21 October 2014

Disguises (part 1)

(Lessons from Jeroboam's Wife)

Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself.”
“She shall feign herself (pretend) to be another woman.” (different looking from the wife of the king)
“Why feignest thou to be another?' 1 Kings 14:2,5-6
 
Are you like Jeroboam's wife? Do you try to disguise yourself? Is there something you are trying to hide? Are you pretending to be what you're not?
Here are a few disguises people wear.

The Happy Disguise
My husband and I once visited a family who were going through something awful. After telling us the bad news, the father laughed and joked most of the evening. If he hadn't told us what had happened in their family, we would never have guessed from the way he was acting. Yet underneath he must have been really hurting.
We used to have a young couple living next door to us who were very rough. When they had parties with their friends we would hear them all laughing together so loud. But then the next morning when their friends were gone we would hear them yelling and fighting. Or we might see a police car parked outside. It really struck me that people are often not as happy as they seem. You can laugh loudly while you're crying inside.
Proverbs 14:13 says Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
Sometimes the most sad and empty people can act like the happiest people on earth. It's a disguise to cover their pain, insecurity, struggles or emptiness.
Are you trying to cover up a hurting heart by pretending nothing is up? Take your hurt to God in prayer, but don't be afraid to open up and share your troubles with someone who cares about you. Talking with the right person can be far more helpful than keeping it all inside. If people don't know, they won't pray for you and try to help you.
Be real!

The Religious Disguise
In Brother Andrew's book, God's Smuggler, he shares how he would go to church each Sunday with his parents. His parents thought he was sitting at the back, but he would actually slip out of church and just come back at the end. He would listen to the other comments people made about the sermon so he knew what it was about, then he would discuss the sermon too. His parents never suspected he hadn't been in church. He was wearing a religious disguise.
Are you the Christian that you appear to be? Are you a Christian 24/7? Is your faith real or are you just 'religious'? Are you a Christian at home?

The Worldly Disguise
It's easy to be a Christian when you're around other Christians. But when you're around people who don't believe the same way, it's easy to put on a disguise and pretend you're the same as them. It's easy to be ashamed of what you believe and blend in with the others.
 Sometimes we're ashamed to show who we really are.
What about you? Do people around you know you're a Christian? Or are you pretending to be what you're not?
 
Be real!


18 October 2014

Ugly Spiders

It looked like this :(
I was sweeping my porch quickly before dinner and I moved some dirty unused shoes. An enormous (for New Zealand) fat, ugly black spider ran out. One of the biggest ugliest ones I've ever seen let alone right outside my door! It tried to hide behind the other shoes and gumboots, but I had to be brave and kill it! Thankfully I had a weapon in hand—my broom. When I tried to kill it, it raised its front legs trying to protect itself.

I'd rather forget all about this spider, as it's made me rather jumpy! But if there's something we can learn from it, then it will be worth it. :)

Ugly spiders remind me of sin.

First of all...they're ugly.

There's nothing attractive about a spider, especially the one I saw. They're just plain ugly. Have you ever thought about how ugly sin is? Some neighbours we used to have owned a dog. One time it was being noisy and I heard the neighbour yell a swear word at it. My first thought was, “Yuck!” Swearing just doesn't make a person very attractive. What about a bad temper? I heard another neighbour losing their temper at their child and guess what? It sounded rather ugly! Resentment, self pity and discontent are a few 'spiders' that rear their ugly head in my life every now and again. Usually when I'm least expecting it. They don't make me attractive!

Secondly, ….they like to hide.

This kind of spider, at least, you don't see very often. Thankfully!! Only when you're moving things around and they happen to be underneath. We generally like to hide our sin, aswell.
 Is their any ugly sin in your life that you are trying to hide? God knows all about it and everyone will find out soon enough. So why not confess and forsake it? He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13
Or maybe there are sins that you don't even know about. You should pray like David, Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139:23-24

Thirdly,....I had to deal with it.

