Posts Tagged ‘word of the lord’

What’s Lurking in the Shadows of Your Life?

Aug 22

by Victoria Robinson

Shadows can be either beautiful or scary. I get great enjoyment when the trees bring shadows into the windows of my home. When the season changes to autumn I love the rustling of the trees in the wind and the dappling of light as it shifts and sways. For some reason this brings comfort to my heart. However, I do not want my heavenly Father to possess the same qualities. That would be terrifying! Not knowing when the shadows would move and what in the world could be lurking in them.

Fortunately, the Word of God shows us that our heavenly Father does not change like shifting shadows. The apostle James describes God as, “the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Our heavenly Father is totally trustworthy. In fact, in the book of Hebrews we read the wonderful words, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Just like the shadow of trees brings me comfort, knowing that our Lord never changes gives me even greater comfort.

Girlfriends, what shadows are lurking in your life? Is it the regret of your past? The stress of your present life? The fear of your future? If you are dealing with any of these dreaded shadows, then you need to embrace the comfort of your heavenly Father found in His unchanging Word. The Word of God is soothing to our hearts in times of distress. It does not shift or change like a shadow. The apostle Peter wrote a beautiful quote from the book of Isaiah, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”

Dearest girlfriends, when we see shifting shadows in our life, lets us place our trust in the unchanging truth of our heavenly Father.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~ James 1:17 NIV 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. ~ Hebrews 13:8 NKJV 

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” … ~ 1 Peter 1:23-25 NIV

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

Don’t Be Too Quick to Judge the End of Your Story!

Jun 11

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, have you ever watched a movie, (Especially a romantic story!), and anxiously waited and hoped for the story to end the way you wanted? Of course you have—you’re a girl! However, as you know, you can never be certain what the ending will hold in store until the screen goes black.

The story of King Hezekiah takes some twists and turns—so what will the ending be? Hezekiah becomes king at the age of twenty-five. His reign signifies a return to godliness for Judah. As he takes the throne he immediately gets rid of all the ungodly filth that defiled the land. Then fourteen years into his reign at the age of thirty-nine, Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah came to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” This story is not going to have a happy ending—or is it? After the prophet leaves, Hezekiah immediately prayed and wept. Before the prophet had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life.” Just as the Lord said, Hezekiah did indeed live for fifteen more years. A happy ending!

I have been fortunate to know a real life “Hezekiah”. In 1990 the Lord placed a most interesting man and his family in our life. We were living in a peaceful college town when the tranquility was shattered by the gruesome murder of two young women. This was followed by three more murders of college students. As all this tragedy was unfolding, even more tragic news would come to us. The detective in charge of the murder investigation came to my husband Rick and told him he had been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. He then proceeded to pour out his heart’s desire. What would he say? That he wanted to be healed … needed care for his family … to catch the killer? Nope! Though he did need all of those things to happen, his unselfish desire was that he would be able to lead someone to Christ before he died. As the days followed, Rick taught him how to share his faith and he did indeed lead not only one person to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but many! Oh and before this story ended our precious godly friend lived for nineteen more years! Even in death, our friend’s story was not over. His family shared the gift of eternal life so beautifully at his funeral so that through this man’s life story—eternity will be filled with those who knew him.

Dearest girlfriends, let us not judge the end of our story, but place our trust for the outcome in our heavenly Father’s trustworthy hands.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning … ~ Ecclesiastes 7:1 NIV
 
Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast to the LORD and did not cease to follow him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses. And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. ~ 2 Kings 18:5-7 NIV
 
In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, “Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’” Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered. Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the LORD will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the LORD on the third day from now?” Isaiah answered, “This is the LORD’s sign to you that the LORD will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?” “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.” Then the prophet Isaiah called upon the LORD, and the LORD made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz. ~ 2 Kings 20:1-11 NIV
 
Hezekiah rested with his fathers. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king. ~ 2 Kings 20:21 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

Less Than a Penny’s Worth of Trust

Mar 10

by Victoria Robinson

Do you trust your heavenly Father? There was a widow who had less than a penny’s worth of trust in Him, yet Jesus characterized her trust greater than all the other people. She had given two very small copper coins worth less than a penny to the temple treasury. The reason this oh so small amount mattered was that it was all the money she had. This act showed her total trust in her Lord.

When it comes to your life, have you given Him everything? Regardless of your circumstances have you trusted Him in all areas of your life? Not just your money, but your entire life. The reason we can trust Him is because He is trustworthy. What a glorious thought!

Less than a penny’s worth of trust can be a beautiful thing to behold. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would examine our hearts to see if we truly trust our heavenly Father with all aspects of our lives.

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” ~ Mark 12:41-44 NIV
 
For the word of the Lord holds true, and everything he does is worthy of our trust. ~ Psalm 33:4 NLT
 
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. ~ Psalm 143:8 NIV

Ministering in the Throes of Agony

Mar 09

by Victoria Robinson

Are you a girl who when in the throes of agony really shines or do you curl up in a fetal position? There once was a widow, (No, she did not live in a shoe!) who found herself in the throes of agony. Her husband had died and now here she was broke, without food and had a son to care for as well as herself. Along comes a man named Elijah. Instead of caring for her, he instead ask her to make him some food. Now I know the scriptures admonish us to practice hospitality and share with those in need, but really girlfriends would you give food to a stranger over your own son. Yet this is where this faithful woman put the needs of others above herself and divinely ministered in the throes of agony. She prepares Elijah’s food with the very last of her provision only to find the Lord multiplied what she had and kept her, her son, and Elijah supplied until the drought came to an end. Later in the story we see how the Lord used Elijah to save her son’s life. Quite a payback from our gracious Lord!

Dearest Girlfriends, I pray we would be steadfast in ministry to others even in the throes of agony.

Then the word of the LORD came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’” She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah. Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”  ~ 1 Kings 17:8-24 NIV

Spinning Into a Beautiful Creation

Jan 09

by Victoria Robinson

Spinning out of control is scary. Oddly enough, our heavenly Father, being the great artist He is, likes to put us on a potter’s wheel and spin us around and around until He shapes us into a beautiful creation. Originally pottery pots and jars were made with built up coils of clay smoothed and shaped by hand. I picture this as gently shaping the clay into what one desires. Then there came a “slow wheel” which was a small flat disk on a spindle, with a larger stone disk on the other end. It was spun by hand as the potter alternated between keeping the wheel in motion and shaping the clay. Still sounds fairly gentle. But hold on girlfriends, there is also the “fast wheel”. This had two wheels, one above the other, with an axle joining them. The potter sat on a bench and turned the lower wheel with his feet. This way, he could keep it going rapidly, yet still have both hands free to shape the clay on the upper wheel.¹

Our heavenly Potter oftentimes has to employ the use of the “fast wheel”. Sounds dizzying doesn’t it? Jeremiah visited a potter at his wheel. He compared the potter who molds his clay to God who has the power to mold the nation of Israel. While being shaped and molded is uncomfortable, it is futile and wrong to argue with the Potter about how He is molding and shaping us. Dearest girlfriends, let us rest in the comfort of the knowledge that all the discomfort of “spinning on the Potter’s wheel” will result in us becoming a more beautiful creation.

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. ~ Jeremiah 18:1-6 NIV

“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ … ~ Isaiah 45:9 NIV

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? ~ Romans 9:20-21 NIV

¹Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary