Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Courage to Embrace God's Calling

Season:  Best of 2009

Leslie Basham: Earlier this year on Revive Our Hearts, Pastor John Piper called women to embrace all God has for them.

Pastor John Piper: Wimpy theology does not give women a God big enough, strong enough, wise enough, good enough to handle the realities of life in a way the enables her to magnify Him and His Son all the time.

Leslie: The staff of Revive Our Hearts watched as women responded to that call. Here’s Lorree Johnson.

Lorree Johnson (biblical correspondent): There’s a deep desire in women who know the Lord. They’re thirsty, and they’re yearning to know what God’s Word is and what God’s direction is. They just love being fed, and it isn’t fluff.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, December 14.

God has done great things in 2009. The staff at Revive Our Hearts is convinced of it. We’ve seen it for ourselves.

Martin Jones (executive director): Literally, every day we see life change.

Paula Hendricks (writer): Revive Our Hearts is all about truth.

Lorree: Not just have it up here, but have it in our hearts and our hands and our mouths and live it out.

Rene Hanebutt (Pure in Heart): Drawing women closer to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paula: Helping us to get back to what the Gospel really means.

Mike Neises (Events & Publications): Teaching people to stand on their feet, to discern good and evil.

Rene: Seeking the face of the Lord every day.

Wes Ward     (Director of Media): The way media is today, we have an international ministry, although we didn’t intend to do it that way. It's just that God is using this message to reach people that we didn’t wake up intending to reach today.

Martin: We are right on the cusp of some incredible things.

Leslie: Today and tomorrow we’re going to review some of what God has done by counting down the top five Revive Our Hearts’ programs of 2009. These are all programs that debuted over the last year; that got the highest positive listener response. We’ll start with number five.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss ("From Him, Through Him, To Him" originally given at True Woman 2008): Married to Christ, for better for worse, for richer for poorer. And a lot of people are going to be finding out in the days ahead, “Did we really love Christ for who He is, or we were paid lovers—loving Him for what He can give us?”

Leslie: Nancy recorded this message at one of the True Woman conferences, and we aired it in February.

Nancy: A true woman says, “Yes, Lord.” Romans chapter 12, verse 1:

I appeal to you to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual [or reasonable form of] worship.

You see, a true woman recognizes that her life is not her own. She lives for the glory of God. Her compass is the Word of God—not the world. She affirms that His purposes for creating male and female are good and wise, that His design is good and wise.

Therefore, she accepts the way God made her and who she is in His economy. She embraces her God-decreed design and role for her life.

She does it with a grateful heart. She says, “Thank you, Lord, for making me a woman. Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of serving and giving and fulfilling Your holy purposes in my calling as a woman.

She lives intentionally. She’s not just drifting, letting the circumstances of life pull her along. She’s willing to be a salmon—swimming upstream; to live a counter-cultural, godly life in an unholy world.

She’s willing to make personal sacrifices: time, resources, for the glory of God and the Kingdom and the Gospel of Christ.

Instead of saying, as we Americans in particular are want to say incessantly, “What will make me happy?” She’s always asking, “What will please You, Lord? What will further Your Kingdom? What will display Your glory? If it pleases Thee, it pleases me.”

The true woman echoes with Mary of Nazareth, Luke 1:38, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” “Yes, Lord.” To say, “Yes, Lord” means for many of us tonight in this place, making it really, really practical, it means to say “no” to a lot of other things:

  • “No” to bitterness
  • “No” to self-centeredness
  • “No” to whining
  • “No” to complaining
  • "No" to resisting, running from the will of God

But it means to say:

  • “Yes” to forgiveness
  • “Yes” to those who have sinned against us
  • “Yes” to receive God’s forgiveness
  • “Yes” to serving
  • “Yes” to embracing God’s choices for our lives
  • “Yes” to trusting Him with our circumstances (even the ones we cannot understand)
  • “Yes to finding and fulfilling God’s purposes for our lives

Leslie: That’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss speaking at True Woman ’08—the conference Revive Our Hearts launched. You have a chance to experience one of three True Woman conferences in 2010. The first, in Chattanooga, will be here before you know it. Get more information on early bird registration at ReviveOurHearts.com.

