Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Helping Women Thrive in Christ

Leslie Basham: What does it mean to thrive in Christ? We've been exploring that theme here on Revive Our Hearts, and we asked our friend Mary Kassian.

Mary Kassian: When I hear the phrase "thrive in Christ," I think of just becoming everything who God created you to be—having your identity solid in Jesus. But as a woman, He created you to be in your unique personality, so God doesn't make cookie cutter women. He makes a diversity of women in His image all for His glory.

But you have different personalities, different likes and dislikes, and we approach life different ways and that's part of the beauty of it. So when I think of thriving I think of walking in to who I am and discovering the joy and the delight and the fullness and becoming more confident in terms of who I am. It's understanding that "who I am" question is only answered through Christ.

Leslie: This is the Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, November 28, 2014.

No matter how barren your situation feels, the Lord can help you thrive in Christ. At Revive Our Hearts we're asking Him to help women thrive and grow no matter what drought or storms may come their way.

A couple of weeks ago, Nancy addressed the Revive Our Hearts staff. She shared some encouraging stories about how the Lord is helping women thrive in Christ in various places. We're going to share some of that message with you. I think you'll be encouraged about what God is doing and how you can be a part of it.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I want to do three things in these moments. One, just give you a brief word from the Word and then take a few moments to reflect on how we've seen God at work recently among us. Then I want to update you on a few aspects of the ministry and share a few prayer requests that we want to be covering over these next several weeks.

So, first, the Word. If you have your Bible with you, you can turn to it or click on it. Let me ask you to turn to Psalm 145. You know that over the past year I spent a lot of time memorizing scriptures related to Jesus that we presented at the True Woman Conference.

I've been asking the Lord what I should memorize next. I think what I'm going to do is go back and memorize, or re-memorize in some cases, a number of Psalms that have been really important to me over the years. They're all important, but ones that have particularly blessed me. I want to get those back in my system and use them as a basis for prayer. I think they help inform how we pray, how we praise.

And Psalm 145 is the first one I'm starting back into. I'm going to read this psalm, not make many comments on it. But as I read it I want to encourage you to look for a few things. First of all, what does this passage tell us about God—about who He is, about what He does? And then what kind of response should that evoke from us? So be looking for those things as I read Psalm 145.

I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you!
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

Now, before I finish the rest of the psalm, let me just put a parenthesis in there. I did a radio interview yesterday and was asked by the interviewer what is a verse in the Bible that has been particularly meaningful to me or that I've been clinging to recently. And as we've recently come through these elections and reflecting on what's been going on in the news, this is the first verse that came to mind.

This is the verse I gave him. "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations." And you think about what we see day after day and what we hear about—about terror in this world, about war and disease and corruption and deception in government, about inflamed racial tension, about the erosion of religious liberties, about the flaunting of immorality.

And you put all that together and it comes crashing in on us and can feel really overwhelming. But it's a passage like this, it's a verse like this, Psalm 145:13, that helps me to recalibrate my thinking and my perspective. It's a reminder that heaven rules. Say it with me. Heaven rules.

I'm just so thankful for that. I think we'd lose our minds. We'd go crazy with either confusion or with grief or sorrow or frustration if we didn't know that His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and His dominion endures throughout all generations.

Well, continuing:

The Lord is faithful in all his words
and kind in all his works.
The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Wasn't that a great Thanksgiving psalm? So much in there. And I want to encourage you over these next few days to take some time to read back through that psalm—maybe several times—and to make a list of what this tells us about God, who He is, what He does. We read about His greatness, His abundant goodness, His righteousness. We see that He is gracious and merciful. That He upholds those who are falling and He raises up those who are bowed down.

Just make a list: What is God like and what does He do from that psalm. Mediate on those things with this question in mind. So what? What does that mean? What kind of response should that evoke from us?

And you see in this psalm a response that goes vertically—how we respond to God. We extol Him; we bless Him; we praise Him; we give thanks to Him, etcetera. And then we see a horizontal response that we tell others about Him. We declare His mighty acts. We make known His deeds. We speak His praise. You'll see verbal expressions even singing aloud of His righteousness. Those are horizontal expressions. And all of that, vertical and horizontal, is in light of who God is and what He does.

So in this Thanksgiving season maybe that's a passage that you might want to anchor your heart on and give thanks to Him and let the Lord use it to stay the course in your heart. Whatever may be happening in your world or in the world, these are good, good words for these days.

I've been reflecting as I've been memorizing this psalm on how we have seen God at work here at Revive Our Hearts in many of these ways we've just read about throughout this year as we've seen Him pouring out His mercy and His grace and His steadfast love.

