Don’t Look Back

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Genesis 19:26 on Behance

But Lot’s wife looked back longingly and was turned into a pillar of salt. 

Genesis 19:26

Lot’s wife lived with her family in the city of Sodom. The lifestyle of the Sodomites got so evil that God determined to utterly destroy Sodom and the nearby city, Gomorrah. God, however, listened to Lot’s plea for mercy and sent angels to evacuate him and his family before the destruction hit Sodom and Gomorrah.

Lot’s wife did not want to leave, and while she was eventually convinced to depart, she longingly looked back. Her glance back was not one of curiosity but of disobedient hesitation. She didn’t want to leave the evil she had known in Sodom. Consequently, she was consumed along with the wicked people of Sodom.

Often, God offers us the opportunity to escape evil and follow Him, but taking the escape route means leaving a familiar lifestyle. Regret, fear of moving on, and longing for the comfort we once loved, tempt us to look back longingly. However, when God calls, we must embrace Him, His ways, and the journey He calls us to. We will only be able to successfully do this if we value Him as our foremost treasure.

As Jesus told His followers, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). “The image which our Lord used was, as usual, one that went home to the personal experience of His hearers. They were of the peasant class, and they knew that the eye of the plowman, if he is to do his work well, must look straight before him at the line of the furrow which he is making. To look back, while working, is to mar the work entirely. The man who so looks is, therefore, ipso facto, disqualified for the work of God’s kingdom.” (Ellicott’s Commentary)

When we move forward with Jesus, we can be confident that we are following the One who knows the way to an abundant, satisfying life. Let’s not be double-minded like Lot’s wife and allow our heart to hesitate regarding the things of God. He loves you and me, and with the new birth He has given, we are equipped to love and value Him above all secondary created things.

In His Grace,

Amanda

Women of Faith Series

❀ Christward: A Hopeful and Joyful Embrace of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (New book available at Amazon.)

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Positive Impact

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Deborah, the one who had nursed and raised Rebekah, died and was buried under the oak south of Bethel. So Jacob named it Oak of Weeping.

Genesis 35:8

Deborah had been Rebekah’s nurse since she was a child. When Rebekah was to mary Isaac (Genesis 24:59), the family sent Deborah with the new bride as she set out. Deborah continued to fulfill her nursing role by affectionately helping Rebekah raise her boys, Esau and Jacob.

After the boys were grown and settled, Deborah died, and the family she loved for so long, took care of her burial. They did more than simply place her body in the ground when you consider the name her burial place was given. Rebekah must have loved her nurse considerably and grieved her loss deeply. The two women had shared so many years and experiences.

To be important in our lives, people need not have impressive jobs or a lot of money. They need not be well known in our community. All they must do is have a positive impact on us. That can happen whether, like Deborah, they’ve been in our lives for years or we’ve known them only a few days – it doesn’t take long for a gentle hand or voice to win our hearts.

What strengthening can we provide to help win a heart today? We can be a joy and comfort to someone in this dry and weary land (Psalm 63:1) or an oasis of living water (John 7:38) for parched saints. The ministry of refreshment is so important that Jesus tells us there is a reward for those who strengthen others (Mark 9:41, see also Proverbs 11:25). Frequently, weary saints need the ministry of refreshment by way of encouragement. Let’s strengthen and refresh as we are able and have a positive impact on someone’s heart today.

In His grace,

Amanda

Christward, A Hopeful and Joyful Embrace of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (New Bible study available at Amazon)

❧ Women of Faith Series

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A Bold Faith

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In the Old Testament of the Bible, Susanna was falsely accused of adultery, and whose accusers were eventually condemned. In the New Testament of the Bible, Susanna ministered to Jesus Christ. Scripture Study, Bible Art, Lds Art, Scripture Journal, Daily Scripture, Simon Dewey, Lucas 8, Image Jesus, Christian Art

Now the woman was Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to drive the demon out of her daughter. The woman kept crying out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly tormented by a demon.” Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment her daughter was cured. When she went back to her home, she found her child lying on the bed, and the demon was gone.

