Archive for August, 2013

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12
Aug

Lambs for slaughter14

LAMBS FOR SLAUGHTER
 
When God’s Word
Spoke of the Savior,
The evil spun its yarn
Of knight in shining armor.
 
So, like Eve deceived
To seek Him in seed of man,
Are maidens lied to
To seek in man her Husband.
 
With rosy tales of innocence,
Breed lambs for slaughter.
Promising life of true bliss,
Happiness in life ever after.
 
Ensnared, body and soul
She fusses and preens,
In manners, looks or poise
By competence, to please.
 
Churches step it up
One better than Almighty!
Isn’t man as God Himself
In everything, just as worthy?
 
For God saw man alone
And thought it not good.
Churches see the tail begone
And connect it with its head.
 
……………………
 
 
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12
Aug

A ‘ROSY’ TRIBUTE41

[This is the rose that bloomed every year starting from the day His servant went to be with the Lord.  The single rose turned up without fail on his earthly birthday as well as the heavenly birthday. It brought instant smiles and never failed to surprise us.  The plant could not survive the excessive heat of this summer.  And we have moved on, grateful that God speaks to us in so many languages and in so many ways.  His all pervading Presence is the most reassuring thing to all who look to His Face.] 
 
 
There’s a rose in my garden,
A messenger in a single bloom,
Conveying better than tongues of men
Hope that lifts every pall of gloom.
 
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11
Aug

God’s Postmen10

 GOD’S POSTMEN
 
Who had understood
The lament of Jeremiah?
And who ever listened
To the sermon of Noah?
Who heeded the voice
From the wilderness, warn?
The prophets, His messengers
All subjected to scorn!
 
To them, His Word –
Was sweeter than honey,
Scorched the heart
Like fields on days sunny.
For His Word is a Lamp
Meant to light up a city.
So proclaim, they did,
Against all adversity.
 
Having heard the Lord,
“Who will go for Us?  Whom send?” 
Tho’ unfit to race e’en men
With horses willed to contend.
For they understand
The heart of God,
Warns, before judgement
Sweeps down like sword. 
 
**************
 
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3
Aug

Women of God – I15

WOMEN OF GOD – I

INTRODUCTION:

Though the Spirit of God has remembered and honored women of God throughout the Scripture, churches fail to bring it across the podium.  And even if they do, they come up with rather one sided and often bizarre interpretations. For example, let’s take the story of the widow of Zarephath.  The interpretation has always been that God blessed her because she shared her little with Elijah, a servant of God.  Whereas, the Word of God reveals that God sends Elijah to her (1 King 17:8-9, Lk 4:25-26) so that He may provide for her particularly.  Why? This article will provide the answer and the true spiritual insight for us to emulate.

Similarly, Mary’s physical purity is given more focus and her spiritual insight and submission to God’s will almost ignored. The Word of God emphasizes: “Flesh counts for nothing.”. Just as there were other widows in Israel and thereabouts, surely Mary was not the only virgin either. But what truly set her apart? (Learn all about it from “The Marian Way of Wisdom (the message)”).

Where Jesus’ visit to Martha’s house is concerned, Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus is given all the attention, making it clearly evident where the speakers desire to find women seated now that it is not Jesus’ feet in the literal sense of the word! The fact that she hungered for God’s Word and sought to make the most of the opportunity available to her is something hardly ever heard. In spite of the fact that Jesus testifies to her wisdom for choosing that which was of eternal worth.  And indeed Jesus Himself has corrected the misconception, read Jn 20:17, “Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.  Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and to your God.’ ”  It is not the feet of Jesus (which here is only the physical manifestation of the Seat of learning in His temporary robe of flesh) but the receiving and obeying of God’s Word that are of true eternal worth.

And many, many more such misinterpretations, more rampant this side of the globe, making it almost impossible to sit through these sermons for their total lack of fear of God, ignorance, blatant show of superiority and downsizing of women to most demeaning levels!

Hence, this article is meant to fill the huge vacuum within the Church which is the deserving honor due to His faithful women. God interacts with us on individual basis (eg Sarah), always remembers our acts of obedience with singular attention (eg Tamar, Rahab), treasures our tears we shed in His presence (eg Hanna), rewards us starting from here (eg Abigail) and continues to do so unto eternity and above all, He will repay all our enemies, we were smart enough to commit into His hands (eg Sarah).

