Raging monster

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The ocean churns and the wind whips it into a raging monster. No swimming today…

No one can stop the waves as they crash against the shore and grind the stones into fine sand. The water looks brown as the sand below gets mangled up in the water and the whole mass of matter is beaten and churned into sea soup…

We look at the power of such things- the weather and the massive elements that make our Earth, and wonder at our own smallness and lack of ability to control them. Some of these elements are so powerful they can take away life and decimate whole communities in a short space of time. God is all powerful. His strength is truly awesome.

Psalm 104 says:

“He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them.”

He alone controls these mighty entities and all must bow to Him… And yet we don’t. We forget, overlook and ignore him and his works.

How then will we see the work of his Spirit and understand our need of Him?

The picture of the man on the cross who died in such shame, is the true sight of the power of God. Such weakness and such monumental glory.

He died so that we would not have to. Believing in him is real power, the power to repent and humble ourselves before him…

Sarah

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Sarah is portrayed, by some kinds of Bible interpretation, as a faithless scheming wretch, as was Eve in the garden. One can get the impression that women are defined by that mentality, and that’s why they must have the restraints on.

Sarah’s idea to solve the family problem and do Gods work for Him, was wrong, but Abrahams reaction was not exactly full of faith either. He listens to Sarah and doesn’t think it through. He doesn’t analyse the effect of taking another wife to provide a son, and how it will affect all family relationships. He goes along with it without consulting God and hoping it will be ok. Perhaps his motivation is to please Sarah and for a short term easy life. Abrahams faith is found wanting.

The decision he makes, as the head of the family, starts a huge family problem where heart sins are revealed and there is much hurt.

Resentment, hate, jealousy, blame, and competition tear the family apart.

Abraham is the head of this family, and must then shoulder his responsibilities as such. Putting the “blame” on his wife, is the same thing Adam did, to cover his sins and lack of thought and heart searching.

His complacency and inertness about what God has promised him, shows someone tired of waiting. It has been many years since the promise was given, and he and Sarah are only getting older and further away from the fulfilment of the incredible promise.

It is easy to loose sight of Gods ways….

Surely the answer is to consult each other and council each other in our disappointments and frustrated longings. Sarah forgot the love and power of her God, and tried to sort out her own problems. Abraham listened to his wife’s troubles, rather than pointing her to her Saviour.

May we grown up in Him, strong and able to shoulder relationships for His glory and for the good of others, rather than listening to the futile advice of worldly people who do not know Christ. May we be an asset to our homes, and true soul-mates to our spouses. The longing to “sort things out” must be brought to God and left to Him to show us and direct out thought and problem solving abilities.

Women of Grace

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EVE: The mother of all living

SARAH: Patient and longsuffering

ESTHER: Beautiful in character and demeanour

RUTH: Faithful, resilient and obedient

DEBORAH: Brave and victorious

RAHAB: Repentant, courageous and mighty

RACHEL: Gave everything to God

MARY: Poured out her love to Christ

ELIZABETH: God’s blessing in old age

ANNA: Waited for the Lord

MARTHA: Always busy serving her Master and others

LYDIA: Successful and devoted

PRISCILLA: Open-hearted and hospitable

RHODA: Overjoyed to be a Christian

Martha

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To describe Martha in a quick summary would be – theologian, apologist and organiser of everything.

Martha was an amazing Christian woman who knew Jesus so well. She cared for Him on many occasions and He would debate with her, question her and strengthen her hold on Him by faith.

She was concerned about Jesus’ physical needs and He knew this and imposed the whole band of Disciples on her household. They went to her household many times. It was a kind of “pit stop” on the seemingly never- ending tour of Judea.

I wonder if she regaled Him for not eating properly, not paying enough attention to his hair, or not using cream on His skin. Perhaps she gave the Disciples a lecture on looking after skin that spends most of its time outside..! SPF and all that..! I can see in my minds eye, how she would do it and say it. Martha was gracious but insistent and cared for others, as she would care for Mary, and Lazarus, her sister and brother.

