Faithful Women (O. T. & N. T. & Today)
The best season to grow a garden is also a great time to encourage the women in your church to sow in others the seeds of faith. In verse 7 of Isaiah 55, we find God’s desire to turn hearts away from evil toward Himself. And we have a part in that action by speaking truth with word and action so that people of every tribe, tongue, and nation can receive God’s pardon.
Sow the Seeds of Faith in:
- Your Family – Model what it means to love and obey Jesus every day to plant faith in their hearts. (Proverbs 22:6)
- Your Church – Speak words of encouragement and compassion into the lives of the women with whom you worship. (Titus 2:3-5)
- Your Community – Like Jesus, don’t separate yourself from those who need to meet Him, be healed by Him, and find their faith in Him. (Matthew 5:14-16)
It’s difficult sometimes to rest in the peace God has for us. Perhaps the women of your church need to be reminded of the spiritual disciplines which focus attention on Christ and the peace He gives that passes all understanding. Isaiah echoes God’s desire to communicate love and life to us in verse 3 of Isaiah 55.
Rest in The Lord through:
- Prayer – The two-way relationship God intends for us is only available through prayer. Fill your day with communication with the Father who never leaves your side. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- Study – Receive the nourishment that comes from time in God’s Word. Join the Psalmist by hiding God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11).
- Solitude – Jesus often got away to remote places to pray (Luke 5:16). You too will find incredible peace when you actively seek alone time with The Lord.
Like the April showers that bring May flowers, God’s Holy Spirit is ready to pour out beautiful refreshment if you will only open your heart to receive it. It’s such a beautiful promise of God, that if we will come, He will provide all that we need, and more (Isaiah 55:1-2)!
Let the Spirit Rain on You:
- New Life – In this world that feels so dead so often, isn’t it refreshing to know that the Spirit within you raises you to life – an abundant life indeed (Romans 8:9-11)!
- Needs Met – Watchman Nee said, “The meeting of need is not dependent on the supply in hand, but on the blessing of the Lord resting on the supply.” This applies to spiritual needs even more so than physical. We need only to seek first His Kingdom and all these things will be added to it (Matthew 6:33).
- Next Steps – The Holy Spirit is our helper and counselor. He will direct our every step if we are faithful to listen and follow (Romans 8:14).
Christmas comes just once a year, so it’s easy to keep it in a box until it’s time to decorate again. But when the angel said that Jesus would be called “Immanuel – God With Us,” it wasn’t just for 1 month out of the year. Jesus wants to be with us all year long. Isaiah 55:6 shows us that when Jesus comes close, that is the time to seek Him. So invite Jesus to be Immanuel, God with you, every single day. You’ll be surprised how satisfying He can be when you open your door and welcome Him in.
Welcome Jesus and He Will Provide:
- Comfort – Are you sad? Burdened? Afraid? Jesus asks you to come to Him and give Him your burdens so that he can comfort you and give you rest (Matthew 5:4, 11:28).
- Power – Jesus is not a genie granting wishes. But ask Him and He will grant you phenomenal power, as part of His body of believers, to vanquish evil and Hell (Matthew 16:18).
- Leadership – When you invite Jesus to be your leader, when you go where He calls you to go and do what He calls you to do, you may soon see others following in a spiritual train behind you. Jesus leads, you follow. Others see the fruit in your life, they’ll follow too (Matthew 4:19).
Nurture the Nest
Mothers have an awesome responsibility. As it says in Proverbs 22:6, when we train up our children, they’re likely to hold onto the truth throughout their life. Isn’t it a comfort to know that what God nurtures, will become full-grown (Isaiah 55:10-11)?
God Helps Mothers To:
- Feed – If God feeds the birds of the air, how much more will He provide food and shelter for your kids, even in times of hardship. (Luke 12:24). This extends to all your family’s needs. If you need it (actually NEED it), God will be sure to give it to you.
- Protect – It’s not easy to protect our kids from harm (physical, emotional, innocence, etc.). But God cares deeply about them and posts guard around them (Matthew 18:10-14). When we can’t be there for our little ones, it is a comfort to know God’s in control (Psalm 68:5).
- Release – Today we discipline and lead our kids to become faithful followers of Jesus. It’s hard to believe that one day we will have to let them go. But your hard work will pay off as one day he/she will “give delight to your heart” (Proverbs 29:17).
Grow in Gratitude
What’s the payoff of all this sowing, rain, nurturing, and pruning? Read deeply the closing verses of Isaiah 55 (v. 12-13). Spring brings about beautiful fruit that changes lives (yours and others’) and lasts as God’s Glory forever. But it’s up to you to look around and recognize all He has done to stretch and grow you to where you are today. As Christ brings a fresh new Springtime to your heart, it’s good to celebrate the amazing things He has done in you and around you. Your growth is all because of Him! Don’t forget to thank Him.