Matthew 15:22-23, Mark 15:22-28

The Syrophenician woman had a problem: her daughter was possessed by a demon, which tortured her without mercy. The mom did everything she knew to do, and still, her daughter suffered. She knew Jesus was near, so her quest for her daughter’s healing immediately took her to the feet of Jesus.

What boldness it took for her to approach Jesus the way she did. At first, Jesus did not answer the woman’s pleas for help. In the bitterness of her circumstances and the frustration of witnessing her daughter’s relentless suffering, would she now turn inward and bitterly confess Jesus was no different than anything else she tried? No. His silence did not deter her.

How do we come to God? Do we come with puffed-up hearts? Do we begin with a feeling that we’re entitled to something? Or perhaps we’re too timid to bring our request before God.

It’s here that we see another quality this woman had, humbleness, not bitterness. Peter tells us, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). She kept asking until finally the disciples, tired of her begging, asked Jesus to send her away. Of course, Jesus did not send her away. He replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.”

We should never allow any circumstance to stop us from seeking God. We boldly come before the throne of grace so that we may obtain mercy and find grace in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16). Let’s be like this courageous woman and not allow anything to detract us from clinging to our bold faith in Jesus.

In His grace,

Amanda

❧ Women of Faith Series

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Palm Sunday to Resurrection

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Greetings fellow sojourners! As we approach Holy Week, let’s behold the days in the life of Jesus and the disciples by contemplating the significance of each day leading up to and including the Resurrection. Perhaps you would like to print each day of the week and post it in a visible place in your home as you consider the day’s events and their spiritual significance in your life. Let’s ask the Lord to tender our hearts to everything that transpired and let’s be eager to learn what He shows us. I encourage you to read the events for yourself as you will find more details that will bless you.

Sunday

Jesus began his trip to Jerusalem.  Nearing the village of Bethphage, he sent two of his disciples ahead, telling them to look for a donkey and bring it to him.  Then Jesus sat on the young donkey and slowly, humbly, made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!  Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

The crowds welcomed him by waving palm branches in the air and shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!”

On Palm Sunday, Jesus and his disciples spent the night in Bethany where Lazarus and his two sisters Mary and Martha lived.  Perhaps they hosted him and his disciples.

Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19

Monday

Jesus returned with his disciples to Jerusalem.  Along the way, he cursed a fig tree because it had failed to bear fruit.  This symbolism extends to all believers, demonstrating that genuine faith is more than just outward religion but true living faith must bear spiritual fruit in a person’s life.

When Jesus arrived at the Temple he found the courts full of corrupt money changers.  He declared, “My Temple will be a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:46) What is the condition of your “temple?”

That night he probably stayed in Bethany again.

Matthew 21:12-22, Mark 11:12-19, Luke 19:45-48, John 2:13-25

Tuesday

Jesus returned with his disciples to Jerusalem.  They passed the withered fig tree on their way, and Jesus spoke to his companions about the importance of faith.  

Back at the Temple, religious leaders were upset at Jesus for establishing himself as a spiritual authority.   They attempted to arrest him but Jesus evaded their traps.  He addressed the scribes and Pharisees seven times with, “Woe to you” before He identified each sin.  “Blind guides!…For you are like whitewashed tombs – beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.  Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness…Snakes!  Sons of vipers!  How will you escape the judgment of hell?”  Matthew 23:24-33

Later that afternoon, Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives.  He gave his Olivet Discourse, an elaborate prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age.  Jesus again uses symbolic examples regarding end time events, his Second Coming, and the final judgment.

This is the day Judas Iscariot negotiated with the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical court, to betray Jesus.  Matthew 26:14-16

Jesus and his disciples probably returned to Bethany to stay the night.

Matthew 21:23-26:5, Mark 11:20-13:37, Luke 20:1-21:36, John 12:20-43

Wednesday

Scholars speculate that Jesus spent this day resting in Bethany in anticipation of Passover.  A few nights earlier, Lazarus’ sister Mary had lovingly anointed the feet of Jesus with pure and expensive fragrant oil. By pouring the fragrant oil on His body, she prepared Him for burial, and Jesus said it was beautiful.

