Thursday, August 10, 2006

"God's High Calling for Women" - MacArthur

Oh Lord - it has been such a great week meeting with you on no particular schedule - like trying to get up before the kids and all that. Clay and I have gone walking every morning and had such a blast in the evenings. It has been one of my favorite "vacations" without leaving my home. I still hate that we didn't get to see Jeff and Courtney in Nashville, but we are determined to reschedule!! We have to make that priority!

I got a new study yesterday in the mail from John MacArthur's ministry, Grace to You. He is an unbelievable teacher and expositor! I dove right into the first CD and could hardly write enough. It was awesome. I even took it down to the pool to finish my first CD, but my CD player went goofy. That was a real bummer!

So MacArthur tackled the verse in I Tim. 2:9-15. This is the one that many ladies including myself get hung up on - it talks about wearing of braided hair, gold, and the likes. When you know nothing about what is behind this scripture one could say God doesn't want me to look nice, have nice things , or even wants me to just hide and not be seen. I know this is one the feminist jump on and start the man bashing. All of this scripture can be very difficult for one that is called into speaking knowing that there may be some parameters that God requires. I have not gotten that far down in the scripture and study, but I am anxious to know.

I was just at some friends house on Monday having the most delicious meal I had ever eaten in a long time. Enchiladas, rice and beans, chocolate cake, homemade salsa - I mean scrumptious! But anyway, we got to talking about how lax the dress has become in many churches today. Particularly in "seeker" churches. Clay and I visited one this summer to get an idea of what it actually was and we were way overdressed! I understand come as you are, but I really think that may be more along the lines of come as your heart already is and allow Jesus to change it! But come respectfully - you are meeting with the Savior!

This scripture, specifically verse 9, is talking about coming prepared to worship. In verse 8 Paul is addressing the men and telling them to come ready for worship with hearts not full of strife or arguments. In verse 9 Paul is telling the women to likewise come ready for worship, but not make it an affair with the way you dress or even the motivations in your dressing. The church of Ephesus was having a terrible time with men disrupting the services, women coming scantly dressed to attract men and even the married ones, and it just becoming a big show. An external issue for the women and internal for the men at this time!

The word adorn (cosmoa - or something like that) means to arrange, put in order, and to make ready. We are literally preparing, making ready ourselves for worship. We are not going there to draw attention to ourselves. That is messing up with the agenda of our Lord when we are distracting from His purposes in worship. The Lord longs to be worshipped and when we come to be "worshipped" it is truly a disgrace! This can be conscious or even subconscious! We are still responsible. He went on to say - this is my beef with the seeker churches - dressing messy, dirty, unkept, or even no differnt than any other day of the week does not honor our Lord in worship as well. It is unprepared, not in order, or not ready for worship like the definition explains!

Women of that day were putting big gold pieces in their braids, pinning jewels to their clothes, just anything and everything including showing skin. Sounds familiar!! WE want to be mindful of how it affects another. We want to attract others to our character and not our clothes in worship. We want the Lord to look down and be proud! We can be attracting to the opposite sex, but in worship is not the place! Living above reproach - it takes time, care, and diligence. It is easy to be like the crowd, Be different!

Thank you for this word and thank you for the convictions! Keep the kids safe and having an awesome time with everyone! I love you!

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