Posts Tagged ‘servants’

I Wanna Say I’m Sorry

Jun 28

by Victoria Robinson

The words, “I wanna say I’m sorry.” hold a special place in my heart. I have a precious young lady God has placed in my life and though she is now all “grown up” at six years old, when she was younger and would find herself stuck in the corner of the hallway of her home in a timeout, she would utter those sweet words. At times though, it would take some time facing the wall with no toys to play with for her heart to decide to line up with God’s heart. However short or long she waited, she would inevitably have a big smile on her face as she embraced the freedom a right heart brings.

When my heart is not right with God, I am stuck in that same prison my little friend found herself in. With a frown on my face, misery in my heart, and an unwillingness to say to God, “I wanna say I’m sorry.” my life just does not improve.

In the book of Numbers we see an example of a man named Balaam who suffered a crushed foot because of his refusal to have a right heart. Balaam had been summoned by the Moabite king Balak to curse the Israelites before they entered Canaan. Because of a greedy heart, he agreed to commit this evil act. God was clearly not pleased with him and even used a donkey to not only crush his foot, but to literally speak to him. Oh, if only Balaam would have said to God that he was sorry before his foot was maimed!

Along with saying you’re sorry, it is also essential to follow God’s plan. If you are truly sorry then obedience will follow. Just as my little friend would find herself right back in the corner if her behavior did not change, we will find ourselves back in trouble. In the book of Deuteronomy we see a perfect of example of this. The Israelites had chosen not to trust God and go up and take the land He promised them. Upon hearing Moses rebuke of their evil behavior they promptly decided to say they were sorry. However, as soon as they repented, they did not follow God’s advice. They told Moses they would now go take the land despite Moses warning them they would be killed. The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against them and chased them like a swarm of bees and beat them down from Seir all the way to Hormah. So, if you have told God you’re sorry, do not try to solve your problems, but allow Him to show you His plan.

Dearest girlfriends, do you need to stop right now and say to God, “I wanna say I’m sorry.”? If so, this is a perfect time to release yourself from an uncomfortable spiritual prison and walk in the freedom  that only He can give.

… yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and … Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. ~ 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 NIV 

Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 NIV

Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road. Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat her again. Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”  The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.” Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”  ~ Numbers 22:21-34 NIV 

Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. When the LORD heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: “Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly.” … Then you replied, “We have sinned against the LORD. We will go up and fight, as the LORD our God commanded us.” So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country. But the LORD said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’” So I told you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the LORD’s command and in your arrogance you marched up into the hill country. The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees and beat you down from Seir all the way to Hormah.  ~ Deuteronomy 1:29-36,41-43 NIV 

… I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. ~ Acts 26:20 NIV

Whatever He Says

Jun 20

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, whatever is a really big word! When someone agrees to do whatever, it includes everything or anything. That can encompass a whole lot of options! Mary, the mother of our Lord and savior once said of her son, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” This sums up what our life should be like at all times. Notice I said should be because unfortunately most of us do not always walk in obedience to our Lord.

When the prophet Jeremiah confronted the Israelites their response was, “The Lord himself will be our witness that we promise to do whatever he says, even if it isn’t what we want to do. We will obey the Lord so that all will go well for us.” What a wonderful attitude of their hearts! They were not just agreeing to be obedient, but to obey no matter what the Lord said. Matthew Henry wrote these words concerning their obedience.

Though it may seem evil to us, yet we will believe that if God command it it is certainly good, and we must not dispute it, but do it. Whatever God commands, whether it be easy or difficult, agreeable to our inclinations or contrary to them, whether it be cheap or costly, fashionable or unfashionable, whether we get or lose by it in our worldly interests, if it be our duty, we will do it.
Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary

Just like the Israelites, we need to have a heart of obedience so that all will go well for us. Hezekiah’s life was not only spared, but lengthened for fifteen years because he pleaded with the Lord and said, “Don’t forget that I have been faithful to you, Lord. I have obeyed you with all my heart, and I do whatever you say is right.” There is that limitless word again, whatever! Our trust in our Lord should be so complete that we always obey Him in whatever He says.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would do whatever He says and reap the subsequent rewards.

His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” ~  NKJVJohn 2:5
 
They answered, “The Lord himself will be our witness that we promise to do whatever he says, even if it isn’t what we want to do. We will obey the Lord so that all will go well for us.” ~ Jeremiah 42:5-6 CEV
 
Hezekiah turned toward the wall and prayed, “Don’t forget that I have been faithful to you, Lord. I have obeyed you with all my heart, and I do whatever you say is right.” After this, he cried hard. Before Isaiah got to the middle court of the palace, the Lord sent him back to Hezekiah with this message: Hezekiah, you are the ruler of my people, and I am the Lord God, who was worshiped by your ancestor David. I heard you pray, and I saw you cry. I will heal you, so that three days from now you will be able to worship in my temple. I will let you live fifteen years more, while I protect you and your city from the king of Assyria. I will defend this city as an honor to me and to my servant David. ~ 2 Kings 20:2-6 CEV

How Long Will This Be Going On?

Jun 07

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, do you feel forgotten by the Lord? Have you been waiting so long your heart is just aching? We know the psalmist experienced this because these words overflowed from his heart, “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?”

In His divine wisdom our heavenly Father does not always divulge the day and time our sorrows will come to an end. When the pain does not make sense we must hold fast to trusting His love for us and knowing we are safest in His arms.

