spiritualsnippets.com

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

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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Finding Strength in Promises

 

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Romans 4:20– “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.”

 

 

I live in the desert southwest. One of my favorite plants is the Ocotillo cactus. But, they can be very finicky. If the soil or sunlight is not to their liking, they simply won’t grow.

We have planted several in the past and while our neighbors boast leafy ones with bright red flowers, we have never had one to leaf out. Ours look like dry… gray… dead.

We decided to try again. We planted one  prominently out front.

We followed the directions from the nursery salesman and waited.

I even prayed over the five-foot “sticks” and we continued our vigil.

As I passed by our living room window last week, I stopped dead in my tracks. Could it be a tiny red bud at the top of one of the arms? I rushed outside to get a better look.

Yes. There it was!

And, then this morning… behold, a second.

Now, Ocotillos leaf out, first, and then flower. But, not ours. We now have two flowers atop our non-leafy plant, which I call our “flowers of promise—our assurance of a healthy plant that will someday leaf out!

The Bible is full of God’s promises for those who love Him. In fact, my research shows that there are 7,487 promises that God has made to humans. Among them are: wisdom to Solomon; a son for Sarah and Abraham, eternal life for those who believe; the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for believers; and thousands more have been given and thousands already fulfilled!

The verse above refers to Abraham. I like it because it says he didn’t waiver through unbelief. He was strengthened when he received God’s promise.

The Bible is full of promises for us who love HIM. So, when we are discouraged or feel like giving up, we can turn to the scriptures and be refreshed by claiming His promises for ourselves and our situations.

Don’t waiver. Be strengthened!

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Giving Thanks for a Stroke

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Genesis 45:4-8a “Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.” 

 

We had just arrived at our New Year’s brunch destination when my sister called to inform us that our brother-in-law had a stroke and had been admitted to the hospital.

You may have received one of these drop-to-your-knees-and-pray phone calls at some point in your life, also. And, hopefully, it was followed a little later by another one saying that your loved one was doing fine—a full recovery expected.

However, in this case, after hearing that good news, further testing detected a serious heart problem.

We prayed, of course, about this new health-related difficulty, but we also had cause for praise and Thanksgiving for the stroke. Without it, the heart complication might not have been diagnosed—until it was too late.

So, the silver lining to the cloud is that now my brother-in-law can see a specialist and perhaps undergo life-saving surgery.

Genesis tells the story of Joseph’s brothers. They sold him into slavery, but he found favor in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the end his father and brothers were allowed to settle in Goshen and avoid the devastating effects of a severe famine. The brothers had evil intentions that guided their actions, but God used their actions to put Joseph in a position to save many lives.

Be encouraged today. The situation you now find yourself in—the health scare, the misunderstanding among friends, the financial setback—may be a blessing in disguise.

Our Heavenly Father, our Healer, our friend knows our present and future needs and is able to supply them in accordance with His will.

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Are Your Feet Beautiful?

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Romans 10:15b- “As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

 

I am sure you have heard in the last few weeks about missionaries who have been captured and/or killed by the very people that they wanted to reach with the message of Jesus.

They didn’t stay in the comfort of their own homes. They didn’t enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with their friends and loved ones.

They went to a myriad countries around the world to preach the gospel—the Good News—to those who haven’t heard.

They were selfless…obedient…servants of The Most High God.

Some were tortured. Many lost their lives.

The Holy Spirit led. They followed—without regard for their own safety or well-being.

Most of us cannot imagine giving up what they have for the cause of Christ.

Hands serving…feet going…

God calls all Christians to a life of service to others. 

I see it everywhere I look: on street corners and in front of stores, Salvation Army volunteers ring their bells; church members add their gifts to the benevolent fund at church; people donate meals; others mow lawns; still others make blankets for those who are ill or those in need of winter warmth.

We aren’t all called to serve in far off countries. We only need to look around us to find ways of serving in our own communities.

Whether you choose to work in a soup kitchen or a non-profit thrift store; whether you can devote an hour or an entire day; if you are serving others in Jesus’s name, you are acting as His hands and feet here on earth.

 

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No Requirements

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Romans 5:8- “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

Please join the choir. No talent required. 

I was excited to read these words in our church bulletin. Let’s just say that if they’d hold auditions based on talent, I wouldn’t have a chance. 

Oh, I do like to sing along with the car radio, and once in awhile in the shower. I do worship in song from my seat in church.

But, up front and center? Behind a microphone? Oh, no, that would never happen.

Most choirs, I was sure, would never “accept” me. But, the call for new members for the church choir said no one would be refused.

Maybe I would go to that first practice on Wednesday night…

Even though a lot of things in life must be earned, we don’t need to be talented, perfect, or beautiful to be accepted by God. We don’t have to do a certain number of good works or fulfill specific requirements.

Membership in God’s family is “come as you are.” Even though we are sinners, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

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Identity Crisis

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Romans 8:15b-17a you received the spirit of sonship as God’s adopted children. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are His children, then we are His heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…”

 

As I picked up my online order at the Walmart counter, I was asked to show my driver’s license to verify my identity.

My husband has “Ask for ID” written on the back of his credit cards. 

Passports, birth certificates, fingerprints, passwords on various accounts—all in an effort to assure others that we are who we say we are.

Some people suffer from an identity crisis, unsure of their role in life. They say they don’t know the “real them.”

Our identity here on earth includes more than just our name, age, etc. It is also our values, our beliefs, and our personality…the roles we play in our community and our families.

But, as Christians, our identity is “who we are in Christ.” We have been adopted into God’s family. We are brothers and sisters who are heirs to all that God has, through Christ. As Co-Heirs to the Kingdom of God, we share in all the status, rights, and privileges of His beloved son, Jesus. 

We never have to worry that our identity will ever change or be challenged. Those who have faith in Christ belong to HIM.

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Taking Time

 

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Ecclesiastes 3:1– “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

 

My husband said to me recently, “You’re always busy. Why don’t you ever take time to just sit and relax a little?”

As I visited with my mother later in the week, she gave me a poem she had cut out of the newspaper some fifty years ago, entitled, “Take Time.”

“God,” I said as I drove toward home, “are you trying to tell me something?”

So, just in case He might be speaking to you about the busyness of your own life, I will include “Mom’s” simple poem:

                           Take Time

Take time to live; it is one secret to success.

  Take time to think; it is the source of power.

Take time to play; it is the secret of youth.

                   Take time to read; it is the foundation of knowledge.

                    Take time for friendship; it is the source of happiness.

Take time to laugh; it helps to lift life’s load.

                                          Take time to dream; it hitches the soul to the stars.

                                          Take time for God; it is life’s only lasting investment. 

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