Sheila's Motto

"Endeavor to enhance the lives of others through education and encouragement."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Real Women ~~ Real Answers: "A Woman of Worth"

I conduct Bible studies for high school girls.  Each one of them is searching for her worth.  As older or mature women, isn’t this something they should see in us?  Not all of these students have good examples set before them.  Even the ones who do still struggle. Our culture is pressing in harder than ever on the youth.  Remaining a virgin is mocked, while having lost it is the norm.   I listen to the high school girl who allows her emotions and feelings to dictate what she believes. These feelings surpass God's word and His truth. Last year one of the young women took her own life. I was devastated. I felt like I was in a losing battle for these girls and was tempted to give up. But, I know I am not in a losing battle. I am on the winning side!  This motivated me to teach the following truths from scripture pertaining to the source of our worth, but it has to start from the older women mentioned in Titus 2:1, 3-5.

Colossians Chapter 2:

I can relate to Paul in Colossians 2:1-3 (ESV), "For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance and of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I encourage the young women to substitute the town in which they currently live for "those in Laodicea."

What are you seeing about you in these verses?  Paul has a struggle for you.  I have a struggle for the girls I lead in my Bible study.  Do you struggle with those to whom you have the opportunity to minister?

What does Paul want for us?
       To be knit together in love.
        To experience all the spiritual riches.
      To have understanding.
      To have knowledge of God's mystery in Christ.

      What is hidden like a treasure in Christ?

God is the ultimate source in our lives for all that we need.  Proverbs 2:3-7
"Yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom from the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity."

As women, if we struggle with how to find our worth, these verses show us where we need to go.  But what do we do instead? Do we talk to our friends, shop, eat, or keep overly busy?  We look for the hidden treasure, meaning our worth and purpose, in all the wrong places.

Where is the treasure found? In Christ.

Colossians 2:6-7,  "Therefore as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk with him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving."

When we are in Christ what are we instructed to do?
1.     Walk with Him ( learn how he lived His life)
2.     Get rooted in Him ( all the manure ( trials we go through) around the trees helps them grow and have strong deep roots)
3.     Get built up in Him ( let Him be our strength and comfort)
4.     Get established in our faith. ( study the word by yourself and with others)

Colossians 2:9-13, "For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and YOU have been filled with him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Having been buried with him in baptism in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God who raised him from the dead.  And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us ALL our trespasses."

How did Christ Jesus give us worth?
1.     We are filled with Him.
2.     Buried with Him; our old sin nature is nailed to the cross.
3.     Raised with Him ; we are new creatures in Christ.
4.     We were dead (don’t drag the old nature of the cross behind you. It’s a rotten dead corpse!)

5.     We are forgiven! We did nothing to earn this forgiveness. We are alive! But God!  Ephesians 2 : 4 -5, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ -  by grace we have been saved!

God not only offers us Salvation, but secures it!

6.      Ephesians 2:8, "for by grace you have been (perfect tense) saved through faith. And it is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

There is even more. Ephesians 2:6, "and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

We are going to be given new bodies when Christ returns. My worth doesn’t need to come from my body shape. Thank you, Jesus! But, this fleshly body has to die. My wrinkles are telling me that I am in the process of cocooning!  A butterfly doesn’t get beautiful until the caterpillar part dies. My flesh is in the process of dying. 

Do we really take all this to heart? Why do we turn to other ‘things’ to find our worth?  Why do we act as if we have no worth? Why is not what Christ did for us enough?

When we don’t recognize and steward our worth in what Christ did for us, we can’t give it to the next generation. 

Contributed by Elaine Oostra, Parma, Idaho who has just authored her first book titled One Brick At A Time.  Congratulations, Elaine!

Happy Reading for Real Answers!

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