Friday, June 1, 2018

Who is God? by Victoria V.

Who is God?
Victoria V.

If you’re like me, sometimes you wonder about God. What’s He like? What are His attributes? What exactly are His promises? How do those promises apply to me? You can answer all of these questions by reading the Bible!

This summer, I started working on a self-made Bible study that has helped me so much with answering all of those questions. It’s pretty simple and easy to do! I read a verse of the Bible and figure out what God is saying about either Himself or His promises, then I write it down in a specific book I have for this study. Each page has an attribute or promise of God at the top. You’d be surprised how many Bible verses line up together! I think the easiest book of the Bible to do this in is Psalms.

Here’s an example from Psalms 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalms 27:1 ESV)

When you read this verse, what is it saying? (I’ve underlined it just for some clarity) “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Those words are the start to the pages in my book.

Page One might say, “God is my Strength,” and Page Two might say, “God is my Salvation.” Then, I copy out all the verses that say that about God. I know women and girls who have done this Bible study and compiled over five hundred pages of the attributes of God, and it’s amazing.
For someone who thinks about God and His attributes or promises daily, I encourage you to try this Bible study. I think you’ll learn some very important things about God, the one who created you, loves you, and wants you to have a relationship with Him.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

What love do you know? By Keturah L.

An interesting conversation I had a couple weekends ago resulted in this conclusion about objects and what they mean to us:

"It is impossible for something to love you, but you CAN love something."

Now, isn't that a thought worth pondering over?

But I think this calls for another question: what is love?

There are many definitions of love.

There is a love that is pure, selfless, one that loves sacrificially and purely. Of course this love can not be applied toward objects, though, as it's a love we are not strong enough to truly act upon with out the strength of God. This sort of love is one that we show to others - to other people.

The word love can be selfish and centered around sentiment and the desires of ourselves. When we love an object, or even a human being with this sort of love, we are liking them because of what they mean to us, what it (or they) do for us. This sort of love is very much a "me" love.

This last love is not the ideal love. It is not the love that is talked about in 1 Corinthians 13. It is not the love Jesus (Yeshua) showed to us when He died and covered our sins with His own blood (1 John 4:9-10).

It is sad that most of us can only love and understand love according the the standard of loving an object. Most of us love another as if they were an object for our own pleasure, not one for us to serve and give unto.

We that follow God should be above such selfish love. We should love as God loved us, giving every ounce of ourselves toward the better or another.

John 13: 34-35  "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Definition of Sin by Keturah L.

In my post, Am I Safe in My Sin?, I talked about whether or not we as individual Christians ought to sin or not.

But that then brings up the question "What is sin?"

According to the online dictionary sin is "An immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.
'A sin in the eyes of God'
Synonyms: immoral act, wrong, wrongdoing, act of evil/wickedness, transgression, crime, offense, misdeed, misdemeanor."

It's funny, that even if though the Bible has set rules and examples of sin it's hard to understand what sin and evil really are.

That's because sin and evil aren't things or made-up rules. They are ideas - theological and philosophical concepts.

Once you understand that sin is not a thing but an abstract reality, it's easier to answer the following questions;

1. "What is sin?"
2. "Who made sin?"
3. "Who decided what sin is?"
4. "Who punishes sin?"

1. Since sin is not a thing, but a concept, what is the concept of sin?
Sin is not only the opposite of good, but the result of good missing.
Logically, we can come to the conclusion that sin only exists because of lack of perfection or good-doing.

2. Who made sin? Or more like, how can one make sin if it is an idea?
If sin is the result of taking away good - then sin is made by the offender and no one else is to blame.
Also, the idea of sin forces for their to be one to sin against. This is partly why those that do not believe in God do not believe in sin either.
This is why we punish the one committing the crime - never anyone else. And it's also the reason we are each responsible for our own actions and consequences - because WE are the ones that create our sin.
It's a choice matter.

3. Sin is of itself a "religious" thing.
It's rare that an unbeliever will actually admit to having "sinned" even if they happen to have that sense of guilt that means they have sinned
Sin is that which violates good, and in essence of His nature, God is good. Thus sin is that which violates God.
And what ever violates Him and the nature of good is sin.
So, it's not so much that God or the Bible has made up what sin, but He has defined it for us.
God has revealed to us all that would disrupt or cause good to be gone.
And that process is called sin.

4. Only good can punish sin. Why?
Because evil punishing evil would only create more evil. But good can bring both justice and mercy to the offender.
When one is totally uncorrupted it has the authority to continue pushing goodness onto sin, and vanquishing it.

The idea and concepts around sin are very important. They prove God's existence, and also demand our continual steadfastness to His goodness.

Even though sin is something we'd like to forget about, I believe that we should at least understand what it is so that when asked hard questions or facing temptations we will be prepared to say and do the right things.

1 Peter 1:16 "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
Matt 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

Believing in miracles, by Emily M.

Sometimes we walk around professing and confessing that God loves us. The sad truth is that even we sometimes doubt it can be true. It can perhaps be attributed to the things that life throws at us. The hurts, the pains and even the things we get so easily and effortlessly - and yes, we forget and lean in to our own understanding.

Yesterday we went out on a door to door campaign. The aim of it really was to engage people in meaningful conversations about education. And we walked into a miracle. At first I could not tell from looking at her smiling face and withered hands the story of her life.

She is a mother of about 5 children. The last born in grade 8 a girl. She has lived through life in ways we would never wish to live it. 8 years ago she was stricken by a very bad case of arthritis. Here it can get bad since it's a bit cold and she could do nothing g for herself. She could not feed or move or wash and being a mother with a young child it's was very hard to see her youngest grow without a mother's touch.

