The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.

Psalm 19. 1

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View September 2009 Issue >>
 

Influential Women

Women are such a powerful gift to mankind, and we can learn much about God’s nature and His plan for women through the lives of various influential matriarchs in the Bible. From the Old Testament through to the New, God has provided us with examples of Godly women who, though from different backgrounds all had one thing in common - a love for God.

a significant woman

How many of us wish we could do something spectacular and courageous for God – something that would last and earn us a place in history? Yet we feel insignificant, inferior or even trapped in our circumstances. So many of us wish we were thinner, richer, funnier, more self-confident, better cooks or better gifted in the things of God.

Yet we do not realise that God has uniquely shaped and distinguished us for our personal destiny.

It is for this specific reason that God documented the countless stories of ordinary men and women in His Bible – so that no-one has an excuse to feel inferior or disqualified from being an ambassador for Him. The Lord has used prostitutes, murderers and even donkeys to deliver His Message and execute His plans. The courage and faith of ordinary women who dared to trust God should be enough to inspire us onto more!

Just discussing women like Sarah, Rahab, Esther, Ruth, Deborah, Abigail, etc, would fill books let alone this magazine. That said, I am briefly going to mention significant women of the New Testament, in the hope that by looking at women of the past and learning from their lives, you will glean hope for your future and a deeper understanding of the influence and significance God has granted to you.

 

An obedient woman

Though not in Chronological order, I will run through each specific woman and the characteristics she modelled that we as 21st century ladies can embrace today. Mary is a model example of an obedient woman who trusted God.

She was pure in spirit and bestowed with the incredible honour of being the vessel God used to bring Jesus to the world. Her unfailing trust in the plans of God (despite the impossibilities of the plan) teach us to lean on our Father. (Luke 1:38)

 

A discipling woman

Hermia, the wife of Titus, was a key role player in the early church in Crete, as she was a Godly mother and wife who was responsible (by virtue of the example she set) in disciplining young and old female converts to Christianity. (Titus 2:3-5)

 

A competent woman

Tabitha was not a mighty woman as far as we know, yet God chose to do a miracle in her life and raise her from the dead – causing the people of Joppa to marvel, rejoice in God and believe in His Name.

Through her acts of service like helping the poor, doing good and mending garments, Tabitha blessed the early Apostles and Christian community (Acts 9:36). It is interesting to note that when she died, Peter came and raised her from the dead, yet Stephen, an Apostle and powerful preacher who was martyred during a sermon, was not. God knows His reasons for doing certain things, but one thing is for sure – if we are willing to yield our time and talents to building God’s Kingdom and blessing our communities (as Tabitha did) our lives will leave an impact long after we pass away.

 

A pioneering woman

Priscilla and her husband Aquila are often commended by Paul for being Godly leaders, missionaries, pioneers and competent business people. Through their tent-making business, they supported the work of Paul and helped fund the spread of the Gospel in Rome, Corinth and Ephesus. Priscilla was a talented businesswoman who was open to the Spirit of God and to change.

She was a pioneer who was prepared to move cities, sacrifice homes and comfort zones all in passionate pursuit of the Lord Jesus. As a woman who risked her life for others, we can learn much from her fearless example.  (Acts 18,19)

 

A business woman

Lydia had everything money could buy. Her business inherited from her husband was flourishing and she was a respected citizen of the wealthy trading community of Thyatira in Philippi. Dressed in luxurious linens and draped in purple (the colour of royalty), Lydia had everything she desired – and yet she was thirsty for more. Her thirst was for the water of life that Jesus spoke about years earlier and upon hearing the Good News (preached by Paul) she immediately committed her life to the Lord.