Matthew 26:6-16, Mark 14:3-9, John 12:1-7

Thursday

From Bethany, Jesus sent Peter and John ahead to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to make the preparations for the Passover Feast.   Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.  For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”  Luke 22:15-16

As the Lamb of God, Jesus was about to fulfill the meaning of Passover by giving his body to be broken and his blood to be shed in sacrifice, freeing us from sin and death.   Jesus established the Lord’s Supper (Communion), instructing his followers to continually remember his sacrifice by sharing in the elements of bread and wine.  Luke 22:19-20

That evening after sunset, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as they prepared to share in the Passover.  Jesus demonstrated by this humble act how believers should love one another.  

Later, Jesus and the disciples left the Upper Room and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He prayed in agony to God.  Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him and asked them to stay awake and pray so that they would not enter into temptation.  Are you ‘awake?’

Jesus was betrayed in the Garden with a kiss by Judas Iscariot and arrested by the Sanhedrin.  He was taken to the home of Caiaphas, the High Priest, where the whole council had gathered to begin making their case against Him.  

In the early morning hours, as Jesus’ trial was getting underway, Peter denied knowing Him three times before the rooster crowed.

Matthew 26:17-75, Mark 14:12-72, Luke 22:7-62, John 13:1-38

Friday

Judas Iscariot was overcome with remorse and hanged himself Friday morning.  

Before 9 am, Jesus endured the shame of false accusations, condemnation, mockery, beatings, and abandonment.  After multiple unlawful trials, he was sentenced to death by crucifixion.  Before Christ was led away, soldiers spit on him, tormented and mocked him, and pierced him with a crown of thorns.  Jesus then carried his own cross to Calvary where he was mocked and insulted as Roman soldiers nailed him to the wooden cross.

Jesus spoke these statements while on the Cross:

~ Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.  Luke 23:34

~ He said to one of the criminals next to him, I assure you:  Today you will be with Me in paradise.  Luke 23:43

~ About 3 in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?”  Matthew 27:46

~ Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit.  Luke 23:46

About 3 pm, Jesus breathed his last breath and died.

By 6 pm Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus’ body down from the cross and lay it in a tomb.  

Matthew 27:1-62, Mark 15:1-47, Luke 22:63-23:56, John 18:28-19:37

Saturday

Jesus’ body lay in the tomb, where it was guarded by Roman soldiers throughout the day on Saturday, which was the Sabbath.  When Sabbath ended at 6pm, Christ’s body was ceremonially treated for burial with spices purchased by Nicodemus.  “He bought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.  Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth.”  John 19:39-40

Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were members of the Sanhedrin, the court that had condemned Jesus Christ to death.  For a time, both men had lived as secret followers of Jesus, afraid to make a public profession of faith because of their prominent positions.  Because they were both deeply affected by Christ’s death, they boldly came out of hiding, willing to risk their reputations and lives because they knew he was Messiah.  Together they cared for Jesus’ body and prepared it for burial.  

Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin by offering the perfect, spotless sacrifice.  He conquered death, both spiritually and physically, securing our eternal salvation.  “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors.  And the ransom he paid was not mere gold and silver.  He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”  1 Peter 1:18-19

Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 16:1, Luke 23:56, John 19:40-42

Sunday

Early Sunday morning, several women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Salome, and Mary the mother of James) went to the tomb and discovered that the large stone covering the entrance had been rolled away.  An angel announced:  “Don’t be afraid!  I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He isn’t here!  He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.”  Matthew 28:5-6

On the day of his resurrection, Jesus Christ made several appearances.  The first person to see him was Mary Magdalen.  Jesus also appeared to Peter, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and later that day to all the disciples except Thomas, while they were gathered in a house for prayer.  

“Peace to you!”

Matthew 28:1-13, Mark 16:1-14, Luke 24:1-49, John 20:1-23

In His grace,

Amanda

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Be Aware of Who You are Joining In With

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Is he following me? Women need to feel safe when we're walking ...

