Archive for the ‘Resisting Sin’ Category

The Fragility of a House of Cards

Aug 09

by Victoria Robinson 

My father has a degree in building construction, so he knows of the importance of making sure plans for a building are designed in a structurally sound manner. I on the other hand, tend to focus more on the façade and what looks nice. The trouble with my focus is that without his knowledge of building construction, my beautiful design ideas would be nothing more than a “house of cards”. Intriguing to look at, but fragile in design. 

Just like my earthly father, my heavenly Father is more concerned about solid building principles. Our Lord and Savior told a story of a man who built a house on solid rock. he clearly shows us this was a good foundation that would withstand torrential rains, floodwaters, and winds. He said that though these would come against it—it would stand. He also shows us that if we build on anything other than solid rock, we are building on sand and our house will fall with a mighty crash. 

A sad example of one’s life crashing down is the story of Samson. While Samson was a person with great potential he fell short because of his sin and disobedience. His legacy of mighty physical strength is marred by his weakness in resisting temptation. Before he was even born the Lord told his mother that “No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth.” The cutting of his hair resulted in the loss of his strength. Subsequently the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and put him in prison. The tragic end of his life came as he was holding onto the pillars of the temple. There as a final act of strength he requested of the Lord, “O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” He also asked the Lord, “Let me die with the Philistines!” The result was that he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. His life literally came crashing down.

Girlfriends, when our lives are structured apart from the soundness of the Word of God, we live in a fragile uncertainty knowing that collapse is inevitable.  What is your life being built on? The Word of God and obedience to it are the solid foundation we should build our lives on if we want to avoid crashing like a “house of cards”.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray that we would dedicate ourselves to building our lives on the solid construction of obedience to the Word of God.

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash.” ~ Matthew 7:24-27 NLT

“So why do you call me ‘Lord,’ when you won’t obey me? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then obeys me. It is like a person who builds a house on a strong foundation laid upon the underlying rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against the house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who listens and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will crumble into a heap of ruins.” ~ Luke 6:46-49 NIV

The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said, “You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” ~ Judges 13:3-5 NIV

Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death. So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him. Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him. Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison. But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved. The Death of Samson Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.” When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.” While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars, Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. Then Samson prayed to the LORD, “O Sovereign LORD, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. ~ Judges 16:15-30

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. ~ Proverbs 14:1 NIV

When Enough Is Never Enough!

Sep 07

by Victoria Robinson

Three things that come to mind when I think of never having enough are … chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate!!! (Which might explain my hips! LOL) Unfortunately the number one thing most of us tend to think we never have enough of is money and possessions, which really equates to not trusting in our heavenly Father’s provision. King Solomon who was himself extremely rich, said, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”

King Solomon gave us a wonderful remedy when our hearts say, “I don’t have enough!” He said, “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have.” Gratitude is so powerful in so many situations, but when it comes to dissatisfaction of our status in regards to wealth—it is a great cure. Another remedy is giving. No matter what the state of your possessions, giving even the smallest of your goods away will help set you free of being discontent. So girlfriends, look at the inventory of your possessions and start thanking and get busy giving!

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would develop hearts of gratitude, giving, and contentement based on scriptural truths.

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. ~ Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV 

King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. ~ 1 Kings 10:23 NIV
 
Yet true religion with contentment is great wealth. After all, we didn’t bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-10 NLT 
 
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:11-13 NIV
 
Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless; it is like chasing the wind. ~ Ecclesiastes 6:9 NLT

His Timing Is Everything

Aug 24

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, how many times have you thought, “If only His timing was my timing!” Tick tock, tick tock, oh those hands on the clock! They seem to move so painfully slow when we are anxiously waiting for Him to move in our lives. Yet we must recognize the scriptural truth that His timing is always correct, even when we do not like it! This truth is penned in the prophetical book of Isaiah, “I, the Lord, will bring it all to pass at the right time.”

Let’s consider some people who refused to accept His timing and the consequences that followed.

