A Charge to Teach the Word

Sept. 26, 2015 Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Session Transcript

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: We have been fed so richly this weekend. Wow! I have been . . . I'm sitting here thinking . . . Jen, you were acting like you wanted some more time. I'm going, "You can have my slot, sister."

I don't know where this woman has been all my life. I'm just so thankful the Lord helped me discover her. Read that book of hers. Read it. Share it. Multiply it. But this has been just so rich, so great, so helpful. And I know it's going to resource these women in a great way . . . all of us, in our personal study and in our teaching of the Word. And Jen has given us permission, she's given us encouragement, and she's given us some really practical tools.

And as we come to the close of this conference, I want to give you a charge. I want to take all that's been said, all that's been shared, and just formulate it as a charge. I didn't have this message all wrapped up before I got to this conference. I've been listening and processing myself and sensing what the Lord is doing, and I just sense that we're supposed to close with giving you, not only permission, not only encouragement, not only tools, but a mandate, a charge to leave here and do what God has called us to do as women teaching women.

And the passage that came to my heart over the last few days, as I've been thinking about this session comes from the book of 2 Timothy. We're going to stand in a moment and read a portion of this short epistle. But you're aware, perhaps, that this epistle was written by Paul; it wasn't written by Timothy. It was written by Paul the apostle shortly before his martyrdom, shortly before his death, and possibly just weeks before Paul would move from his ministry here on earth to be with the One he loved.

As he wrote this, he was in chains in a cold dungeon, and he's thinking about his friend Timothy, his closest earthly companion, his son in the faith. They'd been together a long time. They'd been separated a lot, too, but they'd kept in touch with each other.

Timothy was the younger man in Paul's life. Timothy had become the pastor of the church in Ephesus, and Paul knows that they're coming into really hard times as a Body of Christ, a body of believers, and he wants to prepare his son in the faith for what's coming, what he should be expecting, what it's going to be like to be doing the work of the ministry in such a time as this. And he wanted to help his son in the faith know how to deal with hardship because it was going to be hard. It already was hard.

And Timothy had Paul's encouragement, but what about when Paul was gone? What would Timothy do? Would he stay faithful? Would he persevere? And Paul was concerned about this.

I'm no Paul, but I feel a little bit of that as I think about us parting here. And my concern, my godly jealously is that you would continue in the things that God has said to you, knowing that what you're going back into is hard. It's hard work doing the work of the ministry. It's good work, but it's hard work.

But also knowing that there will be opposition. There's opposition from within. There's opposition externally. We're coming into harder and harder times in our world, in this country, and in our culture. It's going to start to cost us to be women of the Word, women who love God's Word, who live God's Word, who teach God's Word.

And so I want to encourage you. I think this is what Paul had in mind as he thought about his son in the faith. How can I encourage him to continue the work of the ministry, Paul's thinking, when I'm not there any longer?

So he writes these words. And would you stand with me as I read, beginning in chapter 3? In fact, I'm going to read all of chapter 3 and the first eight verses of chapter 4. We're going to just skim the surface of this passage over these next moments, and I just want to make some comments that I think may be encouraging to you as we head out.

Hear the Word of the Lord:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness (2 Tim. 3:1–5).

Doesn't really look godly, does it? But he says they will have an appearance of godliness, but what I've just described is their true heart condition. They deny the power of godliness.

Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus . . . (3:5–12).

How many of you would say you desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus? You're not sure you want to raise your hand? All who desire—I'm glad you do—but let me tell you what God's Word says:

All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable [all of it—profitable] for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing (3:12–4:8).

May God bless the reading of His holy Word and quicken it to our hearts. In Jesus' name, amen. Amen. You may be seated.

Now, Jen could spend eleven weeks here and not have scratched the surface of this passage, and so could we. So we're going to do less than that in just a matter of moments—just some highlights here.

Let's just begin at chapter 3, verse 1: "Understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty." Paul is saying to his protégée in the faith, "Don't be surprised by hardship. Don't be surprised by difficulty. Understand this: It will happen. Things are not going to be easy. They haven't been easy already, but they're not going to get any easier."

Then he describes in verses 2–5 these people who will be characteristic of the spirit of the age, all these terms: "Lovers of self, lovers of money, heartless, slanderous, treacherous, reckless, arrogant, lovers of pleasure."

Does that sound like anything you encounter in our day? Everything that is contrary to God. Everything that is contrary to truth, to beauty, to goodness. And Paul is saying to his son in the faith, "These are days in which you need discernment. You need courage. You need faith. You need perseverance. You need staying power. You need the Holy Spirit of God to enable you to function, to serve, not just to survive but to thrive in this kind of era.

Then he says in verse 6, "For among these [people who fit all this description of the last days], among them are those." And now he's talking about false teachers, a whole category in the New Testament, and Old as well. But here he describes them in an unusual way: "Among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth."

My sweet friend Mary Kassian did an amazing exposition of those two verses at True Woman '14. If you haven't heard it, go to our website, pull it up, and listen to it. It was breathtaking, powerful. Let me just make a few comments about it.

As you read this description of what happens to these women, it prompts me to say, "I think we've seen this somewhere before." Where did this first happen—a weak woman being led astray, captured? In the Garden of Eden, where we first see a woman being targeted by deception, gullible, captured, drawn to teaching, then and now, that fuels women's sinful passions and leads them astray.

And these are women who like to learn. They want to be taught, but they don't know how to discern between what they're learning from false teachers and from biblical teachers. They miss out on the truth. They're eager to learn new things—always learning—but never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

And I just think of how women in our day are so vulnerable, so easily led astray, so drawn into all manner of books and movies and TV series, and things that are popular even among Christian women. It never ceases to amaze me.

Now, it doesn't amaze me that women who don't know Jesus don't know the truth and don't have any wisdom. They're foolish, according to God's Word, that they would be drawn into these things. That's what their makeup is. That's who they are. They're sons and daughters of Adam. Right? Darkness.

But for the children of light, the children of Christ, those who profess to know and love and believe this Book, to be drawn into these kinds of pop culture trends, it's astonishing to me. I think it goes back to what Jen has been talking about, this biblical illiteracy. They really don't know the Word of God. And those who even, some of them, do know some facts about the Word of God, they don't connect the dots and see how different this is from this, and how dangerous this is if it doesn't line up with this Book.

Think about some of these reality TV shows today where people find humor in that which is perverse, shows that mock monogamous marriage, that celebrate sexual promiscuity and dysfunctional marriages and gender confusion and selfish indulgence. Shows and books that put a positive face on what God calls evil and darkness and foolishness.

And there are a lot of so-called Christian women who love this stuff. They feast on it. They will binge on these TV shows. It's no wonder, if they are children of God, and only God knows. Listen, if your greatest appetite is for things of this world, things of darkness, things of the evil one, then you have reason to question whether you are in fact a child of Light at all. If you're a child of God, you're going to have an appetite and a hunger for the things of God.

Now, you want that hunger to grow. It's not always what you want it to be, but you're going to have a heart that's drawn to it, not a heart that, like a magnet, is drawn to the things of this world.

But it's no wonder that so many of these women have so little hunger for the Word and so little evidence of grace and spiritual fruit in their lives because they have this steady appetite of teaching and entertainment that is contrary to the Word of God.

And by the way, it's not just secular entertainment. You can walk into almost any Christian bookstore today, sadly, and find teaching. You can turn on Christian television and find teaching and teachers that are popular, packing out convention centers, teaching things that are contrary to the Word of God. They have the appearance of godliness, but they're not truth. We've got to learn to discern.

There is teaching today that is—I hate to pick one thing out because there are so many things, but I think of some of this hyper-grace movement in our day. Now, grace is amazing. You can't say too much about grace. You can't make too much about grace, but there's some teaching on grace today that makes very little of sin. And grace is not precious if you haven't known what it is to be under the law and to realize you cannot keep God's law, that you are a lawbreaker. If you separate grace from first coming to the law, then grace is cheap. And real grace is never cheap!

