Archive for July, 2011

Enjoying A Continual Feast

Jul 31

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, if you could have a continual feast would your banquet table look like the one I picture? One that is beautifully decorated with the soft glow of candlelight and most importantly every delicacy would be laden with chocolate! Every scrumptious chocolate dessert you can dream of would be sitting there waiting for me to devour. I can just imagine what you are thinking girlfriends, “Sin on your lips puts fat on your hips!”  You are right, but for a moment let’s just enjoy the luxurious thought of enjoying a continual feast of chocolate. Afterall, chocolate is not sinful unless we overindulge.

King Solomon tells us about the person who enjoys a continual feast. He said, “… the cheerful heart has a continual feast.”

The man who is depressed sees in each day only those dismal events that serve to increase his already extensive fear. The man whose life is possessed by a merry heart sees such evidences of God’s faithfulness that his days are bright and his soul has a continual feast. The source of such festivity is the settled conviction that every affliction and blessing has its source in God’s love.
KJV Bible Commentary

This wonderful commentary illuminates the hindrance to enjoying a continual feast—disatisfaction with our heavenly Father’s plans for us. To have a continual feast we must trust in the knowledge that our heavenly Father loves us and whatever He allows to happen to us—whether an affliction or blessing is good for us. Acknowledging His supreme sovereignty will change our focus from our own selfish desires to accepting His desires. This in turn will result in a festivity of continual feasting in our hearts.

When facing a catastrophic famine, the prophet Habakkuk declared that although everything was going to fail, he would trust in God. He said, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” What a marvelous testimony to remind us to joyfully trust in God. Can’t you just picture the continual feast in Habakkuk’s heart?

Dearest girlfriends, let us develop a cheerful heart and enjoy the resulting continual feast.

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. … All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. ~ Proverbs 15:13,15 NIV
 
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. … ~ Ecclesiastes 7:14 NIV
 
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. ~ Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV
 
For the word of the Lord holds true, and everything he does is worthy of our trust. ~ Psalm 33:4 NLT
 
The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. … ~ Psalm 138:8 NLT

Seeking a Beautiful Face

Jul 30

Seeking a Beautiful Face 073011by Victoria Robinson

Discouragement inevitably will follow when we gaze upon all the ugliness of a fallen world. The cure to this is to seek beauty. The beauty found in a face—His face.  The psalmist desired to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD. He so beautifully tells us, “My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.”

Girlfriends, there is nothing about our Lord that is not beautiful. Therefor when we seek His face we will find satisfaction. The book of Psalms reminds us, “And I—in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.”

Have you taken your eyes off of the beauty of our Lord’s face? If so, there is sure to be unrest in your heart. As you reflect on these scriptures turn your focus to the beauty found in His face and rejoice in His beauty and strength.

Dearest girlfriends, let us seek the beautiful face of our Lord where true satisfaction will be found. Your heart will find peace as you gaze upon Him.

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. … My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. ~ Psalm 27:4,8 NIV
 
Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.  Selah ~ Psalm 23:3-6 NIV
  
Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. ~ Psalm 31:16 NIV
 
I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. ~ Psalm 119:58 NIV
 
Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. ~ Psalm 143:7 NIV
 
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. ~ Psalm 105:3-4 NIV
 
And I—in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness. ~ Psalm 17:15 NIV

Heavenly Pleasures

Jul 29

Heavenly Pleasures 072911by Victoria Robinson

King David spoke eloquently of heavenly pleasures when he said, “… you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” His son, Solomon, conversely chose to focus on earthly pleasures. After chasing pleasure here on earth he said, “I refused my heart no pleasure. … everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”

The truth is when we focus on earthly pleasures we will end up like Solomon—disappointed. Whereas when we turn our hearts towards heavenly pleasures we will be filled with joy in our Lord’s presence.

King David gave us another amazing truth about heavenly pleasures when he said, “Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.” The Hebrew word for pleasures is Eden which means delight.

“Our loving God gives us access to the exhaustless fountains of paradise, a stream like that which watered Eden.”

KJV Bible Commentary

Our Lord and Savior warned us that indulging in earthly pleasures can choke the Word and hinder us from becoming spiritually mature. He said, “The seed … are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.”

Dearest girlfriends, let us turn our hearts towards heavenly pleasures where we will be filled with joy in His presence.

