July 31, 2009

Hang On To Your Life And You Will Lose It

Day 10 of the 30 day Biblical Womanhood Challenge continues. This morning's message from Proverbs 31 was amazing: insightful, challenging, and encouraging!

"Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." Prov. 31:31 (NIV)
I had never thought of it in eternal terms before, but it completely makes sense. This is a reference to our reward that awaits us at Heaven's gates, Judgement Day, when we are told "Well done, good and faithful servant." Now don't freak out, I am not suggesting it's our good works that get us into heaven. No. In fact, this portrait of a woman has been written in Scripture to reveal to me that there's no way I can fulfill this. Just as the law was given to Moses and the Israelites to show them their sin, to show them their need for redemption, their need to be completely dependant upon a Savior. If I embark on a mission to become this woman on my own strength, I'll fail this very hour. But because of the finished work at the cross of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit in me, God can begin to work in and through me.
So, just as rejecting this portrait of a woman is sinful, beginning a mission to become this woman on our strength is just as sinful.
Another thing on my heart lately, and brought out in today's message, is the need to hang on to our lives. The world, and even women in church circles, say women need "me time," we have the right to our own careers, we have the right to do what we want with the money we make, we have rights, rights, rights!! Hmmm...
What does Jesus say?
"Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” --Mark 8:34-38 (NLT)
There isn't even a hint that this Proverbs 31 Woman is miserable by laying down her own life and doing the Lord's work in her home and serving her family. She is fulfilling God's mandate for her life, and the joy of the Lord is her strength. She will receive a reward for the work her hands have faithfully done.

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