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Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunday Snippets: Praise, don't Pout!

Psalm 126:3 "The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad."

I don't know about you, but I know of some Christians who are very prone to look on the dark side of life. If you were to ask them to describe how their life living for Christ has been, they will dwell almost exclusively on the difficulties, the trials, the temptations, and their own failings. Does this sound like a healthy Christian to you? God has brought us up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay! He's set our feet upon a rock, and established our goings! (To quote the Psalmist). He has put a new song in our mouths, and made us new creatures! The Lord has done great and mighty things for us; I personally would rather dwell on that! YES, trials come...but He is there to hold our hand through it. (Hebrews 4:15-16) YES, temptations arise, but God always provides a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it, (1 Corinthians 10:13). YES, we will sin and fail Him, but we have an all-sufficient Saviour, Who is our advocate before The Father. (1 John 2:1) While I believe it would be wrong to deny that these things have happened, shouldn't we as children of The King, having been rescued from the flames of hell, be so much more focused on the good things He's done for us? I for one would like to start praising Him more for the amazing things He has provided me with, instead of lamenting all the "valleys" I've been through. :) Have a wonderful week in praise to The Lord!
P.S. Yes, this one turned out to be a Monday Snippet. ;) I was without internet on Saturday and Sunday, so just postponed my post. :)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Sunday Snippets: When God Uses Mud

John 9:11 "He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

Several months ago I was a few hours away from seeing some friends who I am very close to, who I've grown up knowing, and who are utterly and completely deceived in their belief system. As I poured out my heart to God, asking Him to prepare me to see these people and try to be a light to them, something hit me. I thought of this passage, where Jesus heals a blind man...Have you ever noticed that he uses something most of us don't really like? I don't know about you, but when I think of mud off the street, I don't have pleasant pictures in my head. The words "nasty" "unclean" and "worthless" come to mind. Why in the WORLD would Jesus use this disgusting stuff to open the eyes of a blind man?? I mean, He could have just as easily said the word, or even just thought it, and the man would have been healed! You know what I think? I think Jesus did that to show us something precious about Himself and His love. What others look at as disgusting, worthless, and filthy, Jesus can use to display His infinite power and compassion! Remember the verse that speaks of "beauty from ashes"? God can use things for His glory that many wouldn't even want to look at. Are there days when you feel worthless, unclean, or unable to be used of God? Think of this verse when those times come: if we are surrendered to God's Will and striving with all our hearts to walk according to His Word, God CAN use you! Your past sins are just that--past! They are under the Blood! You could be the clay that God chooses to utilize in opening the eyes of someone in your life who is blinded. If God can use humble mud, then surely He can use you and I! :) May we all be ready and willing to be used of Him this week, and for the rest of our lives!
P.S. I am in the process of writing a song about this thought...lyrics will be posted whenever I happen to finish. ;)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Charles Spurgeon on The Mercy of God

I don't know how much any of you know about Charles Spurgeon. Suffice to say that he was a man that did great and mighty things for God, and I truly look up to him. Of course no man is perfect in doctrines, beliefs, or actions, but this man loved his Saviour with a fervency and earnestness that I believe few have today. Mr. Spurgeon wrote a little book called "Morning and Evening Daily Readings"; they are just short little devotionals meant to be read each day. The book is around a dollar for Kindle...if you can get it, I would highly recommend it! :) Anyway, I just wanted to post one of my favorite entries from this book, entitled "The Mercy of God". I hope you enjoy!

The Mercy of God
Meditate a little on this mercy of The Lord. It is tender mercy. With gentle, loving touch, He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He is as gracious in the manner of mercy as in the matter of it. It is great mercy. There is nothing little in God; it is like Himself, it is infinite. You cannot measure it. His mercy is so great that it forgives great sins to great sinners, after great lengths of time, and then gives great favours and great privileges, and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great heaven of the great God. It is undeserved mercy, as indeed all true mercy must be, for deserved mercy is only a misnomer [another name] for justice. There was no right on the sinner's part to the kind consideration of the Most High; had the rebel been doomed at once to eternal fire he would have richly merited the doom, and if delivered from wrath, sovereign love alone has found a cause, for there was none in the sinner himself. It is rich mercy. Some things are great, but have little efficacy in them, but this mercy is a cordial to your drooping spirits; a golden ointment to your bleeding wounds; a heavenly bandage to your broken bones; a royal chariot for your weary feet; a bosom of love for your trembling heart. [.....] It is abounding mercy. Millions have received it, yet far from its being exhausted, it is as fresh, as full and as free as ever. It is unfailing mercy. It will never leave thee. If mercy be thy friend, mercy will be with thee in trouble to prevent thee from sinking; with thee living to be the light and life of thy countenance; and with thee dying to be the joy of thy soul when earthly comfort is ebbing fast.

This passage is so beautiful to me, despite some slightly hard to understand words (thanks, Webster, you are amazing! ;). God's mercy reminds me of the night sky: It is so perfectly beautiful, and so vastly, infinitely amazing...and this is only a mere creation of His hands! We are talking about a character trait of The Most High God! There is nothing we could humanly compare it to that would accurately describe it. I want to include one last thing: the lyrics to the chorus of a song that I really love. It is sung by the Steve Pettit evangelistic team, (if you are looking for some Godly music, look them up!). It's called "Mercy Awaits". 

"I trust in Your love everlasting;
I cling to Your unfailing grace!
In seasons of sorrow and blessing,
I give you my pain and my praise!
Your undying mercy awaits."