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. ~ Psalm 16:11 NIV
 
I thought in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. … I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that myhands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. ~ Ecclesiastes 2:1,10-11 NIV 
 
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. ~ Psalm 36:7-8 NKJV
 
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. ~ Luke 8:14 NIV
 
For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. ~ Titus 3:3-7 NKJV
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. ~ Colossians 3:1-4 NIV

Girlfriends, Is He Lying?

Jul 27

Girlfriends is He Lying 072711by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, if he’s talking—he’s lying! Our Lord and Savior made this fact clear when He told us, “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” The enemy of your soul does not have one shred of truth in him so it is impossible for him to tell the truth. Satan is not only a liar, he is actually quite chatty. The very first time we see him, he was chatting it up with Eve. He told her, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” This was in direct contradiction to what God did say. He had told Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

I love the wisdom Matthew Henry imparts to us about this tragic series of events.

“O that our hearts were deeply affected with this record! For we are all nearly concerned in it; let it not be to us as a tale that is told.”
Matthew Henry

Before we condemn our sister Eve for falling for such an obvious lie, let us look at our own folly. Have you ever had the thought, “Just inhaling the luxurious scent of chocolate won’t have any calories.”? Then suddenly you find yourself in a daze with chocolate on your lips and fat on your hips! The lie was to believe that toying with your weakness would not hurt you. I am certainly not saying chocolate in itself is evil, but if it is not done in moderation, then it can be a sin.

The apostle paul showed great concern that the Christians in Corinth were susceptible to falling for lies when he said, “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.”

So what’s a girl to do? Take your thoughts captive and do a truth check utilizing the Word of God. Had Eve taken a moment to think on the very words spoken by God, she would have had clarity in the situation and avoided sinning.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would be strengthened with the truth of God’s Word instead of believing the enemy’s lies.

… He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. ~ John 8:44 NIV
 
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” ~ Genesis 3:1-5 NIV
 
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” ~ Genesis 2:15-17 NIV
 
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. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:3 NIV
 
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie … ~ Romans 1:25 NIV
 
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

An Upside to Your Downside

Jul 26

An Upside to Your Downside 072611by Victoria Robinson

Is it possible to find an upside to your downside? As hard as it can be to understand, the answer lies in a familiar passage that sometimes we love to hate. The apostle Paul said, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” In the midst of dealing with a downside in your life, it can actually hurt to hear those well-worn words. Still, the truth is the truth and there is an upside to what you are going through.

When the apostle Paul who wrote those words of encouragement was suffering through a downside, he focused on the upside. After being beaten and imprisoned we see him praising God. Suddenly the upside of his situation appears! The jailer who was imprisoning him is about to kill himself when Paul stops him. Then the jailer responds, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The truly great upside to this story was that the jailer became filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family. And yet to come was that Paul and his companion Silas were released from jail.

Girlfriends, are you focusing on the upside of what the Lord is doing through your problems or are you wallowing in the misery brought about by your downside? The agony of your troubles can cloud your vision unless you stay focused on the unchanging truth of the Word of God. Joseph viewed the lengthy downside he experienced after his brothers sold him into slavery as an upside. He said, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” His focus was on the purposes the Lord had in mind and not the suffering of the downside he had suffered through.

Dearest girlfriends, when we are tempted to focus on the downside of our circumstances, let us trust that our heavenly Father has a wonderful upside He is going to bring about.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~ Romans 8:28 NIV

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family. When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.” ~ Acts 16:25-36 NIV

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. ~ Genesis 50:20 NASB

She’s Just Like Her Father!

Jul 20

She's Just Like Her Father 072011by Victoria Robinson

Have you ever heard the statement, “She’s just like her father!” That can either be a compliment or a disparaging remark depending on the character of her father. Girlfriends, are you just like your father? More importantly, are you just like your heavenly Father? One of the endearing traits of our heavenly Father is his kindness. He is well-known for it to the point of sacrificing His own Son so that we might have the forgiveness of our sins and thus spend eternity in Heaven.

