28 June 2015

A Great God

(Lessons from Eve #5)
What does this story teach us about God?

1) God cares about our needs.
God cared about the fact that Adam was lonely and He provided a wife for him. God provided for all Adam and Eve's needs. He created a beautiful garden for them to live in with tons of different fruits and veges to eat. He made food look and taste good. He designed so many different kinds. He cared enough to warn them not to eat the forbidden fruit. And even after they had both sinned, He came looking for them.

2) God wants what's best for us because He loves us.
He tried to make them obey, so all would be well. The Devil tried to make them disobey and get hurt, because he didn't care about them.
God is so good!

3) God sees everything.
Adam and Eve tried to hide and cover up what they had done. But it was a waste of time. We can't hide anything from God. Even if no one else sees or knows, God does. We can't fool God.

4) God has rules and consequences for breaking rules.
God's rules are like a fence to keep us safe and happy.
Our section is fully fenced because we are afraid of our little children wandering away and getting hurt. The fence is not to keep them from having fun! The fence is there to help them have fun safely.
God doesn't look the other way when we disobey. There are consequences!
 
5) God follows through on His punishments.
God keeps His Word, so we need to take warnings in the Bible seriously.

6) God is righteous and must punish sin.
A judge who let criminals go free wouldn't be a good judge. And so God wouldn't be a good God if He ignored sin.

7) God is merciful.
I am so thankful for this one!
After Adam and Eve had sinned, God gave the first promise of a Saviour. (Genesis 3:15) Because of all Jesus Christ has done, there is hope for us if we will turn to God, confess our sin to Him and put our trust in Jesus! Without Jesus and the sacrifice He made on the cross, there would be no hope.

These are only some of the characteristics of God. But is this how you think of God?

24 June 2015

God Won't Give You More than You Can Handle

What a special promise!
There are no difficulties or temptations you go through that no one has ever been through before. There is someone else who has been through the same thing and come through as a more beautiful person with a greater trust in God.
What troubles do you have at the moment? Health issues, relationship problems, family difficulties, a difficult job, trying people around you, not enough money? You are not the only one! So be encouraged. If other people can get through, so can you.
But God is faithful---unchanging, consistently reliable---the opposite to us! He can give you the strength you need.
He will not give you more than you can handle with His help.
Do you feel like you can't possibly cope? That you can't get through your difficulties? Remember and trust this promise. God has promised not to give you more than you can handle. You can do it, if you will trust Him to help you. 
 The other day I told one of my girls to do something that I knew that she could do. She just sat there and said over and over, "I can't do it." My answer was, "You can, now just do it!" It made me think of myself and how often I think or pray to God, "I can't do this. It's too hard. I don't have what it takes." I wondered, "Does God feel the same way I feel as a mother? Is God's answer the same to me? You can, now just do it!"
What God wants from you may seem impossible and too hard. And for you it is. But when you depend on God, He can help you through anything.
He will make a way to escape so that you can handle it. The way to escape might be taking away the problem or it may be showing you some way to deal with it. I find it very hard being a mother sometimes, and I have to pray and look for ways to cope. Ways to escape! And God has promised that there will always be a way to escape! A way to get through.
Instead of saying, "I can't do this" say "I can do this with God's help!"


16 June 2015

Be Kind

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; 1Corinthians 13:4

The Cambridge dictionary describes the word kind as generous, helpful, and thinking about other people's feelings:

Does this describe you??
Are you kind the way you speak ...
...to your brothers and sisters
...to your friends
...about other people behind their back
...online--the comments you make on facebook?
Are you kind the way you act...
...when people are annoying you
...when friends upset you
...when you are busy
...when you are tired
...when you are having a bad day?
Are you kind the way you think...
...about your parents
...about your brothers and sisters
...about your friends
...about other people?

If you think kindly about people it will be easier to act and speak kindly. It's not always easy to think kindly about people, but there is always something positive to find in someone if you look!

Ask God to help you to be kind in the way you speak, act and think.

6 June 2015

Sneaky Tricks

(Lessons from Eve #4)

The Devil used some nasty tricks on Eve to get her to disobey God.
He uses the same tricks on us today. Can you recognize this in your own life?

The devil questions what God has said.
He tried to put doubt in Eve's mind. “Did God say?...”
The devil tries to make us doubt God's goodness. He tries to make us doubt whether certain things are wrong or true. Did God really create the world? Is the Bible completely true? Is Heaven and Hell real?
You may get these doubts through influences at school, university, movies, tv, books, nonChristian friends or just out of your own mind.
A good quote to remember is Never put a question mark where God has put a period.
It's not wrong to ask questions, but it is wrong to question what God has clearly said.

