A place of encouragement for women featuring a monthly Heart to Heart ladies’ bulletin. Each bulletin includes an article, Search the Scriptures quizzes, and recipes.
Heart to Heart
Devotional Thoughts for Women
Just Say “No”
My husband and I are one in many ways, but this week we added a new dimension to the list: we are now one in the low sodium diet realm. Yeah us! After a surgery removing one of my kidneys earlier this year, I had to adopt a drastically changed diet. My husband was sympathetic but didn’t sympathize with me to the point of actually joining me. After a scary ER visit which revealed his very high blood pressure, he is now willingly on board with me on this low sodium thing. He was initially a little down about not being able to eat some of his favorite things (like Chinese food!), but we talked about it being a matter of perspective. I understand how hard it can be to “Just say no”, but I told him that when I am tempted to eat something I know I shouldn’t, I don’t look at it as some wonderful pleasure I’m being denied, but rather, I look at it and think “dialysis.” That pretty much does it right there. I suggested to him to try the same strategy – looking at the “naughty” food he wants and thinking “stroke.” When we both realistically view those high sodium foods as something dangerous and painful to us, we are able to overcome the temptation and shun the things we know would cause us great or even irreparable harm.
All of these reflections made me make comparisons to how we look at sin. I’m afraid that we sometimes look at temptations and feel frustrated that we’re “not allowed” to give into it, but must reject it because it’s “supposed to be what’s best for us.” When we think that way, as if we’re being deprived of something wonderful, we are looking at sin with the wrong perspective. It is true that sin is pleasurable, or we wouldn’t be tempted to do it. (Hebrews 11:25) But when we see sin as God sees it, that pleasure is completely overshadowed by some important truths:
Sin is always harmful. Satan loves to deceive us into thinking no harm will come if we give into temptation. He began using that argument at the beginning of time with Eve in the Garden of Eden, and we all know the sad outcome of her believing that deception. Back to the food analogy – My husband and I could eat one really high sodium meal and it wouldn’t automatically kill us right then, but it would start causing damage in our bodies that would reach a point of no return if we continued down that path. Sin is always harmful, and we must look honestly at the damage, both short term and long, that it will most certainly do.
Sin hurts. If we would only stop and consider the pain our sin will cause – to ourselves in long-lasting consequences, maybe to others who will suffer because of what we’ve done, but ultimately to God the Creator who is being rebelled against by His creation. When Joseph was being tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he wasn’t lamenting or struggling with the fact that he knew he shouldn’t lie with another man’s wife, but instead cried out that he could not do such a great wickedness and sin against his God. (Genesis 39:9) Joseph didn’t see pleasure being denied because he was looking at the pain that would result.
Sin cost God dearly. Because of my sin and your sin, God gave the very best He had, the blood of His dear Son. It cost the life of Jesus Christ. There is always a price to be paid for sin. No one has ever or will ever “get away with it.” Romans 6:23 reminds us, “The wages of sin is death…” It was our sin that caused Christ to leave the splendors of heaven and humble Himself here on earth as a man even to death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8) How can we look at any temptation and see a pleasure denied when we see Jesus hanging on that cross for us?
Satan will continue to try to tempt us with those things he thinks we strongly desire, but God has promised each of us a way of escape. (I Corinthians 10:13) He is faithful and will not let us be tempted in a way that we cannot overcome. It is up to us to fight the temptation and seek the way of escape by taking a good hard look at sin for what it really is. It is harmful, it is painful, and it cost the lifeblood of Jesus Christ. Looking at sin rightly is a powerful motivator to just say, “No.” ~Heather Pryor
(To see this month’s bulletin in its entirety, click the link below.)
