|Volume 24 Number 5 May 2022
Martha Lynn Rushmore
We must work on improving ourselves. What do I mean by this statement? I mean, we need to grow as Christian ladies. The more we grow, the more we will improve, and we will be able to do more for the congregation of which we are members. There are many ways in which we can improve ourselves and grow in the service of the Lord. We can grow by studying by ourselves or with Christian ladies in a group. I enjoy being in a ladies’ class because I get so many ideas of ways to make myself a better Christian, because ladies have many great ways for all of us to grow in the Lord.
We can learn more Scriptures, learn to pray, learn to meditate on God’s Word, memorize verses of the Bible and many other ways to grow. How can we teach others if we have not studied the Bible other than to know how and why we became Christians? Our ultimate goal is for a person to be taught what is needed for her to become a child of God.
It is wise to go into a Bible study knowing where the Scriptures are found before trying to teach others the way of eternal life. In 2 Timothy 2:15, we are told to study the Scriptures, rightly dividing the Word. How can we rightly divide the Scriptures if we do not know what the Bible says? We can’t! This does not mean we need to know everything in the Bible; that is an impossible task. We do need to know the basics. The only way we can know God’s Word is by studying, as well as attending worship and Bible classes. During Bible study, the teacher should be using the Bible. Likewise, the preacher ought to use the Bible. We, as auditors of class teachers and preachers ought to follow along in our Bibles. As listeners and students of God’s Word, we are obligated to verify from the Bible that truth is being taught (1 John 4:1; 1 Peter 4:11).
Louis and I got into a situation trying to teach a young lady not to live with her boyfriend, maybe to be his wife. She did not have a scriptural divorce, and therefore, she does not have the right to get married again, according to Matthew 19:9. She had an affair while married to her husband, and then, she divorced him – also leaving behind three children. He did not treat her right by what she told us. He was not innocent in this marriage either. So, you see in this situation, she is not free to remarry, and he may not be either. She had made up her mind that she is too young to be alone. Unfortunately, she knows the Scriptures as well as we do. We quoted Scriptures, and her answer was, “I know what the Bible teaches, but someday we are getting married.” We were not the only ones trying to work with this younger woman. This is sad. However, we can only try to help those who will help themselves and be guided by God’s Word.
Sometimes the limit of what we can do about a particular situation is to resort to prayer. Prayer is a general term that includes any “talking to God.” When we pray, we need to include in our prayers what is taught in 1 Timothy 2:1-6. Supplication – is making requests to God. Prayer – is a close communication with God. Intercession – is pleading for others, such as the sick, the poor or needy, those having financial problems, those husbands and wives having marital problems and any other things that may be going on in their lives. Giving of thanks – is for our blessings. When we pray to our Father in Heaven, we should thank God for all He has given us. Many think they got all the things and money they have because they worked hard and long, having gotten these blessings on their own. This is far from the truth. Everything we have comes from our God (Ecclesiastes 2:24; 3:13; Matthew 5:45; Acts 14:17). We should forgive as found in Matthew 6:12. God will forgive us if we ask. We commit sins daily, some we know and some we do not know. In Romans 3:23, we are told, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Do you remember Simon in Acts 8:22? He wanted to be able to perform miracles like the apostles, and he tried to buy this ability from them. He was told to repent and to pray to God for forgiveness. We can ask for wisdom according to Philippians 4:6. We want to make wise decisions and desire our actions to be the best. There are plenty of people watching us, and we want our influence to be for good. In our prayers, we make requests for sinners, for Christians, for our families and friends, and for our enemies. God is our Heavenly Father, and He wants us to talk to Him. Our earthly fathers want us to talk with them, not just when things are going badly but when things are going well with us, too. God wants us to talk with Him when things are well with us. When things go wrong, people are more inclined to pray to God for help. When things are going well for them, then they seem to forget God. We also need to acknowledge that our prayers are in the name of Jesus. In Matthew 6:9-13, we have an example of our Lord teaching His disciples to pray. Today, we can follow this example, with the exception of praying for the kingdom to come. It has already come, following the death of Jesus on the cross and the establishing of His church. We need to watch our thoughts and words. People in the world and in the church watch our everyday actions and language. People are watching us, even when we are not aware of them being around us. There is a song, “Watch Your Eyes.” Do you know this song? We can help the church grow by the way we talk, by the way we act, by the way we dress and by where we go.
There is a saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” This means what we put in our minds is what is going to come out in our thoughts, out of our mouths and in our actions. If we do not want GIGO, then we must replace it with “Best in, Best out.” I just made the BIBO up for our purpose of doing good. What are some things that would be considered GIGO? Dirty jokes, swearing, using God’s name in vain, using euphemisms, reading books with a lot of bad things in them. What are some things that would be considered BIBO? Reading our Bibles, memorizing Scripture, prayer, spending time with Christian friends talking about the Bible, listening to Christian music and many other good things.
In Matthew 12:36, we are told that we will be judged for every idle word. We are also told in Philippians 4:8 to keep our thoughts pure. “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are no noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue. And if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” The only way we will not be held accountable at the day of Judgment is in this life to ask God that we might be forgiven.
We all want to go to Heaven when we die, and when we will stand before the Lord on Judgment Day. Therefore, ladies, we must be prepared at the time of our deaths. As Louis has said many times, “We are only one breath away from eternity.” So, let’s work on going to Heaven and take someone with us.