spiritualsnippets.com

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

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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He Has Your Back

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                            I Peter 5:7– “Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you.”

 

Do you find yourself worrying about things?

Are there times you are fearful? Anxious?

Would it surprise you if I told you that worry and fear aren’t from God?

God really does want us to live a life in which we trust that He is in control and will take care of us.

I Peter 5:7 tells us that God has “got our back.”

He supplies our needs as we trust Him day-by-day. 

This week, I experienced an instance of this happening in my own life as my siblings and I faced a medical crisis with my father. 

In the moments following an accident, he brought us together to comfort and counsel with each other. We drew strength from God—and each other. And, behind the scenes was a network of prayer partners from my church and neighborhood.

How grateful I am for each one of these individuals who were supplied by God to be His hands and His feet here on earth as my father’s life was in crisis. 

Whether it is a financial, emotional, or spiritual need you have, remember God wants you to reach out for Him. 

Because He cares for you!

 

 

 

 

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No Password Necessary

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I was so frustrated last week.  

I had my bottled water on the desk, a comfortable pillow at my back, and good intentions of spending time writing Chapter 7 of my next book.

I sat down at the computer and typed in my password.

Multiple times.

What was going on? 

I’ve had the same password for years. I could type it in my sleep!!

I envisioned being on the phone with tech-support for hours… having to create a new password… 

About to try for one last time before the computer locked me out, I noticed that the Caps Lock key was lit. 

In one swift movement, I clicked it off.

I was in business!

Believers will never find themselves in that predicament when wanting to connect with God in prayer.

We have access to the Father 24/7 and we don’t need a password!

 

 

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Who’s Driving?

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Proverbs 3:5- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

 

Do you put God in the driver’s seat, but then act as a backseat driver?

This is a question someone asked on Christian radio a few weeks ago—and it is still in my thoughts—nagging at me, prodding me to answer the question for myself.

If you are like me, we play backseat driver more often than we’d like to admit. 

Sometimes it amounts to praying about something and, rather than waiting on God, we take things into our own hands.

Other times, it is coming up with what we think is a good idea and running with it, instead of even asking His direction in the first place. It may seem like a Godly thing to do—or even worthy because in our mind it is an act of service for God—so we forge ahead without prayerful consideration.

I’m sure you can come up with many examples of backseat driving.

The point is: God wants to lead us. But, before He can do that, we must share our needs and ask Him for direction.

Then, comes the hard part: Waiting for the answer and/or resisting the urge to do it our way.

Can you just hear Him say, “Who’s driving? You or Me?”

If we would only learn to let Him have the wheel, we could relax in the backseat—even enjoy the scenery as we look out the window. 

We can trust Him to get us where we’re going.

After all, He knows the road ahead.

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Lighten the Load

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James 5:16- “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

 

Ginger met Stacy at a monthly church gathering. They really hit it off. It seemed they had so much in common. But, Ginger was hesitant to pursue a friendship with her. After all, good friends would end up sharing things about their lives—and there was too much Ginger was unwilling to share. She was sure that Stacy wouldn’t want to be friends with her when she heard about the life Ginger led before becoming a Christian.

If you’ve ever felt like that, you’re not alone.

But, James tells us that when we have struggles or are facing difficulties, we need to ask our Christian friends to pray for us. It is then that we can benefit from their wise counsel, too.

Friends help remind us of specific scriptures and are committed to pray for us until the answer comes. 

When the burden seems almost too much to bear, we can lighten the load if we share our needs—including our weaknesses and wrong choices—with caring Christian friends.

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What Distracts You From God?

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Romans 8:5– “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

 

Last week a teenage driver texted a friend. He looked up from the phone too late to see a pedestrian in the crosswalk. That person died before the ambulance arrived.

An extreme case of distraction, it happened when the young man took his eyes off the road for just a “split second.”

It may not be our cell phones, but many other things in life distract each of us—take our attention from where it should be and put it somewhere more interesting, more fun …

What comes between us and God?

What distracts us from spending time in Bible reading, prayer, and attending church?

For some of us, it may be the computer or television. Others are distracted by reading, scrapbooking, shopping, gambling, sports or even just “hanging out” with friends. Still others give the excuse that they are just “too busy.”

Jesus warns us not to be distracted by things of this world—things that will some day be left behind … things having no eternal value. Instead, He says to keep our minds on “things above” and set our direction toward our eternal home “like a flint.”

Getting caught up in the things of this world—even when we’re doing “good”— keeps us from putting God first in our hearts and minds. When we fail to cultivate our relationship with Him, the path ahead begins to darken and we become unsure of our purpose … His will for our lives. 

If we set our minds on “what the Spirit desires,” we won’t get distracted by things of the flesh.

Instead, we’ll be keeping our hearts and minds on Christ Jesus, our “first love.”

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Finding Strength

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Proverbs 27:17- “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

 

The chef approached the buffet table with two knives in his hands. He smiled at those in line to get a slice of prime rib, then rubbed the knives back and forth against each other before he began to carve.

Because he had sharpened his knife ahead of time, each piece of meat he cut was perfect, just as he intended.

Sure, a blunt knife is still a knife, but not a very effective one. However, when two iron blades are rubbed together, the edges become sharper.

So it is with Christians.

In times of fellowship and prayer, we help each other to shine—to be more effective.

Like David and Jonathan, let’s do what God has called us to do. Let’s help each other find strength from God, remind each other of His goodness, and hold one another accountable. As a result, we will grow in our faith.

In Malachi 3:16, we read that when we fellowship together, the Lord bends an ear from heaven and is pleased. He’s listening to our conversations, watching our actions. 

Fellowship is more than just doing activities with other Christians. It’s encouraging each other in our Christian walk. When difficulties arise, we’ll be ready because we have been upholding each other along the way.

 

 

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A Little Lesson on LOVE

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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.

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What Will It Cost?

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Luke 14:28- ““Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”

 

Nothing is ever simple when my husband and I begin a new home renovation, but things go a lot smoother when we can keep “surprises” to a minimum.

That begins with a construction budget. If we leave something out of the original “to-do” list, it can cause sleepless nights later on.

“Counting the cost” in most basic terms is simply good planning. But, I’ve found this concept is applicable to other aspects of our lives, too.

The cost of a lie could be a lost friendship or job. Maybe it leads to contempt of court and jail time.

See the point?

The “cost” of certain actions may be loss of trust or imposed financial penalties. The cost of eating that extra brownie will be measured in pounds and inches.

I’m contemplating actions right now that need to be considered carefully. The affects are sure to be far reaching. The scripture above cautions me to take it slow, count the cost in terms of family dynamics and financial responsibilities, and take it to the Lord in prayer.

Have you a weighty decision to make? Have you counted the cost?

 

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Just A Little Talk

 

25045780746_e412de3f10Psalm 142: 2,3– “I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.”

King David, who wrote most of the Psalms, was bold—even sometimes confrontational—as he prayed. He didn’t hold back. He laid it all on the line. As a result, he experienced forgiveness and direction.

When I was a kid, I liked a popular spiritual song on the radio, called, “Just a Little Talk With Jesus.” The last four lines are:

I may have doubts and fears, my eyes be filled with tears,                                                        But Jesus is a friend who watches day day and night.                                                                     I go to him in prayer, he knows my every care,                                                                           And just a little talk with Jesus makes it right.

I often find myself talking to God while I am driving or doing mundane tasks like folding laundry. Talking it out, leaning on Him, sharing my concerns—these are all aspects of prayer.

Just like David, I find that just a little talk with Jesus makes it right.

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