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


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