So in this area, and many others, there's false teaching. And women are being captured. They're being led astray by this.

I remember a woman coming to me about . . . I'll just name it, because Paul actually does that in this passage . . . when The Shack first came out years ago. It was hugely popular. I remember a woman coming up to me and telling me that her son had been reading this book and that he'd had this kind of an awakening spiritually by reading this book because it was the first time that he'd ever really experienced the love of God.

And then she said to me, "You know, when I read that book, I had to suspend my sense of doctrine, but I have to admit that it really gave me an experience of the love of God that I've never known before."

Okay, I'm thinking, What's wrong with this picture? Now, I want people to know the love of God. And I also say that if those of us who are teaching the Word of God are not doing it in a way that people come to experience the love of God, there's something wrong with our teaching.

But I'm saying if you have to suspend your sense of doctrine and truth, then you're reading the wrong books. It's not truth. It's dangerous. It's deceptive.

We've had this Book for how many years? Millennia? And if you can't know the love of God in this Book, then what you're getting that you think is the love of God from some other book probably is not really about the love of God. It's false, and it captures weak women, and it fuels their sinful, fleshly patterns. It leads them astray.

Paul said these are the days in which we're living in. He likened this, in verse 8 he said, "Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith."

Paul actually named names. Now, I don't do that very often. What I just did, I rarely do. I rarely name a book. For one thing, that's passé. Now there are other books that you need to be warned about today.

But I don't want you to say, "What's Nancy's list of banned books?" I'm not the one to tell you that. You need to get so familiar with the Word of God that any time there's something that's counterfeit, you sniff it. You know it. You're alert.

And I'm not asking us to go on a rampage or . . . my job is not to curse the darkness. It's to light a candle of the truth. But there are times when we need to warn those we're counseling or discipling or ministering to of this new this or this new that or this new trend or this new teaching, and it goes like wildfire. It goes through some of your churches. And that's why elders in the churches are given the responsibility of shepherding and protecting the flock from these wild wolf types of teaching.

I've told pastors that I've talked with over the years, "Are you aware the women in your church are probably being more discipled by Oprah than they are by your preaching?" (This is not so true maybe today, but in earlier years.) Because they're listening to Oprah (they were) every day of the week, and they're listening to him twenty-eight minutes of the week, if they're listening.

So you need to be able to help the women you're ministering to discern and learn. These people who oppose the truths have corrupt and depraved minds. They're disqualified. They're rejected. They're reprobate concerning the truth. Don't be led astray by them.

Now, as often as you say that, way more often you need to say, "Here is the truth." Let's get into it. Let's study it. Let's get into it and get it into us so we become discerning women.

And I love what Paul says in verse 9: "They will not get very far." Sometimes it seems like they're getting really far because their books sell in the gazillions. But Paul says in the long run, "they will not get very far for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men."

Let me tell you, ladies, truth is more powerful than anything or anyone who might oppose it. I stake my life on that. We're swimming upstream today. The things we're teaching people think are old-fashioned, irrelevant, not true. And we just keep staying the course and saying, "Truth is more powerful than deception. Light is more powerful than darkness."

In the end, truth will prevail, and falsehood and those who promote it will be exposed and will be shut down and brought to an end. Those who contend for the faith, those who contend for the truth of God's Word and the gospel—people may make you feel like you're one of those ignorant evangelicals. Don't get nasty. Don't get snide. Keep smiling. Be sweet. Be gracious and stick with the truth, because those who contend for the faith, for the truth, will outlast those who promote false teaching. You're on the winning side if you're in this Book and this Book is in you.

And so Paul says to Timothy, "Know that these difficult times are coming. It's going to get worse. It's going to get harder. There's going to be opposition. Within the church, there's going to be those who are false teachers who are promoting things that lead women astray—as well as men."

