In reading Acts 20:24 I began to wonder about the "course" God had for us as women and thus the following study.
First I would like to say that you will receive more from this lesson if you know the love of God and have trusted in what he accomplished for you on the Cross. Paul lays this out very simply in II Corinthians 15:3-4. "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" It is my prayer that each of you have trusted what Christ accomplished on your behalf and it is your desire to lead the life of a godly wife and mother. God does have specific things to say to women who are saved and have a desire to follow the course God has set for us.
I want you to know that I am still struggling everyday to stay on my course and like everyone I falter from time to time. Just remember that God knows our hearts and he is patient and longsuffering and his desire is that we get back up and keep on going toward our goal which is the hope of glory.
I trust that this will be of some help to you and that you will allow God to use the following in your life.
Course as defined in Websters dictionary: a path behavior or routine one follows to obtain a goal.
As a witness for God we have the same objective as everyone in the Body of Christ today, and that is to follow Pauls writings as laid out in a King James Bible. In Acts 20:24 Paul states, ".....that he is to finish his course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." Our job is to read our Bible daily, find our course, correct it when needed and do this with joy in our hearts.
II Timothy 3:16-17 says, " All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly, furnished unto all good works." Before you begin any journey you need to know your destination and how to get there. As the verse above states, everything we need is found in Gods Word. That is what the Bible does for us if we read and study. II Timothy 2:15 tells us that we are to, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth."
II Timothy 3:17 states our goal is to be perfect throughly furnished unto all good works. So what is our course, or good works, as women? Well, lets look in Gods Word.
Proverbs 31:10-31 is what God would have each of us strive to be and that is a virtuous woman. I would like to break this down into several categories:
First we should have faith in what God says. Hebrews 11:11 says that Sarah had great faith. In Hebrews 11:1 we find that "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Wow, I have read this several times and have heard it quoted from the pulpit, but do we as women claim this verse in our marriage? It seems we want instant gratification. We have to have faith that if we do, as God would have us do - everything else will fall in line, and if it doesnt? Keep trusting. We cant change anyone but ourselves. God commands us to love our husbands, be in submission to them, and to honor them. Ephesians 5:21-22, "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." I know in my own life that when I implement these things in my daily walk for the Lord that life is better and there is more joy.
I find another example in Ruth. She heard Gods word, saw it in the example of Naomi, her mother-in-law. Ruth heard, believed and made a decision to follow after Gods ways. She then began to serve Him anyway that presented itself. It must have been hard for her to leave with Naomi and travel so far away, but she did it because she loved God. She made a decision and abided by her beliefs. Wonder what we would do in that instance? Ruth was rewarded for her work and we will be rewarded also one day.
In Proverbs 31 we find God tells us what a virtuous woman is like. First she is trustworthy; she will never allow anything to betray the trust her husband has placed in her. She works willingly to feed and clothe her household. Verse 17 says she girdeth her loins with strength. Ever wonder how you were going to make it from one day to the next. Well, God says in Psalms 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer." Philippians 4: 13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me." This verse does not mean Christ will help you do ANYTHING! He WILL help you do the things that are n His will for us to do. This is where we find our strength ladies, in Gods word.
This chapter also tells us that a virtuous woman is given to hospitality. "She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy." Proverbs 31:20. Also in Romans 12: 9-21 Paul is tell us how to live a Christian life. One of the ways is to be given to hospitality. I find that often when I open my home to others I am presented with an opportunity to share Gods Word.
Verse 23 of Proverbs 31 says, ""Her husband is known in the gates, when he stitteth among the elders of the land." You might ask what part we have in fulfilling this aspect of a virtuous woman? I believe that if you honor your husband in all things, this will be seen of others. They will see the love and respect you have for him and he will be known by this.
Of course their is raising children, in Proverbs 31:28 we find, "Her children shall arise up, and call her blessed,..." What a wonderful blessing it would be to have this verse a fact in your life.
The subject to children has been covered a lot on the loop lately but just a few verses that I discovered when studying. We should strive daily to instill in our children the instructions God gives in his Word. Never hesitate to quote the scriptures to your children. Let them know that you are doing what God wants you to do when you correct them.
In Proverbs 1:6-8 Solomon tells us, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother." For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head and chains about thy neck." Note that it says the "law of thy mother." Mothers it is you who are to teach the rules to your children and see that they are carried out; train your children. Dont sit and wait for your husband to do this, it is our role as mothers to maintain our household in an orderly and godly manner. I believe that this is part of what God is telling us in verse 23 of Proverbs 31. Our husbands will be well known in the land if they have a submissive wife and obedient children. Titus 1 even states that elders in the church are to have faithful children.
I know this has been somewhat long but there is so much more God has to say to us that I urge each of you to read and study your Bible daily. I will close by listing the things I found God finds in a virtuous and godly woman:
1) Be in subjection to your own husband
2) Have faith and trust in Gods Word for your salvation and course.
3) Willing to do Gods will. Study; stay on course with joy
5) Willing to do your work daily as unto the Lord
6) Take your strength from Gods Word.
7) Be given to hospitality
8) Love, respect, and honor your husband
9) Be a godly mother
Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you. I trust that you will read and study for yourselves the things that have been mentioned above.
One who is still learning,
I hope you have read Gloria's Bible study, about a woman's course.
I was especially touched by her application of Hebrews 11:1 in which she says, "In Hebrews 11:1 we find that "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Wow, I have read this several times and have heard it quoted from the pulpit, but do we as women claim this verse in our marriage?"
I had not thought of this before, and so in reading it I was caught up in thinking about this application.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Do we, as women, obey the word of God whether we see any results or not? Are we willing to obey our instruction to be in submission to our husbands "in every thing", even when it seems as if it couldn't be right to do so? Or when to do so goes against what we need or want? Or when it seems as if to do so will make our situation worse, or make our husbands "worse"? What if we do not see any positive results?
Many times for us as women, obeying the Lord is like entering a dark tunnel without being able to see what is on the other side. We only have a constant light to guide us through to the end of the tunnel.
The Word of God is like that light. It guides us through, when we follow it by faith.
This Word, believed, will cause us to be willing to lay down our own lives, will, and desires in order to meet the needs of our husbands. The woman who believes and obeys the Word of God will also see that she should make her husband her king and her lord, as Sarah did. We find this in I Peter 3. The Bible's usage of the word "hope" means a sure waiting for something, knowing by faith it is really God's will! When we obey the Word of God in "hope", "by faith", we know for sure that it is right and God's will to do so. Many have said, that the definition of "faith" is merely "believing God"!
In the early years of my marriage, I stepped out in faith, believing God's word was right and true and would not mislead me, and chose by faith to be in submission to my husband, "in every single thing". I chose to reverence my husband, even when it seemed so hard to do at the time.
I can truly testify that obeying God's Word has turned my marriage around! We both are now completely different people from what we used to be. God's word was my correction and my reproof and my instruction in righteousness! God's Word will always be the best for us and our marriages, whether it seems like it at the moment or not!
2 Tim. 3:16 says:
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
Praise the Lord!