HONOR, AND NOT EXALT:

Ps 16:3, As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.”  Even as the verse directs us to seek and enjoy the fellowship of the living saints of God, let us remember it is the faith that has translated into deeds in one that makes one a saint in the sight of God.  No man by himself or herself has any good in them, but the goodness that comes with the faith in Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, the spiritual man’s delight is in all things spiritual, weighed and found worthy against the Word of God.  On the other hand, God shuns our worldly outlook, the way we perceive things and tend to idolize or exalt another mortal, Lk 16:15, “…..What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”  Also refer Isa 5:20, Mal 2:17, Ps 12:8(b), Ps 26:5 etc. Therefore, it is appropriate to honor His saints and children of faith.  Honor, but not exalt.  Just as we are forbidden to judge, we are also forbidden to exalt one another.  It is God who judges and exalts. And He will do so at the appointed time (Ps 75:6-7, 1 Cor 4:5).

To disobey is to be guilty of idolatry.  Isa 42:8-9, “I am the Lord; that is My Name!  I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols….”.  Refer Isa 48:11, “For My own sake, for My own sake, I do this.  How can I let Myself be defamed? I will not yield My glory to another.” Also, Rev 19:10, Rev 19:16 and Rev 22:9. The Word of God is united throughout the Scripture, and let fear of God motivate us towards perfect obedience.   

THE WOMEN OF GOD:

Therefore, Marian Way of Wisdom, takes this opportunity to honor women of divine election from the Word of God, to whose memory and exemplary life it is dedicated, beginning with,

BLESSED MARY:  For her absolute surrender to God’s will (Lk 1:38, ” ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered.  ‘May it be to me as you have said.’…..”) and for directing us to God’s sovereign will which is to obey Christ in everything (Jn 2:5(b), “Do whatever He tells you.”).

While Mary was chosen as the blessed one to bear the Son of God, it does not in any way make her equal with God, deserving of worship. She was a woman of incredible spiritual insight and feared God. She would have been horrified at the thought itself. When her time came, she succumbed to her mortality, and now awaits resurrection with all other saints who die in the Lord, at the Second Coming of the Lord.  Jesus trains us along the same lines of spiritual insight in the following passages:

1.  Lk 2:48-49, “When His parents saw Him, they were astonished.  His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have you treated us like this?  Your father and I have been anxiously searching for You.’  ‘Why were you searching for Me?’ He asked.  ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in My Father’s House?‘ ”  Indeed, Mary had to be reminded for she knew better than anyone else who Jesus was. She was already revealed that Jesus is the Promised Messiah, and that He had come to fulfill His Father’s purpose.  Therefore, even though she was His mother in flesh, she couldn’t impede it by exercising her maternal rights over Him. However, that Jesus was an obedient child, full of wisdom, in favor with God and men, was in keeping with His perfect righteousness.  Lk 2:51-52, Then He went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.  But His mother treasured all these things in her heart.  And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”

2.  Jn 2:3-4, When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to Him, ‘They have no more wine.’  ‘Dear woman, why do you involve Me?’  Jesus replied, ‘My time has not yet come’.”  It is evident here that Mary, having corrected herself, followed Him dutifully waiting to see the Promise of Redemption fulfilled in Him.  Yet, she had to be reminded that He would only do all things at the appointed time which was predetermined by His Father.

3. Matt 12:46-50, “While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, His mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to Him.  Someone told Him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to You.’  He replied to him, ‘Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?’  Pointing to His disciples, He said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in Heaven is My brother and sister and mother’.” Again, the reassertion by Jesus that flesh counted for nothing but all who were born of the Spirit had the right to become members of God’s household, and that He had come to save and receive many unto Him.

4.  Lk 11:27-28, “As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave You birth and nursed You.’  He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it’.”  True blessedness does not come as man perceives it, but as God deems it.  Refer Matt 11:11.  And if Mary is called ‘blessed’ (Lk 1:48), it is because she heard the Word, she believed it (Lk 1:45) and she obeyed it (Lk 1:38).