With his wife’s full knowledge, he kept back part of the money for himself but brought the rest and put it at the apostle’s feet.

Acts 5:2

“Ananias and Sapphira.” The names are mentioned together, like “Bonnie and Clyde.” We remember both couples for their crimes and the manner of their deaths.

We don’t know why God struck Ananias and Sapphira dead for lying about how much money they received for the property they sold. What is clear is that both husband and wife were held accountable. Sapphira knew the details of the transaction, but she stayed home while Ananias presented their offering. Three hours later, she arrived at the assembly. Perhaps she expected a grateful welcome. Instead, she saw no sign of her husband. Before she could wonder why Peter asked her a question: “Is this the amount of money you received?”

Carefully coached, she confidently said, “Yes.” She died in the same manner as her husband.

Sapphira could have made several choices. She could have objected when Ananias sold the land. She could have asked him to give all the money to the church, instead of holding some back. Most importantly, she could have refused to lie about it. When Peter asked her directly, she could have told the truth. Instead, she committed the same sins as her husband. When we stand before Christ we will not be able to say, “I was just following orders.” The choice to stand in truth will always be our own.

In His grace,

Amanda

Women of Faith Series

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No Rolands for Olivers Here

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For this reason, although I have great boldness in Christ to command you to do what is right, I appeal to you, instead, on the basis of love.

Philemon 1:8,9

Apphia (Philemon 1:2) was probably Philemon’s wife and therefore had a part in Onesimus’s situation. Onesimus was a runaway slave who had robbed his master Philemon and escaped to Rome. While there, he met Paul, and Onesimus became his spiritual son. Paul sent the runaway slave back to Apphia’s household with a letter appealing to Apphia and Philemon to respond to Onesimus in Christian love. How the newly converted slave would be treated depended upon how Apphia, as well as her husband, Philemon, reacted to the apostle Paul’s request for leniency.

No doubt, emotions ran high in Philemon’s household. He and his wife may have reacted with shock when Paul asked them to take back the escaped slave as a brother in Christ. After all, legally, they had complete authority over their slave and could even have had him put to death.

Though the couple could have made life very difficult for the runaway, Paul called them to compassion, even hinting that they might free Onesimus and send him back to continue the ministry he had begun with Paul (Philemon 1:12-16).

Like Apphia, we face times when our emotions may edge us toward revenge. Will we try to exact as much as possible, or listen to the apostle’s voice? Seeking retribution leaves us with empty hearts and spirits. But forgiveness can fill our souls and the lives of those around us.

A Roland for an Oliver means a tit for tat, a blow for a blow. Paul steps forward and asks Apphia and Philemon that if Onesimus had wronged them in any way, or owed them anything, to charge the debt to his account (1:18). Sounds a lot like Jesus. How we react to our own Onesimus’ will also display Jesus in our lives. When someone has wronged you, will you respond with a Roland for an Oliver (retaliation), or will you respond with a hand of mercy that has fully embraced the pure joy of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ of Nazareth? The choice is ours.

As Paul closes his letter, he says, May I have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ (1:20). When we choose love over retaliation, not only do we offer the refreshment of Christ to the one needing it, we also refresh anyone else with eyes to see and ears to hear.

In His grace,

Amanda

Women of Faith series

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Be Courageous

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But My righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I have no pleasure in him.

Hebrews 10:38
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Jesus says fear comes from little faith (Matthew 8:26). When we struggle with fear, and it causes us to be anxious or timid, the Bible says to look away from ourselves. We grab hold tightly to the beautiful truth: He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains (Isaiah 53:4), and we see the emphasis is on He HIMSELF. The remedy to fear is not found in ourselves but in Jesus Christ. Our fear gets crushed when we turn our eyes to Jesus, “He Himself” because he is our remedy.