Many people are entrapped by their possessions, and even Christians fall prey to the love of money, but not Lydia. She was a woman of noble sacrifice who was so touched by the love of God and the urgency of His Great Commission, that she dedicated her home, finances and worldly wealth to the church in Philippi. Lydia is a shining example of a career woman who “Seek first the Kingdom of God” (Matt 6:33). Career women should do the same – follow the Lord, support your husbands, serve the community and build the Church. (Acts 16:14-15)

 

A single woman

The devil often lies to women by preying on our deepest fears – of inadequacy and inferiority. Sometimes we accept his lies as truths, looking to our weaknesses and circumstances as proof that we are unworthy to be chosen by God. Some women see their age, their singleness or their geographical location as disqualifiers for God’s plans.

Yet, these ‘defaults’ can actually be just what God requires for your specific, glorious destiny. Though not much is known about Phoebe, one thing is sure – she was a single woman who was very influential and helpful in the local church. Paul speaks highly of her as a “sister in Christ” (Romans 16:1-2) and commended Phoebe as a servant (diakonos) or deacon of the church at Cenchrea. Whether you are married or single, the Lord values you and has a role of influence for you.

 

A motherly woman

Lois and Eunice are two family members credited with high praise from the Apostle Paul for amongst other things, their Godly examples, their legacy of faith and their superb upbringing of Timothy, a commendable young man of God. Lois and Eunice are perfect models of motherhood (and grandmotherhood!) – showing how important mothers are in shaping the lives of their children and indeed the generations. Often stay-at-home moms see their domestic duties as insignificant. They feel that Science projects and dirty socks pale in comparison to preaching the Word or working in the business world.

But God does not see their duties as superfluous. He values moms and grandmoms. As Lois’ and Eunice’s lives show – the investment you make in your family (no matter how irrelevant it may seem) can have eternal consequences in the Kingdom. Timothy’s life and the lives of all whom he impacted are credited to the faith of his mom and grandmom.

 

positive influencers

It must be noted that influence can be both negative and positive. Not only does the Bible document the righteous women of faith and their legacy, it also records the devastating consequences of destructive women like Jezebel and Delilah, who ruined people and enslaved nations. By succumbing to their flesh and following the path of destruction, these women yielded to the devil and will forever be considered women of deathly influence.

You as a woman of God have a choice – to influence others for good, to lead them astray or to abscond responsibility and do nothing. Choose wisely! Women are such a powerful gift to mankind, and we can learn much about God’s nature and His plan for women through the lives of various influential matriarchs in the Bible. From the Old Testament through to the New, God has provided us with examples of Godly women who, though from different backgrounds all had one thing in common - a love for God.

 

a significant woman

How many of us wish we could do something spectacular and courageous for God – something that would last and earn us a place in history? Yet we feel insignificant, inferior or even trapped in our circumstances. So many of us wish we were thinner, richer, funnier, more self-confident, better cooks or better gifted in the things of God.

Yet we do not realise that God has uniquely shaped and distinguished us for our personal destiny.

It is for this specific reason that God documented the countless stories of ordinary men and women in His Bible – so that no-one has an excuse to feel inferior or disqualified from being an ambassador for Him. The Lord has used prostitutes, murderers and even donkeys to deliver His Message and execute His plans. The courage and faith of ordinary women who dared to trust God should be enough to inspire us onto more!

Just discussing women like Sarah, Rahab, Esther, Ruth, Deborah, Abigail, etc, would fill books let alone this magazine. That said, I am briefly going to mention significant women of the New Testament, in the hope that by looking at women of the past and learning from their lives, you will glean hope for your future and a deeper understanding of the influence and significance God has granted to you.

 

An obedient woman

Though not in Chronological order, I will run through each specific woman and the characteristics she modelled that we as 21st century ladies can embrace today. Mary is a model example of an obedient woman who trusted God.

She was pure in spirit and bestowed with the incredible honour of being the vessel God used to bring Jesus to the world. Her unfailing trust in the plans of God (despite the impossibilities of the plan) teach us to lean on our Father. (Luke 1:38)

 

A discipling woman

Hermia, the wife of Titus, was a key role player in the early church in Crete, as she was a Godly mother and wife who was responsible (by virtue of the example she set) in disciplining young and old female converts to Christianity. (Titus 2:3-5)

 

A competent woman

Tabitha was not a mighty woman as far as we know, yet God chose to do a miracle in her life and raise her from the dead – causing the people of Joppa to marvel, rejoice in God and believe in His Name.