However, in that story we also heard how God sent help through good women of the church. How her husband never left her side. How finally relief came to her body and through a divine miracle she was finally able to move. It was great to hear that prayers work and how God has worked with patience. How she has lived to see the first of her grandchildren. It was great to hear how sadness may come but joy comes in the morning. How God works everything for good for those who believe.

I felt God's presence. I remembered to be grateful for everyday little things that we take from granted like singing aloud in the shower, sitting and talking and laughing with friends,... The sounds, sights and smells that make life. And I was in awe at how great it is when the Master is at work.
God bless you.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Fig Tree by Perelade

The fig tree.
Hey people, my name is Pere. I'm a Nigerian. I'm very glad to be doing this. I've always wanted to be a part of something big. Something good. And so when my sister told me about this, there was no way I could pass this up. I'm happy to be amongst Christian girls who genuinely love God and encourage each other.
So my first article is about the fig tree. We all know the story. The one in Mathew 21:18-19. On that fateful day, Jesus was on his way to a city. He was hungry as well, probably from all the stress from last night. So he saw a fig tree, he went up to it, but found nothing on it, except leaves. The Bible tells us that Jesus said to the tree "may you never bear fruit again". And immediately, the tree withered. It was just a few days ago that I knew that a fig tree is a Mediterranean tree widely cultivated for its edible fruit. Jesus surely knew that tree was no ordinary tree. He knew it was a fig tree, but sadly, it didn't live up to its potential. Nobody knows why the fig tree didn't produce. It could be because of insufficient nutrients or bad roots. Maybe it wasn't even watered properly. Whatever the case, the bottom line was that it didn't live up to expectation.
We're all fig trees. But we shouldn't be withered fig trees. We're all beautiful girls with something in us that is edible and sweet. We have great potential. There would definitely be liars who would try to lie to us. They'll tell us that we aren't good enough. They'll tell us that we aren't beautiful enough. They'll make us feel strange. They'll make us look uncool. But don't listen to them, sister! Someday, Jesus is going to walk up to you. And when he comes, you'll be able to deliver your potential.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tried in the Fire, Rachel V.

Tried In The Fire
By Rachel V.

“...But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)

One time, my family went to a historic remake of an old town. It was really neat! There were ladies dressed up in pettycoats and an old General Store. But what really interested me was the blacksmith. It was so neat to see them making various things, such as nails and coat hangers, minurature hammers, horse shoes, and even metal flowers (roses and lillys)! I was watching them making a lilly, and it was amazing how they did it!

They put the piece of metal into a 18,000 degree fire and waited. Then they took it out and punded at it. Then they put it back in the fire then took it out and pounded at it. They did this for the longst time, and I rememeber thinking, how would the piece of metal ever turn into a distinguished lily?  

Dear one, do you ever feel like this? Do you ever feel the pain from the things God is sending to you? Do you feel like Job's wife and want to say “Curse God, and die” (Job 2:9)? 

I know, feeling the heat is not easy. Trust me, if you've never felt like this, it's hard to bear. I've had my own troubles recently, and I've thought that nothing can work out for my good. There's no way. What comfort do you have when everything is turned against you, sickness has come upon you, your own friends, instead of comforting you in your time of need, tell you something must be wrong with you,  and your own wife tells you to curse God and die?

Well, Job seems to have a comfort that is hard to obtain. “The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.” (Job 17:9) “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job  19:25-26)  “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.” (Job 42:2)

Psalm 42:5 says: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”

Jesus says in Revalation 3:18a, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire...” “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” (Isaiah 48:10) “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” (Zechariah 13:9)

Do you know the process of purifying gold? Gold, before being refined, has many impurities. Just like us. To take out those impurities, it has to be melted down by temeratures over melting. Then, when cooled, it is pure.

Back to the blacksmith example. I asked those blacksmiths why they put it into such a hot fire. They told me that the hotter it gets, the softer the metal is, and therefore it is easer to mold into shapes and such. They said that when metal is so hot, it is just like clay, and is able to be molded into something beautiful.

Dear ones, you may wonder at the hardships in your life, the struggles and perplexities, but as the prophet says in Isaiah 64:8: “But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” “O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” (Jerimiah 18:6)

Brethren, God puts you in these hard times so you will come forth as gold. As “silver tried in the furnace seven times” (Psalm 12:6) And so also you can be molded into the image of Him who created you. Like that iron that was put into the fire, without the heat and dicomfort, it wouldn't have been so easily molded by the blacksmith's tools into a beautiful piece of artwork.

So be comforted by Christ's words “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) We may not see what God has in plan for us, we can not see what all these troubles will do for us, but trust me, God has a plan to make “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Do not give up hope. Do not curse God. His plans are good, and true, and just. Trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus.

“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.”
~Author Unknown

Friday, February 26, 2016

Being a Good Sibling

Being a Good Sibling

By Adebisi A.
Being a sibling is one of the sweetest feelings in the world. But sometimes, it may seem so annoying. I can attest to this, with four younger brothers. I get freaked out almost all the time. But God has a purpose for making you a sibling. Our perfect example, Jesus had siblings and many other Bible characters like Peter, Jacob, and many others.
Do you shout and scream at your siblings? I do,but I calm myself down after a few minutes.You can't be mad at them always or you'll just waste the time you guys have together. Besides, do you instruct your siblings on the right things or not? What about your actions? No matter their age, they learn something from you, is it good or bad? Actions do speak louder than words.
Be a better sibling, spend more time with them because you won't be together forever and make use of that 
time well. 
Rate yourself, how good a sibling you are and ask God to make you a better one.


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