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The Godly Woman (Part 1)

“…the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children…” (Titus 2:3-4)

God is in favor of beautiful homes; yet these days, our families face many enemies that threaten to drain us of our splendor. The key to a beautiful home is the wife and mother. Titus 2 shows us what it means to be a godly mother and how to make a home beautiful. A beautiful home isn’t just about appearance, rather, it’s a Godly home that is beautiful because of the God-honoring hearts who live there.

This passage first addresses the legacy a godly woman is to leave. She teaches younger women how to instill values in their own families by example. She has the perfume of God in her life. She is marked by holiness and godliness in her speech. She is not to be a false accuser, one looking for scandals, or a slanderer, nor does she indulge in addictive behaviors. 

Secondly, this passage tells of the love the godly woman is to learn. Being a mother is not easy, nor is it glamorous, but there is no higher calling. The impression a mother can leave on her children will last a lifetime and has an eternal impact.

  • What are some things you can thank God for about your mother?
  • How did your mother shape your life today? How has that affected the way you interact with those you have influence over?

Children Who Honor Their Parents

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)

We can be children of happy mothers when we follow God’s command to honor our parents. 

We first do this by obeying our parents when we are young. Disobedience is a serious sin. It is not weakness; it is wickedness. Disobedience invites the judgment of God; obedience invites the blessings of God. 

Second, we care for our parents when they are old. As we care for them, we remember that our parents loved us in spite of our faults; we must love them in spite of their faults.

Third, we honor our parents at all times. We show respect and express gratefulness. Our gratitude blesses our parents more than we could ever know.

Fourth, we honor our parents when we listen to their counsel. Our parents have the advantage of being further down the road of life than us. They love us and have our best interests in mind.

Last of all, we show our parents love, remembering what we owe them. They gave us life. Their blood flows through our veins.

  • How can we continually honor our parents, even as we acknowledge that they have not been perfect?
  • How does honoring the good things about our parents point us to the perfect fatherhood of God?

Take time to honor your parents today in specific ways. If they are living, reach out to them with encouragement. If they are not, take time to thank God for the good ways they influenced and shaped your life.

Be A Faithful Parent (Part 2)

…and they were not afraid of the king’s command. By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.

(Hebrews 11:23-24)

Hebrews 11 tells us the story of the Prophet Moses, who was kept alive for the Lord’s service through the faith of his parents, Amram and Jochebed. There are four principles to learn from the indispensable faith of these parents. Yesterday, we looked at the first two, faith’s vision and valor, and today we will look at principles three and four.

Third, we see faith’s venture; Moses’ parents did not have a spirit of fatalism, rather, they did their part to protect their son, trusting God to do the rest. When facing challenges, we must do all we can do with a spirit of optimism. If it is God’s will, we can trust that He will move Heaven and Earth for our children.

Finally, Amram and Jochebed displayed faith’s victory.

Hebrews 11 notes that because Moses’ values were established in him by his parents, he valued his faith more than all the riches of Egypt. Moses embraced the virtues of knowing Christ eternally and rejected the vices of this world, refusing to be called Pharaoh’s son. (See Hebrews 11:24.)

  • What makes it difficult to entrust those in our lives to God’s care and not our own? Why is this worth it?
  • Where do you need to renew your trust in Christ and reject the things of the world as Moses did?

Take time to write out ways you might be following the world instead of God. Pray over this list, asking God to help you renew your trust and commitment to Him.

Be A Faithful Parent (Part 1)

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child. (Hebrews 11:23)

It takes a family to raise a child, and it takes faith to make a family. The most powerful and influential people on Earth are mothers and fathers of faith. 

Hebrews 11 tells us the story of the Prophet Moses, who was kept alive for the Lord’s service through the faith of his parents, Amram and Jochebed. There are four principles to learn from the indispensable faith of these parents. Today, we are looking at the first two of these principles.

First, we note faith’s vision; Moses’s parents recognized that he was the special handiwork of God. It is our responsibility to see our children as specific, individual creations of God, and raise them accordingly.

Second, we recognize faith’s valor. Amram and Jochebed hid Moses for three months because the King had commanded that baby boys be killed. By faith, they recognized this physical conflict as a spiritual conflict between the gods of Egypt and Almighty God, and “they were not afraid” (Hebrews 11:23). In these treacherous days, raising children is a spiritual battle, and our only hope is a solid faith in Jesus Christ.

  • Who are the spiritual children God has given you—whether biological or otherwise?
  • How might God use you to encourage those with whom you have spiritual influence? How does the idea of spiritual parenthood connect to the reality of the Body of Christ being a family?

Encourage the children in your life today—whether biological or spiritual by affirming the unique gifts God has given them.

Those Who Seek Wisdom

He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” (Proverbs 13:20)

As parents, there are four things you must keep in mind in order to raise wise children.

First, you need to expound truth to your children; saturate them in the Proverbs; emblazon the Ten Commandments into their consciousness; teach them the Beatitudes, that they might learn these simple, basic truths.

Second, expose sin: children need to see the repercussions of sin to understand their weight. We must pull away the veil and show them the ugly truth of sin and its consequences. 

We must also expel fools, as Proverbs 13:20 instructs. We cannot let our young, impressionable children hang around those who reject wisdom; we must be firm with who we allow them to be friends with.

