The Rider on the Red Horse ~ Revelation 6

Even though I spent months studying the book of The Revelation a few years ago, I am gleaning so much from our slow journey through the book right here on the blog. I hope it is a blessing to you, friend.

Last week we were privy to the breaking of the first seal on the seven-sealed scroll by Jesus, which began the release of the FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE. The rider on the white horse was loosed to conquer, and we discussed what all of the details might mean. If you missed that post, please go HERE to read it. Also last week, you were able to download and print the Revelation 6 drawing by Lisa. I hope it was a blessing to you.

Today, we open our Bibles to Revelation 6:3-4 and watch Jesus break Seal #2, setting loose the second of the four horsemen, the rider on the red horse.

 

3 When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!”

4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

 

We are not told the timing of the breaking of these seals, so we are left to wonder if one follows immediately on the heels of the other, or if there is some lapse of time between them. I suppose it does not really matter or the Lord would have told us.

 

 

Rider on the Red Horse ~ Seal 2

 

 

When Jesus opens the second seal, the second living creature shouts “Come!” and another horse appears, this time a red one. Like the first horse, this red horse has a rider, and this rider has been given a sword. The Word tells us that this rider has been granted permission to take peace from the earth which results in people taking the lives of one another.

These verses are fairly self-explanatory. One thing I want to point out is the Greek word used for ‘slay’ is one that denotes incredible violence and bloodshed. Consequently, many scholars believe the appearance of this rider brings widespread war to the earth. I would like to share a passage from one of my commentaries with you so that you can grasp the far-reaching nature of what likely takes place when the second seal is broken.

The quote is from The New American Commentary: Revelation by Paige Patterson.

 

“Jesus himself predicted that there would be wars and rumors of wars, which has certainly been the case throughout human history. With the opening of the second seal, the reader is introduced to a worldwide involvement in such conflicts, surpassing the world wars of history, the cold war, and all other conflicts of the the human family.”

Patterson goes on to tell us: “Even in eras of war so widely extended as the two world wars, there has never been a time when segments of the earth did not remain essentially at peace. The uniqueness of the tribulation period seems to be that this second rider signals the taking of all peace from the earth.”

 

Another commentator (Stedman) called what will take place ‘civil anarchy’ and ‘raw, red slaughter’.

Ezekiel 38 and 39 also tell of the kind of destruction, death, and desolation that will occur as the events of the Revelation take place when men war with one another all across the earth.

 

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

 

 

The takeaway from our time in Revelation today is that the world is going to be an infinitely more horrendous place one day than it is today. The blessed news is that it will not stay that way forever. Jesus will return to earth, banishing death and destruction and setting up His Glorious Kingdom. Only those who know Him as Lord and Savior will live in that Kingdom.

Are you ready for His return?

 

Can You Discern Right From Almost Right?

If you were to come visit me at my home, I would send you directions to my home. I’m a pretty darned good direction giver. I would give you a starting location and tell you about landmarks along the way. I would give you the street name and number for my home. I would even tell you which fork in my driveway to take to get you to my front door.

So, let’s assume I gave you those directions to my home, but I made one teeny, tiny error. I left one number out of my street address. Oh, not on purpose, but let’s blame it on auto-correct!! Danged auto-correct!!!

Suppose my street number is 7639, but I give you 639. Every other word of the directions is correct, except the street number. How difficult will it be for you to find me? Probably pretty hard.

But, but, I was almost right. What’s a little number between friends?  

 

 

Can you discern the difference between right and almost right

 

Well, friend, you just found out that there is a big difference between being right and almost right.

Theologian Charles Spurgeon said, “Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”

We live in a culture that has blurred the line between right and almost right so much that the two are nearly indistinguishable. It would be wise for us to step back a few paces and ask this question: “how do we discern between right and almost right?” I believe there are 3 things we need to understand in order to do this.

God’s Word is Right and Truth

Scripture is the standard that we, as Christians, must use to determine right from wrong. God’s Word is unchanging. It does not pander to the latest fads or political correctness. It was spoken by God, lived by Jesus, and is authenticated in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. What was right for the people of Jesus’ day is still right for us in 2016.

You may not like that, and to be honest, there are times that I do not like it. But the truth is the truth. God’s Word is our standard and plumb line for our lives as Christ followers. Period.

 

Know What Right Looks Like

When a person is being taught how to discern if a piece of paper money, such as a dollar bill, is counterfeit, they are not initially shown the fake money. Instead, they are taught what the real thing looks like. They are schooled in the inks, paper, techniques of printing, and many other things. In order to know what the counterfeit bill looks like, they must know everything about the real bill.

So it is with you and me as Christians. We must be able to spot the ‘almost right’ in our culture and to do that we need to know what the ‘right’ looks like. We need to know everything we can about what is right, and the only way to do that is to study God’s Word. Spend time in Bible study. Sit under godly teachers of the Word who do not bend the truth or water down the Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to recognize the ‘almost right’ that is so prevalent in our culture today.

 

Determine to Stand Solidly on Truth

Friend, the more pages that fly off the kingdom calendar, the more difficult it will be to not only discern right from almost right, but the more difficult it will be to stand up for right. In the United States we are seeing the distinction between right and almost right; right and wrong, blurred until even Christians are being deceived. We are seeing highly sought after Christian speakers espouse philosophies and lifestyles that the Bible says are sin. The truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being watered down so much that it is hardly recognizable flowing off the lips of some pastors and teachers.

You and I MUST stand solidly on the TRUTH of God’s Word. It may be difficult to do, but we must STAND ON TRUTH. It may cost us dearly, but we must STAND ON TRUTH. It may make us the object of derision and ridicule, but we must STAND ON TRUTH.

My heart breaks for the scores of people being led down a dangerous path of ‘almost right’ by Christians and unbelievers alike. Now, is the time for you and me to be warriors in prayer. We must fight on our knees for our nation, our state, our town, our church, our family, and our own hearts. Do not fall victim to the deception of Almost Right.

The Loft Link-Up ~ Fathers

THE

 

We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted.

We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:

 

June 22 ~ Fathers

June 29 ~ Pot Luck

July 6 ~ Freedom

July 13 ~ Still

Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

Now, it it time to get to today’s link-up. Our prompt today is FATHERS. Tell us all about your summer vacation plans for this year or past years. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.

 

The Loft

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft

 

Now it is time to linkup!

 Loading InLinkz ...

The Rider on the White Horse ~ Revelation 6

Here we are in the sixth chapter of The Revelation. THIS is the point where the action really ramps up. This is also the point at which we will slow our journey to a snail’s pace. I’ll go ahead and warn you….we will be in the sixth chapter for about six weeks. There is simply too much material that I feel we need to cover well to rush through. I hope you will stay with me, stay engaged, and stay in prayer for wisdom and understanding. There are many opinions on the meanings of the events of chapters 6-22. Let’s be sure to give grace to those whose opinions differ from ours as we study the opening of the seals and the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

 

We will begin by downloading and printing Lisa’s drawing of Revelation 6. Just a reminder…the downloads are free, even though you may get an error message asking you to create a payment method. Simply click through the error message and sign up for the download.

 

1 Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!”

2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.

 

 

Revelation 6 Rider on White Horse

 

Jesus, the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, has been found worthy to open the scroll, and open it He does. He takes the scroll from the hand of God, the Father, and cracks the first seal. Immediately John hears a voice that belongs to one of the four living creatures we met in chapter four. The creature shouts, “Come!”

Whooo—eeeee! There is no turning back now. The cracking open of the first seal has set in motion the events of the end times. One has to wonder if the living creatures had been banned from saying the word ‘come’ for all of history until now. When the first living creature shouts ‘Come’, John immediately sees a white horse. The opening of each of the first four seals will bring forth a horse, so let’s consider this first one today.

John saw a white horse with a rider. The rider had a bow and a crown. This rider had one purpose…to conquer.

Now would be a good time to ask a few questions like:

  • Who is the rider of the horse?
  • Why is the horse white?
  • What is the significance of the bow and the crown?
  • What or whom will be conquered by this rider?
  • Have the events of verses 1 and 2 already taken place, or are they yet to take place?

 

There are differing schools of thought regarding the identity of the rider of the white horse. Some believe him to be Jesus. This line of thought does not make sense to me for a few reasons:

  • Jesus has just opened the scroll in heaven.
  • The bow that the rider carries has no arrows to accompany it, therefore it is useless. Jesus does not come to fight with a bow. When He comes He will fight with the Sword of his mouth.
  • The crown the rider wears is the stephanos (Greek), the victor’s crown. Whenever the Scripture mentions Jesus’ crowns, it always speaks of the diadema (Greek), the kingly, or royal crown.

