Archive for the ‘Serving’ Category

Wholeheartedly Burning Your Bridge

Apr 02

by Victoria Robinson

The story of the Lord calling Elisha to serve as a prophet is a strong reminder that we are to serve the Lord wholeheartedly. As soon as Elisha is called, he goes home to say goodbye to his mother and father. He then proceeds to take his yoke of oxen, slaughter them, and using the wood plow, cooks the meat and prepares a farewell meal for all the people. He essentially burned his bridge and had no intention of turning back. This man had confidence the Lord’s call would work out.

Have you “burned your bridge” when the Lord called you, or have you hung on to something just in case your new life did not work out? We should all have the dedication of Elisha when serving the Lord.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would “burn” anything that is holding us back from serving the Lord wholeheartedly.

So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother good-by,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant. ~ 1 Kings 19:19-21 NIV
 
In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered. ~ 2 Chronicles 31:21 NIV

Service With a Smile

Feb 06

Service With a Smile 020611by Victoria Robinson

Don’t you just love being waited on at a restaurant or store by someone who is smiling and being attentive to your every need. Hmmm … sounds a lot like the greatest servant of all time, our Lord and Savior! In the book of Matthew He describes his true heart of service as, “… the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Girlfriends, do you serve with a smile or do you sometimes find yourself complaining? It is so easy to allow the enemy to plant the seeds in our hearts of self-centered desires which is the opposite of our Lord and Savior. This in turn grows into weeds of complaining and discontent. It is necessary to take these seeds out of our hearts immediately and allow our Lord and Savior’s attitude of “service with a smile” to permeate our hearts.

The only way we can serve with a smile is to serve in the strength God provides. This then will bring glory to God as it says in the book of First Peter, “If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would serve with a smile as we rely on the strength of our heavenly Father and bring glory to Him.

Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. ~ Romans 15:17 NIV
 
Do everything without complaining or arguing, ~ Philippians 2:14 NIV 
 
Be dressed ready for service … ~ Luke 12:35 NIV
 
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does … ~ Ephesians 6:7-8 NIV
 
… whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. ~ Matthew 20:26-28 NIV
 
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. ~ 1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV
 
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who… made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant … ~ Philippians 2:3-7 NIV

Goat Au Jus Flambé … Yummm???

Jan 16

by Victoria Robinson

A classic sandwich is a French Dip which consist of beef served on a french roll with pan juices to dip into. Au jus is French for, “with juice”. This is a yummy sandwich when made the classic way with beef. Interestingly, the Word of God mentions a similar sandwich with a couple of notable changes. First the beef has been replaced with goat. (Apparently goat is the “other” red meat. Hmmm…) Secondly, the bread is unleavened and it is served flambé. Don’t know about you, girlfriends, but I have never tasted goat meat and probably will not. Though I must admit I do love goat cheese!

In the book of Judges we see Gideon being told by the Lord that he could save Israel. Quite an overwhelming task for someone who had the weakest clan and was the least in his family. So Gideon goes and prepares an offering for the Lord. Now girlfriends, I love new recipes, but a goat au jus sandwich? Gideon prepares the meat with broth and some unleavened bread. An angel of God tells him to place the meat and bread on a rock. He then tells him to pour the broth over it. Here’s where the dish turns gourmet. The angel of the LORD touched the meat and unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. And voilà—flambé!

Gideon, the man who may have invented the Goat Au Jus Flambé sandwich, was a military hero and spiritual leader who delivered Israel from the oppression of the Midianites. In his first assignment, Gideon had to tear down an altar built to a false god by none other than his own father. That is a difficult way to start out—going against his own father. Just proves God knows everything as his father, Joash, actually defended his son against the hostile townspeople.
Girlfriends, never be afraid of the call God has placed on your life. Instead ask Him to verify you are hearing Him. Your heavenly Father loves you and is your only strength in the assignments you undertake for Him. Dearest girlfriends, let us bravely follow the leading of our heavenly Father and watch Him accomplish His will through us.
The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.” Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.” And the LORD said, “I will wait until you return.” Gideon went in, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak. The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the LORD disappeared. When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, “Ah, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!” ~ Judges 6:14-22 NIV
 
That same night the LORD said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.” So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the men of the town, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. In the morning when the men of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar! They asked each other, “Who did this?” When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.” The men of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.” But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.” So that day they called Gideon “Jerub-Baal,” saying, “Let Baal contend with him,” because he broke down Baal’s altar. ~ Judges 6:25-32 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

A Passionate Worker

Nov 08

by Victoria Robinson
  
Do you have a heart of  passion when it comes to your work? Whether your work includes working outside the home or not, you need to have a passion in all the work you perform. Most importantly we should have a passionate heart concerning our service to God. Scripture shows us that we cannot really separate our work into compartments. Our service to our families, career, and what we would consider the Lord’s work are really all one and the same. They are really all service to our Lord and Savior.
 
