spiritualsnippets.com

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

Anxiety or Peace?

Philippians 4:5-7- “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

A girls’ lunch get-together is usually filled with laughter and lots of chatter. However, a few months ago, it was anything but.

Claire, the hostess for that month, told the group of four that she was again facing cancer, having been in remission for almost three years.

Sally confided that her husband was having an affair with someone at work.

Beth’s daughter had experienced a miscarriage and Ellen had to put down Charlie, her faithful Cocker Spaniel.

So many sad stories. So many reasons to be downhearted and fearful of the future.

But instead, Sally pulled out a recent Bible Study and read the scripture from Philippians to the women at the table. Then, she led her friends in prayer. That was followed by an opportunity for each woman to share a reason to praise God.

By the time Claire served lunch, there was a smile on each face and hope in each heart.

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Just the Three of Us

Matthew 18:20- “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

My friend, Coco, and I were disappointed that the other two ladies in our home Bible study were unable to attend our weekly meeting. However, we decided to go to our neighborhood park just to visit and pray.

Coco asked my counsel about raising her son as a single mother and we prayed together for several minutes. Coco’s prayer was heartfelt and I as I looked up after the final “amen” I  expected to see tears in her eyes. However, I found my friend’s face to be radiant.

“God has been here with us,” she said. “I felt his presence as we talked and prayed.”

As I walked home, I thought about the wonderful time of fellowship that we’d had that day—just the three of us.

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Pray Away the Darkness

1 John 1:9- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

I met with a group of other writers at a church coffee shop this past week. And as we sat discussing our current work, we were jarred by the sound of the door opening and banging against the wall.

A young woman stumbled in, wailing one of the most awful sounds I have ever heard, and threw herself onto the concrete floor about six feet from our table. Her shirt wet with tears, she lay prostrate on the floor and yelled, “No one can help me.”

Our small group went over and began to pray. The woman continued to cry out that she’d done something so bad that she felt even God would not choose to help her.

The coffee shop manager called the pastor of the church, asking him to come and talk with the young woman. When he arrived and introduced himself, she willingly went with him to his office.

Praise God that this  woman—even though she thought herself unworthy of forgiveness—came the the “right place” where she would hear of God’s love and mercy.

When our meeting ended, the door to the pastor’s office still remained closed. We prayed again for this person to accept God’s forgiveness and begin a victorious life in Christ.

The verse I chose to highlight today is likely one that the pastor quoted to her. 

Pray for someone you may know who needs to hear they can experience forgiveness, too.

May the love of God shine into the dark places of their souls.

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Don’t Be Afraid

Matthew 10:26- “So do not be afraid (of them), for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known.”

Did you notice there was no blog post from me last week?

That’s because my computer died. It was sudden. I’m sure it felt no pain.

But I sure did.

In Matthew, Jesus is giving directions to his disciples as they are being sent out “into the world.” But, as I prayed for my computer’s memory to be restored, the last part of the verse kept coming to mind. So I prayed that all of my data would be disclosed and made known.

After a week of repeated disappointments from those I went to for repair help and data recovery—along with much prayer, God directed me to just the right young man to tackle the problem.

As of last night, my computer is up and running.

Knowing that all perfect gifts/blessings come from the Father above, my praise is to Him for restoring my computer to good health and for providing skill and wisdom to the troubleshooter who helped me here on earth.

If I ever doubted that God cared about the little trials in our lives, I will never do so again! 

God’s love is eternal and all-encompassing.

No matter the circumstance, we need not be afraid.

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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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Can the Coronavirus Be a Blessing?

 

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Colossians 4:3- “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.”

 

Can the coronavirus be a blessing?

Stop and think about it. Is this such an outrageous idea?

It came from two sources, just yesterday.

First, my grandson had hernia surgery. Then, a dear friend had surgery for a broken elbow.