 

Another commentator believes that this rider on the white horse is not a specific person, but rather a force, or ideology. He asserts this rider to be false peace.

I tend to line up with the thinking that the rider on the white horse is ANTICHRIST. He gives the shadowy appearance of being like Christ, (Jesus rides a white horse in Revelation 19) yet he is definitely not Jesus because of the reasons I mentioned above. Additionally, God allows antichrist the latitude to conquer earth for a time through lies and deceit, but some day God will yank the leash of antichrist and he will be done.

 

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

 

As we go through our study of the seals, trumpets, and bowls, we will see that the opening/sounding/breaking of one often precipitates the next one. I believe that the opening of the first seal that releases the antichrist to conquer then leads to the events and happenings of seals two through four (peace is taken, famine, and death).

Has the first seal been broken yet?

It is certainly a question that begs an answer, and one could argue that it has. I would question the sanity of anyone who argued that Satan is not alive and well on planet earth. The Bible, yes, even the same apostle John who writes Revelation, makes it clear in 1 John 4:1-3 that the spirit of antichrist is already in the world. John also tells us that not only is antichrist coming, but many antichrists have already come in 1 John 2:18-19. The atrocities and moral declines that we have seen take place in our generation certainly point to a furthering of antichrist’s agenda.

I believe that God has had an antichrist waiting in every generation…waiting for the moment when God decrees that enough is enough and He looks at His Son and says, “Go, get my children!” When that happens God will loose antichrist to accomplish his evil purposes in the latter half of the seven years of tribulation.

Hold on tightly, people. The ride is going to get bumpy from here on out in Revelation until Jesus reigns, but God has given us this marvelous book so we can know and be prepared for whatever comes. Now, let’s engage.

  • Is there anything from today’s study that challenged your faith?
  • Do you have thoughts to offer about the identity of the rider on the white horse?
  • What do you think…has the first seal already been broken?

Sharing the Excitement of Tasting Grace – Pre-Buy Opens Today!

Y’all, I have been sitting on this for months! Today is the day that I finally get to share all about my latest writing project. Today is also the day that YOU can join in the fun.

If you have been reading my blog for more than a few days, you already know about Tasting Grace, the mentoring in the kitchen ministry that I have been doing for the last year. In case you do not know about it, let me tell you.

In the spring of 2015, my friend, Jan Morton, posted pictures online of a ministry that she was doing in her South Georgia church. It was called Taste & See and was a mentoring in the kitchen ministry. My heart was so taken with what Jan was doing that I decided to try it for myself. I tossed out an invite on Facebook and, in a snap, had a handful of ladies take me up on the offer to come into my kitchen and learn to make homemade biscuits. The morning was a smashing success and led to more sessions with more ladies. I called my events Tasting Grace.

I began thinking about how Jan and I could share what we were doing with other women who have a heart for speaking into the lives of younger women. The Lord gave me the idea of writing a book that included every part of a Tasting Grace event. Thus Tasting Grace the book was birthed.

 

Tasting Grace Pre-buy

 

Tasting Grace is a book that offers women (and men, if they are so inclined) a complete how-to guide to hosting their own event. The book includes four weeks of Bible study with a focus on biblical mentoring. There are five days of Bible study in each week of the study that will take about 10-15 minutes each day to complete. Also in the book are recipes, devotionals, and tips from Jan and me on how to host a Tasting Grace kitchen event in the reader’s home or church.

Although the book will not be in bookstores until August 1st, my wonderful publisher, Warner Press, is opening up the order department for pre-launch orders. Beginning TODAY, and running through July 18th, you can pre-buy Tasting Grace. It would be such a blessing to me to know that my home folks, those of you who read my writing and support me so beautifully, were the first to order my newest Bible study.

If you pre-order the book, you will get some pretty cool extras, like a digital version of the book in addition to your print copy. TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!!!  You will also get access to a private Facebook page for the book. Finally, in addition to the wonderful recipes contained in the book, pre-buy friends will receive a few extra special recipes that are our favorites.

