Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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What Difference Does it Make?

Leslie Basham: Kari Windon attended the True Woman conference earlier this year. She describes why she appreciated the teaching at the conference.

Kari Windon: We don’t have an identity, and we’re hungering for one because all of the things that the world has offered us have turned to sand, and we’re looking for bedrock. We need something to stand on that is unchanging, that will bring us genuine fulfillment.

The teaching that I’ve been able to glean from the True Woman speakers and the Scripture that is involved and the whole dynamic of True Woman is that there is bedrock, and it’s Christ, and in it is an identity that you can find, that I can find, that has meaning and purpose.

I will not get to the end of my life and wish that I had worked more. I won’t get to the end of my life and wish that I had better clothes. I won’t get to the end of my life and wish that I hadn’t gotten old and wrinkly. I will get to the end of my life, I’m sure, and pine for the wasted opportunities I had for speaking truth into the lives of women. I think that’s a need that True Woman and Revive Our Hearts is really filling.

Leslie: Today we’ll hear one of those messages from the True Woman conference. It will challenge you to think about the end of your life. What will people remember about you?

This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, December 1.

Earlier this week we began a message that Nancy first delivered at the True Woman conference. She opened Titus 2 and answered the question, “What is a true woman?” Then she answered the question, “How do you become a true woman?” You can hear those first two days of the series at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Today we’ll hear part three of this message. Nancy will discuss the question, “What difference does it make?” Let’s listen.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:

  • Does all this really matter?
  • How much does it matter?
  • Is it all that important?
  • Why do women need to learn these things?
  • Why do we need to practice these things?
  • What’s at stake?
  • What happens if we don’t live this way?

Well, Titus 2, the passage we’ve been reading and beyond gives instructions to believers who are in various seasons and stations in life. Repeatedly Paul says, “Here’s what the gospel looks like on you.” In this passage, Paul includes three purpose clauses. This is the "so-what?" This is why it matters. Look at these three clauses.

First in verse 5: Why does it matter? “So that the Word of God may not be reviled.”

Verse 8, “So that an opponent may be put to shame having nothing evil to say about us.”

And verse 10, “So that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.”

Ladies, there is so much more at stake here than our own individual lives. There is this ripple effect of our lives that goes so much further than most of us realize.

You say, “You have people who speak at conferences like this. They need to be true women for sure—the pastor’s wife, she needs to be a true woman; the women’s ministry director, the person who leads our study group, she needs to be a true woman. But what does it really matter if I'm a true woman?”

It matters hugely. You do not realize the impact that your life has on an unbelieving world and others around us as we make the gospel believable or not by the extent to which our lives reflect sound doctrine and the gospel of Christ.

As unbelievers look at the Christians that they know, if they see us being lazy, addicted, having rebellious kids, marriage conflicts, immorality, dysfunctional relationships, being unkind with our tongues, in our attitudes, not sophrone, not self-controlled, what conclusions do they draw about Christianity?

Does your life cause your husband, your kids, or others to disrespect or to doubt God's Word? Does it give them ammunition to attack what you say you believe? Or does your life adorn, enhance the doctrine of Christ?

It was a 19th century German philosopher who said, “Show me your redeemed life, and I might be inclined to believe in your Redeemer.”

What difference does it make if you and I live godly lives in an ungodly world? Ladies, your life, your family may be one tiny island of godliness in a huge sea of wickedness, but that's how the kingdom of God spreads. As they see your light, they see Christ in you, and they are drawn to Him, and they are drawn to believe. They are compelled to repent of their sin, to believe the gospel, to turn to Christ.

Don't underestimate the impact of being God's true woman, having the character and fulfilling the calling of a true woman of God.

Last Friday morning I received a call that a cousin had died suddenly during the night. Ruth Ozinga was 61 years old. She had become a dear friend in more recent years as I had gotten to know her better. She was a prayer warrior for our ministry and a true, true woman of God.

She had been married to her husband Marty for 40 years. They had six sons who are in their 20s and 30s and now six daughters-in-law as of this year, the last one just got married. As of next month, they will have 16 grandchildren ages 8 and under. I don’t know if my math is right, something like that. Yes, there are 15 now. The 15th was born last Wednesday. On Thursday Ruth held that newborn in her arms, and Thursday night during the night, Ruth went to be with the Lord.

I had the privilege of attending her memorial service yesterday morning in Chicago and was asked to share briefly some reflections on her life at that service, as did two of her sons and two of her brothers. The outpouring of love and affection for her and the tributes about her life were just unbelievable.

I wasn't there the night before for the visitation, but I understand that for seven hours people stood 500 in line at all times to get to speak to the family, to express their affection for Ruth and their memories of her. I was told there were 3-4,000 people who attended that visitation.