I hope you all have a good week! God bless,

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sunday Snippets: Could They Condemn Me?

John 5:36 "But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me."

In this verse, Jesus is speaking to a pack of jealous, self-righteous countrymen who wanted to trip him up in his actions, and ultimately kill him! He sets an example throughout the New Testament of dealing with situations like this with incredible wisdom and discretion. What He says here caught my eye...He basically says that there is no way they can accuse Him of wrong, because His works are a witness to His perfect life! Now, we all know that perfect holiness is not attainable for us in this life; however, that is what we are to strive towards on a daily basis. Does my life disprove any accusations of wrongdoing? Do I live so purely that when others are around me, they can tell that my life belongs to The Lord? Sobering thought! Let's think about something even more sobering on the flip side: Pretend for a moment that we live in a country where being a Christian is illegal. One day, a mob breaks down your door and brings you to trial. Would there be enough evidence to convict you of being a follower of Christ? Would there be ANYONE that could come to the judge and say, "She's definitely a Christian...I can tell just from how she lives her life!" Wow! I have to say, that is a convicting thought, at least for me. This week, I want to live a life that boldly declares my allegiance. A life where others can see immediately that I am His, and He is mine! Will you join me?


P.S. Just for the record books, I am NOT advocating the popular philosophy running around today, "lifestyle evangelism". The Bible says that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by The Word of God...we are to be TELLING others about our faith, not simply 'living a good life' and hoping that one day they will magically decide to bring up spiritual things, at which point we might or might not witness to them. This is entirely unscriptural. So, yeah...just wanted to make that clear. ;)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Snippets: Psalm 15 Thoughts (Part 2)

Continuing on from last week's Sunday Snippet on Psalm 15 verses 1-2. I meant to get farther last week, so we'll see if this stays a two part, or if it may turn into a three part post. ;)

Verse 3 "He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour."

Backbiting is malicious or unkind talk about someone who is not around. In James, The Bible talks about the tongue being a world of iniquity that can set the course of nature on fire! I should never, EVER, as a child of God, be guilty of using my words in this way! It just astounds me sometimes how incredibly, ultimately powerful words are. There is The Word, which is living, perfect, and pure--the direct words breathed of God. Then there are men's words that can tear someone down to the point that there is no return to what used to be! We should be sooooo careful about how we use our tongues.

Doing evil or taking up a reproach against my neighbour (my neighbour being anyone that I know; Luke 10:29-37), falls kind of under the same category. Do we hold onto offences, or use them as excuses to do evil to others? Food for thought!

Verse 4 "In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not."

God hates sin. As His child, I should hate it just as much, and condemn those who take pleasure in it. On the flip side, those who are striving with their whole heart to honor and serve my Lord should be held high in my esteem! And part of serving God faithfully is this: when I make a promise or commitment, (Unless it is a promise of sin, of course), it is sacred in God's eyes. Even if keeping my promise will cause me discomfort or inconvenience, I need to be true to my word. Breaking promises is honestly just another form of lying, and is very wrong according to many different passages in God's Word. 

Verse 5 "He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved."

God commands good stewardship. Wise use and investment of the money God has blessed me with is highly emphasized in His Word. Money cannot be my main focus, however. I should never have my heart so fixed on it that it can tempt me to sin. And if someone offers me a bribe to get me to sin? It shouldn't even be a slight consideration! 

The Lord says that whoever follows these guidelines of action in their daily lives shall NEVER be moved. Never be swayed from that walk of close fellowship with God! To stay always close to Him and seeking His face! That is something worthy of our wholehearted effort!

Well, this one got to be a little larger than a "snippet", but oh well. :) Have a wonderful day worshipping our Lord!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Sun

So yesterday I was reading a book by an incredible authoress named E.D.E.N. Southworth. (The initials stand for Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte--I can see why she went for a short version. ;) Anyway, in one of her books, some young ladies were complaining that the sun had not been shining for several days, and how dull it seemed. Their sweet governess took the opportunity to teach them a lesson about The Lord and His love for us. I thought it was SO good! I'm going to quote it straight from the book, "Her Mother's Secret".

"The sun, dear girls, is always shining for us. The earth turns around from the sun, and it is night--turns toward him, and it is day. The earth wanders far away from the sun, and it is winter--comes toward him again, and it is summer. But the sun shines in the empyrean all the time, wherever the earth may be. Fogs and mists arise from the land and water, condense in clouds, and obscure his glorious face, but they come down in rain or snow, clearing the atmosphere, and we say the sun shines again, when, in truth, he has been shining all the time.

And as it is with the sun and earth, dear children, so it is with our Father in heaven and ourselves. We turn away from Him, and our souls grow dark; we turn to Him again, and we receive His light. We wander far from Him into selfishness and worldliness, and we suffer a spiritual coldness and blindness; we come back to Him, and we are warmed and enlightened by His love and His wisdom. Sometimes doubts and fears and hates--the opposites of faith and hope and love--arise from our lower nature and hide from us the face of our Father in heaven; but He has not changed. He is always ready to bless us when we turn again to Him--turn in truth and love, children, not in terror and self-seeking. So, dear ones, when clouds and storms darken the atmosphere, think of the sun that is shining above them; and when doubts and fears  and sorrows and temptations come, think of the love and wisdom and power of our Father in heaven, and turn to Him for light, strength, and guidance."

I don't know about you, but I found that whole passage profoundly beautiful. I hope you enjoyed it as I did!