  • Sarah refused to wait for the Lord to give her a child and heartache followed …

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. … But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” ~ Genesis 16:1-4, 20:9-10 NIV

  • The Israelites who waited too long and then went ahead into the Promised Land despite warnings …

The LORD said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” … But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. … “We have sinned,” they said. “We will go up to the place the LORD promised.” But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the LORD’s command? This will not succeed! Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, for the Amalekites and Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.” Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the high hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD’s covenant moved from the camp. Then the Amalekites and Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah. ~ Numbers 13:1-2, 31-32, 14:40-45 NIV

  • The centurion who was transporting his prisoner, the Apostle Paul, refused to wait to set sail and lost the ship and all cargo …

Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast. So Paul warned them, “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. … We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. ~ Acts 27:9-12, 27:18-21 NIV

Girlfriends, His timing is everything and when we either wait too long to act on His commands or run ahead without Him—dissaster is sure to follow. The psalmist so wonderfully told the Lord, “But I pray to you, Lord. So when the time is right, answer me and help me with your wonderful love.” I see tremendous confidence in this prayer. It was the cry of a King who was in the midst of severe trials, yet he knew the Lord’s timing was everything!

Dearest girlfriends, let us always seek to understand His timing and move ahead or wait according to His perfect will.

… I, the Lord, will bring it all to pass at the right time. ~ Isaiah 60:22 NLT

But I pray to you, Lord. So when the time is right, answer me and help me with your wonderful love. ~ Psalm 69:13 CEV

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

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

Overlooking Your Friend’s Faults

Jun 21

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, we all know that a mirror can either be our friend or enemy. If we are feeling good about the way we look then the mirror is our friend and if we do not like the way we look we tend to avoid looking in a mirror. However, even if we avoid gazing at our own faults, it is easy to walk around noticing the faults of others. Seeing a friend who looks bad in an ugly outfit is not nearly as painful as seeing ourself looking just as bad. Spiritually speaking, we do the same thing. The faults of others are so evident to us while we are blind to our own.

The surest way to know we have mastered overlooking our friend’s faults is to examine our first response. There is nothing wrong with us noticing sin in others and yet how we react is very telling of our own hearts. Is it, “Oh my!” or is it “I must pray for them.” Are we motivated by our love for them or just being critical? Another important response is, “Do I have that same sin in my heart?” The truth is, sometimes the reason we are critical of others is because we are plagued with the very same faults.

Overlooking a friend’s faults does not mean we ignore the problem. The Word of God clearly tells us that we are help our friends when they are caught in sin. However, and here’s the painful part, we are to examine our own hearts and remove any sin we have. Then we will be able to see clearly to help our friend.

Dearest girlfriends, let us love and be patient with our friends when it comes to their faults while we examine our own hearts.

Disregarding another person’s faults preserves love; telling about them separates close friends. ~ Proverbs 17:9 NLT
 
Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. ~ Ephesians 4:2 CEV
 
You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. ~ Colossians 3:13 NLT
 
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. ~ Luke 6:41-42 NLT 
 
Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won’t need to compare himself with someone else. Each of us must bear some faults and burdens of his own. For none of us is perfect! ~ Galatians 6:4-5 TLB
 
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love makes up for many of your faults. ~ 1 Peter 4:8 TLB

An Escape Passageway

Jun 14

by Victoria Robinson

When I was a little girl I was fascinated with movies that showed old mansions with secret passageways. Even the classic board game, Clue, has a secret passageway. Wouldn’t it be cool in your life if you had an escape passage? When sin is chasing you God has given you a way of escape. Through His very great and precious promises we are able to escape the corruption of this world.

This truth emphasizes the need to know and memorize the Word. Jesus did not have time to search His iPhone Bible for a snappy comeback when He was being tempted to sin. His escape passage was embedded in His heart. Girlfriends, we must be just as ready with the Word as our Lord is. We should be able to deftly handle the word of truth when sin is chasing us.

Dearest girlfriends, lets us run to the escape passageway of the Word when sin is chasing us.

A list of some common sins are listed below along with scripture you can use for an escape passage.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV
 
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. ~ 2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV 
 
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. ~ 2 Timothy 2:15 NIV 
  • Adultery — Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. ~ Hebrews 13:4 NIV
  • Anger — A fool gives full vent to anger, but a wise person quietly holds it back. ~ Proverbs 29:11 NLT
  • Bitterness — See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. ~ Hebrews 12:15 NIV
  • Drunkenness — Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. ~ Proverbs 20:1 NIV
  • Envy — A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. ~ Proverbs 14:30 NIV
  • Fear — Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” ~ Isaiah 53:3-4 NIV 
  • Gluttony — Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. ~ Proverbs 23:20-21 NIV
  • Gossip — A gossip goes around revealing secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. ~ Proverbs 11:13 NLT
  • Greed — 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.” ~ Luke 12:15 NIV 
  • Laziness — Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich. ~ Proverbs 10:4 NLT
  • Lust — God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. Then each of you will control your body and live in holiness and honor—not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance of God and his ways. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NLT
  • Selfishness — Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. ~ Psalm 119:36 NIV
  • Unforgiveness — Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. ~ Ephesians 4:32 NIV
  • Worry — 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 6:31-33 NIV

An Ugly Wardrobe

Jun 13

by Victoria Robinson

Two important things my sweet husband has learned to say are, “No, that dress does not make you look fat.”, and “Cute shoes!” Girlfriends, doesn’t it always give you a wonderful feeling to have someone make flattering comments about your wardrobe? It is even more important for our heavenly Father to assure us we are dressed beautifully. Now that is a priceless feeling!