If I hadn't killed it, it would have hidden again and still been there to give me another fright! And maybe it would have had babies and multiplied.
And so you must face your sin and deal with it. If you don't confess that your sin is sin and that it's wrong, you won't overcome it. You must admit that it's wrong and ask for God's forgiveness and help.

Fourthly,...I needed a weapon.

It was too big of a spider for me to want to step on. So I used my broom. I'm not sure what I would have done if I hadn't had my broom right there in my hand.
To deal with sin, you need the weapon of God's Word. When the devil came to tempt Jesus, Jesus dealt with him saying, “It is written...It is written...It is written.” And the devil left him.
Do you know what the Bible says? Do you read it regularly? Do you have it on your mind ready to use? It's good to find verses that speak about the sins that you struggle with. Memorize them and repeat them when you need to. For example, I struggle with resentment sometimes and thinking negative thoughts about people. One verse that I remind myself of often is “Love thinketh no evil.”
Prayer is another powerful weapon.

Fifthly,...the spider didn't die without a fight.

I've never seen a spider try and protect itself before. I didn't know they did that. It was a bit creepy!
Sin isn't so easy to deal with either. When the devil tempted Jesus, he didn't leave after the first time Jesus said “It is written.” It happened three times before he finally left. So don't give up. Confess your sins to God and keep trusting Him to help you.

14 October 2014

Worry, Why Worry?

Worry! Why worry? What can worry do?
It never keeps a trouble from overtaking you.
It gives you indigestion and woeful hours at night,
And fills with gloom the passing days, however fair and bright.
It puts a frown upon your face and sharpness in your tone;
You're unfit to live with others and unfit to live alone.
Worry! Why worry? What can worry do?
It never keeps a trouble from overtaking you.

Pray! Why pray? What can praying do?
Praying really changes things, arranges life anew.
It's good for indigestion, gives peaceful hours at night,
And fills the greyest, gloomiest days with rays of glowing Light.
It puts a smile upon your face, and the love-note in your tone,
Makes you fit to live with others and fit to live alone.
Pray! Why pray? What can praying do?
It brings God's love and power from Heaven, to love and work with you.

Praise! Why Praise? What does praising do?
Praise satisfies the heart of God and brings new joy to you,
Provides a tonic for the soul, and keeps you always bright
With memories of blessings sent, and joyful songs at night.
And when there's "Thank you" on your face, and the praise-notes in your tone,
Folks will want to live with you; you'll never be alone.
Praise! Why Praise? What does praising do?
Praise always says that God is good, and experience proves it true.
~Author unknown~

29 September 2014

To find or to be?


A man was in court for some crime he had committed. He explained to the judge, “I think I just got in with the wrong crowd.”
The judge replied, "Did it ever occur to you that you may be the wrong crowd?”
 
It's good thing to look for good friends. It's a Biblical principle to find friends who'll be a good influence on you.
Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
1Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

But have you ever thought about whether you are a good friend? Are you a good influence on others? If someone is looking for a friend who will encourage them to live right and walk with God, could they choose you?
You may think that others aren't friendly to you, but are you friendly to them?
The same principle applies to finding a husband.
Do you have a list of what you want your husband to be? Do you want him to be kind, unselfish, hardworking, godly, etc. Well, if you found a guy like that, would he want to marry you?
If you are lazy, would a hardworking guy want to marry you?
If you are selfish, would a kind unselfish guy want to marry you?
If you don't love God yourself, why would a godly man be attracted to you?

So learn to be the kind of friend you want to have, and learn to be the type of person you want your future husband to be!

26 September 2014

Freedom from the past

I found this little story in a book I have by Corrie ten Boom. On this blog I feel like I am always hammering about making the right decisions, staying pure etc. because I hope and pray that this blog will keep girls from doing things they will regret. But there are lots of girls who have already made foolish choices. Maybe you are one of them. I want to share this story as a reminder that no matter what you have done in the past, if you repent and turn to God He will still use and bless you. Though you have to live with what you've done, you don't have to live condemned.

