The 8 Most Powerful Women in the Bible: Part One

What makes a woman powerful? Is it money, fame, a political position, or is it an Oscar-winning actress? Any of these attributes may be true in today’s society, but not in biblical days. Many excellent examples of strong, influential women grace the pages of the Bible, and I will review two a week for the next four Sundays. Our ladies, now two thousand years later, may find much wisdom in the biblical females. Use them as a guiding tool in your personal lives and to develop a relationship with God.

The last point I want to express is “behind every successful man is a strong and wise woman.” So true of these most powerful women in the Bible! I hope you enjoy my review.


MARY MAGDALENE

Mary of Magdala lived in a comfortable village of many Greeks in Galilee. They depicted her as a prostitute in town. According to scriptures, the single Mary Magdalene had a serious sickness caused by ‘seven demons,’ so many people assumed she was a fallen woman. But, in biblical times, certain illnesses such as schizophrenia, blindness, heart disease, and epilepsy were thought to be demonic. The Bible is unclear what her specific situation was, but bible scholars agree she was not a prostitute.

At some point in her life, Mary met Jesus in one of the many villages He ministered to, and He healed her afflictions. She became an immediate follower and a leader of a group of women who traveled with Jesus and helped to support His ministry. Only a strong, self-confident woman would be so brave to spread the Gospel in biblical days.

Jesus had two groups of people who accompanied Him – a group of men led by Peter the Apostle, and a group of women led by Mary Magdalene. However, according to religious tradition, females were meant to be seen and not heard, but Mary, in controversy, was very close to Jesus. Just as I wrote in the past, God chooses people to be His disciples that we least expect to reach this broken world. Mary was one such example. Her great faith earned special attention from Jesus.

On the day they crucified Jesus, Mary Magdalene, along with two others, stood at the base of His cross and watched Him breathe His last breath. Her heartbreak must have been unimaginable!  In the Bible passages of Luke 23 and Matthew 27, Mary prepared Jesus’ body for burial by making a spice anointment for the linens. She observed from afar as they placed His body in the rock tomb. Mary visited His burial site every day as if waiting… did she know something?

Image of Mary Magdalene courtesy of James Tissot Collection at Brooklyn Museum freebibleimages.org

In the early morning light, the following week, Mary visited the tomb. As she sat and prayed an earthquake erupted and forced the rock away from the entrance of the grave. Mary jumped up to look inside, and it was empty! Suddenly, God’s angel appeared before her.

“Woman, why are you weeping?”

With tears streaming down her face, Mary replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”

Suddenly a voice from behind her spoke, “Mary! Why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”

Not recognizing the face, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” He responded with, “Mary!” It was Jesus standing before her.

She dropped to her knees, grabbed His hands, and said in Hebrew “Rabbouni!” Jesus told her not to hold on to Him because He had not ascended to the Father yet. Instead, He ordered her to go tell the disciples he was resurrected.

Mary Magdalene at Jesus’ resurrection courtesy of freebibleimages.org

Mary ran to them and announced, “I have seen the Lord.”

It is interesting that in a society where women were held in low regard, Christ showed Himself first to a woman. Mary loved her Lord, and she was His truest, faithful follower.

What made Mary Magdalene a powerful woman?

  • She taught us to live courageously and faithfully for Christ. Jesus set her free by eliminating her ‘demons,’ and instead of going about her own life, Mary worked for Him. Even when she faced difficult times, and people called her hopeless, she allowed Jesus to work through her.
  • Mary was more loyal to Jesus than His own disciples. They hid as Jesus was led to His crucifixion, but Mary stayed with Him. She also anointed His linen with spices.
  • Mary was given the honor of being the first person to see Jesus after His resurrection. She was very important to Christ, or He would not have revealed Himself to her before the other disciples. It may be safe to comment Jesus changed the way women were viewed in society.
  • Mary teaches us that even if our lives are in terrible disarray, it is never too late to find hope in God.
  • Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends and His apostle, ostracized her work as a disciple. In the Gospel of Thomas, he said, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of the Life,” but her strength of character and love of God gave her the courage to move forward. Today, she is often called the first woman evangelist.

What happened to Mary Magdalene after Jesus’ resurrection? Much controversy exists about this topic. One theory suggests fourteen years after the crucifixion, she was put into a boat by Jews and set adrift without sails or oars. The boat landed in southern France where she lived in solitude in a cave.

