Posts Tagged ‘preacher’

At the End of the Day

Oct 11

by Victoria Robinson

Some days just don’t start out well at all … some weeks just don’t start out well … some years just don’t start out well. In our lives it is important to focus on the “end of the day”. Whether that is literally a twenty-four hour day, less than a day, or many days. In the midst of tumultuous times we can lose hope. Yet we must always stand on the scriptural truth that what is important is how we finish—not how we start, or even how long success takes. In the suspenseful saga of Queen Esther we see a wonderful ending to the Jews “day”, “Before the end of the day, King Xerxes gave Esther everything that had belonged to Haman, the enemy of the Jews.”

This story had its beginnings years before the victorious ending. One could say the roots of this story began during the reign of King Saul. The villain in Queen Esther’s story, Haman, was a descendant of King Agag whom King Saul was told to annihilate. Instead of obeying God, Saul killed all the Amalekites, but allowed King Agag to live. Some theologians believe that this could be the reason Haman wanted to destroy the Jews. Saul’s obedience to God might have prevented what the Jews were facing in the days of Queen Esther. But alas, it is important to keep in mind that no matter what or who caused your “day” to start badly, the ending can turn out good as long as your trust is in God. Just like the Jews who fasted and prayed for God to deliver them from the hands of the evil Haman, so also you must seek God and place your trust in Him.

King Solomon gave us wise counsel when he said, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.”

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning. Since a true appraisal of any enterprise can only be made from the vantage point of its completion, the end is, the Preacher of wisdom reminds us, better than the beginning. However, the end is frequently arrived at very slowly, and the man who would find profit in this life must be a patient man.
 KJV Bible Commentary

Girlfriends, how is your “day” going to end? No one except our Lord can truly answer that, but are you trusting Him for the outcome no matter what you are facing? The apostle Paul faced many difficult days and yet he knew what counted was how well his “day” ended. In the book of First Timothy he stated, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would hold firmly onto the hand of our heavenly Father and wait patiently for the “end of the day”.

Before the end of the day, King Xerxes gave Esther everything that had belonged to Haman, the enemy of the Jews. Esther told the king that Mordecai was her cousin. So the king made Mordecai one of his highest officials and gave him the royal ring that Haman had worn. Then Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman’s property. ~ Esther 8:1-2 CEV
 
When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes. … Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talents of silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out this business.” So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.” ~ Esther 3:5-6,8-11 NIV
 
Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” … Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed. Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the LORD all that night. ~ 1 Samuel 15:3,7-11 NIV
 
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV
 
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. ~ 2 Timothy 4:6-8 NIV

Follow the Light of His Way

Mar 08

by Victoria Robinson

As we walk through this life wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a giant neon lighted arrow to point us in the right direction? As the Israelites were traveling to the promised land they had just such an awesome directional system. God sent them a cloud in the daytime and a pillar of fire at night. That must have been beautiful!

After the Tabernacle was built in the wilderness, it was covered by a cloud that had the appearance of fire by night. Although this cloud was not described as a pillar, it must have been the same phenomenon. While the cloud remained over the tabernacle, the people did not break camp. But they set out when the cloud was taken up. Wherever it settled down again was to be the next stopping place. ¹

Another directional sign the Lord gave the Israelites was the ark of the covenant. The Lord instructed them when they saw the priests carrying the ark, they were to follow it.

When we are praying for God’s direction, His lighted arrow can come in many forms. It may be the words of a trusted friend, the words of a preacher, the written words of our Lord, even circumstances whether good or bad. The patriarch Jacob’s family experienced restoration through unfortunate events. Because of a famine, Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy some food. This in turn brought the brothers back together. Then the beautiful healing of Jacob’s heart as he came to realize Joseph was not dead, but had grown into  a godly man.

Dearest girlfriends, if you are seeking God’s direction today, open your eyes and see what He has placed in your path to guide you.

By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. ~ Exodus 13:21-22 NIV
 
… When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. … ~ Joshua 3:3-4 NIV
 
Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. ~ Genesis 37:26-28 NIV
 
When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.” ~ Genesis 42:1-2 NIV
 
Then Jacob said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see you again, but now God has let me see your children, too.” ~ Genesis 48:11 NLT
 
¹ Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Who’s Misleading You?

Jan 17

by Victoria Robinson

Ultimately you know who the misleader is—the enemy of your soul—Satan. It is nonetheless important to consider who he uses to do his bidding. It could even be your very own friends. In the words of the prophet Jeremiah, “They misled you and overcame you— those trusted friends of yours. Your feet are sunk in the mud; your friends have deserted you.” The apostle Paul warned us when he said, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

After Jesus had fasted and prayed for forty days, the devil tried to mislead Him by telling Him Scripture. Hmmm… scary thought that the devil uses Scripture himself to deceive. Just because a friend, preacher, or teacher uses Scripture does not mean they are not leading you astray. You must examine the Scriptures yourself to understand the truth. This is also your only defense against the enemy. Jesus knew the Scriptures and spoke them back in correct context to the devil. Girlfriends, don’t go about being defenseless because you are not aware of the Word of God.

It is essential to examine your life and recognize who might be used of the enemy to mislead you. Jesus did this when He told his good friend Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

What about you? Have you ever been the misleader in your friend’s life? Anytime you do not have in mind the things of God, you influence on your friends can be damaging to their souls.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would be alert at who’s misleading us and be careful not to be an instrument of the enemy to mislead others.

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 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 15:33-34 NIV
 
… “Obey the LORD by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared. But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the LORD has revealed to me: All the women left in the palace of the king of Judah will be brought out to the officials of the king of Babylon. Those women will say to you: “‘They misled you and overcame you— those trusted friends of yours. Your feet are sunk in the mud; your friends have deserted you.’ ~ Jeremiah 38:20-22 NIV
 
 The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading. ~ Lamentations 2:14 NIV
 
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ”‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” ~ Matthew 4:5-7 NIV
 
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. ~ Acts 17:11 NIV
 
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” ~ Matthew 16:21-23 NIV
 
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. ~ 1 John 3:7-8 NIV

Imitation Devotion

Oct 30

by Victoria Robinson  

I love to bake and one of the ingredients I insist on using lavishly in most recipes is vanilla extract. When my best friend Cyndee and I bake together, I pour while she nudges my elbow. Our motto is, “You can never put in too much vanilla extract!” My passion about vanilla extract really is not because I am a vanilla person. Actually the opposite is true. I admit I am a confirmed chocolate fanatic! Honestly, most of my baking revolves around chocolate. And more chocolate. And even more chocolate! The truth is vanilla is a great flavor enhancer to chocolate. Yet be careful girlfriends, it is of absolute importance that it is pure vanilla extract. There is a huge difference between pure vanilla and imitation vanilla. So it is with our devotion to God. It must be pure. Imitation just will not do. Is your devotion to Christ pure or is it tainted with false teachings? Do you check every Bible teacher you hear to make certain it lines up with the Word of God? I love how the Bereans in the book of Acts are portrayed. They examined the Scriptures everyday to see if what the apostle Paul was saying was true. Think about the church today. Some would say, “Well if that preacher said it, it must be true.” Do you have Bible teachers in your life that you respect so much that you automatically assume they are correct? This is not pure devotion, it is instead imitation. We should always be so devoted to Christ and His teaching that we check the Scriptures for ourselves. Dearest girlfriends, let us not be led astray as Eve was, but be diligent in knowing the Scriptures and thus practice sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. ~ 2 Corinthians 11:2-4 NIV 

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. ~ Acts 17:11 NIV