spiritualsnippets.com

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

Now Is The Time for Praise

27100586342_e626380d60

 

2 Samuel 22:1-3 “David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.” 

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,

    my shield and the horn of my salvation.

He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—

    from violent people you save me.”

 

Did you ever wake up praising God?

Wow. What a feeling!!!

You’re on top of the world.

Maybe you’ve just received good news. Perhaps an answer to prayer. Or, you’ve been blessed in an unexplainable way and you look at a friend and say, “It has to be a God thing.”

I usually begin by shouting to the heavens, “Thank you, Lord.” This is followed by a more serious prayer and a chorus or two.

Praise isn’t just for today—or for us. A lot of people in the Bible had reason to give God a “shout-out,” too. 

Many Christians love to read the Psalms because of King David’s beautiful words. He sang 2 Samuel, as he did a great many of his Psalms. He also played stringed instruments. David knew how to express his love and gratitude.

Some of David’s psalms were written in the midst of battles—or as a result of deliverance from the hands of his enemies. He knew when—and how—to praise God. 

I recall, as a child, singing this chorus: “Do you know what time it is? Time to praise the Lord … anytime’s the right time to praise the Lord.”

Whether in the midst of disappointment or a spiritual battle, after you receive a blessing or an answer to a prayer, NOW IS THE RIGHT TIME TO PRAISE THE LORD.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

“I Can Read Him Like a Book”

25938206930_c02b565a292 Corinthians 3:2- “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.”

“Don’t let him fool you. I can read him like a book,” my husband said of our son when he was only ten years old. He was sure that he could tell what our son was thinking—what he was up to—by the look in his eyes and the evasive way he answered him. 

Wouldn’t it be a compliment to a Christian to be leading a life so “Christ-like” that others would immediately conclude that he/she was a believer? To be leading a life of truthfulness? Full of forgiveness? Wrapped in love for others? A life of service?

I’ve met Christians like that. In word and action, so open and gentle in their manner that there is no doubt as to the authenticity of their faith.

It is my hope, in 2019, that I would become more and more like Christ. That others would see Christ living in me.

That I might be an open book, easily “read” and recognized by everyone as a child of the Most High God.

1 Comment »

A Little Lesson on LOVE

imageedit_246_9535150375

Matthew 5:44- “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

 

I have a new logo—a heart, with the words, “Stories of Forgiveness” inside.

Each of my three Christian Suspense Fiction books has been about something different: abuse, unbelief/pride of self, and bullying. However, the central characters all experience healing because they learn to FORGIVE.

Forgiveness has the power to transform lives. No matter who we are or what our background may be, we can each find joy, power, and freedom in forgiveness.

But what about love (you know, the heart in the logo) how does that tie in?

Some people are not so lovable. People who hate, curse, and persecute you are especially hard to be nice to. However, God says we are to do more than that—we are told to love them.

Many years ago, my pastor told me that praying for someone that had “rubbed me the wrong way” would allow The Holy Spirit to work in my heart and make it possible for me to actually come to love that person.

So, I put Matthew 5:44 to the test. Over the period of a year (it is not a one-prayer process) I found that I actually came to understand and care for the other person.

And, yes, forgiveness followed.

2 Comments »

Jesus, Others, and You

12774325084_491a00d624

 

Romans 12:10- “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

 

A young man, appearing to be in his early twenties, sat on a wooden crate on a street corner in Bellingham. He strummed his guitar and crooned a song about love. The point of the song was that one could not completely love another, unless he first learned to love himself.

A handful of young people clapped to the beat, nodding to each other in agreement.

I’d heard the song before. In fact, there have been quite a number written which echo that same theme. I shook my head as I continued to walk down the street.

When I was a child, I learned the song, “J.O.Y.” in Sunday School. It’s a simple song with an enduring message: true joy can only be found when we live by the biblical principal of putting Jesus, first. That is followed by loving others; and finally by putting ourselves last.

In the world we live in today, this world of I Phones and I Pads—this life filled with television commercials enticing us to buy whatever looks good to our eyes—it’s hard for us to comprehend that true joy and peace are only achieved by acting in a way which is contrary to our love of self.

But, that’s just what Jesus asks us to do. Because, like the song says, putting Him first in our lives, followed by love for others is the way to a “peace that passes understanding.”

Jesus, Others,—and You.