Another theory claims she accompanied John to Ephesus, where she died and was buried. Some say she evangelized Provence, France during her last thirty years.

A recent book titled The Lost Gospel even claims Mary and Jesus were secretly married and had two children, but someone’s imagination was a little overextended.

Today, in the Russian Orthodox church, they know her as the patroness of sinners and penitent women. One of the world’s best-known monuments is the Church of Mary Magdalene in East Jerusalem.


HANNAH

Image of Hannah courtesy of Moody Publishers and freebibleimages.org

Hannah is an inspiring and wonderful story of humanity and all its flaws. No one is the leading character in the story of their own life.

Elkanah lived in the Ephraim hills of a small town thirteen miles to the northeast of Jerusalem. He practiced polygamy through his Levite religion. Hannah was his first wife, and he adored and loved her, doting on her every need. But, she was infertile, and his family name needed to be honored with children, so he married another woman. Peninnah was envious of the love Elkanah had for Hannah. She cruelly taunted Hannah to tears each time she gave birth to their ten sons, and Hannah lost her sense of appetite.

One day, Hannah traveled to the sanctuary, and she spoke to the priest about her inability to have children. Her soul was crushed as the tears flowed down her lovely face. She dropped to her knees before the altar and prayed.

“Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, if you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain, if you’ll quit neglecting me and go into action for me by giving me a son, I’ll give him completely, unreservedly to you. I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline.”

Before the year was out, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son named Samuel. She told Elkanah she asked God for this son. Hannah also explained when the child was weaned, she would present him before God, where he would remain forever. He agreed with her plans.

Image courtesy of freebibleimages.org

The day arrived when Samuel was no longer dependent on Hannah for nutrition. She took him to Shiloh along with a butchered bull, flour, and wine and presented him to the priest, Eli. “I prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for. And now I have dedicated him to God. He’s dedicated to God for life.”

Hannah and Elkanah dedicated their lives to God as they watched their son grow up among the priests. Hannah made Samuel little white robes cut to his size, and they took them to him. Eli often said a prayer over her on those visits, “God give you children to replace this child you have dedicated to God.” His blessings and prayers were heard as Hannah and Elkanah had three more sons and a daughter.

Today, we acknowledge Samuel as a prophet by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, an equal to Moses. He wrote the story of his life, including his mother, Hannah, in the Book of Samuel.

What made Hannah a powerful woman?

  • Hannah’s main attribute was perseverance. She prayed for many years for God to give her a child. She had faith in the power of the Lord and never doubted He would answer her prayers. Hannah teaches us never to give up, even when we think something is impossible. Her faithfulness to the Lord bled into her son, who became a great man.
  • Her boldness, strength, and devotion were like no other for she was a mother who gave up her first-born to the Lord. I’m sure most parents would rethink this decision. But, Hannah recognized all things are God’s possessions, even our children. He honors parents with children as merely a gift, a temporary gift. We are to mold them in the ways of the Lord as a blessing to all nations. In Hannah’s case, because she fulfilled her promise to God, He blessed her with a legacy of five more children.
  • Hannah’s power is also demonstrated through a promise which she kept to God. Her integrity is in the commitment of handing her child over to God. She never went back on her word, for if she did, she might never have conceived any more children. God rewards us for loyalty.

Thank you, Hannah, for teaching us we must trust in the Lord in everything in our lives. Life is not always a bowl of cherries, but with persistent prayer, miracles can and will happen. Dedication to the Master who created us, along with integrity, will reap you blessings beyond your wildest imagination.

Hannah is buried in the Tomb of Samuel in the West bank, beside her son Samuel, on top of a steep hill just north of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot.

We hope you enjoyed Part One and will return next Sunday for two more powerful women in the Bible.


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It has always been you and it will always be you….

Waiting for you

“When you get married, your loyalty, first and foremost, is to your spouse, and to the family that you create together.”  Phil McGraw

When you feel that every person in this world has deserted you,

You are never truly alone,

I am still there for you

Take a moment,right here ,right now,

and thank them for that

No mater how bad your day is,

there is always a happy face

waiting for you

to get home.

‘unknown’

Thank you

Philosophy Through Photography

Image source © Dr.Sridhar,2019 All Rights Reserved

quotembition.com

 

 

 

 

 

Fill the Empty Hole

It was February 2017 when I laid eyes on him for the first time in thirty-two years. Though we both aged gracefully, it didn’t stop the thumping of my heart for the beautiful man I dearly loved, Dana Bicks. A smile that lights up the camera lens and a sense of humor so witty it’s absurd, but oh… what a man of God!

