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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.

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Devotional Week 45 Friday

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Matthew 6: 34

The Message Bible

“We have nothing to do with to-morrow until we get to it. When the day comes with its cares, then we may meet them and then God will provide for them. Duty only is ours – the faithful, diligent doing of God’s will day by day. The rest is Gods, and anxious care is unbelief. Our Father will surely take care of us if we are only faithful to Him. Away, then, with anxiety. Do your work, your duty, the bit of God’s will for the day, and let God care for you. Then the peace of God shall keep your heart and mind.”

J.R. Miller

In Green Pastures

Today’s Study Text:

“The king wanted to know all about it, and so she (the woman of Shunem) told  (the king) the story. The king assigned an officer to take care of her, saying, ‘Make sure she gets every thing back that’s hers, plus all profits from the farm from the time she left until now.’”

II Kings 8: 6

The Message Bible

“God Will Take Care of You” Part 25

“All She Asked for Was Her House”

“He has made Christ heir of all things, and He has made you joint-heir with Him; and hence He has given you everything.”

Charles Spurgeon

As I look over the landscape of my life what are the blessings which I’m most grateful to have received from my heavenly Father’s generous hand?

How do I define the word “blessing”?

“God doesn’t bless us so that we’ll know He’s faithful – we trust in His faithfulness and then discover His blessings.”

Karen Phillips Goodman

“No matter what has happened, it doesn’t spell the end of God’s ability to make it good. God is completely capable of taking leftovers and making a gourmet meal. He is never left without options. And He never leaves us hopeless.

David Edwards

The God of Yes

2003

            It’s a story that I believe I should read at least once a week. A woman from Shunem with a young son to raise has been off in a foreign land for seven years trying to avoid a famine in Israel. She has listened to God’s prophet – the man of God, Elisha. She had obeyed his word – actually, I like to call it a word from God. And when the famine was over, she returned to her homeland. We can only imagine how joyous the trip home had to be – that is until the family arrived to find that someone else had taken over their residence and planted their seed in the family field.

            What was to have been a joyful homecoming tuned into a plea for help. So off to the king they went, possibly expecting a cold reception for the king was not known as a God-fearing man. The woman of Shunem’s options seemed limited. The situation looked ominous. But before anyone threw their hands up in horror, thinking they might end up homeless, a set of circumstances unfolded right before their very eyes, which a few hours earlier seemed impossible.

            Gehazi, an improbable participant, was asked by the king to tell him about Elisha. At first glance this event didn’t seem that strange. However, there is truly a “behind-the-scene” story here. Remember, it was a fact that Gehazi lied to Elisha. Not only that, he was a known thief – taking a garment and money which God had stated should remain in Naaman’s possession. These facts make one wonder whether or not the King of Israel would have found Gehazi to be someone he could trust. Obviously, in God’s plan, Gehazi’s reliability wasn’t critical for just as Gehazi got to the high point of his story about Elisha, the woman of Shunem walked in with her request to the king. Just think again about God’s ability to time His intervention down to the very second!

            But this is only the beginning for when the woman of Shunem came before the king, all she was asking for was her home – a place to dwell would have been fine – even terrific. This was all she thought she needed. Not so in heaven’s eyes. This dear woman was one of God’s cherished friends. She had freely given of her resources to care for God’s man Elisha. Now God had a surprise for this kind-hearted lady. When the king heard what the God of heaven and earth had done for the woman by raising her son from the dead he wanted to get in on the “bounty giving,” too. Some Biblical scholars think he may have wanted to get in the good graces of Elisha or even with Elisha’s God. Who knows what his real motives were.

            But one thing I know without a doubt, God’s heavenly fingerprints were all over the actions that followed. How is it that we know it was our heavenly Father’s hand that intervened? We need to look no further than one of my favorite texts which I’ve quoted on more than one occasion. These words are penned by the Apostle Paul to his Christian friends in Ephesus: “God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams” (Ephesians 3: 20, The Message Bible).

            I want to ask you, “Did you hear the woman of Shunem ask to have a special government officer assigned specifically to her case?” The answer is, “No!” “Did you hear the woman of Shunem ask to be given all the money collected from the crops that were sold during the seven years she was in the land of the Philistines?” The answer is, “No!” “Did you hear her demand that the government official was to only take care of seeing that her problem was solved?” The answer again is definitively, “No!” The fact is that all the woman of Shunem wanted and asked for was to get her house back and yet God gave her more than she could have ever imagined or dreamed. And this dear Garden friends is how our Father works. Yes, His fingerprints are all over His acts of generosity and loving kindness. It’s how our Father operates.

            Our problem is that way too frequently we try and limit God’s behavior to the small little boxes that we conceive. We think, sadly, that God can’t be much bigger than we can imagine Him to be. This past weekend I heard a speaker tell of a friend who observed that most of the projects we get involved in don’t really need God’s help. What’s that about? Here’s the reason – we think so small, that really on our own, we can accomplish the goal. But I ask you today, “What if we treated our Father in heaven as if He wasn’t limited in any way by our small thinking? What do you think would happen?” As one of my favorite authors, Pastor Jack Hayford wrote: “Nothing is more limiting than the self-imposed boundaries we clamp around our own lives when we require God to fit into our expectations.” I just love those words. This is one of the reasons that here in Transformation Garden, our prayer ministry is based on the text found in Hebrews 4: 16, “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace, the throne of God’s unmerited favor, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time for every need, appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it (Hebrews 4: 16, Amplified Bible). I want to share my favorite words penned by Pastor Charles Spurgeon, when commenting on this passage in Hebrews 4: 16:

“It is a throne…it should be approached with enlarged expectations. We do not come, as it were, in prayer to the back door of the house of mercy to receive the scraps, though that were more than we deserve. To eat the crumbs from the Master’s table is more than we could claim. But when we pray, we are standing in the palace, on the glittering floor of the great King’s own reception room. In prayer, we stand where angels bow with veiled faces. There, even there, the cherubim and seraphim adore before that self same throne to which our prayers ascend.Shall we come there with stunted requests and narrow contracted faith? He is a King who distributes (for all people a feast of rich things). Take heed of imagining that God’s thoughts are your thoughts and His ways your ways (Isaiah 55: 8). Do not bring before God stinted petitions and narrow desires, but remember, as high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are His ways above your ways and His thoughts above your thoughts. Ask, therefore, after a Godlike fashion, for great things, for you are before a great throne. Oh, that we always felt this when we came before the throne of grace, for then He would do for us ‘exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3: 20, K.J.V.).

            Do you feel like you are facing a time in your life where your home has been taken away; your savings depleted; and you are standing empty-handed wondering what terrible event will happen next in your life? I encourage you to take your needs – every single one of them, to the King. Go with the confidence that you are the King’s own daughter. You are the King’s own son. And ask, not in a “stinted” manner for never forget, you are before a great throne. You are before a great God – a God whose generosity knows no limit for He willingly gave His onlybegotten Son for you and for me.

            Just think, the great lady of Shunem went to the earthly king because she needed a house. He gave her a house and oh, so much more. Now what do you think your heavenly King will do for you? All you need to do is come to His throne room and ask.

“We should be relatively unconcerned with God’s means and methods; and only careful to know His motives. Through the centuries He has said to His own, as He did to those in Chaldean captivity: ‘I know the thoughts that I think toward you…thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end’ (Jeremiah 29: 11). We therefore should give more attention to the purpose of the Timeless One than to a present perplexity; for He is able to make all things work together in an over-all pattern for our good.”

V. Raymond Edman

“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.”

Romans 8: 28

N.I.V.

 

     For the past five weeks, I’ve chosen to title our “Inspiration” portion of the daily devotional, “God Will Take Care of You.” These words are linked with a hymn that has a very interesting back-story. In his book, Then Sings My Soul, author Robert J. Morgan writes that on a Sunday in 1904, Civilla Martin who lived in Lestershire, New York, awakened from a night’s sleep ill and unable to travel with her husband to a preaching appointment. As author Morgan writes: “Martin was about to cancel his plans, when their young child piped up and said: ‘Oh, Daddy, you don’t have to stay home because of mother – God will take care of us.’ Martin proceeded to the train station and fulfilled his appointment. When he returned (home), Civilla handed him the words of ‘God Will Take Care of You,’ which she had written in his absence. Going to his little organ, Martin composed the music, and it was first published in the songbook he was compiling for the Practical Bible Training School.” Our “Affirmation” today comes from the words Civilla wrote over 100 years ago.

God Will Take Care of You

“Be not dismayed whatever betide,

God will take care of you;

Beneath His wings of love abide,

God will take care of you.

 

Thro’ days of toil, when heart doth fail,

God will take care of you;

When dangers fierce your path assail,

God will take care of you.

 

All you may need He will provide,

God will take care of you,

Nothing you ask will be denied,

God will take care of you.

 

No matter what may be the test,

God will take care of you;

Lean weary one, upon His breast

God will take care of you.

 

God will take care of you.

Thro’ every day, o’er all the way,

He will take care of you;

God will take care of you.”

Civilla D. Martin

W. Stillman Martin

            I believe the written and spoken word always go together better when great gospel music is added. So at the end of each week, as possible, I want to add something at the end of the devotional and it will be a link to music which adds to the written word. Today I’m adding a link to the great Mahalia Jackson singing our special Affirmation – “God Will Take Care of You.” Believe me, as I’ve listened to her soul-stirring rendition, it makes me believe that “Yes, indeed – God Will Take Care of me and of you” – every step of the way.

Mahalia Jackson – “God Will Take Care of You”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCsT8BFSD74

 

Your friend,

  Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author

When A Woman Meets Jesus

Dorothy@Transformationgarden.com

   

 

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