Archive for October, 2010

The Long Way Home

Oct 31

by Victoria Robinson

With all the GPS tracking systems like Onstar and other electronic devices it is not difficult to navigate a trip today. You might not think of tracking devices being spoken of in the Bible, but they were. Consider the very first “Onstar”. Actually, it might have been named the “Eaststar”. In the book of Matthew, God provided this star as a directional device. The Magi took quick advantage of God’s directions. Then there is another tracking device God gave the Israelites on their desert journey. In the book of Exodus we see that they had a wonderful directional system. God gave them a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. That must have been a beautiful sight! And yet, unlike the Magi, the  Israelites did not make good use of God’s provision. Even with a great tracking device, the Israelites dawdled all the way to the new home God had given them. It took forty years to make a trip that should have taken less than forty days.

It reminds me of a small child being told to eat their vegetables, and when they are done they can go play. As an adult it amazes me how long they will agonize over such a simple task. (Though when I was a child, I remember having a few rebellious moments!)  Instead of a few minutes of obedience, they dawdle and torture themselves finding no gain in their rebellion.

Girlfriends, is there something in your life the Lord has told you to do and you are just dawdling instead of getting it done? It is foolish to let a forty day task take forty years. And yet many of us do the same thing. We become rebellious to the journeys God has planned for us. Dearest girlfriends, if you hear your heavenly Father’s voice today, please do not harden your hearts, but run to Him in obedience.

By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. ~ Exodus 13:21-22 NIV
 
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. ~ Matthew 2:9 NIV
 
Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. But never forget the warning: “Today you must listen to his voice. Don’t harden your hearts against him as Israel did when they rebelled.” And who were those people who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Weren’t they the ones Moses led out of Egypt? And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn’t it the people who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom was God speaking when he vowed that they would never enter his place of rest? He was speaking to those who disobeyed him. So we see that they were not allowed to enter his rest because of their unbelief. ~ Hebrews 3:12-19 NLT  

Imitation Devotion

Oct 30

by Victoria Robinson  

I love to bake and one of the ingredients I insist on using lavishly in most recipes is vanilla extract. When my best friend Cyndee and I bake together, I pour while she nudges my elbow. Our motto is, “You can never put in too much vanilla extract!” My passion about vanilla extract really is not because I am a vanilla person. Actually the opposite is true. I admit I am a confirmed chocolate fanatic! Honestly, most of my baking revolves around chocolate. And more chocolate. And even more chocolate! The truth is vanilla is a great flavor enhancer to chocolate. Yet be careful girlfriends, it is of absolute importance that it is pure vanilla extract. There is a huge difference between pure vanilla and imitation vanilla. So it is with our devotion to God. It must be pure. Imitation just will not do. Is your devotion to Christ pure or is it tainted with false teachings? Do you check every Bible teacher you hear to make certain it lines up with the Word of God? I love how the Bereans in the book of Acts are portrayed. They examined the Scriptures everyday to see if what the apostle Paul was saying was true. Think about the church today. Some would say, “Well if that preacher said it, it must be true.” Do you have Bible teachers in your life that you respect so much that you automatically assume they are correct? This is not pure devotion, it is instead imitation. We should always be so devoted to Christ and His teaching that we check the Scriptures for ourselves. Dearest girlfriends, let us not be led astray as Eve was, but be diligent in knowing the Scriptures and thus practice sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. ~ 2 Corinthians 11:2-4 NIV 

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. ~ Acts 17:11 NIV

The Two Faces of You

Oct 29

by Victoria Robinson

In the classic television comedy I Love Lucy, there is an episode where Lucy is trying to play matchmaker by inviting a friend and her suitor to a romantic dinner. Her plan was to portray married life as idyllic.  As you can imagine, things go awry pretty fast. Little Ricky cried, the dinner burned, and Ricky decided to tell this poor suitor what marriage is really like. One of the things he tells this prospective husband is, “You would think that you would  know what your wife looks like  when you marry her. You got a big surprise coming to you my boy. They have a whole other face underneath the face you married. And it must be awful because they never let you see it. You know when they go to bed at night, they cover it all up with cold cream.”

