spiritualsnippets.com

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

A Benediction for You

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Numbers 6:24-26  “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His face upon you, and give you peace.”

 

The pastor in the church I attended as a child always ended the Sunday service by proclaiming a benediction.

It was my favorite part of the worship hour. I would close my eyes and let the scripture wash over my soul. I felt so close to God!

There are many benedictions in the Bible. I’ve included two, here, that are especially meaningful to me.

If you have had a hard week…if you are facing difficulties…if you need encouragement, meditate on these words and let the peace of God flood into every corner of your life, bringing you the full knowledge of His love and grace.

Ephesians 3:20,21– “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

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365 Days A Year

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Psalm 22:27-“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, And all the families of the nations Shall worship before You.”

 

J.J. holds his mother’s hand as she leads him out of the candle lit sanctuary. “I liked the baby Jesus, and the angels. The sheep were funny,” he said excitedly. “Can we come again next week?”

“This is Christmas, honey. It’s special for this holiday. We can come, again, next year, if you’d like.”

Across town, Sarah and her family take the ornaments off the tree, pack them away and place them back into the attic. “The tree was so pretty. When can we decorate again?”

“Next Christmas.”

Yes, Christmas is over. Everything goes back in its box…put away until

Next year.

And, along with the songs, the lights, and the ornaments, much too often, is the Lord Jesus.

Placed back in the manger.

Back on the shelf in the attic.

Until next year.

Unfortunately, there are many are willing to worship the babe in the manger at Christmas, but don’t recognize that it was He who grew up to the be Savior of the world…their Savior.

Are you someone who finds it’s acceptable to worship the occupant of the manger, but that’s where it ends with you? Is it somehow frightening to worship the Savior of The Cross?

To do this would mean that you somehow bear some responsibility to give Him his rightful place in your life all year long, wouldn’t it?  It would require a commitment…a change of course.

No longer would Christmas be just a ritual or an event.

It would become a life of worship and service in which your heart would be turned toward Him every day.

A heart living out the promise of Christmas 365 days a year.

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In the Splendor of His Holiness

Psalm 29:2- “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor  of his holiness.”

28957802972_097e78a424I watched the Olympics in Rio with awe as talented athletes from around the world came center stage to compete for Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals in 300 events held in the space of 16 days.

I was astounded by their dedication, determination, and perseverance.

I was uplifted as many of the athletes turned their eyes upward and pointed toward heaven, giving God the glory for their superior, medal-winning performances, including Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man.

Terrell Diagneu, Maya Moore, Reid Priddy, Paige McPherson, Ryan Hall, Lolo Jones, Hunter Kemper, Wayde Von Niekerk, Missy Franklin also expressed their thanks to God.

Gabby Douglas, 16, the first African American woman in Olympic history to win the all-around gymnastics competition said, “…I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to Him and the blessings fall down on me.”

Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor, 26, made giving glory to God the reason for what he does and said that’s what keeps him grounded and motivated. He is now the world’s first triple jumper in 40 years to repeat his win as well as the first American athlete to win back-to-back golds for the event since 1904.

David Boudia and Steele Johnson won silver medals in synchronized diving. They give every ounce of glory to God, saying their true identity lies in Him.

These young men and women athletes acknowledge that it is God who gives them the skills and talents necessary to accomplish their Olympic dreams.

King David–wealthy, powerful, handsome–yet he knew who was responsible for his blessings and he gave praise and glory to God. He reminds us that whoever we are, it is to God’s glory that we are able to do what we do in life.

Singers, actors, athletes, writers, parents, teachers, lawyers, store clerks, cab drivers—whoever you are, wherever you live—it is by the grace of God that we all do what we do.

 

We may never break a world record or be openly-admired for our skills or talent, but as we finish each daily “event” may we also remember to

give God the glory and

worship Him in the splendor of His holiness.

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God Working Through You

Psalm 128:6a – May you live to see your children’s children—

I attended a Christian conference this week and was blessed by every speaker. I basked in a lush oasis of truth and love from God during that time. It is no secret that one way Christians hear from God is through other Christians.

One of the speakers talked about the time a friend sent him the words to a song. It was the perfect one for him to hear that day. He played it over and over again, letting it minister to his parched soul until he was refreshed and overflowing with joy.

Yesterday, I talked with a friend who shared a struggle their family is currently going through regarding visitation of her baby granddaughter. My heart broke, hearing that the baby’s father and grandparents had not seen this precious one for more than three months!

How can my friend possibly be smiling—finding peace—amid struggles like that? How can she sleep at night when her days are filled with law enforcement and legal issues?

After three months of prayer, God spoke to her through His written Word. She read His promise from Psalm 128 (above). Her heart leapt for joy with the assurance that she would see her granddaughter!

Moments after reading this verse, she received a telephone call from a relative, directing her to look at a specific Facebook page. Imagine her unspeakable joy when she saw the beautiful face of her granddaughter smiling back. The child’s mother had posted the picture and God used it to fulfill His words to her grandmother, my friend.

Her granddaughter is safe and healthy. God had not only heard her prayer, but blessed the reading of His Word by supplying tangible evidence of His love.

God can use our words of encouragement, our prayers, His Word, His people—in any way and any form—to bring hope, healing, and peace to those around us.

Pray for someone today, share a scripture, remind them that we worship a God who cares.

The encouragement they need, today, just may come from God, working through you.

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Spread the Joy!

Matthew 6:31– “Do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?”

A few years ago, we vacationed in Hawaii. We enjoyed the slower pace, the relaxed atmosphere. We also enjoyed the island music.

One popular song which played over and over the week we were there was “Don’t Worry; Be Happy.”  We couldn’t help but sing it throughout the day. It was a catchy tune with a positive message.

God’s Word reminds us that worrying about anything is useless and counter-productive. Instead, God says that real happiness is found, not in wishful thinking, but in obedience to His Word.

Our focus needs to be on others—not on ourselves. We will find that when we take steps to help a neighbor, donate our time at a local food bank, or visit a shut-in, we will forget about ourselves, leaving our worries up to our Lord. As acts of service and worship, when we act as the hands and feet of Jesus, we will find His provision for our own needs to be more than enough.

We will find that we are never depleted, but that He is continually refilling our reserves of energy and compassion toward those whom Jesus has called on us to serve. When we follow His example, we find that our joy (yes, not superficial happiness, but deep spiritual joy) overflows!

Don’t worry! Spread the joy!

Brenda

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