God’s Word – It’s for Ladies Too!!

Sometimes, I’m afraid, Christian women have the mindset that spiritual strength is just for men. Yes, our husbands are to be the spiritual leaders in our homes, but that does not mean that women are not to grow in the Lord as well. It seems that even some “just for ladies” Christian publications tend to shy away from challenging women to dig into the Word and grow. The endless “feel good about yourself” stories, warm and fuzzy illustrations, etc, may make us smile, laugh, cry…but have we grown “in grace and knowledge”?  I was talking to a dear Christian lady…several years younger than I…and as we discussed different books that had been an encouragement to us, she mentioned some that had been a disappointment to her as well. Books that she had eagerly purchased because of the well-known speaker/author, had left her very hungry…desiring meat but yet receiving fluffy dessert.

What is the problem? Are we afraid to be perceived as being “strong”? Do we think that spiritual strength is not lady-like…even unbiblical? Consider a few illustrations from God’s Word:

ESTHER Before Esther became queen, we see an example of her submissive spirit:

 “Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it.” Esther 2:10

After Esther became queen, we see her continued submissive spirit:

“Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.” Esther 2:20

Yet, Queen Esther was strong in her faith! When Mordecai sent a charge to her, that she risk her life and go before the king on behalf of the Jews, her initial (and quite normal) reaction was one of fear but her final response was that of consent. She then sent word back that all the Jews in Shushan fast for three days, while she and her maidens fasted as well. She ended that request with, “…if I perish, I perish.”  She would trust God; her life was in His hands. The type of strength that Queen Esther portrayed does not point to a young lady whose faith had not been growing over the years.

RUTH We see Ruth’s stedfastness in the very first chapter of this small book. After the death of Naomi’s husband and two sons (one of which was Ruth’s husband), Naomi decides to return to her own homeland. Both of her daughters-in-law initially begin to follow her but, at Naomi’s insistence, one of them (Orpah) turns back to her own people and their false gods. Ruth, however, “clave unto her” and we read part of her response to her mother-in-law in verse 16, “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:”  Verse 18 tells us Naomi’s reaction to Ruth’s response “When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.”  Was Ruth a stubborn and rebellious woman? Not hardly! After their return to Naomi’s homeland, we see the impact that Ruth’s character had on the entire city:

 “…all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.” Ruth 3:11 

Yes, Ruth was strong in her faith but Ruth was a virtuous woman. In other verses, we see examples of Ruth’s caring spirit:

(Boaz speaking to Ruth) “…It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” Ruth 2:11,12

And her submissive spirit:

(Ruth speaking to Naomi) “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.” Ruth 3:5,6

THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN How often has this woman – this rare but valuable woman – been pointed to as an example for Christian girls and women? Yet, when I read this passage in Proverbs 31:10-31, I do not get the impression of a warm and fuzzy lady who lives in a fairy tale world of constant lightheartedness, “Christian” romance novels and chocolate bon-bons. 🙂 We do not have to read very far to see a woman of strength and diligence. But, I also see signs of a submissive spirit:

Verses 11 & 12 “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Verse 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.”

I see a sweet spirit as well:

Verse 26 – “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

 It has been said, “Behind every great man, there is a great woman” and I believe The Virtuous Woman would certainly be an example of this. Her husband’s greatness would be attributed in part to a wife who had willingly taken second place in their home. I heard it said recently that, for a wife, it takes great strength at times to be submissive. I would say this is certainly true and, depending on the natural personality, could require greater strength and grace for some than others. Was submission an occasional challenge for this great lady? It quite possibly was, considering her own great strength as well as talents and abilities. Yet, it was her husband that was known in the gates…not herself.

The type of strength yet sweet and submissive spirit that we see in the lives of Esther, Ruth and The Virtuous Woman can only be carried out in our daily lives through close fellowship with the Lord. Even then, there will be challenging times but, by allowing God’s Word to be our guide, we are sure to get back on track. The above three examples are just a very small percentage of women who were strong in the Lord, yet sweet and submissive. There are many, many other examples that could be given – both from God’s Word as well as in the lives of Godly women both past and present. I pray that this has been an encouragement as well as challenge – that we, as ladies, not fear growing spiritually but rather see the vital importance of digging deeper into God’s Word.

~ Rachel ~

Following Christ – R. A. Torrey

“One of the commonest causes of failure in Christian life is found in the attempt to follow some good man whom we greatly admire. No man and no woman, no matter how good, can be safely followed. If we follow any man or woman, we are bound to go astray. There has been but one absolutely perfect Man on this earth–the Man Christ Jesus. If we try to follow any other man we are surer to imitate his faults than his excellencies. Look to Jesus and Jesus only as your Guide.” ~ R.A. Torrey

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” John 10:27

“…in those days…”

“And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.
And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.
But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.
Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?
And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”  Luke 6:6-12

In reading these verses, we find Jesus teaching in the synagogue. One of the people there that day was a man with a withered hand. The scribes and Pharisees, seeing this, watched Jesus to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath day that they might find an accusation to make against Him.
Jesus, being omniscient, knew their thoughts and questioned them before proceeding to heal the man. We find, in verse 11, the scribes’ and Pharisees’ response to this:

“And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.”

Afterward, in verse 12, we see Jesus’ response to theirs:

“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”

We see that Jesus, “in those days”, (days of trouble, trial, tribulation, turmoil…etc)….PRAYED! We, as Christians, should be patterning our life after Jesus! But do we?  Do we, in the midst of trouble, call out to God or do we rather call out to everybody but Him? The moment we are hit by adversity, do we run to God…or the social media? Numerous times in God’s Word, we find God bidding us to call to Him in time of trouble. Psalms 50:15  “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” Let us take His invitation and call out to Him in our trouble, knowing that He will never fail to deliver us!

~ Bethany ~

If We Were a Bible Character – Joash

If we were a Bible character; our life, men had read.

From the pages of Scripture, just what would be said?

If God were writing our profile today,

To record in His Word; just what would it say?

“And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.” II Chronicles 24:2

I am always saddened when I read this chapter of the young king, Joash. For, although he started out well, his real character was revealed after the death of Jehoida the priest, who had been a “spiritual father” to him. After Jehoida’s death, we see King Joash turning from God to idolatry. “Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them. And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.” II Chronicles 24:17,18  When confronted about how he had forsaken God, he even went so far as to have the new priest (Jehoida’s son) slain. Oh, how far his sin had taken him!

Although the above verses do not mention specific character traits of King Joash, one thing we can learn from this king is the sad fact that he never learned to spiritually “parent” himself.  We have the following quote on our computer desk, “Integrity is doing the right thing when no one else is watching.”  Did King Joash only do right because of Jehoiada’s presence? It certainly looks that way.  How vitally important it is that each of us, first of all, make sure of our salvation. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” II Corinthians 13:5  And then, after salvation, that we grow, grow, grow by feeding on and heeding to the Word of God, as well as talking to Him in prayer. A growing Christian will be one who is becoming less and less dependent upon others for their daily spiritual nourishment by learning to “feed” themselves through their own personal time with the Lord. I think a good question each of us should ask ourselves would be, “If ________ were “out of the picture” in my life, would I spiritually survive? That blank may be filled in with a parent’s name, a spouse’s name, a pastor’s name, a teacher’s name, etc.

Although all of us will have times of wavering and maybe falling, may our continual desire be to “get up and grow up” by taking on the responsibility of spiritually parenting ourselves. As those who may have been spiritual mentors in our life move out of the picture, may we continue on faithfully that we may one day be able to say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”  II Timothy 4:7,8

~ Rachel ~

I Know He Heard My Prayer

The clouds have passed away, I see the light of day,
The sun is shining thru, dispelling gloom with hallelujahs;
I know that this is real, for in my heart I feel
that my Saviour heard my earnest prayer.
I know He heard my prayer,
He knows my every care,…
He gives to me the blessed victory,
Oh yes ! I feel Him now,
My loyalty I vow,
I know the Saviour heard my plea.
The Lord has heard my prayer, great joy is now my share,
Sweet heaven fills my soul, now I can go rejoicing on;
Oh my friend, there’s not a doubt, thank God, they’re driven out,
for He heard my prayer, my earnest prayer.
When in the future days, the fiery trials blaze,
When Satan comes to me to take away my victory,
I can point him to the time when Heaven’s light did shine,
I can say He heard my earnest prayer.
The enemy had said that my faith in God was dead,
If the way was rough, He did not care,
Thank God it is not true, Jesus thrills me thru and thru.
I know he heard my prayer, my earnest prayer.
(by Vep Ellis)

Is It The Crowning Day?

This past Thursday would have been my Mom and Dad’s 60th anniversary. I was talking to Mom this morning and, as she told me again of how Dad flew out to Kansas to see her, one of her memories of that visit was him singing the song below. Dad loved the Lord and I am sure the song he had in his heart that day has been a sweet memory for Mom – and such a HAPPY song too!  Oh, by the way…Dad “popped the question” on this visit as well. That just may have attributed to the spring in his step and song in his heart…just a little…  😉

Jesus may come today
Glad day, glad day!
And I would see my Friend;
Dangers and troubles would end
If Jesus would come today.

Glad day, glad day!
Is it the crowning day?
I’ll live for today, nor anxious be;
Jesus, my Lord I soon shall see.
Glad day, glad day!
Is it the crowning day?

I may go home today
Glad day, glad day!
It seems I hear their song;
Hail to the radiant throng!
If I should go home today.

Glad day, glad day!
Is it the crowning day?
I’ll live for today, nor anxious be;
Jesus, my Lord I soon shall see.
Glad day, glad day!
Is it the crowning day?

Why should I anxious be?
Glad day, glad day!
Lights appear on the shore,
Storms will affright nevermore,
For He is “at hand” today.

Glad day, glad day!
Is it the crowning day?
I’ll live for today, nor anxious be;
Jesus, my Lord I soon shall see.
Glad day, glad day!
Is it the crowning day?

Faithful I’ll be today,
Glad day, glad day!
And I will freely tell
Why I should love Him so well,
For He is my all today.

Glad day, glad day!
Is it the crowning day?
I’ll live for today, nor anxious be;
Jesus, my Lord I soon shall see.
Glad day, glad day!
Is it the crowning day?

(words by George Walker Whitcomb)

~ Rachel ~