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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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Christianbooks.com

 

Devotional Week 43 Wednesday

“I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Father, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I confidently trust.”

Psalm 91:2

Amplified Bible

“He has kept and folded us from ten thousand ills when we did not know it; in the midst of our security, we should have perished every hour, but that He sheltered us ‘from the terror by night and from the arrow that flieth by day,’ – from the powers of evil that walk in darkness – from snares of our own evil will. He has kept us even against ourselves, and saved us from our own undoing. Let us read the traces of His hand in all our ways, in all the events, the chances, the changes, of this troubled state. It is He that folds and feeds us, that makes us to go in and out, - to be faint or to find pasture, - to lie down by the still waters, or to walk by the way that is parched and desert.”

H.E. Manning

Today’s Study Text:

“Elisha said, ‘At this season when the time comes round, you shall embrace a son.’ She said, ‘No, my lord, you man of God, do not lie to your handmaid.’ But the woman conceived and bore a son at that season the following year, as Elisha had said to her.”

II Kings 4: 16, 17

Amplified Bible

“God Will Take Care of You” Part 13

“Superabundantly – Far Over and Above”

“”Nothing in this world can bring you the fullness of life that God wants you to know. You were created by God and for God, and your life cannot be full without Him.”

Colin Smith

2005

Is there an area in my life where I need my heavenly Father to abundantly bless me?

Have I invited my heavenly Father to send His blessings into my life?

“Christ can be trusted to keep His Word that He will exchange our drab existence for joyous living, abundant life! And while true love, total acceptance and complete security are rare in our frantic world, the biblical evidence that our desires in these areas will be fulfilled in Christ is abundant.”

Josh McDowell and

Dale Bellis

Evidence for Joy

1984

“”I (have come) that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance, to the full, till it overflows.”

John 10: 10

Amplified Bible

            It would be easy to say she was a lady who had everything – wealth, a good husband, a home – and yet, we find that in an era in time when for women, having a child was what permanently marked your time in history, the compassionate and contented great woman of Shunem lacked a child of her own. Specifically, there was no son to carry on the family lineage.

            I find it to be an act of kindness when Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, made note of the childless situation that was present in the home of the lady in Shunem. It was also Gehazi who went to Elisha and pointed out a way in which the generous kindness of this gracious woman could be repaid. And so, in our study text for today, Elisha went to the lady of Shunem and informed her that in a year, she would have a son, something the woman remarked would be completely impossible for her husband was “old”, as she stated.

            As a childless person myself, I wonder how many times she had gazed upon a precious little one and a tinge of pain cut into her tender heart. I know I’ve felt that silent sorrow at times when I’ve seen the joy on the face of a parent as their young child ran into outstretched arms. And so, it is easy for me to understand the words of this lady as she responded to Elisha, “Please don’t tell me something that isn’t true. Don’t get my hopes up, only to have them dashed to pieces when things don’t turn out the way I want them to.”

            Maybe right now, there is some special need in your life, for it doesn’t have to only be the longing for a child. I’ve received many notes through the years where an individual is aching because they find themselves alone. It may be that you have never met that “someone” you could share your life with. Or possibly you’ve had your “one-and-only” removed by the cold hand of death and now you are all by yourself. But there are also those, nearly 50% of individuals in our world, who have had a spouse, only to have suffered divorce, abandonment and rejection. And when someone comes along and asks, “Why are you by yourself,” you, too, have an icy coldness cover your heart. Unfortunately, the pain of loss can turn into the grueling grind of fear that holds you back, keeping you from reaching out to others. Hope seems like a false emotion and you doubt the possibility of ever being infused with joy again.

            If you find yourself “missing something” in your life, I encourage you to never give up because the promise of abundance, in whatever way our heavenly Father deems appropriate in our lives, is not false hope or a meaningless word.

            I love the way The Message Bible shares the interaction between the great lady of Shunem and Elisha:

“Elisha conferred with Gehazi: ‘There’s got to be something we can do for her. But what?’ Gehazi said, ‘Well, she has no son, and her husband is an old man.’ ‘Call her in,’ said Elisha. He called her and she stood at the open door. Elisha said to her, ‘This time next year you’re going to be nursing an infant son.’ ‘Oh my master, O Holy Man,’ she said, ‘don’t play games with me, teasing me with such fantasies!’”