So, here is how you can order as part of the PRE-BUY. Click on this link to be taken to the Tasting Grace page on the Warner Press website. You are going to find a lots of information there about the book. You are also going to see the amazing, blessed endorsements the book has received. On the Tasting Grace page you can sign up for updates and FREE things. This page is the spot where you can order the book via the PRE-BUY OPTION. 

So, head on over to THIS PAGE and check it out.

From the bottom of my heart, I send you a thousand thank-yous.

It’s My Birthday and I’m Giving You A Gift

Happy Birthday this week…..to Me!

I remember as a child being so excited about my birthday. My Mother always had a birthday party for me, and there was cake, punch, onion dip and chips….and of course, birthday gifts. My friends were invited and a great time was had by all.

This week I will celebrate my birthday. Turning 52 is not a milestone, but it is something that I want to celebrate with you, because you are my friends. And to do that I am going to give YOU a GIFT.

I am excited about offering this gift to you because it has the potential to be a wonderful blessing to you.

It is not a piece of clothing, but you definitely want to put it on.

It is not food, but consuming it will strengthen you.

It is not a book, but the words contained within have the power to grow your faith in God.

 

What I am giving to you as a BIRTHDAY GIFT is a little something I made that you can personalize and use in your quiet time with Jesus. I have taken familiar (and perhaps not so familiar) Scriptures and created a way for you to personalize each one with your name in it so that the Scripture promise contained within speaks intimately to you.

 

Scripture Promises Gift

 

Many of you who signed up to receive my weekly newsletter have received a copy of this with your name already inserted. The download that I am offering this week has a blank so you can insert your name or another person’s name into the verse.

Praying Scripture is a wonderful way to communicate with God because we are praying His Words back to Him. It is also a super way to deeply embed Bible verses into our hearts and souls. So, here is my GIFT TO YOU. Simply click the DOWNLOAD button and it is yours. No purchase required. FREE to YOU from Me! NOTE: You will receive an error message asking you to enable a payment gateway. Ignore it. Just click on through and finish the download. You will find a link that says “Scripture Promises” on the Payment Confirmation page. Click on that link and the download will begin.

Oh, and feel free to share this post with friends, so they can have the FREE GIFT as well.

 

I’m taking the rest of the week off from the blog to rest and relax with family. I’ll be back next Monday with another Revelation post. Have a wonderful week.

An Invitation to Hop Off the Merry-Go-Round

I don’t know about you, but all too often I find myself trapped on the merry-go-round of life, seeing the world as a spinning blur. You, too?

 

An Invitation to Hop Off the Merry-Go-Round

 

Good morning!

Today I want to take a few moments and encourage us all to bring the merry-go-round to a halt for a moment and look around us. But first, let me tell you what brought me to this point.

I am currently reading a book entitled Roots & Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons by Christie Purifoy. In Roots & Sky, Purifoy chronicles the first year of the life of her family in a new-to-them home. There have been several passages from the book that have spoken intensely to my heart, and today I want to share one of them.

“We fool ourselves if we believe that life is the tedium of our to-do lists broken up by occasional highs, like a baby’s homecoming, and occasional lows, like that baby’s first terrifying trip to the emergency room. Everyday life is utterly extravagant. It is morning glories we did not plant. It is four children we did nothing to deserve. It is moonlight and starlight, rainbow-colored leaves and autumn rains. It is the shelter of trees, the songs of birds, and the enduring sight of a farmhouse on a hill. It is more beautiful than it needs to be. It is more meaningful than we can begin to comprehend.”

I will confess that quote hit me like a ton of bricks because I have a tendency to look at life as the tedium of my to-do list…everything running together, with occasional highs and lows. Rarely do I take the time to consider the everyday beauty of things that would not be considered a high, per se. The days I work as a pharmacist, I just pray to survive until quitting time. The days I am home doing my work as a bookkeeper and wife and author, I rarely slow down to consider the beauty within that day. Are you guilty of this, too? Please tell me I am not the only one?

