Archive for the ‘Spiritual Growth’ Category

Mirror, Mirror … Am I the Godliest?

Aug 18

by Victoria Robinson 

Girlfriends, have you looked in the mirror recently? Of course you have. Just basic grooming requires time in front of the mirror everyday, not to mention if you are glamming it up to go out. The real question isn’t if you look in the mirror on a daily basis—the real question is do you really see yourself as the Lord does?

When judging our spiritual appearance it is so easy to start looking around at others instead of focusing on ourselves. Well, well, I am certainly more godly than her! Um, but I don’t like to compare myself with that other friend though, she seems to be more godly than me. Maybe I should just focus on those who do not seem very godly. That way I can make myself appear better in my “spiritual” mirror! 

We do this to no avail though because no matter what we think of our godliness—it is meaningless. The apostle Paul told us that each one should test his own actions. In that way we can take pride in ourselves, without comparing ourselves to somebody else. He understood the importance of self-examination. He also understood what our goal should be—the approval of the Lord. In the book of Second Corinthians he said, “For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” 

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would look into the mirror of our heavenly Father’s eyes and seek to look just like Him. 

If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. ~ Galatians 6:3-5 NIV 

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you.  We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ.  Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand,  so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man’s territory. But, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:12-18 NIV 

Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV 

Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. ~ Mark 10:18 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 

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 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 1:22-25 NIV

He Wasn’t Making Biscuits!

Mar 25

by Victoria Robinson

Being a southern girl, I love to make the perfect biscuit. My favorite biscuit recipe yields a buttery biscuit that has a nice crispness on the outside and a flaky and fluffy inside. And … this is very important … a beautiful tall biscuit! You can click on this link to get my recipe. Flaky Buttermilk Biscuit Hearts One of my signature designs in the kitchen is cutting all sorts of foods into heart shapes and my biscuits are almost always cute hearts. Which brings me to the true point of this devotional. Focusing on hearts. Our spiritual hearts.

When we talk about baking, the subject of sifting flour will inevitably come up. Sometimes you need to sift flour by itself and other times it is necessary to sift with other dry ingredients such as sugar, leavening, etc. Jesus talked about sifting when he told Simon Peter he would be sifted as wheat. Just as in baking, sifting can produce a better product, the sifting of Simon Peter would produce a better person.

We also see two other examples where God referred to sifting in the scriptures. In both cases God was sifting a nation. In both of these example we see God declaring He was going to sift the nation of Israel.

Girlfriends, God wasn’t making biscuits when He was allowing Simon Peter to be sifted like wheat. He was concerned with something far more important—the making of a spiritually strong person. The same was true when God sifted the nation of Israel. Is God sifting you today? While the process of being sifted is painful—the results are far greater than a perfect flaky hot biscuit fresh out of the oven. The results are heavenly!

Dearest girlfriends, I pray that just as Simon Peter became a stronger follower of our Lord and Savior, we would also allow God’s sifting process to strengthen us.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” ~ Luke 22:31-32 NIV
 
Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar, Burning with His anger, And His burden is heavy; His lips are full of indignation, And His tongue like a devouring fire. His breath is like an overflowing stream, Which reaches up to the neck, To sift the nations with the sieve of futility; And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, Causing them to err. ~ Isaiah 30:27-28 NKJV
 
“For surely I will command, And will sift the house of Israel among all nations, As grain is sifted in a sieve; Yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground. ~ Amos 9:9 NKJV

Don’t Stop!

Nov 11

by Victoria Robinson

I have a precious 4-year-old little girl in my life and I think she is growing up way too fast. I tell her she needs to stop growing and she defiantly tells me she will never stop growing. In reality her theory would turn out pretty interesting don’t you think? In spiritual thinking, we should all think like my little friend. We should never stop growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior.

The term mature is often thought of as the goal in a Christian’s life. The Greek word for mature is teleios which means: brought to its end; finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness; and perfect. Since we will never be perfect here on earth, maturing is a process until the day we step off into eternity.

If you want to grow in knowledge, you will have to make a concerted effort. First, make certain you are reading God’s Word for yourself everyday. Second, you need to be in a solid church. One of my friends and I jest that we like to feel the “pain” when we attend church. What we mean is that sitting under a pastor’s teaching should not always feel comfortable. Conviction is painful, but we are thankful to have a pastor who does not gloss over the Word of God and just pick the “happy” verses. You also need to be engaged in some Bible studies where you can grow in your knowledge.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would never stop growing in the Lord.

If you stop learning, you will forget what you already know. ~ Proverbs 19:27 CEV
 
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. ~ 2 Peter 3:18 NIV
 
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. ~ 1 Peter 2:2-3 NIV
 
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. ~ Hebrews 5:11-14 NIV
 
Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done. ~ Colossians 2:7 TLB

Get Up and Eat!

