Sunday, November 2, 2014

She Will Do Him Good...

In Proverbs 31:10-12, we read,  
 "Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain. 

 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life."

While this scripture was written to give a young man wisdom in finding a wife, the King James version uses the word "woman" in place of "wife," and I believe we can apply this scripture to all women; married or single, young or old.  Being virtuous is  not something reserved for women who are wives or who aspire to be wives.  Being virtuous is for all women.  One aspect of being virtuous is "doing good" to the men in our lives regardless of the relationship.  Whether it is a husband, brother, father, coworker, pastor, boss, etc., a Christian woman should be known for the good she does to all around her.
So, how does a Christian woman who is single live this out?  Obviously she does not have a husband to "do good," but she will interact with many men throughout her life in the many circumstances she will be in.  First and foremost she will want to relate to men in a pure and virtuous way.  On the job, she will interact with many men who are married. The temptation to get too close to married men will be there.  A woman who wants to "do him good," will avoid compromising situations such as becoming a listening ear for his marriage woes.  A woman who wants to "do him good," will avoid being alone with a married man away from the eyes of others.  She will refuse "work lunches" where they are alone.  These lunches can quickly turn into another kind of lunch.  She will seek to treat her married coworkers the same way she would want someone else to treat her husband were she married.  She will act in such a way as to encourage his marriage to be stronger.  She will be the woman that the wives of these men will know is safe in the same office as her husband.  She will show respect, be pleasant and helpful, but always with arm's length between.  
She will refuse to be a "man basher."  Few things are more unattractive than a woman who bashes men.  Men are not the problem!  Sin is the problem!
She will be "safe."  When I say "safe," I mean that she will  be known for her virtue.  She will be known as a woman who will not knowingly seduce a man.  He will know by her conduct and dress that she will be appropriate.  He will know that he can ask for her help with projects on the job and she will not try and use it as an opportunity to get him in a compromising situation.  
She will encourage men to lead by her actions and words.  Men were made to be leaders.  A virtuous woman will recognize this and refuse to try and badger men to get her way.  She will be a "helper" to the men in her life.  In the church, she will learn to suggest and encourage the men in leadership.   She will not be a "take charge ram rod" that others will begrudgingly see as the "church boss."  Instead, she will work quietly and prayerfully to effect change where needed through the proper channels.  
If this is her goal, to "do men good", when her epitaph is written someday, it can very well be said that she was virtuous and did all others good. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Suffering...not a word that normally gives me or anyone else warm fuzzies.  As American's, our suffering is quite different than that of someone in a country such as China where they have forced abortions and limited religious freedom.  I'm very thankful I live here, where we at least have some freedom left.
I recently went through a trial of sorts that few knew about.  It was a very familiar trial...something I have struggled with my entire adult has to do with the single state I have been in, having never been married.  Being single was not in my life plan.  I valued marriage early in life as I was taught early it was a one shot deal.  So, I'd rather be single than have married the wrong person and be regretting that.  
But, I've always wanted to be married.  In my late 30's as the biological clock screamed it's head off at me, I had a talk with the Lord...actually, it was probably a series of talks over a period of time, and I told Him that it was okay.  If I never married, I would be fine.  And, I do feel that way today.  It has not always been the case.  I used to think that I could not handle life unmarried.  I'm grateful for God's grace which has made a difference in that part of my life.
So, back to my recent trial...yes, it had to do with a man...keeping it vague for obvious reasons...but, we spent a lovely day together...he treated me with great respect and was a gentleman.  So, what is the trial?  Well, there's no future in this relationship as we don't share a Christian view on the world and life.  This is a non negotiable for me.  So, it was hard.  Hard to come home and face that reality.  It was suffering.  It was painful.  It was for my good.  The Bible gives me great hope for my suffering!  Here is help...In 2 Corinthians 1:5 we read, "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
So, I know that my suffering has purpose!!!  It's not a meaningless part of life as an evolutionist might think, but, instead, it is an opportunity to find help in Jesus!  Christ allows me to suffer so that I will run to Him.  He helped me to do that after I got home. My heart hurt so bad.  I was struggling to focus and get back into the swing of life.  He lead me to a book I've had for years which addressed this subject.  Through reading it, He spoke.  He reminded me of truths I needed to remember.  
Here's another scripture which I love!  Romans 8:18, For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  Wow!  These sufferings are so light.  So temporal.  In heaven someday, I won't be sorry I chose the right thing.  The glory I will know by the grace of God will make my singleness here on earth as NOTHING.  
And, one more.  Philippians 3:10, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death..  In order to really know Christ fully, I. Must. Suffer.  Sad but true.  He suffered for me to purchase my salvation.  The least I can do, is suffer for Him.

I love the words of this beautiful gospel song...The End of the Way.
"When the last, feeble step has been taken,
And the gates of that city appear,
And the beautiful songs of the angels
Float out on my listening ear;
When all that now seems so mysterious
Will be bright and as clear as the day,
Then the toils of the road will seem nothing,
When I get to the end of the way."  Charles Tillman

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Purpose of the Church, Pt. 2


I'm still pondering what the church is supposed to be all about...Certainly the worship of God, our Savior is a primary reason for the church.  My former professor, Garen L. Wolf gives us a clue.  He states that when we come to worship at church, it is not about us, but all about Him.  When you think of some of what is going on in modern churches today, one has to wonder if this simple, yet profound concept has been forgotten or tossed on the ash heap of yesteryear, outdated and irrelevant.  Recently, I was introduced to a Youtube clip from MorningStar Ministries in South Carolina.  This is the "Holy Ghost Hokie Pokie."  I'm not kidding.  This has a hard, driving beat which is reminiscent of rock music which is another whole topic of discussion, and it's words repeated over and over with very little variation.  It is a horrible example of "working a crowd up," to try and achieve a particular outcome.  I also wonder how this could really be "all about God," when it appears to be more about people shaking, gyrating and trying to feel good about something?  I give you the clip for your own conclusion...(see above) From Youtube, we find some of the words which are part of this "song."  "You put your right hand in, you take your right hand out, you put your whole self in and see astounding and miraculous healing's all about..." (taken from HarvestFest 2009).
Where, may I ask is there anything about worshiping and glorifying God?  Where is the God focus which causes us to muse on His mighty attributes?  Where is His glory that we might see how we desperately need Him?  As Dr. Steve Lawson stated recently at the Strange Fire Conference at Grace Community Church in California, this is like a "bad fraternity party."  Nothing here about worship or the grace of God shown to us in Christ.  

I contrast that with the words and music of this beautiful hymn, Blessed Assurance.  Here, Fanny Crosby, blind most of her life, writes of the wonderful assurance she has in Christ.  "Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!  Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!  Heir of salvation, purchase of God.  Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood!"  Here, we see Christ lifted up, while the songwriter testifies of the wonderful change in her life since Christ has entered!  I submit, there is no comparison.  Which one of these two "worship styles," best represents Ephesians 4:12-14 as to the purpose of the church? ."... for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,  till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting..."

The answer is very obvious...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Church's Purpose?

What is the purpose of the church?  Ephesians 4:12-14 gives us God's answer..."... for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,  till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting..."

Is the church a place for saints or sinners?  Is the church a place for social clubbiness or the gospel being preached?  Is the church a place for saints to be built up, edified and encouraged, or should we pander to the sinners and try how to make them feel comfortable?

It is alarming when churches shift their focus from the scriptures and the edification of saints to trying to figure out what will make sinners "comfortable" in the church atmosphere!  Going so far as to poll sinners to find out what kind of music they want, instead of turning to the scripture and Biblical principles to figure out how we can better honor Christ through our music and worship.  

Above all, the local church must be focused on the scriptures, lifting up Christ and preaching the gospel.  Social programs may follow as the local church seeks to follow Christ, but it won't be the primary focus.  

What did the early church do in their times of gathering?  The book of Acts gives
us information about that..."And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers."  (2:42) If local churches would follow this model, how different the church world would be.  Does your local church follow this model, or the modern, "seeker friendly" one?