spiritualsnippets.com

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

True Adoration

Luke 2:20- The shepherds “returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.”

*Part 2, from last week’s “Behold!”

Come, let us adore our Christ.

What is meant by the term adore?

Worshipping Him (and the truth of who He is) and rejoicing in Him with great joy.

Exceeding great joy is at the heart of true adoration.

LOVE, HONOR, ESTEEM, WORSHIP, ADMIRE, GLORIFY, PRAISE, REVERE, RESPECT DEEPLY.

With Genuine Faith in Who Jesus Really Is: 

The Child born king of the Jews.

God’s Son, our Savior, who reigns on His throne at the right hand of The Father.

Let’s adore Him with every thought we have, every goal we set, each decision we make, the words we speak and the actions we take.

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BEHOLD!

Ephesians 1:18-  “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.”

It’s that time of year when we think of the Christmas Story. 

“BEHOLD” the angels sing.

It means more than just “look at, or observe.”

A deeper meaning is “to look intently at…”

Letting the eyes of our hearts be enlightened and focused on Jesus—who He IS and what He has DONE for us.

Scripture tells us we were made to BEHOLD Him.

The more we come to know Him through scripture, prayer and worship, the more we can truly do that.

As we decorate our tree, BEHOLD HIM.

As we wrap our gifts, BEHOLD HIM.

As we light our candles, BEHOLD HIM.

As we sing our carols, BEHOLD HIM.

As we eat our Christmas dinner, BEHOLD HIM.

As we read the Christmas story, BEHOLD HIM.

As we wash the dishes, box up the decorations for another year of storage, as we dispose of the tree and pack away the box of Christmas C.D.’s… Each and every day all year long,

LET US BEHOLD HIM!

As our King, our Creator, our Savior, our Provider and

OUR GOD.

I

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The Gift God Sent

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John 3:16- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A friend recently gave me this, author unknown. You may have seen, or heard, it before. I hope it blesses you, yet again…

                                                           GOD SENT US A SAVIOR

                                           If our greatest need had been information,

God would have sent us an educator.

If our greatest need had been technology,

God would have sent us a scientist.

If our greatest need would have been been money,

God would have sent us an economist.

If our greatest need had been pleasure,

God would have sent us an entertainer.

But, our greatest need was forgiveness,

So God sent us a Savior.

Merry Christmas to you and thanks be to God who meets our greatest need.

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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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EXPUNGED

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Romans 6:6-  “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with…”

 

I recently received the good news that a person we’d been praying for for many years has accepted Jesus as his Savior—in a prison cell. 

I praise God for his new life in Christ—a life filled with new friends, interests, purpose.

Sam Adeyemi, Nigerian pastor and motivational speaker, has said,“Real and sustainable change in a person’s life begins with a change in their sense of identity.”    

There will be many changes ahead for our friend, but one of the greatest will be the realization that he is a child of God. That he is loved and forgiven.

The man he was before no longer exists. He is no longer defined by his mistakes… the laws he has broken… the people he has disappointed.

Those things are now a part of the past—a past that has been wiped clean by the blood of Jesus.

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Comfort–Even in the Shadows

 

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Psalm 23:4 – “ Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…”

 

My local church sends out a daily email. In it, members receive prayer needs within the “body,” praises, and other pertinent information.

At times, I am astounded as to the number of people who are ill, recuperating from surgeries, or have concerns for family members.

Sometimes the news is heart-wrenching—the passing of someone dear to all of us.

Are you walking thru the valley of the shadow of death?

Even though the support of friends and family is encouraging—and we are told in scripture that we need to uphold our brothers and sisters in prayer—isn’t it incredible to know that our Creator, Healer, and Savior is there for us when the shadow of death crosses our path or the path of someone we love?

God is there, walking the road with us. He knows the depths of pain and sorrow we are going through. He wants us to cling to Him, as He is ready, able, and willing to bring us peace, even in the face of otherwise overwhelming circumstances.

King David, who wrote Psalm 23, paints a beautiful word picture of what Christians can experience when we lean on the God of all comfort.

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No Tree This Year

Galatians 4:4- “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”

 

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For several reasons, we decided not to put up a Christmas Tree this year.

Instead, the focal point in our living room is a lovely pottery Nativity which was painted by my sister-in-law more than three decades ago. We have displayed it for many, many Christmases.

The cow no longer has one of his horns. The saddle on one of the camels, one ear of the donkey, and the face of the shepherd boy have been chipped over the years.

The nativity may not look quite as beautiful as it once did, but I am enjoying it more than ever before.

I guess it was only natural to spend so much time and effort on our trees in the past. After all, it takes hours to place the lights and ornaments on it just so. Then there’s arrangement of the tree skirt and the placement of the packages underneath…

But, as I said, this year our focus is on the Nativity: Mary, Joseph, the babe in the manger, the Wise Men and the Shepherds, the livestock, and the Angel which appears to be hovering overhead.

