2009 at 4:31 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16
If you are a single woman, how do you make the best use of your time? What are the best deals of your season?
Maybe, as you look around, you don’t see a lot of great deals in your season. Maybe you’d rather be in a different season. Maybe you’d rather be married.
You might be asking another question: is singleness really the best season?
Paul tackles this question in 1 Corinthians 7, responding to church members in Corinth who were quarreling (among other things!) about whether singleness was more holy than marriage.
Me? I prefer singleness, says Paul, “I wish that all were as I myself am” (v. 7). But he is clear: “I have no command from the Lord” on this issue (v. 25).
“This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short…For the present form of this world is passing away. I want you to be free from anxieties…And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your own undivided devotion to the Lord” (v. 29-35).
Paul’s point? Whether marriage or singleness is better—that’s not the point! What ultimately matters is that time is short; that the days are evil. The real question is: how do we as Christians live in light of eternity?
“Marriage and singleness both present us with unique trials and unique opportunities for our sanctification” explains John Piper. “There will be unique rewards for each, and which is greater will not depend on whether you were married or single, but on how you responded to each.”
If you are single, you face unique trials. But your season also holds unique opportunities. And best of all there are unique rewards—rewards no less glorious or desirable as for those who are married.
How can you seize upon these great opportunities and their corresponding rewards? Let’s take a closer look at this verse and see what bargains we can discover.
2009 at 3:43 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Nancy Guthrie has served us big-time once again! First, she provided a compilation of Advent readings in Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus which fed my soul each day in December as I meditated on the glorious truths of the Incarnation. And just a week ago, my husband handed me her most recent book, Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross, which will help me to “experience the passion and power of Easter.”
Her book arrived in perfect time for me. I just finished memorizing the prose version from A Gospel Primer for Christians a way to grow in applying the truths of the gospel to my daily life. Now this collection of twenty-five readings will help me continue to consider the cross:
“Oh, what we miss out on when we rush past the cross of Christ. Oh, the richness and reward when we stop to linger before it, when we take the time to ‘consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself’ (Heb. 12:3)”
Let’s not “rush past the cross of Christ” but linger before it each day.
2009 at 10:06 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
Thanks to Sam (from Bristol, UK) for todays Friday Funnies…
A little girl asked her father: "How did the human race appear?"
The father answered, "God made Adam and Eve; they had children; and so was all mankind made."
Two days later the girl asked her mother the same question.
The mother answered, "Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved."
confused girl returned to her father and said, "Dad, how is it possible
that you told me the human race was created by God, and Mum said they
developed from monkeys?"
The father answered, "Well, Dear, it
is very simple. I told you about my side of the family, and your mother
told you about hers.
Janelle for the girltalkers
2009 at 4:53 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Today we conclude deals for teenage girls: We’ve looked at five great deals:
1. Fear of the Lord (parts one and two)
2. Mom’s Counsel (parts one, two and three)
3. Homemaking Training (parts one and two)
4. Good Works (parts one and two)
We hope God will help you to walk through this season wisely, making the best use of your time (Ephesians 5:15-16).
Next week: A Single Season
2009 at 5:36 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
The teenage years are a time to learn. You have more discretionary time than you will probably every have again. I know you might feel busy—especially when finals roll around—but once you enter the workforce or begin caring for a family, your time will be sucked away by a myriad of responsibilities.
Of course we should never stop learning and growing. But right now, while you are still provided for by your parents, you have a unique opportunity to develop skills and acquire knowledge—skills that glorify
God and knowledge about who God is.
You also have access to a variety of teachers: parents, pastors, and educators who are eager to pass on what they know to a new generation.
And there are countless books to teach you more about who God is—His character, His ways, and the world He has created.
Sometimes as teenagers we think we know it all—at least all that matters. We think we know better than the adults around us. But if we realize our ignorance before it is too late, we’ll be eager, even desperate, to learn all we can from those older and wiser.
