Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Working in the Power of the Holy Spirit, Day 6

Leslie Basham: Are you tempted to be depressed over news headlines? Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth can understand.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: I can get so twisted in a knot inside about everyone who's 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!

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Monday, May 16, 2016.

How might God want you to pass biblical truth on to the next generation? Last week Nancy helped you explore that question. We heard a series of messages she gave to women's ministry leaders at a Revive Our Hearts conference called Revive '15.

Today we'll wrap that series up with a charge to teach God's Word. She's in 2 Timothy chapter 4, verse 1.

Nancy: 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 that applies here 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. 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, 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 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 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. 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.
  3. You'll experience God's grace working in you and through you as you cry out to Him 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 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. I can just get really twisted about all of that. 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. So 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."

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 (v. 6).

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—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.

Leslie: That's Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, speaking to a group of women's ministry leaders at Revive '15, a conference hosted by Revive Our Hearts. Nancy will be back with some more thoughts and to pray.

At that conference, Revive Our Hearts was encouraging and showing women how to teach other women. And that doesn't just happen at conferences. You hear biblical truth you can trust here on Revive Our Hearts. And we encourage you to share what you're learning with other women.

Nancy, you have such a cool story to share about how that's happening.

Nancy: I do, Leslie. I was so excited to get an email from an island in the Pacific called Yap. It's part of Micronesia.

There was a woman who found herself listening to Revive Our Hearts, as she was visiting her eighty-five year-old mother, way out there in Yap. The woman wrote and said to us:

I was taking a break from my gardening and I came to sit by my mother's side and we were listening to your interview with Rosaria Butterfield.

Rosaria is a former lesbian who has an amazing precious testimony about how she came to know Jesus. This listener goes on to say . . .

That was very inspiring to listen to her testimony and what our great God can do. Praise the Lord! All of a sudden, my mother said to me, "I want to be baptized" with her eyes glistening with tears.

This mom had been going to church all her life. But in that moment, as she was listening to Revive Our Hearts, she was convicted that she didn't know Jesus personally. And this daughter used the opportunity to pray with her mom as she placed her faith in Christ.

Now I'm so thankful for the many listeners who helped make it possible for this program to be available there in Micronesia, on the other side of the world, at just the right time. It's your prayers and your financial support that make this program possible.

And as we've been sharing with you, here in May, we're wrapping up our fiscal year-end. That's when we bring one set of budgets to a close, we evaluate the financial health of the ministry and determine what plans we can make in the year ahead. That's why it's important for us to end the year healthy so that there's no interruption in our various ministry outreaches.

Now, some friends of the ministry know how important this time is. And they are doubling the gift of every transcript reader here in May. This is an amazing opportunity to be able to spread Revive Our Hearts digitally around the world to places like the island of Yap in Micronesia. You can help make sure that we make the most of these opportunities. You can visit a special site that we've set up just for you. It's ReviveOurHearts.com/donate/transcript/, or call us at 1–800–569–5959.

Thank you so much for continuing to help Revive Our Hearts as we call women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ!

Leslie: Thanks Nancy. Tomorrow we will hear from a man who was interrogated in an Iranian prison for sharing his faith. Now he and his wife have a burden to share God's Word with Farsi-speaking women in Iran and Syria. Please be back the next two days for that series here on Revive Our Hearts.

Okay, as you go out and share the biblical truth you've learned with other women, Nancy's here to pray for you.

Nancy: 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.

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

All Scripture is taken from the ESV.

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