Posts Tagged ‘disciples’

A High Price!

Sep 17

SIN 091714by Victoria Robinson

In life we must always consider the cost of our purchases. Sometimes we tend to think that only wrong purchases are costly, but the truth is that our Lord has admonished us that following Him comes with a high price. Oh, but the rewards on that eternal investment are wonderful!

    Jesus Christ is a Pearl of great price, a Jewel of inestimable value, which will make those who have it rich, truly rich, rich toward God; in having him, we have enough to make us happy here and for ever.
    A true Christian is a spiritual merchant, that seeks and finds this pearl of price; that does not take up with any thing short of an interest in Christ, and, as one that is resolved to be spiritually rich, trades high: He went and bought that pearl; did not only bid for it, but purchased it. What will it avail us to know Christ, if we do not know him as ours, made to us wisdom?
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  ~ 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 NASB
    Those who would have a saving interest in Christ, must be willing to part with all for him, leave all to follow him. Whatever stands in opposition to Christ, or in competition with him for our love and service, we must cheerfully quit it, though ever so dear to us. A man may buy gold too dear, but not this pearl of price.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary

Sin also comes with a high price. However, sin does not result in eternal rewards, but comes with a high price of suffering. The Word of God clearly says, “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” In fact, the ultimate price of sin is death. The book of Romans states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

If you are dealing with “buyer’s remorse” because you have already paid the high price of sin, take heart—there is hope. Your heavenly Father loves you unconditionally and will never abandon you. This does not always negate the price we pay for sin, but it does give us tremendous comfort in knowing we are loved and will never be cast away. The apostle John tells us that, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This promise ensures us freedom from our sins when we confess with a repentant heart.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray the next time we consider sin, we would consider the price too high and would instead look at the rewards of the high price of following our Lord and Savior.

Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ ~ Luke 14:27-30 NASB
 
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?. ~ Luke 9:23-25 NASB
 
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. ~ Matthew 19:29 NASB
 
Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.” And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.” ~ Luke 18:28-30 NASB
 
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” ~ 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 NASB
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 6:23 NASB

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. ~ 1 Timothy 6:10-11 NASB
 
Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. ~ 2 Timothy 2:22 NASB
 
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. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Peter 1:3-8 NIV
 
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. ~ Galatians 6:7-8 NASB
 
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:8-9 NASB
 
If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” ~ Joshua 24:15 NASB

3 Days To Victory!

Jun 18

by Victoria Robinson

The queen and all her people were faced with imminent death. Would three days be the key to victory? Could three days bring you victory? In the third chapter of the suspenseful cliffhanger book of Esther, death was looming in the air. The evil villain Haman was preparing to kill all the Jews. When this heinous plan comes to light, our hero Mordecai turns to his cousin for help. His cousin just happened to be royalty. The heroine Queen Esther devises her own three-day plan that will bring victory. She along with her maids and all the Jews fasted and prayed. After these three days the Lord intervenes in some wonderful ways. By the end of this story victory came for all the Jews and Haman is hanged on a gallows.

Further truth of the victories fasting will bring are found in the words of our Lord and Savior. The disciples asked Him why a demon would not come out of a boy and his response was, “… this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Girlfriends, do you need victory in some area that only fasting can change? Is there a need you have brought before the Lord and have not gotten victory? Make no mistake about fasting. This act of self-sacrifice does not guarantee your desires will be given to you. Hence more of the self-sacrifice when we give over our desires to Him. Yet, fasting is an element of God’s arsenal in prayer that we all should be utilizing on a regular basis. The changes the Lord brings about through self-denial are heavenly.

Dearest girlfriends, lets us turn to fasting and prayer when we are in dire need and trust the Lord for His victories in our lives.

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” ~ Esther 4:15-16 NIV
 
King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have hanged him on the gallows. Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.” At once the royal secretaries were summoned—on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language. Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king. … Mordecai left the king’s presence wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration. For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. In every province and in every city, wherever the edict of the king went, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them. ~ Esther 8:7-10,15-17 NIV
 
“Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. “So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” ~ Matthew 17:15-21 NKJV

Driven to Distraction

Jun 01

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, when you are driven to distraction, you need to ask, “Who is driving you?” Most likely, you will find it is the enemy of your soul—Lucifer. He is always ready to distract you with activities that have the appearance of being godly. Such is the scenario when two sisters invite Jesus into their home. Martha is distracted with all the preparations to the point of whining to Jesus about her sister Mary’s behavior. Yet the Lord tells Martha how wrong her focus is. His response shows her the godliness of Mary who is sitting at His feet hanging onto every word He spoke.