I spent most of my adult life in and out of dysfunctional relationships, so I never really learned the concept of “loving” a man the godly way. In fact, I’d sworn off marriage. Many times I prayed the Lord would lead me to a job where I could serve Him. So, I pursued mission work in Africa and even signed up for the Peace Corps (which I decided against), but still, a great emptiness lingered in my soul. Something or someone was missing in my life. Help me, God, to fill the empty hole.

And, along came Dana…

Dana and I had many missing years to catch up on, so we left very few moments without speaking a word. But, when I discovered he was a struggling Christian author, I knew God had a reason for reuniting us. Dana had hundreds of narratives written on paper and in his cellphone, and an unpublished book poorly edited by Tate Publishing. I had several years’ experience of working for a publishing company. OK, Lord, you have a funny sense of humor! You put this man back in my life to fill my empty hole – both professionally and on a personal basis.

It is rare, indeed, to find a man who loves as deeply as Christ loved His church, but this is the story of Dana. He is a profound and humble man, chosen by the Lord to be His representative to the world; he never takes God’s messages for granted. Deeply devoted to serving, Dana is a blessing to all who come in contact with his healing words, and I can only stand back in awe.

I reminisce on the day we eloped on a beach in Destin, Florida. Just as we were pronounced ‘man and wife,’ doves flew out of the tall grasses. A sign from God? Perhaps, but better still was a rainbow which appeared over our heads in some pictures we snapped of each other. We glanced behind us to observe its pretty colors and no rainbow was in the sky! Yes, our dear Lord blessed this marriage.

In recent weeks, we learned our faith and love will be put to the test. A doctor diagnosed me with heart failure and other serious problems – a devastating blow to newlyweds whose lives just hit the top of the barrel. With many more inspirational books to write and other deeds to do for God, Dana continues to wake each morning shining in hope. Each night he gently touches the skin over my heart and prays for healing and answers. He is a husband and a father with so much love for God and man, and I cannot thank him enough for just being him.

On this Father’s Day, I want to thank God, my Father, for blessing me with the special husband who filled the empty hole. Regardless of my outcome, I know the Lord will let Dana soar above the clouds, for he is truly gifted. However much time I have left to love him, I am honored to be a small part of Dana Bicks’ world. My time with him has been filled with compassion, respect, and love of life. Better yet, he allowed me the opportunity to serve the Lord as I so desired for many years.

God bless you, my sweet baby – I dearly love you! Happy Father’s Day!

Written by Anne Bicks

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Peasants of the Fields: The Pentecost

Have you ever noticed the corners of grain or vegetable fields after the farmer plows them? Look closely the next time you pass one and see they are left uncut. It’s strange, but this tradition started in biblical days, and it dates back to the Jewish Feast of Weeks, which begins exactly fifty days after Passover. Today, June 9th marks the 2019 celebration better known as the Pentecost. Yes, I know what you are thinking – Pentecost(al) is a sect of religion who speak in tongues and follow the Holiness Movement. However, Pentecost Sunday commemorates the receiving of the Holy Spirit by early Christians which is steeped deep in Jewish roots. This tribute inspired the beginning of the “church” as we know it today.

In scriptural times, the Jews were commanded to offer the Lord new grain in the form of two wave loaves made with the finest flour and baked with leaven. The Jew, Gentile, and other nationalities came together, speaking different languages. (Thus the origin of speaking in tongues in the Pentecostal church today). Peasants of the fields harvested their grain for an offering but under one stipulation. The Lord required them to leave all four corners of the field untouched, so the poor and strangers had crops to eat too.

The Jewish religion sees the Feast of Weeks as a symbol of the coming Messiah and His ministry. The celebration denotes the Lord gathering both Jews and Gentiles and making them one in Him.

Ephesians 2:14-15

4For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,

In Christian churches, Pentecost Sunday is an observance of the gift of the Holy Spirit. He lives and breathes in each one of us, just as He breathed on the disciples when they were filled with fear upon witnessing Jesus’ resurrection.

