Those of you who have been part of "M" Words for some time, know that I just LOVE to talk about those "certain woman."
Those special woman who walked along confidently - following and trusting the "One" who made all things new in their life.
They too are my sisters in Christ.
They humbly came and gave their lives to Christ and He filled them with new life and purpose. Casting their personal desires and priorities aside, He was now their #1 focus.
Stop for a moment and imagine the setting...
You are walking along with these women and you can hear the rustling of the palms overhead, mingled in with the sound of His voice as you walk along the dusty road. There is the sound of stones beneath your feet and the gentle wind off the Sea of Galilee is blowing your hair. The sound of the seagulls and fishermen in the distance do not distract you. Oh, to have been there with these women!
I am sure they silently grasped onto each word that He spoke. The world around them continued on in the usual fashion for now, but all that was of utmost concern right now were HIS words. I am sure at times they giggled with joy at the One whom they were following, at the eternal joy they now held deep within. Bonded now through Christ, they were no longer alone, no longer struggling with personal bondage, no longer void inside.
They were now filled with Truth, they knew the Way and they had the Life!
There is a knock on your front door. It is Christ. He says "Come."
Could you get up right now, walk out the door and follow?
Where you are to go is unknown, would you trust and go?
Others will ridicule and abandon you.
Will you walk with the Jesus others mock?
When we read about these "certain women" of the Bible, it seems quite common to glance over their lives and not really think upon them as real women just like you and I.
What were these women like and what would they say to us today if they could share their stories?
Oh, how I would have loved to hear their conversations as they walked along behind Jesus and as they prepared food for the disciples along the way. As they went about serving the needs of those with them, I am sure they chattered about what they had heard that day.
Leaving all the past behind, all they knew was that the Messiah, Jesus, came to seek and to save the lost, which they were. Once lost, they are now found and are now a part of the Shepherd's flock. The same flock we too are a part of.
HE has broken their chains of sin, as He breaks ours. HIS life for ours... we are made new.
With the new life these women are given, they understand now that life is all about JESUS. We too can say that our life is all about Jesus, but is it really?
Do we still place the things of this world first? Are we more concerned with social and business aspects of life, rather than the life He has planned for us as HIS child?
Are we TRULY willing to place Him first and follow?
Many of us have ignored answering that question. But it is one that we will need to answer. Going to meet with church family once or twice a week is not following. Gathering with women for lunch is not following Jesus. Following Jesus is drawing close to Him in prayer and seeking His will for our life - His will for your service as His servant.
In His service, as His servant. Most cannot say willingly, "Yes, Lord, I am Your servant.
I pray you will not miss the service He has planned for you. For when I see Him face to face in heaven, I desire to say, "Lord I did all that you placed in my heart to do. I pray that I did not miss one opportunity!"
The Lord Jesus "went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with Him, and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance." Luke 8: 2-3
They came from all walks of life... women who blazed the trail before your own walk.
A special trustworthy servant...
Phoebe, she is mentioned only once in Romans 16:1–2, where Paul writes, “I commend to you our sister Phoebe..."
She was probably either the bearer of the letter or accompanied those who took it to Rome. The name Phoebe means “bright and radiant,” and from Paul’s comments about her it seems that those words characterized her personality and her Christian life.
Paul’s reference to Phoebe as “our sister” indicates that she was a member of the Christian church and his sister in Christ and trusted to carry his letter.
Paul commends Phoebe to the Roman believers and asks that they receive her in a gracious and friendly manner into their homes and hearts with love and affection. She was to be welcome in their church fellowship. Asking for her to be received “in a way worthy of God’s people” means that the church should treat Phoebe with the special respect and Christian love that should characterize all believers’ interactions with one another. Even those believers we have never met before should be welcomed with love, for we share a bond in the Lord (John 13:35). Phoebe was to be aided in whatever business she would be conducting in Rome - as a servant of Christ.
A servant through hospitality...
Acts 16 describes Lydia... a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul.
She was the apostle Paul's first convert in Philippi and thus the first convert to Christianity in Europe. Lydia heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Bible says that God opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying (Acts 16:14).
After Lydia’s conversion and baptism, she insisted that Paul and his friends come to stay at her home, if they judged her to “a believer in the Lord” (verse 15). Luke said “she prevailed upon us,” which indicates the fervency of her desire to be hospitable.
She had the gift of hospitality. Paul did indeed judge Lydia to be a true believer, and they stayed at her home while in Philippi. Although a native of Asia Minor, she is the first person recorded to have been saved in Europe.
Serving through her sewing...
Dorcas, or Tabitha, lived in the town of Joppa, a city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Tabitha was a charitable person who made things, especially clothing, for the needy. Her story in Acts 9 caused many to come to know Christ.
She was much loved in the community. When she became ill and died, the believers who heard that Peter was in the nearby town, sent for him.
When Peter arrived at the home many widows were there, weeping. They showed Peter “the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them”—tangible evidence of Dorcas’ loving service . Peter sends them out of the room, gets down on his knees and prays. Turning toward the dead woman, he says, ‘Tabitha, get up.’ She opens her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. Taking her by the hand he helps her to her feet. This miracle became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord” (Acts 9:40–42). Her sewing ministry brought many to come to love her and to know Christ.
"Certain women" how precious they are!
Oh to be surrounded by them, encouraged by them, bonded by hearts for Christ, and prayed for by them!
I cannot express how these "certain women" in my life have helped me through this life with adequate words. My thoughts go back to years ago, praying at 2 AM with one sister in Christ over one of my children. No matter the hour, she was there. Just a call, text or email away...friends waited to pray, and still do today and I am so grateful to God.
Oh dear friends, do not miss the joy of being part of a genuine group of "certain women."
This is why this online ministry was begun in 2004 - to connect and to encourage those who may not be able to be physically meet with other women of faith. In the past I have mentioned my closest sister in faith that is over 800 miles away - we have never met face to face but we surely know each other heart to heart.
Womens ministry is not the name of a group of women (a noun),
... it is the "act" of being His hands, feet and arms (to hug) others in need, it is outreach in action.
So often we get comfortable in our own group and focus on ourselves, instead of focusing on the women outside of our group, outside of our church, the ordinary women we pass each day.
For you see, dear friend, we are called (each one of us) to be "doers of the word, and not just hearers only." (James 1:22-23). Although His plan is different for each one of us, it is action on our part, not the group, that allows us to serve.
The journey that lies ahead for each one of us is determined by drawing close to Him in prayer and asking, "Lord what will you have me to do? I desire to walk confidently behind You, listening, and following Your direction."
There is no shortcut on the journey to becoming the woman that HE desires us to be.
All we need - is to be willing to walk where He leads. Are you willing?
Step by step, minute by minute, month by month we walk.
Walking with Jesus should not be a burden that we feel we must do... it should be a willing walk, an intentional walk, a determined walk. We should long to walk where He leads, just as those "certain woman" did... clinging to HIS every word and following HIS every step.
Our greatest joy is found in the fact that as we one day
take our last step in this earthly life -
our walk with Him will continue on as HE takes us by the
hand and we step with Him into eternity!
we NEED CERTAIN WOMEN who are not afraid to follow,
who are not lukewarm. We need women who truly desire to FOLLOW You.
Please Lord, raise up more certain women, we need them desperately!
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