She valued people, because her Master did so. She recognized need and tried to meet that need. On one occasion she got carried away with the arrangements and became very hot and flustered. She forgot about the power of God, and on that particular day thought it was all about her.

Jesus reminded her that the things of this life are not the most necessary things, and to let them go.

Maybe she thought of the words of Isaiah 55, which she would have learned at the synagogue…

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.”

She knew who Jesus is and what He was to her. Her grasp of life and death and resurrection was secure in her mind. She knew there was more than life on Earth, and looked forward to the coming Kingdom. Martha is so like many of us who have been on the road for some time, but we fail to appreciate the magnitude of what Jesus says.

We all have limited understanding, and Jesus seeks to show us more. Martha saw more…. She saw her brother rise from the dead, and her whole frame of reference about her Master changed. What a light she was, and still is. Martha’s fire was fed by her Lord, and has never gone out, and our also if we are truly trusting Him…

In the twilight

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Surely there was no misery like this. Her Lord and truly beloved had been killed in front of her eyes and was dead and buried… The end of the game… He broke his word.

She so trusted in him and believed in the new life forever with him, but look how it ended- agony, loneliness and death.

As she walked to the tomb early on Sunday morning her thoughts consumed her and the circular mind processes, leading downward into the grave, had taken hold. In the darkness, not even the light of the waning moon helped to brighten the scene.

The dark silhouette of a figure walked towards her.

Instantly she suspected the worst. This was a soldier, stealing away the body of her Lord. Her mind raced- How could he! – the corpse was all she had left – had he no pity..!

He stopped, just out of arms length… “Mary” he said. Before the last syllable had struck the air, she knew. She sank to the earth and stretched out glad hands to grasp his feet.

“Not yet, Mary, I will see my Father first.”

The joy Mary felt at that moment never left her again. He had kept his promise and He was who she knew Him to be. It was then she realised all the words He had spoken to her before that awful day, and the realisation of their truth and power pervaded her soul. She saw His grace, that even in the intonations of His familiar voice, brought peace and an overwhelming joy.

Everything was now different and different forever.

She didn’t need to hold on to Him, He was right with her all along…

The voice

We have all heard that voice telling us to leave all and follow the Master. He is the only one to listen to and where he leads is the perfect way, even though it can be so dark. He calls us to leave the world and sinful ways, and walk the paths of righteousness, for His names sake.

He speaks again, to leave the dearest things and count them as nothing, compared to knowing His own self. To put desire and earthly joys to one side and seek closeness and security in His company.

The voice calls out to leave all and follow Him… JESUS, our dearest friend and the one we have set our hearts upon asks that we let it go and rejoice in trust. He is the Might God and Eternal Son of the Father. He is able. He is worthy.

JESUS may we think on you.

Daughters of the kingdom

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To be a daughter of the kingdom is the pinnacle of God’s grace toward a woman. It is the highest point of value and glory, yet also the place of service and dependence. It is GOD himself, through the sacrifice of his son JESUS CHRIST, that brings us to this place of joy, and the gracious HOLY SPIRIT who opens our eyes to believe.

This is the challenge for all those who follow JESUS and seek to walk as He did for the glory of God and not themselves.

God calls women into His family and to be rulers with Christ in His everlasting kingdom, joint heir with Jesus Christ, and partakers of His glory and power. The pathway to heaven is one of sacrifice and a laying down our lives for the sake of our Saviour and to be like Him in all we do and say. This will also involve giving ourselves up for the sake of others, seen and unseen sacrifices, and to serve those he sends us to. Some we may feel deserve these gifts, and others not, but this is not our judgment. Obedience to the father, is our standard, just as it was for The Lord Jesus, in all He did and said.

Let us not baulk at the journey, of the steepness of the hills, or the deep waters we must go through, but have our eyes fixed on His person, and our thoughts remembering His word and our feet every ready with the gospel of peace.

Women who glorify God