But as I was at that funeral service yesterday, the memorial service, I just listened to people talk about the impact she had had in their lives—people who knew her, loved her, people who had been childhood friends, stayed friends with her through life, her children, her daughters-in-law. I just listened to many people talk about the impact of her life.

What I knew of her, and what I heard them describe is exactly what we have been looking at in Titus chapter 2. I heard the story of a woman of godly character. At first I was really sad, and I still am to some extent as I think about those precious grandchildren who will never know Grandma Ruth, will not have the influence of her life here on earth, taken so young.

But then I look down at those precious daughters-in-law, and I thought, “She prayed those girls into this family. She prayed those sons to faith, she and her husband working together.” God did the work. She would take no credit for it. She cared about legacy, and she left her mark, and she left her imprint. For generations to come, long after everyone who was at that service is dead and gone, she will still be speaking. Her impact, the ripple effect of her impact will be continuing for generations to come as they pass the torch, the baton of faith on.

Now it's easy to look at a life like that and think, “Well, that's somebody else's story. But my life is so messed up. My family is so dysfunctional. My past is so, whatever.”

Ladies, that's what grace is for. That's what the cross is about. You can be, by God’s grace, His true woman, doing the battle on your knees, having the character of a true woman and fulfilling the calling of a true woman, to pass that baton of faith on to others around you, being intentional. Not just wandering your way through life, but saying, “God has put me here on this planet for a purpose and by God's grace, Lord, I will be that a true woman to fulfill Your holy purposes in my world for this generation.” (Applause)

I take that applause to mean that that is what you affirm in your heart as your desire.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss isn’t finished. She’ll be back for the second half of the program in just a minute.

Nancy delivered that message at one of the True Woman conferences earlier this year. You can hear all the plenary sessions from the conference at the True Woman website. Just access it from our site, ReviveOurHearts.com, and when you’re there, you can also order the message you heard today on DVD or CD. Getting a copy would help you share this message with the women you know.

Truly understanding and living out the True Woman message is important. The impact of that kind of life can impact people in ways you can’t always predict. Here’s Nancy with some examples.

Nancy: As we close tonight, I want to share two letters with you that show the impact of a true woman. First of all, the impact that can be made on other women around us.

I want to share a letter that was written by a woman who heard my dear friend Holly Elliff, who will be doing one of the breakout sessions tomorrow. Holly has been on Revive Our Hearts numerous times. Many of you know and love her voice. This woman wrote to Holly, having heard her on our program a number of times. Here’s the impact that Holly’s life as a true woman had on this woman who had never even met her.

Dear Mrs. Elliff,

I just had to write a note to tell you how much you have influenced my life for godliness through your advice on Revive Our Hearts. I’ve only recently come under sound doctrine, and I’ve struggled to learn how to live out godliness in the ordinary paths of life.

When I first heard you on the broadcast, my soul was so famished for help. Your calm, seasoned comments brought me out of a deep, dark place. What helped me was my sense that your knowledge wasn’t theoretical. It sounded like words from someone who had learned it in the trenches—marrying, raising a family, cooking meal after meal, raising each child, and glorifying the Lord in it.

You cannot imagine what it has meant to me to have a godly example as a role model to follow. Your friendship and counsel have helped establish a godly framework for my thinking. Thank you for giving warm words of godly counsel and advice, for standing on the Lord’s commands to us instead of compromising. You cannot know how that has made a real impact on a life and soul so marred and scarred by sin and without any godly women to turn to for help.

Thank you for helping to pull a despairing sister out of the muck and mire of sin. I’m sure when you were changing diapers [Holly has, as many of you know, eight children, so she’s been through a lot of those changing diaper seasons] or listening to the same story—again—you could not have known that those were the very things that would make your advice so weighty and true for me, a single woman.

When you speak, it’s from the point of view of someone who’s lived it, who has raised a family and had to work out the Scriptures in close quarters. The Lord’s Word has molded you so that your broken life is sending out such riches, such wine.

Please let older women know that the most valuable thing they can do is to develop in righteousness, not the career or beautiful home. It is the life of righteousness that alone can help redeem broken lives.

I never thought I would come to value God’s ways above the world’s or actually see how beautiful holiness is, but I have, and I thank you for being part of the Lord’s way of revealing Himself and His loveliness and the beauty of living a godly life to me.

Is there another woman somewhere who could write that kind of letter about your ministry and influence about your life? As we are true woman of God, there could be lots of women who could write those kinds of letters. But you know, the impact of a true woman is not just seen on other women. It’s also seen on the men around us.

I want to read to you a letter I received a number of years ago that I still treasure as one of the most special letters I have ever received.