When it comes to serving our families, we are to have a passion like the woman found in the thirty-first chapter of the book of Proverbs. As for serving our employers, we are to look at it as serving the Lord recognizing He will reward us. The Lord’s work really encompasses both of these types of work as well as our service in ministry.
 
If your financial situation makes it necassary to work, you need to thank God for His provision. The Word of God says, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”  When you think about working for an employer, maybe you surmise that the problem with lack of passion is because you are working for a harsh person who treats you unfairly. While this is hard to accomplish, God has made it clear that we are to still to serve with passion. On the other hand, if your boss is a wonderful Christian, the Word of God warns us not to take this for granted, but to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers.  

Our ambition as to when and where we serve should never come from our own desires, but rather looking to our heavenly Father’s desires instead. The apostle Paul showed this clearly in the book of Romans where he says he wanted to come to Rome for years, but he had waited until his work in Greece was finished.
 
Sometimes the problem with lack of passion in our service is that we are not serving in an area God has chosen for us. When I first accepted Jesus Christ into my heart, I was eager to get started serving. I found myself volunteering in several areas of the church. Sometimes I was miserable and had to realize that I was not in God’s will. I did endeavor to serve in one area where I found myself in over my head. I was extremely excited to enroll in an evangelism training program. This program was intense and required much memorization as well as a boldness to speak to strangers. I was able to master the memorization, but when it came to talking, I was just plain tongue-tied. Fear gripped my heart to the point of becoming ill. However, there was something that kept me going. That was a passion and belief that God has called us to share the gospel with the world. Because of the grace of God, I not only completed the class, but also the commitment I had made to train others. Little did I know at the time just how tremendously God was going to use this in my life. Over the years I have since trained a multitude of people how to share their faith. The passion God has given me has made all the difference.  

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would always be passionate in whatever work we are called by our heavenly Father to accomplish.
 
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. ~ Ecclesiastes 9:10 NIV 
  
 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. ~ Proverbs 31:27 NIV
  
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me ~ 1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV 
 
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. ~ Colossians 3:22-24 NIV 
  
Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. ~ 1 Peter 2:18-19 NIV
  
Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them. ~ 1 Timothy 6:2 NIV 

For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:7-10 NIV
  
But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to see you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. ~ Romans 15:23-25 NIV
   
We work hard with our own hands. … ~ 1 Corinthians 4:12 NIV
  
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, … ~ Colossians 1:10 NIV
  
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. ~ Romans 12:11 NIV

Selfish or Selfless?

Sep 19
It takes no effort to be selfish and oh so much effort to be selfless. Our natural self wants to think of only me, me, me. Our Lord and Savior thought of only what would please the heavenly Father, and therefore came to be selfless and not selfish. He thought of only you, you, you. In the circumstances of your life, how much effort are you putting into serving the needs of others rather than yourself? Is your ambition set on pleasing your heavenly Father and therefore focused on meeting the needs of others and not your own? The apostle Paul’s attitude was amazingly selfless when he was in prison and there were some vile people “preaching the gospel”, only because they knew he would be beaten for it. His concerns were not for himself, but he rejoiced that Christ was being preached. He saw eternal value  in those beatings. This story really puts things into perspective when it comes to the trivial matters where we do not wish to put the interest of others ahead of ourselves. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would turn our hearts toward God and look to see how we could be selfless and not selfish.
 
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. ~ Psalm 119:36
 
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. ~ James 3:13-16
 
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, …~ Philippians 1:15-18
 
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:3-4

Do You Have Buried Treasure?

Sep 12
 
Jesus showed us in the book of Matthew, that we should not bury the talents we are given. While the talents in this parable were a form of money, one can also use this story as an example of burying the treasure of talents God gives each of us instead of investing them in the kingdom of God. Are there treasures God has given you that you have buried and are not using for Him. We should always be vigilantly seeking where God would have us serve. Within you lies a great wealth of treasure just waiting to be used for God. Invest your talents today!
 
Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. … But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. ~ Matthew 25:14-15,18
 
“Then the man who had received the one talent came. … I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. ”‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. ~ Matthew 25:24-28

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. ~ 1 Peter 4:12