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Biblical stories of eighteen New Testament women who Jesus encouraged, empowered, and loved.

When a Woman meets Jesus, BookHow could a man who had no wife, no children, no home, no job, no money, and wandered the hills of Judea with twelve men relate to women of his time, much less women in the 21st century?

That's the question that led author, Dorothy Valcárcel, to search for biblical women whose lives intersected with Jesus. As she explored the lives of every woman Jesus met, she discovered that they faced many of the same challenges women encounter today.

Available at:
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Amazon
Christianbooks.com

 

Devotional Week 41 Friday

 

“Do not worry and be anxious, saying, ‘What are we going to have to eat?’ Or, ‘What are we going to have to drink?’ Or ‘What are we going to have to wear?’ People who don’t know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-iniative, God-provisions…you will find all your everyday human concerns will be met. But seek ye first (God’s) kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6: 31-33

K.J.V.

The Message Bible, N.I.V.

 

    Unceasing Goodness

 

“Clouds drape the world; for God hath been neglected;

And unleashed evil forces seem to win!

The Arch Destroyer’s work may be detected,

For everywhere there stalks unbridled sin.

 

But God abides! His goodness is unceasing!

His sun still shines! His rain it still doth fall!

The earth its fruits are constantly releasing!

He hears and answers all who on Him call!

 

Unceasing goodness! Yea, amidst all life’s sorrow,

Amidst all earth’s travail, tragedy and woe;

With all its dark, and so uncertain morrow,

We may unceasing goodness from Him know.

 

The flowers still bloom; the trees wear their adorning;

The little birds, untroubled, sweetly sing;

And we, His own, yea, children of the morning,

Look for the day when Christ shall reign as King.”

J. Danson Smith

Songs In The Night

1976

 

Today’s Study Text:

1. “When the king heard the woman’s words, he rent his clothes. As he went on upon the wall, the people looked, and behold, he wore sackcloth inside on his flesh.”

II Kings 6: 30

Amplified Bible

2. “Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require me (as a vital necessity) and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29: 13

3. “But if from there you will seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you truly seek Him with all your heart and mind and soul and life.”

Deuteronomy 4: 29

Amplified Bible

“God Will Take Care of You” – Part 5

“If With All Your Heart”

“Desire only God, and your heart will be satisfied.”

Augustine of Hippo

 

What do I think it means to seek God withall my heart?

In what ways am I seeking after God?

“We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit.”

A. W. Tozer

“If With All Your Heart”

Number 4 from Mendelssohn’s Oratorio – “Elijah”


“If with all your heart ye truly seek Me,

Ye shall ever surely find Me,

Thus saith our God.

If with all your heart ye truly seek Me,

Ye shall ever surely find Me,

Thus saith our God, Thus saith our God.

 

Oh that I knew where I might find Him,

That I might even come before His presence.

Oh, that I knew where I might find Him,

That I might ever come before His presence,

Come before His presence.

Oh, that I knew where I might find Him.

 

If with all your heart ye truly seek Me,

Ye shall ever surely find Me,

Thus saith our God.

Ye shall ever surely find Me,

Thus saith our God.”

Words: Original German derived from the Lutheran Bible by Julius Schubring. English Version by William Bartholomew

 

            This past weekend I happened to come upon a beautiful rendition of a song from the “Elijah,” an oratorio by Felix Mendelssohn. Sung by the incredible tenor, Placido Domingo, this piece entitled, “If With All Your Heart” simply moves me. The words are taken from several places in Scripture but for today I want to focus on how the prophet Jeremiah recorded his passage and I’m using The Message Bible for I love how easy it is for me to comprehend what God’s desire is: “When you call on Me, when you come and pray to Me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for Me, you’ll find Me. Yes, when you get serious about finding Me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed”. God’s Decree.” (Jeremiah 29: 12, 13, The Message Bible).

            To my longing heart, this is one of the most precious promises found in Scripture. It’s a promise which lets me know that when I make God my priority, He will be found. But this isn’t all that the prophet Jeremiah tells us our heavenly Father will do when we really get serious about finding Him. Here’s more encouragement: “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33: 3, N.I.V.). Indeed, God promises that when we crave His divine presence in our lives, He will open unto us what seems hidden and will reward us for we will understand what we didn’t even know was vital for our spiritual well-being.

            This was an important concept for my tiny “pea brain” to grasp. I had to think about the fact that my Father has not only put a longing in my heart to get to know him better, but then, as I begin digging in His word and spending time with Him each day, what was dark will be revealed in the light of heaven’s glory. All I can say is, “Thank You!”

            This is so important for us to get our heads around especially when we come upon a passage of Scripture like II Kings 6 where we encounter two cannibalistic mothers facing a food crisis of immense proportions and a wicked king driven to behead one of the few Godly individuals left in his earthly kingdom.

            Right when I was ready to close the book on this horrid story, I realized that there was something so pertinent tucked into this dreadful experience which not only sheds a light on why things had gone so dreadfully wrong at this point in history found in II Kings 6, but also gives you and me critical assistance that will aid us as we find ourselves living in a time of great evil.

            Our first study text for today is nestled right in the middle of the tragic story of the starving mothers. We read that the king, while walking on the wall and after hearing about the lengths these women were driven to during the food shortage tore his clothes, or as the Bible states, he “rent his clothes,” a symbolic sign of great grief and despair. He was giving a signal to the people of his kingdom that he was apparently upset and disturbed. But then there is a short sentence which honestly I’ve never noticed until a few weeks ago. The Bible tells us that, “the people looked, and behold, he (the king) wore sackcloth inside on his flesh” (II Kings 6: 30, Amplified Bible).

            During this time in history, sackcloth, we are told by historians, was a dark, rough material, often made from goat’s hair. Additionally, the sackcloth was worn against the human skin, rubbing in an abrasive manner which, as one theologian observed, reminded the individual they were to be fasting and in a humbled state-of-mind. In fact, the practice of wearing sackcloth represented humiliation and repentance before God, as King Jehoshaphat did when being attacked by foreign countries. With all the citizens’ eyes on him, Jehoshaphat bowed low before the God of heaven asking for the mighty hand of God to deliver.

            But now we get a completely different picture for when we look at what Jezebel’s wicked son, was doing now that he sat on the throne of Israel, come to find out, he too had on sackcloth, but it was hidden under his royal garments. Frankly, if I’d been a citizen in Samaria and heard the king order that Elisha’s head be lopped off while the king himself was acting like a phony, wearing sackcloth, hidden under his clothes, I would have asked this question, “Why the pretense? Why bother even to try and make people think you were sorrowful? If the king had truly been sorry for his sinful ways, he would have led his entire nation in a time of revival like King Jehoshaphat had done. But no, this son of Jezebel hid the garment which signified repentance underneath his kingly robes for his heart was not truly seeking after God. What a tragic picture we are left with as the ruler of the country mocks the King of Glory. Is it any wonder that God had withdrawn His protective wall of care?

            As I’ve studied this story again and again, I can’t help but hear heaven’s call to my own heart for undivided commitment to my Father in heaven. A call that pierces any phoniness that may ever exist in my own life where what’s on the inside doesn’t match the witness on the outside. In the words of Augustine of Hippo, “You called, You cried, You shattered my deafness, You sparkled, You blazed, You drove away my blindness, You shed Your fragrance, and I drew in my breath, and I pant for You.” That’s the call of heaven I desire to respond to.

              May we, with undivided hearts, with nothing hidden, seek God with all our hearts. Because when we do, we are promised He will be found. All of my heart will receive all of my Lord.

“O, make us apt to seek and quick to find,

Thou God most kind.

Give us Love, Hope, and Faith in Thee to trust,

Thou God most just.

Remit all our offenses, we entreat,

Most Good, most Great:

Grant that our willing though unworthy guest

May, through Thy grace, admit us amongst the blest.”

Thomas Heywood

1534-1641

 

 

        We Need You

“Don’t tire of Your world, Master,

Don’t wash Your hands of your children,

Shaking us off as hopeless, worthless.

Give us one more chance,

And yet another, and another.

 

How Your heart must sorrow as You see our need;

Our selfishness and sinfulness,

Cruelty and degradation, indifference to Your

Commands, contempt of Your love.

 

If our hearts sicken over the daily news,

What must You feel?

You who holds our world in Your cupped hands,

Bending over it lovingly;

Listening, yearning, challenging to better ways.

 

Yet spiteful arrows piece Your heart daily;

Your malicious children spit up in Your face;

That kind face bent over them in tender compassion.

Father-God, forgive Your world:

Go on forgiving Your children.

Don’t leave us to our own devices,

To our self-made hell,

Don’t cast us away, flinging us like unwanted

Playthings into the chill of outer space.

 

We have no merits to plead;

Our very wickedness must speak for us.

We need You.

O God, forgive Your world.”

Flora Larsson

                Your friend,     

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Dorothy@Transformationgarden.com

 

 

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