Sunday Scriptures — God Can Use Our Little to Accomplish His Big

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Often we feel as if our little isn’t worth much, but in God’s hands he can use what we offer to accomplish his big plans.

Recently a fabric store near where I live went out of business. In the final days before the store closed the price of remnants; small pieces of material, ribbon, whatnots, were reduced to a fraction of their original cost.

Although I no longer sew as much as I used to, I still saw potential in each piece of leftover material, and fought the impulse to purchase yards of material I really do not need.

Two yards of material may not make a dress, but it could make a skirt. One yard of material may not make a blouse, but pieced together with other leftover material, it could make a quilt.

When we look at our talents, abilities, gifts, we may believe they are little more than remnants; not worth a whole lot. But when we offer our little to God, he can take what we give, and use it to accomplish the big plans he has.

On our own our ability may not save the world, but in God’s hands it can help our neighbor.

On our own our one yard of material may not cover the needs of all the homeless in our area, but combined with the one yard of material from others it can.

Instead of looking at our little, and believing it too small or insignificant to be of any use we need to look to the One into whose hands we place it, and see the big he can accomplish.

And praise him.

That’s what happened to the disciples when Jesus took five loaves of bread and two small fish, and fed over five thousand people, after all.

Do you see potential in remnants and turn them into projects?

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 But Jesus replied, You feed them!”

“Why, we have only five loaves of bread and two fish among the lot of us,” they protested; “or are you expecting us to go and buy enough for this whole mob?” For there were about 5,000 men there!

“Just tell them to sit down on the ground in groups of about fifty each,” Jesus replied. So they did.

Jesus took the five loaves and two fish and looked up into the sky and gave thanks; then he broke off pieces for his disciples to set before the crowd.And everyone ate and ate; still, twelve basketfuls of scraps were picked up afterwards! Luke 9:13-17 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Hidden In My Heart Book Review

hidden in my heartby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Hidden In My Heart Scripture Memory Bible from Tyndale Publishing is a wonderful Bible for anyone with a desire to hide the Word of God in their hearts. How I wish this great tool for memorizing scripture was available when my son was young.

Although the translation of this Bible is the New Living Translation, each of the select 100 Core Verses is in New Living Translation, New International Version, and King James Version, so the reader can pick which one, or all three, version to memorize. In addition to the 100 Core Verses, there are 136 additional Challenge Verses.

Each of the 100 Core verses comes with a song to help with memorization. The song index is divided into age groups from 5-12 and teen, and includes the scripture covered in the song, but that’s not all. The index is also broken into musical styles. A code is given with each Bible to download the songs.

At the beginning of every book of the Bible is information about who wrote the book, when it was written, how it was written to, why it is in the Bible, and what the book is about. When one of the Core Verses is mentioned, it is highlighted giving the three versions, a brief explanation of what the verse means in the Explore and Apply section, a prayer, and the song number that goes with the verse. There is also a dig deeper section that expands on the verse and follows with several questions to ask.

A Topical Memory Verse Finder is included for easy reference. A Great Passages section encourages the reader to learn passages of scripture in context. A section on Great Bible Stories offers tips on studying and sharing these selected stories with others.

Although this Bible is  marketed to youth, anyone with a desire to know God’s Word better through memorization will find it a very useful tool. And some of the catchy songs will aid in that process. I’ve included one of my favorites below.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

No Other Argument

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

In a world where worth is measured by busyness and product, it is refreshing to know that’s not how things work in God’s economy. We are saved by God’s gift of grace. Our salvation is not the result of our own efforts. Thank you, Jesus. Literally.

Because Jesus willingly took our sins on his perfect sinless self, our debt was paid on that hill long ago. We can rest in the assurance Christ’s payment is all that is required for our salvation.

We don’t need to argue or plead our case before God the Righteous Judge. Jesus’ payment was more than enough. True, our worth is not measured by our deeds, but because of the love and gratitude we have for our Savior, we desire to serve him. There’s a big difference between the two.

courtesy pixabayThere is no fear of wondering whether we hit the quota for the week. There are no Employee of the Month posters splashed around heaven. No charts compare our efforts with others.

Legalism was removed when Jesus rose from the grave, and established a new covenant between God and his people.

There is no other argument.

Jesus died for each of us. That is enough. He is the Way, Truth, and Life. No one can come to the Father except through surrendering to Christ as Lord of their life.

Have you ever struggled with measuring your worth through busyness and product?