In actuality most of us could certainly relate to Lucy, as we usually put on “another face” when we go out in public. Our other face is kept on our dressing table or wherever we keep our makeup. Unfortunately, we sometimes have two faces when it comes to our spiritual life. We act one way in certain places and totally different in other places. This is what is described in the book of James. The apostle James says that the people were using their tongue to praise God and also using it to curse men. Girlfriends, are you guilty of having two faces? Would you dare use the same words you speak during the week at church on Sunday? Do you use “salty” language when you are not at church and then use “fresh water” language at church? If you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, then remember He is known as the Living Water. When you read God’s Word, do you ever see “salty” language? Of course not! Dearest girlfriends, let us imitate our heavenly Father’s language and not use curse words, but instead words that bless those around us.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. ~ James 3:9-12 NIV
 
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. ~ Ephesians 5:4 NIV
  
But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. ~ Colossians 3:8-10 NIV
 
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ~ Ephesians 4:29 NIV 
 
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. … ~ Ephesians 5:19 NIV
 
A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. ~ Proverbs 16:23-24 NIV
 
The tongue has the power of life and death … ~ Proverbs 18:21 NIV

Making a U-Turn

Oct 28

by Victoria Robinson

Ever driven to a place you have never been, and got lost? It is easy to keep going when we are not sure if we have made a wrong turn, instead hoping we have not missed the way, and will successfully arrive at our destination. This strategy can work or it can lead us far from where we belong.  As soon as a wrong turn is realized, a sensible person will immediately turn around and get back on the right road. Unfortunately, on our spiritual journey we can become proud and stiff-necked, refusing to turn around. This describes the people in the book of Jeremiah. These people refused to stop going down their self-destructive path and return to God.

As soon as we become aware that we might have made a wrong turn we need to check the roadmap—God’s unchanging Word. Unlike some of the online maps or GPS services we use, the Word of God is never outdated and does not change. It always provides reliable directions.

Maybe you know for certain you have made a wrong turn and are on the wrong road. If so, the time to turn around is immediately. The misery in your life caused by wrong choices will not go away on its own. You must stop wandering in the wrong direction right now. The word repent literally means to turn around. I have tried to instill in the heart of a dear friend’s precious four year-old, what repent means by having her physically turn around when she gets in trouble. In doing so, I am trying to teach her direction for her life—God’s direction. She always smiles when she turns around. Girlfriends, can’t you just imagine the gladness that would be in our heavenly Father’s heart if we would do as my little friend and turn around with a smile on our face. Some of us need to stand up where we are right now and physically turn around and acknowledge our repentance of the sins in our life. Return to your heavenly Father and allow Him to bring restoration of your life. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would check our directions and seek God if we need to make a u-turn.

… ‘This is what the Lord says: When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they start down the wrong road and discover their mistake, don’t they turn back? Then why do these people keep going along their self-destructive path, refusing to turn back, even though I have warned them? I listen to their conversations, and what do I hear? Is anyone sorry for sin? Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”? No! All are running down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse rushing into battle! The stork knows the time of her migration, as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane. They all return at the proper time each year. But not my people! They do not know what the Lord requires of them. ~ Jeremiah 8:4-7 NLT
 
“When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and confess your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their fathers. ~ 1 Kings 8:33-34 NIV
 
… ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ ~ Nehemiah 1:8-9 NIV
 
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. ~ Jeremiah 24:7 NIV

Your House or Mine?

Oct 27

by Victoria Robinson

Home improvement, decorating, and cooking are extremely popular right now. So many channels on television are dedicated to the pursuit of having a beautiful, comforting home with delicious cuisine. There is certainly scriptural evidence to support spending your money and energy on making your home a haven. Just look at the infamous “Proverbs 31” woman who spent so much time to care for her home and family. This woman makes Martha Stewart look like a slacker! Girlfriends, as ladies we do have a role in making our homes inviting and a place of comfort for our families. However, have you ever considered how much time and effort you expend on your home versus the Lord’s house? I am not really talking about the care of your church building as much as I am talking about how much effort you spend serving God. In the book of Haggai the people were busy working on their own homes and neglecting God’s. This led to them being constantly unsatisfied. God’s Word is very clear that we need to seek first the kingdom of God and allow everything else to fall into place. That does not mean that we can serve God day and night and neglect our families and homes. But, as you examine your life, are you more concerned with earthly pursuits or His pursuits? You heavenly Father knows about your household needs and will take care of you as you place Him first. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would look into our hearts and make certain that in all we do that our heavenly Father comes first.

