spiritualsnippets.com

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

Calling All Sheep!

John 10:14- “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—My sheep hear my voice and they follow me.”

Most of the kids in our neighborhood played outside from the time we got home from school until we were called for supper.

Although there would sometimes be several parents calling their own brood home at the same time, each of us knew when it was our mother’s or father’s voice shouting  “dinnertime!”  

God reminds us that He is our Good Shepherd. When He says that His sheep know His voice, he is referring to those of us who are “His”—those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

How do we distinguish His voice, from that of others?

Simple: If it is written in His Word, the Bible, then we can be certain it is truly His voice. The Bible also tells us that He will speak to us when we seek the wisdom of Christian friends, pastors and other church leaders. Many Christians tell of instances when they “hear” God’s voice in the form of an “impression” in their mind after a time of prayer, meditation, and/or fasting.

What we do when we hear His voice is important.

If I had heard my mother calling me to dinner, and had not heeded her call, I would have been pretty hungry by bedtime. In the same way, if we do not follow-up on God’s call with some kind of action on our part, we will likely find that we have missed more than a meal. We will have missed a banquet!

I’m not saying that you are going to miss the Marriage Supper of The Lamb. I am referring to missing out on the daily relationship with God and His blessings for those who respond to Him out of obedience.

Set aside time for daily prayer and get back into The Word. 

Become familiar, again, with the voice of The Good Shepherd.

**Revised from an earlier blog post.

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Looking Beyond

Hebrews 12:2– “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endurethe cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Both of my children had recurring cases of planter’s warts when they were youngsters. Each time, they begged me not to make them go to the doctor, knowing the removal from the soles of their feet would be very painful.

I explained that the procedure would bring about the desired result. Once healed, their feet would no longer be tender to walk on. 

A few days later, they’d be playing outside again. The memory of the surgical procedure was already a thing of the past.

Have you ever put off a medical appointment because you thought the treatment would have been too painful, avoided having a conversation you felt might threaten a friendship or delayed making a decision that was just too difficult?

Jesus identified with those feelings. He faced a painful death on the cross. However, he looked ahead to the salvation of mankind and endured the anguish.

It was the only way to get the desired result.

There are times in life when the pain of the present must be endured in light of the promise of better days, better health, better circumstances to come in the future. 

But we don’t have to go it alone. Jesus will be beside us all the way—guiding, encouraging, healing.

He was here. He knows what it is like to be human. He also knows what it is like to be God. 

He doesn’t just hold our hands. He holds us in his hands.

He gives us the promise of a wonderful future because he was willing to look beyond his present circumstances and ahead to that glorious day when he will welcome his children into his kingdom—where he will sit at the right hand of God, to the glory of The Father!

***Reprinted from an earlier blog post.

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Start All Over

Have you ever wished you could start all over? Erase something you said to someone in anger? Go back to a point in time when you made a hasty choice resulting in an unplanned pregnancy? Wished you hadn’t told your parent a lie to avoid punishment? 

Have you wanted an opportunity to do it all over again— make a better choice the next time around? 

Even though God knows everything you have done, He is willing to forgive. To wipe your slate clean.

He sent Jesus, his perfect son, to the cross to pay the price for our sins. Without the shedding of His perfect blood, the relationship with us which God desires would not be possible.  

And freedom from the sins in our past would not be a reality.

By acknowledging His gift today, you can begin a relationship with Him that will continue throughout eternity.

Because He loves you UNCONDITIONALLY.

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No Power Outages

Revelation 22:5a- “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.”

 

 

Robin’s heart skipped a beat. Home with their two-month-old baby as her husband traveled across country to attend a class reunion, she felt a sudden pang of helplessness when the lights flickered and went out.

We are all aware of the power outages in several states due to hurricanes, intense winds, and flooding. And our hearts go out to families who are displaced … forced to rebuild …

Darkness causes us to feel vulnerable … uneasy.

But light wards off the criminal element and we feel safer—more in control.

The Bible reminds us that there will be no power outages in Heaven. No need of lamps, night lights, or street lamps.

We will never be anxious or afraid because there is no darkness there.

Our home will be with Jesus who IS light. “And in him there is no darkness at all.”

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A Thought for Today

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Ephesians 2: 4,5- “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

 

My sixth grade teacher wrote a “Thought for the Day” on the chalkboard every morning. I loved reading them and started a notebook of “sayings/quotes.”

It became a habit of mine to copy them down each day, so no small wonder that I have continued to do that as I see things in print. I always write down the source of the quote, knowing I might need to give credit to someone for their thoughts one day.

However, next to the one I’d like to share with you, I wrote only Sam. To my embarrassment, there is no last name. (So, Sam, whoever you are. My apologies. And, my thanks for these thoughts).

Sam told a story about a man who had achieved acclaim in a certain area. He was asked to give a speech to his colleagues. 

A friend remarked that the turnout that evening had been overwhelming because this man was special to so many people.

“No,” the man answered. “It’s not because I am special that they are here. It’s because they are special that I am here.” 

I drew the parallel right away. 

