Posts Tagged ‘irony’

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

Free* 3 Day Ocean Spa Treatment

Dec 12

by Victoria Robinson

Anyone interested in spending three glorious days in an ocean spa that is renowned for its seaweed wrap? One “lucky” winner of this special treatment has already been chosen. Oddly enough girlfriends, it is not a female who won the trip, but rather a snarly man. Turns out he needed the treatment to help detoxify his body. In the process, the spa gave him a seaweed wrap which is known to remove toxins. The spa treatment worked fairly well and this man came out of the spa with a changed outlook on life. Of course I am talking about the man who has had an entire book written about him—Jonah.

The entrance to this “spa” was rather unusual, and unpleasant! Some sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea. Then a great fish swallowed him. And thus begins his three day “spa treatment”. The toxins removed were of course spiritual in nature.

Girlfriends, please take my advice and detoxify yourself before the Lord sees the need to take you in hand (or sea). Jonah detoxified himself, (Though a little late!), through an act of repentance. He said, “I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me.”

A natural seaweed wrap and a spiritual seaweed wrap basically require the same care afterwards. Water, lots of water. Probably the very last thing Jonah wanted, don’t you think? Drinking water is a great way for your body to replace the toxins with something useful and healthy. Except with a spiritual seaweed wrap, the water is the living water found only in Jesus Christ. Jonah must have failed to take proper care of himself following the “spa treatment” because he seems to have had a slight relapse. After Jonah arrives in the city of Nineveh, he warns the people to repent. The irony here is that after they repent, Jonah becomes angry at the Lord for showing mercy to them. Now girlfriends, isn’t this the same mercy the Lord had so graciously shown Jonah which rescued him from the depths of the sea?

The point of all this is that sometimes we need a “spa treatment” to change our hearts. Once we have a change of heart, we need to drink plenty of living water. Living water is really the Holy Spirit. So what we need is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s amazing what living water does for us!

Dearest girlfriends, let us make an appointment with the Lord for a “spiritual spa treatment” to remove our toxins and take care of ourselves with plenty of living water.
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish. He said, “I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the world of the dead, and Lord, you heard me! You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves. Then I said, ‘O Lord, you have driven me from your presence. How will I ever again see your holy Temple?’ “I sank beneath the waves, and death was very near. The waters closed in around me, and seaweed wrapped itself around my head. I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was locked out of life and imprisoned in the land of the dead. But you, O Lord my God, have snatched me from the yawning jaws of death! “When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple. Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies. But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.”Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit up Jonah on the beach, and it did. ~ Jonah 2:1-10 NLT
 
Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! … Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights. ~ Jonah 1:15,17 NLT
 
This change of plans upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you were a gracious and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. I knew how easily you could cancel your plans for destroying these people. ~ Jonah 4:1-2 NLT
 
Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God. ~ 2 Corinthians 7:1 NLT 
 
… Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “If you are thirsty, come to me! If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) ~ John 7:37-39 NLT
 
Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Ephesians 5:18-20 NLT
 
* Free 3 Day Ocean Spa Treatment requires the purchase of a cruise ship ticket to Tarshish. (But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction in order to get away from the Lord. He went down to the seacoast, to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping that by going away to the west he could escape from the Lord. ~ Jonah 1:3 NLT)