Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Do Not Give Up!

Nov 20

by Victoria Robinson

When life presses in on you, do you give up? Are you sitting here reading this and groaning at the prospect of pushing on in some area of your life? It is so easy to throw your hands in the air and call it a day. However, that would be defeat and while our heavenly Father never said life would be easy, He did tell us to never give up.

The apostle Paul felt hard pressed many times and yet never gave up. He chose instead to believe what his heavenly Father instructed him to do, knowing he was never really alone in the task.

A paralytic man had faithful friends who refused to give up. When they could not get him to Jesus, they pushed through and found a way to get him the healing he so desperately needed. They accomplished this through an “”Extreme Home Makeover”. Healing was the reward of their faithful efforts.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would keep pushing through when we feel like giving up.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit.We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT
 
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t quit! For I am with you and no one can harm you. Many people here in this city belong to me.” So Paul stayed there the next year and a half, teaching the truths of God. ~ Acts 18:9-11 TLB
 
Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to push through the crowd to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him. So they went up to the roof, took off some tiles, and lowered the sick man down into the crowd, still on his mat, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” ~ Luke 5:18-20 NLT
  
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. ~ 2 Chronicles 15:7 NIV
 
This is what the Lord Almighty says: Take heart and finish the task! … ~ Zechariah 8:9 NLT
 
We are praying, too, that you will be filled with his mighty, glorious strength so that you can keep going no matter what happens—always full of the joy of the Lord, ~ Colossians 1:11 TLB
 
God has been kind enough to trust us with this work. That’s why we never give up. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:1 CEV

A Genteel Lady

Nov 14

by Victoria Robinson

The origins of the word genteel are traced to France in 1599. Genteel means: nice, graceful, and pleasing. It is a reborrowing of the word that had early come into English as gentle. Girlfriends, genteel is an accurate word to describe your heavenly Father. He is a loving and gentle Father. Let us seek to imitate Him by going about our lives presenting gentleness to those around us.

Gentleness should never be taken as a trait of someone who is spineless. The opposite is actually true. Proverbs tells us that  a gentle tongue can break a bone. Note how Jesus spoke with the woman who came to get water at the well in the book of John. He actually had more spine than most of us. He tells her He knows that she has had five husbands and that she is now living with a man without being married. Yet He did all this with gentleness and love. Not only did this lead to her salvation, but also many others in the town after she testified to them about her encounter with Jesus. Girlfriends, I do not know about you, but if someone exposed my sin to me, I am not about to run telling everyone. This however is exactly what this woman did. The gentleness Jesus used was not spineless, but extremely effective.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would develop a genteel heart and treat everyone with the gentleness of our heavenly Father.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. ~ Philippians 4:5 NIV
  
Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone. ~ Proverbs 25:15 NIV
  
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? … Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.  The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” … The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.” … Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” ~ John 4:10-11,13-18,25-26,39-42 NIV
 
…  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, … ~ 1 Peter 3:15 NIV
 
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. ~ Galatians 6:1 NIV

 

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. ~ Proverbs 15:1 NIV
 
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit? ~ 1 Corinthians 4:20-21 NIV

Watch Out For Detours!

Nov 10

by Victoria Robinson

Ever travel down a road only to find a detour sign? Most of the time this is not a welcome sign. We usually sigh at the prospect of a longer journey. So why is it  in our spiritual journey we so often take a detour of our own volition? Jesus told us to stay on the narrow road that leads to life. Yet we can become easily distracted and find ourselves far from God’s intended path. Our heavenly Father has warned us to be on our guard.

In the book of Judges we see a man name Samson who was called by God to be a Nazirite which means to dedicate or separate. This would mean that he should abstain from: the fruit of the vine in any form; cutting the hair; and touching a corpse. One day Samson turned off the path he was traveling on and ended up breaking a vow to God.  He was not allowed to touch a carcass, but was enticed by some honey found  in the carcass of a lion. Had he not taken a detour, he would have been spared the grief that followed. Because of this particular detour, he lost his wife to another man. Later he came to be involved with a prostitute named Delilah. The psalmist warns of the dangers of such a woman. This was Samson’s final undoing and his death was forthcoming.

