COME TO THE TABLE
Psalm 107:9 "For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things."
There are so many times I will look to other things to fill the empty places in my heart. How about you? What does it look like to come to the table He prepares for you? His word tells us that He will fill the hungry and the thirsty with good things. Those good things are more of Him! The best part of coming to the table is who is waiting there.
As we dive into this popular passage of scripture, we see the storms are coming, not if they come, but when they come. We are faced with what do we believe about our God in times of trouble. Are we women who fear, get angry? Do we doubt or do we rejoice? He surely is our place of refuge. He is our fortress. He invites us to come and be still in the midst of all of it, to know Him, and to rest in who He is.
Anna was a woman who spent her entire life waiting to meet the promised Messiah. She was a woman who spent her life worshiping God day and night. She was a woman who lived in expectancy of the Messiah's coming. I wonder if she sang the song in her heart, "Come thou Long Expected Jesus"? What kind of women are we in the wait? Are we women who live a life of expectancy, waiting for our King to come?
COME TO THE WELL
We are women who hunger and thirst and most of the time we are running on empty. In John 4 we meet the Samaritan woman who didn't even know she was thirsty. We have no name, just that she needed living water. She had no idea that she was about to have a "Come to Jesus Meeting" and that her life would never be the same. Oh, how Jesus longs for us to come to the well. The well reveals who we are, what we need, and what we are called to do when living water has been poured into our lives. So, ladies, let's come to the Well.
Session 1 Being Thirsty
Session 2 Being Filled
Session 3 Pouring Out
MY FATHER'S CLOSET
I love to shop for new clothes, new make up, new hair products. I just want to have this outward part of me spruced up most of the time. I usually buy black. You know they say that black slims you. I never buy horizontal stripes because that is not flattering, especially if you are not a small size to begin with. I spend a lot of time worrying about this outward and physical body that God gave me, you might even say that I am consumed with it or I have been. It is easy to do. Even when I am trying to be a woman of self control, the idol of all these things can creep in so quickly. God's word tells me to put off, to take off the old and go to the holiest closest there is and put on some holy attributes of His. Some day our God is going to clothe us with our heavenly bodies. 2 Corinthians tells us that we are going to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. In this session we will take a look at Colossians 3 and begin "stripping down" before we can go to our Father's closet and put on!
A MEETING AT THE ASH HEAP
In this life we will have suffering and yet some of us suffer more than others. We sit and question why God would allow so much sadness and heartache to happen to one particular person or family. People that we love are hurting. We want to heal them. We want to be the one that speaks life to them, or share a spoken word with them, My challenge to us is this; Are we willing to sit at the Ash Heap with them? Are we willing to not only to share the burden but suffer along with them? As we take a closer look at the friends of Job we can learn they started well, they sat in silence. They sat at the Ash Heap. They just couldn't help themselves they just had to say one more thing. What about us? What does it look to be women who bear one another's burdens? Let's sit for a while. Let's have a meeting at the Ash Heap. 1 John 3:18 "Let us not love with words and speech, but in actions and in truth."
THE JEALOUSY TRAP
There's a battle that can sneak up on us as women, and most of the time we don't know that it exists until someone in ministry or anywhere for that matter seems to be shining a little more than us. This particular sin of jealousy is listed with the worst sordid of evil for a reason according to James 3. Its starts as a lie that the deceiver wants us to believe, and it shakes our foundation that God knows our name and has called us according to His purpose, not ours. As we look at some relationships, ramifications, and of course our redemption, lets be women who serve freely and uniquely to what God has called us to do.
Session 1: Our Relationships
Session 2: The Longing to be Recognized
Session 3: Ramifications of our Jealousy
Session 4 : Our Redemption
I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS
If we are women who have been called to follow Jesus, that is, we have given our lives, our hearts and our all to him, we must know that there will ultimately be a cost. In John 21 Peter was asked to follow, knowing that he too would die a death on a cross. It truly gives new meaning to the lyrics of the song; "The world behind me the cross before me. No turning back. No turning back." What are we willing to risk on this earth to follow the One who pursues our hearts? Is it worth the cost? Oh Yes! Deciding to follow Jesus is abundant, it's freeing, it satisfies! Are you today, excited to be a follower of Jesus? Heaven awaits us, and it will be more than we can imagine, but God also wants us to live abundantly( John 10:10) following Him! No turning back.
CONNECTING ONE ON ONE
We live in a society today where we never really need to leave our house to be in communication with others. In fact, we don't even have to speak with them if we choose. It is so much easier that way, isn't it? We can continue to guard our hearts, keep at a safe distance and not really engage with others. No one can hurt us this way. If we do not risk our hearts for the sake of others, we miss an opportunity to have real life changing relationships. Are we tired of the surface type relationships? Have we lost our passion to have community with other women, with believers and unbelievers alike? Pouring out into the lives of others one on one can change the entire dynamic of your church body and ministry. The impact you make for Christ in the life of an individual is far more rewarding than the work of ministries itself. Do we love our women in our church body? Do we even know them? Let's learn the importance of connecting one on one.
MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL
I don't know a woman out there that looks in that mirror in the morning and expresses her deep gratitude for the awesome job she believes the creator has done. In fact, I think most of us find it easier to believe the creation story, and the gospel message, but not the fact that we are made so wonderfully complex. This has been a struggle my whole life, and one that continues to be a victory I seek. Struggling through an eating disorder in college, admitting myself to a psychiatric ward at 18 is not what any young girl plans for her life. My God, he continues to show me daily, just how precious I am to Him. I am so thankful for the redemptive work He has done. This session is my personal story of a lifetime of struggle, and of spending way too much time in front of the wrong mirror.
What woman doesn't like to get a love letter? We, who have received them in our lives, know what a treasure they really are. In the age of texting and social media, it is a rare gift that we receive hand written messages from the ones we love. I know the letters I received from my husband while we were dating are treasures that I have saved! I remember reading them over and over and how they were life to me during the long distance relationship. But, each of us have been written a love letter, God's word. This love letter is filled with words of hope and encouragement. I would love to share not only what the love letter says, but, that is has been written on our hearts based on 2 Corinthians 3:3. Oh how I would love to have us women fall in love with the author of the greatest love letter ever written. Love letters is for all women of any age.
I CLING TO THE CROSS
I grew up on the old hymn, "The Old Rugged Cross". This was a favorite on Sunday evenings back in the day at our small country church. It wasn't until recently that the words really became alive to me as I thought of "clinging to the Cross". We sure can cling to a lot of things in this world and come up empty every time. I am drawn in by the bleeding woman in Matthew that knew that if she could just cling to the garments of Jesus robe, she would be healed. This woman who had bled for the majority of her life, and outcast, unloved and unworthy, she was a woman who clung to the only one who could heal her. In this life, we are promised suffering because of the fall, but, Gods word promises us a life of never being alone, never being an outcast, never being unloved, if we would just cling to the lover of our souls. Are we wiling to lay it all down, and exchange it someday for our crown?