spiritualsnippets.com

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

GRATEFUL HEARTS GIVE PRAISE

 

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Hebrews 13:15- Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”

 

Recent accounts of terrorist attacks tell of people who stepped into the line of fire to save loved ones.

Parents often sacrifice things they want in order to clothe and feed their families.

In the Old Testament, people sacrificed animals to cover their sins.

Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on an altar on Mt. Moriah.

God sacrificed his son as atonement for our sins.

Sacrifice: “An act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.”

Many give of their time and resources to further the gospel.

Some believers may even lose their lives in defense of it.

For most of us, this won’t happen, of course.

But, we can offer a “sacrifice of praise” from truly grateful hearts.—ones that openly profess his name.

 

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Will He Call Your Name?

Revelation 21:27- Nothing impure will ever enter it (heaven) , nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The National Football League held their yearly drafting of eligible football players last Thursday night. It is the NFL’s most common source of player recruitment. Each team is given a position in the drafting order and can use it to select a player, trade their position, or in several other options.

Currently consisting of seven rounds, the first player chosen is most likely given the highest paying contract, reflecting the fact that he is the most sought after player and deemed the one with the most potential.

Just imagine what it must have been like for these young men to learn that they were in the draft and for them to sit, waiting on Thursday night, to hear their names called—to be chosen for the coming season by a prestigious NFL team.

Some of you may be able to identify with their emotions because you, too, may have waited—or may be currently waiting—to hear if you have been selected as the chairperson of a committee, if your painting received the blue ribbon, if your book or song will get major recognition, if your recipe is voted as the most delicious, and so on.

I recall a song they used to sing quite often in church when I was a child. It was called “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder (I’ll Be There)” This, of course, refers to the fact that Jesus will open the Book of Life in heaven and present the names written there to God. As Christians, I’m sure that none of us can imagine a list we would rather be on!

So, how does one get their name written in this Book of Life? Pay a fee? Perform an unusual feat? Help society in some way? Follow on the coat tails of ancestors?

What if I told you there is NOTHING you can do? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Why?

Someone already did it for you. All you need to do is acknowledge the gift and follow the giver. It is so simple; yet, millions will miss it.

You see, prior to Jesus dying on the cross, God had a system of laws in place. Those who broke the law were to use a sacrificial system, requiring the blood of animals to “cover” each individual’s sin. The problem was, they had to keep sacrificing because—you guess it—they kept sinning. Thus began a vicious sin-sacrifice cycle.

When God gave his son, Jesus, as the only perfect sacrifice for man’s sins, He did away with the prior sacrificial system once and for all because sins were not just covered—they were forgiven.

Jesus was able to end the sin-sacrifice cycle because His blood—and only his blood—wasn’t tainted by sin. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23-25 “ “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith by all who believe.

So, that is our part in the story of forgiveness. We must confess our sins and receive our new life in Christ by putting our faith in Him. We read in 1John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

So you see, our sin is a barrier to the relationship God wants to have with us—so much so that He was willing to sacrifice his own Son for us. On the third day, God raised him up in victory over sin and death. Our part is to put our faith in Jesus. When we do, we will not only have our sins forgiven and lead a life on earth that is in relationship with our Heavenly Father, but we will be assured of eternal life in heaven, as well!

When the Book of Life is opened, will He call your name?

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“A Life Yielded To A Greater Calling”

Romans 12:1- (From The Message) So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. 

This weekend, in Tempe Arizona, The 11th Annual Pat’s Run was attended and supported by thousands of people from the United States. The 4.2 Mile Run/Walk, sponsored by the Tillman Foundation, was established in 2004 after Pat Tillman was killed serving in the US Army in Afghanistan. The foundation now raises money for educational scholarships for military veterans and their families.

What has caught the attention of so many, is that Pat put his career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold to serve his country in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Dave McGinnis, former Arizona Cardinals head coach is quoted on the foundation’s website as saying about Pat’s sacrifice, “He proudly walked away from a career in football to a greater calling.”

As Christians, Jesus calls us to sacrifice our time, talents, skills, money—and yes, sometimes even our lives—for the sake of the gospel. In all reality, there may be another way you’d like to spend your money, rather than tithe it to your church or donate it to a charity. You may have a cruise planned, but God may prompt you to spend your two-week vacation building homes for the disadvantaged or volunteering at a local shelter. You may have been saving for a destination wedding or a family reunion, but the Holy Spirit may lead you to leave your personal dream behind and follow His call to a small village in Africa and adopt a homeless child.

Living sacrifices are those we make when we take our focus off of ourselves and what we want, placing our desires in the hands of Jesus who is able to use our gifts for His eternal purposes. We find that when we say yes to His call on our lives will will reap blessings beyond measure. As we act in obedience to His Word, we will grow in our relationship with Him. We will begin to see the world as He sees it. We will begin to live a life that is beyond ourselves—a life that truly can reach around the world and touch lives we would never have dreamed possible.

A life yielded to a greater calling.

Brenda

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