So what are we to do in such times? Well, look with me, if you would, at verse 14: "As for you." All these people are doing this stuff. And Paul doesn't say, "Develop your life ministry on tearing down and undermining and exposing those false teachers." Now, there's a time and a place for that, but here's the core advice he gives, the exhortation: As for you, son Timothy, as for you, women who are living in this kind of world and dealing with these kinds of issues, "continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed."

There is nothing dazzling about that counsel. Like, that's all you've got to say? Stay in this Book? Yes. That's it—that's it. "Knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings."

I love this because I have lived in this Book since I could read. I love it! I've read it now cover to cover, I don't know, maybe hundreds of times. I don't want to say, because I'm not sure. But it's a lot. I love it. I love studying it. I want to study it until my last breath and I see Jesus and He explains all the things I never did get. I love it!

But sometimes it just starts to feel like this isn't enough to deal with women you're dealing with who have such baggage, such pains, such wounds, such issues. And you feel like, "If I were really going to help those women, I'd have to have, like, a degree in this or in that or send them to this or that kind of professional."

I'm not saying that there aren't those who can be helpful, who've studied in disciplines and areas and have wisdom that perhaps can help people in ways that I can't. But I want to tell you what, when you're armed and equipped with this Book and you continue in it, you have what you need to help, to serve, to teach, to train, to disciple, to mentor, to counsel women in the ways of God, to introduce them to Jesus and help them grow in their faith, to help them become like Jesus, spiritually mature.

"The sacred writings that you've been acquainted with from childhood." Some of you didn't come into those sacred writings until later. Trillia said she didn't come to know Jesus until she was twenty-two, but she got started right away, and she's been running ever since. She's acquainted with those writings. You are, too.

And he says, "Continue in those writings. They're able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." And then he talks about "all Scripture is breathed out by God." When this Book speaks, God speaks. Do you have a sense of awe and wonder and amazement at what we have in this Book?

I loved what Jen said earlier about the more she gets into this, the more the tears come when she talks about it, when she reads it. It's precious. It's life giving. It's God breathed, and He breathes it into us, and it's profitable—all of it—every page of it, every word of it, every particle of it. It's precious. It's powerful. It's useful for everything that we need, to equip us, to make us complete and equip us to do every good work.

And so Paul says in chapter 4, verse 1 . . . Now, in the immediate context here, Paul is talking to a pastor. He's talking to an elder. And he's challenging and charging the spiritual leaders of the church, the men who have been given the responsibility to shepherd the flock of God. He's saying, "This is what you must do as shepherds."

But I believe, by way of application, that there are principles here for us as well as we seek to disciple women in the ways of God, to shepherd those women that God has put around us. You may be doing this with your children. You may be doing it in a Sunday school class or in a one-on-one discipleship. However you're doing this, in a small group, I think there's a charge here that applies to us as well. "I charge you, I urge you, exhort you."

This is not a suggestion. This is an earnest appeal of a man who is weeks from being with the Lord. "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom."  Paul is bringing everything he can to bear on this solemn charge. "Preach the word." Stay with the Word. Don't get drawn away by all these fancy other things. Stick with the Word in season, out of season. Use it to "reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching."

And by the way, let me say that as you pray for your pastor, for the elders and the pastors in your church, this is how you can pray for them—that God would give them the grace and the faith and the courage to keep doing this no matter what kind of opposition they face, no matter how weary they may be, and to encourage those who do this faithfully, to support them, to lift them up. And, by the way, don't put them under the pressure of saying, "Oh, he's not that spellbinding a communicator."

Listen, if he's a man who's faithful to the Word of God, you thank God for him. And by the way, even if he may not be as deep in his study as what you think he should be, if you've got a Bible sitting on your lap, open, while he's preaching the Word, you can be getting fed and taught and growing and maturing. So don't put pressure on your pastor to have to meet expectations. Like, don't go back and say, "You know, I don't think he did this the way Jen taught us to do this." [laughter]

You encourage him when God speaks to you through his ministry, through the Word as he's speaking it. And I bet you it will encourage him. It will motivate him to be a better student of God's Word.

