The Mysterious Woman


Back in January, I gave my first Sunday sermon at Hope Chapel. Many of you came out to hear my “first real sermon” and I really appreciate your support. Even though that was the Sunday all the church leaders were out on a retreat, the sanctuary was full. Thank you.

The sermon was about the most mysterious woman in the old testament. We don’t even know her name but she wrote one of the most famous passages in the Bible. Curious? You will have to listen to the sermon to find out who she was. Or read Jim Davis’ notes below.

The first service I completely fell on my face technologically. I forgot my VGA adapter and even when someone in the congregation had one the projector completely failed to work. I have never in my life had a technical failure so catastrophic in front of so many people. The sound guy gracefully cut the first few frantic minutes of the sermon from the recording.

Listen/Watch

Here are the notes put together by Jim Davis. He created the notes for small group discussion.

Lesson

Satan intends to kill the current generation of God’s people and destroy the mission God has given them, but God heals and protects His children.

Text(s)/Resources

  • Proverbs 31:1-9, Matthew 28:19-20, and Psalms 139
  • AlmightyMusicVideo.com

Ice-Breaker:

  1. Have you experienced an interest/hobby consuming large amounts of your time? Dominating your interests and thinking?
  2. Have you felt an “adventure-shaped” hole in your heart, your thinking? Do you long for a more interesting/exciting life?

Background:

Proverbs 31 is famous for its description of a competent woman, but the first 9 verses are the words of a mysterious (unnamed) woman, the mother of King Lemuel. She speaks to her son, who is (or will be) a king. Notice that she has advice, feedback for him, but she speaks from the perspective of her listener. She speaks to his identify, before she speaks about what she thinks he should do. Rather than admonishing him to avoid a failure she anticipates, she speaks to his identify and encourages him to live up to the level of who he is.

Satan is the opposite. He would have his hearers forget who they are: children of God Almighty. Rather than encourage, Satan seeks to steal, kill and destroy.

Point 1 of 3: Steal. Thomas shared that as a child he loved computer games. They consumed his interests and time. Near the time he was finishing high school, an older brother (Lester Haines) spoke a word to him: “It is time for you to be about your Father’s business.” Thomas knew (though perhaps Lester did not) that his life was oriented in large degree around gaming, to near-addictive levels. The addition to activities can be very similar to drug and other addictions. So Thomas understood God to be telling him to  give up gaming.

Thomas further understood that he wanted adventure and that gaming attempted to fill the “adventure-shaped” hole in his heart. Soon after this word was given him, Thomas began to experience the adventure of evangelism. Sharing the gospel with others was scary. But riding a roller coaster is scary. That is why one rides them. The scariness is an adventure, the ride is exhilarating. The enemy would steal true adventure from us. Don’t let him.

Point 2 of 3: Kill. The mysterious woman of Proverbs 31:1-9 told her son to avoid drinking, a metaphor for forgetting one’s role. She told him to live up to the levels required/expected of a king and to protect and speak for those who are helpless. Today, the mute and helpless are the unborn. 1 in 3 Christian woman have an abortion. These women are much more likely to suffer psychological disorders later and experience shame, guilt, and brokenness because they are unable to seek forgiveness and healing.  Babies are killed and mother’s souls are grievously wounded.

Point 3 of 3: Destroy our mission. God intends this generation to make a difference, to carry out His purposes. To take actions and/or speak out. Failure to do so results from apathy. Apathy means “hard heart.” In this generation there is a word “meh.” Meh can be defined as a verbal shrugging of the shoulders and it is growing more widespread. At a time when we should be embracing the mission of going into the entire earth to share good news, the enemy promotes the response of meh — because he wants to destroy this generation’s mission.

Digging Deeper:

  • What has been stolen from you? What are you now missing that you believe you previously possessed and used?
  • What is your current identity? Who are you?
  • What adventure calls to you? What stops you from pursuing it?
  • What can others you trust do for you to help you recover your identify and mission?

Wrap-Up:

  • Pray for each other to encourage recovery of identify in Christ
  • Pray for each other for forgiveness and healing of secret shames and guilt.
  • Prayerfully remind each other that all need saving and as we are able to give Jesus our guilt and shame, He is faithful to give us joy and life, healing and wholeness.

Outreach/Mission:

  • We are not all called to be involved in every area of outreach. Some may seek to help the homeless, some others seek to help the unborn. What jazzes you? Think of a person whom you really hope will recover what has been stolen from them. What could you say to, or do for, that person this week?
  • Do you want more information, or training, in the area of sharing good news? Who can you ask to teach you, or partner with you? Plan to speak with that person.

Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the author of Courtship in Crisis, the former head of PracticalCourtship.com, and co-founder of the Austin Rhetoric Club, a homeschool speech and debate club in Austin, Texas. He is a professional speaker and CEO of Author Media. He sits on the board of directors for several nonprofits, including the Texas Alliance for Life.