spiritualsnippets.com

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

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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The Shade at My Right Hand

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                                      Psalm 121: 5-8 – “The Lord watches over you—

                                  the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

                                     the sun will not harm you by day,

                                nor the moon by night.

                                    The Lord will keep you from all harm—

                                he will watch over your life;

                                    the Lord will watch over your coming and going

                                both now and forevermore.”

 

I have had a lot of trouble, recently, with my eyes. Out of necessity, I purchased a pair of expensive sunglasses that were invented especially for surfers. They block out glare when sunlight hits waves.

The sunglasses do help me, but I find I still need to stay indoors as much as possible, or at least out of direct sunlight.

So, when I came upon a two-mile stretch of roadwork-related delays last week, I found myself looking for a way out of the traffic jam. However, I was hemmed in by barricades on one side and fellow travelers in front of me, in back of me, and in the lane to my right. With my eyes burning from the glare and tears flowing down my cheeks, I prayed to God for something—anything—that would offer relief. 

When the traffic light turned red, the flow of vehicles came to a halt. As I stopped my car, I found it was shaded by the only tree on that block! 

The light turned green and I was able to make it into the next block before the traffic light ahead turned red. Again, my car was shaded by a tree growing in the median!

As I thanked God for the second tree, I was reminded of Psalm 121. The Lord was surely watching over me. 

He was—and is—the shade at my right hand!

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The Great “I AM”

 

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Exodus 3:14- “And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.”

 

A friend was relating his son’s experience taking “Spanish” instruction last semester. He said the difficulty was with conjugating verb tenses.

I remember taking Spanish in high school, myself, and doing drills on verb tenses: I was. I am. I will be…and so on—words denoting past, present, and future states.

God refers to himself the I AM. Tenses don’t apply to Him since He has always existed, He exists now, and He always will. 

He has no beginning and no end.

He will always be there for you.

He’s unchanging. He’s 100% committed to you. 

You’ve no need to wonder, worry, or fret.

You can count on the one who loved you before you even came into being—the one who will love you throughout all eternity…

Because

He is The Great I AM. 

 

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The Master of “Fake” News

 

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“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Every time I turn on the television, I am bombarded with what we have come to call “fake news”: The President did this or that, a famous person died, someone was secretly married, and so on. Often, we find out the story was totally fabricated.

Some of the lies are fairly easy to spot, but others are more difficult to discern.

Satan is the master of lies, the Bible tells us. And, the lies he wants us to believe are those that affect our eternal lives.

Here are just two examples of his lies that mean the difference between life and death:

The first lie is that there are many ways to get to Heaven.

Oh, it sounds good to some people who want to believe that no one religion or group has all the answers. It may sound plausible to them that as long as we are sincere and do our best, it will turn out well for us in the end.

But, the Bible says that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

Secondly, Satan wants you to think that as long as you believe in something, it’s okay. 

But, God’s word says in Acts 4:12- “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” And, in 1 Timothy 2:5. it says “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

The Bible is not fake news, a scam or a lie.

THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD AND ONE WAY TO GET TO HIM. It is THROUGH JESUS CHRIST ALONE. 

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A Glimpse of Heaven

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1 Corinthians 2:9-  “…What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love him.”

 

 

Mom’s eyes were filled with tears when she recounted last’s night’s dream.

“I didn’t want to come back,” she sobbed.

“What do you mean? Come back from where?” I held her hand and brushed the soft gray hair away from her face.

“From Heaven. It was so beautiful. I just wanted to stay there forever.”

I slid my chair closer. “What was it like?”

“Oh. I-I-I don’t know how to explain it.” She paused, a faraway look in her eyes. “It was all laid out before me. It went on forever. And, all the colors. I’ve never seen colors like that before. The jewels—they sparkled like… Oh, it was so wonderful. I want to go back.”

I thanked God for the little glimpse of Heaven given to my dear mother who is now experiencing the last stages of Alzheimer’s—and for the reassurance given to me as she spoke those words just a few days ago.

Not that we necessarily want this life to end, but most Christians would say that they, too, look forward to Heaven.

Streets of gold, colors beyond description…

Although we may imagine what it will be like, our human brains cannot even conceive of its magnificence.

Jesus will be there and I cannot even begin to understand what it will be like to be in His presence, to sit at His table, and talk with Him face to face.

For now, though, I’ll just have to be content to dream along with Mom.

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ALL POWERFUL

 

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Ephesians 1:19-21 “…and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”

 

 

I watched as the President of the United States was sworn into office.

A split second beforehand, he was an American citizen, like the rest of us, except perhaps for his great wealth.

But, after the oath of office was taken, reporters referred to him as the “most powerful man in all the world.”

What a difference a moment in time made in his status among the nations.

But, his power is nothing compared to the power of God in raising Jesus from the dead or the power conferred on Jesus who now sits at His right hand:

The power to heal, to create and destroy, to forgive sin.

