spiritualsnippets.com

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

BEHOLD!

Ephesians 1:18-  “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.”

It’s that time of year when we think of the Christmas Story. 

“BEHOLD” the angels sing.

It means more than just “look at, or observe.”

A deeper meaning is “to look intently at…”

Letting the eyes of our hearts be enlightened and focused on Jesus—who He IS and what He has DONE for us.

Scripture tells us we were made to BEHOLD Him.

The more we come to know Him through scripture, prayer and worship, the more we can truly do that.

As we decorate our tree, BEHOLD HIM.

As we wrap our gifts, BEHOLD HIM.

As we light our candles, BEHOLD HIM.

As we sing our carols, BEHOLD HIM.

As we eat our Christmas dinner, BEHOLD HIM.

As we read the Christmas story, BEHOLD HIM.

As we wash the dishes, box up the decorations for another year of storage, as we dispose of the tree and pack away the box of Christmas C.D.’s… Each and every day all year long,

LET US BEHOLD HIM!

As our King, our Creator, our Savior, our Provider and

OUR GOD.

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“Here I Am!”

Revelation 3:20- “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Rhonda and Dwayne drove slowly through the once-small city in Arizona where they both had been born and raised. Where they met, fell in love, and married.

Nothing looked the same. High rise apartment buildings seemed to have sprung up on every corner. Old landmarks had disappeared. The place was almost unrecognizable.

Dwayne pulled over and studied the handwritten map Joe had sent. He doubled back. They had missed the turn.

Joe and Sandy were waiting on the porch when Dwayne pulled the SUV into their driveway. They had changed. Gray hair. Lines on their foreheads and at the corners of their eyes. 

Rhonda and Dwayne had aged quite a bit, too. Fourteen years will do that to you. 

But three hours later, the uneasiness at seeing each other after such a long time was gone. The awkward conversation had vanished. It was just like old times. 

They were family. Laughing, joking, telling stories. Eating a Thanksgiving meal together.

As Rhonda and Dwayne started for home the next morning, both couples promised to keep in touch and visit more often. Even if face-to-face trips weren’t possible, phone calls, emails, and Face Time would suffice until they could be together again.

God must feel that way, sometimes, too.

Listen. You can hear Him say

“Come over more often…”

“Stay longer…”

“Don’t forget to call…”

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Disappointed?

Nahum 1:7- “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.”

Keep the faith.

Keep trusting God.

God is omniscient.

He knows everything. From beginning to end.

Be assured of His love for us.

God is omnipotent.

All powerful.

He can—and does—turn even what seems to us to be the worst of situations into good.

Even though we may be disappointed in current circumstances, we can choose to believe that

God is still able.

He is still God.

He loves us.

He will make a way for us.

He reigns!

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He Sees Your Heart

I Samuel 16:17b– “… The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

I nearly passed up a friend at the grocery store this week. Her mask kept me from recognizing her—until I heard her voice.

Covid-19. Social distancing and…masks.

It’s become a way of life in our world this year.

A son comes home from war, left to live with the horrors he has seen. Parents hardly recognize the young man he’s become.

A familiar scenario for far too many.

God tells us in I Samuel that God knows us. He knows our hearts.

Whether you are a lost sheep in need of a Shepherd or a believer in need of your Father’s encouragement, have faith and trust in the Lord.

He knows us. He sees beneath that “happy mask” we often wear for family and friends. 

He knows our needs. He’s here for us. He sees our hearts.

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Victory

Proverbs 21:31b- “…victory rests with the Lord.”

At the end of the day, do you feel beaten down and dejected?

Do politically-charged events cause you to be stressed out?

Have you decided to keep the television—especially news channels—turned off for awhile due to divisive commentaries?

This constant state of unease and disruptiveness is NOT what God wants for us.

Even though he wants us to vote and exercise our rights as citizens, He also wants us to rest in the knowledge that ultimately the victory will be His.

Take a deep breath. Go for a walk and enjoy the beautiful new day He has made for us. 

Trust Him for the outcome that will work out His plan for us as individuals and the world at large.

His Word says He is faithful. 

He will do it.

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God Knows the Future

James 1:5- “ If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

I heard that an acquaintance of mine had become immersed in the practice of Numerology. Until today, I knew nothing more about it than it was somehow linked to the Occult.

Concerned for her spiritual well-being, I looked for information about this practice and consulted scripture for guidance in talking to her about it.

Here is a little of what I found. I include it here because the Bible warns us about such things. Please don’t get involved in this.

Numerology is defined as the use of numbers to interpret a person’s character or to divine the future (fortune telling).

There are different kinds of numerology:

Gemantria assigns numbers to each letter in the Hebrew alphabet in order to reveal a deeper or hidden meaning in words.

Other systems assign numerical value to the letters in one’s name, birthplace, etc. The totals are believed to have special symbolic interpretations. 

Modern numerology was developed by Cheiro, a fortune teller who developed a system of “fadic” numbers by adding together certain numbers to produce a “number of destiny.”

The Bible tells us to reject all forms of fortunetelling, horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, and so on. 

“…Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11: 14, 15.

You can read in Acts 16 about a fortune teller who was able to predict the future until the apostle Paul rebuked a demon out of her.

Practices like numerology and horoscopes may appear innocent at first, but soon people can get addicted to psychics and unwittingly allow Satan to control and destroy their lives. 

Peter proclaimed in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Study the scriptures and God will reveal the Truth.

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Will Pandemics Ever End?

Revelation 21:4- “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

For eight months or more, Covid-19 has disrupted and destroyed many lives across the globe. Many people wonder if pandemics will ever end.

The answer is “YES!”

We can say with 100 percent certainty that there will be a future time when no one will experience health problems or illnesses of any kind.

Once believers reside in Heaven with the Lord, He promises to do away with all pain, suffering, and death. He will even restore those believers who have died to perfect health.

Though we live on earth and experience pain and suffering of many origins, the promise of God is for a future time when “the old order of things will pass away.”

God will not only restore us spiritually, to himself, but He also promises complete restoration for our bodies, as well.

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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.

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Suit Up!

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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.

 

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Have You Heard It All Before?

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Proverbs 1:5- “let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—”

 

When Nancy heard the door open, she pushed herself to a sitting position from the sofa where she slept waiting for her son’s safe return.

She glanced at her watch. One o’clock. 

He had overstayed his curfew again. 

“Jake—”

“Not now, Mom. I’ve heard it all before.”

“That’s the problem, son. You hear me speaking, but you don’t really listen. Listening requires that you not only receive the sound, but you also understand my words.”

Many times I have felt the same way when hearing a sermon.

I may have heard the Biblical account before…even read it myself multiple times over the years. 

Then, one day, a word or phrase stands out. Perhaps there is a different emphasis. A unique illustration of a major concept or theme.

And then…

behold

it has a new, deeper meaning as I listen to the message God has for me.

When I open myself to not just hearing, but listening, I am able to gain more understanding.

God’s Word blesses my soul.

As I listen, He speaks to my heart.

 

 

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