Friday, September 28, 2007
Devotional #7 (part 3 of 1 Timothy 4:12 study)
Well, here it is, ladies! Part 3 in our 7-part devotional study on 1 Timothy 4:12("Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.")! If you have not had the chance to read the prior two entries, please click here and read them in order. :)
We have just finished covering the first part of the verse, which says "Be an example to the believers in word." We saw that we must watch what we say and how we say it, to insure that everything that leaves our mouths is to the complete glory of God. Now, we are moving on to another equally important aspect of our example-our conduct. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in conduct." This is so crucial and vitally important to our Christian walk, and to our example!! As I covered in my very first devotional, everything we do throughout our day, should be done to the complete glory of Almighty God. So, throughout your day, as you find yourself performing your daily tasks, ask yourself whether or not you are obeying Colossians 3:23: "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,". I know there are some tasks of homemaking that aren't exactly my favorite (for instance, scrubbing bathtubs ;]) but I also know that I will be held accountable for how I perfrom this task-whether I do a sloppy job, or if I do it heartily, and make sure that the tub is completely cleaned and scrubbed before I go on to something else. This is something that I've had to learn (and continue to learn more each day), and it's such a valuable lesson, one which we will need so much when we are homemakers ourselves, and not just homemakers-in-training. So, begin practicing now to go about your daily tasks happily and heartily, for the glory of God. There is no time like the present to learn valuable lessons which you will desperately need when you're a homemaker yourself one day.
Another thing we must take into consideration each day, is whether or not the movies and tv shows we watch, music we listen to, books we're reading or websites we log onto are bringing honor and glory to God, developing virtue and character in us, or if they are bringing down the name of God, are vulgar, impure, etc. If you begin finding that they are the latter instead of the former, completely cut these out of your life! Stop watching the tv shows, throw away the books, get rid of the CDs and movies, and block those websites! After you have done this, go to the Lord and ask for His forgiveness for taking part in such ungodly conduct and actions. Once you have done so, then go to your parents and ask if they would be accountability partners for you in this area, and also ask them to pray for you as well, that you would have the strength to forgo these prior habits. Also, if you find yourself in the company of friends with whom you engage in conduct that is less than godly (for more on this, please click here to read this devotional), then stop this conduct immediately. And if you feel the Lord's leading, completely cut off this friendship. It is better to lose friends than to disobey your Savior,the One Who is the Best Friend anyone could hope for, and the One who has promised to never leave you nor forsake you. If you, after examining yourselves and your actions, discover that your conduct has been ungodly and not honoring to God, then simply go to Him and ask His forgiveness, and ask for the strength to do better next time. And remember these blessed verses: 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." and 1 Corinthians 10:13, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." What blessed assurance!
Titus 2:4-5 says this, "that they[the older women] admonish [teach] the young women to love thier husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed." I can't even begin to tell you how very important it is that we as ladies conduct ourselves in a discreet and chaste manner. It is SO important! According to the 1828 Webster's Dictionary, to be discreet means to
be "prudent, wise in avoiding errors or evil, and in selecting the best means to accomplish a purpose; circumspect, cautious, wary, not rash, cautiously; of nice judgement of what best is to be done or omitted. The literal sense is, seperate, reserved, hense discerning." I've also heard it said that to be discreet is to "practice good and sound judgement in conduct and in speech." This means to not be flirty, obnoxious, loud, immodest in conduct, impure, seeking to draw attention to yourself, etc. Proverbs 11:22 (NKJV)says, "As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion." I think this verse clearly shows us just how important it is to God that we ladies develop discretion! Start working on that now and begin practicing discretion in your condcut and speech! Now that we've covered discretion in conduct, let's move on to being chaste in conduct. According to Webster's 1828 Dictionary, to be chaste means being "Pure from all unlawful commerce of sexes. Applied to persons before marriage, it signifies pure from all sexual commerce, undefiled; applied to married persons, true to the marriage bed. Free from obscenity. In language, pure; genuine; uncorrupt; free from barbarous words and phrases, and from quaint, affected, extravagant expressions." This, in a large part, goes along with being discreet. Our actions, demeanor, and words are to be complete pure, unflirty, modest, unobnoxious, meek and quiet, and glorifying to Christ. I believe that if we, as young ladies, do not worry and care about daily examining ourselves to see if our conduct and speech could be called truly chaste, pure and virtuous, and wholeheartedly desire for it to be so, then it is doubtful that we love our future husbands at all. Because, if we did, then we would make it our all to act in such a way that would be pleasing to him, and would not defraud him of any of your purity, be it physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. My saying this may seem a little harsh, but I believe with my whole heart that it is true, and so therefore it is crucial that we practice discreetness and chasteness in our conduct and speech now. For, remember, in 1 Timothy 4:12, we are called by God to be examples to the believers! They have to be able to look up to us as role models, and for them to be able to do so, we must be pure in our conduct and speech for if we're not, we will lead our brothers and sisters to sin, and we will be held accountable for that!
Please return Monday for part 4 in this series, which will be on us being examples to the believers in love. I pray that this series has been a blessing and encouragement to you so far, and will continue to be so. God bless!