A great story about kindness is found in the book of Second Chronicles. In the town of Shunem lived a woman who showered a man of God named Elisha with hospitality. This kindness continued to the point of her building a room onto her house for Elisha to stay at when he came to town. Because of her kindness Elisha wanted to do something nice for her. She told him no and that she was perfectly content. However, Elisha persisted and asked someone else what he could do for her. His friend told him her husband was old and that she did not have a son. Elisha summoned her to come back and told her “Next year at about this time you shall have a son!”

When you are being kind you are being just like your Father and you never know what He has in store for you. Your motive should never be a material reward, but sometimes as in the case of this Shunemite woman—wonderful things will happen! Yet, the most important reason to be kind is our heavenly Father tells us to. In fact, the Word of God goes so far as to warn us, “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness.”

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would be known as ladies of kindness just like our heavenly Father!

… Tell her that we appreciate her kindness to us. … ~ 2 Kings 4:13 TLB
 
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love and his kindness go on forever. ~ 1 Chronicles 16:34 TLB
 
Now all praise to God for his wonderful kindness to us and his favor that he has poured out upon us because we belong to his dearly loved Son. So overflowing is his kindness toward us that he took away all our sins through the blood of his Son, by whom we are saved; and he has showered down upon us the richness of his grace—for how well he understands us and knows what is best for us at all times. ~ Ephesians 1:6-8 TLB
 
One day Elisha went to Shunem. A prominent woman of the city invited him in to eat, and afterwards, whenever he passed that way, he stopped for dinner. She said to her husband, “I’m sure this man who stops in from time to time is a holy prophet. Let’s make a little room for him on the roof; we can put in a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, and he will have a place to stay whenever he comes by.” Once when he was resting in the room he said to his servant Gehazi, “Tell the woman I want to speak to her.” When she came, he said to Gehazi, “Tell her that we appreciate her kindness to us. Now ask her what we can do for her. Does she want me to put in a good word for her to the king or to the general of the army?” “No,” she replied, “I am perfectly content.” “What can we do for her?” he asked Gehazi afterwards. He suggested, “She doesn’t have a son, and her husband is an old man.” “Call her back again,” Elisha told him. When she returned, he talked to her as she stood in the doorway. “Next year at about this time you shall have a son!” “O man of God,” she exclaimed, “don’t lie to me like that!” But it was true; the woman soon conceived and had a baby boy the following year, just as Elisha had predicted. ~ 2 Kings 4:8-17 TLB
 
Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. ~ Romans 11:22 NIV

She Argued With Him

Jul 14

She Argued With Him 071411by Victoria Robinson

Oh my girlfriends, have you ever gotten into an argument with someone and then felt ashamed for your improper behavior? There once was a Greek woman who found out Jesus had come to town and rushed to ask Him for help. Her request was heartbreaking. She begged Jesus to drive a demon out of her daughter. Instead of our loving Lord granting her request He gave the most peculiar reply, “First let the children eat all they want, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” This woman had the nerve to argue her case with our Lord. She replied, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

Now what in the world does all this mean? Jesus’ reply was to test the intent of her desire and faith. His illustration of dogs is not an expression of contempt for Greeks, He is merely putting a test before her. When she argued her case her words proved her heart attitude, and her request was granted. The Lord told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

After being told he was going to die, a man named Hezekiah argued his case before the Lord. He said, “Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” The Lord’s response to his argument was wonderful. The Lord said, “This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life.”

Jesus also encourages us that sometimes we need to argue our case repeatedly. He told a story about a widow who presented her case to a judge many times. The judge ignored her for a while, but eventually she wore him out and he said, “I fear neither God nor man,’ he said to himself, ‘but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!”

Needless to say, the Lord does not always take our arguments and grant us our desires, but that should not hinder us from arguing our case with Him.

Dearest girlfriends, with a respectful and sincere heart let us argue our case with the Lord and trust Him with the outcome.
Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.” She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. ~ Mark 7:24-30 NIV
 
In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, “Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’” ~ 2 Kings 20:1-6 NIV 
 
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who was a godless man with great contempt for everyone. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, appealing for justice against someone who had harmed her. The judge ignored her for a while, but eventually she wore him out. ‘I fear neither God nor man,’ he said to himself, ‘but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’ ” Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this evil judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end, so don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who plead with him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when I, the Son of Man, return, how many will I find who have faith?” ~ Luke 18:1-8 NLT
 
