Women Who Proclaim the Word
“The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.“ Psalm 68:11 NIV
Women are such a vital part of the Kingdom of God, and yet, there are moments in history where their gifts and talents were squandered and silenced, beginning with the first-century culture. Thankfully, Jesus stepped onto the scene, and He did not only come to give us victory over death, but He came to restore the hearts and kingdom identities for every one of His sons and daughters.
While Jesus came for all, He harbored a special place in his heart for the marginalized, oppressed, and downcast, including women.
Throughout the New Testament, we see women begin to arise from the shackles that society imprisoned them in as they advanced the Kingdom in boldness and obedience. Women were now courageously giving out of their means, worshiping Jesus with pure hearts and extravagance, and using their voices of victory to proclaim the good works of God. Because of Jesus, women were equipped, encouraged, and needed to make an impact for Christ.
The Woman and the Gift of Giving
“After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” Luke 8:1-3
Luke 8 gives such important insight into who Jesus had gathered around Him and those who were sowing into the ministry. Jesus traveled from town to town with his twelve disciples and made a note of the women, who have been healed physically, emotionally, and mentally, that have come alongside Him to support His ministry out of their personal means.
One way we can impact the Kingdom is through the giving of our time and resources. There is something so powerful about surrendering a portion of God’s provisions back to Him. It is through this intentional act that mountains can move, and childlike faith can be strengthened. Giving is also fluid enough to look different depending on the life season you are in. Giving can look like the sharing of our talents and gifts, finances, physical provisions, and even by opening ourselves up to relationships with others. Mathew 5:16 encourages us to be generous with our lives, and by opening up to others, we prompt people to open up with God.
As we give of our resources, we are partnering with the economy of heaven to advance the Gospel.
The Woman and the Gift of Worship
“Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.’Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” Luke 7:44-50 NIV
Worship is the most intimate way we connect to the heart of the Father. Not only are we surrendering our agendas, but we agree that no one in this world can match our matchless King. In our time of worship, we acknowledge that Christ is the center of everything in our lives and that He is all that we need, body, soul, mind, and spirit. So when we move through our lives, with no regard for what others will think, and continue to sit at the feet of Jesus, we surrender it all, and that my sweet friend is true worship.
The woman in sin noted in Luke 7:37 knew this full well. She entered the home of a Pharisee, where religious leaders and the Messiah were feasting, and she wept at Jesus’ feet, anointing his feet with elegant perfume while drying them with her hair. This utter abandon to what others would think or say about her was beautiful and illustrated an all-in kind of worship. She gave up her dignity, her pride, and something very costly to the world’s standard to worship the Son of God.
The same can be applied to our own lives today, and there is no sweeter aroma to the Father than the incense of when we sacrifice our whole heart to worship Him.
The Woman and the Gift of Testimony
“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?’ But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Mark 16:6-7 NIV
Nothing stirs our spirit of belief more than hearing the stories of how God is moving in the lives of others. There is such a delicate balance of wonder and childlike faith when we hear how miraculous the name of Jesus is.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that Jesus chose Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James, and Salome to tell the others, disciples included, that He had risen from the dead. Mark 15:40 NIV tells us, “Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome.” These three women had witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus, and two of them had witnessed His burial. He specifically chose these three women to spread the Good News that the world had been waiting for.
Women are relational, emotional, and intentional. Like these three women at the tomb, who were preparing themselves to care for the body of Jesus, when we seek after Him, and we are mindful of the work ahead of us, God will use us.
The Woman Who Chooses to Follow Jesus
Giving, worship, and testimony are all essential for making an impact. Giving flows from our physical means, while worship comes from our emotional capacity, and our testimony streams from our mental space. All three of these acts encompass a holistic giving back to Jesus.
When we choose to follow Jesus, we offer our resources to further the kingdom, serve from a place of love, and share our testimonies to spread the good news. Just like these women, they served God in the midst of everyday life. They did not wait for the perfect moment, for they knew they were imperfect women loved by a perfect God.
And as we stay connected to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with our entire being, we will continue to make an impact for Christ as we boldly proclaim the word of God.
Keep on shining!