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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stand Your Ground - Part III

The last woman I'm writing about who stood her ground is the "importunate widow" spoken of in Luke 18. Here's the parable Jesus told about this woman: "There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying , Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said , Hear what the unjust judge saith . 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?"

The NIV translates the word "importunate" as "persistent", a word we are more familiar with. This woman was persistent, even though this judge sounded like he was not an approachable person. He feared neither God nor man, yet this widow persisted in presenting her case before him. In other words, she stood her ground. If she could do that with an unrighteous judge, how much more should we keep on praying to our Righteous Judge?

Are you facing a formidable foe today? Notice this woman did not look for a male relative or friend or attorney to represent her. She went herself. Sometimes when we are faced with a difficult situation we may ask a friend or the pastor or even our church to pray for us. That is good. But we must also go before God ourselves. He wants to hear us. He wants us to show Him that we have the faith to come before Him "day and night" until we get our answer. 1 Peter 5: 7 says, " Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."

Stand your ground. Cast all your care upon Him today. God bless.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stand Your Ground - Part II

In this post, I focus on another woman in the Bible who stood her ground when the odds 
were against her. She is the woman with the issue of blood. If you are a Christian, you would have heard this story many times. Matthew recounts it in this way:

"And, behold , a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole . 22 But Jesus turned him about , and when he saw her, he said , Daughter, be of good comfort ; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour" (9 : 20 - 22).

This incident only takes up three verses, but every time I hear it, it makes an impact on me. This woman had no business being in that crowd. According to the law in those days, she was unclean and should have stayed at home. But she heard that Jesus was coming to town, and she knew if she could only "touch the hem of his garment", she would be healed. And that's exactly what happened.

When we have a problem that seems unending, the easiest thing to do is give up. It takes a lot of faith and perseverance to "press" through the crowd of doubt and despair when you keep praying and hoping and nothing seems to be changing. But the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5 : 17, we are to "Pray without ceasing." Paul, wrote to the Colossians, "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you ..." 1 : 9). 

Friends, God is looking for people who will "stand their ground" against the onslaught of the enemy and show him we will not give up, we will not give in, but we will keep on trusting God.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Stand Your Ground

Christ in the House of Simon by Dieric Bouts, ...
Christ in the House of Simon by Dieric Bouts, 1440s (Staatliche Museen, Berlin) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This expression has been much in the news lately here in Florida. But this blog post has nothing to do with the controversial law. It has to do with our obligation  to do what is right to defend our position as Christians.

In this Women's History Month, I would like to feature a woman of the Bible who stood her ground when those around her were criticizing her for her actions. I'm referring to Mary of Bethany. Jesus was invited to a dinner at her house. While her sister Martha served, Mary broke an alabaster box of perfume, poured it on our Lord's head and wiped His feet with her hair. See Matthew 26: 6; Mark 14: 3; Luke 7: 37 and John 12: 1.

The Bible goes on to say that His disciples were indignant, saying the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. But Mary paid them no heed. She continued to weep on Jesus' feet and dry them with her hair. This was a very bold action for a woman in those days, and Jesus commended her for it. He said, "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.  The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.  When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her" (Matthew 26: 10 - 13).

Can you stand your ground when others criticize you or make fun of you for going to church instead of going to the club? For dressing modestly when they dress seductively? For not being afraid to speak of your love for Jesus in their presence? If you do, Jesus will commend you highly, and His commendation is worth much more than that of your friends. You can learn more about Mary of Bethany from the articles and resource below. 

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