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For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Keep the Sabbath Holy

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

The Fourth Commandment tells us to keep the Sabbath holy. It is to be a day to refrain from our usual work. A day of rest.

My first job in high school, besides babysitting, required me to work on Sunday. That bothered me in light of this command, but every time I left work and headed for evening church services afterward, I believed God understood.

I didn’t realize work included doing the laundry until the month I spent helping my father

take care of my mother after she had major surgery. Their dryer broke while I was there, so on this particular Sunday afternoon, between hospital visits I hung the laundry on the clothesline behind their house.

I barely made it inside before the phone rang. My grandmother informed me I was breaking the Fourth Commandment by doing work on the Sabbath.

Now, you need to understand … the woman had to stand in a specific spot on the corner of her porch down the road, around the curve, at just the right angle to even see my parents’ house, let alone the clothesline behind the pump house in the backyard.

In my mind she’d gone to an awful lot of work just to spy on what I was doing, so I didn’t feel her judgement particularly God-honoring on the Sabbath.

But I’m wondering, could keeping the Sabbath be a way to keep us from breaking the Second Commandment? The one about idolatry?

Could our work become an idol if we place it above worshiping God? Could idolizing our jobs lead to idolizing worldly things which could lead to putting something before our love for God?

In the book of Amos God showed Amos a basket full of ripe fruit. The fruit represented Israel ripe for punishment. The Lord was angry with the merchants who couldn’t wait for the Sabbath to end so they could “get out and start cheating again”.

To the peoples’ way of thinking, the Sabbath was a nuisance. It got in the way of expanding commerce. It got in the way of making money. They idolized their work, prestige, and financial gain, so honoring God with a day of rest did not top their to-do list.

One of the things I’m learning about honoring the Sabbath is it helps keep us from chasing things that matter less than our relationship with God. Plus, contrary to my grandmother’s view, I do not believe honoring the Sabbath is about whether I do laundry after I come home from church or not. I believe it has more to do with whether or not I placed God at the top of my day.

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I had another vision from the Sovereign Lord. In it I saw a basket of fruit. The Lord asked, “Amos, what do you see?”

“A basket of fruit,” I answered.

The Lord said to me, “The end has come for my people Israel. I will not change my mind again about punishing them. On that day the songs in the palace will become cries of mourning. There will be dead bodies everywhere. They will be cast out in silence.”

Listen to this, you that trample on the needy and try to destroy the poor of the country. You say to yourselves, “We can hardly wait for the holy days to be over so that we can sell our grain. When will the Sabbath end, so that we can start selling again? Then we can overcharge, use false measures, and fix the scales to cheat our customers. Amos 8:1-5 (GNT)

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Shut The Door On Satan

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

In 1 Samuel the people of Israel wanted an earthly king to rule over them. God was their King. They were his people. Still, they wanted to be like every other nation, and have a king. So God gave them a king. Saul.

Once the people realized their sin of disobedience, in rejecting the God who had delivered and protected them, they became discouraged and went to the prophet Samuel to beg him to pray to God on their behalf. They believed their disobedience kept them from approaching God themselves.

Samuel told the people not to be afraid, but to turn back to the Lord and serve him. God hadn’t abandoned his people. They abandoned him.

courtesy pixabayLike the Israelites, we can put our hope and trust in people and things other than the God who delivers us.

We can chase after things we falsely believe will save us, solve our problems, or end our misery.

We make bad choices and unwise decisions that often can’t be undone.

When we realize the magnitude of our sin, we might become discouraged to the point we say what comedian Richard Lewis often said, “I’m doomed!”

We abandon going to church, praying, and reading the Bible because Satan convinces us we are beyond repair. Satan tells us we are indeed doomed. When we feel unworthy to come before the Righteous Judge, we must remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Christ’s sacrifice gives us the right to come boldly before God’s throne because Jesus took our sins upon himself. He  paid our debt which we could never pay.

Even the bad choice we make does not mean our relationship with our Father is forever ruined. God forgives when we come before him in repentance, reverence, and awe. God longs for us to serve him, and grow in our relationship with him, despite our unwise decisions.

Instead of allowing Satan to heap piles of guilt on us because of our sin, we need to shut and lock courtesy pixabaythe door on Satan’s lies, and run to God’s open arms of love.

Ready to shut the door?

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“Don’t be afraid,” Samuel answered. “Even though you have done such an evil thing, do not turn away from the Lord, but serve him with all your heart. 1 Samuel 12:20 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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