touchpoints for women
By Ronald A. Beers
TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.
Copyright © 1998 Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
All right reserved.
Chapter One ABANDONMENT
Does God abandon me during my difficult times?
PSALM 9:10 | Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.
PSALM 27:10 | Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.
JOHN 14:16 | [Jesus said,] "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you."
2 CORINTHIANS 4:9 | We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
God is always pursuing you, trying to get your attention. Are you aware of him? If you are sincerely looking for him, you are sure to find him because God will never abandon anyone who wants a relationship with him. In your difficult times some of your closest friends might neglect or even desert you, but God never will. In fact, your difficulties can become the means to help you look more intently for God—and you will see him right by your side.
Are there some things I must abandon in order to have a closer relationship with God?
PHILIPPIANS 3:8, 10 | [Paul said,] "I have discarded everything else.... I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death."
Abandoning those things that keep you from God is the best way to assure that you will not abandon him. If there is something in your life that is coming between you and God, work hard to get rid of it so you can have a closer relationship with him. Clinging to a sinful habit causes you to fall further and further away from God.
Promise from God Hebrews 13:5 | God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you."
I'm really good at certain things. Does God give me talents and abilities for a reason?
EXODUS 31:1-5 | The Lord said to Moses, "Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel.... I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood."
1 CORINTHIANS 12:6 | God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
Your talents and abilities are not random or accidental; they are part of the way God has uniquely designed you. God gave Bezalel talent as a craftsman and commissioned him to create beautiful objects for the Tabernacle. God does his work on earth through people, so he gives each person special gifts and talents.
Every ability you have is useful to God, so use each one for him. These abilities may become your full-time job, or they may simply be hobbies. Either way, God can use them to accomplish his purposes. It is exciting and deeply satisfying to do the things you enjoy for God's service.
MATTHEW 25:21 | Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities.
LUKE 12:48 | When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.
1 CORINTHIANS 10:31 | Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
The abilities you have are gifts from God, and with them comes the responsibility of using them well. You may be gifted in the area of cooking, entertaining, managing a business, sewing, handling money, playing an instrument, or some other gift. Use whatever gifts you have been given to bring honor and glory to God.
How can my God-given abilities have the most impact?
PHILIPPIANS 2:5-7 | You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave.
1 PETER 4:10 | God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
God has given you specific abilities and strengths. Sometimes you might neglect to use those abilities or get in the rut of using them only for yourself. When you see your abilities as gifts from almighty God, you will be humbled to think that he would value you enough to put these gifts in your care. Use them for your personal enjoyment, but use them also to serve others, for that is where they have the greatest impact.
Promise from God MATTHEW 25:29 | To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance.
When does life begin?
PSALM 51:5 | I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
The Bible points to the moment of conception as the beginning of human life.
What is the value of an unborn child?
PSALM 139:13-16 | You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
JEREMIAH 1:5 | [The Lord said,] "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations."
God is present continuously during the nine months of pregnancy—forming, watching, creating, and even scheduling each day of the unborn baby's life. Before a baby is born, God knows him or her personally and intimately and he has already established a purpose for the baby. The value of an unborn child is priceless because he or she is already a friend of God.
Is abortion absolutely wrong?
EXODUS 20:13 | You must not murder.
One of God's Ten Commandments is a prohibition against murder. In the abortion debate, the issue becomes this: Is an unborn child really a person yet? If the unborn child is a person, then aborting that child becomes murder. Murder carries grave consequences because it ends a human life that held so much potential, and it puts authority over human life into the hands of human beings rather than leaving it in God's hands. The Bible is clear that life begins at conception, not birth. Therefore, aborting an unborn child is terminating the life of that child and is absolutely wrong.
The abortion issue has nothing to do with me. Why worry about it?
PROVERBS 24:11-12 | Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. Don't excuse yourself by saying, "Look, we didn't know." For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
Every child needs a champion, especially the unborn child. Perhaps God is calling you to be a voice for the unborn or to support a cause that helps the unborn. Maybe he wants you to adopt a baby or to help a new mother cope with her new child. Pray and ask God how he might want you to help the unborn.
