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Category Archives: Godly Women

The Boldness of Grace in Love

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God’s Word tells us to speak His truths in boldness, which I do not have much problem with. What He is helping me with is speaking His truths in love. I take my Lord and His holiness and principles so very serious and try very hard to implement them in my own life, and sometimes I sound more harsh than I feel in my own mind when sharing those truths with others. And His Spirit is speaking to me on this subject. ūüėČ

I like to search things in God’s Word from time to time at a place called the Blue Letter Bible. Today it was on my heart about sharing His holiness and why we hold Him up on high instead of bringing Him down to our level where we are comfortable, and doing that in a kindly, loving fashion. I found this devotional there and WOW, did it ever speak volumes to my spirit.

I share this now, not just for others who may need it but to help me internalize it and put it to use in my own walk with Jesus:

The Boldness of Grace

Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness…And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. (Acts 4:29, 31, 33)

Those who serve God acceptably must do so by grace. “Let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably(Hebrews 12:28). Those who serve by grace find that the boldness of grace develops in their lives.

The early church gave testimony to this reality. Soon after Jesus’ ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were boldly proclaiming Jesus throughout Jerusalem. This was extremely aggravating to the religious leaders: “being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Acts 4:2).

When they arrested the disciples, Peter boldly preached Jesus before the Jewish authorities. “This[Jesus] is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved(Acts 4:11-12).

This bold application of prophecy and proclamation of the gospel astonished the religious establishment. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John‚Ķthey marveled (Acts 4:13). Yet, in their hardness of heart, they further threatened the disciples.

Being released, they gathered the church to pray for continued boldness. “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word.” The answer to this prayer was another filling with the Spirit, resulting in further boldness. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” This filling of the Holy Spirit brought great measures of God’s grace actively working in their lives, sustaining this powerful witness of the risen Christ. “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.”

This is the boldness of the new covenant of grace. “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech” (2 Corinthians 3:12). This hope is new covenant confidence. It is part of the abundant life that God brings to us by His Spirit of grace: “who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life(2 Corinthians 3:6).

“Heavenly Father, I need this same boldness in my life. Please fill me afresh with Your Spirit that I might minister in the boldness of Your grace, while bathed with Your loving kindness. Amen.”

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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Pastor Appreciation Month of October

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How much do we really appreciate our Pastors and their wives? They are team for the Lord in His church. We must take care not to take them for granted.

As far as I am concerned, every month should be appreciation month for them. Unfortunately there are always those few, who call themselves Born-Again Children of God, hindering and discouraging their Pastor and his Wife with fleshly behaviour. In their jealousy and desire to be ‘all important in the eyes of man’ I have witnessed them do such sin as totally ignoring their Pastor and his wife, and going over their heads to ‘do their own thing’ without seeking their Leaders’ counsel first. It makes my blood curdle when I hear them address our Pastor by his first name only, without showing due respect of using the title Pastor. Do they not understand the dissension and dis-respect they exhibit with this behaviour?! This is not only discouraging to our Leaders, but to the new members and baby Christians in God’s Church.

I was reminded in my time in God’s Word of how God looks at those who are supposedly mature Christians dis-respecting God’s chosen – Remember how God dealt with Moses and Miriam when they opposed Moses? God knows the heart and He sees everything.

Numbers 12

1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.
3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
4 And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.
5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.
10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
12 Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb.
13 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.
14 And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.
15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
16 And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.

Let us lift up God’s chosen leaders in prayer each day for His protection, guidance and direction. Here are a few encouraging things we can do for our Pastors and their wives:

–Most important is to pray for them and their family. D. L. Moody once said, “‚ÄúEvery movement of God can be traced back to a kneeling figure.‚ÄĚ

–Send a note thanking your Pastor for how something in his God-led message spoke to you specifically and made a difference in your walk with God.

–Text or email your Pastor’s wife weekly, or whenever the Spirit lays her on your heart, and tell her something that she has done or said recently that was a blessing to you.