II King 4: 14-17

            Let’s take a moment to pull the curtain back on the phrase: “Don’t play games with me, teasing me with such fantasies!” May I be so forward to ask you this question: “As you have read the Bible and heard what God has done for His children, have you ever felt as though you were left out of the wonderful blessings? Has it ever occurred to you that maybe you weren’t born in the right lineage? Or maybe you’ve been hit with the arrow that says, “I’m not good enough?’”

            Well, I’ve got fabulous news for you today. In what is one of my favorite texts in all of Scripture, the Apostle Paul, writing to his friends in the city of Ephesus, assures the young Christians that, “God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine, or guess or request in your wildest dreams.” I want to stop right here for a moment and go back to the words of the great lady of Shunem who confronted Elisha with this blunt question: “Are you teasing me with fantasies?”

            How many times in our lives have we come to the conclusion that what we are sincerely asking God to do for us is just pure fantasy – a dream we’ve cooked up to keep our hopes from crashing on the rocks of disappointment. However, here’s the truth according to the Apostle Paul, grounded in the reality that our heavenly Father’s love for each of us is planted in abundance – a word which means “fullness to overflowing.” Paul promises that not only can our heavenly Father do anything, but he goes on to highlight that what our God does in your life and mine is “far more than (we) could ever imagine or guess or request in our wildest dreams.” Paul tells us that the way God responds with His generosity in our lives has nothing to do with false fantasies or silly notions or crazy ideas. Instead, Paul says that God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”

            When we ask our Father to take up residence in our lives, we need to comprehend that we have just asked for a “power source” that goes to work as a conduit, filled to overflowing with more of what we need and long for than we can ever understand. What I love about this passage in Scripture is that I may think I know what I need to fill that hollow spot in my life, that “person or thing” which I feel I’m missing out on, but God, who knows me better than I know myself, responds by giving me an expanded capacity to receive “abundantly, above, all that I could ask for or think I need.”

            Here’s the thing – you don’t have to be high-bred, rich and famous, or anything else the world counts as important. Instead, all you need to do today, right this moment is say, “Dear Father, I want You within me. Attach me to Your power, Your love and Your life.” And boom, the flow will start coming into your life and before you know it, you’ll be filled to overflowing. As Pastor and Evangelist Bruce Wilkinson emboldens us with these words, “If you stay connected to Him, if you draw spiritual nourishment from Him, if you allow the power that flows through Him to flow through you, nothing will hold you back from reaching the most abundant life possible.” This isn’t a fantasy or a false dream. It’s what Jesus has promised: “I am come so (you) can have real and eternal life, more and better life than (you) ever dreamed of (John 10: 10, The Message Bible).

            The Psalmist David left us with these words: “How priceless is Your unfailing love! Both high and low among (us, who) find refuge in the shadow of Your wings. (We) feast on the abundance of Your house; You give (us) drink from Your river of delights. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.” Psalm 36: 7-9, N.I.V.

   That All May Fully Live

“Where life and love are blossoming

And tear-drenched eyes grow clear

Then alleluias will be sung

By lips long closed by fear.

 

Where hate-filled hearts are changed by love

Where peace its gladness brings

Then life breaks out in place of death

And joy from sorrow springs.

 

Unlock the doors we hide behind

And speak Your words of peace

Break through all sadness and all fear

Your strength in us release.

 

Then send us out, encouraged by

The Spirit You will give

To unlock doors in all the world

That all may fully live.”

Wendy Rose-Barker

England

 

    God of Love and Love Abundant

“God of Love and Love Abundant,

we give thanks for all Your care.           

You are making hate redundant

You give love enough to share.

 

Love of Life and Life Abundant,

born with grace to be mature.

God is making death redundant

God gives life that can endure.

 

Life of Hope and Hope Abundant,

boundless probability

God is making fear redundant

God gives hope that sets all free.

 

Peace of God and God abounding,

guaranteeing every good.

Every evil now confounding

With intended family-hood.”

David J. Harding

England

Your friend,

  Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author

When A Woman Meets Jesus

Dorothy@Transformationgarden.com

   

 

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