up in our Bible Study Group this week.

How does one get faith? How does one grow faith?

The answer was surprisingly simple. 

Romans tells us that first we need to hear the word of God. (This plants the seed of faith in our hearts).

How?

There are two main ways: 1) We hear it preached from the pastor’s pulpit  and/or 2) We hear it as we read the Bible.

Then, we need to take care of that seed—help it grow.

Don’t overlook the word “hearing.”  

As a teacher, I know that when students memorize something, it is an immense help if it is repeated out loud. That way, it gets into their brains using both visual AND auditory senses.

Pray that God will increase your faith as you follow these two principles. 

Next week, we will talk about the value of memorizing scripture.

1 Comment »

Nature Obeys His Voice

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Luke 8:25– “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

 

The gulf coast is bracing for yet another hurricane.

Disturbances such as tornadoes, tsunamis, and tropical depressions are in weather reports every day.

Heavy rainfall, hailstorms, blizzards—each are experienced somewhere in our world every hour.

Meteorologists track them.

Newscasters report them.

Citizens try to prepare for them.

But, none of us can change the weather.

That’s why the stories of Jesus calming the storms in the Bible are so miraculous. All of nature, including catastrophic occurrences, recognize and obey, His voice.

Just as the disciples cried out to Jesus for help when they were on tempest-driven waves, we can ask Him to calm the physical seas and/or the “storms” in our lives. 

The verse in Luke reminds us that if we have faith, we can take concerns of every kind to Him in prayer and trust Him to answer in accordance with His sovereign will.

 

Leave a comment »

Laying Aside Our Perspective

I Corinthians 13:12- “ For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”28684556474_5ed7a6dcbb

Have you ever seen one of those magazine pictures that is a “partial” picture and you’re to try to imagine what the entire picture might be?

For instance, the picture might be that of the frightened face of a young boy. You might think that, if you could see the entire picture, he is afraid of a bear…or he is lost in a department store…or he is facing an angry parent’s discipline. Then, when you turn the page, you find out if you have guessed correctly as the entire picture is revealed.

Situations in our lives are a lot like that because the Bible tells us that we can only see “in part.”

That accident, illness, or disappointing friendship that causes us worry and sorrow in the present, may just be the catalyst for bringing someone to Christ or averting a loved one from physical harm.

Since we only see part of the scene, we learn to trust God—to exercise our faith in Him—remembering that He is in control of it all and is able to see the BIG PICTURE.

A long time ago, the life of a college friend was spared because she wasn’t able to make a plane connection—a plane that crashed shortly after take-off.

So often through the years, I have thought about that incident. It has served as a reminder to me that I need to exercise my faith in God during difficult times.

One day, I am sure that we, too, will be able to see the BIG PICTURE. And, when we do, we will no doubt be surprised to learn of the many times God has protected us and guided us, using the trials in this life to fulfill His ultimate purpose.

Leave a comment »

Escape Rooms

 

30543604984_a2c9e7138dDaniel 6:19-23   “At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

 

 

Escape Rooms have become popular here in the southwest. In some areas, they are becoming a social phenomenon. I’ve heard some people have used them as the “new thing to do” for birthday parties!

These rooms are part of a physical adventure game in which the players are locked in a room (usually a prison cell, dungeon) and must use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a certain time limit.

Some people have had panic attacks in these situations, but for the most part they are viewed as exciting and fun, since participants realize they are a “set-up” and they are not in any real danger.

But, Daniel’s incarceration in the lions’ den was not a social game.

Because he continued to worship God, even though King Darius had commanded no one to do so, Daniel was thrown into the Den of Lions.

He didn’t have to solve a puzzle. He wasn’t part of a social experiment.

But, he did have faith. He believed God would protect him. He was an obedient follower of Christ who wasn’t going to stop worshipping God for any reason.

Thrown into the den of ferocious lions, he was freed the following morning by the king after witnessing the power of God to save his faithful servant by shutting the mouths of the hungry animals.

Daniel experienced God’s favor and protection. He honored God, knowing that he might very well lose his life.

As Christians, let’s exercise our faith by likewise standing up for what is good and right and honors God.

Leave a comment »

He Touched Me!!

Matthew 9:21– She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

I’m not a football fan. However, when I was in junior high and high school, my friends and I “watched” the Arizona State Sun Devils play from our seats in the End Zone. We were affectionately called “THE KNOT HOLE GANG.”

Although I wasn’t crazy about the game, I sure did like the players.

Back in those days, fans were allowed to form a line on each side of the entrance where the players came onto the field. We were close enough that we could reach out and touch an arm or the sleeve of a uniform. We got goosebumps every time.

I also loved movies. On a trip to Hollywood as a young adult, I remember swooning when Clint Eastwood shook my hand.

A young man puts his arm around his girlfriend’s shoulders—a loving touch.

A mother hold’s her sobbing child—a caring touch.

A concert pianist poises his hands above the black and white keys. The audience waits for—the touch of the master.

Two young men shake hands after an argument—the touch of friendship.

