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A Special Mother's Day Message for Women of God

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone has heard that famous quote. Everyone tends to view and judge things based on thier own experiences, feelings, etc. But the voice of truth, the word of God, tells us a different story. It tells us that when we accept the free gift of salvation which comes thru the grace of Christ, we become bondservants of Christ. At that point we are to die to ourselves, and follow Him. And thru that process our hearts and minds are renewed.

Rom 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Not what is acceptable to you, or your feelings, or to society. But to God. What does that mean? We are to start looking at things the way God sees them, and start judging things based on His criteria and not ours.

So when it comes to beauty, or what defines a beautiful or desirable woman, we need to look to God as a fixed point of reference for that. Make sense? Like everything else, Satan has sought to distort or redefine what God says makes a woman beautiful or desireable. He’s done it through things of this world. Media, entertainment, peer pressure, our pride, our lust, etc.

Today, our perception of what makes a woman truly beautiful or desireable is very different than God’s definition. So I thought today, on Mother’s day, I would do three things:

1) Look at women who made a hugh impact and were blessed by God from the OT. 2) Look at how Jesus interacted with women. And it might surprise you. 3) Take a few minutes to share some thoughts on the difference a mother who is a woman of God can make in the world.

I would like to ask you to take about 3 minutes and watch a video produced by Dove. It illustrates how society has really distorted outward beauty, and made it almost impossible for a young or older woman to achieve the “ideal” standard. The URL for the video is:

If a girl grows up thinking that that is what defines beauty, then Satan has a hugh advantage over her in the spiritual war that he is waging against her. And make no mistake. He is waging a fierce war against her, as he is against the rest of us. If he can put an unattainable or unrealistic standard in your mind, one that you can’t reach, but believe is necessary to be happy or accepted, then it’s easy to convince you that you are unwanted. Ugly. Worthless. A loser. Because you can never truly reach that standard or goal. You’ll never be satisfied or content.

But please listen. The voice of truth, God’s voice, His word tells a very different story!!!

God has very different standard for beauty, for what makes a girl or a woman desirable in His eyes! And He is the one who created the universe. He is the one who created the earth and everything in it. He is the one who created all of mankind. And He is the one who created you. He knit you in your mother’s womb. He knows every hair on your head. It’s His standards that determine true beauty. And please listen. His standards CAN be acheived! By any girl. And

by any woman. And men need to hear this as much as women. We men need to rethink and reprogram our minds as to what true beauty is all about. We’ve bought into the lies just like women have. Remember. In the beginning, when God created Eve, He said that it was good. Eve was not wearing the latest fashion or hair style. She was not adorned with great jewelry. And she wasn’t wearing any makeup. Just saying.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

It’s interesting how initially when you meet someone you tend to judge them on appearence. And you may say that they are very attractive or not very appealing. But then when you get to know them and their personality your opinion of how attractive they are can change radically. It’s because you are now judging them based on a more permanent inner beauty. Outward beauty is transient. That is, it’s fleeting. It tends to fade with time, while the inner beauty remains. Therefore it makes sense to seek those with an inner beauty.

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

1Pe 3:3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

God made us in His image. When we reflect Him to the world, we are reflecting the beauty of God to the world. And that’s the standard. He is perfection. Pure holiness. Pure beauty.

Psa 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

In ancient cultures, women in pagan societies were often treated with little more dignity than animals. Some of the best-known philosophers—considered the brightest minds of their time— taught that women are inferior by nature. As mere chattel—personal possessions of their husbands or fathers, with hardly any better standing than household slaves.

But what about today? Throughout the world, women are still traded like animals for sexual slavery. In more “civilized” places, men routinely use women for no-consequence, no- commitment sex only to leave them pregnant, without care and support. Abortion rights groups aid and abet male selfishness and irresponsibility, and they “free” women to murder their unborn children. Women are left alone, emotionally scarred, financially destitute, and experientially guilty, ashamed, and abandoned.

Thanks to the feminist movement of the 60’s / 70’s, women have been told that they have to be equal to men in all ways. Do everything that men can do. Removing the uniqueness that God gave to women. And now, society is removing the very name of female from our language via gender neutral identities garbage. Men can now identify as women and vise versa. Insanity.

The Bible however, rightly exalts women against cultures that distort, degrade, and debase women. Including today’s. From Genesis to Revelation, women are exalted by God. In fact, it often seems that God or the Holy Spirit goes out of their way to pay homage to women, to exhalt their roles in society and family, to acknowledge the importance of their influence, and to exalt the virtues of women who were particularly godly examples.

