Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free….Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (John 8:32; Rom 15:4)
Notes from a women’s Bible study and “Christ is Everything to His Followers.” Used counseling and prison work.
We learn most about Abigail in 1 Samuel chapter 25. She is wise, winsome, gracious, godly, with strong confidence in the Lord. In Abigail, God joins intelligence and physical attractiveness. She’s a beautiful woman with a beautiful mind and one of God’s masterpieces. God is her Father and Abigail has the Lord’s joy that helps her shine for Him in a miserable marriage. She has the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is precious in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:4).
We are saved from our sins by God’s grace alone, by faith in Jesus Christ alone. It’s God’s gift, not our doings that save us, so He gets all the glory (Eph 2:8,9). And we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good things, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10). By God’s help, Abigail shows Jesus-like character and conduct in a tough predicament and she is a model for all women, men, girls, and boys to imitate. I won’t recount the facts of her story, but here are Christ-like virtues that I see in Abigail:
1. Be Wise & Prudent (in dangerous situations). True and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: knowledge of God and of ourselves. This is our wisdom, to be learners to the end. To search for wisdom apart from Christ is utter insanity (John Calvin). Abigail was a wise counselor who prevented Nabal and David from taking rash actions. James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you….Prov 2:6-8 For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones. Ecc 7:12 Wisdom is a shelter….Wisdom preserves those who have it.
2. Be Courageous & Bold (not paralyzed by problems). Bravery is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it. A person without courage is a knife without an edge. Boldness in Christ is absolutely necessary for goodness (Richard Glover). Deut 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. 2 Tim 1:7 The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
3. Be Selfless & Sacrificial (Abigail risked her safety). Sacrifice is the joy of giving the best we have to the Lord we love the most. Selflessness is the giving up of something we genuinely value in order to express our devotion to God (John Benton). Phil 2:3,4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Luke 6:35,36 Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. John 15:13,14 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
4. Be Servant-hearted (advancing God’s kingdom, agenda, plan, work). God cares more about our availability, than our ability. Service is the overflow of super-abounding devotion to Christ (Oswald Chambers). Luke 22:27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. John 12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. 1 Peter 2:16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s servants.
5. Seek & Follow God’s Revealed Will. The evidence of knowing God is obeying Him. Christ’s sheep are marked in the ear and the foot; they hear His voice and they follow Him (Eric Alexander). Rom 12:1,2 I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. 1 Sam 3:9 Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.
6. Be Generous. Liberality was formerly called honesty, as if to imply that unless we are generous we are not honest, either toward God or people (Tryon Edwards). Acts 20:35 The Lord Jesus said: It is more blessed to give than to receive. Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Prov 11:24-25 One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Go in peace, beloved. Walk with King Jesus today and be a blessing to others!
To be continued…