We've seen Him display His greatness, His glory, His goodness. And we need to talk about it. We do talk about it. I'm so glad that we have these times when we get together and we just say, "God, You are so good. You have been so faithful. Here's what You've done. We give thanks to You." We do it vertically. We do it horizontally.

All of us still have fresh on our minds True Woman '14 last month. And just the amazing things that we saw God do leading up to, during, and since that event as we watched God bring women—8,000 and some-odd-hundred of them—from forty-eight states and from beyond that, from the Bahamas, from Bulgaria and Canada and the Dominican Republic and Guam and India and Puerto Rico and South Africa and Uganda.

I remember at that conference meeting Helene from Denmark, a women's ministry leader there who came to get equipped and encouraged in her ministry. And meeting Mary Ann from Switzerland who is determined that one of these days Revive Our Hearts is going to be available in French, her native language, so it can go out to the French-speaking world.

And then meeting, as some of you did, Imelda and that group of women from Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. They have True Woman Dubai. And they brought us jackets with True Woman on it that they had made there because God's working to build a True Woman movement there in the UAE.

And not only the women who were at the conference but people who were from eighty-seven countries, if I have the right count, who joined us by means of a LIVE stream. And the joy of seeing and hearing what God did in so many hearts of so many women during those days.

I received a text from our friend Joni Tada late Thursday night of the conference after the close of the evening session. And she said this,

Awesome, awesome visitation from the Holy Spirit tonight! I cried for at least twenty minutes after it was over—happy tears of great joy in Jesus.

Well, amen to that! Let me just read you some of the comments. I know some of you have seen some of these and there are many, many more. But I just pulled a handful of these to just encourage our hearts and remind us of what God did—how He has shown Himself mighty in lives just through that one event. Let me read some of these to you.

One woman said,

All I can say is, "Wow!" I am so inspired, uplifted, informed, and transformed. My cup truly runneth over. My heart's passion is to see other women set free, encouraged, and totally delivered. So, to get to be a prayer partner at True Woman put the icing on the cake. I've never experienced anything like this event.

Another woman said,

I'm having difficulty finding the right words to express what this conference has meant to me. I am a changed woman. I am feeling the living water filling my soul, a new freedom, a new courage. I've left some old luggage in Indianapolis. I'm a sixty-two-year-old woman that has made a decision to never give up.

Here's another one:

The Lord brought back home this prodigal daughter who was right there in church going through the motions but my heart was so far from Him. Thank you, Lord, for receiving me with open arms.

Here's one I've never seen that I know of at a True Woman conference before. This lady said,

I have been married for over six years but have never legally changed my name to my husband's. I've been convicted about it in the past feeling that this communicated disrespect to my husband, but I failed to do anything about it. At True Woman '14 I committed to finally take action and legally change my name.

Here's another one:

I've let go of bitterness and resentment toward brothers and sisters in Christ who have hurt me. I've begun to pray again for my own sister who is in bondage to heroin and cocaine.

And this one:

I falsely took money, and I need to make this right. I want to be clean before the Lord so that I may move forward in taking the next step that He has for me.

You can't be right with God if you're not right with others, right? You have the vertical and the horizontal. Here's one who said,

He helped me heal wounds that I've been carrying for years.

And another older woman says,

At age sixty-seven I was about to diminish my ministries because I'm tired. But I have been refreshed and challenged to finish well the race set before me. 

This woman said,

I was refreshed, blessed, encouraged, challenged, educated, and loved and came home to my precious husband and three little children a new woman.

A new true woman in the making, right?

And this lady said,

God has given me the courage to be honest about my addiction to pornography and to seek godly counsel.

Well, here is one. It's a little bit longer but it's one of the sweetest ones I've seen coming out of this conference. This lady said,

I want to send a huge thank you. I attended the True Woman '14 conference with a very stone cold heart—not sure if God even existed. I've been running from God for a long time and thought I could please my friend, just go, and that's it. Well, God had other things in mind. Maybe sometime I could share my whole story. But God rescued me out . . . [Now this is over the course of that weekend True Woman.]
God rescued me out of the bondage of homosexuality, drugs, alcohol, and many other things. I never believed my heart could be changed so drastically. It's like I'm a totally new different person. I listen to the program every day now. My heart is just overflowing with love for Christ. If you knew me before, those words would never have come out of my mouth. I just want to share what He has done for me. He transformed me and I want others to have that same transformation. Thank you, again. Oh, and I am praying for this ministry.

Thank you, Jesus. Amen. Amen. The conference is now history, but I love how the fruit continues to be born. In fact, just this morning I received an email from a friend who was forwarding an email that she had received from a friend who said:

Please tell someone at True Woman how extremely valuable it is that they have hired someone to faithfully transcribe the conference talks so that women like me who could not attend and who don't have Internet time can print them out and read them at home.