As incredible as each of these is, I can’t help but ask myself, “What would it be like to be touched by Jesus?”

In the book of Matthew, a woman declared that she knew she’d be healed just by touching the hem Jesus’s garment!

22201213594_853805abd3

She wasn’t a groupie or a young child idolizing a sports star. This was a serious situation.

She needed healing.

She knew she needed Jesus.

What about you?

Will you open your heart to be touched by Jesus? Allow his healing touch to make you whole again?

But, you say, Jesus doesn’t always choose to heal…

True.

Physical healing may not be in His plan for your life…or your loved ones’ lives.

But, He does want to heal your brokenness. He wants to use the disappointments and tragedies of our earthly lives to bring us to a place of dependance on Him. He wants to carry us through the troubled times, supporting us  with His strength.

He wants us to grow in our faith in Him. The kind of faith that believes He knows what is best for us and we trust Him to see us through…and to work out the difficulties we face for “the good of those who love Him and are called according to His good purpose.”

I have faith in a chair to hold me.

I have faith in my car to start each morning.

I have faith in my phone to keep me in touch with my family and friends.

But, I exercise my faith when I sit in the chair, turn the key in the ignition, and dial the phone.

Come to Him…in faith…believing.

Release control to Him…and experience His promises at work in your life.

Touch the hem of His garment.

 

2 Comments »

Joy In Unrelenting Pain

 

27611942851_08584156ff

 

Job 6:10a- “Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain—”

 

I recently heard a story about Austrian concert pianist, Paul Wittgenstein. In 1914, while serving in active duty in WWI, he was shot in the elbow and his right arm was amputated.

One would think this would be devastating, ending a brilliant career. But that was not the case.

During his recovery, he wrote to his teacher asking for a concerto for the left hand alone. Following the war’s end, he studied intensely and reclaimed his career. He gave hundreds of concerts throughout Europe, playing pieces arranged for the left hand alone.

I vowed that if times of self-pity should come, I would remember this brave man whose attitude made it possible for him to still experience joy in his life after such tragic circumstances.

The Bible tells the story of Job, whose wealth, children, and physical health were taken from him.

Not only did Job not curse God, but we learn that he was able to experience true joy in the midst of those trials.

This can be of great comfort to those who are experiencing physical illnesses, family problems, financial struggles.

But, how is it possible that during times of dire circumstances one could find joy?

Like Job, our faith sustains us. We look to God to be our strength. We lean on Him and the promises in His Word.

We look at these times, not as obstacles to our joy, but as times of refreshing.

We view them as vehicles to deepen our dependance on God and draw us in close relationship with him.

We do not allow our trials to defeat us, but instead look at them as opportunities to change us, inwardly, to refine our character, to transform our hearts— to fulfill His new purpose in us.

Can we experience the “joy that comes in the morning?”

Our Lord says we can. He will restore us anew, whether in this life or in the one to come.

The Bible says He is faithful and He will do it.

He gives us His Word.

Leave a comment »

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.

 

27197218816_e15f2a2982

 

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.

Leave a comment »

Join The Army

Genesis 21:22– And it came to pass at that time that Abimelech and Phichol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do.”

 

Bells ringing. Red kettles.

It’s that time of year, isn’t it?

Salvation Army volunteers—outside stores and malls. Rain or shine. Warm or cold.

Whether ignored or embraced, there they are. Faithful to their cause.

I knew little more than the fact that they are a Christian-based organization.

This year, I was determined to find out more.

Here is just a fraction of what I discovered:

  • Founded by William Booth in 1852 in England.
  • Began as a ministry to win the lost multitudes to Christ.
  • Booth started by preaching in the streets of London to the poor, homeless, and hungry.
  • In 1865, he began tent meetings to preach the message of hope and salvation.
  • In 1879, Lt. Eliza Shirley held the first meeting of the Salvation Army in America.
  • Today, the Salvation Army is active in virtually every corner of the world.
  • Most centers hold weekly worship services.
  • Areas of ministry include: prison ministries, adult rehab, veterans services, elderly, combatting human trafficking, and missing persons via international social service.

I had no idea they did all of this, as well as offering residential housing and work opportunities to various individuals and groups.

They are literally an army of individuals whose main goal is GIVING SPIRITUAL DIRECTION TOWARD A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS PROVIDED BY JESUS CHRIST.

I remember, as a child, singing a song in Sunday School about being in the “Lord’s Army”. (I may never ride in the infantry, shoot in the cavalry, shoot the artillery,  but I’m in the Lord’s Army.) These words were followed with a salute.

It wasn’t until years later, when guys I knew were drafted into the U.S. Army, that the concept of God’s Army started coming into focus for me.

Now, more than ever, a vast army of God’s people needs to rise up in prayer and step out in faith. We need to join with other Christians around the world in serving those less fortunate and in proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel to a hurting world.

Fear and unrest dominate newscasts. Violence abounds.

Time is short.

We may not ring a bell.

We may not stand outside the mall beside a donation kettle.

But, we can pray, donate, serve, share the message of hope.

Because, when we do, like Abraham,

God will be with us.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: