Biblical Ministries Through Women: God's Daughters and God's Work

Biblical Ministries Through Women: God's Daughters and God's Work

by Jack W. Hayford

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God has a mission and ministry for every believer, and women have always been called to make a significant contribution to the ministry of the church. This study guide explores the role of women's ministry in the Bible and the church today. Readers will learn about the unique and dynamic contributions of many key women in the Bible, and find guidance for discovering their own role and ministry in the body of Christ.

The Spirit-Filled Life® study guides are perfect companions to the New Spirit-Filled Life Study Bible or for use on their own. Their interactive approach offers an in-depth look at practical living in God’s kingdom and challenges users to examine and live their daily lives in the light of God’s Word.

Features include:

  • 12 lessons, plus an introduction to experiencing the hope and purpose that come with living with God's covenants in view
  • Foundational, practical helps like Kingdom Extras, Probing the Depths, and Word Wealth in each lesson

Spirit-Filled Life® Study Guides sold to date: More than 1.5 million

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781418549251
Publisher: HarperChristian Resources
Publication date: 07/02/2012
Series: Spirit-Filled Life Study Guide Series
Edition description: Study Guide
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Jack W. Hayford is currently the President and Rector of the King's Seminary in Van Nuys, California. For 30 years he served as the founding pastor of the Church on the Way. He is also the president of the International Four Square Church. Among many of his more than 40 books, are: "Foundations for Living" and Bless Your Children", awarded with the Christian Publishers Book Award.

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Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Jack W. Hayford
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4185-4925-1

Chapter One


Women of Virtue

Kingdom Key—The Virtuous Woman

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

This Kingdom Key verse is from a passage of Scripture familiar to most women. It describes a "virtuous woman." This high standard for womanhood originated with one who was herself a virtuous woman, Lemuel's mother. She presents an inspiring goal. The cultural details of her specific tasks are different in our era, but the principles are timeless.

Read through Proverbs 31:10–31 and note how many verbs it contains; this woman seeks, works, rises, provides, perceives, stretches, extends, reaches—in this short passage, more than twenty verbs are used to describe the actions of this industrious woman. No mention is made of her physical traits; her personality is not described. The picture we are given of this paragon of virtue is made up entirely of her character—the way she interacts with the world around her.

At the heart of this short passage, you will find a powerful truth—"a woman who fears the lord" has available to her all the things that make for a blessed life filled with joy, appreciation, love, and contentment.

Let us begin our journey through the biblical examples of women of virtue and discover how to walk in the abundant life God means for His women to enjoy.

Read Proverbs 9:1–6, 10; James 1:22–25; 2:14–26.


What similarities do you see between Proverbs 9:1-6 and Proverbs 31:1031? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

What do you see as the single most important quality of a virtuous woman? (Proverbs 9:10) __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

From the passages in James, what reason can you find for the industrious nature of the Proverbs 31 woman? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

In what ways do you live an active faith? In what ways do you fail? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Word Wealth—Virtuous

Virtuous, chayil (khah'-yil); Strong's #2428: a force, whether of men, means, or other resources. In other places in Scripture, this word is also translated as valor, strength, power, and substance. A virtuous woman is a force to be reckoned with because she finds her strength in God.

Kingdom Life—Eternal Significance

A virtuous woman not only cares physically for her home and loved ones; she is also a watchman over the emotional and spiritual condition of her family (Proverbs 31:27). The Hebrew word translated as "watches" is tsaphah (Strong's #6822), which is translated as watchman in other places in Scripture. Taking her position as watchman seriously, the virtuous woman not only cares for her family with serving, ministering hands (Proverbs 31:20), she also serves diligently as a prayer warrior. This is seen in Proverbs 31:13 wherein the Hebrew word kaph is translated as "works." Kaph carries the connotation of commitment and preparation of an offering. As used here, it symbolizes upturned hands extended in prayer. Confident in the God to whom she prays, the effective woman knows she has eternal significance.

Read Philippians 4:6; James 5:16.


Do you pray for your loved ones regularly and fervently? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

In what way does praying for your loved ones give more expression to love than the physical acts of caring? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

What are some biblical examples of praying women? What can you learn from their prayer lives? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Kingdom Life—Meet Your Sisters

God, through His Word, has given us the opportunity to meet for ourselves many women just like us–women who experienced many of the same challenges, joys, and anxieties we do today. This lesson will allow you to glimpse the women you'll meet as you journey through Biblical Ministries Through Women as well as a few others whose stories contain great messages for women today.

Throughout the ages, God chose specific women whose stories would be told in the pages of His Word. He chose them for a reason. Each one has a lesson to teach. If we strive to become virtuous, godly women, we would do well to look to our sisters and discover God's truth as it is presented through their lives.

The following questions are designed to help you begin focusing on some of the women of faith you will encounter in this study. Be as honest and transparent with your answers as possible. This is not a test; the point is the discovery of truth.

Read Genesis 12:1–20; 16:1–6; 18:9–12; Exodus 12:1–9; 15:20, 21; Numbers 12:1, 2; Judges 4; Ruth 2; Esther 10:1–19; Luke 1:26–38; Acts 18:1–26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 18:26; Acts 16:13–15.