God planned the redemption of humankind and, at just the right time, he sent his son, Jesus, into the world. God in the flesh, born in a stable and lying in a manger.

The story gets more beautiful with time. Nothing chipped, cracked, or missing.

The birth of our Lord in the fulness of time.

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What If Jesus Were Born Today?

 

6439494977_17f82094aeLuke 2:10-14~ “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

 

A brilliant star guided the Wise Men and Shepherds to the actual place where baby Jesus rested. Angels filled the night sky, their songs of praise directed to God.

Without the technology we have in the world today, news of the miraculous birth was a good deal slower than what we are used to.

So, what might it be like if Jesus were born today?

First of all, he would probably be born in a hospital, with Mary being released to go home the following day. Soft blankets, a mobile over the crib, and an economy box of disposable diapers would be necessities.

Mary would sit in a rocking chair next to the changing table and rock Jesus to sleep while Joseph stands in the doorway contemplating just how much their lives had changed in the last twenty-four hours. He’d wonder just how he was going to maintain their privacy when the news got out about the birth of God’s son.

Later, hearing a noise outside, Joseph would flinch when he looked out the window to see a crowd already gathering. The offers for the first photo would start pouring in, somewhere around six digits. Maybe more.

Mary would ask for some supplies from the grocery store, and Joseph would come up with an ingenious plan to escape the horde of reporters, retrieve the needed items, and sneak back into their apartment undetected.

The weeks and years to follow would be spent dodging the paparazzi.

Yes, the news would travel fast via texts, tweets, instagrams, Facebook stories, reports on the Evening News—even U-Tube Videos on his first birthday.

We can use our imaginations to suppose what his life might be like from that point on. Speaking engagements…guest appearances on late night television…maybe even a miniseries…

But, the point is this. Would we have believed that the son of God had been born on earth—that he had come to save people from their sins—any more than the Jewish aristocracy of their day believed it? After all, the Messiah they were looking for was a warrior—a conquerer—not a lowly peasant boy. So, would we believe that an ordinary-looking boy from a lower-middle class family could possibly be God’s son or would we attempt to explain it away as another instance of “Fake News?”

What would it take for us to believe? The recorded words that would turn out to be the best-selling book of all time? A documentary, perhaps?

Maybe footage from a surveillance camera showing Jesus talking to God? Or a Dateline exclusive interview in which Jesus describes what his life was like in Heaven and why he was willing to become human and die on a cross so that we might be reconciled to God?

Would his picture be displayed in our churches? Would he be invited to preach sermons there?

It’s interesting to speculate, isn’t it?

I am sure of only one thing: if he were to be born today, the result would be the same. There would be those who would reject Him; those who would embrace Him.

The truth, however, would still be the truth: He came to do the work The Father sent him to do.

He’d still be the Messiah…Immanuel, God with us.

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There’s Got to be a Word…

I John 4:9- “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

 

When I was a young girl growing up, Saturday mornings at our house were designated for cleaning. My favorite chore was dusting. I was able to close my bedroom door and put my favorite 45’s on the record player while tidying up.

One of my favorite songs was “There’s Got To Be A Word” (that means more than “love”). This was a romantic tune that tugged at the heart of every teenage girl in the 60’s. But, as I reminisce of days gone by, I wonder if there might really be a word that does mean more than love, or deepens its meaning, shows love in action

Babe in a Manger  (oops, more than one)

Cross

Immanuel

Nails

Messiah

Resurrection

Savior

Forgiveness

Adoption as Sons (sometimes just one word won’t do)

Mercy

Grace

Jesus

 

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Prepare Your Heart to Seek God

2 Chronicles 19:30– “Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God.”

Gifts wrapped. Check.

Cookies baked. Check.

Christmas letter written. Check.

Tree trimmed. Check.

Preparations.

All year long we prepare for

Birthday parties.

Meals.

Exams.

Food drives.

Company.

The Bible tells us how the Israelites prepared for their journey into the Promised Land, Noah prepared for the flood by building the Ark, Solomon prepared to build the temple, the people prepared for the passover, and Mary for the birth of Jesus.

The Bible also tells us that we must prepare our hearts to seek God.

Not just at Christmas.

But every day.

Like David. Like King Jehoshaphat.

What does that look like, in real life, in the twenty-first century?

Perhaps it looks no different than it did back then: coming before the Lord in quiet contemplation, emptying our thoughts of the hustle and bustle of preparations and coming quietly before Him…

with praise on our lips

with thanksgiving in our hearts

with souls ready to be filled.

Expectantly.

Jubilantly.

 

With a desire to know Him.

 

The babe in a manger.

The Savior on a cross.

The Lord of All.

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