Through her acts of service like helping the poor, doing good and mending garments, Tabitha blessed the early Apostles and Christian community (Acts 9:36). It is interesting to note that when she died, Peter came and raised her from the dead, yet Stephen, an Apostle and powerful preacher who was martyred during a sermon, was not. God knows His reasons for doing certain things, but one thing is for sure – if we are willing to yield our time and talents to building God’s Kingdom and blessing our communities (as Tabitha did) our lives will leave an impact long after we pass away.

 

A pioneering woman

Priscilla and her husband Aquila are often commended by Paul for being Godly leaders, missionaries, pioneers and competent business people. Through their tent-making business, they supported the work of Paul and helped fund the spread of the Gospel in Rome, Corinth and Ephesus. Priscilla was a talented businesswoman who was open to the Spirit of God and to change.

She was a pioneer who was prepared to move cities, sacrifice homes and comfort zones all in passionate pursuit of the Lord Jesus. As a woman who risked her life for others, we can learn much from her fearless example.  (Acts 18,19)

 

A business woman

Lydia had everything money could buy. Her business inherited from her husband was flourishing and she was a respected citizen of the wealthy trading community of Thyatira in Philippi. Dressed in luxurious linens and draped in purple (the colour of royalty), Lydia had everything she desired – and yet she was thirsty for more. Her thirst was for the water of life that Jesus spoke about years earlier and upon hearing the Good News (preached by Paul) she immediately committed her life to the Lord.

Many people are entrapped by their possessions, and even Christians fall prey to the love of money, but not Lydia. She was a woman of noble sacrifice who was so touched by the love of God and the urgency of His Great Commission, that she dedicated her home, finances and worldly wealth to the church in Philippi. Lydia is a shining example of a career woman who “Seek first the Kingdom of God” (Matt 6:33). Career women should do the same – follow the Lord, support your husbands, serve the community and build the Church. (Acts 16:14-15)

 

A single woman

The devil often lies to women by preying on our deepest fears – of inadequacy and inferiority. Sometimes we accept his lies as truths, looking to our weaknesses and circumstances as proof that we are unworthy to be chosen by God. Some women see their age, their singleness or their geographical location as disqualifiers for God’s plans.

Yet, these ‘defaults’ can actually be just what God requires for your specific, glorious destiny. Though not much is known about Phoebe, one thing is sure – she was a single woman who was very influential and helpful in the local church. Paul speaks highly of her as a “sister in Christ” (Romans 16:1-2) and commended Phoebe as a servant (diakonos) or deacon of the church at Cenchrea. Whether you are married or single, the Lord values you and has a role of influence for you.

 

A motherly woman

Lois and Eunice are two family members credited with high praise from the Apostle Paul for amongst other things, their Godly examples, their legacy of faith and their superb upbringing of Timothy, a commendable young man of God. Lois and Eunice are perfect models of motherhood (and grandmotherhood!) – showing how important mothers are in shaping the lives of their children and indeed the generations. Often stay-at-home moms see their domestic duties as insignificant. They feel that Science projects and dirty socks pale in comparison to preaching the Word or working in the business world.

But God does not see their duties as superfluous. He values moms and grandmoms. As Lois’ and Eunice’s lives show – the investment you make in your family (no matter how irrelevant it may seem) can have eternal consequences in the Kingdom. Timothy’s life and the lives of all whom he impacted are credited to the faith of his mom and grandmom.

 

positive influencers

It must be noted that influence can be both negative and positive. Not only does the Bible document the righteous women of faith and their legacy, it also records the devastating consequences of destructive women like Jezebel and Delilah, who ruined people and enslaved nations. By succumbing to their flesh and following the path of destruction, these women yielded to the devil and will forever be considered women of deathly influence.

You as a woman of God have a choice – to influence others for good, to lead them astray or to abscond responsibility and do nothing. Choose wisely!

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