Tammy, I don't know if you've seen this yet, but this should be encouraging to you and your team of transcribers. She said,

It was so valuable to be able to study and pray over what was spoken. And also, please, please thank them. They offer all these valuable thoughts and words for free. There is no charge. They will only know in heaven what value they had in the lives of women who never were able to attend. So many ministries charge and only offer the talks by mp3 and CD. It helps so much to have it typed out.

Well, I just want to say to each of you in this room and others on our team who are now watching this link who serve in different parts of the country and down in the D.R., thank you for your part in making these kind of testimonies and stories and emails possible. And thousands of others we've received over the course of this year. Thank you for praying. Thank you for serving.

Thank you for your hard, hard work, tireless days, long days, long nights and most of it behind the scenes. Most of it where your name doesn't get up in lights and people aren't writing emails to thank you for your piece behind the scenes of that. But I want to say thank you. And this is all the fruit of what God has done and is doing through your labors, your lives, and your love.

Aren't we blessed to be part of a ministry that God is using to help women around the world thrive in Christ—not just survive but thrive; and helping them experience freedom and fullness and fruitfulness in Christ. Listen, we've been using that byline ever since we started. But I hope you don't ever lose the wonder of the privilege it is to be involved in that kind of ministry.

And the lady who sent that email was right. You will never know this side of eternity the impact of what you're doing and how God is using this ministry to work in the lives of women and not only on women but on their families and in their churches and their workplaces and their communities. So thanks be to the Lord and thanks be to you for your part in all of this.

Now, let me share with the moments we have remaining just a few updates and prayer requests that we need to keep on our hearts over these next several weeks. First of all, thank you for praying and as Mary Kassian and I have been working on True Woman 201, a ten-week study on biblical womanhood. We are in the home stretch and look forward to wrapping up this project over the next few weeks. Lord willing it will be released in the spring.

And then please be praying, too, as on December 11 and 12, if I have those dates right, we'll be recording ten radio programs and also capturing video so that people can use this content in small group context. That, Lord willing, will all be available in the spring. So keep praying as the Lord brings that project to completion.

When I say Mujer Verdadera, do you know what I'm talking about? True Woman '15 in Spanish. We'll be hosting our first international True Woman conference in February of this coming year in the Dominican Republic. We're very excited about that opportunity.

And if we're excited, you should see the women in the D.R.! They are working hard. There is lots and lots to do to pull that event together. Not only will there be a local conference there in the D.R., but then by means of LIVE stream, women in all the Spanish-speaking world will be joining us. And it will be also in English because we will have everything in English and Spanish. So be praying as that comes together.

And then for our year-end financial needs, let me share with you a little bit about that. I want to start by saying how grateful I am for God's provision for this ministry over this past year. Every day, every week, every month is not always what we hoped for but always exactly what we needed. Our bills are paid. We have fallen behind some in some of our budgeted projections as I'll share with you in a moment. But God has met our needs. He has provided daily bread, and we don't owe any vendors, who've billed us at least.

And we're so thankful that God has raised up people to help, to pray, to support this ministry financially. We've added a lot of new monthly ministry partners over the last several months. We need lots more, but we're very thankful for those who are supporting this ministry, many of them, on a monthly basis.

So, let me give you a little bit of an update on our current financial situation and how you can be praying between now and the end of the year. As you're aware, Revive Our Hearts is supported primarily by donations. And just to quantify that for you, almost 80% of our funding over the last fiscal year came from people who gave to support this ministry. They believe in it. They want to see it progress and be supported.

You say, where does the rest of it come from? Well, in the last fiscal year book sales, resource sales, sales of materials made up most of the rest of the budget but about 80% is through donations. And of the donations every year, 40% or more of that comes in during the last month of the year. That means during the month of December we are on our knees, we're on the edge of our seats, we're trusting the Lord to provide what is needed to make up the total amount of donations for the year.

Now, over the past several months as some of you are aware we have fallen short of our budgeted projections for sales and donations. And so, rather than spending money we don't have, we've trimmed expenses, we've delayed expenses where we can, and some of your departments and some projects that you're responsible for have been affected by those cuts.

And so in order to end this year in the black where we need to be and to move into 2015 on solid footing we need to see God provide in an unusual way between now and the end of the year, and that provision has already begun.

So let me start by saying thank you to the Lord and to a group of generous ministry friends who have already said that they would like to match dollar for dollar, one for one, every dollar that is given to the ministry between now and December 31 up to a total of $650,000. Praise God. That is so encouraging. That is our largest matching challenge ever. Anybody want to say, thank you Lord? Amen.

And so, we're starting this week to let people know about that challenge and to ask them to consider what part they might have in helping us to meet it. Now, if we can fulfill that matching challenge, $650,000 during the month of December, that will be a huge help. It will get us a lot closer to where we need to be by the end of the year. So we're praying that people will be moved to make that happen beginning this week.