The devil tries to make God look bad.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
God had given Adam and Eve so much to eat from in the garden—there was only one they weren't allowed. And yet the devil asks the question in a way that makes God look negative. He makes it sound like God is withholding something that they should have.
He does the same to us too. When something hard or sad happens in your life the devil will try to make you think it's all God's fault and that God doesn't really care. He will try to make you bitter towards God. But the Bible tells us over and over that God is good and all things happen for a purpose. It is the devil who is bad. All the problems in the world are proof of a devil--not proof that there is no God or that He doesn't care.

The devil calls God a liar.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
In another words “That's not true!” or “God is not telling the truth.”
First, he questions what God has said, then he denies what God has said.
Everything in the Bible is God's Word. When we don't believe it, we are calling God a liar. But it is the Devil who is a liar. Jesus called Himself 'the truth.'
John 8:44 ... He (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

The devil focuses on what you can't have.
God said, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree...thou shalt not eat.”
The devil said, “Hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
God focused on all the trees that Adam and Eve could have, while the Devil zeroed in on the one tree they couldn't have. He wanted them to be discontent.
The devil wants us to be focused on what we don't or can't have, while God wants us to be thankful for what we do have.

The Devil makes sin look attractive.
Genesis 3:4-6 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Sin often looks good, but the consequences are not worth it. There is nothing good about sin. Sin is the cause of everything horrible and sad in this world.
 

Don't listen to the devil! He is a liar. Listen to God who loves you and wants what's best for you. 


27 May 2015

Unreliable?

Oh no, not again! I thought thismorning.
It was a cold wet morning and we were in a rush to get ready. My four year old goes to a preschool one morning a week and we have to be out the door around 8:15. I bundled the children up warmly and pulled their shoes on and headed out the door. When I unlocked the car I noticed the central locking wasn't working. Uh oh, not a good sign. I tried starting the car and sure enough--a flat battery.
This is not the first time this has happened. At least this time I didn't quite have the children all buckled in the car!
One time we had to miss a birthday party because our car had a flat battery.
If one door is not shut quite properly (with little kids shutting doors it happens often), the car runs out of battery. I have learned to lock the doors straight away, because it doesn't lock if the doors aren't shut properly and then I know to check the doors. But this time the doors were locked. However, the central locking doesn't work for one door, and this was the door that wasn't shut properly. So the car had still locked.
Because it runs out of battery so easily, it is unreliable.
It's annoying when you have to depend on something that is unreliable!
Unfortunately people can be just as unreliable.
Proverbs 25:19 says  Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
There are times I've had to rely on people for help and they haven't turned up on time or they've backed out at the last minute. It's very frustrating! Now I don't like to depend on people as I'm afraid it will happen again and I'll be left in a predicament.
Are you reliable? Can people trust you?
Maybe you have a job. Would your boss say you are reliable? Do you turn up on time? Can he/she guarantee you will be there?
Maybe you do babysitting. Do you have to be reminded? Do you arrive ten minutes late? When you are a mother, you will realize how difficult it is when you need to be going out the door and your babysitter is still not there and you don't know where she is!
Maybe you are involved in ministries. Are you reliable? Do you turn up? Can people count on you? When you promise to do something, do you do it? Does your word mean something?
True, sometimes thing do happen out of your control. A flat tyre, sickness, getting stuck in a traffic jam etc. But people should know that if you don't turn up on time something must be wrong as it's just not like you. They shouldn't think Oh no, not again. They shouldn't have to tell you to be there half an hour early with the hope that you might get there on time!
Reliableness is a very important quality to have.


20 May 2015

Created....Beautiful!

(Lessons from Eve #3)
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Psalms 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
 
Eve was part of God's creation and everything He made was very good. She was also made in the image of God--in God's likeness. She was different to the animals.
And so are you! You are God's creation and you were created in God's image. Although sin ruins beauty, you are still God's creation. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are beautiful! God doesn't make junk.
Do you ever look in the mirror and wish you were taller, shorter, prettier or a different size? Do you wish you could have chosen the way you look?
Remember that God created you just the way you are and you are beautiful!
There are things you can change and you can make yourself more attractive by being clean, tidy and dressing nicely. But don't worry about the things you can't change. Accept the way God made you. He made you just right.
And if you are proud of the way you look, just remember that you were created! You didn't design yourself or choose how you would look, so there is no reason to feel proud! Don't look down on others that you think are not so pretty or as slim as you, because you have no reason to.
Instead of being so focused on how you look, concentrate on having a beautiful character. That's what is most important and it is something you can change with God's help. Joy, thankfulness, kindness, friendliness and modesty are just a few things that will make you more attractive. No girl is ugly when she smiles!
Ask God to help you to accept the way He made you, to keep you from being proud of your looks and to help you focus on inward beauty.