John 20:21-23

21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Waiting on Christ’s return, today, we congregate and construct our churches for praise and worship. Inside its four walls, regardless of the religion, we are baptized by one Spirit, into one body. The Lord resides in each of us. It was Peter who prophesied all men must unite in one church under heaven. Let us open our minds and understand, it was God’s request the world is to be but one religion. Let each of us pray that one day we will fulfill His wishes.

www.danabicksauthor.com

The Hardest Thing To Do Is… Listen

We found our way around the yachts parked in their cradles. An empty spot was right next to the dock. We quietly got ready to embark, and the cloudless skies made us wonder how far off heaven was from the pier. The snoozing seagulls perched on the post tops. As we set sail, the gentle breeze bellowed the fabric, and God became our propulsion. The shores of the water looked so endless. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and no place would I’d rather be than with my love and God at the helm. He created this perfect world of pristine water, and all we had to do was sit and watch Him work.

Sometimes it is difficult to accept God is with us day in and day out. Just as sailing into the open blue, we do not realize we are always at His mercy. Many times our sails luff and we pray as though we ran aground. As hard as life is, even doctors can do little to relieve discomfort. In the distress of my wife’s health, I’m left standing in a vacuum for everywhere I look, I see the remnants of the doctor’s aura.

So, I turn to God and ask Him if He has a minute. The hardest thing to do is… listen and wait for His messages. Our faith is only part of the process. Listening for His answers and reacting accordingly is the trick, so we must have a seeking heart. We should talk to Him as though he is a brother and reveal our frustrations, fears, and doubts. God will teach us how to recognize the difference between His voice and just our thoughts.

Find a location to be with Christ and His great mercy. The Lord always has a place open to sit with me, especially on this endless journey my wife and I have encountered today. I wish I could run away and take her sailing to the place called heaven, but it’s not time yet. God gave us responsibilities we must partake and fulfill. Instead,  I will sit with God and try to understand what advice I need to listen to and praise His great gifts. He united the two of us for some much-needed healing in our difficult road of life. So, I will carry her in every way I can possible. In His strength, we will travel as far as the Lord’s work will need us to go for He isn’t done with either of us yet.

The hardest thing to do is listen for God’s words, but if you acknowledge His involvement in your life, you will always recognize His heaven sent voice. Praise God! It’s our intimate relationship with Him that counts.

www.danabicksauthor.com

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A Representative of Christ

Everyone comes into life to serve a great purpose. That is our destiny. We extend a hand in life to help the broken, but it’s Christ who chooses the believers He wants to represent Him. Faith is a large part of the commitment, but it’s the renewed spirit which Christ blesses each time. I, too, am not worthy to wipe the dust from our Father’s holy feet, but for an unknown reason, God duly elected me. I am a representative of Christ, an emissary, an evangelist of His word. But, I was the man most people least suspected to be His ambassador. This is how God works among humanity. He selects the defeated, renews their heart and mind, and sends them into the world as a witness of His great love.

My heart filled with emotions, and it danced with a joy I didn’t think was possible. All I could do was reverently thank God for the opportunities He opened up before my eyes. It’s a select few picked to serve our Lord on a greater platform, representing Him in the interim of His great return. Yes, this includes ministers, pastors, priests, missionaries, and then just the ordinary… like me.

Do you know how Christ chooses who will live in His shadow as disciples? Millions live in a holy relationship with the Lord, but a genuine disciple usually is considered a social outcast. They have a more profound knowledge of God and wisdom; perhaps a miraculous incident occurred with Him. Often, they are rejected by family and friends and considered “weird” or a false prophet. Demon possessed people react strongly to them, and immature Christians spew insulting comments their direction. Disciples, or anointed chosen followers, stand alone in a mocking world. I’ve experienced all of these things, but with God by my side, I endure all the accusations and criticisms, knowing He is my strength and power.

In the Bible, Jesus’ biological half brothers rejected Him and His ministry. King David was ridiculed for obeying and following the Lord. Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, was born supernaturally for his parents were aged one hundred and ninety when he was conceived by God’s miracle. Moses was appointed at birth to represent God and was the target of terrible criticism from the Israelites and even his own brother and sister. Christ filled John the Baptist with the Holy Spirit before he was born. He was ultimately beheaded because no one believed Christ chose him. Not one person in scriptures chosen and anointed as a representative of Christ had an easy life. They had to set themselves apart, and I’m sure they felt very isolated.

