Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Women are Hungry for the Truth!

By Jill Briscoe

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.. ~ Ephesians 5:16

We must buy up the opportunities we have before the night comes.

This is the day of opportunity. Our church took a survey of two thousand women in our community to find out what they were thinking, and how our women’s ministry could best meet their needs. Out of all of those interviewed, only a handful of women were hostile or refused to talk with us. We need to buy up these opportunities.

Colossians 4:5 tells us to walk in wisdom toward those who are “outside” – redeeming the time. Paul goes on to explain that in this wise walk our speech must be salty (there will be a tang to it) so that we may know how to answer every person. Redeeming the time means cultivating the “know-how” of argument and debate. Redeeming the time means that by our very lifestyle, we will engender some questions from others.

Once in a train full of rowdy, drunken football fans, a young Christian was sitting quietly, reading. An old gentleman, observing first the drunks and then the young man, said to him “You seem to have found the secret to life – do you want to share it?” Our young friend lost no time “redeeming the time”!

Paul even goes so far as to warn the married that “the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none”! (I Cor. 7:29). We must ask God for a great sense of urgency.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Would We Want People Imitating Us?

By Jill Briscoe

Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children. ~ Ephesians 5:1

Our son Pete wanted a bird! His sister had left for college and he was feeling lonely. Without giving the matter much thought, I bought him a cockateel.

When Pete emerged bleeding from the bathroom after the first and last training session with his new-found friend, “Cornbread” (we found out later he should have been called “Cornelia”) was relegated to a life within the walls of the cage in Pete’s room. “Talk to him, Pete,” I urged my son over the next few weeks; but the novelty of the pet wore off and my urging was to no avail.

We donated Cornbread to a friend (now an enemy!) and told her, “Don’t worry when you hear deep breathing in the middle of the night!” The poor bird had heard nothing more than Pete’s deep slumbering sighs and so had imitated them! Have you ever heard a cockatiel deep-breathe? It’s eerie.

But all of us learn by imitation. Paul said, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (I Cor. 11:1). We are to watch carefully, listen acutely, and pick up every inflection of our Master’s voice!

Would we want people imitating us? The very fact that we are being watched should force us to deal with our erratic behavior and not cause others to stumble.

Jesus had some hard words about people who cause others to fall. He said it would be better if stones were tied around their necks and they were cast to the bottom of the sea! (see Lukas 17:2).

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