5.  Jn 19:26-28, “When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’  From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”  Jn 7:5, “For even His own brothers did not believe in Him.” is the reason Jesus entrusts Mary into the hands of her foster son John. (Though, later on all His brothers also believe in Him and serve Him with the apostles, refer 1 Cor 9:5,  1 Cor 15:7(a) – James, the author of the epistle of the same name).  It also shows Mary continued to depend on God for her sustenance and provision.

But that Mary is blessed among women (Lk 1:42) and exceedingly wise definitely places her a notch above the others (Lk 1:28) to learn from and emulate.  Her blessedness owes itself to the following three factors, 1.  her total surrender to God’s will (Lk 1:38(a)) 2.  her fear of God or her wisdom (Lk 1:38(b)) and  3.  her steadfast faith (Lk 1:45). Read the Marian Way of Wisdom (the message).  Her life and story is far too incredible to be ignored or sidetracked.

MARY MAGDALENE:  For guiding us to perfect worship – broken heart, contrite spirit and giving (Lk 7:44-46, “…wetting His feet with tears, wiping it with her hair, kissing His feet and pouring perfume on His feet…”), to which Jesus testifies thus, (Mk 14:6-9, “Leave her alone”, said Jesus. “…….She has done a beautiful thing to me……She did what she could. She poured perfume on My body beforehand to prepare for My burial.  I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”).

And for being the first recruit to preach the good news of the resurrected Lord (Jn 20:17, “….Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God’.”).

EVE:  For speaking the truth and making an honest confession before the Lord (Gen 3:13b).  For turning to God once again and giving Him the glory (Gen 4:1b).  And finally, even though Adam separated her from her God-ordained name of Adam (Gen 5:2) and named her Eve the mother of all the living (Gen 3:20), he unwittingly ends up prophesying about her great spiritual calling and heritage (also refer Gen 3:15).  For indeed she is the mother of all living, in both sense ‘as mother’ and ‘as the living’, as there is no reason why she should die physically since physical death came to mankind through Adamic curse (Gen 3:19b).  It is no wonder that the Word is silent on the latter part of Eve’s life even though it does reveal that Adam had died at the age of 930 years (Gen 5:5).

SARAH:  This is dedicated to Sarah our spiritual ancestor in faith (Isa 51:2) for exemplifying by her life that it is the Lord, our Maker Who is the true Husband of His people, Isa 54:5, “For your Maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is His Name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth.”  For He Alone protects, provides, sustains and honors His people just as He did for Sarah (Gen 12:17, 20:3-7, 18, 18:9, 13-14, 21:1-3 and 17:15-21).

Thus, God having revived and reiterated the Good News (Gen 3:15, Gen 18:13-14) through Sarah, the wise women of Israel begin to seek the Promised Son with a determined and spiritual earnestness (eg. Tamar, Hannah.. etc), though it would only be through Mary, the fulfillment of it  in the right manner (Lk 1:34-35, 37).

REBEKAH:  For forsaking her all to go forth and lay claim on the Greater Inheritance (Gen 24:58-60, “So they called Rebekah and asked her, ‘Will you go with this man?’.  “I will go.” she said……And they blessed Rebekah…”). 

Again, for becoming the first woman to inquire of the Lord.  It was, concerning her children.  Of course, the Lord answered her (Gen 25:22-23).  Refer Isa 8:19, “…should not a people inquire of their God?…”.

TAMAR:  For proving to us that no authority of man can hinder God’s purpose in our life.  Her life was spared and she was honored among men (Gen 38:26, “Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.”..’); and Matt 1:3, “Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez the father of…”).  Jn 6:63, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing… ”  So that like Abraham whose calling was fulfilled through Sarah, Judah’s calling also came to be through Tamar.

THE SLAVE WOMEN SHIPHRAH AND PUAH:  For their fear of God which surpassed everything else in their otherwise insignificant lives, even the king’s decree.  Consequently, they go on to save many lives (Ex 1:17, “The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.”).

RAHAB, THE PROSTITUTE:  For being the only person and woman in a city who dared to translate her faith into deeds, against the king’s orders, staking even her life for it.  As a result, just as she believed, both she and her family were saved. So that in spite of her ‘womanhood’ she went on to become the second woman after Tamar to be honored even among men (Matt 1:5)!

