spiritualsnippets.com

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

It’s Not About the Bunny

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Isaiah 53: 3-6~ “He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet, it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And, we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But, he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.”

 

I heard a story this week of a man who was recently exonerated of three murders after spending 27 years on death row.

On a talk show, he said there was nothing more horrible about the whole ordeal than hearing the word, “guilty” when he knew he hadn’t committed those crimes.

Jesus heard those words and He, too, was innocent. He was also called names, treated cruelly, and even put to death for the sins of mankind.

Following His resurrection, he was called pure and blameless by Almighty God; then exalted to sit at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.

As a Christian society, we have set aside Easter as a time to remember what Jesus did for us.

Let’s not make today about “The Bunny” or the eggs…not about a fancy ham dinner or sack races in the park.

Just as at Christmas we celebrate His birth, today let’s celebrate His death and resurrection.

Once again, let’s remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

 

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Need Help Doing What is Right?

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Romans 7:15-  “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

 

Have you ever felt like Paul in this verse from Romans?

Does it seem the more you try not to do something you know is wrong, the more you find yourself doing it?

It could be lying.

Perhaps speaking your spouse with sharp words.

Maybe it’s being critical of someone else’s actions.

Or watching something inappropriate.

You try not to do it. You really make an effort. You pray to God for help.

We all have similar stories, don’t we?

So, what gives?

The Apostle Paul wrote the words in Romans 7:15. Even though he was a mature christian, but he admitted to doing the very things he didn’t want to do!

Perhaps one of the marks of a mature Christian is the awareness of this struggle with evil in our lives.

So, like Paul, we find ourselves saying, “What is wrong with me? How come? The very good that I want to do, I do not do. That which I don’t want to do, is precisely what I do?”

If we read on to the end of Chapter 7, a verse pops out at us: “Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ our Lord.” And, if we proceed into Chapter 8, Paul talks about the power of the Holy Spirit to give us strength to conquer our sins…our destructive behaviors that hurt us, those we love, and strain our relationships.

One of the reasons He gave us the Holy Spirit was to help us do what is right.

If we are forgiven through the death of Christ on the cross, why do we still live with the truth from chapter seven?

The truth is, we are both saint and sinner. And, as long as we live here on earth, we will experience this struggle.

So, take hold of the power of the Holy Spirit to help you conquer your weaknesses as they show up in your daily life.

Then, thank God for victory over the very things that keep you from a deep and satisfying relationship with Him and those you love.

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Do You Know the Good You Ought to Do?

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James 4:17– “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

 

 

SIN.

Boiled down into simplest terms it is doing something wrong.

But what about those times when the Holy Spirit speaks to us, prompting us to do something good for someone—but we don’t do it.

That is SIN, too.

We might shrug it off and say, “I’ll do it, later.”

Or, “How do I know that’s really The Holy Spirit speaking?”

Or, we rationalize why doing the “good thing” may not really be a good thing at all. (If I give money to that beggar, he might squander it! )

So, let’s get this straight. We know the right thing to do. We just don’t respond.

The Bible says it is SIN.

Am I sure about that?

I read it a second time.

That verse from James convicts me right where it hurts.

The good I should do

—could involve the spending of my time…my energy…my money…

—could mean a change of plans…a change of perspective…a change of heart…

Doing the good I know I should do requires responding to His prodding all day long…and it just may involve opportunities to minister to others in ways we might never imagine.

It just might lead to an opportunity to share the gospel.

It means seeing others needs through HIS eyes…the very eyes that one day saw me 

and sent Someone to meet my need.

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The Cross of Christ

I Corinthians 1:18- “The message of the cross is the Power of God.”   6298781578_b3e7278622

I wear a cross necklace. I rarely take it off. It is a daily reminder to me that Jesus died for my sins.

It is not an amulet. It does not protect me against evil, danger, or disease. It is a symbol of God’s great love for me.

I see crosses on walls in churches and homes. I see them on car windows and tattooed on arms. I see them on rings, bracelets, earrings.

Some are made out of stained glass, some are cast in silver, some made out of barn wood, some even tooled onto leather headbands and wristbands.

I would like to think that the cross is more than a fashion icon, room decor, or body art.

I would like to.

I would also like to think that everyone knows the real meaning of Easter.

I would like to think that everyone has heard the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

I would like to.

But, just in case…

The story is a simple one, really.

A story about how God—because of His great love—left Heaven to be born of a virgin and live among men. How, according to His plan and purpose, He allowed men to take his life.

He became the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. He gave himself—shed His perfect blood—to make it possible for us to live with Him in heaven for all eternity.

It had to be this way. Because there was no other way.

Because perfect love didn’t say, “I won’t.”

Because perfect love said, “I will.”

The cross?

Its message is the Power of God unto salvation for all who will believe.

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