Overflow with Thanks to God for:
- Mercy – When you first came to Christ, you may have been laser-focused on the barrier of sin that kept you from knowing Him. What a joy it is to thank Him for having mercy on you and welcoming YOU into His Kingdom (Psalm 136)!
- Relationships – Our friends and family are our most precious human relationships. And when we see that God is using our faith in Him to draw them also to Himself, how can we not overflow with gratitude (2 Corinthians 4:15)?
- A Future – It’s been said that without hope we could not survive another day. But God gives us an eternal hope that includes a bright future, when all wrongs are turned to right, all wounds are healed, and God is on the throne (Jeremiah 29:11)! Let’s thank Him together because we know our future is secured.
The Ministry of Women
Faithful Women (O. T. & N. T. & Today)
The ministry of women has been from Bible times and still moves on today.
The book of Acts 2:17-18 and the book of Joel 2:28-29 tell us: "In the last days God will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, menservants and maidservants shall prophesy." According to some Bible theologians the word "prophesy" means to preach the word of God, and to other theologians it's to proclaim a message directly from God. Whenever one gave a prophesy, it was always a message to a group of people or an individual.
In Luke 2:36-38, Anna was 84 years old when she gave her historic prophecy regarding Jesus to everyone that was in the temple. The name Anna means "Favor" or "Grace." God revealed the Messiah, the Hope of the world, to this elderly lady and she spoke it to all that were near.
In Acts 21:9, Philip the Evangelist had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.
Romans 16:1 tells us of Phoebe. Her name means "Pure" or "Radiant as the moon." Paul addressed her as a servant and helper of the church. In some Bible translations she is called a deaconess and other translations consider her to be a minister. According to many Bible scholars, Phoebe was the one who carried the written book of Romans to the congregation, probably from Corinth to Rome. This would declare a place for women in the sharing of the word of God to the world.
Judges 4:4-5, Deborah was a Spirit-filled, multitalented woman. Her name means "Honey Bee." She was wise and shared with her friends. Her influence and authority was used by God to bring victory to her people Israel. God had given her talent and leadership ability. She was a song writer and sang as well. She was a true woman of God who judged or led Israel for 40 years.
The reason Deborah was so effective in her ministry is because of her spiritual commitment and walk with God. She was also called a Prophetess.
Susanna Wesley mother of John and Charles Wesley, while her husband was absent in London in 1711, attending Convocation, Mrs. Wesley adopted the practice of reading in her family, and instructing them. One of the servants told his parents and they wished to come. These told others, and they came, till the congregations amounted to forty, and increased till they were over two hundred, and the parsonage could not contain all that came. She read to them the best and most awakening sermons she could find in the library, talked to the people freely and affectionately. There meetings were held "because she thought the end of the institution of the Sabbath was not fully answered by attending Church unless the intermediate spaces of time were filled up by other acts of devotion."
Inman, the Curate, was a very ignorant and narrow man. He became jealous because her audience was larger than his, and he wrote to Mr. Wesley, complaining that his wife, in his absence, had turned the parsonage into a conventicle; that the Church was likely to be scandalized by such irregular proceedings; and that they ought to be tolerated no longer. Mr. Wesley wrote to his wife that she should get some one else to read the sermons. She replied that there was not a man there who could read a sermon without spoiling it.
Inman, the Curate, still complained, and the Rector wrote to Mrs. Wesley that the meetings should be discontinued. Mrs. Wesley answered him by showing what good the meetings had done, and that none were opposed to them but Mr. Inman and one other. She then concludes with these wonderful sentences: "If after all this you think fit to dissolve this assembly do not tell me you desire me to do it, for that will not satisfy my conscience; but send your positive command in such full and express terms as may absolve me from all guilt and punishment for neglecting this opportunity for doing good when you and I shall appear before the great and awful tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Were not these the first Methodist meetings held by the Wesley's?
Can we wonder that Isaac Taylor says that "the mother of the Wesley's was the mother of Methodism;" and that in her characteristic letter, when she said, "'Do not advise me, but command me to desist,'" she was bringing to its place a corner-stone of the future of Methodism."
Who can tell the influence those meetings of their mother in the parsonage had upon John and Charles in future years, who were then little boys, and always present!
Today many Christian women are carrying the Gospel to the world. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and told her to go tell his brothers. And Matthew 29:9-10; the women went to tell the brothers about Jesus.
Corrie ten Boom, God had used her to carry His word to many people behind the Iron Curtain. She was also used by God in a great ministry of reconciliation and forgiveness.
Ruth Bell Graham: Ruth is the wife of Billy Graham. She was the Sunday school teacher at Montreat College. Ruth had a great love for memorizing the Word of God and would encourage all of her students to do the same. She has a great love for reaching the lost and a genuine interest in the welfare of teenagers.
Kathryn Kuhlman: To be in a meeting with her as she preached was as if the person of the Holy Spirit filled the atmosphere. Jesus would become so real one couldn't help but be aware of His wonderful love for all mankind. Thousands of people would fill the big halls. They came from almost every denomination in the world. There were Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Greek Orthodox, Lutherans, Charismatic's, Episcopalians, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Independents and many others. All kinds of people groups were there.
There were many great reports of all kinds of physical healing in her meetings. Thousands of people would answer the altar calls in every meeting. She had a great love for lost souls. She never ended a meeting without giving someone a chance to receive Christ Jesus into their lives. She would often say that the greatest miracle of all was the miracle of the new birth experience (being born again). Healing was secondary. And yet God did both in her meetings.
God said through Joel, "In the last day I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and daughters shall prophecy." How can one not help recognize what God wants to do in His church through men and women today? The gifts are for the body of Christ and the Holy Spirit is the giver of those gifts to whomever will receive them. Male or female - when truly filled with the Holy Spirit and used by Him - they will give all the glory to the Father and the Son. He shall use them in mighty ways because He is fulfilling His word. "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh and they shall prophesy."
The virtuous woman
"She will do him good and not harm, all the days of her life." Proverbs 31:12
The virtuous woman will will be inventive, ingenious, and laborious to promote his comfort, his health, and his interest.
She will smooth by her sweet words his brow, when wrinkled with care.
She will hush the sigh that misfortune extorts from his bosom.
She will answer with gentleness the sharp words that in moments of irritation drop from his lips,
and will do all this, not by fits and starts when in congenial moods, but continually.
To sum up all
And now, to sum up all consider—
A mother's charge—an immortal creature.
A mother's duty—to train him up for God,
heaven and eternity.
A mother's dignity—to educate the family
of the Almighty Creator of the universe.
A mother's difficulty—to raise a fallen sinful
creature to holiness and virtue.
A mother's encouragement—the promise of Divine
grace to assist her in her momentous duties.
A mother's relief—to bear the burden of her
cares to God in prayer.
A mother's hope—to meet her child in glory
everlasting, and spend eternal ages of delight
with him before the throne of God and the Lamb!
A Biblical Basis of Missions (Your Mission as a Christian) by Avery T. Willis, Jr. here
A Daily Bible Method Reading of the Bible Done Successfully here
(Bible Reading Methods, Structures of the Bible, Best Translations to Use,Where to Start )
A Day Study in Stewardship by Tim Keller here
Being an Effective Bible Class Teacher by Gene Taylor here
Be Not Afraid or Overcoming the Fear of Death by J. C. Arnold here
Bible Romances by G. W. Foote here
Christ - Our Life by Ruth Paxson here
Christ the Best Husband or an earnest Invitation to Young Women to come and see Christ by George Whitefield here
Christian Knowledge by Jonathan Edwards here
Church Planting by Danie Vermeulen here (excellent)
Counseling Recipes on Chap 7 on Pre-Marital Counseling by Timothy Tow here
Do All to the Glory of God by Watchman Nee here
(Marriage, Mating, Husband & Wife, Parenthood, Friendship, Recreation, Speech, Clothing & Eating, Managing Your Finances etc.)
Evangelism 101 Laying The Foundation by Matt Waymeyer here
From Grace To Glory Or Born Again by Octavius Winslow here
How Do You Know If You Are A Real Christian by Jonathan Edwards here
How to get the Most From Reading Your Bible by Thomas Watson here
How To Pray For The Lost here
Jewels from James (parts of women's section ) by John Angell James here
Jewels from James (complete) by John Angell James here
Marriage by Leon O. Poole here
On Visiting The Sick - Matthew 25:36 by John Wesley here
Pentecostal Women in Ministry by Sheri R. Benvenuti here
Putting an End to Worship Wars by Elmer Towns here
Spirit - Union Soul - Rest by James A. Fowler here
The Compassion of Christ to Weak Believers by Samuel Davies here
The Ministry of Women by A. J. Gordon here
The Power of the Holy Spirit by R. A. Torrey here
The Sadness of Being Barren by Phillip B. McKinney here
The Strait Way to Heaven by William Dyer here
The Value of a Praying Mother by Isabel Byrum here
Sex, God & Marriage by J. C. Arnold here
Story Of Kingdom Explanation Of Bible by Jonathan Gibson here
The Sunday School Teacher's Guide by John Angell James here
The Widow Directed to the Widow's God by John Angell James here
What the Bible says about Sex here
Why Forgive by J. C. Arnold here
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SUMMARY OF BIBLE READING PLANS 1 TO 70
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