(Josh 2:8-13,“Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, ‘I know that the Lord has given this land to you………for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below…..’.”);  Josh 6:22-23, “Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, ‘Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her’….”.  Matt 1:5, “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,  Boaz the father of…”.  James 2:25-26, “In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”.

ZELOPHEHAD’S DAUGHTERS: MAHLAH, NOAH, HOGLAH, MILCAH, TIRZAH:  who first proved to us that God’s heart was above man’s laws in matters of inheritance (Num 27:5-7, “So Moses brought their case before the Lord and the Lord said to him, ‘What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right.  You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and turn their father’s inheritance over to them’.”).

HANNAH:  For showing that a godly woman looks beyond the love of man (1 Sam 1:8) to fulfill God’s purpose in her life. For her faith and determination, she is awarded the prophecy concerning Jesus, the Messiah in addition to the son she longed for (1 Sam 1:24-28, “After he was weaned, she took the boy with her….they brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, ‘As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord.  I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the Lord.  For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord’.”  and 1 Sam 2:1-10, “…My heart rejoices in the Lord;…There is no one holy like the Lord;…there is no Rock like our God….The Lord brings death and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and raises up….and has them inherit a throne of honor…the Lord will judge the ends of  the earth.  He will give strength to His King and exalt the horn of His Anointed.”).  Ps 25:14, “The Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them.”

JEPHTHAH’S DAUGHTER:  Who paid with her life and taught us how important it is to keep our oaths to the Lord (Judg 11:36, “My father”, she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord.  Do to me just as you promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies…”).  Indeed, the Lord has not forgotten her and will not abandon her to the grave (Judg 11:39-40, “..From this comes the Israelite custom that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.”). For she wished to mourn over the fact that she would not be the mother of the promised Son (Judg 11:37, “But grant me this one request”, she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”).  Read  Ps 15:4(b), “..who keeps his oaths even when it hurts.”

QUEEN ESTHER:  Who by her remarkable obedience before godless men, personified the prophetic bride of the Lamb. Her life was saved from throngs of death, and she went on to reign with the king.  The preparation of the bride under the tender care and tutelage of the Holy Spirit is best exemplified by Esther.  She won the favor of all who saw her, including the king who promptly declared her his queen! (Esth 2:9, “The girl pleased him and won his favor……”; 2:12-13, “Before a girl’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women….”; 2:17-18, “Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins.  So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen….”  and Ps 45:11, “The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for He is your Lord.”; Rev 22:5b, “….and they will reign for ever and ever.”  Oh yes, Esther did go on to reign in a land where the king had decreed otherwise, read Esth 1:22b, “….that every man be ruler over his own household.”  Truly indeed, though man proposes, God disposes, in keeping with His perfect and pleasing will (Gen 1:26 & 28). Thus, Esther not only reigned with the king but also by appealing to his righteousness she counseled him and passed laws and decrees herself which is obeyed to this date (eg. Esth 8:1-2, 8-10, 12-13, 17, Esth 9:2-4, Esth 9:12, Esth 9:29-32 etc.). 

The story of queen Esther  is a fine depiction of the future of the Bride of the Lamb.  How, by her obedience she turns the curse that had come upon her and women in general due to queen Vashti’s disobedience (symbolic of the fall of man in Gen 3) into a blessing again.  Yes, she went on to reverse the curse or the new decree and ruled alongside the king who himself had decreed such an order in the first place!  Compare Gen 3:16 with Rev 22:5b.  Her story also depicts the wonderful changes that will come in due course for the righteous which includes the end-time Judgement on the wicked.  Finally, the deliverance, the joy and the celebration of the righteous at Christ’s Second Coming is depicted by the festival of Purim she had confirmed and authorized for the people of Israel.  Refer Esth 8:17, Esth 9:12-17 and Esth 9:32.

QUEEN OF SHEBA:  For, as Jesus testifies, Lk 11:31, “…..she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom…”, and was saved. Jesus also testifies that she will be among those who will rise at the judgement to condemn the men of this generation for their refusal to receive Him, One greater than Solomon.  Refer Lk 11:31 and 1 Kings 10:1-10. 

LEAH:  Who struggled to win her husband over, though in vain, but finally had the wisdom to turn to God (Gen 29:35, “She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, ‘This time I will praise the Lord’.”  So she named him Judah…” (meaning praise)).  And God rewards her wisdom in the most incredible manner! (Matt 1:3, “Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar..” Gen 49:9-12, “….The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to Whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is His……” and Rev 5:5, “……See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed….”.  Indeed, let us not forget Tamar who was instrumental in bringing honor to Judah above his brothers.

Children are gifts from God (Ps 127:3).  Commit them to God in return and they will be a blessing for ever. (Mal 1:15, Ps 127:3, Matt 19:14, “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’.”).

DEBORAH AND JAEL:  Two women chosen to end the oppression of His people while men were overcome with fear. Deborah, the prophetess of God led the army to victory and Jael put the enemy to end.  And the people enjoyed forty years of peace (Judg 4:4-10, Judg 5:24, 31(b)).  Neither are all men strong, nor all women weak.  But those who rely on God grow from  strength to strength – man or woman.  Because, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youth grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  (Isa 40:29-31, Zech 4:6(b), Phil 4:13).  Judg 5:31, “…….’But may they who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength’….”.

ABIGAIL:  For refusing to be cowed down by her husband Nabal’s foolhardiness and averting a great tragedy from her household.  She had the spiritual insight to recognize David as God’s anointed.  By her foresight, she saved him from committing meaningless bloodshed and supplied all the provision that his men required.  However, God punished Nabal and struck him dead.  But, Abigail was not forgotten, and her wisdom went on to grace the throne of Israel. (1 Sam 25:10-42).

THE WOMEN OF POST-EXILE ISRAEL DURING EZRA AND NEHEMIAH’S TIME:   For joining forces with men to guard, build and contribute towards the reconstruction of the wall, the temple and the house of Israel.  (Ezra 3:2, 7, Neh 3:12, Neh 4:13 etc.).

Godly women surrender themselves to the will of God rather than to the whim of man. Prov 31:30, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

THE WIDOW OF ZAREPHATH:  For her complete trust in the Lord because she was prepared to die rather than turn to man for help (1 Kings 17:7-16, Vs 12, “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread-only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it – and die.”).

And, God blesses her and provides for her all her life, 1 Kings 17:15-16, “…So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.  For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the Word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.”; Lk 4:25-26, “I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon.”.

NAOMI:  For persevering in faith in a foreign land even though she had, one after another, lost all that was dear to her.  By imparting the Word of God faithfully to her household, she’d won over Ruth, her daughter-in-law, who went to become a great blessing to her in her old age, better than many sons, Ruth 4:14-15, “…’Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer.  May he become famous throughout Israel!  He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age.  For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth’.”  (Ruth 4:14-17, Matt 1:5(b)).

Ps 146:9, “The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow..”.

RUTH:  For exemplifying total renewal in Christ which as Rom 12:2 reminds begins with the mind, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind….”. Doubts or fears meant nothing to this brave heart who forsook all that was familiar to her to take possession of that which is of real worth.  Her perception of God’s will, her portrayal of the blessed harvester returning home with armful of sheaves, and her commitment and faithfulness to all that was entrusted to her speak volumes of her character. Finally, her total transformation from a member of a cursed race to ancestry of the Most Blessed Lineage is the remarkable finale to her story. (The book of Ruth, Matt 1:5(b), “Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth.” ).

THE POOR WIDOW:  For she was one who knew her Provider and was not afraid to offer her bare little, or rather, her all to Him. Indeed, she was rich towards God and not bankrupt on faith! (Lk 12:21).  An exemplary person whose righteousness truly surpassed that of the law-keepers (Mk 12:42-44, Matt 5:20).

THE SAMARITAN WOMAN:  Who evangelized her town and many turned to God and believed in Him, all in a day’s work! (Jn 4:39-42).

And the discourse she had with Jesus at the well-side (Jn 4:8-26), reveals that she was not only rather well versed with the Word, but also was truthful (vs 17) and like all the wise in the land, looked forward to the coming of the Messiah (vs 25).

HULDAH, THE PROPHETESS OF GOD:  For faithfully counselling King Josiah according to the Word she had received and averting disaster and desolation from the land during his reign (2 Kings 22:14-20).

MARTHA’S SISTER MARY:  For having the wisdom to make the right choice.  To sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to what He said. For nothing compares with the Word of God.  The spiritual wisdom that hunger and thirst for His Word is that which is satisfied and as Jesus affirms, is never taken away.  (Lk 10:39, 42 and Matt 5:6).  Matt 4:4, “…man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.”

ANNA THE PROPHETESS:  Who spent her long tenure of widowhood in the temple of God, fasting and praying as she waited to behold the coming of the Promised Messiah.  She knew she’d see Him in the temple of God.  And when the infant Jesus was brought to the temple by His parents, she instantly knew her long wait was over.  She walked up to the Child, saw Him and gave thanks to the Lord.  Moreover, she spoke about Him to all who were, like her, looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem (Lk 2:36-38, “…..Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”)

THE SHUNAMITE WOMAN:  For honoring and providing for Elisha, the prophet of God.  God blesses her in His remarkable way so that her blessings outnumber her little sacrifices (2 Kings 4:8-37).

ZIPPORAH:   Though a Midianite, and the daughter of a Midianite priest, she had the divine insight to act promptly when she realized the danger she had put her husband Moses into.  She quickly circumcises her son and consecrates herself to the Covenant of Blood God has made with each one of us.  And she not only saves Moses’ life but also both hers and her son’s. 

THE UNSTOPPABLES:

THE CANAANITE WOMAN:  Whose faith looked beyond her lowly and cursed estate to lay claim on that which is blessed and eternal (Matt 15:22-28. “…….’Yes, Lord,’ she said, ‘but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’  Then Jesus answered, ‘Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted’….”).

THE SICK WOMAN:  Whose faith fought its way to reach out to something…..anything that concerned Jesus the Messiah, even if it was just an edge of His cloak and was healed (Matt 9:20-23, “…..She said to herself, ‘If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed’.  Jesus turned and saw her, ‘Take heart, daughter,’ He said, ‘your faith has healed you.’….”).

WOMEN OF THE EARLY CHURCH: Women who received their dead raised back to life.  And others who gladly suffered to gain a better resurrection (Heb 11:35, “Women received back their dead, raised to life again.  Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.”).

THE PERSISTENT WIDOW:  The persistent widow whom Jesus used to exemplify total commitment to prayer.  Isa 62:6-7, “….give yourselves no rest, and give Him no rest…….”.  Lk 18:6-8, “And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off?  I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly…..’.”

LOIS AND EUNICE:  The mother and daughter pair who were both diligent in practising their faith and passing them on to the following generations (2 Tim 1:5), something all mothers should sincerely do.  

CONCLUSION:  

God’s work will never lack for women who perceive God’s will and serve Him.  Like the Shunamite woman (2 Kings 4:8), Joanna, Susanna, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James and Joses, Salome and scores others who support God’s work out of their own means (Lk 8:2-3).  Even, a servant girl, like Naman’s wife’s, who brought great blessing to his household (2 Kings 5:3).  Women like Philip’s daughters, Syntyche, Euodia, Phoebe, Priscilla, Dorcas, Lydia and others (Rom 16 and 2 John 1, 13), enter mainstream ministry and serve as faithful and diligent yoke-fellows with their male counterparts. 

May their tribe continue to flourish, for as sure as heaven, they do!

 

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2
Aug

God’s Tradesmen11

GOD’S TRADESMEN
 
When He gives forth
Gifts of true worth,
Man perceives not
Of that he freely got.
 
For life, just as air
Abounds, and is not rare,
Until they stop
Against all hope!
 
God’s talents – 
Are heaven’s riches,
For trade and glory
By the trustworthy.
 
They are gifts priceless,
In number, more or less.
So is His gift of life,
The one of talents five.
 
It gives one identity
To write in eternity,
When in heaven’s fruitful trade
The pinch of lack will fade.
 
So, those found faithful
Having reaped a bountiful,
Whether in talents’ increase
Or armload of sheaves.
 
Are honored like princes,
As rulers and judges –
With Him on thrones to reign,
Restored to twice the gain.
 
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