In what way(s) can you relate to Sarah? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Nothing is too hard for God. Do your reactions to problem situations reflect that truth? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Is it ever appropriate to criticize those God places in authority? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

How important are the things a woman says? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Would you be willing to act as courageously as Deborah on a matter of personal conviction? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

From where did Ruth draw the strength and courage to face her difficult trial? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

What is a kinsman-redeemer, and how does that relate to you today? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

What role did faith play in Esther's life? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

What was Mary's response to what was required of her? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

What is shown about the nature of God through the mothers of Scripture? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Why do you think true hospitality is such a rare and unusual thing today? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

What is God's intended purpose for wives? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

What about for women in general? How can we serve Him from our "Jerusalem" (Acts 1:8), from the place of our most immediate influence? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Probing the Depths

Read Ephesians 5:22–33.

Submission is a biblical concept that has become the source of controversy and debate within the church. Some women are offended by the mere suggestion that they subjugate their wills to that of anyone—especially their husbands.

The truth is that all believers are called to live in mutual submission to one another. This applies in a unique way to the marriage relationship.

The wife is called to submit to her husband "as to the Lord." The word translated as "submit" is the Greek word hupotasso (hoop-ot-as'-so, Strong's #5293). It means to willingly subordinate, to submit to control, to obey, or to yield. It is a military term that conveys the idea of arranging troops under the command of a leader. In non-military use, it is a voluntarily cooperation for the common good. Thus, a wife is called to serve, honor, edify (build up), and obey her husband. Her attitude toward her husband, according to this terminology—"as to the Lord"—is to be one of highest esteem and regard.

In a matching—even more, an initiating way—the husband is called to lay down his life for his wife. He is to sacrifice his own interests in order to enhance hers. His role is to nourish and cherish. In this way, each marriage partner contributes to bringing the other to their full potential.

A marriage lived out in this mutually loving environment mirrors the interactive love that Christ has for His church and His church is called to have toward Him.

Read 1 Peter 3:5, 6.


What are your feelings regarding submission within marriage? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Is there a point where submission is wrong? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Given the atmosphere of today's world, is the topic of submission even a relevant issue anymore? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Read Genesis 2:23, 24. In what ways does this passage pertain to submission within marriage? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Record Your Thoughts

This lesson has provided a peek into the lives of just a few of God's daughters. One important thing to keep in mind is that this and the following lessons barely scratch the surface of some very deep and difficult issues. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to be accepted as the final word; but they should stir you, inspire you, convict you, and perhaps even provoke you into further examination and discovery of God's Word.

Allow the following sessions to lead you to the feasting table of God's Word. Once you've tasted of the King's bounty, you'll willingly accept His invitation to return as often as you can.

In your brief review of these biblical women's lives, what concept(s) did you encounter that seems most foreign to you? In what way? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Make a list of the attributes you see in these women's lives that you desire to cultivate in your own. __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Chapter Two


Sarah, Daughter of Faith

Kingdom Key—Absolute Assurance

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

This well-known verse is often referred to as the definition of faith. However, it is more aptly understood as a description of how faith works. Faith is an established conviction concerning things as yet unseen and a settled expectation of future reward. The Greek word translated as "substance" literally means "a standing under," and was used in the technical sense of a title deed. The root idea is that of standing under the rightful claim to a property to support its validity. Thus, faith is the title deed of "things hoped for." That hope, that assurance, rests on God's promises.

Read 2 Corinthians 1:20.


What are the promises you cling to at this point in your life? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

In what way should knowing Jesus is the fulfiller and fulfillment of all the promises of God increase your ability to stand firm in your faith? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Kingdom Life—Triumphant Faith

In this same chapter of Hebrews, we find Sarah listed as an example of one who, along with her husband Abraham, excelled in faith (11:11). In so doing, she saw God miraculously intervene on her behalf and use her life to further His will. We will examine how her faith endured through many transitions, failures, difficult points of submission, and heartbreaking trials. Though beautiful, Sarah did not rely on her outward appearance (1 Peter 3:3, 4), but displayed great character, grace, dignity, and courage. We can discover much from the life of Sarah that will help us walk in the triumph of faith.

Read Genesis 11:27—23:2.


What qualities, positive or negative, do you observe in Sarah? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

In what ways can you relate to the various situations in her life? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

What about her led to her ability to stand strong in faith in spite of her circumstances? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


Excerpted from BIBLICAL MINISTRIES THROUGH WOMEN Copyright © 2012 by Jack W. Hayford. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Preface v

Keys of the Kingdom vii

Session 1 Women of Virtue 2

Session 2 Sarah, Daughter of Faith 9

Session 3 Sarah and Lessons of Faith 19

Session 4 Miriam, Daughter of Ministry 31

Session 5 Miriam, Daughter Who Spoke 43

Session 6 Deborah, Wise Leader 57

Session 7 Ruth, Daughter of Faithfulness 71

Session 8 Ruth, Daughter of Redemption 83

Session 9 Esther, Daughter of Purpose 95

Session 10 Mary, Daughter and Mother 109

Session 11 Priscilla, Daughter of Virtue 123

Session 12 Lydia, Daughter of Hospitality 135

About the Authors 147

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