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; Romans 15:4)
Notes from a women’s Bible study, “Christ is Everything to His Followers,” and used counseling and prison work. If you missed the last post, you can go back and read Christ-like Qualities in Abigail (Part 1).
Abigail was an Old Testament woman of faith and the second wife of King David. We read about her in 1 Samuel chapter 25. Abigail was an intelligent, articulate, wise, diplomatic, and sympathetic person who made the best of a difficult situation. Her first husband, Nabal, was harsh, foolish, and a drunkard. Despite Nabal’s shortcomings, Abigail was a great wife, protecting him when he was unwilling to act wisely. I won’t recount the facts of her story, but here are some Christ-like virtues Abigail exemplifies:
7. Be Kind (as Abigail was). Kindness is the truest revealer of a person’s greatness. The best exercise for strengthening your heart is reaching down and lifting people up (Ernest Blevins). Prov 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Eph 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Col 3:12 As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
8. Be Humble (meek, but not weak). The Christian is like ripening corn; the riper she grows, the more lowly she bends her head (Thomas Guthrie). Luke 14:11 All those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Prov 22:4 Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life. 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.
9. Trust & Obey (when outcomes are uncertain). What is obedience? Submitting my will to the Lord I trust (Andrew Murray). Heb 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please God; we must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Rom 8:28 We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.
10. Be Resourceful, Creative & A Quick Thinker (like Abigail). Resourceful people see opportunities when others only see obstacles. By her swift action and skillful negotiation, Abigail kept David from taking revenge against Nabal. She looked beyond the short term crisis, saw the big picture, and was a wise peacemaker. Psalm 8:4-6 What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet. Gen 1:1,27 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth….God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. Phil 4:13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
11. Protect Your Family (even foolish members). Safeguarding others from harm is honorable. Not doing so is cowardly. Abigail did all she could to keep her husband out of trouble. Prov 31:10-12;27,28 A wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her….She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life….Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Psalm 116:6 The Lord protects the unwary (simple, foolish, inexperienced); when I was brought low, He saved me. 1 Cor 13:7 Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
12. Be Loyal (even to foolish relatives, without being blind to their faults). Loyalty is the strongest glue which makes a relationship last for a life time (Mario Puzo). Prov 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Prov 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 1 Cor 16:13,14 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.
13. Be Submissive to Others (but not passive, not a doormat). If you don’t surrender to Christ you surrender to chaos (E. Stanley Jones). Rom 13:1 Let everyone be subject to governing authorities….They have been established by God. Titus 3:3 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good. Eph 5:21,22 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
Prayer: Father of love, wisdom, mercy, and compassion, make us like Jesus. Transform us so that we are helps to others, not hindrances, in furthering your plans and purposes. Fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we can proclaim your good news to the poor, freedom for prisoners and oppressed people, and recovery of sight for the blind. Help us to imitate all that is good in Bible characters and to avoid all that is bad in them. Help us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily, and follow you, so that we may truly live as your disciples. Make our walk to match our talk. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.
Go in peace, beloved. Walk with King Jesus today and be a blessing to others!