Heart to Heart September 2017 – Featured article: Just Say “No” Featured Recipes: Lemon Garlic Fish and Sweet Potato Slaw
Heart to Heart August 2017 – Featured article: Becoming a Bible Student Featured Recipes: Fresh Tomato Pie and Tomato Cucumber Salad
Heart to Heart July 2017 – Featured article: Hang On, Help Is On the Way Featured Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie
Heart to Heart June 2017 – Featured article: Four Words that are Hard to Pray Featured recipe: Chocolate Pizza
Heart to Heart May 2017 – Featured article: Chosen Featured recipe: Scripture Cake
Heart to Heart April 2017 – Featured article: Do You Love Me? Featured recipe: Resurrection Rolls
Heart to Heart March 2017 – Featured article: Should I or Shouldn’t I? Featured recipe: Zucchini Ratatouille
Heart to Heart January 2017 – Featured article: Adjust Your Focus Featured recipe: Paul’s Chili
Heart to Heart December 2016 – Featured article: Talk to Me! Featured recipe: Pumpkin Soup
Heart-to-Heart-November-2016 – Featured article: Quiet Time Featured recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars and Better Than Anything Cake
Heart-to-Heart-October-2016 – Featured article: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Featured recipe: Biscuits and Gravy Casserole
Heart to Heart September 2016 – Featured article: Do You Know Your Bible? Featured recipe: BLT Chicken Salad
Heart to Heart August 2016 – Featured article: Called to Holiness Featured Recipes: Spanish Round Steak and Cherry Delight
Heart to Heart July 2016 – Featured article: When God says “No” Featured Recipes: Fruit-Infused Waters (6 variations)
Heart to Heart June 2016 – Featured article: Life is short, use the china Featured Recipes: Tarragon Tuna Salad and Raspberry Soup
Heart to Heart May 2016 – Featured article: What Will I Wear? Featured Recipe: Fresh Orange Scones
Heart to Heart April 2016 – Featured article: Hide and Seek Featured Recipe: Strawberry Rolls
Heart to Heart March 2016 – Featured article: Good, Better, Best Featured Recipes: Beverly’s Breakfast Casserole and Lemon Rosemary Shortbread
Heart to Heart February 2016 – Featured article: Conspicuous Christianity Featured Recipes: Broccoli Cauliflower Salad and White Chocolate Party Mix
Heart to Heart January 2016 – Featured article: Get Ready! Featured Recipes: Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and Hot Spiced Cranberry Punch
Heart to Heart December 2015 – Featured article: Luke’s Lemonade Featured Recipes: White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies and Peppermint White Chocolate Cocoa
Heart to Heart November 2015 – Featured article: Fasting and Feasting Featured Recipe: Cranberry Gelatin Salad and A Thanksgiving Tree
Heart to Heart October 2015 – Featured article: The Boo Hoo Award Featured Recipe: Pumpkin Rolls with Cinnamon Butter
Heart to Heart September 2015 – Featured article: The Student Who Taught the Teacher Featured Recipe: Zucchini Au Gratin
Heart to Heart August 2015 – Featured article: The B-I-B-L-E: Is that the Book for Me? Featured Recipe: Coconut Cream Pie Bars
Heart to Heart July 2015 – Featured article: Red Sea Moments Featured Recipes: Chicken Pesto Casserole and Homemade Pesto Sauce
Heart to Heart June 2015 – Featured article: Getting Back to Basics Featured Recipes: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Pacs, All-Natural Grout Cleaner, and Summertime Air Freshener
Heart to Heart May 2015 – Featured article: Could God Have Chosen You? Featured Recipes: Yogurt Parfaits and Lemon Rosemary Scones
Heart to Heart April 2015 – Featured article: Bored by the Bible? Featured Recipe: Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
Heart to Heart March 2015 – Featured article: The First Five Minutes Featured Recipe: Stuffed Peppers
Heart to Heart Feb 2015 – Featured article: A Servant of the Church, Helper of Many Featured recipes: Sweet Lemon Chicken, Chocolate Almond Clusters
Heart to Heart Jan 2015 – Featured article: Is Your Diffuser Working? Featured recipe: Homemade Crunchy Apple Slices
This monthly bulletin has been published in print form since 1999. Many of the articles have been compiled into two books of devotional thoughts for women. For further descriptions and pricing of these books, please visit our Product Catalog Page.