The message we just heard from Nancy originally aired in February on Revive Our Hearts. That program received some of the highest responses of the year. It’s number five on our countdown of the top programs of 2009. We’re about to listen to a clip from program number four, but first we’re going behind the scenes at Revive Our Hearts. Let’s hear from some of the ladies who interact with listeners who give us feedback.

Carrie Gaul (biblical correspondent): I have the best job in the world.

Leslie: Carrie answer letters and email from those who listen and those who attend our conferences.

Carrie: After the True Woman conference we saw just a tremendous response, not only in numbers, but in testimony after testimony of how God had moved in the hearts of women in ways they hadn’t imagined—practical ways.

Leslie: Customer service representative, Debbie Hancock, saw something similar after True Woman.

Debbie Hancock: We had such an overwhelming response. People wanted to do the “True Woman Make-Over,” they wanted to take this another step further. They went back to their churches and had umpteen mini-conferences from True Woman. They’ve put that on the web; they’ve asked for resources. They want to share with the women who couldn’t come. They wanted to share this message and this movement.

Pastor John Piper: Wimpy theology makes wimpy women.

Carrie: John Piper’s message.

Pastor Piper: I don’t like wimpy women!

Carrie: He just so dramatically and clearly painted a global view of what biblical womanhood is. I think that gave women a foundational understanding that this isn’t just a good idea; it’s not something that happens to be for now; this is something that before the foundation of the earth God created; God had it in His mind. God is raising up a movement of women in these days who are catching the vision, whose hearts are being moved in that direction.

Leslie: This past January, Revive Our Hearts listeners heard John Piper’s message—the one Carrie was just describing from the True Woman conference. That program received a lot of response. It’s program number four as we count down the top five Revive Our Hearts’ programs for 2009.

Pastor Piper ("The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood" originally given at True Woman '08): God’s ultimate purpose in creating the world and choosing to let it become this sin-wrecked world that it is, is so that the greatness of the glory of Christ could be put on display where He bought the rebellious Bride at the cost of His life. Now, that’s based on texts. Let me give you a couple of them.

Revelation chapter 13, verse 8 goes like this: God is talking about writing names down in a book, and those who are in the book don’t worship the beast. He says, “Before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain.”

So names are being written before the foundation of the world in a book. And the name of the book is, the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. That is amazing! Before anything existed but God, Christ was crucified—in God’s mind—for sin that didn’t exist anywhere in the universe. That’s amazing. That’s not wimpy. And it doesn’t produce wimpy women.

It is staggering to think that God was planning the death and slaughter (that’s the word slain) of His Son before the universe was made. Why? Here’s the other text, Ephesians 1:5-6.

“In love he predestined us for adoption in life as sons through Jesus Christ, unto the praise of the glory of his grace.” And there isn’t anything on the other side of that design; like that’s a means to anything—it isn’t. When you arrive at the praise of the glory of the grace of God, you’re home! That’s it. There isn’t anything beyond that. That is what the universe was made to do, to be.

God was planning it such that the apex, the climax, the supreme expression of that grace would be the Son’s purchase at the cost of the life of His wife—you and me. Listen to Ephesians 5:25:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church [there’s the parallel—husbands love wives / Christ loves Church, His wife] and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her . . . that He might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

So, putting those three texts together: Revelation 13:8, Ephesians 1:5-6, Ephesians 5:25-27, I draw the conclusion: The ultimate purpose of all things is the praise of the glory of the grace of God supremely manifest on Calvary when the Son of God laid His life down to purchase and purify His Wife out of an absolutely hell-bent, rebellious people.

