30 August 2015

Peninnah's Pride

(Lessons from Women in the Bible)

And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
And her adversary (Peninnah) also provoked her (Hannah) sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.
And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat. 1Samuel 1:2,6-7

Peninnah had children; Hannah didn't. So Peninnah teased Hannah and made life miserable for her. Peninnah's ability to have children had nothing to do with herself; her children were something God had given to her. How could she laugh at someone with no children, when her own children were a gift? Things could have been the other way around—herself barren and Hannah having children—and she couldn't have changed things either. So why the pride? Are you the same?

What do you have that others don't have?
Talents?
Money?
Expensive things?
Good looks?
A healthy body?
A boyfriend/fiancée?
A good family?
A Christian background?
Knowledge of the Bible?

Not everybody has all these things. Do you ever feel proud because of what you have? Are you proud that you can do something so well? That you are pretty? That you come from a good family?

There is no reason to be proud of something God has given you! God could have chosen to give these things to someone else instead of you. It has nothing to do with you. True, maybe you have worked hard to develop your talents, skills, looks etc. But they still come from God. God could take away your ability to do them at anytime if He wanted to.

Don't be like Peninnah! Instead of being proud, be thankful for all the abilities and blessings God has given you. Instead of looking down on other people who don't come up to your standard, pray for them and ask God to help you to be a blessing to them.

21 August 2015

Secrets!

What secrets do you have? Are your secrets good or bad?
2 Kings 17:9 says "And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God,..."
Secrets can be bad! Is there anything you are doing secretly that is not right? Maybe a relationship that God and your parents wouldn't approve of? Going too far in a relationship? Watching movies or reading books that are not good? Visiting bad websites or having a secret relationship on facebook or somewhere else online? Taking something that's not yours? Are you doing things behind your parent's back?
Remember, God knows your secrets! He sees everything you do secretly. Is He pleased?
Bad secrets are just not worth having.
They're not worth...
... the bad reputation
... the shame
...the broken trust
...the hurt to others
...the distance between you and God
...the fear of people finding out
... the guilty conscience

If you have any bad secrets, stop right now! Confess your sin to God and put things right.

20 August 2015

9 August 2015

A Lesson on Prayer from Achsah

And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.
And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.
And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou?
Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs. Joshua 15:16 -19

The way Achsah asks her Dad for what she needed is an example of how we can ask God for what we need.
  1. She came to him.
    And it came to pass, as she came unto him,...” For God to answer your prayers, you must pray! You must come to God in prayer. It's a no-brainer! James 4:2 says “...ye have not, because ye ask not.”

  2. Her request was reasonable.
    Land is not much good without water. She wasn't just being greedy and wanting more and more. Have you thought about what you are praying for? Is there a good reason why God should give you what you are asking for? Or are you just selfish or greedy etc.?

  3. She was respectful.
    ...she lighted off her ass;...” She showed respect for her father by getting down from her donkey. How much more should you be reverent when praying to your Heavenly Father, the Creator of the Universe? You don't have to be in a church or down on your knees, but remember who you are and who you are praying to!

  4. Caleb was willing to hear her request.
    What did Caleb say to her before she even opened her mouth? “What is it you want?” God is the same to you. Many times in the Bible He invites you to pray.
    Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

  5. She acknowledged what Caleb had already given her.
    ...thou has given me a south land;” God wants you to ask, but he wants you to ask with a thankful heart. What has God already given you or done for you? Your attitude makes a big difference. In Philippians 4:6 we are told not to worry about anything but to pray about everything. But it says to pray 'with thanksgiving'. Don't be like a spoilt child who only sees what they don't have and forgets about all that they already have!

  6. She was specific.
    She told him exactly what she wanted and needed. “Give me also springs of water.” If you're specific when you pray, you will see specific answers.

  7. Caleb gave her more than she asked for.
    And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs.” When you pray, God often gives far more than you ask for.
    Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Ephesians 3:20

    God doesn't always answer our prayers the way we want Him to, but He does always answer. "No" and "Wait" are answers too! We can trust that He will answer in a way that is best for us. He knows what's best.

5 August 2015

Memory Verse Tune (1 John 4:7-8)

 I was going to put these one on Mondays, but its not working so well as Mondays are my busiest housework days!
I didn't make up this tune, I think I heard it on a children's singing tape.




26 July 2015

Passing the Blame

(Lessons from Eve #7)
Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled (tricked) me, and I did eat.
Instead of facing up to what she'd done, Eve tried to put the blame on someone else to try and make herself look better. But she didn't convince God. She had disobeyed and she would have to face the consequences.

True—the Devil did deceive her.
But true—she disobeyed God's very clear instructions.
The devil tricked her, but he didn't force her.

We are often like Eve.
Instead of owning up and admitting we've sinned, we try to pass the blame in order to make ourselves look better.

Maybe we blame ...
...our parents—"They're too strict. They make mistakes. They're hypocrites. They don't have time for me. They're too busy. If they were better Christians, I would have turned out better ."

...our friends—"They talked me into it. Everybody else is doing it. They made it look not so bad. They pressured me. They would laugh at me if I'm different."

...the devil

...brothers and sisters—"They were annoying me."
 
...Or even God—"God could have stopped me. God gave me these desires. God expects too much from me anyway."

One of my husband's coworkers got in trouble with the police for beating up his girlfriend. My husband told me this guy's comment  about his sin was, "It was her fault!"

How often do you try to pass the blame?

People may trick you, deceive you, push you or pressure you into doing what's wrong, but they usually can't force you. With God's help you can still choose to do what's right.
 
If you do what you know is wrong, it's your fault no matter who was involved.

If you've done wrong, be honest and humble. Put the blame where it rightly belongs –on yourself. Face up to the fact that you did wrong.
 
 God dealt with Satan for deceiving Eve. And God will deal with those who help you to do wrong.
But God also dealt with Eve for eating the fruit. Don't be like Eve and try and pass the blame. Just own up and ask forgiveness.
 
The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
I love this promise! But notice it says if we confess. If we try to pass the blame, God can't forgive and cleanse us.