Consider these questions:
-Which do your parents hear more: complaints about schoolwork or gratefulness for your education?
-Are you diligently working to improve the skills God has given you for His glory?
-What gifts has God blessed you with and how can you develop them for use in the local church?
-How much time do you spend reading? Do you read books that teach you about God and His creation?
-Most importantly, are you daily studying the Bible to learn all you can about God’s character and how to walk in His way?
The seeds of learning, when sowed in the springtime of your existence, will sprout blessing and opportunity throughout your life.
2009 at 7:35 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
The good works that God has prepared for us are most often the ones closest to us. “God has created us to do our good works in the midst of the humdrum of daily living,” explains author Jerry Bridges.
Not glamorous, I know; but we’ll get to that.
Good works begin at home right outside our bedroom door. Paul says that young people should “first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God” (1 Timothy 5:4).
Doing good to our family is often harder than doing it for someone else. But it is a mark of sincere love for Christ. So how can you serve your Mom or Dad today? How can you do good to your siblings? No one else may see, but these deeds are pleasing to God.
The Bible also says that we are to “do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). “We are called to follow Christ together…with some particular people” says Pastor Mark Dever. And these particular people make up the local church in which God has placed you.
The church where your family is involved is not just your parents’ church. God has called you there as well. He has good works lined up for you to do in that church. In fact, God has given you unique gifts and talents specifically for use in your church. Ask your mom, dad, and pastor how you can use those gifts to do good for those in your church.
Finally, the godly young woman is to reach out and do good to all people. First, you should look for ways to share the gospel with our local community. Participating in your church’s evangelistic efforts, bringing a friend to church, or caring for the poor are all deliberate deeds worthy of your devotion.
You can even do good to those around the globe by sponsoring a child, raising money for churches, praying for the persecuted church, or even going on a short term mission trip. Prayerfully consider, along with your parents, what good deeds God has called you to do for others.
Genuine good works don’t point to us. They are like big neon signs that point to Christ. “It is when people see these [good works]….they will glorify God, for they embody the good news of his love which we proclaim.” says John Stott.
So get going already…and show off the love of Christ.
2009 at 2:41 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
The godly woman is to live a life “devoted to good works” (1 Tim. 5:9-10)—or, as Jerry Bridges calls them, “deliberate deeds that are helpful to others.” We must be dedicated to good works, beginning at home, and flowing outward into the church and community.
As a teenager you have the time, energy, and opportunity to give yourself to a wide variety of good works.
And what’s really neat is that God has lined up good works for us to do. It says in Ephesians 2:10. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (emphasis added).
Remember craft time in kindergarten? On the table in front of each chair were little baggies filled with construction paper shapes; glue and safety scissors and Popsicle sticks were all there too. The teacher had prepared the difficult part of the craft. All you had to do was glue it together.
Good works are kind of like kindergarten crafts. God has them already laid out for us. We just need to do them. Which leads us to the question: What are the good works we are supposed to do?
Think about the deliberate deeds you can do for others and we’ll give you some ideas tomorrow.
2009 at 2:05 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
So far we’ve given you three great deals for teenage girls:
1. The Fear of the Lord (part one and two)
2. Mom’s Godly Teaching (part one, two and three)
3. Homemaker Training (part one and two)
Contrast these with the typical teenage priorities:
3. Selfish Pleasures
The girl who buys up Wisdom’s deals will gain life, happiness, and a bright future. But the girl who pursues the world’s bargains will, the Bible warns, only yield “calamity,” “anguish,” and “distress” (Prov. 1:20-33). Ouch!
In a season overstocked with opportunities, we want you to discern the differences between wise and foolish deals and make choices that will reap blessings for the rest of your life on into eternity.
We’ve got two more deals to tell you about this week. Of course there are many other important ones we don’t have time to cover in this mini series. We’re just trying to spotlight a few of the most important (and sometimes most neglected).
So come back tomorrow for two more life-bargains you’ll want to scoop up right away.