Throughout my life, I have been blessed and honored to be the recipient of the precious gift of godly women and men who have poured into life, and are an integral part of my life. I am not speaking of the many tangible (often purple) gifts of various kinds they may have given me, I am speaking of their freely given, intangible gift of love that is expressed in very tangible ways.
7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”[c] 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. I Peter 4:7-10
If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4:11
The number of women and men to whom I am referring is so large that there is not enough space or time to name each one, much less to enumerate how they have blessed my life.
Among these women and men are my grandmothers & grandfathers, mom & dad, sisters & brothers, aunts & uncles, cousins, Nigeria mission aunts & cousins, and countless women and men of all ages who represent each stage of my life, and theirs.
Thinking of all these women and men reminds me of a Dr. Bryan Chapell quote: “…we can move forward in the tasks He (God) sets before us with strength, energy, and courage; not because the path is easy but because the way is sure.”
In times of brightness and happiness, as well as in darkness and sadness (Galatians 6:2), these women and men have lived their lives showing me how to live out the Word of God by walking in faith throughout the trials of life, and by giving of themselves totally and sacrificially to me. These women and men have loved, served, and cared for me in very practical ways that were undergirded by the love of Christ. Together we have laughed and played (not always at the most appropriate times), cried tears of joy and sadness, encouraged and admonished each other, and we have struggled together in prayer, with and for each other. The Holy Spirit used these men and men in my life, as they willingly gave their time to listen to my concerns, discuss/debate theology, encourage me to use the gifts the Lord gave me, and always point me to Christ!!
I am grateful to the Lord for each one of these women and men, hundreds in number, who have poured into my life and shown me God’s love by giving me the precious gift of their love.
I realize that so many women have not had godly female influence in their lives. I also realize that many Christ-followers have not had even one REAL pastor or godly male influence in their lives, and my heart particularly breaks for single women who have not had that godly male influence, and spiritual authority.
Since the Lord knows me so intimately, He knew it would take many godly women and men to teach and shepherd me!!
These women and men have shown, and continue to show, me that the way is indeed sure, and remind me that the most coveted gift we give is the gift of love—our heart. May we all remember that the source of our gift of love is THE Gift of God’s Love, Jesus, Whose birth we will soon be celebrating.
As we prepare our hearts for the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year celebrations, ask the Lord to give you a passion to come alongside another Christ-follower and be a disciple-maker, mom, dad, or friend to them.
The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) commands that we make disciple-makers. Titus 2 admonishes the “older”—more spiritually mature—women and men to teach the younger women and men.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you. Titus 2:11-15
Into whose life are you ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
All Scripture references are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.