There are many examples of women in the OT who reflect the beauty and holiness of God. Women who were amazing examples of strength, faithfulness, love, honor and grace. The very attributes of God. I’d like to share a couple with you.

RUTH One of my favorite books of the bible is the book of Ruth. We did a line by line study of that book last year. Ruth means a lot to me. Back in 2004 I became born again, and I was on fire for God and wanted to get into His word. And I came across Jan Markel’s radio show (not sure how), and she had a guest on by the name of Chuck Missler. Never heard of him before, but he was talking about how the book of Ruth was an amazing example of prophetic modeling. And when he started going thru Ruth it blew my mind. I had never heard of prophecy or modeling before. My love of prophecy really started there. With the book of Ruth.

Besides being an amazing book prophetically speaking, Ruth, the person, really stands out in the OT as a testiment to virtue, love, devotion, and faithfulness. Because of these attributes, she became one of the most important women in history. She was the great grandmother of King David.

RAHAB Rahab was one of the most thought-provoking and astonishing heroines of the Old Testament. You can read about her in the book of Joshua. She is noteworthy for her great faith, but also for being a model of the Church. She was a key part in the famous story of Jericho.

Jericho was a stronghold directly in the path of the advancing Israelites, who had just crossed the Jordan River. Joshua sent two spies to look over the land. The king of Jericho heard that two Israelite spies were within his city and ordered them to be brought out to him. Rahab, the woman with whom the spies were staying, protected them by hiding them on her roof. She agreed to help them escape, provided that she and her family were spared in the upcoming battle. The spies agreed to her request. Safely escaping the city, the two spies returned to Joshua and reported what was going on. The Israelites crossed the Jordan into Canaan where they laid siege to the city of Jericho. The city was completely destroyed, and every man, woman, and child in it was killed. Only Rahab and her family were spared. Ultimately, Rahab married Salmon, an Israelite from the tribe of Judah. Her son was Boaz, the husband of Ruth. Joseph, the legal father of Jesus, is her direct descendant.

Rahab was perceptive, intelligent and well informed. Rahab identified the spies for what they were, hid them, and had a plausible story ready with which to deceive the king’s agents. She’s also interesting from a prophetic modeling point of view. She gave the two Israelite spies excellent advice. She told them to hide in the hills for three days before attempting to cross the Jordan. So they were hidden 3 days, then crossed the Jordan (which is symbollic of crossing over from this world to the next). Interesting!

But she is a model of the church in 3 ways: 1) She was a gentile. In fact, she is the first recorded Gentile convert. (Not a man, but a woman)

2) Even though she was a pagan prostitute, by converting she became a legitimate bride. 3) Because she welcomed the spies, she was saved because of her faith. 4) She was also saved by an act of grace which she received through her faith.

ESTHER Esther was a Jewish woman who was selected by the Persian King Ahasuerus to be his wife. However, the king did not know she was a Jew.

When the king’s right-hand man, Haman, devised a plan to kill all the Jews, Ether’s uncle Mordecai found out. He went to Esther and asked her to go before the king and ask that the family of Israel be spared. Though Esther was the queen she did not have the right to lay her case before the king without an invitation. And the King had not called for her presence in over a month. She knew that going before him uninvited could mean death. Mordecai convinced Esther that she may have been brought to the position she was in by God for the purpose of saving her own people.

So in an amazing act of bravery, he agreed to go before the king without an invitation, even if it meant death. By inviting the king and wicked Haman to her house for a meal Esther planned a way to tell the king of Haman’s plot to destroy her family. She won the king’s favor and invited he and Haman to her house the next day. Between the two meals Haman grew more angry with Mordecai and the Jews. When Esther revealed to the king that Haman planned to kill her family

the king had Haman hung on the very gallows that were built for Modecai.

So through Esther’s courage, strength, love and faith, perhaps the entire jewish people were saved. And because they were saved, WE are saved! Because Jesus came through the jewish people. Time and again we see that because women had faith and yielded to God, He used them in amazing and powerful ways. Through their faith and actions, the Messiah was able to come into the world and as a result, we are saved.

Another very interesting way to look at women in the Bible is to study how Jesus interacted with them. How He treated them. It’s very instructive when trying to determine how God views the importance of women.

Today, many women excel in gifts of the Holy Spirit. Much of the ministry of the local church depends on women. Women in the church are not restricted from public praying or prophesying, only from having spiritual teaching authority over men. The Bible nowhere restricts women from exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12). Women, just as much as men, are called to minister to others, to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and to proclaim the gospel to the lost (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15).