–Remember that your Pastor is a husband and father also. Encourage him in leading for his family, and care for them as you care him. And please, do not put unfair expectations on his children and treat them with the attitude that because they are Pastor’s children they should behave a certain way. That treatment will discourage them and cause rebellion in their hearts. I had several Pastor’s kids for friends when I was growing up, and I cannot count the times I heard them say, “People expect me to be perfect because my dad’s a Pastor,” and oh how I witnessed them rebel!

–Your Pastor’s wife needs you to be in your place if you have committed to ministry, by being faithful and responsible in your area of service in the church. When you miss a service, especially in small churches, the Pastor‚Äôs wife usually ends up doing what you committed to‚ÄĒsuch as helping in the nursery or teaching a Sunday School class.¬†Mark 10:37-45¬†addresses those who begin in ministry because they want to look important, but they do not realize and consider the responsibility that comes with the commitment – “They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” If you must be absent from your place, please try to give advance notice so that planning can be done.

This is HUGE РPlease do not abandon your Pastor when he has to confront wolves or serious sin issues in the church. One of the most deflating and lonely things for a pastor is when he takes a stand on a difficult issue (say, church discipline against a longstanding member) and those he counts on for support run the other way. If your pastor is taking heat for a just cause, don’t make him wonder about where you stand. Support him. Relieve some of the pressure on him. Defend him verbally when you hear gossip, and publicly in church meetings if you need to.

–Surprise your Pastor and his wife with their favorite things. And not just on special occasions. It can do so very much to uplift their spirits by giving a gift card to Pastor’s wife to her favorite spa or a card for their favorite place for dinner together, just because.

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Posted by on October 27, 2016 in God's Truth, Godly Women

 

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Women in the Early Church

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We are so blessed that God has gifted each of us special gifts to be used in His church. Here are some great examples of how Godly women used their gifts in God’s early church. As we search these Scriptures and take them to our hearts today, we can still follow their examples to be the Godly women that He needs us to be in today’s church.

Apphia –¬†Philemon 2 Hosted believers in her home.¬†“And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:” ¬†It is believed that Apphia was Philemon’s wife and Archippus was Apphia’s and Philemon’s son, and a leader in the church that met in Philemon’s home. Apphia played a crucial role in carrying out the desires that Paul expressed for Onesimus, as a new believer, because as the mistress of her home, she was also the supervisor over household slaves.

Damaris – Acts 17:34 –¬†Responded to the Gospel of Jesus. “Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.”

Dorcas – Acts 9:36-42 and Proverbs 31:20 –¬†She reached out to the poor and needy. “Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.¬†And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.¬†And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.¬†Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.¬†But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.¬†And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.¬†And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.”; “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.”

Elisabeth – Luke 1:39-56 – Served as a mentor or spiritual mother to Mary of Nazareth and undoubtedly to many others. “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;¬†And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.¬†And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:¬†And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?¬†For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.¬†And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.¬†And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,¬†And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.¬†For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.¬†For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.¬†And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.¬†He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.¬†He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.¬†He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.¬†He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;¬†As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.¬†And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.”

Lydia – Acts 16:11-15 – Supported Paul in his ministries. “Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;¬†And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.¬†And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.¬†And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.¬†And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.”

Mary Magdalene – Mark 16:9, 10; 1 Peter 3:15 – Proclaimed the Gospel.¬†“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.¬†And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.”; “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

Mary of Nazareth – Luke 2:19; Acts 1:14 – Mary prayed.¬†“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”; “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”

Older, Mature Women in the Church – Tutus 2:3-5 – Were and are to teach younger women and new women believers about Godly character and home responsibilities. “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;¬†That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,¬†To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Phebe – Romans 16:1, 2 – Was a courier for transporting one of Paul’s letters to the church in Rome. And as we can see in verse 2, she was known as a “succourer” of many – Someone who gives help in times of need, distress or difficulty.¬†“I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:¬†That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.”

Priscilla – Acts 18:18, 26 – She and her husband traveled throughout the country doing evangelism and missions. They also taught the learned Apollos. – Romans 16:3-5a – They suffered for their faith, and held church in their house. “And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow…And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.”; “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:¬†Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.¬†Likewise greet the church that is in their house.”