 

Leave a comment »

I Know You’re Out There

25165347794_28a3965cd5-1

 

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.

Leave a comment »

How Will They Know We Are Christians?

John 13:35- “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”      What-Is-The-Meaning-Of-The-Christian-Fish-Symbol

 

A horseshoe, a four-lear clover, and a wishbone. Each symbolizes good luck.

Manufacturers have unique symbols for their products, whether they be cars, shoes, clothing, or eyeglasses.

Sports teams and schools choose mascots to make themselves more recognizable to the public and to build team/school spirit.

Traffic signs utilize symbols to help drivers become instantly aware of the rules of the road, especially those involving emergencies/warnings.

One interesting symbol Christians sometimes use is that of the fish, often seen on fenders, jewelry, and stationary.

The use of the fish symbol by Christians began in the early days of Christianity. Since Christians were often put to death for practicing their faith, they often worshiped in secret places.

A fish painted on the outside door of a house let Christians know that they would be safe and welcome inside. It was also used as a Christian greeting. Upon meeting someone new, a believer would draw half of the fish symbol in the dirt and the other person (if a Christian) would complete the other half of the symbol, thus revealing himself or herself as a Christian.

However, if the other person did not recognize what was being drawn, he was most likely a non-believer. Thus, the believers’s religious beliefs remained hidden.

Today, the Christian fish symbol is often used to identify Christians and/or Christian businesses. Free from persecution, at least here in the United States, the fish symbol is proudly displayed for all to see.

Jesus tells us that it is not symbols, elaborate robes, or showy prayers that should identify Christians to the world.

He wants us to show love and understanding to each other… to grant others the same mercy and grace he extended to us.

They will know we are Christians by our love.

Leave a comment »

That’s Who He Is

2 John 1:3– Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Ah, love.  It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

When we are “in love,” we feel a certain way, which causes us to act in a more or less predictable manner. Perhaps we are more thoughtful, more giving, more…

You get the picture.

Love motivates us.                                  371032725_9c92f53032

But, although loving another person prompts us to show our love for them through our actions, our behavior toward those we don’t love isn’t motivated in the same way—if at all.

Such is the way of man.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we felt such love for everyone that we showed it in our actions toward all people… at all times?

That’s not possible, you say.

You’re right.

Left to our own devices…acting according to our own nature…we simply are not capable of experiencing—and acting in accordance—with that kind of all-encompassing love.

What about God?

The Bible says that God IS love.

His very essence is love. One hundred percent of Him. One hundred percent of the time.

Essence: the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something that determines its character… without which it would not exist or be what it is.

So, following the definition, God’s very nature is love and without it, He would not exist.

He is completely love…all of Him.

He’s not just loving in his actions to some people at some times (when He feels like it).

He’s not just motivated by it, as human beings are.

HE IS LOVE.

Only love can love…everyone…all the time.

It’s impossible to wrap our heads around that truth, isn’t it?

And, because He acts in accordance with his very essence, he cannot act in opposition to it.

He loves unconditionally because the pure essence of His love doesn’t depend on you and I—or our actions—at all.

Because that’s how He is.

That’s who He is.

.

 

Leave a comment »

God Sent You a Valentine!

Romans 1:20- “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

In the very stars of heaven, God proclaims his great love for us.

God sent us a Valentine!!

His love knows no bounds. His message is written in His Word and in the heavenly bodies of the universe. That’s right!  They aren’t just beautiful creations of light hung there for our enjoyment. (Although that was certainly part of His intent).

They were, in fact, put there to tell God’s story of His love, and plan of redemption.

15651996037_80068decbe_mThis may be a new concept for you, but read on…

Quite some time ago, my mother-in-law gave me the most fascinating book by the late James Kennedy called, The Real Meaning of the Zodiac. It contains his well-documented research, as well as that of eight other well-known Bible scholars. It is an astounding account of God’s love.

The book was printed as a special TBN Edition in 1989 and one of their most requested publications ever. In it, Dr. Kennedy unfolds the timeless story of God’s love—His Gospel in the stars.

The Bible tells us that He called all of the stars “the host of heaven,” that He numbered them, ordered them, and set them in the firmament to be signs. (Although their original meaning has been corrupted into something counterfeit by astrologers.)