Due to the coronavirus, only one family member (or none, in some cases) is allowed in the hospital waiting room when another family member is having surgery. This makes for a lonely, stressful experience for everyone involved.

My daughter sat in the waiting room nearby a woman whose infant daughter was also in surgery. The child, unfortunately, didn’t make it. But, what a wonderful opportunity for my daughter to offer genuine caring and support…to pray…to talk about the Lord.

My friend with the broken elbow was able to talk to several people, patients and hospital personnel alike, during her three-day hospital stay. She provided Christian tracts from the always well-stocked supply in her purse. These people were eager for the support and caring of a fellow patient. 

Even in these times of chaos and uncertainty, God opens many doors for the gospel to be shared with others. All we need to do is proclaim it to a world that is open to receiving The Word as never before.

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Are There Weeds in Your Garden?

 

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Isaiah 41:10- “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

 

 

 

I always admire my beautiful Lantana plant at the corner of my yard when I pull out of the driveway.

However, this morning I noticed a huge weed growing out of the middle of it. When had that happened?

I had to dig it out before it took over the entire plant.

What about you?

Are there any weeds growing in your garden?

Weeds like discontent, deception, depression? Bad habits? Unforgiveness?

I am sure you have heard stories of people who have let disappointments or crises of various kinds ruin their lives. 

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

God’s desire is that we would rely on Him for healing… for comfort… for restoration. 

He is a loving Heavenly Father who doesn’t want to see the weeds in our lives grow huge and choke out our happiness and productivity. 

Our world is going through some challenging times right now. But, instead of letting the circumstances we face overcome us, He wants us to go to Him in prayer.

To lay our troubles at His feet and trust Him to see us through.

 

 

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Twenty Seconds Well Spent

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Psalm 55:17- “Evening and morning and at noon will I pray to the Lord, and cry aloud and he will hear my voice”

 

I am learning a lot as I spend an increased amount of “alone time” here at home.

The first thing I learned is that I’m not alone. I feel a deep and abiding joy as the Holy Spirit ministers to me.

The biggest thing I am learning is the importance of prayer in the life of believers. He is teaching me not just how to pray, but actually to pray more often and in every circumstance—for family, friends, and the people of the world.

Here’s an idea I’d like to pass along: as you spend your twenty seconds of hand washing time over the course of the day, send up a prayer and praise to the Heavenly Throne each and every time.

That’s it.

Nothing earth-shaking.

Or is it?

I can tell you, it’s rocking my world!

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One Out of Ten

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Luke 17: 16-18: “He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”

 

Christians all over the world have been praying for an end to the fires in Australia—asking God to send rain.

Last week, He did just that.

He sent rain AND hail.

How many of us pour out our hearts to God, only to “forget” to offer thanks when our prayers are answered?

A friend is healed from an illness.

A wayward child returns home.

Funds are provided to pay for unexpected bills.

In Luke, ten lepers are healed, but only one returns to thank Jesus.

Although there are scriptures reminding us to pray to The Lord to supply our needs (He wants to give His children good things), we are also told that giving thanks is the appropriate response.

 

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Welcome to the Household

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Ephesians 2:18,19- “For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.

 

 

One of the most exciting and talked about movies of the 1970’s was The Godfather. Mr. Corleone was an important man. A lot of people were indebted to him.

It was difficult to get in to see The Godfather. His house was gated. He had bodyguards and lots of men to keep him and his family safe.

If you or I wanted to see The Godfather today, we couldn’t get inside—we couldn’t even talk to him on the phone. 

But, God isn’t like that. He wants us to not only visit him, He wants a relationship with us in which we are automatically granted access to Him. He grants believers citizenship in heaven.

We don’t have to wait in line.

We won’t be turned away.

We can enter into His presence at HIS INVITATION.

That means He’s available 24/7 through prayer while we are on this earth. And, our eternal home is ready for us when we pass from this life to the next…

Because, as verse 19 says, we are members of his household!

 

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