“I am Elizabeth” Bible Study: LESSON ELEVEN
Lesson 11— I Support the Work of the Lord
People who go on mission trips regularly say they are blessed even more than the people at the other end of the mission. That said, not every Christian is meant to go into the mission field abroad. Some Christians are meant to help send others; to support the work of the Lord through prayer, encouragement, assistance with travel duties and financial aid. All parts of that support are good.
Scripture tells us about Zechariah and Elizabeth:
Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly (Luke 1:6).
John the Baptist was not divine but his teaching of repentance encouraged people to look to God for future salvation through Jesus. John even baptized Jesus in preparation for Jesus beginning His earthly ministry.
The angel of the Lord told Zechariah about his son, John:
“He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:16-17).
Even though Elizabeth had been born of the priestly line, because she was a woman, ancient Jewish society did not allow her to be a priest. What she could do though was support the work of her husband and those men who were able to serve in the Temple. Certainly, as a righteous Jewish wife, she would have taken care of Zechariah—seen that he was fed and clothed and that his home was taken care of so he could devote his attention to his temple duties. She would have encouraged and supported his ministry at the Temple, helping him prepare for the practice of his priestly duties. Supporting our husbands and being a helpmate to them is one of the things God calls His women to do.
God also calls us to raise up children who know and love Him. Although we love receiving flowers and phone calls on Mother’s Day, we sometimes dismiss the importance women have in how we can shape our children to become the adults God desires them to be.
And the child (John) grew and became strong in spirit (Luke 1:80, explanation added).
As a righteous woman who observed all of the Lord’s commands and decrees, Elizabeth would have mothered her child whom God had ordained to personally help prepare the way for the Lord. Elizabeth would have done everything she could have to have raised John to become a godly man. If she were still living when John began his ministry, she would have encouraged him and supported him. She would have used whatever gifts God had given her to aid in the work of the Lord done by both her husband and her son.
We also have God-given gifts that He expects us to use for His purpose and to support others in the use of their spiritual gifts. Not all of us are teachers. Not all of us have the gift of leadership or administration. But our specific gifts—when used together—work together to benefit the Church. Paul compares individuals and gifts to the parts of the body.
If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body (1 Corinthians 12: 17-20).
We have a commission from Jesus to tell others about Him. He has made each of us both His hands and feet to do and to go for Him. He asks that we live a life that models Him, using our specific gifts together with those of our brothers and sisters in Christ, so that together they benefit the whole.
If Elizabeth were here she would say this was her story. She supported the work of the Lord.
Who are we to God? When we support the work of the Lord—even through others—we understand how God might see His women of faith. We can respond:
I am like Elizabeth.
For Thought and Discussion
- What gifts and abilities do you have? How might God use them to support others?
- How might God want you to use your gifts directly in the Church?
- What concrete ways might you be able to support the work of the Lord? How might you pray specifically to support the work of the Lord?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us spiritual gifts. Sometimes we aren’t aware of what we can do or how we can use those gifts for your purpose. Please show us ways in which we can support others who are spreading the news of Jesus in our world today. Amen.
You can find all of the links to each of the lessons in the Bible study HERE, and join us right from the beginning of our study on the life of Elizabeth in
“I am Elizabeth” by Carol Peterson.