Nov 05

by Victoria Robinson

Food is so much more than just a pleasure to the palette. It is what we need for the very existence of life. There is a wonderful story that illustrates the love of our heavenly Father and His divine provision of food. In the book of First Kings, a man of God named Elijah was fearful and running for his life. His heavenly Father had sent an angel to prepare and serve him a cake of bread and some water. Even though the bread was hot off the coals, that just doesn’t sound like a five-star restaurant menu. The angel had to coax him into partaking of this rather bland food twice. However simple this food was, it was sent from God and exactly what Elijah needed. After being strengthened by these viands, he was able to travel for forty days to the destination God had for him. In this story God had provided natural food, but there are other ways food is mentioned in the Scriptures.

One type of food is the Word of God itself. The importance of savoring the Word of God cannot be understated. Without it you will find yourself spiritually anemic. You must constantly be partaking of the delicacies found in God’s Word. My darlings, do not be deceived into thinking that because God has given us pastors and teachers, that we do not have to  feed ourselves. It is a sad sight to see a spoon fed sister lounging in a  “high chair”! In the book of Hebrews the apostle Paul tells the church that they were still spiritual infants waiting on someone to feed them. He says they should already be mature enough to teach others. Which is a good point. If we are not learned in the Scriptures, then we are not able to help others grow.

Living a life of obedience to the will of God is another way to feed yourself. In the book of John, the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him if He wanted something to eat. His response was, “My food, … is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” This kind of divine sustenance goes hand in hand with the food of God’s Word. You cannot effectively serve God if you are unaware of what His Word says. This then gives you the spiritual strength to serve, just as the bread and water gave physical strength to Elijah.

Most importantly is the true bread from heaven. The book of John tells us, “…  the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  The way to obtain this divine food is to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you are hungry to find out how to make certain that you will go to heaven when you die, please click here. I want to go to Heaven

Dearest girlfriends, let us get up and partake of God’s divine food by reading His Word and serving Him.

Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. ~ 1 Kings 19:5-8 NIV
 
 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” ~ John 21:15 NIV
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. ~ Hebrews 5:12-14 NIV
 
Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. ~ John 4:31-34 NIV
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.” ~ John 6:32-34 NIV

What’s Your Next Step?

Sep 29

by Victoria Robinson

Spiritually speaking, whether you were born again yesterday or years ago, have you considered what your next step should be? In the 1950 classic movie, Born Yesterday, William Holden states, “Nobody’s born smart, Billie. Do you know what the stupidest thing on earth is? An infant!” To which Judy Holliday responds, “What do you have against babies all of a sudden?” To which William Holden replies, “Nothing. I got nothing against a brain that is three weeks old and empty, but after it hangs around for thirty years and hasn’t absorbed anything I begin to wonder about it.” This is a perfect example of spiritual maturity or the lack there of. When you are born again your spiritual brain is empty. Are you a spiritual infant? This has nothing to do with how long you have had a relationship with Jesus Christ. It has everything to do with how much you have grown.

What have you done since you were born again to educate yourself in the Word of God? That is where all growth begins and continues. We must know what God wrote to us through the scriptures to be able to distinguish good from evil. It is amazing how many of us make determinations concerning God’s will for our life without having scriptural proof that it lines up with what He has already told us through His Word. I love how the Bereans are portrayed in the book of Acts.  They did not simply take the Apostle Paul’s word for truth. They examined the Scriptures for themselves. I don’t care what Pastor or Bible teacher you are listening to or reading, you must be of noble character like the Bereans and examine the Scriptures for yourself. That is actually how I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. The pastor of the church I was attending said, “Don’t just take my word for it, read the Bible for yourself.” This was a turning point in my life as I grew up religious, but having no relationship with God, and my husband grew up in a cult. I had many different perspectives of God’s Word to consider. By reading the Bible myself, I came to understand the truth about becoming born again.

Whether you have a little or much Bible knowledge, you must never stop growing. Spiritual maturity cannot be seen as a goal to obtain and then stop. As long as we are on this earth, we should continue growing in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ. So what is your next step going to be? First and foremost, you must read the Bible by yourself consistently. Secondly, God has given us Pastors and teachers to help us mature spiritually. Are you plugged into a solid church? Are you doing more than just attending worship services? You must take action by getting into some small groups and Bible classes. One of your goals must be to correctly handle the word of truth. Ask God what He would have you to do next. Dearest girlfriends, I pray that we would seek God’s will for our next step to become spiritually mature.

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. ~ Hebrews 5:11-14
 
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. ~ Acts 17:11
 
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. ~ 2 Peter 3:14-18
 

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. ~ Ephesians 4:11-13

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