Samson was a person with great potential who fell short because he took detours off of God’s path and indulged in sin and disobedience. Though he was mighty in physical strength, he was weak in resisting temptation. His life serves to illustrate the dangers of self-indulgence and lack of discipline. The road God had chosen for him was very narrow. He got off the road many times, ultimately leading to his untimely death.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would stay on the narrow road God has called us to travel and not be lured into the enemies detours.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. ~ Matthew 7:13-14 NIV
 
So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. ~ Mark 13:23 NIV
 
Later, when he returned to Timnah for the wedding, he turned off the path to look at the carcass of the lion. And he found that a swarm of bees had made some honey in the carcass. He scooped some of the honey into his hands and ate it along the way. He also gave some to his father and mother, and they ate it. But he didn’t tell them he had taken the honey from the carcass of the lion. ~ Judges 14:8-9 NLT
 
The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said, “You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” ~ Judges 13:3-5 NIV
 
I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment. He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. (She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.) With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. Psalm 7:7-12,21 NIV
 
When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him. Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him. Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison. ~ Judges 16:18-21 NIV
 
Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. ~ Judges 16:29-30 NIV
 
Stay on the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy. ~ Deuteronomy 5:33 NIV

Heavenly Aromatherapy

Nov 06

by Victoria Robinson

Aromatherapy is wonderful for cleansing your skin and for enhancing a feeling of well-being. Lotions are made with a preparation of fragrant essential oils extracted from herbs, flowers, and fruits. I know that just entering into my favorite candle store and inhaling all the calming fragrances is a heavenly experience. Your heavenly Father has a magnificent “aromatherapy”. The psalmist describes being cleansed with hyssop. Hyssop was an aromatic shrub with clusters of yellow flowers and was used in purification ceremonies.

When King David speaks of being cleansed with hyssop, he was in the midst of repenting from his affair with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of her husband Uriah. He was desperate to be cleansed by God. Girlfriends, are you desperate for God to cleanse you from sin? If so, he has the perfect “aromatherapy” treatment to cleanse you, bring healing and a feeling of well-being. You cannot purchase this “aromatherapy” in any store. It has already been purchased for you at such a lavish cost that could only be described as the purest of love. God’s only son, Jesus, willingly gave up His life so that we might be cleansed of all our unrighteousness.

Girlfriends, do you realize that you are “aromatherapy” to those around you. Scripture tells us that we are the aroma of Christ to those who are saved and those who are perishing. This happens when you are sharing the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. To those who are saved we are the aroma of Christ. To those who are lost we are the aroma of death. When you meet someone who is a dedicated Christian it literally makes you feel good. This is because of the fragrance of life. When you meet someone who is lost and not receptive to Christ, it makes you feel bad. This is the smell of death.

Dearest girlfriends, let us come quickly to the heavenly cleansing that can wash away our sins and bring healing in our life.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. ~ Psalm 51:7 NIV

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. ~ John 3:16-17 NIV

… the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:7-9 NIV

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 NIV

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. ~ Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV

Wash Before You Pray

Oct 12

by Victoria Robinson

Julia Childs is one of my all-time favorite chefs. What a great wealth of cooking instruction she gave us. I always cherish this statement she used so many times on her shows, “Impeccably clean hands.” She would say that when she would be touching the food directly with her hands. As one who collects cookbooks and has a passion for cooking, I really appreciate clean hands in the kitchen. Interestingly, Jesus was called on this very point of clean hands and food. His response was not what Julia Childs would have told us. He clearly showed that it is not as important to be clean on the outside as it is to be clean on the inside. In the book of Isaiah God chastised the people for not having clean hands before they prayed. In this case unclean hands represents unclean hearts. If we want our prayers to be heard by our heavenly Father then we must come to Him with clean hearts. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would desire impeccably clean hearts as we come before God in prayer.