Today is different. Today, right here with you, I want to consider the beauty that surrounds my life. AND, I want to encourage you to do the same. Here are a few of those beautiful, ordinary things:

  • the hummingbird that flies up to my office window and peers in at me
  • deer that wander and play in our front yard
  • the mountains that surround me and speak life into my soul
  • a husband that loves me unceasingly
  • a hosta, planted by my Mother, in the base of a tree that returns every year, reminding me of her love
  • a glorious sunset over the ocean
  • a hug from a friend at just the right time
  • the smell of freshly cut grass
  • the love of the most wonderful in-laws a girl could ask for
  • the privilege of entering God’s throne room any time I want and laying my requests before Him
  • baby birds in nests around my home

There is so much beauty in my life, and I want to be aware of it, every single day. I want to be thankful for it always.

Now, it is your turn. Hop off the merry-go-round for a moment and ponder the beauty of the ordinary in your life. I would love to hear what you see. Please share in the comments about your beautiful life.

Thank you for allowing me into your life today. I count it a high privilege when you read what the Lord gives me to write. I will be taking a bit of a break next week, but will have a post on Monday that you will not want to miss. It will contain a GIFT FOR YOU!! So, please check back on Monday. Have a lovely weekend!

The Loft Link-Up ~ Things That Have Shaped My Faith

THE

 

We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted.

We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:

June 8 ~ Things that have Shaped My Faith

June 15 ~ NOTE: We are taking a one week summer break. No link-up today!

June 22 ~ Fathers

June 29 ~ Pot Luck

Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

Now, it it time to get to today’s link-up. Our prompt today is THINGS THAT HAVE SHAPED MY FAITH. Tell us all about your summer vacation plans for this year or past years. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.

 

The Loft

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft

 

Now it is time to linkup!

 Loading InLinkz ...

The Worthy One ~ Revelation 5

Y’all last week was pretty amazing, wasn’t it? We sat as still as flies on the wall as God held out a scroll sealed with seven seals to whomever was worthy to open it. John, in the throne room of God, cried like a baby because no one was found worthy to open the scroll. Today, we continue our journey in Revelation 5 where we discover if anyone was found to be worthy to open the scroll.

Oh, by the way, are you part of the Facebook group for this study? In that group I have linked every post in this series. If you would like to join the group, please send me an email to info@leahadams.org and I will send you back a link that you will need to click on in order for me to add you to the group. 

 

Worthy One ~ Revelation 5

 

 

Did you download and print the Revelation 5 drawing last week? If you missed it, please go here to get it.

 

Let’s read all of Revelation 5 today.

1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.

2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”

3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it,

4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.

5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne.

8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,

10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,

12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

 

This passage from Revelation 5 has all the makings of a dramatic scene straight out of Hollywood. There is weeping in heaven because no one was found worthy to open the scroll. Then, suddenly there is silence as a heavenly light shines on One near the throne. The music swells as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ, steps forward and takes the scroll out of the hand of God. Every eye in the room, every eye on earth and in heaven is on the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world.

In a split second the weeping in heaven has turned to rejoicing and praise. Jesus is the undisputed Worthy One. Why is Jesus worthy? We are told in verses 5, 9 and 10. Jesus conquered. What did He conquer? He conquered sin and death by shedding His blood on the cross and paying the ransom that death had placed on each soul who ever breathed earth’s sin-polluted air.

Consider the anthem of praise that is raised to Christ:

 

“for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

 

I could teach from those two verses for quite a while. It is the story of atonement and redemption and sanctification. Jesus did the work of salvation, and because of His work, He is worthy to possess and open the title deed to earth and mankind.

In these verses, Jesus is called by several names. I want to give you Scripture references for each for additional study outside this post, then offer you something marvelous to ponder.

Lion of the tribe of Judah ~ Genesis 49:8-12

Root of David ~ Isaiah 11:1-10 and Revelation 22:15

Lamb standing as though slain ~ Isaiah 53, especially verse 7

 

Let’s camp for just a moment on the fact that Jesus is the ‘Root of David’. One of my commentaries, The New American Commentary, referenced Matthew 22:41-46 where Jesus asked the Pharisees a question that apparently stumped them. “Whose son is the Christ?”

Every good Jew of that day knew that the Messiah would be the son of David. Yet, Jesus goes on to ask the Pharisees why it is that David, in Psalm 110:1, calls Jesus, “Lord”. Jesus was forcing the Pharisees to consider not only His incarnation, but also His pre-existence. The New American Commentary says this:

“Messiah is at once the root from which David himself arises, and he is the offspring of David through his incarnation. That he is both the Root and the offspring of David is possible because of the Lord’s preexistence.”