So, pray with us that we will not only meet that challenge but also that we will significantly exceed the matching challenge. You say, "Why? What will that help us to do?" Well, first of all it will help us make up the short fall from the past several months. And then it will help us keep our current outreaches strong—that's our websites, our radio broadcasts, our podcasts, our printed resources, those transcripts that that lady was so thankful for that we have people transcribing all of those conference messages and our daily program, that's part of what we are able to do because of people giving here at year end.

It will also help us to advance some key opportunities that the Lord is giving us including that conference coming up in the Dominican Republic in February, a training conference for women's ministry leaders next fall, developing more resources and training programs, etcetera. It's all about helping women thrive in Christ. Helping them experience freedom and fullness and fruitfulness in Christ.

Now, I asked Martin a few days ago. He's the guy who crunched the numbers. He keeps these budgets. He does such a great job of that. I said, "How much do we need to pray for and believe God for during the month of December." And this is the faith goal that he shared with me, and I'm sharing with you and asking you to pray about.

He said, "We need a total of $1.7 million between now and December 31, including that $650,000 matching challenge." Wow! That's a big number. But we have a big God, right? And I believe He can do that.

So I want to ask you as our team to join me, to join our leadership in carrying this burden together over these next weeks. I want to appeal to every staff member, those in this room, those who are listening later by means of a link, I appeal to you to do two things. One, pray and don't stop praying. Let's just keep praying. Let's tell the Lord our needs and ask Him to provide. We're not demanding that He do anything. But we're saying, "Lord, this is the need. Would You please provide."

And then, would you join me and our team, our leadership team, in asking the Lord what He wants you to give to be a part of that? I want to make sure that we aren't asking others to do something that we're not willing to do ourselves. And God may have blessed you with income this year that you could give a larger amount than you've given before. Maybe you're in a position where you can only give what you consider a small gift. I'm saying if it's what the Lord puts on your heart then that's what you need to give and God will use that and bless it. But I don't want us to ask others to sacrifice in ways that we ourselves do. So I want to encourage you to be thinking and praying about that.

And over these next weeks as we share this need with our ministry supporters and friends, our listeners, some may wonder, Shouldn't you just tell God your need? Why do we need to tell everybody else? And is it right for us to be asking others to support the ministry in this way?

Well, let me just tell you real briefly how we view that. And this is kind of a three-fold philosophy about fundraising that we try to use here at Revive Our Hearts.

First of all, it's our responsibility, as the Lord leads, for us to share with others, "Here are the needs"— not to badger, not to coerce them, not to put pressure on them—but just to say, "Here are the needs." We just share that honestly. And then it's God's responsibility to prompt people to give. And then thirdly, it's the responsibility of those He prompts to do what He wants them to do.

So that takes the pressure off of us. It takes the pressure off of others. We fulfill our responsibility. We just share the need as we'll be doing over these next few weeks. And then God prompts those He wants to participate and then as they obey the prompting of the Spirit, I believe those needs will be met.

Now, as we wrap up here, I'm mindful that some of you in this room are carrying burdens on your hearts during this season, and maybe it's a bit of a challenge to be thankful. We talked over our meal together about what our plans were for the holidays, and one of you shared that in recent years you lost a daughter-in-law through divorce and that holidays are still a hard time when that comes pressing in to you in a different sense. Maybe it's family issues, maybe it's financial challenges that you're facing, or maybe it's something else.

Let me just close by taking us back to Psalm 145 beginning at verse 15: "The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."

So let me just say, wherever you are today, whatever's on your heart, lift your eyes up. Look to Him. And my prayer for each of you is that He will strengthen and sustain and support you in this season, that He will sanctify you by His grace and that He will satisfy you deeply with His steadfast love. Amen.

Leslie: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss. We've heard a message she shared with the Revive Our Hearts staff a couple of weeks ago. We thought this report about how God is working in the lives of women would encourage you as well. We're asking the Lord to continue helping women thrive in Christ in 2015 and you can play an important role in the work that He's doing. Nancy's here to tell you how.

Nancy: Well, thank you for listening in on the little family chat I was able to have recently with the Revive Our Hearts team. Thank you for joining us as part of our team in praying and believing God to meet these needs over the next several weeks.

And you can be one of the first people to help us begin to meet this matching challenge. If you'd like to make a donation today you can give us a call at 1–800–569–5959, or you can visit us online at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Thank you so much for being a part of this ministry through your prayers, your encouragement and now at this important time of year, your financial support. God bless you.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy. We sing about Emmanuel during the Christmas season. But do you know what this name of Jesus really means? Starting Monday, Nancy will show you the importance of this name in the series "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

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

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