Today’s Scripture:  John 20: 1-18

A Moment to Pause and Remember what Should not Be Forgotten:

Today…it’s hard to want to write a message because it’s one of those days in US History that makes you stop and think.  You see it was on this day eleven years ago that a terrorist attack took place on American soil…and it was one of those JFK moments where most of us remember exactly where we were and what we were doing on that day.  So…before I go into the message today…I just want to thank God for whoever made this video.  I remember the first time I heard it…and I remember having a couple different reactions…but I also remember that it was of great comfort to me.

I will never forget where I was that day…and I’m so thankful God was right there with me.

Introduction:

So…we finish this first installment of this devotional talking about some of Women of the Bible.  I believe we’ll take a break from tomorrow, and then get back to our next series on Thursday…which will be Week 2 of The American Bible Challenge Devotional.

I don’t have a whole lot to say in the introduction today, and therefore I’m excited to just get into the message…and see what we can learn…and what the Holy Ghost might want to talk to us about today…Amen!?!

Today’s Message:  “Women of the Bible”

The Bible is not a MALE-dominated HIS-tory of MAN-kind. Women are just as important as men throughout its pages.

You know, today there are also important and excellent Bible teaching women in the Body of Christ today.  Some of my favorites in no particular order are Joyce Meyers, Paula White, Gloria Copeland (wife of Kenneth Copeland), Lynette Hagin (wife of Kenneth Hagin Jr.), and there are others that escape me at the moment…but the point is women are just as valuable and important when it comes to teaching and preaching the Word.

Listen…maybe I might be stepping on some toes or stating the obvious, but there are a lot of people who get up in arms over there being women in pulpits…and my answer to them is…God has said if He cannot find someone to praise Him…He will cause the rocks to cry out.  If you look in most churches today…they are predominantly full of women.  So…it stands to reason that if there are more women than men in the church…and God needs to raise up people who will preach the Gospel…who is He going to use!?!

That’s right…He’s going to use the women who are faithful, and if you men are so uptight and angry about women in the pulpit…then get off your sofa’s on NFL or NASCAR Sunday…and get your butt to church.  It’s ridiculous to be so angry about women preachers when the men aren’t willing to step up, and take the responsibility to be leaders in the church.

I know I’m stepping on some toes, but I don’t care.  I’m not afraid to say the tough things, and because I have no one to inspire me but the Holy Ghost…if you’re upset about what I’m writing…take it up with the Holy Ghost.  I’m sure that when you do…He’s going to tell you to check your own heart to see why it bothers you so much that I’m willing to write the truth while you’re content to hide your face in the sand!

God’s not going to stand idly by and watch the world He sent His Son to die for go to hell because you men are so chauvinistic and too discriminative of women in the pulpit.

My message to you is simple…if you’re so upset about women preaching the Gospel…then why don’t you get out and start reaching men…reaching the men that are more interested in football and racing and golf than coming to church…why don’t you start encouraging men to step into the roles they were meant to be in?  Instead of murmuring and complaining about what you perceive to be a problem…become part of the solution…and seek God about how to get more men in the church…so that He can raise them up to take their places behind the pulpits God’s wanting them to preach behind.

Well…I wasn’t expecting that kind of outburst from this message…but I’m sure that was for someone.  If the Holy Spirit had me write it…I know there was a purpose behind it.

It’s the women who with endurance and patience, despite public ridicule, gave birth to both Jewish and Christian legacy. Sarah waited four times past the average age of childbirth to have her first son. Mary faced public scorn for an apparent pregnancy outside of wedlock.

Perhaps the most important woman in the Bible was Mary…the mother of Jesus.  Then there’s women like Ester who saved the Jews from being completely murdered.  Sarah proved that with God age really is just a number by giving birth to Isaac who would represent Israel in contrast to Ishmael who would represent Islam and Muhammad.   There’s Mary and Martha who taught us that while service is important…sitting at the feet of Jesus is much more important…I should also point out is was Mary who was one of the women who Jesus first revealed Himself to when He was resurrected.

Women became political figures and changed the tide of events in the Bible. Esther worked behind the scenes to save her people from annihilation. Deborah was a judge when no one else—no man—would step up.

We mentioned Ester a moment ago.  For those of you who have maybe heard of, but never seen the movie “One Night With The King”.  That movie was based upon Ester, and how she was the right woman to save the Jew’s.  The story of Deborah is a picture of the church today…women are teaching and preaching because there aren’t enough MEN to step up and answer the call to ministry.

God invited women from the outside of Jewish culture into the family. Rahab got her life together and worked for God instead of against His will. Ruth was from the Moabite enemy, but found herself in the genealogy of David, Solomon and eventually Jesus Christ.

Most of us know Rahab  as that harlot, but God used her in a mighty way as well.  Ruth…well…we know that she’s part of the genealogy who eventually gave way to Jesus…as we read here.  King David was in here bloodline…and we all know how important King David was…if you ever need a reminder…read Psalms.