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.” ~ Haggai 1:5-11 NIV
 
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. … She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. … She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. … In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. … When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. … She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. … “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” … Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. ~ Proverbs 31:10-31 NIV
 
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ~ Matthew 6:28-33 NIV

Packing Lightly

Oct 26

by Victoria Robinson 

Imagine preparing for a long trip and you decide to take nothing with you. And I do mean absolutely nothing! Talk about packing light! Not only that, but you decide not to make hotel reservations. Oh, and you do not take even a penny with you! That would seem very foolish to me. After all, I am someone whose girlfriends laugh at when I pack for a trip. I admit it, I am a cautious traveler. There is a sense of security in making certain I have everything I need with me. My way of thinking is certainly not our heavenly Father’s. When he sent the disciples out he told them not to take anything with them. Not even a change of clothes! Oh girlfriends, what if we needed evening clothes? How about matching shoes to go with every outfit? Then we would want cute purses to go with the shoes. Matching jewelry would be a must!  And what about the weather? What if the climate where we are going changes? I also like to know ahead of time where I will be laying my head down at night. Sounds too risky to me! If you are one of those free spirit types you are probably laughing at me and thinking, “What a fun adventure!” And you would be exactly right. Though the disciples could not see it in advance, Jesus had already made provisions for them. God wanted them to trust him and be totally dependant on His divine care. The sweetest times in my life have been when my heavenly Father has cared for me not through a paycheck, but in very unexpected ways. This brings us closer to our Father as we have no one to trust except Him. Dearest girlfriends, on your journey in life, are you packing too much, or are you packing lightly and trusting your heavenly Father for His provision?

He told them, “Don’t take anything with you! Don’t take a walking stick or a traveling bag or food or money or even a change of clothes. When you are welcomed into a home, stay there until you leave that town. ~ Luke 9:3-4 CEV  

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~ Matthew 6:25-34 NIV 

Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. ~ Luke 22:35 NIV

Give It Up Girlfriends!

Oct 25

by Victoria Robinson

Jesus made it crystal clear that if we want the best life He has for us, we must give up our life to Him. We are called to forfeit our own desires in lieu of His desires for us. The heavenly Father’s ways are so contrary to our ways. In our natural self we tend not to give up our life easily. Yet, this is the only way to truly obtain a full and rich life. As we focus more on our own desires we lose sight of His desires. His desires become farther off in the distance and can eventually disappear all together. If you are feeling a sense of emptiness in your life, maybe you need to give up your life in order to find it. Remember, your heavenly Father is not a thief who is interested in stealing your life—He wants to give you a fuller and better life. Dearest girlfriends, what do you need to give up today and allow your heavenly Father to fill the void as only He can?

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? ~ Matthew 16:24-26 NIV
 
Jesus told him: You can be sure that anyone who gives up home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or land for me and for the good news will be rewarded. In this world they will be given a hundred times as many houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and pieces of land, though they will also be mistreated. And in the world to come, they will have eternal life. But many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first. ~ Mark 10:29-31 CEV
  
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~ John 10:10 NIV
 
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. ~ John 6:34 NIV
 
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! ~ Philippians 2:5-8 NIV

A Glorious New Beginning

Oct 24

by Victoria Robinson 

Each day offers us a chance at a glorious new beginning. Sometimes it is refreshing to think yesterday is gone and today is a new day. Let’s face it girlfriends, we do sin and cause ourselves lots of grief. So it’s a good thing our heavenly Father loves us with an unfailing love and through His mercies He gives us a new beginning each day. Unfortunately this does not work like a magic eraser though. We still have to deal with the consequences of our wrong choices. Yet, God does sometimes in His great mercy take pity on us and relent from the consequences we really deserve. This was the case with the sins Israel had committed. In the book of Psalms it is recorded that, “… he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented.” Girlfriends, it would be a grievous mistake to presume upon the love and mercy of our heavenly Father and live our lives with reckless abandonment and concern for His commands to obey Him. We should constantly be concerned with eliminating sin through desiring a pure heart. Dearest girlfriends, let us come to God with clean hearts, asking for His mercy, as well as His divine power to stop sinning so that we may enjoy tomorrow as a glorious new day!

The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. ~ Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT 

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. ~ Galatians 6:7-8 NIV

Therefore the LORD was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance. He handed them over to the nations, and their foes ruled over them. Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power. Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin. But he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. He caused them to be pitied by all who held them captive. ~ Psalm 106:40-46 NIV

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ~ James 4:7-8 NIV

What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. ~ Romans 9:14-18 NIV

… let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. ~ Hebrews 10:22 NIV

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. ~ 1 Peter 3:1-4 NIV

Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. ~ Psalm 90:13-14 NIV

You Bet Your Life!