Gracious hospitality is a scriptural attribute a godly lady should practice. But, oh my, telling your guest how much work they have put upon you by coming into your home does not sound gracious does it? Our frazzled Martha would have been smarter to order some takeout and pay attention to her honored guest. (I know… there was not a Domino’s Pizza in the neighborhood!) The real point is, the enemy will use activities that have a godly appearance to distract us from focusing on our heavenly Father.

Dearest girlfriends, let us examine our hearts for any distractions that would keep us too busy to sit at our Lord and Savior’s feet.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” ~ Luke 10:38-42 NIV
 
But Jesus told him, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 9:62 TLB

Less Than a Penny’s Worth of Trust

Mar 10

by Victoria Robinson

Do you trust your heavenly Father? There was a widow who had less than a penny’s worth of trust in Him, yet Jesus characterized her trust greater than all the other people. She had given two very small copper coins worth less than a penny to the temple treasury. The reason this oh so small amount mattered was that it was all the money she had. This act showed her total trust in her Lord.

When it comes to your life, have you given Him everything? Regardless of your circumstances have you trusted Him in all areas of your life? Not just your money, but your entire life. The reason we can trust Him is because He is trustworthy. What a glorious thought!

Less than a penny’s worth of trust can be a beautiful thing to behold. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would examine our hearts to see if we truly trust our heavenly Father with all aspects of our lives.

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” ~ Mark 12:41-44 NIV
 
For the word of the Lord holds true, and everything he does is worthy of our trust. ~ Psalm 33:4 NLT
 
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. ~ Psalm 143:8 NIV

What Do You Want?

Mar 07

by Victoria Robinson

Have you told your heavenly Father what you want? He is the only one who has the power to grant your request. It is futile to just talk about your desires. Tell the one who can make things happen. But be prepared—His answers are sometimes surprising. Imagine how the people who were with Jesus felt when they tried to quiet the blind man who called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”, only to see Jesus ask him what he wanted. The man replied, “Lord, I want to see.” Jesus went on to give him his sight. What a great story! On  the other hand there is the story of the disciples who requested to be seated next to Jesus in heaven. Jesus answer was a resounding no as He told them only the heavenly Father could grant such a lofty request. Their request was brought with a wrong motive. The apostle James tells us we do not have because we do not ask. He went further and said our motives need to be right when we ask.

Girlfriends, whether He tells you yes or no—have you told Him what you want? Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would openly tell our heavenly Father what we want once our motives are pure.

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. ~  Luke 18:35-43 NIV
 
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.” When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~  Mark 10:35-45 NIV
 
… You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. ~ James 4:2-3 NIV

Sleep Sweetly Girlfriends

Feb 11

by Victoria Robinson  

The thought of sweet sleep is heavenly. Our heavenly Father loves us so much and is the One who enables us to have sweet sleep. He is our protector, the One who brings peace to our hearts, the One who calms the storms in our lives.  

I reside in Florida and a few years ago there were four major hurricanes in one season. I shall always remember lying on my bed at night with the blinds open so that I could keep watch on the storm. On the other hand, my “concerned” husband slept peacefully through all the wind, rain, and my fear. He always jokingly likens himself to someone else who slept peacefully through a storm—our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In the book of Mark we see a story of Jesus resting in sweet sleep during a storm. His disciples were in fear of their very lives while he was not bothered at all. After His companions awoke Him, He stilled the wind and waves, then proceeded to chide the disciples for their lack of faith. Hmmm … sounds like what He would say to me when I do not sleep in peace because of my problems.  

King Solomon wisely wrote, “a dream comes when there are many cares …” I have awoken many more mornings than I care to admit with stressful dreams on my mind. This always happens just like King Solomon said it would—when I have many cares. The psalmist gives us a great remedy to this problem when he says, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you …”  

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would place our trust in God and allow sweet sleep to come and refresh our bodies, minds, and spirits.  

At this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very sweet. ~ Jeremiah 31:26 NLT  

I lay down and slept. I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side. ~ Psalm 3:5-6 NLT  

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” ~ Mark 4:37-40 NIV  

 As a dream comes when there are many cares … ~ Ecclesiastes 5:3 NIV

  

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. ~ Psalm 55:22 NIV

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. ~ Psalm 4:8 NIV  

Lord Help Me!