Women of Wealth (yes it is God’s desire for His children to be wealthy as it is all His anyway, and He blesses us so that we may bless others) – Mark 15:40; 16:1; Luke 8:3; 23:55-24:10; Hebrews 6:10 – They supported Jesus’ work; their generosity was a blessing to the Kingdom work. “There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;…And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.”; ” And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.”; “And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.¬†And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.¬†Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.¬†And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.¬†And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.¬†And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:¬†And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?¬†He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,¬†Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.¬†And they remembered his words,¬†And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.¬†It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.”; “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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Spiritual Mothering

God’s calling to be a Spiritual Mother is quite an honor indeed. The call is for all “Aged Women” – Greek word from Strong’s Concordance presbutis,¬†pres-boo’-tis,¬†feminine, an old woman in spirit. So it is not necessarily limited to age, but the maturity of spirit.

Titus 2:3-5 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;¬†That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,¬†To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Wow, that is quite the criterion for the mature women of the church isn’t it. Some link the word sober to alcohol, which of course we are to not do, but the Greek word for sober used here is sophronizo,¬†so-fron-id’-zo and it means to make of sound mind, i.e. to discipline or correct:–teach to be sober. It is more an announcement here to be of sound mind, to recall to ones’s senses, restore one to his senses, to moderate, control, curb, disciple, to hold one to his duty, to admonish, to exhort earnestly, Titus 2:4 – embrace the cultivation of sound judgment and prudence (discretion). So, in other words we are to mentor the younger women that are new in the faith and those who have not been discipled. What a responsibility which should be taken very seriously.

Spiritual Mothering is not smothering, over-protecting, or trying to control what happens to these young ladies/new converts. Just as with raising our own children we sometimes must step back and allow God’s spirit to grow them and get them through hurts and mishaps that will shape them into the Godly women the Lord needs them to be. Our work is to be a Godly example to them by directing them to God’s Word and to encourage, exhort, and lift them up. They most certainly will have times of spiritual warfare, as we all do. They must learn how to recognize evil attacks from the enemy for what they are, by being sensitive to God’s Holy Spirit, and call on the Lord for His power against evil, and they should know that they may call on us for prayer and support at any time.

Why are we to behave in such a Godly manner if we take on this awesome responsibility? “that the word of God be not blashphemed” – Greek – blasphemeo,¬†blas-fay-meh’-o. – to vilify; to speak impiously; speak evil of, rail on, defame, revile. Okay so in essence it means to use to bring down another’s value, honor, due-respect; to injure another’s reputation in the eyes of others. And it is not just in our speech, it is our demeanor, dress, holy attitude toward God.¬†We must exhibit holy behaviour and Godly conduct, dress, and conversation.

There are, of course, warnings we must keep in mind as we try and be an example to the younger women in the church. We are not to slander (find fault, gossip, falsely accuse, or be drunk). Those actions do certainly blaspheme our Lord and Saviour. God also gives us His words of advice: We are to be: lovers of our own husbands, be submissive, esteem and respect them; lovers of our children; sensible-minded; chaste or sexually pure; homemakers; good. These are all just common sense values all Christian women should want to exemplify in our lives.

The Rewards: We prevent blasphemy of God; we give young women the opportunity for spiritual ministry (Titus 2: 12-15 “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;¬†Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;¬†Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”; and we guard the sanctity of the home.

Biblical Examples:

Naomi mentored Ruth: Naomi won Ruth to faith in Yahweh –¬†Ruth 1:16, 17 “And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:¬†Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.”

Naomi gave Ruth wise counsel to win the heart of Boaz –¬†Ruth 2:20, 22; 3:3-6 “And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen…And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field…Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.¬†And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.¬†And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.¬†And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.”

Naomi helped nurture Ruth’s son Obed –¬†Ruth 4:15, 16 “And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.¬†And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.”

Deborah mentored Barak: Deborah guided Barak into battle –¬†Judges 4:6, 14 “And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?…And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.”

Deborah accepted Barak’s call for help –¬†Judges 4: 9, 10 “And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.¬†And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.”

Deborah celbrated the victory in song –¬†Judges 5: 1-31. (Please look this one up. The whole chapter is a great blessing to read.)

Elizabeth mentored Mary: Elizabeth encouraged Mary –¬†Luke 1:41-45 “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:¬†And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.¬†And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?¬†For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.¬†And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Elizabeth offered Mary Hospitality and Refuge:¬†Luke 1:56 “And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.”

Priscilla mentored Apollos: Priscilla, with her husband Aquila, received Spiritual preparation from the apostle Paul –¬†Acts 18:1-4 “After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;¬†And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.¬†And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.¬†And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.”

Priscilla and Aquila patiently shared their understanding of Scripture –¬†Acts 18:24-28 “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.¬†This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.¬†And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.¬†And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:¬†For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.”

Priscilla kept her home open to believers:¬†Romans 16:3-5 “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:¬†Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.¬†Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.”

Unfortunately, we are not seeing much of this mature-women mentoring in many of today’s churches. I cannot help but think that our young girls and women would have more modesty in dress and behaviour if this was happening. They would be strong in Godly example to their children and therefore, raise them to be strong, Godly adults. I believe this to be the biggest reason that our families and homes are falling apart. I am a firm believer that when the family life is destroyed in a country, the country does in time crumble. Just look around!

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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Best Friends?

A part of our Pastor’s message this past Sunday touched on keeping our eyes on Jesus and the idea of best friends as one example. Now, we all like to think we have that one Bestie, don’t we. Especially us ladies. It makes us feel special, but if we are not careful, we can become offended at the silliest things, for example, say another lady seems to be getting a little too close to “our Bestie,” and we think, “Oh no you don’t! That’s my¬†Bestie. Hands off!”¬†and it shows in our actions (don’t our thoughts always lead to some action?) This is just a sign that we need to take heed to the fact that we have taken our eyes off of our Lord and our focus has shifted to our selfish flesh.

I have been blessed with 2 of the Best Friends I could have hoped for over my lifetime and they are both with Jesus now. As adults we did not feel the need to be in constant contact, or that we could only do things with each other. That is more for middle and high school. And, I have learned that spending too much time with one person can lead to gossip and back biting. I have not had an easy time making best friends in my life because it just happened too many times that girls I thought were my friends ended up stabbing me in the back, so why bother? But that is how it can go with friends “in the world.”

My thought today is friends in God’s church. The surest way to cause strife in God’s church is to allow cliques or groups to form. I have experienced and witnessed much harm to the brethren, and offense to visitors because of that.

So, I had this thought. What do the words brethren or brothers and sisters in Christ mean? I would like to think that it means family, joined as one in unity. So aren’t we all really best friends with each other in Christ? We really must not esteem any higher than another.

God led me to some Scripture about what He expects as unity and love among the brethren in His church:

Psalm 133

1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Philippians 2:1-3

1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

1 Corinthians 1:9, 10

9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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What is True Wisdom?


First, wisdom is a healthy fear and awe of our Lord. It is the process of discernment in which choices are considered and alternatives weighed. For the Godly person, choices are always to be made in keeping with God’s purposes and desires.

In the Old Testament, wisdom was used in various ways which ranged from describing artistic skills as in¬†Exodus 36:1-3 “Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded.¬†And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:¬†And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning.”, and financial savvy –¬†Proverbs 8:18-21 “Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.¬†My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.¬†I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:¬†That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.”, to the ability to discern truth. Wisdom is regarded as being very practical in application. It flows from a reverential awe of God and a deep respect for God’s Word –¬†Proverbs 1:7; 2:6 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction…For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” The wise person is repeatedly described as one who acknowledges, relies upon, and trusts God’s superior understanding. Wise decisions are those that keep a person from all that is wicked and perverse –¬†Proverbs 2:7-12 “He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.¬†He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.¬†Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.¬†When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;¬†Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:¬†To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;”

The wisdom teachings of the Bible–Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and selected Psalms–contain passages that offer very practical advice and give observations about the results of wise and foolish choices. Throughout the Book of Proverbs, wisdom is portrayed as a woman, i.e. Proverbs 1; 8; 9. Wisdom begs and pleads for women and men to choose the way that leads to health and life, the way of fearing the Lord that brings purpose and meaning to life and the development of a living relationship with God. The wisdom of Proverbs is applied in a special way to the many relationships that women have: wife-husband; mother-child; daughter-parent; friend-friend; employer-employee; and neighbor-neighbor.