But this is a challenge not only for our pastors, for our elders, but for all of us in our spheres of influence to continue in the Word, to proclaim the Word—the wonder, the beauty, the power of the Word.

It's peerless. It has no other competitor. There's no other book like it. It's in a class of its own. It stands by itself. It's permanent. Therefore, it's enduring. It's timeless. It's always relevant. It's perfect. It's pure. Therefore, it's to be trusted. It's priceless. It's precious. Therefore, it's to be treasured and cherished. It's powerful, and therefore, it can change my life and your life, and the lives of those that we serve. It's practical. Therefore, it can be relied on in every area of our lives.

This Book communicates who God is, His heart, His ways, His will, wisdom about every area of life, about relationships and friendships and marriage and parenting and finances and morals and the character of God, and the gospel, and the means to salvation, and future things, and past things. It communicates God's ways to us.

It corrects. It shows us where we're wrong. It cleanses. It washes us. He sent His Word and healed them. It cleanses. It comforts. It counsels. It changes. It transforms. You can't know God without this Word. You can't know the will of God without this Word. You can't know the gospel without this Word. You can't grow spiritually without it. You can't survive spiritually without it. You will starve spiritually if you don't have this Book, a steady, constant, consistent intake of this Book into your mind, your heart, every part of you.

You can't experience victory over sin and the flesh and the devil apart from the Word of God. You can't overcome the enemy without it. This Book will help you walk at liberty. It will bring you joy. It will give you wisdom. It will give you direction. It will bring you peace—"Great peace have they who love your law."  It will strengthen you, encourage you, protect you, feed you, sustain you, and train you. So I challenge you, read this book. Read it. And not just certain parts of it. All of it!

It's not that we don't have the Scripture in our homes. The average American home has three Bibles, but we don't read the Bible. Psalm 85:8: "Let me hear what God the LORD will speak.

Jeremiah 9:20: "Hear, O women, the word of the LORD, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth."

Scripture promises a blessing to those who read the Word of God. Deuteronomy 11, you can read it yourself, verses 18–21, over and over again, a blessing promised to those who read this Book. People who say, "I have a hard time getting a lot out of the Bible," invariably are people who are not reading the Bible, asking the Holy Spirit to open it to them, to enlighten their minds and their hearts and their understanding.

Revelation 1: "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it [take to heart what is written in it], for the time is near" (v. 3).

So read it. Study it. You've been given some more tools this weekend to study God's Word. Study it. Read it for breadth. Study it for depth. Meditate on it. Ponder it. Muse on it. Soak in it. Marinate in it. Believe it. Tremble at it. Obey it, and reproduce it. Share it with others.

A sign of physical maturity is the ability to reproduce. Seven-year-olds can't have babies. It's a sign of physical maturity that you can reproduce. It's a sign of spiritual maturity that you are reproducing. And some of you need to get out of sitting in your Bible study that you've been in for twenty-seven years and start one of your own.

You say, "Who would come?" Ask God for one woman, for two, for three, for whatever. Some of you have just been soaking in, soaking in, soaking in. Don't stop soaking in, but start giving out. Some of your lives are stagnant because you're just taking in and taking in and not pouring out into others.

Hebrews 5 says it this way: "About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food" (vv. 11–12).

There's nothing wrong with needing milk if you're a baby. But some of you are still acting like babies, just taking in the milk of the Word and not able to digest solid food, but you've known Jesus for twenty-three years. What's wrong with that?

The natural mind does not receive the Word of God. It's not what they want. It's not what they have an appetite for. So that's why Paul says, going back to 2 Timothy 4: "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths" (vv. 3–4).