Long before anyone reading this blog was born, Almighty God, in the person of Jesus, came to earth to save each of us (by the shedding of His blood) from the consequences of our sin and offer us eternal life.

Why?

He came because we are special to Him.

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Did You Know?

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I Corinthians 10:31- “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

 

Have you been reading Spiritual Snippets each week, unaware that I am an author of Christian Fiction?

My first book, Runaways, the Long Journey Home, was based on a recurring dream. I consider that book, and the four that have come after it, as opportunities to declare the love and forgiveness of Jesus.

Authors bear tremendous publishing and marketing expenses. The revenue from book sales is what keeps us afloat.

These summer months, with Covid keeping many of us inside, have been the perfect opportunity for new readers to experience just how exciting Christian Fiction can be. 

Here is the book description of Runaways from my Amazon Book page:

No Mama. An abusive father. A dog for a best friend.

Ten-year-old Jake runs away from his remote Appalachian home in the dead of winter.

He and Hound, face freezing temperatures and near starvation as they travel through mountainous terrain.

And, they narrowly escape Father as he tracks them with the very rifle he used to kill Sam and Mama.

Then, when Jake hears about God’s unconditional love for him, he is confronted with the biggest decision of his life:

Will he keep running…

Or face his father?

**All of my books are available on Amazon, Kobo, or at the Barnes and Noble order desk. Formats: paperback, e-book, and Audible. You can find out more about me on my two websites:  www.spiritualsnippets.com and www.brendacpoulosauthor.org   

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Shine!

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Matthew 5: 14-16. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

God is light.

In HIM there is no darkness at all.

When we become a child of God, we bear witness to that light. We also become heirs to that light through Jesus Christ.

At this difficult time for all of us on this planet, it’s more important than ever to let our light shine before men.

That can mean serving in our communities, praying for people in all countries and giving our time and resources.

There are millions of people that need our prayers, our words of encouragement.

Because of technology, we are able to stay in our homes and still connect with others around the world.

Being proactive may bring a harvest of souls to Christ as we have never known before.

May our prayers be many and our lights shine brightly!

 

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His Purpose for YOU

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Esther 4:14- “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.”

 

If you are like me, the time has come to set goals for the New Year. I like to think of it as getting myself on course.

I begin by reading Esther 4:14. Then, I read the Tale of Three Trees. Like many outstanding works, its original author is unknown, but Angela Hunt retold this beautiful folktale and published it in 1957.

To recap, three trees grew on a mountainside. Each dreamed of what it would be when it grew up. The first tree dreamed of being used to build a beautiful treasure chest; the second wanted to be used to build the strongest sailing ship in the world; the third’s aspirations were to remain on the mountain where he would grow to be the tallest tree in the world so that when people looked up at him, they would raise their eyes to heaven, and think of God.

Years later, the trees had grown to maturity. They were cut down. Each was disappointed. The first was made into a plain box for animal feed; the second was crafted into a simple fishing boat, and the third was cut into strong beams.

But, that’s not the end of the story… because God fulfilled His purpose for each of them. 

The first box was used as a manger for Baby Jesus; the second became a fishing boat for Jesus and his disciples; and the third was used to build the cross and every time people saw it, they thought of God.

Each tree became so much more than he could ever have dreamed—because in the hands of God they fulfilled His purpose.

As we stand on the brink of 2020, may we yield to our Maker, praying that He will guide our lives and ultimately fulfill the purpose for which He created us.

Keep Looking Upward.

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Hungry?

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John 6:35– “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

 

I pull up to a stoplight, my eyes scanning the intersection as I wait for it to turn green.

I notice a man on the corner holding a cardboard sign with one word: HUNGRY.

I roll down the window, motioning for him to approach my car and take the bill from my outstretched hand. To it I have clipped one word: JESUS and a Bible verse written in calligraphy.

John 6:35. 

Even though money may have met his immediate need, the verse says that with Jesus acknowledged as Savior and Lord, he need never experience spiritual hunger again.

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Do You Get Hives?

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Romans 10: 14-15  “How can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him?  And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him?  And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?”

 

Three of my friends joined me for lunch. Our first topic of conversation was the lavish baby shower we had attended the previous week.

“Sorry you missed it Jean. It was really a fun time.”

Almost in tears, Jean replied that she hadn’t received an invitation!

Knowing there was no way her good friend wouldn’t have invited her to her daughter’s baby shower, we were all puzzled as to what might have happened to her invitation.

We cannot take it for granted that someone else will tell a friend or loved one about Jesus. 

Do you get hives (like I do) when you think about knocking on a stranger’s door and sharing the gospel?

Did you know that “cold calling” on doors has become a rare form of evangelism?

More often, nowadays, people come to know Christ in relationship/friendship settings. What starts as a social connection evolves into friendships where we both feel comfortable sharing our faith.

Taking a loaf of bread or pie to a new neighbor, inviting someone to a BBQ or coffee, offering to help with a home project or car repair—each of these can bring about opportunities to share our faith once we have first grown our relationship.

If we don’t, who will?

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