Dear Miss DeMoss,

I’m writing to thank you, for you have given me two very important things that I have never possessed as far back as I can remember. I am 26 years old and have come to know the Lord in the last couple of years. The Lord is doing some wonderful things in my life, and I hope to some day serve Him full time.

Before I began listening to your program (I know it is a woman’s program, but I enjoy listening to you for reasons I will explain.) Before I began listening to your program, I had little to no trust for women and very little understanding of what a true woman of God was. On both my mother’s and my father’s sides of the family, my grandparents had all been divorced and remarried, some more than once.

My grandmother on my father’s side used her alimony to open up two topless clubs in the 70s [his grandmother]. My mother met my father in one of his mother’s clubs, and eventually they married. They divorced after this, and my mother was married and divorced two more times in the years that followed.

When my sister and I were children, my mother worked two full-time jobs to support us. I realize the great responsibility she had as a single mother. I realize how much she loved and still loves us, but she didn’t know the Lord, and because of that, it was hard on us all.

When we were six and eight years old, the only time we got to spend with our mother was when she was home from work, but she was worn out and could only sleep. My sister and I would play in and around her bed when she was home. We could have played anywhere else in the two-bedroom apartment, or even outside, but I realize now we played in Mom’s bedroom when she was home because it was our only way to be close to her, the only time to be with her.

Later, she married, and instead of staying at home or just working one job, my mother used the spare time she had to go to college. Everyone in the family was proud of her, but it left little time for us. Maybe when her schooling was finished, we would have more time with her, but this was not to be either. After graduating from college, Mom began to climb the corporate ladder, working 60, 70, and sometimes 80 hours a week to get ahead of life, just keeping up with the Joneses.

I’ve grown up since those days. I’ve learned a great deal the hard way. The relationships I’ve had since my teens with various women have never once been healthy. It was one bad relationship after another that helped me decide at an early age to forego all relationships with women, and this attitude only brought greater mistrust and deeper pain into my life.

Even after coming to the Lord, I made the decision not to ever be married. I would tell myself that I was giving that up to serve the Lord, that all I needed was Him, but in truth, it was because of the great mistrust I had for women.

I began listening to your program because of a testimony you had on a couple of years ago. I don’t remember the woman’s name. She was an orphan who was badly mistreated but clung in her youth to the word that God loved her and overcame the trials of her life.

Since listening to you I have begun writing my mother again. I hadn’t written to her in more than two years. She actually writes me back quite frequently, and as I build that relationship with her, I am giving her verses to read in an attempt to be some kind of witness to her.

You have also given me an example of what kind of woman I should be looking for when it comes my time to marry in the years ahead.

You have provoked me to become a better man [and, ladies, true women will do that for men, not provoking (Laughter) but inspiring them to be better men]. You have provoked me to become a better man because I know that I will never be married to a woman with a spirit like yours unless I have a like heart to do the will of my Father.

You have given me all these things. There were things that only a woman can give a man, things that a mother should inspire in her son. Because of this, I thought an appropriate gesture to tell you these things and to wish you a happy Mother’s Day. In my heart, you will always be one of my mothers in the Lord.

I will continue to listen to Revive Our Hearts now and someday in the future maybe I’ll have a wife who will listen with me.

P.S. By my address, it should be obvious that I am in prison. Please pray for my continued victory in the Lord and future ministry, whatever that may be. I’ll be getting out in only a few more years now.

What would happen if every Christian woman were to live out the message of Titus 2, to live as those who have been transformed by the gospel of Christ?

  • What would our homes look like?
  • How might the men around us be inspired to pursue Christ, to desire Him?
  • How would Christian marriages look different?
  • Would Christian young people growing up in our homes be leaving the church in droves as they are today? Or would they say, having seen the reality of authentic faith in the hearts of their mom and other women around them, “This thing is real. I want what they have”?
  • Would those around us, men and women, hunger to know God more intimately?
  • Would the watching world begin to see a tangible, visible difference in us? And would that same power of the gospel begin to affect them?

Who knows that maybe revival would occur.

Leslie: Your life can make a huge impact in the world. Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been showing you the far-reaching power of a life lived for God’s glory.

We’ve been able to bring you that message thanks to women who donate to Revive Our Hearts. If you’ve never supported this ministry, would you pray about what God may have you give during a critical time? In almost ten years on the air, we’re in our most challenging season financially, and we need to hear from you.

When you make a donation between now and the end of the year, you’ll help us meet and exceed a matching challenge some friends of the ministry have established. Just donate at ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 1-800-569-5959.

This week Nancy’s been showing us the value of mentoring relationships from Titus chapter 2. Tomorrow we’ll hear some examples of that in the lives of women who have benefitted from mentors. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries. 

All Scripture has been taken from the English Standard Version. 

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love …

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