Posts Tagged ‘blessings’

This Is YOUR Life!

May 29

by Victoria Robinson

In the song This Is Your Life, by Switchfoot, the question is posed, “This is your life, are you who you want to be?” Sometimes in life we can develop a “victim” mentality. That is based on the thinking—my life is not my fault. Things have happened to me along the way and I have no choice in what I have become. I can’t help but think about what a certain young man all of seventeen would have said about that idea. At seventeen, this young man was terrorized by his brothers, threatened with death, sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, imprisoned, and left to languish in prison by a friend who neglected to help him. This godly man named Joseph did not understand “playing the victim”. Instead, he knew this was HIS life and he took responsibility for his actions. Because Joseph chose to act godly, the difficulties during this period of his life were intermingled with favor from the Lord.

Even after God places Joseph in a prominent position and gives him power over his brothers, there is never ever a hint of unforgiveness in his heart. Instead, once again, he chooses to be a blessing to those who have cursed him. After experiencing seventeen years of a difficult life, Joseph was godly enough to say to his brothers, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.”

Girlfriends, this is YOUR life and you need to behave properly regardless of what others have done to you. Just as Joseph was richly rewarded for his godly actions, so we will experience our heavenly Father’s blessings when we act appropriately.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray our actions would consistently reflect our heavenly Father’s principles no matter what difficulties we are living through.

 … So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” … So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the richly ornamented robe he was wearing— and they took him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. ~ Genesis 37:17-20,23-24 NIV
 
Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. … Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard. ~ Genesis 37:27-28,36 NIV
 
… Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. … ~ Genesis 39:6-20 NIV
 
But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.” … Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand, but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation. The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. ~ Genesis 40:14-15,20-23 NIV
 
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. ~ Genesis 50:19-21 NIV
 
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. ~ Luke 6:27-28 NIV
 
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. Instead, do what the Scriptures say: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.” Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good. ~ Romans 12:17-21 NLT
 
Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your principles! Then I will not be disgraced when I compare my life with your commands. ~ Psalm 119:5-6 NLT

Gloating Is A Boomerang!

Mar 04

by Victoria Robinson

The temptation to gloat can be powerful and yet our heavenly Father has warned us of the dangers of doing so. The surest cure for gloating is to pray great things for our enemies. After all one would never gloat over a friend! Job is an excellent example who could certainly have gloated over the wrong assumptions his friends had made about him. Can’t you just see the temptation to gloat when the Lord rebuked them for their bad behavior. He actually could have forgone gloating only because Proverbs tells us, “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.” Seems like a sweet reward for behaving correctly doesn’t it? Yet our friend Job instead prayed for his friends. Imagine that—after all the abuse he suffered at the hands of his fair-weather friends he sees the blessings of loving them unconditionally! Not only did the Lord have mercy on Job’s friends, He also blessed Job abundantly.

Love does not inflict sorrow upon others, nor does it gloat over the difficulties others are experiencing. Such gloating displeases the Lord, who returns in boomerang fashion the evil intents upon the head of the perpetrator. — KJV Bible Commentary

Dearest girlfriends, let us never gloat over the troubles or missteps of others, instead choosing to pray God’s best for them.

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him. ~ Proverbs 24:17-18 NIV
 
He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished. ~ Proverbs 17:5 NIV
 
After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer. After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before ~ Job 42:7-10 NIV 
 
If I have rejoiced at my enemy’s misfortune or gloated over the trouble that came to him— I have not allowed my mouth to sin by invoking a curse against his life— ~ Job 31:29-30 NIV
 
Woe to you for making your neighboring lands reel and stagger like drunkards beneath your blows, and then gloating over their nakedness and shame. Soon your own glory will be replaced by shame. Drink down God’s judgment on yourselves. Stagger and fall! ~ Habakkuk 2:15-16 TLB
 
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

The Cure For the Disease of Jealousy

Jan 25

by Victoria Robinson

Jealousy is an ugly disease like no other. It will ravage a person to the point of disfiguration.  Quarrels are a constant symptom of this disease. Fortunately there is a cure for this disease of sin. It is walking in the freedom of happiness for those in our lives who have something we do not.

Girlfriends, what  jealousy issues are you struggling with? Possessions, a better job, beauty, an easy life … ? Could it be over someone else being married or having a boyfriend? What about talent or intelligence? Jealousy does not necessarily have to be over good things. Instead it can focus on envying sinners and bad things. In which case, the Word of God tells us, “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.” What a wonderful cure!

Whatever you might be dealing with, it is wise to remove this “cancer” immediately. One way to overcome jealousy is to pray God’s blessings on the one you envy. Take beauty for instance. Has it occurred to you that envy will rot your bones therefore making you even less beautiful?

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would not allow the “cancer” of jealousy to destroy our well-being, but rather give thanks to our heavenly Father for the great things He has chosen to give us.

… You are jealous and argue with each other. This proves that you are not spiritual and that you are acting like the people of this world. ~ 1 Corinthians 3:3 CEV
 
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. ~ James 4:1-2 NIV
 
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. ~ Proverbs 14:30 NIV
 
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. ~ Proverbs 23:17-18 NIV
 
And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:4 NIV

Enraptured in His Presence

Dec 01

by Victoria Robinson

The idea of being enraptured in the presence of our heavenly Father is comforting beyond any other comfort I could imagine. Think about this for a moment girlfriends. There is the yummy warmth of comfort food. The comfort of shopping for jewelry, and purses, and shoes … oh my! The comforting love of best friends. And of course, the sweet indulgent comfort of chocolate! Yet all these pale in comparison to the comfort of the presence of our Lord.

Dearest girlfriends, whenever you are facing difficulties in your life, allow yourself the wonderful indulgence of being comforted by the presence of your heavenly Father.

In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever. ~ Psalm 41:12 NIV

Your goodness is so great! You have stored up great blessings for those who honor you. You have done so much for those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues. ~ Psalm 31:19-20 NLT

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD. ~ Psalm 89:15 NIV

Drawing the Line on Compromise

Nov 22

by Victoria Robinson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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