But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God. ~ Job 13:3 NIV
 
Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence. ~ Isaiah 43:26 NIV

A ♥ S ♥ K

Jul 13

ASK 071311by Victoria Robinson

Our Lord and Savior told us three important ways to attain success. He said, “So I say to you:  Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” He goes on to paint a picture of success, ” For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

He also reminds us that even in our sinful state we give good gifts to our children when he says, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Prior to this story we see someone asking his friend for help. This man boldly goes on an “ASK” mission. His need was bread. His friend had bread. However, the bread was behind a locked door. First, he knocked on the friend’s door. Second, he asked for help. Third, he continued to seek what he needed. His mission ended successfully. Our Lord told us this story to exemplify how to ask Him for our needs.

Seeking our heavenly Father for our needs is scripturally supported as well as His desire to provide for us.  However, we must recognize that our heavenly Father is not a “Genie in a bottle” who grants all our wishes. As His children, we are not to be brats telling Him what He must do. We are to be godly children and ask of Him what lines up with His Word. These are the requests we know He will answer.

Dearest girlfriends, let us boldly go on an “ASK” mission to our loving heavenly Father in order to attain what we have need of.

Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ “Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. ~ Luke 11:5-10 NIV
 
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! ~ Matthew 7:7-11 NIV
 
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. ~ 1 John 5:14-15 NIV

Are You Wearing an Ugly Necklace?

Jul 05

Are You Wearing an Ugly Necklace 070511by Victoria Robinson

The psalmist lamented the prosperity of the wicked. Asaph said, “They wear pride like a jeweled necklace …” Asaph also came to realize the sin of envy plaguing his own heart. Oh girlfriends, if only we would be like Asaph and recognize our own shortcomings instead of focusing on the faults of others. The irony is that we are suffering from pride when we envy those who have pride. Thus we choose to wear an ugly necklace ourselves.

Asaph’s envy had turned to bitterness. Thankfully he came to understand how close he came to the edge of the cliff. When he comes to his senses he realizes it is the wicked who are on a slippery path and are going to slide over the cliff to destruction.

The wisdom found in Proverbs tells us to wear a beautiful necklace of loyalty and kindness and thus we will find favor with both God and people. It also shows us we will gain a good reputation as well.

Dearest girlfriends, let us not wear an ugly necklace of sin, but instead choose to wear a beautiful necklace of self-reflection by examining our own hearts.

Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. But as for me, I came so close to the edge of the cliff! My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seem to live such a painless life; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They aren’t troubled like other people or plagued with problems like everyone else. They wear pride like a jeweled necklace, and their clothing is woven of cruelty. ~ Psalm 73:1-6NLT

So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! Then one day I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I thought about the destiny of the wicked. Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. In an instant they are destroyed, swept away by terrors. Their present life is only a dream that is gone when they awake. When you arise, O Lord, you will make them vanish from this life. ~ Psalm 73:16-20 NLT

Then I realized how bitter I had become, how pained I had been by all I had seen. I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand. You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. But those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do. ~ Psalm 73:21-28 NLT

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Psalm 23:17-18 NIV

Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! Wear them like a necklace; write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will gain a good reputation. ~ Proverbs 3:3-4 NLT

 

Celebrate Freedom!

Jul 04

Celebrate Freedom 060411by Victoria Robinson

Oh girlfriends, the irony just cannot go unnoticed when the apostle Paul tells us, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Is not this the same man who spent so much of his ministry in prison? Yet here we have a man celebrating freedom—freedom from the sinful life he had previously known before his encounter with the Savior.

Paul then goes on to tell us, “For you have been called to live in freedom—not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature …” The apostle James admonishes us that freedom comes from obedience  when he says, “But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” The psalmist also tells us freedom requires obedience when he writes these wonderful words, “I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.”

All of these truths encourage us that regardless of our circumstances true freedom comes about through personal proper behavior. The responsibility to be free lies within each of us. Sin is a choice that will imprison our souls—obedience will set us free.

Dearest girlfriends, let us celebrate the freedom from sin that we have through our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. ~ Galatians 5:1 NIV
 
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV
 
For you have been called to live in freedom—not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. ~ Galatians 5:13 NLT
 
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. ~ Psalm 119:45 NIV
 
But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. ~ James 1:25 NIV
 
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 6:15-23 NIV