He can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

We cannot cleanse ourselves from sin or its influence in our lives.

We cannot work hard or long enough.

We cannot achieve enough or perform enough “works.”

On our own, we cannot defeat sin and Satan.

All power is HIS and HIS ALONE.

We have only to put our faith in His great strength—put ourselves in His capable hands and allow Him to do the work only He can do

by His GREAT POWER.

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Plug In

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Isaiah 40:29-“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

 

After we moved, I couldn’t find the cord to my keyboard. I looked everywhere I could think of.

No cord meant no sound, no music.

Without plugging into the electricity in our home, the keyboard couldn’t perform as it was intended. The cord was essential.

I cannot display the fruit of the spirit, I cannot dispense grace in my dealings with family and friends if I don’t stay connected to God. I depend on Him for strength to do the right things when I am weak.

When I am not “plugged in” through scripture and prayer, my Christian life is devoid of the power I need to face different situations when they arise.

I am weak; often weary.

He promises to let me tap into His power when I need Him.

And, when I do, I function just as He intended.

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Imposter or “The Real Deal”?

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I Timothy 3:16b– “He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artificial turf.

Carpet made from recycled tires.

Cauliflower. Mashed, it tastes like mashed potatoes.

Designer-look perfumes and purses.

False eyelashes.

Floor tile that looks like woodgrain.

Ritz crackers, baked with spices tastes like apple pie.

Silk plants/flowers.

Simulated stones.

Vinyl that looks and feels like leather.

 

FAKES.  IMPOSTERS.

The world is full of them.

 

The world is also home to false gods. They may be horoscopes, statues, planets, money…anything or anyone that people put their trust in is technically a “god” to them.

 

Sadly, they lead to disappointment…many with tragic consequences.

How can one tell a fake—an imposter—from the real thing?

The verse in First Timothy says Jesus was verified in six ways:

1.He appeared on earth in the flesh.

2.He was vindicated by the Holy Spirit.

3.He was seen by angels (and, if I might add, by many people)

4.He was preached about (by the disciples).

5.He was believed on by many people (…and the number is growing).

6.He was taken up (ascended) into heaven.

In today’s world, we use the word endorsement, to mean declaring approval, when we refer to lending credibility to a person, product, or claim.

In Matthew 3:17 God said of Jesus, “…This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

So, he has been verified and endorsed—by God the Father.

Jesus is not a fake. Not an imposter.

He’s the real deal.

He is the Son of God.

Our Savior. Our Redeemer.  Our risen Lord.

 

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YIELD

Romans 6:16– Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

 

In the last couple of years, several roundabouts were constructed on the entrances to freeways near our home. These were a new occurrence in our state and a number of accidents happened because drivers were unfamiliar with the traffic laws governing them.

(Roundabouts are circular intersections or junctions in which road traffic flows almost continuously in one direction around a central island.)

Drivers outside the roundabouts are expected to YIELD to vehicles already driving within them. In other words, drivers already on the roundabouts have the right of way.

In the same fashion, Christians are instructed to lead lives which are yielded to God.

In other words, we are to let God lead us. Let Him have the right of way.

We become followers.                                     226711064_141327731b

And we can be assured that He will never lead us in the path of a sinful life, but rather in paths of righteousness.

When we say, “Not my will, but thine, Lord,” we are giving control of our lives over to Him.

When we obey His Word, we are putting our faith and trust in Him…and we humble ourselves to His authority.

We no longer need to wonder if we are going in the right direction on the roundabouts of life.

With Him as our “central island” we can be confident that our path is the one intended for us and that He will lead us safely home.

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I Know You’re Out There

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Psalm 91:4– “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

 

As I awoke this morning, God told me to put aside what I had already started writing for today, and to write this message TO YOU, instead:

Yesterday, you were on top of the world.

Today, everything has come crashing down all around you.

Yesterday, you had no worries…only endless possibilities.

Today, you are considering only a few options.

Yesterday, the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in sight.

Today, the skies are are overcast and there is a storm brewing.

Yesterday, you wore a smile that lit up the room.

Today, that smile has turned to tears.

I know you are out there.

You are asking God, “Why my family?”  or  “Why me?”

You are wondering what good can come of your situation…your loss of a loved one…your diagnosis…your sudden disappointing news.

You’re holding back the tears, denying the feelings of abandonment, loneliness, betrayal.

You don’t have to go it alone.

God wants to rescue you.

Pray fervently for Him to heal your relationship, your broken heart, your body.

He wants you to draw close to Him. He wants to offer you His strength, His peace, His power.

He loves you. Lean on Him.

Instead of focusing on whatever your problem is, He wants you to give it over to Him and let Him handle it.

He wants you to trust Him and the power of His mighty hand.

You are precious to Him.

He wants to pour out His love on you.

He wants to cover you with His wings.

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