spiritualsnippets.com

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

Will He Call Your Name?

Revelation 21:27- Nothing impure will ever enter it (heaven) , nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The National Football League held their yearly drafting of eligible football players last Thursday night. It is the NFL’s most common source of player recruitment. Each team is given a position in the drafting order and can use it to select a player, trade their position, or in several other options.

Currently consisting of seven rounds, the first player chosen is most likely given the highest paying contract, reflecting the fact that he is the most sought after player and deemed the one with the most potential.

Just imagine what it must have been like for these young men to learn that they were in the draft and for them to sit, waiting on Thursday night, to hear their names called—to be chosen for the coming season by a prestigious NFL team.

Some of you may be able to identify with their emotions because you, too, may have waited—or may be currently waiting—to hear if you have been selected as the chairperson of a committee, if your painting received the blue ribbon, if your book or song will get major recognition, if your recipe is voted as the most delicious, and so on.

I recall a song they used to sing quite often in church when I was a child. It was called “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder (I’ll Be There)” This, of course, refers to the fact that Jesus will open the Book of Life in heaven and present the names written there to God. As Christians, I’m sure that none of us can imagine a list we would rather be on!

So, how does one get their name written in this Book of Life? Pay a fee? Perform an unusual feat? Help society in some way? Follow on the coat tails of ancestors?

What if I told you there is NOTHING you can do? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Why?

Someone already did it for you. All you need to do is acknowledge the gift and follow the giver. It is so simple; yet, millions will miss it.

You see, prior to Jesus dying on the cross, God had a system of laws in place. Those who broke the law were to use a sacrificial system, requiring the blood of animals to “cover” each individual’s sin. The problem was, they had to keep sacrificing because—you guess it—they kept sinning. Thus began a vicious sin-sacrifice cycle.

When God gave his son, Jesus, as the only perfect sacrifice for man’s sins, He did away with the prior sacrificial system once and for all because sins were not just covered—they were forgiven.

Jesus was able to end the sin-sacrifice cycle because His blood—and only his blood—wasn’t tainted by sin. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23-25 “ “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith by all who believe.

So, that is our part in the story of forgiveness. We must confess our sins and receive our new life in Christ by putting our faith in Him. We read in 1John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

So you see, our sin is a barrier to the relationship God wants to have with us—so much so that He was willing to sacrifice his own Son for us. On the third day, God raised him up in victory over sin and death. Our part is to put our faith in Jesus. When we do, we will not only have our sins forgiven and lead a life on earth that is in relationship with our Heavenly Father, but we will be assured of eternal life in heaven, as well!

When the Book of Life is opened, will He call your name?

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Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

Mark 16:15- He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Our dear Pastor Bob went to heaven Friday afternoon. This is a trip he was planning for quite some time. In fact, ever since he came to know Jesus as Savior and Lord, he had the assurance he would someday see Him face to face.

Pastor Bob took seriously the Great Commission. Everywhere he went—including the hospital where he had testing and Chemo—he never missed an opportunity to share the gospel with others. Pastor Bob was all about sharing the love of Christ with a hurting world. In everything he did, he pointed the way to Jesus.

He was all about relationships and building strong ties with everyone he could. He knew that if others could sense his real concern for them, they would listen to the message he shared with so many.

In a sermon a couple of weeks ago, Pastor Ben (another of our pastors at Grace Church in Mesa, Arizona) told us that only 5% of Arizonian’s attend church. That leaves 95% who potentially have never heard the gospel.That’s a staggering statistic!

Now just to be clear, I am not saying that going to church will assure a person of a home in heaven once they pass from this life into the next. In fact, the Bible declares that only those who put their faith in Jesus as Savior will enjoy eternal life with Him. That’s the message Jesus asks every believer to share. That’s the message that Pastor Bob passed along and that is the reason that he will hear these words when he stands before the heavenly throne, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

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Who Has Seen the Wind?

Hebrews 11:1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

I can still remember the words to a poem my class recited at Parent’s Day when I was in the first grade:

Who has seen the wind?

Neither you, nor I.

But when the trees bow down their heads

The wind is passing by.

The wind chimes on my patio are ringing loudly this afternoon, leaves are falling from the trees, and my hair looks like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket. I cannot see it, but I know the wind is to blame.

I can’t see God either, but I know he is here. He lets me know with each sunrise, each rainbow, each sunset. I see his message to me in the stars, the laughter of a child, the wrinkles on my mother’s face.

But there’s more. He speaks to me as I pray and as I read his Word. He is not only here, but he is active as he works the things of this earthly life together for my good.

His Word tells me that He is here and, by faith, I believe this to be true. What is faith? It is believing in someone or something even though we cannot see it with our eyes. But, wait, more good news: God’s Word tells us that one day our faith with turn into sight!

