Sunday, 8th July, 2018 [Women’s Week Thanksgiving]
1 Corinthians 12:2:10
Hymn of meditation: PH 334
Lord, thy Word abideth,
And our footsteps guideth;
Who its truth believeth
Light and joy receiveth.
When our foes are near us,
Then thy Word doth cheer us,
Word of consolation,
Message of salvation.
Today, we shall focus on a dual theme: ‘Authority over unclean spirits’ and that of the Women’s Week celebration; ‘The Samaritan Woman – A passionate soul winner’.
Beloved, when we talk about unclean spirits, we are talking about messengers of satan, the enemy of God, hence, enemies of Christians. One of the primary emphasis in the Gospel of Mark is Jesus’ overriding concern to defeat satan and his powers. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus said:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Jesus came to destroy the works of the enemy as demonstrated in the text above. Demons are spirit beings, evil and malicious, principalities, powers that rule in darkness, spiritual wickedness in high place who are also powerful, but, praise be to God that they are not more powerful than Jesus Christ.
Jesus, by His life and resurrection demonstrated that all power is truly given to Him over any other authority and has in turn, blessed us with such power to use over the authority of the evil one. Demons prevent people from living the life that Jesus desires for the world. For instance, Paul, in his blindness, tormented and killed Christians until he came into contact with the Lord, saw the light and begun to follow Christ. Demons bring diseases and misery; they cause people to be rebellious and stubborn towards God. As Christians, we hear the word of God always but do not live by it; such are all evidence of unclean spirits at work in our lives.
We can overcome on behalf of our children and others through fervent prayer. The devil has so many schemes that cause us to rebel or fall but God has given us the Holy Spirit, power and authority to destroy all the works of the evil one, so, we need to pray and stand firm and to wage war against them. We are empowered today to send that message to the dying world and to release the oppressed. Unfortunately, too often, we rather call them names and neglect them instead of reaching out to them like Jesus did. This is unlike Jesus’ chosen ones that we are supposed to be. Tell them of the love of Jesus and His ability to heal whatever sicknesses they may be suffering from. The only reason for God anointing us with the Holy Spirit and power is for us to do the work He has mandated us to do and to accomplish the task He intends to accomplish here on earth.
Beloved, we have the authority to challenge and overcome the unclean spirits and we are expected to use that authority with humility like Ezekiel did, and like Paul and others also did. You may suffer certain persecutions as you go to do the work of the Lord but His grace is still sufficient for you. Even among us as Christians, there are some who also need to hear the Word; share with them.
The Samaritan Woman – A Passionate Soul Winner.
Let the Earth Hear – The Role of the Woman
As we climax the Women’s Week celebrations, there is a call on all women to ‘let the earth hear’. The Samaritan woman made haste to tell others about the Messiah after the encounter. She became a new person and begun to spread the Word throughout the villages. Apart from her, there are several other women who dedicated their lives to the cause of the Gospel. Indeed, according to scripture, the role of the man and that of the woman are of equal value. Throughout history, women have made important contributions to ensure that the Gospel is preserved and spread abroad. Women like Deborah, a Prophetess, wife, judge, took care of Israel, resulting in 40 years of peace and freedom. Women of today can also do same.
Let us desire to please God rather than men. Whenever we are sent by God, we should be bold on our way to deliver the news. Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit and announced to Mary that what she carried was the would-be saviour of mankind. Jesus’ ministry was also well-supported, not only by the twelve disciples, but by committed women who followed and served: Mary Magdalene, Dorcas, Martha, etc. All these indicate the vital contributions women make in life and in the church.
A woman who has had an encounter with the Lord changes her world as in Matthew 5:14-15
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house”.
Wherever you may find yourself as a woman, be light to all, direct the lost to Jesus, not only in word but mostly in deed. How do your colleagues in your office perceive you? How about those in the market and the house? Do you strike them as a changed person who has come into contact with the Lord like the Samaritan woman? Let your life be light to people so they would see and glorify God as you go out to declare His power as Acts 1:8 admonishes:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Now, in our homes, do you, as a woman, submit to your husband, portraying Christ by your deeds or rather insult them, especially when they cannot provide for the family? We have the spiritual authority but that does not diminish or lower the authority of the man. Give them the required respect. Bless your children with kind, encouraging words but not curses. Call them names and give them titles that will motivate and be blessings to them in future.
- Let people sense Christ’s flavour in your speech, dressing and lifestyle in general. Our dressing and appearance should be descent and acceptable before God and man. After contact with the Lord, you cannot possibly keep quiet and ‘sit on that grace’. Just like the woman at the well, exhibit love for your neighbour, desire to share what you receive with others around you. If you call yourself a Christian who has encountered the Lord, then, show love to the rest of the world so they will also follow the God of love you follow.
- Christian women embrace their feminine status. Do not feel bad because you are a woman, do not feel inferior, feel good to be a woman, while making sure you do not compete with the man. You have been given a precious gift as a woman, use it faithfully in decision-making with others when in a committee.
- While in the church, ask God to open your eyes to the needs in the church so you can adequately extend a helping hand. Serve your God diligently when asked to lead service through bible reading, liturgy or preaching the word. Do not shy away from such duties.
- Determine to be truthful; let your yes be yes and no, no. A Christian woman should not make others cry.
- As a Christian woman, do not pull people down. Be faithful also in paying tithes, giving offerings and alms and harvest levies. Do not grumble when paying money to the glory of God.
- Christian women are confident in God, they pray and remain steadfast in the Lord.
In today’s world, women carry loads of burden upon their heads which often lead them to chase after miracles everywhere only to lose all their meagre belongings and rather compound the burdens, but do not be strayed away from your faith; God is everywhere and will be your shield and comfort if only you will remain faithful.
Go and let people hear the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Be urged to go and tell the world. Pray for God to put in you the word to share.