Another aspect can be seen in the fortieth psalm—that when our deliverance comes many will see and fear and put their trust in God. This elevates our waiting to a whole new level. The truth is God will use our suffering to draw others to Him. Needless to say, our behavior during difficulties is either a positive or negative reflection of our heavenly Father.

Dearest girlfriends, let us wait patiently on the Lord and know for certain He hears our cries and will care for us.

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? ~ Psalm 13:1-2 NIV
 
Relent, O LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands. ~ Psalm 90:13-17 NIV
 
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. ~ Psalm 40:1-3 NIV

Immediately!

May 19

by Victoria Robinson

There was a man named Cornelius who was given specific instructions and immediately took action. This quick response ultimately led to a place in heaven for not only this faithful man, but also his relatives and close friends. This story actually encompasses two men who took quick action. The first being Cornelius and the second being the apostle Peter. Peter did not hesitate to go with the men Cornelius had sent to accompany him on this glorious journey. Oh the joys that come from immediately obeying the Lord’s commands. As this story unfolds, Peter would see even more redemption in his life. You see, it was Peter who while Jesus was being brutally beaten spoke these now famous words, “Woman, I don’t know him.” He had so wrongfully denied Jesus three times in that same night. How glorious to go from denying his Lord and Savior to seeing all these wonderful people receive the gift of eternal life because of his bold proclamation!  Two men who did not know each other and yet both benefited from immediately obeying the Lord.

Oh girlfriends, the dangers of not immediately obeying the Word of the Lord can be so devastating. The Israelites who hardened their hearts against the voice of the Lord would never enter the promised land. In fact the book of Hebrews so graphically states, “Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert?” Now contrast that disobedience with the immediate action of the Israelite’s enemies in the book of Exodus. Can’t you just picture Pharaoh’s outrage and unbelief when some of his officials immediately brought in their livestock and servants to prevent them from being destroyed in the fierce storm the Lord promised to send, while at the same time Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened?

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would act immediately when the Lord speaks and reap the rewards He has planned for us.

Cornelius answered: “Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.” ~ Acts 10:30-33 NIV
 
Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied. About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. ~ Luke 22:54-62 NIV 
 
As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. ~ Hebrews 3:15-19 NIV
 
Some of Pharaoh’s officials believed what the Lord said. They immediately brought their livestock and servants in from the fields. But those who had no respect for the word of the Lord left them out in the open. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward the sky, and cause the hail to fall throughout Egypt, on the people, the animals, and the crops.” So Moses lifted his staff toward the sky, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning struck the earth. The Lord sent a tremendous hailstorm against all the land of Egypt. Never in all the history of Egypt had there been a storm like that, with such severe hail and continuous lightning. It left all of Egypt in ruins. Everything left in the fields was destroyed—people, animals, and crops alike. Even all the trees were destroyed. ~ Exodus 9:20-25 NLT

Life Goes On

May 12

by Victoria Robinson

What can one do to overcome insurmountable obstacles and face going on in life? There comes a point when we must go on with life despite what we have been through. King David not only faced having to go on with life after the death of his child, but also had to live with the knowledge this precious child’s death was his fault. As soon as David’s child became ill, he fasted and pleaded with God to have mercy and heal his son. The Lord chose not to bring this about and one would think this king could not go on. Yet David knew this was not the end for him. He got up, washed, put on clean clothes and had food brought to him. Girlfriends, I do not know about you, but food is the last thing I want in times of grief.

It is interesting to note that following this tragic event, King David and his wife Bathsheba, who herself was not entirely blameless, gave birth to a son named Solomon. Solomon gives us this wisdom in the book if Ecclesiastes, “Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!” Here is what we can take from this—if you are reading this, you are alive and therefore have hope!

Dearest girlfriends, whatever problems you are facing, please take heart that you have ultimate hope through our Lord.

On the seventh day the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.” David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. His servants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’  But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me. ~ 2 Samuel 12:18-23 NIV
 
Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion! ~ Ecclesiastes 9:14 NIV
  
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. ~ Psalm 27:13-14 NIV
 
But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. ~ Psalm 39:7 NIV

Taking Off the Training Wheels

Jan 05

by Victoria Robinson

My precious little four-year old friend, Oksana, just got her first “real” bicycle. She is so excited to have her new pink princess big bicycle. The first time she got on it, she was frightened of falling. After assuring her that it only felt wobbly because the training wheels were not touching the ground so that she could learn to balance, she braved her first ride. After her triumphant ride, she excitedly exclaimed, “I’m not afraid anymore!” One day soon, she is going to have to face the new hurdle of riding her bicycle without the training wheels. No doubt, there will be a time of testing her ability to “go it alone.”

This is not unlike how God test us so we can see if we are ready to handle bigger tasks. After my little friend masters handling riding with training wheels, she will be ready to try riding without the training wheels. Our heavenly Father has told us, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.”

Girlfriends, are you ready to take off the “training wheels” and be tested. Our heavenly Father does not test us for His benefit. He already knows if we are ready to be trusted with more. He does it to show us if we have been faithful with what He has entrusted us with. If my little friend is not faithful to ride her bicycle with the training wheels, she will never be ready to handle the more mature task of balancing herself without them.

Are you being faithful with the smaller assignments your heavenly Father has entrusted to you so that you can take off your spiritual “training wheels”?  Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would be faithful with all the wonderful things our Master has entrusted to us.

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.  To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. … “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ~ Matthew 25:14-16,19-21 NIV
 
Yet you know me, O LORD; you see me and test my thoughts about you. … ~ Jeremiah 12:3 NIV