Quips and Quotes
"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Theology - Necessary Soul Food for the Good Woman: Part One

The following article was written for the final in my Leadership Training for Women class. Please do not let the word "theology" deter you from reading it. It is my prayer that you will be pleasantly surprised and motivated to pursue the very thing that you might now think timidly about - theology. This article is lengthy, so I will be dividing it into meal-size portions.

Introduction

In the spring of 1975 God delivered me from a life of nominal Christianity that had failed to ease the searing ache of loneliness within my heart or enable me, timid as I was, to face life with even a minuscule amount of confidence. Nor did my puny profession assuage the guilt that ate like a cancer at my conscience as a result of a lifestyle of sin that my religion had allowed.

Jesus spoke to me in a moment, and in the days, weeks and years that have followed I have continued to hear Him say, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt. 11:28-29) He spoke, I heard Him and obeyed, and my life was wonderfully altered forever.

Outward things began to change immediately - my geographical location, my church and my friends - after the initial inward change. God shepherded me to a church where He was honored and His word was taught. The change of location proved to be a physical manifestation of my spiritual translation from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God’s Beloved Son – the Kingdom of Light.

There, in that Light, I saw the bounteous table set before me. Jesus was feeding the hungry again. I had taken on His yoke, was now learning of Him and resting as a result. The first thing God served me from His menu of spiritual sustenance was the nourishing truths of Himself – His attributes. “Theology proper” became my first spiritual health food. Served alongside this course was soteriology, specifically, my union with Christ. But I had no idea that “soteriology” or “theology proper” were the terminologies for what I was learning; and had you asked, “Would you like to take a course in ‘soteriology’?” I would have cowered in the corner, intimidated by your language (as would most Christian women, young and old).

But God put this theology before me in terms that were spiritually nutritious and healing, in terms that I could understand and apply. His love, eternality and immutability translated into solid truths that were entirely practical: God loved me from eternity past and nothing would ever change that (Rom. 8:35-39).

In learning about His righteousness, I was assured that my sins were forgiven now that I was clothed in Christ’s righteousness (soteriology), and it no longer mattered what anyone else thought or even what my own conscience whispered at times. These precious discoveries about my Heavenly Father and Savior outfitted me with a new-found confidence, and comforted me as I faced life without the consolation of a human companion, without the camaraderie of a man who could love both my children and me.

The courses I partook of in that rich environment were just part of the larger “thanksgiving meal” I have been fed ever since from God’s word. As a result, God became a husband to me and a father to my children. I found, like Jesus had promised, that I could rest and trust Him to meet my deepest needs. I discovered that He is faithful and true to His word. He cared infinitely about me and so I surrendered my situation to Him and gave up my quest for the perfect man. Moreover, where could I find the perfection that was in Christ? I knew He would never disappoint me and I was confident to wait for God to furnish my needed companion, if He deemed this best for me.

And of course, it was not long before He provided and proved Himself to be even more gracious than expected. It chills me now to think how differently my life would have been had those theological studies been absent from my spiritual diet. A malnourished Christian lives like the rest of the world, regardless of whether she makes her home in a sophisticated developed culture or in a primitive one. Surely I would have continued to flounder in the kingdom of darkness, with a hunger for the milk and meat of the word, but without any understanding of how to feed myself.

As I continue with this theme, the "whys" of theology for women will be presented. Stay tuned for this very practical and relevant aspect of the good woman's walk.

 

2 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Sharon,

I love seeing that email in my inbox that says you have added something new!

I have that anticipation......... like curling up in a corner with a great book, I am refreshed and renewed every time.

This article was a wonderful and as always, I look forward to the next.

Jann

Anonymous said...

Dear Sharon,
I was really encourage by your article on theology. It made me hungry for more!
Thanks so much for sharing!
Anne

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you!

_____________________________________________________________________________

© The Good Woman

Permissions:
You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on my website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Good Woman (Please see email option on sidebar to request permission).


Please include the following statement on any distributed copy written by Sharon Kaufman: By Sharon Kaufman. © The Good Woman. Website: the-good-woman.blogspot.com

Recent Comments

Every Tribe, Nation, Tongue and People...

Occupy Your Time for Christ's Glory!

Sing to Jesus


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

The Good Woman © Layout By Hugo Meira.

TOPO