As a pastor's wife I often witness women struggle with realizing their value in Christ. They have no idea the power they possess to influence the world around them for the Kingdom of God. Our Father in heaven created both men and women in His image and He knows the potential we have to accomplish His will on earth.
God specifically elevates women to various positions of influence and uses them to advance the work of His kingdom. The Lord desires that we yield ourselves to Him in complete reliance, acknowledging that without Christ we can do nothing. God wants His children to trust that His Spirit will help us fulfill the special assignment He has selected. Bottom line, He is calling each one of us to be Difference Makers for our generation!
All the great women of the Bible possessed unique character traits, strengths and abilities. They are portrayed as judges, prophetesses, handmaidens, missionaries, queens and business women to name a few. But the most important trait to remember is that they were real everyday women— like you and me—who believed and trusted God.
The Almighty chose Moses, Aaron and Miriam to lead Israel in the wilderness. But it was Miriam, who was entrusted with her baby brother Moses as she placed him in the Nile River to escape Pharaoh's death sentence. And it was Miriam who led thousands of women in praise after the Israelites passed through the Red Sea, rejoicing with the words,
“Sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted” (Exodus 15:21)
Miriam made a difference in her generation through worship!
Sarah was a true partner with her husband Abraham. Together they helped accomplish their mission to spread ethical monotheism throughout the pagan world. Sarah helped make a difference for Judaism and Christianity for generations to come.
It was Ruth who chose the God of Naomi—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God rewarded Ruth, a gentile, by grafting her into the lineage of King David and our Redeemer Jesus Christ (Ruth 1:16; 4:17). Ruth’s kindness, grace and loyalty made a difference in the lives of Naomi, Boaz and Obed. She influenced her family and God used her to change the world.
God appointed Deborah as the only female judge and prophetess of Israel. He assigned this mighty woman of valor to sing victorious chants of encouragement for Barak and his fighters as they conquered the Canaanites. (Judges 4:4-5). The Scripture refers to Deborah as “a mother in Israel”. She was a homemaker—a wife and mother who made herself available to God and His purpose. Deborah chose to make a difference by using her uncommon leadership and decision-making skills to save her nation in a time of trouble.
God placed Queen Esther in a position of power to accomplish His will. When faced with annihilation at the hand of Haman, Esther made a difference by calling for a time of prayer and fasting. Because of her faith and courage she intervened on behalf of God’s Chosen People and all of Israel was saved. Esther is remembered to this day as a woman who was used by God to deliver the Jewish people from destruction (Esther 4:10-16).
When God decided to step down from His throne in heaven to bring redemption to our broken world, instead of entering the world in grandiose fashion, He chose the young virgin Mary to birth His only begotten Son. Mary’s willingness to do the will of the Father made a difference in countless of souls throughout eternity.
Luke 7:38 paints a beautiful picture of a woman who expressed her gratitude to the Lord by washing the Master’s feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. While some criticized her actions, this woman was consecrated in Scripture as one who brought comfort to Jesus in the last moments of His life. Her selfless act made a profound difference as Christ prepared to walk the path to Calvary.
Mary Magdalene was redeemed by Jesus and became His devoted follower. She was counted among a small group of women who, at their own expense, served Jesus and His disciples as they ministered throughout Galilee. Mary faithfully followed Christ through His time of suffering and remained loyal after His death.
Because of her steadfast dedication, Mary Magdalene was the first person Christ appeared to after He rose from the tomb. And, it was Mary Magdalene that Jesus gave His first commission after His resurrection—He told her to “to go and tell”. Consequently, her obedience to His mandate began a long history of women that helped spread the good news of the Gospel to the world. Her example paved the way for other difference makers.
Lydia and Phoebe were women of wealth that financially supported the Apostle Paul’s ministry and because of their positions of influence in their social circles, Paul was able to have access to Gentile groups that he would otherwise not have been able to reach with the Gospel.
In addition, Phoebe was entrusted by Paul to hand deliver his letter to the believers in Rome. His epistle caused the Gospel of Jesus Christ to spread like wildfire in Europe and to the outer most parts of the world. Paul’s letter also contained God’s position paper on Israel and the Jewish people which, to this day, combats the evils of Anti-Semitism and Replacement Theology.
God has a divine mission for every Believer and as we walk out our assignments, we should remember these truths:
No matter what station of life you are in, whether you are a stay at home mom, a business professional, a student, or somewhere in-between, we were all created by God with a great purpose. Remember, Mary was just a young teenager who trusted God and she brought our Redeemer into the world to liberate us from the shackles of sin and death.
Our worth is determined by God, not society, not the ever-changing culture, not even our families. I refer you to the Samaritans who were considered by society to be the lowliest of people. It was unimaginable for a Jewish Rabbi to speak to a gentile woman, especially a Samaritan woman of questionable character. Yet, Jesus chose a Samaritan woman to reveal that He was the Son of God.
It was this one encounter with Christ that liberated her from personal shame. Even though society considered her an outcast, unworthy to even draw water from a public well, she was determined to rise above her rejection and tell others about Christ—the Living Water.
We are all called to make a difference in the lives of those we influence.
The Great Commission is not just for pastors, preachers, evangelists, and missionaries. Sharing the love of God with others and the good news of the Gospel should be every Believer’s primary purpose and reason for living. We need to take every opportunity, whether at home or in the public square, to share the difference that Christ can make in our lives.
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Decide this day to be a difference maker!