EMBRACING THE CALL
Y O U A N D T I T U S 2 N E W S L E T T E R
We are encouraged to focus on what really matters during the Thanksgiving and Christmas Seasons. So many precious moments of love and reflection are stolen by busyness and things. With that in mind, I’d like to ask you, “How do you determine what really matters?” It is truly worth your time and effort to consider this question carefully. There is some form of filter in your mind that is used to process how you will spend your most priceless commodity, your time. Time, once it has been spent can never be earned again.
The mental filter for how a person spends her time is constantly being shaped by various things. I’d like to submit to you that is is being conformed to the world or being transformed.
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is
good and acceptable and perfect.
R O M A N S 12:1-2
Perhaps your process for making choices happens unconsciously as you live your moments, days, hours,
and years. I believe this Romans 12 passage is calling us to a higher standard of purpose-filled lives that
are pleasing to God, lives that are “holy and acceptable.”
Now, back to my original question, “How do you determine what really matters?” The phrase “by testing you may discern” in the ESV (Romans 12:2) is a translation of the single Greek word “dokimazō.” It means, “to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals; to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve and deem worthy” (blueletterbible.org). It is a pretty intense word that signifies effort. This effort seems only possible as a woman’s mind is being “renewed” so she may discern the will of God. What really matters must be determined in the light of God’s Truth, and it is the standard by which we must scrutinize our days.
A woman who is “conformed to this world” (Romans 12 2) may sincerely believe she knows what really matters (Proverbs 4:18-19). And obviously, a godly woman will make mistakes. She is not perfectly sanctified in this life, but she is being transformed. She must do the work of examining how she spends life by testing according to God’s Word, the Bible.
Paul prayed for the believers in Philippi to abound in love more and more. He wanted their life choices to be based upon real love, but that would require “knowledge and discernment” (Philippians 1:9).
9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
P H I L I P P I A N S 1:9-11
During this season of celebration, may the knowledge of a loving God who has given the most precious gift our minds can possibly fathom help you discern what really matters! May your love abound more and more as a result of the gift you have been given. Test your daily options according to God’s perfect will for you. Let me challenge you to help a younger woman to experience this meaningful life as well.
Learning To Discern What Matters
But his master answered him, “You wicked and slothful servant? You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered not seed?”
M A T T H E W 25:26
In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:19-27), the master calls out his “wicked and slothful” servant for his dishonest excuse. He had created a defense that was not even logical and was clearly unacceptable. The servant is not condemned because of a lack of talents or ability. The master accuses him of two flaws – wickedness and laziness. On the other hand the master declares that his other
servants were good and faithful!
Matthew 25:21 ESV
His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
Psalm 90:10-12 adds to the power of this parable.
Psalm 90:10-12 ESV
10 The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. 11 Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? 12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
It is the Lord who can teach us to number of days correctly. As a Christian woman you have a responsibility to serve Him and make the most of this span of time before you “fly away” (Psalm 90:10) to “the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21).
What might be reasons people neglect to be thankful for the expected acts of others? Is it also true that people can neglect to be thankful for the expected acts of God? Identify some of His expected blessings in your life.
Consider Psalm 106:1. Why is it hard to imagine that a God who is perfectly good in every way and at all times has an enduring love for you? How does that inspire a thankful heart?
Why do you think the peace of God will guard your heart when you take everything to Him in prayer with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7)? What are things about ourselves we must overcome in order to sincerely have a thankful heart to the Lord? Why would the things you have identified be able to still your peace? Describe a time when peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) was obvious in the life of another person or in your own life?
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:15-19 twice. What is the most difficult command in that passage and explain? The attributes listed in these verses are God’s will for His children. How do you think obeying these commands could impact those around you? How do you think disobeying them could quench the Spirit of God in your life?