Wisdom for believers is our knowledge of God’s will that allows us to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord –¬†Colossians 1:9-10 “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;¬†That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Wisdom is evident in our lives when we lead a life that is marked by purity, peace, gentleness, a yielding spirit, mercy, and “good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” –¬†James 3:17 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

The Good News all through Scripture is that our Lord gives us wisdom liberally and without reproach, if we but ask Him –¬†James 1:5-6 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.¬†But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” In other words, if we ask the Lord in faith to show us what to do, what to say, and how to live, we can count on Him to reveal His answers to us.

Wisdom Personified:

Proverbs 9

1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.

3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,

4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.

6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

12 If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

14 For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

15 To call passengers who go right on their ways:

16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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Competition Can be Good or Not

Yes, competition can be a good, healthy thing when it is a common struggle for the same goal. It can inspire us to study harder and run faster. Being challenged and pushed to reach a goal is not wrong in itself. But, when sin starts to edge its way into the competition, the goal of personal achievement gets distorted into an obsession to show up someone else. Such competition can move our eyes from our focus on the intended goal and instead make us dwell upon comparing ourselves to others. This is not wise and this is where competition can become a bad thing.

2 Corinthians 10:12 “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”

Competition has become so commonplace in our culture that we assume it is acceptable to God in any form. Scripture does not support that position however. The ideal taught in the Bible is cooperation, agreement, and unity among believers. God’s Word uses several metaphors to describe such cooperation among us children of God: we are a “building” with parts jointly fitted together, a “body of Christ,” a “chosen generation,” a “royal priesthood”:

1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

Ephesians 2:20-22 “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;¬†In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:¬†In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;”

The gift of the Holy Spirit was bestowed on the early church as those who gathered reached “one accord in one place” –¬†Acts 2:1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” The apostle Paul spoke on many occasions of the need for unity of spirit –¬†Ephesians 4:3 “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

When Jesus came to visit, Mary and Martha started using their gifts of service. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, loving and being loved by Him. Martha, a practical “doer,” started preparing food and a place to rest. However, Martha looked away from her goal of serving Christ, and she began to evaluate Mary’s performance. Both women were serving in meaningful ways. The problem came when Martha, in her anxiety, overlooked the fact that she and her sister were both on the same team and began to sit in judgment of her sister.¬†Luke 10: 41, 42 “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:¬†But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

The gifts of the Spirit are given to work in harmony with one another as the Holy Spirit directs, so that the entire body of believers is built up –¬†1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, 12 “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal…But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will…For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” We are responsible for one another’s welfare; we are to pray for one another; we are called to be one-minded and to live in peace¬†2 Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” Indeed, there will be times when arguments arise. We are to give preference to one another–or to yield our own feelings for the sake of achieving harmony.¬†Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” In other words, there are times when we must choose to “be the bigger person” and let some things go in order to keep peace and unity in the family of God. In times when I have had to do that, I have received Christ’s peace by lifting others up in prayer and letting God handle things, while I go about the business of working on things in my own life. We can take comfort in knowing that God always takes care of things in His Godly and just way, especially when dealing with His children. We are all indeed on the same team, we are just in different levels of growth in our walk with Christ. The mature believer will usually find it more beneficial to the Body of Christ to yield in order to keep peace and unity. We must be a good example for the babes in Christ, and those in between, and keep lifting them up in prayer as they grow.

I pray daily that I keep my focus on what God needs to do in me to shape and mold me to become the Godly woman He needs me to be. I pray God help me to never be a hindrance in the growth of His family. A verse that is very helpful for me is Psalm 119:165¬†“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” For if I am truly seeking to grow to be more like Him, I am spending time in and loving His Law/Word, and I find things that would have offended me before just kind of roll off like ‘water off a duck’s back.’ That is not to say that we don’t have feelings and should not feel pain when we are wounded. God’s Word is alive and it will meet all our needs if we have it hid in our hearts and turn to it daily.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2016 in Godly Women

 

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