Below are four examples of women who did not shrink back when fear tempted them. Don’t think for a minute it was because the invitation to make a difference did not require bold courage. It did. These women were human just like you and I. Just because the text does not indicate their sweaty palms, their butterfly stomachs, and sleepless nights does not mean it did not exist for them. It just signifies they overlooked their body’s response to uncertainty and focused their eyes on something more significant.

During these days of uncertainty, we must choose courage. We need the courage to do what is hard. Courage to not fear. Courage to not retaliate. Courage to give a blessing when someone close to us is behaving like an enemy, and most importantly, the courage to stand when we feel like retreating. Choose bold courage today. Love when it’s risky. Be merciful. Be thankful. Forgive. Have peace. And most importantly, trust God.

Deborah

She summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “Hasn’t the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you: ‘Go, deploy the troops on Mount Tabor, and take with you 10,000 men from the Naphtalites and Zebulunites? Then I will lure Sisera commander of Jabin’s forces, his chariots, and his army at the Wadi Kishon to fight against you, and I will hand him over to you.

Judges 4:6-7

Barak was hesitant to obey the LORD, but Deborah boldly reminded him of God’s promise to go before them, and the blessings that come with obedience. She encouraged him by saying, “Hasn’t the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you…to go?” She trusted God so much that she even planned to take part in his plan. Encourage someone to be brave. Remind them of God’s promises. We need courageous Christians to step forward. Be prepared to stand with God, come what may, and encourage someone who needs reminding.

Esther

Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and assemble all the Jews who can be found in Susa and fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, day or night. I and my female servants will also fast in the same way. After that, I will go to the king even if it is against the law. If I perish, I perish.”

Esther 4:15-16

Esther is an inspiring and remarkable woman willing to risk her life to save others. She is an outstanding example of a woman ready to be courageous, even under the most stressful circumstances. Jesus Christ said, “Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Most of the time, our lives may be pretty routine, but when defining moments present themselves, be prepared to put godly principles above personal benefit. She teaches us that we must break fear’s intimidation and use our influence to bring glory to God. Be a difference-maker.

Miriam

Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her with their tambourines and danced.

Exodus 15:20

Moses’ sister Miriam displayed remarkable intelligence and confidence. She helped save his life by hiding him among the reeds at the edge of the river when authorities wanted to kill him. Later, Miriam, with her brothers Moses and Aaron, led the Hebrew people through the forty years when they searched for the Promised Land that God had promised. I like how Miriam led the women to worship the God who saves. She encouraged the women not to keep silent when God demonstrated his awe-inspiring works. Who can you invite to give God glory? It is always perfect to start with ourselves. Miraim did by picking up the tambourine.

Mary

“I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:38

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is one of the most admired figures in Scripture. It is her courage that is applauded because she was willing to trust God’s call even when that meant a disruption in the life she planned. Mary experienced considerable joy in her submissiveness but also significant suffering. Despite these things, she responded to God with great obedience and submission to His way. Her life did not rob Jesus of His glory, for her mission was to witness the glory of the Son of God. She humbly surrendered her life and reputation to the purposes of God. Her submission shows us that when we consecrate our life to the Lord, He can do amazing things. We too can lead courageous lives so that we, as well as others, are a witness to His glory.

In His grace,

Amanda

Women of Faith series

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Moving Past Mistakes

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By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the One who had promised was faithful.

Hebrews 11:11

Sarah often gets blamed for lack of faith when she urged Hagar upon Abraham. But a closer reading reveals a startling fact: God did not promise Abraham a son through Sarah until more than a decade after Ishmael had been born. Perhaps she thought bearing a son through her maidservant was God’s plan all along.

Her faith is what is held up as an example in the Hall of Faith found in the book of Hebrews. Trying circumstances work out our faith — breaking down fragile hope and rebuilding robust hope in the strength of Christ. They expose faith in our own strength and wisdom, and they exercise our faith so that we will increasingly put our hope and confidence in Christ and his promises instead.

With twenty-twenty hindsight, we see her mistake. But apparently, this was an accepted practice in that era. After all, four of the twelve tribes – Gad, Asher, Dan, and Naphtali – were born to maidservants.

When God’s plan didn’t match Sarah’s expectations, she added her own spin. Did she pray about it? We are not told. If she had prayed…if she had waited…if Abraham had said no…if, if, if. What we do know is that once God promised Sarah, she would be a mother, she believed.

Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.”

Genesis 17:19

Many of us have at least one “if only” in our lives. Like Sarah, our mistakes don’t end our usefulness to God. If we stumble, let us acknowledge our error and move forward with confidence because the One who promises is faithful.

In His grace,

Amanda

Women of Faith series

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A Telling Woman

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After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons.

Mark 16:9

Mary had seven demons cast out of her (Luke 8:1–3), was present at Jesus’s crucifixion (John 19:25), saw where Jesus was buried (Mark 15:47), and saw the resurrected Jesus (Matthew 28:1–10). Mary was living proof of Jesus’ power to change lives. Through her deliverance, people could see God fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy that He would “let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people” (Isaiah 58:6).

Jesus had removed Mary’s spiritual chains, and she responded with love, devotion, and service. Even in her grief and dashed hope, following Jesus’s death, she was up before sunrise on the Sunday after Jesus’ death and on her way to His tomb. What is so astonishing about Mary Magdalene is that she was the first person Jesus appeared to after being raised from the dead (John 20:11-18). Jesus did not first show himself to his mother, nor to Peter, James, or John, but to Mary.

Jesus met Mary in her overwhelming grief and let her be the first person to glimpse the resurrection proof of His victory over death so that she could share the message of victory and joy!

Mary Magdalene is a telling woman. She told herself that in Christ, she was a new creation. Her old self had passed away, and the new had come. She told herself that in Him, her past sin, or abuses and injustices she had suffered, and the ways she viewed herself and the way others saw her because of it, was not who she was. She told herself that in Him, she was God’s child (Ephesians 1:5). She told herself that He washed her and made her holy (1 Corinthians 6:11). She told herself that no one had the authority to say otherwise (Acts 10:15). She was His beloved (Romans 9:25). She was no longer represented as her sin (Psalm 51:7). Because Mary told herself these things, doubt and fear were merely distant reminders. What clung to her now was the beautiful joy of her foremost treasure. Nothing would stop her from spreading the victorious message to the others because lies no longer had the power to haunt her.

Jesus gave the resurrection proof to this telling woman. Tell yourself the things Mary told herself and proclaim the life-changing Message you know. Undoubtedly, Mary knew she had been given the new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3) and was thrilled to be the first herald of this wonderful news. Don’t allow any grief and dashed hope to halt the beautiful feet of the herald, who proclaims peace and brings news of good things (Isaiah 52:7).

In His grace,

Amanda

Women of Faith series

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What Do You Have?

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Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”

2 Kings 4:2
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What did she have? The widow had a problem. Since her husband had passed away, she had no way to pay the debt that had amassed, and her children were going to be taken from her as payment. She appealed to Elisha to prevent this from happening. His solution for her was to gather as many jars as she could, take what oil she had, and start pouring it into the jars.

The widow did as she was instructed and was amazed to discover that jar after jar filled with oil. When there were no more jars left, Elisha instructed her to sell the oil and pay off her debt. Whatever remained would be enough to support her and her sons.

We too, like the widow, have real problems. For the widow, her courage, humility, and willingness to ask for help was bigger than her predicament. How she handled her difficulty says a lot about her:

  • She demonstrated her courage when she sought Elisha.
  • She demonstrated humility instead of bowing to pride.
  • She admitted to having a problem she needed help with and was willing to work to solve her problem.
  • She demonstrated her faith by following Elisha’s directions instead of questioning him.

What do you have? Do you have a problem, or do you have courage, humbleness, and bold faith? Like the widow, courageous faith should be the attitude we pray for when faced with difficulties. The widow’s problems did not go away because she had courage, humility and faith, but those things gave her what she needed to work through her problems. This approach worked for the widow, and it will work for us.

In His grace,

Amanda

Women of Faith series

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