So, will we be able to see the wind? Maybe. Maybe not.

But what He is talking about is the fact that we believe in God now, by faith, because we do not see Him with our human eyes. He promises that there will come a day when we will see Him face to face. What was once faith, will then become sight.

He who was invisible will become visible. Our eyes will be opened and we will see Him in Heaven as he is: our glorious and Holy Lord.

Brenda

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A Simple Act of Faith

Revelation 21:27 – Nothing impure will ever enter it (Heaven)… but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

I watch on television as a news report shows guests arriving at the entrance to a resort hotel for the wedding of two Hollywood celebrities. Each name is checked against an official guest list before they are admitted to the gala affair.

I guess wedding crashing is a common occurrence, as I see a beautifully-dressed couple denied entry. They are escorted off the property by two security guards . Their tears and protests get no sympathy. Their names are simply not on “the list.”

The Bible tells of the Book of Life which contains the names of all of us on earth that have put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. If our names are written there, we will gain entrance to Heaven; if not, we will be turned away.

It is a simple act of faith on our part. It was a huge act of love on His part.

Jesus is the only perfect substitute for payment of our sin. As God’s sacrificial Lamb, He shed His blood on the cross for each of us. The Bible says that if we believe in our hearts that Jesus died on the cross for us and confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, we will be saved.

Be sure that your name is in the Book of Life. If you are unsure, start reading in the book of John…and keep going. Ask God to give you understanding of His Word so that you, too, will someday be able to profess your faith in Christ.

It’s a simple act of faith.

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Can You Really “Cheat Death?”

Psalm 68:20– “God is the God of victories. The Almighty Lord is our escape from death.”

I saw an internet article last week about a celebrity who received a devastating cancer diagnosis two years ago, but is still alive, today! The headline said that she had “cheated death.”

Although I am certain that this person feels extremely grateful for an extended life, I am not sure that the reporter quite understood that people don’t really have any control over death. Sure, some things may prolong life, from our human viewpoint. Diet, exercise, prudence when operating machinery, driving a car, crossing a street, playing sports— all are examples of good judgment.

But, isn’t it true that only God knows the number of our days? Isn’t it God who determines when this earthly life is over for each of us? Can any of us really escape death?

The Bible says we can! To be specific, we all will die the death of the body at some point. But, God’s Word tells us that Jesus has swallowed up death in victory. When we put our trust in the salvation that Jesus offers, He promises that we will live with him for all eternity in Heaven.

So, in a very real sense, we can escape death—by putting our faith in the giver of life!

Brenda

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A Diet Worth Sticking To

Colossians 3:16a-  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you 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, again, and help motivate us into making healthier choices. And, when we do, we have to admit that we feel better and have more energy.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with reading a good mystery novel now and then, we are reminded that 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.

And, look at that word, “richly”. Spiritual food isn’t diet food, where we don’t feel satisfied after we eat it and we remain hungry. No, spiritual food nourishes us. It has substance; it’s satisfying to our souls.

As with healthy eating, spiritual food gives us the energy to face whatever the day may bring. We won’t falter or 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 the glove compartment of your car or in your purse or briefcase will also make it possible for you to get a spiritually-healthy “snack” in the middle of the afternoon. Use what you read to help a struggling friend or even share with a stranger.

So, get yourself on a spiritual diet of truths from God’s Word. Use them to guide you, and grow you in your faith.

Let God’s Word dwell in you richly.

 

Brenda

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Bringing Things Into Focus

2 Corinthians 5:7- “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”

 

For months my vision had become progressively worse until my world had taken on a hazy glow. Nothing was clear anymore. I consulted my ophthalmologist. Cataract surgery was in order.

I actually looked forward to it. The thought of a brighter world—maybe even a world free of the glasses I had worn since the sixth grade—was very appealing.

The process was streamlined, painless, and went off without complications. Within a few minutes, I was released from my foggy world. I was amazed—and thankful.

I think about the times when I fail to see clearly the actions I should take, the decisions I should make, when I wrestle with the “whys”. Those are the times I know that I must go to God’s Word. I need His healing for my “spiritual eyes”, bringing purpose and direction—a clear focus on what is important.

Some day, God has promised to reveal all things to us. But, in the present time, it is His Word that encourages and gives us insight into the future. Based on it, we can come before God with confidence in prayer, knowing that what we ask for aligns with His will as outlined in scripture.

So, go to His Word when you are having trouble seeing the path ahead, when you need someone to lead the way, when you are willing to surrender your own will to His, and just follow—when you’re willing to “…walk by faith, not by sight.”

Brenda

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