There was to be a dinner party in a beautiful home beside a river. I had spoken the night before on the subject, 'The problem of sin has been solved on the Cross of Jesus Christ.' And I was glad to see that Jack was present tonight, because I had seen a look of obvious distaste on his face during my talk the night before.
And now Jack said, 'I believe that there is remission of sins through Jesus Christ, but redemption? No, I can't see that. We have to carry the consequences of our sins as long as we live.'
After dinner we continued our talk in the garden. There were only three of us now; John, with whom I had been working for the past two weeks, and Jack, who was relating his experiences to us. It was a sad story.
'We were not very good boys in high school. I dated a lot of different girls, and one time things went wrong. I had to marry the girl; and four months later the baby came. I want to become a minister; but if people hear about this my whole career will be gone. I am living a lie, and don't know what to do about it. I'll have to bear the consequences of my sin as long as I live.' As he spoke I continued praying for wisdom. Then John began to speak.
'Nevertheless there is redemption. Jesus does not patch things up. He renews. If you will ask Him to go back with you to that dark spot in your life, He will change its darkness into light.'
'But what must I do?' asked Jack. 'I have been converted, as people call it, and I have accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour.'
'You still have to surrender your life completely to Him. Turn over all the keys of your life to Him.'
'I am willing to do it, but I don't know how to express it,' said he.
'Just ask the Spirit of God to give you the right words,' All three of us then prayed, and Jack said, 'I don't understand these things, but here I am, Lord, I know that you have said "Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out", and "A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise."'
Just then I was called into the house. An hour later as I was leaving, Jack said to me, 'Corrie, I can laugh again; I haven't been able to laugh for a year. but now I am free.'
And I knew that it was true.

21 September 2014

It's the Little Things

Last week I stopped at the petrol station to get $20.00 petrol. As I was about to put my pin number in for my visa card I realized that I was about to pay $200.00! A little dot had been put in the wrong place.
I remarked to the man who had overcharged me, "A little dot makes a big difference!"
There are many little things in life that make a big difference. A little bullet, a little stone in your shoe, a little poisonous insect or spider, a little bee, a little cut in your finger etc.
There are also many little things we do or don't do that can make a big difference to our lives.
We'll start with the negative
A little lie
Gossip
A nasty or negative comment
An angry word
A little silence--the silent treatment
Talking back to someone in authority--backchatting
A little alcohol, drugs or a cigarette-- Drunkards, alcoholics, druggies and smokers all get started with a little bit.
A bad habit
A friend who is a bad influence
A bad attitude
A moment of uncontrolled anger

But then there's the positive...
A word of encouragement
A smile
A card
A gift
A phonecall
A tract--many people have gotten saved through reading a little tract.
A question--"Are you saved?" "Can I help you?" "How are you doing?"
A prayer
Lending a hand to an elderly person
A Bible verse--There are many single verses that make such a difference to my life
A little faith


14 September 2014

A Tragedy

(Lessons from Jeroboam's Wife #1)
At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick.
And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people. 1 Kings 14:1 -2 (for the full story read verses 1-18)

Why would a wicked king who worshipped idols send his wife to get a message from the prophet, the man of God?
His son was sick.
It often takes a tragedy to make people seek God, to wake them up and to bring them to their senses.
When my uncle committed suicide, it stopped my dad in his tracks. It was used to help my Dad come to God.
There are so many other people who have turned to God through sad or difficult things that happened in their lives. A friend or family member dying, an accident, an earthquake, getting cancer... and the list goes on.
What about you?
Do you know God? Are living your life for Him?
Or do you need waking up? Will it take a tragedy to bring you to God? What will it take for God to get your attention?
It's a scary thought!
If you became seriously sick or a tragedy happened that affected you, what things in your life would you change or do?
Don't wait for a tragedy!