Oct 23

by Victoria Robinson

In the hilarious classic game show, You Bet Your Life, the host, Groucho Marx would get contestants to answer a series of questions. Each contestant was staked with cash and was asked four questions, wagering part or all of their bankroll for each question. It is easy to bet something that is not yours. But, there is something that you already have that you might be carelessly betting, your very life, the choices you are making, and even where you will spend eternity. While the game show may have been funny, there is certainly nothing funny about betting your life.
 
First, the choices you make each day will always affect the quality of your life here on earth. Every decision you make uses your very life as a wager. The godly decisions will not even be a gamble, while the ungodly decisions will bet even your very existence. Do you make ungodly choices and bet on the mercy and kindness of God to keep you safe? This is a very risky lifestyle. Always living on the edge and hoping for God to rescue you is not a peaceful way to live. Satan will always whisper in your ear and tell you to take chances. God will also tell you to take chances, but they are always based on His Word and are a good bet.
 
Secondly, and most importantly, are you gambling on where you will spend eternity? Some people know that they need to secure their eternal destination, and yet they wait and gamble that they will have a tomorrow. This is a very foolish way of thinking. There was a man named Lazarus who took a chance on eternity and lost the bet. Sadly, he had no second chance to receive eternal life. But, you do have the opportunity right now to stop gambling on where you will spend eternity and accept God’s free gift of eternal life. In the book of Romans is a verse that makes this so clear. It says that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. So, do not gamble on tomorrow, for none of us are guaranteed another minute on this earth. Simply acknowledge that you have sinned, thank God that Jesus died to pay the price for your sins, and ask Him to come into your life. If you have done this then you will go to heaven when you die.
 
Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would stop gambling with  life both here on earth and for all eternity.
 
Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” ~ Luke 12:15-21 NIV
 
My child, remember my teachings and instructions and obey them completely. They will help you live a long and prosperous life. ~ Proverbs 3:1-2 CEV
 
My child, if you listen and obey my teachings, you will live a long time. I have shown you the way that makes sense; I have guided you along the right path. Your road won’t be blocked, and you won’t stumble when you run. Hold firmly to my teaching and never let go. Proverbs 4:10-13 CEV
 
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.” ~ Proverbs 9:10-12 NIV 
 
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ ”‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” ~ Luke 16:19-31 NIV
 
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 6:23 NIV
 
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast. ~ Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
 
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. ~ Romans 10:9-10 NIV
 
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. ~ James 4:14 NIV

A Forgetful Father

Oct 22

by Victoria Robinson

Having someone in your life that is forgetful can be difficult to deal with. You expect them to do certain things and they are not reliable. However, there is someone who forgets certain things and yet is totally reliable. That would be your heavenly Father. The great thing about Him is that His love for us enables Him to forget our sins when we have repentant hearts. So here’s what we can learn from Him—to accept the apologies of those in our life and choose not to keep a record of their wrongs. I know that it is often said, “I can forgive, but I will never forget!” This is how our natural self operates, and yet we need to operate in our heavenly Father’s power. His Word tells us that with God all things are possible. If God Himself told us we are not to keep a record of wrongs, then in the natural selves this is impossible, but with Him we can be obedient to an amazing truth. God sees all of us in an eternal light and we tend to see everyone in an earthly light.  We presume that if someone has a history of hurtful behavior towards us, then it is impossible for them to change. When the apostle Paul accepted that Jesus was the Savior, the Christians were afraid of Him because of his past behavior. He was their enemy and was responsible for their persecution and even deaths. They suddenly found themselves having to embrace a thug who now had become a spiritual brother. They had to bury the past. In the book of Galatians we see how they had gone from fear and dislike to praising God for him. Can you imagine serving side by side with someone who had hurt you so deeply? God can. He has accepted us even though when we were lost and unfortunately even sometimes after we were saved we treated Him badly. Dearest girlfriends, let us imitate our heavenly Father’s forgetfulness and remember the sins of others no more.

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. ~ Isaiah 43:25 NIV
 
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. ~ Psalm 103:8-12 NIV
 
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
 
for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. ~ Philippians 2:13 NIV
 
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” ~ Mark 10:27 NIV
 
For nothing is impossible with God. ~ Luke 1:37 NIV
 
I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they praised God because of me. ~ Galatians 1:22-24 NIV