spiritualsnippets.com

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

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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Joy In Unrelenting Pain

 

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Job 6:10a- “Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain—”

 

I recently heard a story about Austrian concert pianist, Paul Wittgenstein. In 1914, while serving in active duty in WWI, he was shot in the elbow and his right arm was amputated.

One would think this would be devastating, ending a brilliant career. But that was not the case.

During his recovery, he wrote to his teacher asking for a concerto for the left hand alone. Following the war’s end, he studied intensely and reclaimed his career. He gave hundreds of concerts throughout Europe, playing pieces arranged for the left hand alone.

I vowed that if times of self-pity should come, I would remember this brave man whose attitude made it possible for him to still experience joy in his life after such tragic circumstances.

The Bible tells the story of Job, whose wealth, children, and physical health were taken from him.

Not only did Job not curse God, but we learn that he was able to experience true joy in the midst of those trials.

This can be of great comfort to those who are experiencing physical illnesses, family problems, financial struggles.

But, how is it possible that during times of dire circumstances one could find joy?

Like Job, our faith sustains us. We look to God to be our strength. We lean on Him and the promises in His Word.

We look at these times, not as obstacles to our joy, but as times of refreshing.

We view them as vehicles to deepen our dependance on God and draw us in close relationship with him.

We do not allow our trials to defeat us, but instead look at them as opportunities to change us, inwardly, to refine our character, to transform our hearts— to fulfill His new purpose in us.

Can we experience the “joy that comes in the morning?”

Our Lord says we can. He will restore us anew, whether in this life or in the one to come.

The Bible says He is faithful and He will do it.

He gives us His Word.

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Never Alone

Deuteronomy 31:8– “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Dateline’s new motto is: “Don’t Watch Alone.”

A sign outside Central Park says, “Don’t Walk Alone.”

Signs on beaches urge, “Don’t Swim Alone.”

I guess the idea is that it is dangerous, scary, and unsafe to be alone.

But, God’s Word tells us that we never have to be alone.

God is always with us.

That fact is comforting, isn’t it?

In times of joy, sadness, uncertainty.

When we would hide.

When we would flee.              14046488787_5f5eb9a815

We can stand firm.

Because he will never leave us alone.

In the dark of the night.

In the midst of the storm.

His perfect love casts out all fear.

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BELIEVE

Mark 11:23 For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain,’Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but Believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says.

 

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Believe.

I see this word on bumper stickers, jewelry, greeting cards, wall decor, and T-shirts.

It seems society has embraced it.

But, what does it really mean?

Believe in who?

Believe in what?

Believe in oneself?

Believe in the power within?

Believe in God?

I have a picture hanging in my home office, with simply “Believe” written in script.

It tells me that I can do it…achieve it…

But, I realize it is not me alone that makes anything happen in my personal life or my career.

It is God who leads me.

It is God who empowers me.

It is God who gives me the skills necessary to achieve.

But, it means still more.

To me, it is a reminder that I believe that Jesus is God’s Son and that I have eternal life through Him.

John 20:31 but these are written, that you may Believe

that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing

you may have life in his name.

It IS important to have confidence in oneself…if that confidence comes from God.

It IS important to have a “can do” attitude…if one realizes that their giftedness comes from our Creator.

It IS important to have faith…if it is in God.

We can have every confidence in Him.

For it  is in Him WHO IS TRUTH that we have the power to BELIEVE.

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Do You Know What Will Happen Tomorrow?

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James 4:14- “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

A friend of ours passed out while driving last week. His car hit a transformer and went up in flames. He was pulled out of the vehicle just in time. Praise God, he didn’t have a scratch on him!

As I thought about this miracle, the verse above came to mind. Even though we may say, “See you tomorrow” to our friends and family, none of us knows if that will be true or if a tragedy might claim our life.

That’s why it is so important that each of us is prepared to meet God. One day, we will either stand before Him, forgiven by the blood of Jesus, or guilty and without excuse.

Now is the time to get right with God.

Choose Jesus. We “…do not even know what will happen tomorrow.”

Choose Eternal Life in Heaven. We “…are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

Choose the miracle of forgiveness.

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Can You Keep A Secret?

Ecclesiastes 12:14– For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.

 

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He hedged when she asked him where he’d been.

He passed by the cubicle next to his own, hesitating when he saw a twenty dollar bill laying on the desk. He looked to see if anyone was around before he slipped it into his pocket.

She pulled up to the drive-in window at the fast food restaurant, ordering two meals. One for herself, and one for the man at the corner with a sign stating, “HUNGRY. PLEASE HELP.”

Things done in secret.

No one might ever know…

But, the Bible tells us that God sees everything. He punishes the wicked and rewards the good.

It may seem to you that the small gestures you make in the behalf of others goes unnoticed, but God’s Word says he will reward those kindnesses when you stand before His throne.

Likewise, those who think they have gotten away with certain behaviors on earth, will find that is not the case.

God sees everything.

For those serving others, sometimes to the point of exhaustion, be of good cheer. Your God sees and He is pleased with you. There will come a day when He will openly reward what you have done for others.

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