When Jesus rose from the dead, He chose to appear to the women.

Isn’t it interesting that out of all the people Jesus could’ve appeared to first…He chose women.  If gender in teaching and preaching the Word of God was really important…don’t you think that Jesus (Who is the prime Example for everything) would have appeared to one of His disciples before appearing to women…but He didn’t.  He did so the other way around…ever wondered why?  I think it’s because Jesus wanted it understood that women are just as important in the Body of Christ as men.

When Paul needed financial support for his ministry trips, he turned to women.

Again…looking at the state of the church today.  Most ministries today are supported by women.  Most pastors are supported by fantastic help mates who are…well…women.  Why is that?  It’s because there are more women than men in church seats all over this nation.  Like I said earlier…if that’s upsetting to you…then maybe you should be more concerned about finding ways to get men into the church…instead of being angry cause women are taking up all the leadership positions in the church…if there were more men in the church…maybe women wouldn’t out number them so much when it comes to financial support, teaching roles, and other ministry roles.

Again…I’m not the one to be upset with…I’m just writing what the Lord places on my heart.  So…if you take issue with something I write…may I suggest that you consult Him?

Thank God He used woman in the story of the Bible and thank God He still uses them in our families to preserve our faith and to show us grace.

I’m blessed beyond measure to have had a grandmother who was established in the faith, and was instrumental in introducing me to the Lord.  She was the first influence I had as far as seeing someone faithfully doing the best she could to worship God no matter what her situations or circumstances.  She taught me to worship God…she was the first person who taught me to raise my hands to worship Him.

There’s nothing more powerful as a child, but to listen to your grandmother cry out to God on your behalf.  She told me many times how she prayed over me before I ever stepped foot into the realm of time.

To put it plain and simple.  My grandmother is responsible for introducing me to Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, and the reason that’s important is because I received my salvation one day as I was sitting on the edge of my grandma’s bed after listening to Jimmy Swaggart preach the Gospel.  She’s responsible for ushering me into the Kingdom of God.

What woman has meant the most to you and your relationship with God?

I have to admit that I’m blessed and lucky to have two women who have meant the most to me and my relationship with God.  As I just mentioned the first and probably most important was my grandmother because without her…I may have never received Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

The other is my wife.  With out her I can honestly say that I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be 215 messages into working to embrace and fulfill the call of God upon my life.  She’s the one who encouraged me to see me for who God saw me…and not the way I saw myself.  She’s a big reason why I am serving God today…instead of waiting around to figure out what it is I’m supposed to do.

So…let me ask you the same question:  What woman has meant the most to you and your relationship with God?

How many of you had a praying grandmother, aunt, mother, sister, or maybe even a neighbor?  How many of you have to admit (like I do) that there were important women in your life who were instrumental to your relationship with God?  Maybe…you’re like me…and she was so instrumental that she prayed right along with you so that you would receive Jesus into your heart.

With that…I believe I’m just going to close this message with that simple question…and maybe it will spark some thought within your mind about some of the important godly women in your life…and also to remember some of the important women in the Bible…and also to take note of some of the important women preaching and teaching the Gospel today.

What woman (0r women) has meant the most to you and your relationship with God?

Conclusion:

The Bible is full of important women in the Bible beginning with the first woman of the Bible…Eve.  I think the point of this message is to make sure it’s understood that every one regardless of gender is important and has their place of significance in the Body of Christ.  I think the very first point in this message is the most important one:  The Bible is not a MALE-dominated HIS-tory of MAN-kind.

We’re all important.  We all have our roles in the Body of Christ that Paul described in 1 Corinthians 12, and later again in Ephesians 4.  There’s no “insignificant parts” when it comes to the Church…we’re all necessary…we’re all needed…and in this day and age where there’s so many different denominations and reasons to be divided…there’s one thing we all should be unified on…and sadly we’re not…and that one thing is written by Paul…what’s that one thing?

“(4) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:4-6

If we’d keep these three verses in mind…then we wouldn’t have a reason for the Holy Ghost to rebuke us for being sexist and discriminating against the women HE has called to serve Him…AMEN!?!

Lord, thank You so much for Your Word.  Lord, I ask that You would forgive us for being so quick to judge and discriminate against women…and that You’d help us to understand that there were great women of faith throughout the Bible…and still today that are important warriors in the Body of Christ.  Help us, Lord God to honor those women…instead of working to discredit them solely because they’re women.

Lord…I believe anyone and everyone You call is significant, and has their place…and we ought to reverence them and remember Jesus’ warning…that whosoever rejects those whom YOU have sent…don’t just reject the women You called to preach Your Word…but they’re rejecting You as well.

Oh…Lord do I love Thee.  I thank You for helping me to write this message…and I ask that You would cause it to do whatever it is You want it to do.

I thank You for this simple…yet powerful series…and I ask that You would help the next one to be just as powerful…and that You would continue to speak to us and teach us…In Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen