Posts Tagged ‘love’

Let’s Start Over!

Jan 09

by Victoria Robinson

In the beginning … ahhh those famous first words recorded in the book of Genesis. Beginnings so often start with a sense of great hope and wonderment. This was the fresh starts of all fresh starts. A blank canvas with limitless possibilities. Girlfriends, don’t you just love a fresh start? A chance to begin anew with no past mistakes. There are times when we just need to start over.

Spiritually speaking, a new beginning is found in the book of John. That new beginning is found in putting our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The apostle Paul spoke of this transforming faith in the book of Titus. he said, “… a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time …” Acknowledging that a new life is only possible through Jesus Christ is the only way to have a fresh start. In fact, Jesus said to a man named Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Born again—let’s start over! If this is your desire, click on this Heaven link and learn more. Heaven

If you already have a relationship with Jesus Christ then you surely know what a wonderful feeling it is to be able to “wipe the slate clean” and start over. King David came to a place in his life when he desperately needed to start over. Troubles surrounded him due to his disintegration into a sinful life. The enemy of his soul had enticed him to indulge in lustfully gazing upon a beautiful woman named Bathsheba. This led to sleeping with her apart from marriage as set forth in the Word of God. Once it becomes known to him that Bathsheba is pregnant, we see the actions of a desperate man. So panicked by his circumstances that he engaged in a murderous plot to kill Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. If ever a person needed to start over it was King David.

The good news is David repented and turned his heart back to the Lord. David’s fresh start resulted in the Lord speaking these kind words about him after his departure from this world, “… walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness …”

King David whose life was ravaged by his sinful choices, but who got a fresh start from the heavenly Father, has been memorialized by the Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus.  He wrote, “David was truly a man after God’s own heart.”

This is an encouraging story when we reach a point in our life where we need a new beginning. If that is where you are today, then praying the very words King David prayed after he repented are appropriate. In the book of Psalms David wrote, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

Near the end of Lamentations, a book of poetry written to lament the destruction of Jerusalem, the prophet Jeremiah makes a plea to the Lord. He says, “Bring us back to you! Give us a fresh start.” What a wonderful way to cry out to the Lord when we have a remorseful heart and want to start over!

Dearest girlfriends, let us turn our hearts towards our heavenly Father and receive a new beginning.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. ~ Genesis 1:1-2 NIV
 
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:1-2,14 NIV
 
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, ~ Titus 1:1-2 NIV
 
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. ~ John 3:1-6 NIV
 
… walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness … ~ 1 Kings 9:4 NKJV
 
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, …  Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ~ Psalm 51:1-4,7-12 NIV
 
Bring us back to you! Give us a fresh start. ~ Lamentations 5:21 CEV

The Day the Laughter Died

Jan 05

by Victoria Robinson

Some would say that April 26, 1989 is the day the laughter died. That is the day that the greatest comedienne of all time died. Lucille Ball who spent her life bringing laughter to millions was silenced. My dearest friend Cyndee and I have spent numerous hours laughing while watching I Love Lucy. Who could resist laughing as Lucy and Ethel frantically gobble handfuls of chocolate candy to hide their failure on their new job venture. What about that hilarious expression on Lucy’s face when her boss says, “Speed it up a little!”? But alas, our lives are not always filled with laughter. Life has a way of turning laughter into mourning.

The Bible gives us many examples of times the laughter died. One such was when Sarah had given birth to Isaac. On this joyous day she said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” Interestingly the name Isaac is Yitschaq in Hebrew which means “he laughs”. Yet, there would come a day when Sarah would find herself not laughing.  A great feast was held when Isaac was weaned. The truth is Sarah’s distress on this particular day was the result of sin. Sarah had refused to wait on the promise of God to have a child and took matters into her own hands. Subsequently Hagar gave birth to Abraham’s first son, Ishmael. At the feast, Sarah observed Ishmael mocking her son Isaac. Like any mother, this upset her.

Girlfriends, has your laughter died? There are many reasons we  find ourselves not laughing. One is quite simply sin. If this is why your laughter has ceased, then immediate repentance will bring joy to your heart and times of laughter to return.

 Another reason is that our heavenly Father allows difficulties to come into our life in order for His greater purposes to be accomplished. Such is the case of the many hardships Joseph had to endure in the book of Genesis. If this is the reason you have no laughter, then accepting God’s greater plan for your life will bring you joy. Last year in the short span of a week I had three friends lose their husbands. All these ladies have accepted Jesus Christ into their lives and have the comfort only He can provide. However, understandably this was a period in their lives with very little laughter.

The enemy of your soul also wants to steal your laughter. Sometimes he will even convince you of a lie. For instance, “God is not going to bring you through a difficult time.” The only way to prevent Satan from absconding with your laughter is shielding yourself with the Word. The book of Ephesians tells us to take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. The word faith in the original Greek is pistis which means conviction of the truth. The way to have conviction of the truth is to immerse yourself in the Word of God.

Laughter is an important gift our heavenly Father has given us. The Word of God tells us laughter can even bring healing to our bodies.
 
While we must recognize the truth that King Solomon told us so long ago—there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, let us examine our hearts to see if and why the laughter has died. If repentance is needed then, let us have a change of heart and watch the laughter return. If we are walking through divinely appointed hardships, let us rejoice in the fact that our heavenly Father knows what is best for us. If we are believing lies Satan is telling us, let us put on the shield of conviction of the truth of the Word of God.
 

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would allow the laughter to return to our hearts and enjoy the life God has chosen for us.

Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” ~ Genesis 21:5-10 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. ~ Genesis 50:19-20 NIV
  
So give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and let your hearts be filled with God alone to make them pure and true to him. Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and sincere grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Then when you realize your worthlessness before the Lord, he will lift you up, encourage and help you. ~ James 7:7-10 TLB
 
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. ~ Ephesians 6:16 NIV
 
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. ~ Proverbs 17:22 NIV
  

a time to weep and a time to laugh … ~ Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV
 
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. ~ Proverbs 31:25 NIV
 
… Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. ~ Luke 6:21 NIV

She’s Just Like Her Father!

Jul 20

She's Just Like Her Father 072011by Victoria Robinson

Have you ever heard the statement, “She’s just like her father!” That can either be a compliment or a disparaging remark depending on the character of her father. Girlfriends, are you just like your father? More importantly, are you just like your heavenly Father? One of the endearing traits of our heavenly Father is his kindness. He is well-known for it to the point of sacrificing His own Son so that we might have the forgiveness of our sins and thus spend eternity in Heaven.

A great story about kindness is found in the book of Second Chronicles. In the town of Shunem lived a woman who showered a man of God named Elisha with hospitality. This kindness continued to the point of her building a room onto her house for Elisha to stay at when he came to town. Because of her kindness Elisha wanted to do something nice for her. She told him no and that she was perfectly content. However, Elisha persisted and asked someone else what he could do for her. His friend told him her husband was old and that she did not have a son. Elisha summoned her to come back and told her “Next year at about this time you shall have a son!”

When you are being kind you are being just like your Father and you never know what He has in store for you. Your motive should never be a material reward, but sometimes as in the case of this Shunemite woman—wonderful things will happen! Yet, the most important reason to be kind is our heavenly Father tells us to. In fact, the Word of God goes so far as to warn us, “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness.”

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would be known as ladies of kindness just like our heavenly Father!

… Tell her that we appreciate her kindness to us. … ~ 2 Kings 4:13 TLB
 
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love and his kindness go on forever. ~ 1 Chronicles 16:34 TLB
 
Now all praise to God for his wonderful kindness to us and his favor that he has poured out upon us because we belong to his dearly loved Son. So overflowing is his kindness toward us that he took away all our sins through the blood of his Son, by whom we are saved; and he has showered down upon us the richness of his grace—for how well he understands us and knows what is best for us at all times. ~ Ephesians 1:6-8 TLB
 
One day Elisha went to Shunem. A prominent woman of the city invited him in to eat, and afterwards, whenever he passed that way, he stopped for dinner. She said to her husband, “I’m sure this man who stops in from time to time is a holy prophet. Let’s make a little room for him on the roof; we can put in a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, and he will have a place to stay whenever he comes by.” Once when he was resting in the room he said to his servant Gehazi, “Tell the woman I want to speak to her.” When she came, he said to Gehazi, “Tell her that we appreciate her kindness to us. Now ask her what we can do for her. Does she want me to put in a good word for her to the king or to the general of the army?” “No,” she replied, “I am perfectly content.” “What can we do for her?” he asked Gehazi afterwards. He suggested, “She doesn’t have a son, and her husband is an old man.” “Call her back again,” Elisha told him. When she returned, he talked to her as she stood in the doorway. “Next year at about this time you shall have a son!” “O man of God,” she exclaimed, “don’t lie to me like that!” But it was true; the woman soon conceived and had a baby boy the following year, just as Elisha had predicted. ~ 2 Kings 4:8-17 TLB
 
Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. ~ Romans 11:22 NIV

Wash-a-holic

Mar 14

by Victoria Robinson

Okay girlfriends, I admit it, I am a wash-a-holic! Like all of us I shower everyday, sometimes more. I wash my hair at least once a day. But when it comes to hand washing that is where I really get into trouble. I am constantly washing my hands. Being that I love to cook means that I wash my hands over and over each day. I certainly could use a case of industrial strength hand lotion! Don’t worry girlfriends, I am in good spiritual standing according to the Word of God as it says, “Wash your hands, you sinners …” The truth is—this passage goes on to say, “… and purify your hearts …”

The prophet Isaiah said, “The Lord will wash the moral filth from the women …”. While this verse is speaking of the entire church, we women would do well to take it seriously. The apostle James tells us, “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent …”

If I was a spiritual wash-a-holic and washed my moral filth off as readily as washing my hands, my heavenly Father would be very pleased with me. Dearest girlfriends, let us repent of our sins and cleanse ourselves spiritually.

The Lord will wash the moral filth from the women … ~ Isaiah 4:4 NLT
 
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. ~ James 1:21 NIV
 
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. ~ James 4:8-10 NIV

A Gentle Invitation

Feb 09

by Victoria Robinson

If you are weary, there is someone who is inviting you to rest. The One who has a humble heart is extending a gentle invitation for you to find rest and whose yoke is easy and burden is light. Girlfriends, sometimes this is the exact opposite of how we feel in our busy and tumultuous lives. We can feel stressed to the max and on overload.

Rest assured, your heavenly Father never intended for you to live your life without His rest. He desires to give you all the rest you need. His intense love for you means you can relax and feel well-rested. If you are struggling with this area of your life, then consider the words of the psalmist, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.” All true rest is found in God alone. The lie we can fall for is if we just create enough time for recreation, sleep, or downtime, this will take care of us. While these are all important and good, without God at the center of them—they are futile.

Dearest girlfriends, let us accept His gentle invitation and find the wonderful rest only he can give.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

 
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. ~ Psalm 62:5 NIV

The Eye of a Critic

Jan 08

by Victoria Robinson

I have a very beautiful and stylish niece who has a critical eye when it comes to color. She can match colors perfectly when not having a sample with her. She is a great asset to have along when shopping. (She has great tastes as well!) Having a critical eye can be great. On the other hand, it can also be detrimental. Jesus had some people following Him who had a critical eye. No girlfriends, they were not helping Him match His robe to His sandals. They were instead looking to catch Him doing something wrong. For most of His life, Jesus was being watched like a hawk by critical people. Not a very comfortable position to be in was it?

One solution to cure a critical eye is to gouge it out. OUCH! Sorry girlfriends, Jesus did say if our eye causes us to sin, we should gouge it out. But hang on, there is another remedy I think you will prefer. An easier, and much less painful remedy to cure a critical eye is love. If we truly love others we will hope for the best in them, not looking for their faults.

Another important aspect of eliminating a critical eye is prayer. Not only for ourselves, but the ones we are critical of. Examine your heart and ask yourself if you spend more time looking for faults in others or praying for them. If we truly have love in our heart, we will be eager to intercede to our heavenly Father on their behalf.

If we come to the realization of how we wish to be treated, it becomes easier to stop having a critical eye towards those around us. Every one of us has plenty of faults and have no room to be critical of others. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would be more concerned about our own faults rather than those around us.

Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent. ~ Luke 20:20-26 NIV
 
For the whole Law can be summed up in this one command: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always critical and catty, watch out! Beware of ruining each other. ~ TLBGalatians 5:14-15
 
Enemies spend the whole day finding fault with me … ~ Psalm 56:5 CEV
 
And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. ~ Matthew 18:9 NIV
 
Love is kind. … 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. ~  NIV1 Corinthians 13:4-7 
 
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. ~ Colossians 4:2 NIV
 
Treat others just as you want to be treated. ~ Luke 6:31 CEV
 
… The way you treat others is the way you will be treated. ~ Luke 6:38 CEV

Letting go …

Dec 26

by Victoria Robinson

There are so many things to let go of in life. To accomplish a fulfilling life we must learn to let go of awful things as well as some great things.  Some awful things to let go of are; your past, your hurts, your failures, and your sins. Some great things to let go of are; your wealth, your position, and even your very own life.

God’s ways are so often contrary to how we see life.

  • If I am hurt—I must forgive.
  • If I want to enjoy life—I must give up sinful pleasures.
  • If I want to be rich—I must give up my wealth.
  • If I want to save my life—I must lose it.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would allow our heavenly Father to remove all hindrances from our lives, whether awful or great, in order to accomplish a fulfilling life in Christ.

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? ~ Luke 9:23-25 NKJV
 
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV
 
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:13-14 NIV
 
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. ~ Colossians 3:13 NIV
 
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. ~ 1 Peter 4:1-2 NIV
 
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the 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 your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~ Matthew 20:25-28 NIV

Stop! In the Name of Love

Nov 02

by Victoria Robinson

The lyrics to a famous song from the sixties are: “Stop! In the name of love … before you break my heart … think it over … think it over.” When Diana Ross and The Supremes recorded this, they probably did not realize these words really speak of God’s heart towards us. He tells us that, “If you love you me, you will obey what I command.” He also says, “Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning.” We should give thought to the sins in our life and just stop in the name of love! I know girlfriends, some of you are thinking, “Easier said than done!” While it is difficult to stop sinning, God has told us He has already given us everything we need to live His way. He has also lovingly warned us of the consequences of sin. It is not a matter of if, but when you do struggle with sin, you should go straight to the power of His precious promises and set your heart on things above. Remember, if God said it, it is true. If it is true, then it can be done. Refuse to listen to the lies of Satan who will try to convince you that you just cannot help sinning. Dearest girlfriends, let our hearts be so filled with love for our heavenly Father that we stop breaking His heart by our sinful actions.

If you love me, you will obey what I command. ~ John 14:15 NIV
Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:34 NIV
“Think it over,” says the Lord Almighty. “Consider how you have acted and what has happened as a result! ~ Haggai 1:7 TLB
The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. ~ Genesis 6:5-6 NIV
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. ~ 2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV
Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” ~ John 5:14 NIV
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” ~ Hebrews 12:4-6 NIV