God has ordained that only men are to serve in positions of spiritual teaching authority in the church. This is not because men are necessarily better teachers, or because women are inferior or less intelligent (which obviously is not the case). It is simply the way God designed the church to function. Men are to set the example in spiritual leadership-in their lives and through their words. Women are to take a role that is perhaps less authoritative, but is equally important. Women are encouraged to teach other women (Titus 2:3-5). The Bible also does not restrict women from teaching children. The only activity women are restricted from is teaching men or having spiritual authority over them. This logically would preclude women from serving as pastors/preachers. This does not make women less important, by any means, but rather gives them a ministry focus more in agreement with God’s plan and His gifting of them.

A lot of men have twisted scripture which refers to the structure of the church, and the family especially, to mean that women are less important. Or that men are superior and can order women around however they please. That is not scriptural. When doing this, they of course point to:

Eph 5:22-24

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”

Ah, but they conveniently forget the very next verse...

Eph 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church (His bride) and gave Himself for her.

Men are to honor our wives. To provide and give of ourselves for them. To sacrifice ourselves for them. To love and protect them. Adam failed that test with Eve. A lot of people like to blame Eve for the downfall of man. For our sin. She ate of the apple, after all. They claim that were both deceived, but if she hadn’t been deceived first Adam would not have joined in. But read Genesis. That’s not what happened or how God viewed it. He blamed Adam. Adam, BTW, was not deceived.

1Ti 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

God did discipline Eve, but He blamed Adam for not being there to protect Eve from Satan, and for not teaching her and sharing God’s word with her properly so that she would not be deceived.

Many men today, and even huge religions like Islam look down on women. The culture in Jesus day certainly did too. But Jesus’ attitude toward women stands in striking contrast to this. He was willing to speak openly about theological matters with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. He commended the theological insight and persistent faith of the Syrophoenician woman who requested healing for her daughter (Mk 7:24-30//Mt 15:21-28). He praised the poor widow in the temple who generously gave an offering out of her poverty in contrast to the rich who gave only a tiny fraction of their wealth (Mk 12:41-44//Lk 21:1-4). He commended a woman for her great sacrifice and spiritual insight in anointing his head with expensive perfume in preparation for his burial (Mk 14:3-9//Mt 26:6-13; identified as Mary of Bethany in Jn 12:1-8). Jesus especially showed care and concern for women who were poor, outcast or oppressed. He commended the faith of a woman with a blood disease who was healed when she secretly touched his garment (Mk 5:25-34//Mt 9:20-22//Lk 8:43-48). He spoke of the “great love” shown by the sinful woman who anointed his feet with oil and washed them with her tears (Lk 7:36-50). He showed compassion to the widow of Nain by raising her only son from the dead (Lk 7:11-17). He told the parable of the persistent widow to illustrate what it means to persevere in prayer (Lk 18:1- 8). He prevented the execution of the woman caught in adultery by rebuking the hypocrisy of the bystanders: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (Jn 8:7).

Most surprising of all, Jesus counted women among his disciples, something unheard of for Jewish rabbis of his day. Mark names a number of these women and points out that “in Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs” (Mk 15:41). Luke describes a number of women of means who supported Jesus’ ministry and traveled with him and his other disciples: 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. (Lk 8:1-3)

It is another Mary, however, Mary of Bethany, whose story most clearly illustrates Jesus’ attitude toward women. Luke recounts an episode when Jesus visited the home of Martha. Martha was busy with preparations for the meal. But Mary, meanwhile, sat at Jesus’ feet. The scene itself is culturally surprising, since to “sit at the feet” indicates the position of a disciple (Acts 22:3 esv, nrsv). As noted earlier, in Judaism it was considered inappropriate for a woman to assume such a role. When Martha objects that Mary has left her with the work, Jesus responds, “Martha, Martha . . . you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Lk 10:41-42). The one thing that is needed is a relationship with Jesus, and more specifically, a position as his disciple, learning from him. The great commission. Whereas in Judaism it was scandalous for a woman to assume such a role, Jesus praises Mary for doing so. Here we see Jesus breaking down cultural barriers when it comes to women.

A couple of last notes regarding women in the new testiment. While most of the men hid, it was women who were there at the cross. It was women who first discovered the empty tomb. They had to run and tell the men. It was a woman who was the first to see the risen Christ. And the very first church founded in all of Europe, was founded at a woman’s house. Lydia. A woman of great faith.