Finally, we must express love be gentle, transparent, and available. Words can hurt your children more than an open hand and a slap in the face. Love your children and delight in them.

  • Which of these principles stands out most to you? Why?
  • Where do you need to be honest about sin in your own life to point others toward wisdom?

Take time to express love and delight to those close to you today, whether your own children or someone else.

Those Who Reject Wisdom

“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:22)

These days, our nation is in troubled waters, and the problem is rooted in fathers who fail to accept their responsibility. The Book of Proverbs reveals how to be the father of a wise child.

When our children are young, they are simple, ignorant, and careless, which is to be expected. However, some children are never taught to grow in wisdom and remain simple in their adulthood. They may have knowledge, but they lack spiritual wisdom and understanding. They are easily led into error, ready to believe anything.

If a child remains naive and has not been led by his or her father, he or she defies instruction and despises the good and godly. Because of this, he or she is destined for destruction. 

Those who reject godliness are very hard to reach, but there is still hope for them. If they are not reclaimed, they become fools; the scoffer is disrespectful, but the fool is immovable. The fool rejects wisdom, ridicules righteousness, and rejoices in iniquity. His or her moral sense has been so perverted, he or she thinks good is evil and evil is good. 

  • What are some ways you have rejected godly teaching and thinking in the past?
  • How has God moved you from a place of rejection to wisdom?

Who do you know that needs guidance in wisdom? How can you connect with that person this week to seek to point him or her toward the wisdom of God?

Are You An Encourager?

And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 4:36-37)

The Book of Acts tells the story of a man called Barnabas, which translates to, “son of encouragement.” Five characteristics of Barnabas’ “gift of encouragement” show us how to be encouragers for others.

  • First, encouragers see needs that they can meet and meet them. (See Acts 4:36.)
  • Second, encouragers find lonely people and include them. (See Acts 9:26-30.)
  • Third, encouragers find a misunderstood person and affirm him or her. (See Acts 11:19-26.)
  • Fourth, encouragers develop disciples. Barnabas found buried gifts in new disciples and helped them develop their talents.
  • Fifth, encouragers help failures find second chances. (See Acts 15:26-41.)

Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost; it was God in Him. We can all be encouragers like Barnabas. Ask God to fan the Holy Spirit in you to meet needs, befriend lonely people, affirm the misunderstood, develop disciples, and offer second chances. 

  • Do you consider yourself a natural encourager? Why or why not?
  • How might you grow as an encourager based on today’s devotion?

Do You Want God To Use You?

But to each one of us, grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. (Ephesians 4:7)

Many of us say, “I want God to use me.” But do we really? If we want God to use us, we need to stop praying for God to use us and get useable. God wants to use us. He has set every member in the body as it has pleased Him. God has given each of us a spiritual gift. Now, how can we know our spiritual gifts? Here are five principles to know our spiritual gifts.

  • The principle of desire: What desires has God put into our hearts?
  • The principle of discovery: We discover our gifts as we endeavor to use them and are affirmed by others.
  • The principle of development: We develop our gifts by using them, studying them, and working at them.
  • The principle of dependence: The power for our gifts comes from the Holy Spirit.
  • The principle of deployment: We understand our gifts as we use them in the fellowship of the Church.
  • Which of these principles for finding your spiritual gifts stands out to you? Why?
  • What desires has God given you and how might you use them in your local church body?

Take practical steps to pursue the desires God has given you in your church this week.

Are You Sowing The Seed?

Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” (Mark 4:3-8)

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus gave a parable of a sower. And as he scattered the seed out of his basket, some fell by the wayside; that is, the soil was hard, and the seed couldn’t get in. Other seed fell on stony ground. It got in but it couldn’t get down because beneath the soil in the subsurface was a rocky ledge. Other seed fell among thorns and it sprouted, but then the weeds and the briars came and choked it out. But some seed fell on good ground and brought forth fruit. It’s not our job to analyze the soil; it’s our job to sow the seed. In this parable, the sower was Jesus Christ Himself. And He didn’t say, “Well, that’s bad soil. I won’t put any seed on it,” or, “that’s rocky soil,” or, “there are thorns.” He just sowed the seed.

Likewise, we are called to just sow the seed. Everywhere we go, just sow the seed. It is God that gives the increase. We can’t make the seed grow, but we can sow the seed. 

  • How faithful are you to sow the seed of the Gospel?
  • What are some ways you are prone to judge whether a person will receive the seed or not? How does today’s passage challenge that idea?

Sow the seed of the Gospel by sharing about Jesus with one person this week.

Being Good Stewards (Part 2)

“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.” (Malachi 3:8)

Yesterday, we looked at part one of the stewardship principle, today we will consider part two.

God is not raising money; God is growing Christians. God wants us to grow in grace and knowledge and to love Him.

By biblical definition, tithing is ten percent given to the temple of God (church), for the work of the temple. Giving to charities or ministries is good, but it is not a replacement for our tithes.

When we learn to give back to God freely, there will be a spiritual renewal. God will renew our faith, rebuke our foes, and restore our fruitfulness. Our offerings are like seeds for a crop when we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully.

  • In what way is giving to the Church like sowing a crop?
  • How does the way we spend our money impact our spiritual growth? Think of some examples.

This week, take time to consider how you regularly give to the church. Is there anything that needs to change?

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