When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! … ~ Isaiah 1:15-17 NIV

When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised. Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. ~ Luke 11:37-41 NIV

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. ~ 1 Peter 3:7 NIV

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” ~ Luke 18:9-14 NIV

… The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. ~ James 5:16

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ~ James 4:8 NIV

His Words Are Not Gray

Oct 04

by Victoria Robinson 

When you open my personal Bible you will find white pages and black print. (Okay girlfriends, I do have a red-letter version, so there is the red print where Jesus spoke.) I like to look at the Word of God as printed in black and white. There is no gray print to be found. That is because God’s Word is the truth and we cannot shade it to make it say what we want. If God says so, then that’s that! This is a comforting thought as it actually gives us security in knowing what God desires for us. Now do not get me wrong girlfriends, I have at times wished certain passages were either not written or did not mean what they say. But, God said so, and that’s that! How sad would our lives be if God left us without His truth to stumble through this life never being assured of what to do. In fact, God told us that the Bible was written by men who spoke  from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.  This leaves us with the certainty that what we read is black and white, not gray. It also means that we are not free to pick and choose the passages we like and ignore the rest. Neither can we take the black and white truth and blur it into gray by twisting it to say what we want. Dearest girlfriends, I pray that as we read the inspired Word of God we would understand the truth in black and white and embrace it wholeheartedly.

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. ~ 2 Peter 1:19-21 NIV 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:2 NIV

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  ~ Hebrews 4:12 NIV

And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:13 NIV

Living the Truth

Oct 02

by Victoria Robinson

There is a world of difference between knowing the truth and living the truth. Simply having a knowledge of God’s truth without living it day-to-day is a deceptive life. There can be no true happiness if we profess to have the light of God’s truth and yet walk in the darkness of sin. Of course we are never going to attain perfection when it comes to being sinless as long as we are here on this earth, yet that does not give us the freedom to sin. Fortunately our heavenly Father is compassionate and understands that we cannot be perfect. The book of First John tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and will forgive us.  Even so, that does not change His standard we should strive for. He told us in the book of Matthew that our standard is perfection just like the heavenly Father’s. Our life should imitate His.

It is a heartbreaking truth that when we walk in darkness we do not have true fellowship with one another. Sometimes we think we have fellowship because as we move farther from the light we surround ourselves with other Christians who are walking in the dark. This can give us a sense of being right with God, which can be a very comfortable and dangerous place to live. The farther into the darkness we go, the less light we see to find the right way out. The light of God can be seen through the truth of His Word. Obedience to the truth is the only way to walk in the light. What truth is God speaking to you today that you need to obey? Are you moving toward the light or toward the dark? Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would exit the darkness and walk in the light of God’s unchangeable truth.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. ~ 1 John 1:5-10

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
 
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. ~ Matthew 5:48
  
It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. ~ 3 John 3-4

Having Neck Trouble?

Sep 26

by Victoria Robinson

Does your neck ever get stiff when you lay your head the wrong way? It is amazing how babies and little children do not experience this. The positions children can fall asleep in are strange. A child in a car seat can sleep with a neck leaning to the side that would never work for adults. We would wake up very stiff and sore. Jesus said we should come to Him like little children. Unfortunately we often come to him as a stiff-necked people. Being stiff-necked means that we are stubborn and obstinate. God wants us to be humble and bow to His will. When the Holy Spirit speaks to us through Scriptures or in our hearts it is sad when we choose to be stiff-necked and stop up our ears. This is literally what the people did who Stephen was speaking to. As a matter of fact, they were so obstinate to the message God had given Stephen that they proceeded to stone him. What a sad story! Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit is sent to teach us. If we are stiff-necked we will not listen to the Holy Spirit and be ignorant. Dearest girlfriends, I pray that when the Holy Spirit speaks we would not only listen, but obey as well.

You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! ~ Acts 7:51
 
And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. ~ Matthew 18:3-4
 
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. ~ John 14:26