Scripture honors women as women, and it encourages them to seek honor in a uniquely feminine way (Proverbs 31:10-30).

Scripture never discounts the female intellect, downplays the talents and abilities of women, or discourages the right use of women’s spiritual gifts. But whenever the Bible expressly talks about the marks of an excellent woman, the stress is always on feminine virtue. The most significant women in Scripture were influential not because of their careers, but because of their character. The message these women collectively give is not about “gender equality”; it’s about true feminine excellence. And that is always exemplified in moral and spiritual qualities rather than by social standing, wealth, or physical appearance.

I would like to close with some thoughts regarding Mothers. All throughout the Bible, we see amazing stories of Mothers who, because of their faith, raised sons who had a tremendous impact.

- EUNICE was mother of Timothy. In 2nd Timothy 1:5 Paul states that “the genuine faith” in Timothy that allowed him to both hear and accept Paul’s words was originally found in his mother (Eunice). IE, her example was what set the foundation for Timothy to grow up to become the man that he did. He was, in fact, a testament to her and her legacy.

- JOCHEBED was the mother of Moses. Her actions when he was a baby saved his life. We know the rest of that story.

- HANNAH – 1 Samuel 1. Hannah was barren. She wanted a son but God had not granted her one. She begged the Lord for a child. In return she promised to dedicate this young man to God’s service. Her son was born and she followed through on her promise. She took the child to Eli the priest and left him to be raised in the Temple. She continued to have influence over the boy’s life through the years. Her son grew up to be Samuel—one of the most influential and godly men in the Bible.

I’ve already mentioned Rahab and Ruth. There are many other examples of mothers of great faith, including of course, Mary.

The point here is that God uses women in a very unique way. They are special to Him. Their spiritual influence can make all the difference in the world.

In his autobiography, Charles Spurgeon said this about mothers: ,”Neither can I conceive that, to any child, there can be one who will have such influence over the young heart as the mother who has so tenderly cared for her offspring. A man with a soul so dead as not to be moved by the sacred name of ‘mother’ is creation’s blot. Never could it be possible for any man to estimate what he owes to a godly mother.” How true!

And NEVER underestimate the prayers of a mother! Kids can run from their parents, but not their parents prayers! I think that my mother’s prayers helped bring me to Christ. My mother passed away from alzheimers in 2011. My Dad blessed me by giving me her Bible. She had a lot of verses underlined and notes written in the margin. What a gift. It gave me an insight to what was important to her. One of the verses that I ran across that Mom had underlined in her Bible:

3rd John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

She definately had her priorities straight! A mother’s love for her children are a true reflection of God’s love. It’s really amazing. It’s really a bond like no other. One that you never really appreciate until you have kids of your own, or until after your mother passes away.

But upon further study of her bible, I noticed something interesting. The vast majority of scriptures my mom underlined had to do with one topic. And that was having hope in the future with Jesus, even in the midst of a storm. In fact, she had wrote this note in the front of her bible in red, and underlined it twice - “Hope is the anchor of my soul”. While hope may have been the anchor of her soul, she was the anchor of the family. Mothers are really unique. God made them with gifts that fathers just don’t have. They are the calm in the storm. At least my mom was. She went through a lot in her life, but never really complained. Reading thru her Bible helped me to understand how she managed. She was always looking up. She stayed focused on Jesus and her future destination!

Let me read to you a couple of scriptures she underlined in her bible to illustrate this:

Job 19:25 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes. How my heart yearns within me!

Isa 46:4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Psa 9:9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Jhn 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jhn 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

2Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

With only a couple of exceptions, Mom underlined everything once. But there was one scripture that jumped out at me because she underlined it FOUR times! Let me read it to you.

Psa 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

My mom reflected an attribute that all of the great women of the Bible had, and that was great faith. What a great role model. So while my mom was beautiful from a secular standpoint (I’m biased, I know), the important thing, the thing that had the far greater impact on me, on her family and community, was that she was beautiful in God’s eyes. Because she reflected Him.

So if you are a woman (or young woman), stop using glamour magazine or the garbage of this world to gauge your beauty, and start using the Bible. There are plenty of examples of women who are truly beautiful in it.

And men, we need to stop using the sports illustrated swimsuit edition (or you fill in the blank) as a litmus test for what makes a woman beautiful or attractive. Use the Bible instead. Instead of measuring her by the outside, try looking into her eyes. After all, they are the window to her soul. And that is where you will find the true beauty of a woman.

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