So, today I ask, are you chosen by God to be His ambassador? Are you afraid to take a leap of faith for fear of rejection? Please read Psalm 91 as it is God’s promises to His chosen and anointed people:

God will reward the fruits of our accomplishments at the end. Pick up your staff and walk my friends. Be strong in your commitment, now more than ever as the world’s flocks of sheep are like a pack of wolves. They hungrily circle God’s chosen to wait for the perfect chance to ensnare and devour your devotion. Be not afraid to stand in the barley and dance in the shade. Christians, we were born to represent Christ Jesus.

www.danabicksauthor.com

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Available at all book sellers!

The Christian couple

How are Christian couples seen by others? Do Christian couples truly love themselves as husband and wife? Do Christian couples respect their marital vows? Can a Christian spouse die for the other?

Read this story:

Robbers entered a house and asked for all the money
and valuables.
After they had collected what they could, they gave the
man of the house a gun with instructions to
shoot his wife or else he would be shot himself.
The man got the gun, pointed it at his wife and hesitated.
He is thought of what he had gone through in life
with his wife and how she had suffered and sacrificed for him.
He handed back the gun to the gang leader and said, “I am sorry I can’t do this…”
The gang leader silently grabbed the gun from him and passed it on to his wife with the
same instruction to shoot her husband or be shot.
The wife got the gun and without any single hesitation pointed it to her husband’s head and pulled
the trigger.
Luckily for the man, there were no bullets in the gun.

The robbers got their gun
and walked out of the house laughing.

Question for discussion:
1. If you were the man in that house and a Christian man, how would
you react towards your Christian
wife?
2. If you were the wife, and a Christian wife, what explanation would you
give to your
husband?
3. If you as a proud Christian were invited to advice Christian couples using this story, what advice
would you give them?

Born Again

All men are equal creations in God’s eyes. We are a miraculous life up to our last breath of oxygen on earth. Born sinners, we are considered spiritually dead. Just as the morning sun rises over a cup of coffee though, we can renew our birth. God gives us another day, yet another chance, to announce the forgiveness of our sins and walk with Him.

A church’s grand ceremonial display, known as baptism, is the only way many find comfort in their spirituality. In my opinion, the rhetoric of the performance sets an example of what’s wrong with our society today. Hypocrites grandstand in church with applause as a new believer gives their life to the Lord. Far too prevalent are those who “talk the talk” but do not “walk the walk” as a born again Christian. The simple act of being submerged in holy water will never bestow you the rank of being born again. It isn’t how much of the Bible we memorize, but how many scriptures we can live by every day thereafter. It is being ever mindful of our sins and praying for God to teach us a better way.

Being baptized is not a date on a calendar. It’s a way of life to honor Christ as a religious follower. Even though Jesus was not a sinner, John the Baptist still baptized Him. You may ask why, then, did He enter the Jordan River? Jesus humbled himself in obedience to His Father to set an example for us of faith. Baptism publicly declares we are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is also a symbol of His burial and resurrection.

“Those who accepted his message were baptised….” Acts 2:41

DOES BAPTISM AUTOMATICALLY SAVE ME?

In today’s times, too many born again Christians believe baptism automatically saves them, but this is just the beginning of the journey. Do you realize the act of receiving the holy water places you under harsher scrutiny in the Lord’s eyes? Why? God sets higher expectations on believers because we now know the difference between right and wrong. As I mentioned above, hypocrites fill our churches. They walk out the doors and continue on with their comfortable lifestyle without giving God the time of day throughout the week. The commitment to living for Him stops at the steeple. We must stay in shape and be willing to serve His kingdom at every corner. Be alert in times of need and show others who we are – God’s anointed children. Set an example for this our job as a born again Christian!

The Bible teaches us prerequisites to follow before we can be a born again Christian. These specifications will also reveal why the christening of babies performed in some church denominations, is not a scripturally accepted act.

Though I’m sure someone will challenge me on this statement, we cannot deny the Bible verses which substantiate this blessing of holy water:

PREREQUISITES TO BAPTISM ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURES

  • We must hear and understand the Gospel. Can a baby perform this duty?

Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 1 Corinthians 14:20

  • We must believe the Gospel. Infants do not understand the Gospel.