Leslie: That’s John Piper speaking at True Woman ’08. Listeners first heard that message on Revive Our Hearts back in January. The program got a lot of positive response from our listeners. It’s number four as we count down the top five programs of 2009.

FamilyLife was one of the co-sponsors of the True Woman conference. Bob Lepine, the co-host of the program FamilyLife Today, describes the value he sees in the conference.

Bob Lepine: I had the opportunity to be at the first True Woman ’08 event, and be part of that event and see how God used that event in the lives of thousands of women from all across the country. Looking at the upcoming True Woman events, the ones that will be hosted regionally around the country in 2010; these are catalytic events in the lives of the women who come. They go back into their communities, into their churches with a vision and heart to see women become godly women.

At FamilyLife, we look at our connection with that and say, “Anything that strengthens women is going to strengthen marriages and families, and it’s going to strengthen churches and communities.” So we’re thrilled to be in partnership with these True Woman events because we see them being strategically used by God for His purposes in cities all across the country.

Leslie: Bob Lepine and the ministry of FamilyLife aren’t just involved in the True Woman events, they’ve been instrumental in the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. Bob describes some of the reasons he’s invested in Revive Our Hearts and the teaching of Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Bob Lepine: I think the reason FamilyLife has been so interested in Nancy’s ministry and what God is doing through Revive Our Hearts is because as we look at marriages and families and how those are to the purpose and plan of God, we understand that you’ve got to have godly men and godly women to make a godly family work.

So as Nancy is discipling, equipping, and training and challenging and encouraging women to be the women God has called them to be, the spill-over impact of that in marriages and families and into the discipling of the next generation is going to be huge!

Leslie: We’re so thankful to bring you the kind of teaching Bob Lepine is describing. One of the major teaching series Nancy tackled this year was a study in the life of Joshua. As we look back over the top five programs of 2009, program number three comes from that series. Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy ("Lessons from the Life of Joshua: Trusting God for the Promised Land"): Unbelief can be forgiven—as God pardoned His people. But there will still be consequences. It’s possible that you may not end up possessing all that God wanted or intended to give you; that in unbelief you will reject God’s best for your life.

It’s not that it can’t be forgiven; it’s not that you can’t repent, but there may be some ground lost. There may be some patterns established in your life that you will have to deal with for the rest of your life. When you give in to unbelief and fear, there are consequences. I heard in the room, just as I had read from verse 33 of Numbers 14, just an inner groan when you read those words—“your children will suffer for your faithlessness.”

Haven’t you seen it be true, if not in your own life, but in the lives of others that you know? In some ways, every mother has seen it in her life. Your children become a mirror reflection of your responses to God. There are times that you walk in unbelief and fear that ultimately your children end up experiencing the consequences, the suffering, for your faithlessness.

Listen, if you won’t believe God for your own account, for your own sake, will believe God for the sake of the next generation?

Unbelief forfeits the presence of God. God says, “I’m not going up with you into the land. If you go up now, you are on your own.” Remember, some of them did try and go up. “We’ll go into the land now.” And God says, “I’m not going with you. You have forfeited My presence. I’m not going with you into that place.”

Now again, we said that the cure for unbelief is repentance and faith. Thank God for His mercy!

I shared in the last session some of my own personal journey, a crisis in faith, a season of unbelief that for me lasted the better part of a year. As I was walking through that and walking out of it in repentance and faith, God brought me to this passage—Numbers 13 and 14. I was preparing for a series to teach on the life of Joshua, but studying it first for my own life.

As I read over and over and over again through this passage and saw what God thinks about unbelief, I have to tell you that I was grieved. I was heartbroken at the thought of how I had dishonored the Lord and forfeited much of His blessing and His presence in my life over those months because of not being willing to walk in faith.

Sometimes that unbelief becomes a comfort zone for us. I’d rather live with my depression and my discouragement and my fear than get up off of this bed and move forward in faith. I was so grieved to think that my sin, as I read this passage, appeared to me to be far greater than that sin we’ve been reading about here that caused a generation of Israelites to die in the wilderness.You say, “How was your sin greater than theirs?”