His marvelous masterpiece, the art gallery of God, depicts the message of redemption revealing to man the account of the coming, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

That’s right. The way of salvation is revealed beautifully for us in the heavens!

Dr. Kennedy begins the explanation of the true Zodiac with Virgo, or the Virgin and the birth of the incarnate Son of God. He continues the “great celestial preaching of the Gospel” with the other eleven signs, ending with Leo, The Lion, which depicts Christ’s victory over sin, the world, and Satan.

By citing specific scripture for each sign, Dr. Kennedy reminds us that God has done all of this so that we might know of God’s love…that we might know His son as our savior, and so that the glory of Jesus and his redemption might fill our hearts with wonder and praise.

He loves me. He loves you.

He has told us so in His Word, in the heavens, and by sending us the gift of salvation through his son, Jesus.

May you never look at the night sky in quite the same way again.

It is His Valentine to mankind.

 

Leave a comment »

Hands

17771265060_679fc89c4e_m

Deuteronomy 28:12– “…The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.”

 

The director raises his hands high above his head, out to the side, makes a circle with his fingers, holds his hands tight in front of him—a variety of signals to the choir, telling them how he wants them to sing. Loud or soft. Words to emphasize. When to hold a note… Every movement of his hands means something.

Hands.

An audience applauds to show appreciation for a performance.

Hands.

A lady uses sign language. A child watches intently, then uses his hands to communicate in return. Fingers fire rapidly, back and forth, as they “talk” to one another. The transference of  thoughts and feelings between two human beings.

Hands.

A student raises his hand in class. The teacher calls on him. There is an interchange—perhaps a question answered—and then back to work. A system of recognition and classroom organization.

Hands.

A volunteer touches the shoulder of patient in a wheelchair. The elderly man looks up with eyes of gratitude. Off they go for a “walk” down the hall of an adult care center.

Hands.

A wife brings her husband a hot cup of coffee as he reads the newspaper.

Hands.

A young girl pets her dog. He licks her face.

Hands.

A grandmother teaches her granddaughter how to stitch a quilt.

Hands.

People in church raise their hands during worship, reflecting their praise and devotion to the Lord.

Hands.

They offer love, help, and praise. They communicate an individual’s caring heart. They serve others.

The Bible says that hands were created for good things and He will bless acts of kindness and service done with our hands. It doesn’t matter if they are the hands of a young child or the crippled hands of a ninety-year-old senior citizen.

His nail-scarred hands should be our example.

 

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/130333033@N08/17771265060″>IMG_0055</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Leave a comment »

The Ultimate Valentine

Romans 1:20- For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

We hadn’t used binoculars since we camped in northern Arizona. Now, I pulled them out of the closet and packed them into our suitcase. We were heading for a whale watching excursion in the Pacific Ocean as part of our vacation in San Clemente, California.

The binoculars would help us detect the large mammals from a distance, bringing them into focus even from far away. Without them, we might never know that these spectacular creatures were anywhere nearby.

The Bible says one day we will see God. We will “Behold Him” in all of His Glory. We won’t need binoculars—we’ll see Him face-to-face!

But what about now? Is there any way to see Him—to recognize Him in our daily lives here on earth?

His Word tells us we can see evidence of Him all around us— in the heavens and on the earth. That even in those places where the gospel hasn’t been preached, people can know of Him because all of nature testifies of Him!

This earth, this galaxy, didn’t come into existence because of some “Big Bang!” They were created for us to inhabit, for our enjoyment, in order to increase our awareness of our Heavenly Father. All of creation gives evidence of the great love of God for His children.

The rainbow…a waterfall…the hummingbird…sunrise and sunset…ocean waves…a summer breeze… a colorful butterfly…sunbeams streaming through a windowpane…stars, moon, planets, and puffy clouds… Take a second look at them, today. Think about the one who created them: our Heavenly Father.

He loved us so much that He made all of nature for our pleasure, but more than this, he made them to send us a message. A message that He exists, that He loves us, that He wants to connect with us. They tell of His divine nature and His great power.

God was in control as He created. Today, He IS still in control. Although things may not always seem to be going “right”, He IS near us. He will have the ultimate victory!

This world may be all about Valentines and lace and sparkly diamonds, but He is about a universe filled with reminders that His love is unfailing, unending. Love in its purest form, for by His very nature, HE IS LOVE.

Brenda

 

 

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: