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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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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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Jesus Pardons an Adulteress

I chose to use the word pardon here because I believe it is important for us to realize that when God forgives our sin, we are completely exonerated of our wrong-doing and made innocent through what Jesus did on the cross. It is as if we never sinned.

Satan knows that our human nature is to think back on forgiven sins and feel guilty and worthless because of them. He will bring the sins of the past to our remembrance in his attempts to hinder the work God wishes to do through us, but we must come against him. God assures us that not only does He forgive us of our sin, but he casts it as far away as the east is from the west – they never meet. When we listen to that stinking old devil and try to remind God, “Remember when I did that, I am so sorry.” God remembers it not. We must realize that when He forgave us we began anew and we now look forward, not backward.

Today’s Scripture – John 8:1-11

The book of John is my very favorite of the gospels. I will re-read it continuously while I have breath in me. I love that John shows how Jesus always won the great debates that he had with the Scribes and Pharisees. They were constantly attempting to trip Jesus up or trick him into stumbling, to no avail. They hated that he, as the Light of the World, revealed their Godless behavior. Re-reading this during times of attacks in my own life, gives me the peace of knowing that God is always in control and will always win over evil. Since my strongest spiritual gift is that of prophet, I strongly detest injustice.

In this passage, the Jewish leaders brought a woman “caught in adultery” without bringing the man she was caught with, as set forth in their own Law, to Jesus with the purpose of trapping him. If Jesus said the woman should not be stoned, they would have accused him of violating Moses’ Law. On the other hand, if he encouraged them to execute her, they would turn him in to the Romans who did not allow the Jews to perform their own death penalties.

Note in verse 2 that Jesus was sitting down as he was teaching. He “stooped down and wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.” It appears that Jesus was trying to ignore them, and he really did not want to get involved in this issue, but they continued to press him until he had to address it.

Go Jesus! “he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.” I do not believe that he meant if they were totally sinless in general; nor that if they had never broken the 7th Commandment that they could cast the first stone. It makes more sense that he may have been saying, “if there is one of you who is innocent of this sin, then let him cast the first stone at her.”

Then Jesus stooped again and continued to write on the ground. The thought has come to my mind that it is possible that he was writing the names of those men who had committed adultery themselves, perhaps with her. Rather, knowing Jesus’ compassion for all, he was more likely giving them the chance to slink away without having to face the all-knowing look in his eyes.

When Jesus stood again, the accusers were nowhere to be found. Their plot had backfired on them. They were the ones caught in their own trap! This is usually what happens when hypocrites impudently strive to point their fingers at others.

After asking her where her accusers were and seeing that they had fled, he said to the woman, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” She had watched as Jesus craftily sent her accusers creeping off in the opposite direction, as she awaited her fate.

The door to salvation was opened when Jesus showed her unimaginable grace and gentleness instead of condemning her. This must have begun a burning desire to hang around and reverently learn more from the Master. I find it ironic also that the Pharisees’ intentions to trip Jesus up not only backfired on them, but if they had not brought her to Jesus this day, she probably would have continued in her sin until her heart was so hardened that she would not have been able to be saved.

GOD ALWAYS KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING! PRAISE HIM!

1   Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
2   And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
3   And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4   They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5   Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6   This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7   So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8   And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9   And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10   When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11   She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2011 in Jesus' Encounters with Women

 

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Jesus Cares for Widows

Ronald Rae Widow Woman 1992. Ragley Hall

Ronald Rae Widow Woman 1992. Ragley Hall (Photo credit: amandabhslater)

 

Jesus raises a widow‘s son from the dead”

Luke 7:11-17 “11. And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him,and much people. 12. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. 13. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.  14. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 16. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. 17. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the region round about.”

As we see in the passage, there was “much people” with this widow, making much ado, grieving the death of her son. Though it is human to grieve for those who pass, I should think it would have been more of a solace to the widow if someone had stepped up and offered to take her in or give her aid. Instead, the crowd of mourners would go home, having accomplished their all-important ritual, and she would be left destitute and alone.

Back in those days there was no such thing as Medicare or Social Security. Women, especially elderly, were dependent upon their husbands and their sons to take care of them. Not only did Jesus care that this woman was in pain over her loss, I believe that He felt her pain. He also knew that her situation was dire, and that it required drastic measures. She had lost her husband, and now her last avenue of support through her only son. She was most probably past the age of childbearing and would never marry again. I would guess that the widow found Jesus’ words, “Weep not,” much more consoling than the raucous commotion that the crowd was causing. He knew that He was her only hope, and “he had compassion” on her and immediately brought her son back to life.

The Jews had many traditions they were bound to and their display at funerals was an important one to them. The family of the dead person followed the body as it made its way through town.  There were hired mourners who cried out drawing bystanders to the procession as well. The family then continued their mourning for 30 days. One thing the scribes and pharisees hated about Jesus’ ministry was that he chastised them for their many traditions and laws that were too hard on the people. Instead of seeking to know God and have a relationship with Him, they made stringent rules that only burdened the people. Jesus taught that those rules and traditions will not secure our home in eternity. He is the only Way.

Jesus also never missed an opportunity to glorify His heavenly Father. He used this event to illustrate salvation to a world that is lost in sin, just as the widow’s son was dead. We, like the dead, can do nothing to help ourselves. But God had compassion on us, while we were yet sinners, and sent His only Son to raise us to newness of life in Him. As the woman’s son could not earn a second chance at life, so we cannot earn our new life in Christ. We can, however, accept God’s gift of eternal life, praise Him for it, and live our lives to do His will.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Jesus' Encounters with Women

 

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The Samaritan Woman

English: Christ and the woman of Samaria at Ja...

English: Christ and the woman of Samaria at Jacob’s Well (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Jewish culture in the first century treated women as second-class citizens. They had very few of the rights that men of that time had. Jesus respected all people equally, but he showed a special care for women. In this category, I will be sharing from God’s word about some of the encounters Jesus had with different women during his ministry on earth.

This first entry will be of the Samaritan woman that Jesus met at the well. You will find this story in John 4:1-26. It begins with Jesus leaving Judaea and traveling to Galilee because of mounting opposition from the Pharisees. Most Jews of that era hated the Samaritans and avoided them like the plague. Jesus had no use for such cultural limitations, and since the route through Samaria was the fastest one to Galilee, that is the way he chose. I like to think that our Father in Heaven told him something like this, “Hey, Son, since you are going that way, there is this Samaritan woman who needs to know that we love her, and we have a cure for her sin.”

Before, I continue with the story, we must first understand the history behind the Jewish hatred of the Samaritans. Samaria was the capital of the Northern Kingdom before it was conquered by the Assyrians. When they invaded the Northern Kingdom, many Jews were exiled to Assyria and foreigners from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim were brought in to Samaria to settle the land and keep the peace (2 Kings 17:24). Most Jews who remained in Samaria married the foreigners and they became a mixed race.

The Jews from the Southern Kingdom considered themselves to be a pure race of Jews. They became very prejudiced against the spoiled blood line of Samaritans because they felt that they had betrayed their people and their nation by mixing their Jewish blood with foreign blood.

Now at Jacob’s well in Samaria: Jesus was weary from his journey “and it was about the sixth hour” or noon. Usually the women went to fetch water from the well in the morning and in the evening. This woman came at noon to steer clear of others, probably because of her poor reputation.

John 4:7-9 “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9. Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”

This woman must have been quite taken aback by Jesus’ (a Jew) request for a drink of water. First of all, she was a woman. Second, she was a hated Samaritan woman who was known to be living in sin, and she was in a public place. No respectable Jewish man would talk to a woman under such circumstances. But Jesus did.

Verse 10 “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”

I believe that Jesus knew full-well who this woman was and what her life was like. I can imagine him resting near the well, watching the woman looking this way and that as she approached with her water pot. His heart must have ached knowing the pain her sin was causing her. He offered her “living water.”

The Old Testament compares thirsting after God to one who thirsts for water (Psalm 42:1; Isaiah 55:1; Jeremiah 2:13; Zechariah 13:1). God is also called the fountain of life in Psalm 36:9, and the fountain of living waters in Jeremiah 17:13. When he told the woman that he could give her living water, he was laying claim to being the Messiah, the only one who could offer this gift that gratifies the very soul.

He also knew that if she accepted his gift, her life would change drastically for the better. He does not wish for any one to hurt or suffer, and a life of sin is very damaging to the human spirit.

Verses 11-15 “The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12. Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13. Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14. but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 15. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”

No one had ever talked with her about her spiritual hunger and thirst before. She misunderstood and thought that Jesus could give her an endless supply of water so that she would never have to return to the well. He was teaching her that our souls hunger for spiritual food and water, just as our bodies do for physical food and water.

Verses 16-20 “Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18. for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”

The woman became uncomfortable when Jesus hit her sin square on the head. She was quick to shift the focus off herself by changing the subject. It was a smokescreen to keep Jesus from her deepest need. It happens to all of us at one time or another, especially when we are under conviction about something. Jesus did not let her get away with that tactic. He brought up the very important point that where we worship is not as important as our attitudes when we worship.

Verses 21-26 “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Wow! Can’t you just hear the authority ring from that passage?  When Jesus referenced “salvation is of the Jews” he was saying that only through the Jewish Messiah would the world be saved. Jesus knew that the woman was familiar with the passages in the Old Testament that foretold of the coming Messiah. He finally got through to her.

As we read on we see that the woman was so excited to share what she had found that she left her water pot at the well and told people to “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (Verse 29) Then in verse 39. “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.”

As we can see, Jesus spent not a little time with this woman because he cared about her. I know from experience that it does not matter how sinful we are, we are worth Jesus’ time. He stands waiting with open arms to give to each of us “living water.”

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Jesus' Encounters with Women

 

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Becoming a Godly Woman Part 2

English: Portrait of Rebecca Greenleaf Webster...

English: Portrait of Rebecca Greenleaf Webster, wife of lexicographer Noah Webster, by the American artist Jared Bradley Flagg, oil on canvas. 84.7 cm. x 72.7 cm. Image courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Titus 2:3 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;”

My last entry focused on what it means to be Godly with behaviour that becomes holiness. Today’s topic is false accusers. The Greek word for false accuser is diabolos (dee-ab’-ol-os). It means devil or slanderer. Nowadays we call them gossipers. I think we can all agree that gossiping is not Godly behaviour; it is quite the opposite and very harmful.

Gossipers are known for starting or spreading malicious rumors, and/or divulging personal information that someone has trusted them with. Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines a gossiper as: “One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler.”

Are they always women? No, men have been known to do it too, but I would say that women are the weaker vessels in this area. Are they always older women? No, but older women are to set an example for the younger, inexperienced women. Have I ever gossiped about someone? Yes, I shamefully admit that I have. One thing though – the Holy Spirit has convicted me very quickly, helping me to make things right when I have joined in on gossiping. I was also taught, growing up, not to say anything behind a person’s back that I would not be willing to say to that person’s face.

Have I been hurt by others’ gossip? Most definitely, and God lays it on my heart to remember those times when I feel tempted to prattle on about someone else. I pray daily (and sometimes constantly) that God will guide and control my tongue along with my thoughts and actions. Left to my own devices, I cannot overcome any temptation.

I have seen precious souls leave God’s house because of one person’s thoughtless scuttlebutt. Some have found a new church home, but some were so devastated by such hurtful actions that they left the church never to return. Also, sadly, lifelong friendships have ended because of an uncontrolled tongue.

Our speech comes from one of two sources – Satan or God:

Words that are motivated by Satan are full of bitter jealousy, selfish ambition, earthly concerns and desires, nonspiritual thoughts and ideas, disorder, and evil.

In Contrast:

Words that are motivated by God are full of purity, peace, consideration for others, submission, mercy, sincerity, impartiality, and goodness.

If we are sincerely seeking to know God more each day, we are in His word, listening to His direction in our prayer time, busy about God’s work, and caring for our families. That leaves no time to focus on what may or may not be happening in other peoples’ private lives. The old saying, “idle minds are the devil’s workshop,” is appropriate here.

Luke 6:45 “A good man (or woman) out of the good treasure of his (or her) heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man (or woman) out of the evil treasure of his (or her) heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his (or her) mouth speaketh.” Additions in ( ) are mine.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2011 in Godly Women

 

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