Can I be forgiven if I have had an abortion or encouraged someone else to have one?
PSALM 103:3 | [The Lord] forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
ISAIAH 1:18 | "Come now, let's settle this," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool."
1 JOHN 1:9 | If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
If you have had an abortion or encouraged someone to have one, you must clearly understand that it was wrong. But you must also clearly understand the wonder of God's grace and mercy to anyone who sincerely asks him for forgiveness. No matter how great your sin, God's forgiveness is even greater.
Promise from God JEREMIAH 1:5 | [The Lord said,] "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb."
I feel so unworthy—does God really accept me?
GENESIS 1:27 | God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
ROMANS 5:8 | God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
EPHESIANS 1:4-5 | Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
You are accepted by God because he made you and created you in his image. Nothing you can do will cause God to love you more, because he loves you completely. And nothing you do can cause God to love you less. In fact, God accepts you and loves you so much that he sent his own Son to die for you, to take on himself the punishment for sin you deserve. He died in your place so you can be accepted into eternity with him.
What makes me acceptable to God?
ROMANS 3:30 | There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.
GALATIANS 2:16 | We know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.
Sin separates you from a holy and perfect God. But faith in Jesus removes your sin, making you holy and acceptable in God's sight. When you ask for his forgiveness, he looks at you as though you had never sinned.
How do I accept others, especially people I dislike?
MATTHEW 5:44 | Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
ROMANS 14:1, 3 | Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don't argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.... Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don't. And those who don't eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.
Pray for those you dislike. Through prayer, God can help you see people through his eyes. Then, don't be so quick to make up your mind about who they really are and what they should or shouldn't do. Judging others is better left to God because it is so easy for us to misjudge people. He sets the standard for accepting others.
Promise from God JOHN 1:12 | But to all who accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
Is adopting a child right for me and my family? How can I know for sure?
PSALM 138:8 | The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for you made me.
JEREMIAH 1:5 | [The Lord said,] "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you."
MATTHEW 18:5 | [Jesus said,] "Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me."
There are some things in life you can't know for sure, but the Bible is clear on this: God puts a high priority on loving children. If you adopt a child and welcome him or her into your heart and life, you are demonstrating the kind of love Christ showed for you.
How has God adopted me? Why would he want to do that?
JOHN 1:12 | To all who believed [the Father's one and only Son] and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
GALATIANS 4:4-5 | God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, God adopts you into his family.
1 JOHN 3:1 | See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!
God's love for you makes him want to adopt you.
EPHESIANS 1:5 | God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
Adopting you as his child has been part of God's plan since the beginning of time.
1 PETER 2:9 | You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
God has adopted you to be an example to others of his goodness.
Promise from God EPHESIANS 1:4-6 | Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.... This what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.
How does God affirm me?
GENESIS 1:27 | God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:3 | [Paul said,] "I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said."
1 PETER 2:5 | You are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What's more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.
God affirmed you when he created you like himself. He values you so much that he was willing to send his Son to die for you because he wants you to live with him forever.
PSALM 5:12 | You bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.
JOHN 10:28-29 | [Jesus said,] "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father's hand."
COLOSSIANS 2:13 | You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.
God affirms you through his love, his blessings, his mercy, his forgiveness, and his gift of salvation. What greater affirmation is there than to be affirmed by the Creator of the universe?
How can I affirm others? Why is it so important?
ROMANS 14:19 | Let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.
1 CORINTHIANS 14:26 | Well, my brothers and sisters, let's summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:11, 13 | Encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.... Show [your leaders] great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
Affirm others by encouraging them, praising them, and building them up.
Promise from God ISAIAH 54:10 | "The mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken," says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
Is God angry with me?
EXODUS 34:6-7 | The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, "Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty."
God cannot tolerate sin and rebellion against himself; therefore any kind of sin or evil angers him. But he is ready to forgive because he is kind and merciful. When you humbly confess your sin and turn to him in faith, you will receive God's abundant love and mercy instead of his anger.
Excerpted from touchpoints for women by Ronald A. Beers Copyright © 1998 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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