spiritualsnippets.com

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

Have You Heard It All Before?

11930165565_f59ccc5607

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.

 

 

Leave a comment »

Follow the Red Arrows

49822527521_8318e7671d

 

Psalm: 18:32- “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”

 

I was looking forward to shopping at one of my favorite stores this week. I entered the doors, greeted by a masked worker who pointed to the red arrows on the floor and sent me on my way. 

Later, at a new burger and shake shop, there were still more new regulations to follow.

My final stop was at a furniture store where my temperature was taken and I was told to wait in line outside because I hadn’t called ahead for a “personalized” appointment.

Such are life’s changes due to Covid-19.

Reflecting on my day, it seems to me that my new approach to public interaction must be to simply follow the directions of each and every business as they individually try to cope with the “new normal” in their own way.

Directions are intended to keep us safe.

God has our best interests at heart, too. That’s why he gave us His Word.

Unlike us, who are taking it one day at a time and doing our best to comply with new regulations and procedures as they evolve, God sees everything from beginning to end. 

We can trust in His guidance 100% of the time.

Walking according to His direction will keep us safe and secure. 

 

Leave a comment »

The Top Twenty

 

38676240312_6d502dfd11

1 John 3:16- “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

 

Recently, I was asked to list my TOP TWENTYverses, that is. 

I am sure you have had a similar request in a Bible Study Group, Sunday School class, or even from a curious friend.

Before printing my list, I scrolled through it briefly, looking for typos.

I found one—sort of.

Instead of typing John 3:16, I had written 1 John 3:16, instead.

I started to make the correction, but I was curious. (I’m always looking for special messages from God. Was this one?) What did the verse in 1 John say? Was there a similarity in meaning to the often-quoted verse, John 3:16?

I turned to the reference and read the beautiful words about love. (Also, in John 3:16, so there was a connection, but there was more). 

The verse was an answer to prayer because I had been searching for the perfect verse to put in my almost-finished Christian Suspense Novel, Truth or Dare—a story about a wayward father called upon to donate a kidney to his child.

God heard my prayer for guidance and led me to the exact verse to use in my book. 

And, yes, 1 John 3:16 will forevermore be included in my Top Twenty.

Leave a comment »

The Blessings of Being a Lamb

40045948283_5fa5c00f20Hosea 4:16- “The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. How then can the Lord pasture them like lambs in a meadow?”

 

You can learn a lot about life when you are waiting your turn in the waiting room at the dental office.

In the midst of reading a magazine article a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a toddler scurry down from his mother’s lap and almost into the parking lot before she tackled him.

Back inside, she opened a container of Goldfish crackers and gave him a toy to play with. That worked for a few minutes, but before I’d even finished reading, she was calling out to the little boy who had once more wriggled out of her grasp.

Mom had met her match. The chase continued several more times before my name was finally called. And, by that time, the child’s mother was using a sterner voice and threatening stiffer “punishment.”

The children of Israel were guilty of the same type of behavior. And, so are we. We keep doing the very things we know we shouldn’t.

We often ignore God’s warnings because we want to do it our way. We want to be in charge.

Just like the little boy in the dental office, we do know better. Hosea 4 tells us that God wants to treat us like obedient lambs. Psalm 23 adds that He wants to give us rest, healing, guidance. His desire is to protect us, give us support and comfort. He wants to bless us with all good things, just as the mother in the dental office probably wanted for her little boy.

But, he was stubborn, so she had to treat him like a heifer. It won’t be until he becomes a loyal and obedient lamb, that he can enjoy all that she wants for him.

Jesus set the example as the “Lamb of God.” He was obedient and his father exalted him above every other. 

I used to read the scripture about the Lamb of God, thinking that meant Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins—which is very true. But, as God’s lamb, he is also a perfect picture of obedience.

And, obedience leads to a beautiful parent/child relationship in which God blesses those who keep His commandments. 

 

Leave a comment »

Follow The Leader

Deuteronomy 13:4- “It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.”

Enjoying a morning cup of coffee on my patio under the shadow of the Superstition Mountains, a sudden movement caught my eye. I blinked and looked, again. A family of quail, complete with seven baby chicks, was making its way across our driveway!

For all of the beauty of the desert (including those majestic mountains) the one thing I enjoy most is watching these sweet baby birds, all of two inches tall, following after their parents in the early mornings and late afternoons each spring. Innocent and helpless, the chicks need the guidance of their parents on their first outings across the desert floor. Predators, such as coyotes, snakes, and javelina make it necessary that they follow closely behind, in order to survive in this harsh environment.

As I watch them, I am reminded that I need to follow my Heavenly Father’s guidance, also. How should I react to the man who yells obscenities at me when I pull into the parking space that he had wanted? How will I be able to deal effectively with feelings of loneliness when my husband is working out of town? How can I tell a friend the hard truth, in a kind and loving manner?

God’s Word gives me assurance, direction, and peace. I have nothing to fear as I navigate through my day.

He knows the way.

All I have to do is follow.

Brenda

1 Comment »

Spiritual Stents

Acts 8:22- “Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.”  

Several years ago, my father went into the hospital for what we thought would be routine heart testing. Approximately a half-hour into the procedure, the doctor called the family into a conference room and showed us (via computer screen) Dad’s heart. He indicated two areas of blockage and asked for permission to place two stents.

Watching on the screen, we were able to see the stents inserted and the resulting rush of blood into the arteries that had been previously blocked. What a miracle to witness. We were all spellbound. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

Driving home, I thought about my how I needed a change of heart toward a close friend and an attitude adjustment toward a family member. I knew that harboring resentment would only lead to strained (blocked) relationships.

My hurt was deep and my feelings were REAL. I wanted to change and I knew that until I did, those relationships would’t be restored. But, how could I achieve these changes on my own?

I turned to the scriptures, asking God to show me what to do. I found guidance in His Word. Acts 8:22 held the answer. I needed to repent of my wrong attitude and ask forgiveness—first to God, and then to them.

It wasn’t easy, but I knew it was right. When I was obedient to God’s Word, a heavy weight was lifted. Today, our relationships are closer than ever!

Brenda

1 Comment »

%d bloggers like this: