spiritualsnippets.com

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

One Out of Ten

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Luke 17: 16-18: “He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”

 

Christians all over the world have been praying for an end to the fires in Australia—asking God to send rain.

Last week, He did just that.

He sent rain AND hail.

How many of us pour out our hearts to God, only to “forget” to offer thanks when our prayers are answered?

A friend is healed from an illness.

A wayward child returns home.

Funds are provided to pay for unexpected bills.

In Luke, ten lepers are healed, but only one returns to thank Jesus.

Although there are scriptures reminding us to pray to The Lord to supply our needs (He wants to give His children good things), we are also told that giving thanks is the appropriate response.

 

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His Purpose for YOU

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Esther 4:14- “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.”

 

If you are like me, the time has come to set goals for the New Year. I like to think of it as getting myself on course.

I begin by reading Esther 4:14. Then, I read the Tale of Three Trees. Like many outstanding works, its original author is unknown, but Angela Hunt retold this beautiful folktale and published it in 1957.

To recap, three trees grew on a mountainside. Each dreamed of what it would be when it grew up. The first tree dreamed of being used to build a beautiful treasure chest; the second wanted to be used to build the strongest sailing ship in the world; the third’s aspirations were to remain on the mountain where he would grow to be the tallest tree in the world so that when people looked up at him, they would raise their eyes to heaven, and think of God.

Years later, the trees had grown to maturity. They were cut down. Each was disappointed. The first was made into a plain box for animal feed; the second was crafted into a simple fishing boat, and the third was cut into strong beams.

But, that’s not the end of the story… because God fulfilled His purpose for each of them. 

The first box was used as a manger for Baby Jesus; the second became a fishing boat for Jesus and his disciples; and the third was used to build the cross and every time people saw it, they thought of God.

Each tree became so much more than he could ever have dreamed—because in the hands of God they fulfilled His purpose.

As we stand on the brink of 2020, may we yield to our Maker, praying that He will guide our lives and ultimately fulfill the purpose for which He created us.

Keep Looking Upward.

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A VERY LOUD Horn

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Psalm 34:4- “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

 

Each summer, our family made our trek to see our Grandparents and extended family back east. As it got closer to the time of the trip, I would grow more and more anxious about traveling over the Arizona mountains. I learned to pray for our safety in the days leading up to our vacation.

The one lane road over the Salt River Canyon (which was reconstructed and widened some years ago) had countless switchbacks and when another vehicle approached, coming from the opposite direction, Dad would need to pull to the side as far as possible in order to let the other car pass.

On one such trip, when Dad fell asleep at the wheel, a semi-trucker blew his horn to wake him just in the nick of time. It was then that I became a true believer in the importance of praying in all circumstances. 

All six of us had been sleeping, but God was watching over us and sent a huge eighteen-wheeler with a VERY LOUD horn to warn our father of impending danger.

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Finding Refuge

 

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Psalm 62:8- “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.”

 

A family vacationing abroad was recently thrust into a situation of international intrigue. They felt alone and isolated, due in part that they did not speak the language of the host country.

They turned to the American embassy, seeking safety and shelter from pursuit of dangerous foreigners.

There are times when we, too, may feel things/people are coming against us. 

Where can we turn… to whom should we turn?

Psalm 62:8 reminds us that we can cry out to the Lord “at all times.” We can pour out our hearts to our heavenly father.

He wants us to find our refuge in Him.

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He Has Your Back

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                            I Peter 5:7– “Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you.”

 

Do you find yourself worrying about things?

Are there times you are fearful? Anxious?

Would it surprise you if I told you that worry and fear aren’t from God?

God really does want us to live a life in which we trust that He is in control and will take care of us.

I Peter 5:7 tells us that God has “got our back.”

He supplies our needs as we trust Him day-by-day. 

This week, I experienced an instance of this happening in my own life as my siblings and I faced a medical crisis with my father. 

In the moments following an accident, he brought us together to comfort and counsel with each other. We drew strength from God—and each other. And, behind the scenes was a network of prayer partners from my church and neighborhood.

How grateful I am for each one of these individuals who were supplied by God to be His hands and His feet here on earth as my father’s life was in crisis. 

Whether it is a financial, emotional, or spiritual need you have, remember God wants you to reach out for Him. 

Because He cares for you!

 

 

 

 

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Manna From Heaven

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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. 

 

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Nature Obeys His Voice

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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.

 

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No Password Necessary

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I was so frustrated last week.  

I had my bottled water on the desk, a comfortable pillow at my back, and good intentions of spending time writing Chapter 7 of my next book.

I sat down at the computer and typed in my password.

Multiple times.

What was going on? 

I’ve had the same password for years. I could type it in my sleep!!

I envisioned being on the phone with tech-support for hours… having to create a new password… 

About to try for one last time before the computer locked me out, I noticed that the Caps Lock key was lit. 

In one swift movement, I clicked it off.

I was in business!

Believers will never find themselves in that predicament when wanting to connect with God in prayer.

We have access to the Father 24/7 and we don’t need a password!

 

 

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The Father of Compassion

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2 Corinthians 1:3-4  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

 

The word father refers to the male person who is the source of life for his offspring. But, the term father is so much more than simply referring to procreation, the physical act.

It is a man who gives care and protection to his offspring.

Someone who begins or originates an idea or work is also referred to as a father. For, instance, we say that George Washington is the Father of our country… that James Madison is the Father of the constitution… the term founding fathers credits certain men for their work in establishing our government…

Christians pray to God, our Heavenly Father.

The verse in second Corinthians tells us that God is the Father of Compassion. 

Because God IS love, compassion for us and our sufferings naturally flows from Him.

Through prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can tap into that source of love and compassion and use it to comfort others.

God is the originator. 

The source.

Our compassionate Heavenly Father.

 

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Digging Deeper

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                            Psalm 46:10a- “Be still and know that I am God.”

 

I recently decided to “dig deeper” into the meaning of scripture by apply a technique that I used in college when studying for exams. I have chosen the short, but powerful, verse from Psalm 46 to illustrate.

By emphasizing a word at a time, I can peel back the layers. Here’s what I mean:

Be still and know that I am God.”  (Stop the busyness and striving. I need to listen to Him more and enjoy His presence).

“Be still and know that I am God.” (If I am still, I can know—gain understanding—be sure… )

“Be still and know that I am God.” (I shouldn’t try to be in control. I am not God. He is! I need to trust in Him.) 

“Be still and know that I am God.”  (He’s not just some great and capable person. He is the almighty God… the Creator… our Savior. I need to meditate on who God is… His attributes… wisdom… His power… I need to trust in Him. There is nothing He cannot do!)

By emphasizing a word or phrase at a time, I find deeper meaning and greater understanding. And, as I meditate on scripture, I find myself drawing nearer to HIM.

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