22 December 2014

A Little Girl with Big Courage

(Lessons from the Little Maid)
And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.
And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.
2 Kings 5:3-4

When is the last time you did something that took courage?
This little maid had a lot of courage to speak up for the good of her Master and for the glory of her God.
She didn't let thoughts like, “What will they think of me? What will happen to me?” stop her.
She was more concerned about her Master than about herself.

Doing what's right often takes courage. To be different, to share the Gospel, to give out a tract, to invite someone to church, to witness, to speak up for God, to speak up for someone when they're being criticized or gossiped about, to be friendly to someone new or different all takes courage.
To apologize and admit you are wrong takes courage.
To own up and take the blame takes courage.

HOW can we have courage? To have courage we need to forget ourselves and instead think about the other person.
Or if it's a case of standing up for God and what is right we need forget ourselves and think of God.

I remember one time when I was a teenage girl that I did something that took me a lot of courage. I will tell you about it. (The names are changed)
In my teenage years I ran a Sunday School and a Girl's 4 God Club. There were 2 different girls from the community who came to both. Stacy had 2 friends who were sisters and the Chloe lived across from these same 2 girls. (These 2 girls were not Christians and didn't go to church or anything Christian.) So when I saw Stacy or picked up Chloe I saw or thought of these 2 girls. I knew I should invite them to my Girl's Club, but... I didn't want to. Why? Because I was afraid of their mum! I had seen her a few times and she was a loud person, always growling her girls. I was sure she would get angry at me too if I asked.
Finally, one day, I got an invite to my Girl's Club and knocked on their door in fear and trembling. I was in for a pleasant surprise. The mother answered the door and was very friendly to me. She told me it was up to the girls—they could go if they wanted to.
They started coming to my Girl's Club. Their friend Stacy told me, “They'd never be allowed to go to church!” But not long after, they started coming to church aswell! Some time later they went off to boarding school and when I got married I moved away. So I’ve lost contact with them now, but I am so glad that I invited them so they had a chance to learn about God and hear the Gospel. Maybe it's the only chance they ever got!
But I had to stop thinking of myself and what might happen to me and instead think of how much they needed to hear about God. I needed to think “What will they think of me on judgment day if I don't?”

To have courage you need to love God and others more than you love yourself.

11 December 2014

14 Lessons from Candles

1) A candle gives light.
It brightens up a dark place. It helps you to see and it drives away darkness.
This world is a dark sinful place and you are to give God's light to those around you.

2) A candle needs a wick.
Without a wick a candle doesn't have much purpose. It may look nice and make a pretty decoration, but it won't fulfill the purpose that it was made for. And so without God, your life is without real purpose. Without God, you won't be what God created you to be.
3) The wick must be in the center.
God needs to be the center of your life. Not an accessory that you wear on Sundays. Your life needs to revolve around Him instead of revolving around yourself.

4) A candle's life has a span.
Once the wick is burned, its time is up.
You don't know what length the candle of your life is. So you must make the most of your time, and most importantly always be prepared to meet your Maker.

5) Candles are all different, but they all have the same purpose—to give light.
Christians are all different—different talents, personalities, backgrounds, opportunities, cultures etc.but we all have the same purpose—to shine for God.

6) If a candle smells good, it is more attractive.
As a Christian you should give Christianity a good name by your actions and words. Many people are put off Christians because of bad experiences--Christians that are bad-smelling! Fruits of the Spirit are good smells—love, joy, peace, longsuffering etc.

7) Candles need trimming.
If you don't trim the wick of your candle, ugly burned pieces fall into the wax.
And so there are many ugly spots in our lives that need changing. God allows hard times in our lives to smooth off our rough edges.

8) You don't light candles to hide them.
Are you ashamed of your faith in Christ? Are you hiding your light instead of shining it?

9) The darker the night, the greater the light.
These days if you live by Biblical principles, you straight away stand out.  Many 'Christian' people today live far worse than a lot of nonChristians lived a while back.
This dark world needs Christians who shine their light brightly and are different from the world.

10) A candle gives the most light right where it is.
It all starts at home. Sometimes home is the hardest place to be a light, because that's where our patience is tested the most.
The light that shines the furtherest shines the brightest at home.
What you are at home is what you are.
Are you a bright light as a daughter and sister?

11) For a candle to burn it must cost the candle something.
It must sacrifice itself to fulfill it's purpose.
If you are a light to the world, you must give of yourself--your talents, time, money, love etc.
Serving God always means sacrifice.

12) A candle is silent
The Bible says, Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 
Actions speak louder than words. Words don't mean much unless your life backs them up.

13) A candle draws you in a direction.
If you are shining for God, you will give direction. You will point others toward God.

14) A candle attracts attention.
When you walk into a dark room, you will straight away notice the candle. It stands out. It's supposed to!
If you are a Christian, then you are supposed to be different! Not in a weird way but in a good way. If you want to make a difference, you have to be a little different.

4 December 2014

Are you a Blessing?

(Big Lessons from a Little Maid--2 Kings 5)
This little girl was a BIG blessing to Naaman and his family! She had enough problems of her own, yet her eyes were open to other people's problems and needs. She wasn't self-focused. And because she wasn't self-focused, she was able to be a blessing to those around her.
This week I had my Mum and two sisters come and stay for 2 days. The whole time they were here, they were looking for what they could do to help me. I went into my girls' room in the morning and the beds were made. The dishes were washed and dried and so on. But what really amazed me was the amount my Mum could do with a shoulder that she can hardly use! She can't lift much with her right arm at the moment, so I expected her to not be able to help with anything. Yet, she washed dishes, cleared the table, folded washing, hung washing on the clotheshorse etc. I was scared she would hurt her shoulder more!
She did what she could with what she had and she was a big blessing.
What about you? Are you a blessing to those around you? If you live at home, do you look for what you can do to help your family? Or do you try to get out of work? Are you a willing helper? There is always something you can do to be a blessing to someone. Even if you aren't able to do much, God can use what you can do. And if you can't do anything, you can always pray.
If you are the like the little maid and have a heart that wants to help others, you will be a big blessing to everyone you meet!

  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Philippians 2:4

23 November 2014

A Compassionate Heart

(Big Lessons from a Little Maid--2 Kings 5)
If someone took you away from your family and set you to work as a servant, how would you feel towards that person? When you heard that they were sick and not going to recover, would you be happy? Would you think “It's serves them right! They deserve it.”
The little maid have every reason to think like that. But instead she had compassion on her Master.

How do you feel towards people who have hurt you?
I've been a bit convicted doing this study! I am definitely lacking in this area.
Compassion means sympathy or sorrow for others suffering.
It's not so hard to feel compassion for people that we love and are close to us. But it's not always so easy to feel compassion for someone who we think deserves what they are getting!
Or even for someone we do love very much that has hurt us. We get hardened and just don't care. But that's not what we should do

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44

How can we have compassion on someone who has hurt us or on someone that we really don't like?
By remembering that God has compassion on us! We have hurt God far more than anyone will ever hurt us. There is absolutely no reason why God should have compassion on us.

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. Psalm 145:8

If you want to be like Jesus, you must be compassionate!

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Matthew 9:36