The natural bent of people is that they want something that will help them justify their own selfish, sinful passions. And that's what they're prone to turn away toward, to turn away from the truth, to wander into all sorts of teaching that will support their lifestyle.

But faithfulness in the ministry of the Word is not giving people what they want. It's giving them what they need. And those who are faithful to the Word will generally not be the most popular teachers. They may not have the largest crowds, but they will be faithful.

I'm so grateful for faithful teachers of the Word in my life: Christian schoolteachers, Sunday school teachers, parents, pastors, friends, mentors, authors. People who have graciously, gently, faithfully, firmly taken me to the Word of God.

So what happens if we don't teach women the Word of God? What if we don't take this charge? Well, they won't know God. They won't know His will. The women that we're supposed to be serving will be more prone to rely on their emotions, their circumstances, and their experiences to direct their lives. They'll believe lies. They'll be deceived. They'll remain in bondage. They'll be without hope. They'll have no direction for their lives, no rudder. They'll be spiritually barren. Christ won't be honored through their lives as He deserves to be. They won't fulfill the purpose for which He made them.

But what will happen if you do leave this place and women teach women? What will happen? I asked a group of my girlfriends this morning who were texting—I sent a group text to some women I'm in a sisterhood group with. I said, "Okay, ready, set, go. What will happen if we teach the Word of God?" And I've compiled my list with theirs. I'm just going to race it off. You're not going to be able to write this down, but I'm going to give you, real quickly, fifteen things, and there is a lot more you could add, that will happen if we do teach women.

  1. You'll experience the blessing of obedience because we're commanded to do this, and obedience brings blessing.
  2. You'll experience the fruit of sanctification in your life because as you study God's Word and prepare to teach it to others, you're going to have to submit to God's Word and let it transform you. You'll be sanctified as you live a life of ongoing repentance, as we heard from Dr. Mason.
  3. You'll experience God's grace working in you and through you as you cry out in your weakness and say, "I can't do this!" and He pours grace into your life. You'll experience more of His grace. You'll also experience more of His grace as you recognize your own sinfulness and you live a lifestyle of repentance and God pours His grace, His mercy, into your life.
  4. You'll experience the joy of seeing God work in the lives of those you teach.
  5. The kingdom of God will be expanded as you teach the Word to women who were created in His image about how to live out His calling for their lives.
  6. As you teach the Word, as we as women teach other women, it will be a witness to those around us to step out in faith when God calls them to act.
  7. There will be a community developed, a sisterhood. As the gospel ministry unites us with other believers, relationships are cultivated.
  8. You'll develop tools to withstand the enemy and to stand against false movements in our day, in our culture.
  9. There will be modeling that will take place because we do what we see being done by others in our group, and other women will be inspired and motivated to use their gifts when they see you using the gifts God has given you.
  10. You will grow. You learn best from what you teach to others.
  11. Those you're teaching will grow. Their hearts, their lives will get anchored to the truth.
  12. (And I love this one because it happens to me all the time.) As you teach the Word to others, your own heart will be warmed and stirred and encouraged and convicted. It's tough for me. I don't know. Maybe this is—I don't know how I'm wired—but my heart most of the time feels cold. I feel like a clod. I feel uninspired. I feel, like, not warm to the things of God. But something happens when I begin to teach the Word of God to others and affirm its truths. I counsel my own heart. (In fact, that's the next one.)
  13. It will deepen your own faith as you affirm the truth. But my heart is warmed and stirred as I get up and proclaim truth to others. It will happen to you.
  14. You'll make people dependent on God rather than on you as you teach them the Word.
  15. You'll be passing on a baton of faith to others.

Women today are confused. They're falling prey to all manner of deception because they don't know God, and they don't know His Word. They are making wrong decisions, foolish decisions, costly decisions because they don't know the Word—not just in their heads, but in their hearts. We've got to become women of the Word, and we've got to lay down our lives to help other women become women of the Word.