Dressing appropriately involves two aspects. Never wearing something ugly and alway wearing beautiful attire. The psalmist describes two ugly pieces of a wardrobe. A prideful necklace and violent clothes. Wow! That paints an awful picture. Joshua was told to change from his filthy clothes into rich garments. Now that paints a beautiful picture! What was required of Joshua to change his wardrobe was to walk in the ways of the Lord.

Girlfriends, an ugly wardrobe comes out of our “sin closet”. Rich garments come out of our “godly closet”. Which closet are you dressing from today?

Dearest girlfriends, let us throw away the ugly wardrobe of sin and dress ourselves in the beauty of godliness.

Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. ~ Psalm 73:4 NIV
 
Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.” Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by. The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua: “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here. ~ Zechariah 3:3-4 NIV

Lurking in the Grass

Jun 06

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, is something lurking in the grass around you? I have a precious little four-year-old friend who recognizes the scriptural fact that something is lurking in her life. When we have a discussion about sin she tells me the sneaky snake is the reason she sins. My dear little friend has grasped a concept we all need to be mindful of. At all times there is a sneaky snake lurking around you with the intent to entice you into sin. In the Word of God we find a snake as the first and final villain. As the story of Genesis unfolds we see the introduction of a villain—the snake. We read that the snake was sneakier than any of the other wild animals. In the book of Revelation we see the final account of this villainous snake also known as the devil. In the final book we see how the snake is restrained.

I love what the great commentator Matthew Henry observes concerning the temptation of sin the sneaky snake tries to pull on our Lord and Savior.

Christ refused to comply with it. He would not command these stones to be made bread; not because he could not; his power, which soon after this turned stones into bread; but he would not. And why would he not? At first view, the thing appears justifiable enough, and the truth is, the more plausible a temptation is, and the greater appearance there is of good in it, the more dangerous it is. This matter would bear a dispute, but Christ was soon aware of the snake in the grass, and would not do any thing, First, That looked like questioning the truth of the voice he heard from heaven, or putting that upon a new trial which was already settled. Secondly, That looked like distrusting his Father’s care of him, or limiting him to one particular way of providing for him. Thirdly, That looked like setting up for himself, and being his own carver; or, Fourthly, That looked like gratifying Satan, by doing a thing at his motion. Some would have said, To give the Devil his due, this was good counsel; but for those who wait upon God, to consult him, is more than his due; it is like enquiring of the god Ekron, when there is a God in Israel.
Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible

With precision, our Lord and Savior turned temptation from the sneaky snake into triumph. Having experienced being tempted in every way by the sneaky snake, He NEVER let down his guard. Girlfriends, do not be deceived, the first appearance by the sneaky snake was made in a beautiful and perfect garden setting. When all is going well, it is easy to allow ourselves to mindlessly give into fine sounding arguments, just as Eve did. However, we must imitate our Lord and Savior through the correct use of the Word itself.

Dearest girlfriends, let us be vigilant in looking for the enemy who is lurking in the grass around us.

The snake was sneakier than any of the other wild animals that the Lord God had made. One day it came to the woman and asked, “Did God tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?” ~  Genesis 3:1 CEV
 
I saw an angel come down from heaven, carrying the key to the deep pit and a big chain. He chained the dragon for a thousand years. It is that old snake, who is also known as the devil and Satan. ~  Revelation 20:1-2 CEV
 
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him. After Jesus had gone without eating  for forty days and nights, he was very hungry. Then the devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, tell these stones to turn into bread.” Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say: ‘No one can live only on food. People need every word that God has spoken.’ ” Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. The devil said, “If you are God’s Son, jump off. The Scriptures say: ‘God will give his angels orders about you. They will catch you in their arms, and you won’t hurt your feet on the stones.’ ” Jesus answered, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Don’t try to test the Lord your God!’ ” Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power. The devil said to him, “I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus answered, “Go away Satan! The Scriptures say: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ ” Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came to help him. ~ Matthew 4:1-11 CEV
 
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. ~Hebrews 12:1-4 NIV
 
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