  • They grumbled in this incident for a day and a night. I had grumbled and whined and wallowed in unbelief and fear for the better part of a year.
  • And I have so much more track record with God and He does with me, than the Children of Israel had. They had just been out of Egypt for a matter of a couple of years at the most. I’ve been walking with the Lord for close to 45 years.
  • I’ve seen God over and over and over again come through on my behalf. I know the power of God.
  • I know the promises of God. I’ve read His Word from cover to cover, over and over and over again—scores of time over those years.
  • I have every reason in the world to trust God, but I made a choice to walk in unbelief and fear rather than faith.

I found myself just saying, “Lord, I am so, so sorry. Please forgive me for reflecting negatively on You, for dishonoring You through unbelief.” I found myself just incredibly grateful for the mercy of God. Oh my goodness, God’s mercy, His forgiveness, His pardon. Unlike the Children of Israel who said going in to the Promised Land, “That’s it! I’ve had it! We’re going to die in the wilderness!” God has not shut me out of the Promised Land; He has not shut you out.

As long as you are alive and there’s breath in your body, there’s still time to exercise faith and move forward. I say, “Oh God, You are a merciful, merciful God. Merciful! Thank you, Lord!”

I quoted from Charles Spurgeon at the beginning of this session. Let me continue reading what he has to say about doubt and unbelief. He said,

Think it not a light matter to doubt Jehovah. Remember, it is a sin. And not a little sin, either, but in the highest degree criminal. The angels never doubted Him, nor the devils either. We alone out of all the beings that God has fashioned dishonor him by unbelief and tarnish His honor by mistrust [shame upon us for this].

Our God does not deserve to be so basely suspected. In our past life we have proved Him to be true and faithful to His Word. And with so many instances of His love and kindnesses we have received and are daily receiving at His hands, it is base and inexcusable that we suffer a doubt to sojourn within our heart.

Leslie: That’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss from a teaching series on the life of Joshua. That program originally aired this past March. It’s program number three as we count down the top five programs of 2009.

The study of Joshua was very meaningful to all the listeners who contacted us, and it was meaningful to Nancy, too. She’s here to explain.

Nancy: I remember back to when I was studying and teaching the life of Joshua and how it was such a deeply, moving experience for me. I’ve needed today’s reminder of that material as we’ve been hearing some highlights from 2009.

One of our youngest listeners also enjoyed our study of Joshua. A woman explained why in this email. She said,

I just wanted to let you know what a blessing your program has been to me and my 5-year-old son. When Revive Our Hearts is airing on our station, we’re on the 30-minute drive to pick up my daughter from school. We listen to the program and then discuss it while we wait for school to dismiss. My son, Timothy, became interested in your series on the life of Joshua and requested to hear Revive Our Hearts each day. Hearing the tiny voice of a then 4-year-old asking, "Is it time for Revive Our Hearts?" was so precious.

I am so thankful for the listeners who help us make that kind of ministry possible. Your gifts allow us to deliver God’s Word in a variety of ways. I know we couldn’t be sparking conversations between a mother and her preschooler without your help.

Some generous friends of Revive Our Hearts share our vision for proclaiming God’s truth to women. They’ve pledge to match every gift that’s given to Revive Our Hearts between now and the end of this month, up to $280,000.

In order to continue and expand this ministry to women, we need to meet and then significantly exceed this matching challenge. Like most ministries, much of our operating budget is determined by what comes in at this time of year. Your gift will allow us to continue to share God’s Word—whether it’s to moms and kids in the carpool line or to women in many different places around the world.

Leslie: Please call us at 1-800-569-5959, or donate at ReviveOurHearts.com. That’s where you can be part of our current matching challenge. It’s also where you can listen to the archives of the programs you heard today.

Today and tomorrow we’re counting down the top five programs of 2009. Join us next time to hear programs number two and number one. That’s tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version.

 

 

 

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