So Paul says to Timothy in chapter 4, verse 5: "As for you [no matter what anybody else does or doesn't do] always be sober-minded, endure suffering." It's coming! "Do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." He's saying, "Stay the course. Don't waste time cursing the darkness."

I can get so twisted in a knot inside about everyone who's having . . . Ashley Madison this, and people having affairs and divorces and abuse, and the country is falling apart, and the world is going crazy, and ISIS is taking over the world, and they're coming here. And I can just get really twisted about all of that. And these are serious things. I don't mean to minimize them. The darkness is getting darker.

But ladies, by the power of God and His Spirit, we have a light! God sent the light of Christ Jesus, the Living Word, this Light of His Word into the darkness of our world. And as that light is lit and flames brightly within us, we go out, we teach the Word to others, we light a candle in the darkness.

God spoke, and there was light, and the darkness dissipated, and the confusion was dispelled because God spoke. And God is still speaking into this crazy, dark, fallen, prodigal world, and He wants to do it through you, through me, through us.

So I want to ask you to commit that you will do this for the rest of your life, not just for a week after you leave this conference, but that you will persevere no matter what it takes, no matter how hard it is.

If you go back to your church and maybe nobody is looking for women to teach women there, you start praying. And you ask God, "Work in the king's heart. Work in the leaders of this church." Don't go run roughshod over them. Go and appeal to the spiritual leaders in your church. Live out the message. Let your life be so winsome that they say, "You need to be teaching other women this stuff." Don't march in there with your handout and send them CDs or say, "Go to this website and listen to this stuff." Live this out. Let the Word be such a powerful light in you that people are lining up and saying, "Teach me the Word of God."

Verse 6: "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering," Paul says, "and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Keep your eyes on the finish line; Jesus is there. Be willing to be faithfully poured out day after day after day, on your knees, in your study, in the Word, studying, grappling, wrestling with the text, learning it, comprehending it, interpreting it, applying it, and then reproducing and teaching it to others faithfully, day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade.

And remember that there is a reward. Verse 8: "Henceforth," Paul says. I've been in a fight. I've been in a race. I'm spent. I'm exhausted. I'm not retired—he's still doing it. He's going to do it until his last breath. But he's looking forward to something that has kept him going in the fight and in the race.

"Henceforth there is laid up for me [in heaven—I'm going to be there any minute now.]"

You know what? We are, too!

You say, "Any minute?"

Well, once we're looking at this world from the perspective of eternity, it's like just a second from now.

"Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day"—the day of the final judgment, and not only to me, but to you, Timothy, to those you teach, to those they teach, to those women at Revive '15 and the ones they teach, and the ones they teach—"to all who have loved his appearing."

To those who live in light of His return, who teach in light of that Day, anticipate it, live for it, serve in light of it.

Father, I pray that You would take Your Word, feebly as I have been able to speak it today, and make it a fire in our bellies. But as for you, no matter what anybody else does or doesn't do, continue in what you have learned. Ground your heart. Tether your mind to the Word of God. And then teach it to others.

I love, Lord, what I have seen women doing that here in this place. The women I've met with teachers and students, groups together, teaching the Word. Some woman came up and said, "Here's a gal I've been mentoring for three years in the Word, studying the Word with her." I love that! I pray that it will happen again and again and again and again.

And that every woman hearing the sound of my voice, here in this room, watching by means of LIVE stream, will take this as a charge from Your heart to hers to teach the Word in whatever settings You provide, to be a woman of the Word, to reproduce the Word in the lives of others, not just for a short time, not just while it's easy, but even when it's hard, even when it feels like there's nothing to be gained, when people are not receptive, they're not receiving.

Sometimes you pour your life into someone and then you watch then walk away from what they've learned. It's heartbreaking. It's discouraging. Lord, we know that there's laid up for us—it's waiting, it's ready, it's there now—that crown of righteousness, the righteousness that Christ purchased for us. It's in heaven. It's laid up. And You will give it to us in that day and to all who live and serve and minister in light of Your appearing. I pray it in Jesus' name, amen.