Invest. It’s been the theme word of my life for over a year now.
After several years of being taught the word of God and trained by godly men and women how to be a faithful woman of the word, God pressed on my heart to focus on being intentional to invest all I had learned into other women. I had been teaching in one-on-one discipleship for awhile, but God opened the door to be able to invest in the women at church via leading a women’s bible study. I taught them a study out of Titus 2 that I wrote, called Invest.
That experience was like a long awaited dream come true! I’ve had a burning desire to teach the word of God since I got saved, but had to properly prepared to teach sound doctrine. It was a long, hard road, but it was well worth it.
I didn’t know it at the time, but getting to teach those women was just training for the next platform God would give me. I taught them for about a year when we were called out from our home church to plant a new church in the next county. Giving up that ministry was so hard. I was excited about being a pastor’s wife, and leading the women’s ministry for our new church, but leaving all of those sweet disciples behind was bittersweet.
I know that the word will not return void, and that the truth that was invested in them will continue to work on their hearts and minds, and be evident in their lives. I hope and pray that those women grabbed hold of the desire to invest and are actively doing that today.
~Philippians 1:9-11~ And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
After a few months in our new field, I started this blog, and then began teaching the Invest study here with our new women’s ministry. Since the material has been such a blessing to us, I wanted to put portions of it on Daily His Disciple to expand the reach of the word.
In the first installment of this series, I gave you the first couple of questions that we should ask when we study the bible. You can read that post here.
The first question is: What does the text literally mean to the people it was written to?
The second question is: How is God revealing himself, and what can I learn about Him in this passage?
Approaching bible study in this way helps us to put the scriptures into context, and to give us a deeper understanding of the character of God. After we’ve asked these two questions, we can then move onto:
The third question is: What does this text mean to me personally and how does God want me to apply it to my life?
So often we open our bibles asking this question and none other. We read the scriptures to learn more about who we are, or to get our nugget for the day. For years I read the bible this way. Until I read a book called Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin. This book revolutionized my bible study! If you haven’t read it yet, you really should get it, read it, and begin applying the bible study tips she shares. You’ll be glad you did!
The first section of the Invest study covers the context and lays the foundation for the rest of the study. It’s based on Titus 2:3-5~The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
In this passage of scripture, Paul gives the character that a woman of God should possess, and how to get it– by being taught by an older, more spiritually mature woman. God wants you to learn so you can teach.
It’s not enough for the pastor to teach sound doctrine from the pulpit. (Even though that’s wonderful!) If it were, we wouldn’t have these instructions. God knows that ladies need other ladies to teach them how to be godly and bring him glory. We need to see it lived out, we need the accountability, and we need the counseling that comes with discipleship.
An aged woman is spiritually mature and proven faithful. This is a woman who has gained some wisdom and is able to teach other women because her character and conduct line up with the guidelines God gives for a godly woman. All of us are younger or older than someone else, both physically and spiritually, and should be learning and teaching no matter what our age.
Just like a succulent summer garden, diligent plowing, careful sowing, and daily watering, yields rewarding fruit. We should each desire to be fruitful, and what I want to stress with this study is not the quantity of the fruit, but the quality.
We will reproduce what we are. So we have to be intentional about investing in our own spiritual growth so that we can produce Christ-like disciples.
Ways to invest in our spiritual growth:
- Read and study the bible
- Pray faithfully
- Listen to sermons
- Attend church regularly
- Have fellowship with mature believers
- Get discipled
- Attend Bible studies
- Read books by solid Christian authors (Recommended Resources post coming soon!)
- Be involved in ministry
- Listen to wise counsel
To be intentional in these things means that we’re going to have to be:
- Disciplined over our flesh
- Diligent to prioritize our time
- Determined to choose to invest in the spiritual rather than the physical
- Discerning of what is the best use of our time, talent and treasures.
If your days look anything like mine, we all too often find ourselves:
- Distracted by worldly pursuits
- Daunted by daily plans
- Defeated by guilty pleasures
Don’t you know that that’s exactly where the enemy wants to keep us? Because when we are lost in the fog of our flesh, or deafened by the noise of this world, we’re ineffective for the kingdom. We can’t invest in someone else what we don’t possess ourselves.
~Romans 13:14~ But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Teaching the younger women good things was not an option for these mature women, it was expected. It was their role within the body of Christ, to help establish sound doctrine in the church. This was how they contributed to making the body of Christ stand out above the wickedness and perversion of the world around them.
As believers and members of his body, we are also responsible for bringing him glory through the teaching of his word to other women in life-on-life discipleship. It’s effective. Women teaching women works, if we do it well.
Take stock of your life right now. Do you have the character of the aged woman in Titus 2:3? Then find someone to invest in! If you’re in the younger woman stage, where you need a more mature woman to invest in you, then find one! Pray for God to send you a ministry-minded, mission-focused, virtuous woman who will faithfully invest the truth of God’s word into you and help you to grow in faith, character, and ministry as well.
~2Timothy 2:2~ And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.