Jan 31

by Victoria Robinson

A woman came to Jesus, knelt before Him and said, “Lord help me!” Sounds familiarly like the story of my life. I am in constant need of my Lord’s help. This is a suspenseful story that has some intriguing twists and turns. Though the outcome does look dark at first it does have a happy ending. My favorite kind of story!

Within this story we see the wonderful mercy, help and provision of our Lord. However, we also see that not all request presented to our Lord are immediately answered. This distressed woman is in dire need to have her daughter set free from demon-possession. She begs for mercy. Of all the responses our Lord could have given, He says nothing. That must have been a deafening silence to this poor woman who came to Jesus in sincerity. Now His disciples made the matter worse. They urged Jesus to send her away because she kept crying after them. Fortunately for her, Jesus knew He was sent to help her. This is where she kneels before Him and cries out, “Lord help me!” But a happy ending is not here yet girlfriends! He starts debating with her. He tells her, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” To which she persist in seeking His help by saying, “Yes, Lord,” … “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Voila! Her great faith has rewarded her! The Lord now says what we all wanted to hear all along, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.”

What a great story of need, persistence and mercy! Girlfriends do you need to cry out, “Lord help me!”? He is waiting to listen patiently to your deepest needs. Whatever His answer will be, will be perfect. His timing will be perfect as well. Trust Him with the same great faith this woman had.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would come and kneel before the Lord with all our needs and allow Him to help us.

The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. ~ Matthew 15:25 NIV
 
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. ~ Matthew 15:21-28 NIV
 
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord. ~ Psalm 40:1-3 NLT
 
Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. … Let him confront me! It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. … ~ Isaiah 50:7-9 NIV

Have You Asked Where He Is Staying?

Jan 01

by Victoria Robinson

Have you ever thought to ask Jesus, “Where are you staying?” Two men once did just that and spent the day with Jesus at His place. How cool is that? So many people have a story about meeting someone famous and spending time with them. Excitement gushes from them every time they retell their infamous story. Yet there is no one more famous and important than Jesus. Here these two men, John and Andrew, had only to ask where He was staying and He took them home and spent the day with them. Because John and Andrew inquired of Jesus, they not only spent the day with Him, but became His disciples.

Andrew then went on to bring his brother, Simon Peter, to Jesus. Andrew tells his brother Simon, “We have found the Messiah.” Here is where we see true discipleship in action. It should always be our response to having found Jesus to bring others to Him.

Girlfriends, have you thought to ask Jesus today, “Where are you staying?” If you do, He will spend the day with you and impart all that He is to you. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would make a concerted effort to always understand “where Jesus is staying” so that we can spend time with Him.

The following day, John was again standing with two of his disciples. As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and then declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” Then John’s two disciples turned and followed Jesus. Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place, and they stayed there the rest of the day. ~ John 1:35-39 NLT

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who had heard what John said and then followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon, and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means the Christ). Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “You are Simon, the son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means Peter). ~ John 1:40-42 NLT

Savoring Sweet Moments

Nov 25

by Victoria Robinson

Today is a great day to look for the sweet moments our heavenly Father so graciously gives us. Even in the midst of trials, God has not left us without something sweet to hold onto. Though it might not seem like much, when you do find even one sweet moment, it is of utmost importance to hold on tightly and savor the sweetness among the bitterness of your difficulties.

Sweet moments are a literal expression of our heavenly Father’s love for us. The littlest of niceties can bring the most wonderful thoughts and encouragement just when we need it the most. Whatever you are facing, your heavenly Father has and is providing sweet moments to help alleviate the discomfort you may be experiencing.

When Jesus reminded His disciples He would be going away, it must have been difficult for them to grasp and hold onto the sweet moments they had together. Girlfriends, there were so many wonderful experiences they had together, yet when Jesus died the grief was enormous. Still, they had so much goodness to savor. There were healings, financial miracles, provisions for an unplanned feast for five thousand, even raising people from the dead! If you are pondering your sweet moments, maybe they seem trivial compared to all the disciples had seen. But God gives each of us what we need when we need it. Even the smallest provision in our lives is just as sweet to savor as a feast for five thousand. One loaf of bread in time of need is just as wonderful as all the bread the disciples had served the impromptu guests.

It really comes down to looking for the goodness of our heavenly Father no matter how imperfect your life may be. Dearest girlfriends, let us hold onto the sweet moments our heavenly Father lavishes on us in times of need.

… and we are always happy, even in times of suffering. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:10 CEV
 
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:14 NIV
 
Dear children, how brief are these moments before I must go away and leave you! … ~ John 13:33
 
God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future. I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life, because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 CEV