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:26-27

  • We must fully repent of our sins. A baby knows nothing of sin. This is a decision to turn from sin and live for God.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

  • We must believe in our heart and confess Christ with our mouth. Infants cannot communicate faith. We must first speak an understandable statement, so a minister/pastor knows they are baptizing someone who has faith.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is LORD,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

A born again Christian is a renewed person in Christ. They are now a member of Jesus’s body and must walk as sinless as possible on earth. It requires full control of the mouth, mind, and body language. God is first in our life, over and above everything and everyone. I’ve been up for the challenge for many years, are you? The celebration of Jesus’ resurrection will be here in a couple of weeks. Won’t you commit your life to be one with Him? To be born again will be your eternal salvation and a promise for a brand new life!

www.danabicksauthor.com

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Quintessence of Faith

She stood under the cross motionless and watched her son’s holy blood dripping upon her feet. Bitterness and tremendous grief overwhelmed her soul while she stayed with Him until the last minute. The reverence of heaven exists as we can only imagine what it’s like to witness your child brutally crucified at the hands of haters. But, Mary, according to scriptures, remained passive and resisted the temptation to protest the unfairness of Jesus’ prosecution.

It is often said there is nothing worse than outliving your child. I can attest to this as I watched my grandmother sob while her son laid dying on a hospital bed. I can only imagine Mary’s anguish as she witnessed the excruciating pain Jesus suffered from the stakes in His feet and hands. In her glorious strength, still, Mary fought off her own inhibitions to be first, a mother. She knew she would make the ultimate sacrifice when she accepted God’s invitation to give birth to a Savior for Simeon warned her of Jesus’ fate.

Mary was the quintessence of faith in God. As an inexperienced, pregnant mother, she knew the truth about her son’s existence. It was her destiny to deliver a child who would save the world. Throughout Jesus’ life, Mary often feared for her son’s life, but her intuition spoke He was in God’s hands. However, on Good Friday, she must have questioned why Jesus was sent to earth to save sinners, only to be killed by them. I’m sure she also wasn’t prepared for the method of His brutal death.

It is my observation, though, Mary is to be the ultimate example of strength for parents who lose their child to senseless religious crimes. When we defend our Creator, it becomes a movement towards the only ray of light which exists in this world’s darkness. We stand under the cross to eliminate chaos and bitterness, spreading the love of God. How can it be wrong?

Mary could have easily fallen into the trap of screaming and attacking evil-doers at the presence of Jesus’s injustice. But, she walked with loyalty to the Lord in gentleness, forgiveness, and peace.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

What a model of discipleship Mary portrays to Christians today! Let us stand in strength, under the weight of the cross, and resist the shadows of evil.

Praise His holy name! www.danabicksauthor.com

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Do You Know if You’re in God’s Grace?

An unknown truck pulled up in front of my home, and I wondered about their intention. A young man stepped out, introduced himself and said, “I’m here to mark the ground for electrical lines, do you mind?” Our conversation quickly moved from generic to personal all in the same sentence. One thing led to another, so I invited him inside to meet my wife. Marking the yard was the least important topic to talk about at that moment. We found significance in our impending dialog because he saw we were new to the area. He knew nothing about me but he still kindly invited us to join him at his church along with his family members.

Our conversation deepened as he told us about his father who spent time in India doing God’s work for seven years. He and my wife swapped mission stories as she, too, served in Africa. You see, when you’re in God’s grace, things just seem to generate for the best. He places people in your path, shining His grace and approval.

I ponder now about Moses in the book of Exodus of the Old Testament. He was an arrogant and stubborn man who murdered another person. He constantly doubted God’s word. Though Moses failed to trust God by not speaking to a rock, the Lord nevertheless guided him. How gracious was this? God’s grace is perpetual, even to the unaware.

Do you know if you’re in God’s grace? I can describe grace, in a biblical sense, as God’s unmerited favor – a blessing we don’t deserve because we are sinners. To be in His grace is a gift.

Like Moses, grace is redemptive. How many of us follow our own path in life, ignoring God’s requests? Do you drink, experiment with drugs, have sexual taboos, gamble, or struggle with eating disorders? Because some choose the wrong path doesn’t mean God isn’t willing to take your hand and lead you to a better way; but you must allow Him to do so. He will do this through His personal love and grace for you. But remember, God’s grace is conditional so we should pray often but also refrain from repeating our immoralities. The Bible contains repeated warnings against using grace as a pass to continue in sin.

If you are in our Lord’s grace, take a sigh of relief for you are right where you should be in His eyes. Realize life is truer than fiction. Just as this young man’s visit to our home, you will feel God’s love showering down on you. We serve an amazing God. Sometimes, standing still is all that is warranted to receive His guiding messages and ultimately His gifts. God is ready to extend His grace to those who are called to follow Him in the name of Jesus.


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