Archive for November, 2010

A Generous Lady

Nov 30

by Victoria Robinson

Are you known as a generous lady who refreshes others? There is a story in the book of First Kings about a widow who had only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. God sent Elijah to ask her for some bread. Now wait a minute girlfriends, I consider myself pretty creative in the kitchen when it comes to making something out of a few ingredients, but this is pushing the envelope. There is one more important twist to this story. This precious lady had a son to feed as well. So what would you have done? Give your last meal to a stranger or give it to your son? What a heart wrenching decision to make! She made a choice I am not so sure I would have made. Yet, this lady had the generous heart of her heavenly Father. The outcome of her decision was amazing. God kept her food from running out until the drought was over. And oh yeah, there is yet another twist to this wonderful story. Her son later died and God used Elijah to pray for him and he came back to life.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would operate in the generosity of our heavenly Father. 

The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. ~ Proverbs 11:25 NLT
 
So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’” She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah. ~ 1 Kings 17:10-16 NIV

A Spiritual House of Mirrors

Nov 29

by Victoria Robinson

Are you living in a spiritual house of mirrors? Never being certain of what is real and what is an illusion? Cannot find your way? Our Lord and Savior gave us a picture of illusions just like a house of mirrors in the book of Mark. He speaks of false Christs appearing here and there, performing deceptive signs and miracles.

Being in a house of mirrors is very confusing. While it is true that as long as we live on this earth, we will not know everything, we do not have to live in confusion.  Your heavenly Father is not the author of confusion. The only way to know the truth, is to know the Word of God. Everything else is just an illusion.

Along with knowing the Scriptures we must seek wisdom and guidance when we are in a spiritual house of mirrors. Your heavenly Father is always eager to lavish wisdom and guidance on you. Solomon tells us that there is a proper time and procedure for every matter. The psalmist asked the Lord to guide him in truth.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would seek wisdom, guidance and the knowledge found in the Word of God as we navigate this “house of mirrors” called life.

At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect—if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. ~ Mark 13:21-23 NIV
 
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV
 
For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:33 NKJV
 
… while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~ 2 Timothy 3:13-17 NIV
 
… the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him. ~ Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 NIV
 
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. ~ Psalm 25:4-5 NIV

Why Me?

Nov 28

by Victoria Robinson

The troubles that come into our life produce amazing fruits. The first fruit is the comfort we receive from the God of all comfort. The second is when we then in turn pass this comfort onto others in their suffering. Then the whole cycle continues with the person you have comforted. They in turn will be a blessing to others.

So much of what our heavenly Father does in our lives is not about us alone. He sees the big picture we can miss if we are only focused on our own selfish thoughts. Our first thought is usually, “How does this affect me?” Conversely our Lord and Savior looks at how He can serve others.

None of us truly desire to have troubles on our own doorstep, but we need to consider the grander plans God has for everything that happens in our life. The next time we are tempted to say, “Why me?”, we should look at the bigger picture and see how we can comfort those who so desperately need the gift of comfort our heavenly Father has so graciously given us.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would open our eyes and look for our heavenly Father’s purposes in all our circumstances.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV
 
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. ~ 1 Peter 4:12 NIV
 
… O great and powerful God, whose name is the LORD Almighty, great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. … ~ Jeremiah 32:18-19 NIV
 
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:4 NIV

The Big Guy Upstairs?

Nov 27

by Victoria Robinson

Hallelujah! What a beautiful word that has a glorious connotation. Who knew it is really a slang word of sorts. (Well, not really, but work with me here.) It is Hebrew for “praise Yah” (shortened form of Yahweh). It is not uncommon slang for our Lord to be called “the big guy upstairs”. Can’t you just hear someone who uses that term say, “Praise ya big guy upstairs!”  For the rest of us that would translate as,  “Praise ye the Lord.” Girlfriends, please understand I have the utmost reverence and holy fear of our heavenly Father, but there certainly are people who think of the Lord as, “the big guy upstairs”.

There are a multitude of reasons we should praise our Lord. One compelling reason is that an entire Psalm was devoted to commanding us to praise ye the Lord. Consider also the fact that dreariness of heart is detrimental to our emotional state of being and it is a wonderful remedy to have a heart that is constantly singing, “Praise ye the Lord!” Occupying our hearts with magnificent thoughts such as Hallelujah is one way to guard off the enemy, not to mention a great way to practice our praise that will last all eternity. Heaven is going to be a place beyond our wildest imaginations where we will worship our heavenly Father. Sounds so fabulous doesn’t it girlfriends?

Dearest girlfriends, may the praise of hallelujah be in our hearts and on our lips as we worship our heavenly Father.

Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!” Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! … ~ Revelation 19:5-7 NIV
 
O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD. ~ Psalm 117:1-2 KJV
 
Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.  Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.  Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.  Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. ~ Psalm 150:1-6 KJV

You Are Close to His Heart

Nov 26

by Victoria Robinson

Oh what a wonderful thought to think that you are close to your heavenly Father’s heart. He actually carries you close to His heart. Girlfriends, how beautiful and comforting! He is and will eternally tend to you like a shepherd caring for his flock.

Jesus once encountered a woman who was in the midst of incredible grief. Not only was she widowed, she just lost her only son. Jesus came upon the funeral and His heart went out to her. He told her not to cry and then went up and touched the coffin. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” Then the dead man sat up and began to talk.  Jesus gave him back to his mother. Girlfriends, what a beautiful story of how we are close to our heavenly Father’s heart.

The psalmist tells us the saints of Israel are close to God’s heart. You do not have to be a saint in Israel to be close to God’s heart. If you are a child of God then you are God’s spiritual Israel.

Dearest girlfriends, let us draw close to our heavenly Father with a pure heart and enjoy the privilege of being close to His heart.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. ~ Isaiah 40:11 NIV
 
As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. ~ Luke 7:12-14 NIV
 
He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart. ~ Psalm 148:14 NIV
 
Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. … ~ James 4:8 NLT

Savoring Sweet Moments

Nov 25

by Victoria Robinson

Today is a great day to look for the sweet moments our heavenly Father so graciously gives us. Even in the midst of trials, God has not left us without something sweet to hold onto. Though it might not seem like much, when you do find even one sweet moment, it is of utmost importance to hold on tightly and savor the sweetness among the bitterness of your difficulties.

Sweet moments are a literal expression of our heavenly Father’s love for us. The littlest of niceties can bring the most wonderful thoughts and encouragement just when we need it the most. Whatever you are facing, your heavenly Father has and is providing sweet moments to help alleviate the discomfort you may be experiencing.

When Jesus reminded His disciples He would be going away, it must have been difficult for them to grasp and hold onto the sweet moments they had together. Girlfriends, there were so many wonderful experiences they had together, yet when Jesus died the grief was enormous. Still, they had so much goodness to savor. There were healings, financial miracles, provisions for an unplanned feast for five thousand, even raising people from the dead! If you are pondering your sweet moments, maybe they seem trivial compared to all the disciples had seen. But God gives each of us what we need when we need it. Even the smallest provision in our lives is just as sweet to savor as a feast for five thousand. One loaf of bread in time of need is just as wonderful as all the bread the disciples had served the impromptu guests.

It really comes down to looking for the goodness of our heavenly Father no matter how imperfect your life may be. Dearest girlfriends, let us hold onto the sweet moments our heavenly Father lavishes on us in times of need.

… and we are always happy, even in times of suffering. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:10 CEV
 
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:14 NIV
 
Dear children, how brief are these moments before I must go away and leave you! … ~ John 13:33
 
God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future. I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life, because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 CEV

Speak Openly Girlfriends!

Nov 24

by Victoria Robinson

Have you ever had the privilege of leading someone to the cross of our Lord and Savior? If so, you know that speaking to them about how to receive eternal life was necessary. In fact, the Word of God tells us, “… how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

So now you may be thinking, “Where’s my pastor? Obviously he is the one who preaches. I’ll let him tell everyone I know!” Uh, girlfriends… I hate to tell you this, (Well, not really, I am smiling as I tell you this because it is the truth.) you are the one God has commanded to openly tell others about Him. All of us are to openly share the truth about our Lord and Savior.

If you have remained silent, it could be due to fear of rejection. This is a threatening tactic the enemy will use to keep you silent. Scripture shows us we should not worry about what people think of us, but we should be more concerned of what God thinks of us. Or perhaps you just did not know it is your responsibility. And now that I have just told you God’s Word declares you are responsible, you can no longer use that excuse. Sorry girlfriends! 😉 There is also one other possible reason you do not share your faith. You do not know how. If this is your reason, then enroll in evangelism training at your church. If you want to learn a simple way to share Jesus, click on this link and see how easy it is to share your faith. Using Your Hand to Share Your Faith

Dearest girlfriends, let us speak openly about the wonderful gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

God sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. We saw his Son and are now telling others about him. God stays one with everyone who openly says that Jesus is the Son of God. That’s how we stay one with God and are sure that God loves us. ~ 1 John 4:14-16 CEV
 
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” ~ Romans 10:14-15 NIV
 
I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. ~ Luke 12:4-5 NIV
 
… Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. ~ Acts 18:9 NIV
 
… Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. … ~ 1 Peter 3:15 NIV
 
And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. ~ Colossians 4:3-6 NIV

Hiding in the Shadows

Nov 23

by Victoria Robinson

Do you find yourself hiding in the shadows when you approach your heavenly Father? When we are enshrouded in our sin, we tend to not come before the throne of God bravely. This is how we find the infamous Adam and Eve after they had committed sin.

Our sin places us in a shameful place. We do not want to look our heavenly Father in the face. I grew up with a grandfather who dearly loved me. However, he did portray a harsh exterior at times. I remember breaking a piece of antique marble at his house. I was gripped with fear, not because I had any concern of physical harm, instead a fear based on not wanting to be rejected by him because of my misstep. I shall never forget how after I confessed what had taken place, he lovingly held me as I sobbed. He showed me the kindness I did not deserve. This is a picture of our heavenly Father’s unconditional love for us. All we need to do is come to Him with a transparency of our sin and allow Him to embrace us lovingly.

The foolishness of hiding our sins from God is brought to light in the book of Jeremiah. Our heavenly Father tells us He is closely watching us, sees all our sins, and that we cannot hope to hide from Him.

We should come bravely to Him knowing He has already told us that He understands our weaknesses. He is waiting at all times for His children to crawl up in His lap and share their missteps. Dearest girlfriends, please stop hiding in the shadow of iniquity, but come bravely before the throne of our merciful God.

Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help. Hebrews 4:15-16 CEV
  
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” ~ Genesis 3:8-10 NIV
 
For I am closely watching you, and I see every sin. You cannot hope to hide from me. ~ Jeremiah 16:17 TLB
 
Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. ~ Isaiah 55:6-7 NLT

Drawing the Line on Compromise

Nov 22

by Victoria Robinson

Compromise is an interesting concept. When I hear the word used, I sometimes cringe at the thought of losing one’s biblical morality. So can compromise ever be godly? Where does one draw the line between compromise and sin?

The apostle Paul knew that when it came to evangelism, there would need to be a sort of compromise in order to relate to the lost. He said, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” I like how the Believer’s Study Bible describes how Paul drew the line on compromise. It states, “Remarkable elasticity is necessary in the major task of evangelism. Paul concludes a long sentence emphasizing his own mode of life by stressing that he had “become all things to all,” so that he might be effective in reaching some. The statement implies absolutely no compromise of theological or moral truths, but flexibility in methodology.”

Our Lord and Savior walked so comfortably in the matter of not crossing the line of compromise. There is the story of Jesus eating with “sinners” and facing criticism for His behavior, yet He spoke so clearly about His role in this situation. He considered His loyalty with His Father and knew His mission was to call the sinners unto Him. Though He was sometimes accused of crossing the line of sin, He never once committed any wrongdoing.

In the book of Exodus we are told our heavenly Father claims absolute loyalty and exclusive devotion. Girlfriends, this is a wonderfully secure thought concerning our relationship with our Father. Isn’t loyalty and devotion exactly what you want in a relationship? Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would consider how to show our loyalty and devotion to our heavenly Father by never compromising our actions and behavior.

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 NIV  

While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the “sinners” and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” ~ Mark 2:15-17 NIV  

… But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” ~ 1 Peter 2:20-22 NIV  
Be very, very careful never to compromise with the people there in the land where you are going, for if you do, you will soon be following their evil ways. Instead, you must break down their heathen altars, smash the obelisks they worship, and cut down their shameful idols. For you must worship no other gods, but only Jehovah, for he is a God who claims absolute loyalty and exclusive devotion. ~ Exodus 34:12-14 TLB
 
Happy are all who perfectly follow the laws of God. Happy are all who search for God and always do his will, rejecting compromise with evil and walking only in his paths. ~ Psalm 119:2-3 TLB

Don’t Put the “Dis” in Obedience

Nov 21

by Victoria Robinson

Do you have a reputation for obedience to your heavenly Father? Your obedience or lack thereof affects all those around you. This can be seen clearly when you observe the shenanigans of a gathering of small children. Chaos can erupt quickly if one gets into mischief. It’s like a row of dominoes falling.  Are you the child of God who is starting chaos amongst your peers through disobedience or are you promoting righteousness through obedience to your heavenly Father?

Standing firm in obedience is a testimony of what our heavenly Father desires in all our lives. Crumbling to disobedience promotes a lack of reverence for our heavenly Father. Our sin will no doubt be the downfall in other’s lives while our obedience will lift others up to our heavenly Father.

Dearest girlfriends, let us be a beacon of the light of our heavenly Father through living in obedience.

Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. ~ Romans 16:19 NIV
 
You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of people who are crooked and stubborn. Shine out among them like beacon lights, holding out to them the Word of Life. ~ Philippians 2:1516 TLB
 
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. ~ 2 John 4:6 NIV