Instruments of Love

If you’re like me the waiting leading up to the True Woman conference seemed endless! I started out this morning early. My plan was to meet my friend Tina and leave Chicago by 6:30 in the morning. I thought we’d have plenty of time to make it to the leadership pre-conference, but realized halfway into the drive that I had completely forgotten about the one-hour time difference in Indy!

A Venti black coffee and three-and-a-half hours later, I crashed into the first session of the leadership pre-conference and quickly found out that the waiting was worth it!

I found myself in a packed room with 800 other Christian women leaders ready to receive God’s Word from Nancy Leigh Demoss and Elyse Fitzpatrick. Though I’ve heard Nancy before, this would be my first time listening to Elyse live, and what a treat it would be!

The theme of the leadership pre-conference was Women Helping Women–simple, yet profound. Nancy started us off with four essential points to keep in mind when it comes to ministering to other women:

1. Women need help.
We as women desperately need help. We live in a hurting world. We need rest. We need joy. We need eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to sense the needs all around us.

2. The Lord is our Helper.
We tend to want to avoid people's needs. We try to skip over high maintenance women. (I confess I can be high maintenance at times!) But God can change lives. There are no tough nuts that God can't crack. Our help comes from the Lord. We have lost confidence today in the power of God to really help people, yet people need the Lord. Christ alone is the Savior–our job is to point people to Him.

3. God wants to use us as His instruments to help others.
Our ability to minister to the needs of others flows out of a godly life and character and an understanding of the heart and character of God. This is called the process of sanctification. In order to be helpful to others, we have to have the heart to help and the means to help. That's where God's grace comes in. He gives the supernatural desire and the power to do whatever is required of me to do.

4. God has provided the resources we need to effectively help others.
God is a need-meeting God who never runs out of resources, as He tells us in 2 Peter 1:3. What are some of those resources?

  1. The Truth: The problem with many women is that we believe lies. We need to help women identify the lies they believe. We also need to teach women how to counsel their own hearts with the truth. The wisest women may not have a lot of head knowledge but they have great confidence in the Word of God.
  2. The Word of God: God's Word has the power to transform lives. It is inspired, authoritative, and sufficient. Women today need to spend more time in the Word of God. Our goal must be to get women into the Word of God.
  3. The Power of the Holy Spirit: What we know may be good, but it's not enough. What women need is the Spirit of God bringing God's Word to life in hearts.
  4. Prayer: One of the most wonderful things to do for others is to get them to the grace of God, and we do that through prayer.
  5. The Body of Christ: Growth and change take place within the context of the community of faith–the body of believers. The lone ranger Christian sets people up to not get the help they need.

Nancy ended her talk by sharing her favorite personal ministry: the aisle ministry! It is a ministry that takes place before and after each church service in the aisle of her church! She stands there and waits for the people God puts in her way!

Nancy’s talk was followed by Elyse Fitzpatrick’s. Many of you know her through her extensive writing ministry. She is practical and biblical and consistently points us back to the cross. Here are some of the highlights of her talk:

We need wisdom to know how to help one another. When we don't know what to say, we must ask the Lord for wisdom and be reminded of the gospel. Life is often not as it should be. We all need help at one point or another. There are a million voices telling women what to do and where to get help. But only Christ offers us the help we need. Jesus didn't come to us as a life coach. The point of the Bible is that we can't do it on our own! Someone has to do it in our place. That someone is Jesus.

The gospel impacts us in every way. It reminds us of our main problem, and it is that we are sinners. It's our nature. A great definition of sin is this: Sin=Poverty of Love. The failure to love others is linked to our failure to believe in God’s love for us.

The primary goal in our life is to love the Lord with all of the mind, soul, and heart. Idolatry is when we love anything above God. Our problem is that we love other things more than we love God. All of our sin flows out of idolatry. Our idolatry leads to multiplied sin and misery. 

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is enough? What is it in your life that means more to you than God?

Your idol is whatever you’re willing to sin to get. Your idol is whatever you’re willing to sin because you don’t have. That’s your functional God.  If unbelief and idolatry are our primary problems, what is the solution? We as Christians have good news!

We are justified! Justification can be defined in two basic ways: Just as if I'd never sinned, and just as if I'd always obeyed.  Christ's perfect record has been applied to my account. We are forgiven and righteous. 

So the primary question of the Christian is not, "What would Jesus do?"  The primary question should be, "What did Jesus do?"

People will never do enough to cause us to love them. Our ability to love others is rooted in Christ's love. We don't love others based on their performance. If we do, we will continue to struggle. Only Jesus can rescue us from idolatry. He came to save sinners. There is no room for self-help in loving others. Only God’s love is able to transform us.

By the time Elyse was done with her session on women helping women, my cup was already overflowing, but there was even more to come: a panel with four amazing women including Susan Hunt, Karen Waddles, Linda Green, and Sarah Krause. Each covered some great insight into how to minister to other women.

If you made it to the pre-conference, then like me you know by now that the waiting was worth the wait! If you didn’t make it this year, then remember there’s always next year in Schaumburg!

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Lina Abujamra

Lina Abujamra

Lina is a Pediatric Emergency Room Doctor in Chicago and the women’s ministry director at her church, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows Campus. She is the author of Thrive, and blogs at Living With Power where she provides biblical truths for everyday life.

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