Is that not stunning? Have you ever considered that? This would have been heresy to the Pharisees because Jesus was solidifying His Messiah-ness with these words. The fact that this description, Root of David, is used in Revelation 5 is a clarion call to the Jewish heart to believe and receive Jesus before it is too late.

This is a long post because I included the entirety of Revelation 5 in it, so I’m going to wrap it up and encourage you to study the worship portion (verses 9-14) on your own. It is definitely worth your time to consider the worship of Jesus that takes place in heaven.

Now, let’s engage:

  • What from our study today encouraged your heart or blessed you?
  • As you study Revelation, I hope you will begin to see Israel as the target audience of the book. What have we studied thus far that supports that theory?
  • Please share anything that speaks to your heart from the worship portion of chapter 5.

Mentoring: Lessons from An Older Woman

Mentoring. Are you a mentor? Do you have a mentor? Today, I’m thinking all about mentoring lessons I have learned. Let’s start in Titus 2, the classic biblical passage on mentoring.

 

3 Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that is appropriate for someone serving the Lord. They must not go around speaking evil of others and must not be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good.

4 These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children,

5 to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God. Titus 2: 3-5 (NLT)

 

 

Mentoring: Lessons from an Older Woman

 

 

The Lord has given me the distinct privilege of entering into mentoring relationships with several young women. Each of these precious women bless me in unique ways. It is through these relationships that I realize I am the ‘older woman’. Flitter, I am old enough to be a mother to the girls. May I let you in on a little secret? If you are one or two steps ahead of someone else in your Christian walk, then you, too, are an ‘older woman’.

I still sometimes wonder why in the world the Lord would allow me the privilege of walking with these young women? I, of all people, have blown it over and over. When I was their ages I was making one poor choice after another, in spite of being raised in a Christian home.

Why would the Lord allow me to speak into the lives of these beautiful women? One reason that has become very clear to me is that in some measure, I have learned that if I’ve blown it, I need to own it. The world is looking for authenticity. There are too many Christians walking around the dusty sod of earth looking like they are just happy all the time. I know better than that. No one gets it right all the time. No one. So, when I mess up, I’ve learned the best thing is to admit it, learn from it, and be willing to share what I’ve learned when God gives me opportunity. Please understand, I’m not seeking to glorify my sin, but rather to focus on how the Lord loves me and moves in to clean up my messes so He can use me.

In my early years of ministry I was focused on women in general. I believed, and still do, that women are the primary focus of the ministry God has called me to. However, it was not until I read David Kinnaman’s book entitled ‘unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why It Mattersthat I was able to narrow my ministry focus.

As I look at Titus 2: 3-5 I find several things that correlate with the ideas I gleaned from Kinnaman’s book:

 

  • I learned that ‘to live in a way that is appropriate for someone serving the Lord’, I needed to learn what the Lord desired. It was imperative that I learned to see and love others with the heart of Jesus. That was HUGE for me!!
  • I ‘must not go around speaking evil of others’. This very much includes those who look, act, and believe differently from me. I had to learn to see everyone through the eyes of Jesus. In doing so, my heart has been softened and I have had the incredible opportunity to enter into dialogue with people whom I would not otherwise have connected.

 

  • My responsibility is to ‘teach others what is good’. In order to be able to teach others what is good, I had to know what Jesus calls ‘good’ and what He calls ‘bad’, which means I had to dig deeply into the Word in order to know my Savior’s heart. Once again, loving like Jesus loves is key. I must allow the Holy Spirit to lead me and speak through me, never abandoning my convictions, but speaking the truth in love and honesty.

 

  • As I seek to ‘live wisely and be pure’ through the power of the Holy Spirit, I can teach young women how to do the same, using examples of my own poor choices to encourage them to make better choices.

 

  • ‘Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.’ The opposite of bringing shame on the Word of God is glorifying the Word of God. My heart’s desire is to illuminate the Word of God and the God of the Word and encourage young women (and men) to pursue Jesus, and only Jesus.

 

Has God put young people in your life? If so, you have an obligation to do these very same things. …to mentor them in living the Christ-life. Perhaps you are already mentoring a young person. I’d love to hear about that relationship. Have you ever had a mentor yourself? Tell me about them.