“‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.'” — Mark 16:6
Mykala yawned and her mother rocked her as it was getting to be nap time. As her eyes got heavy, she heard Mama singing “Jesus Loves Me,” and she heard the Name that is above every other name for the first time. Throughout her childhood, she would hear Jesus’ name on many occasions in Vacation Bible School and Sunday School, as several loving ladies poured their knowledge about God into her hungry heart. Her favorites were the songs about Jesus, and she remembered every song for the rest of her life.
If we attend church regularly and have a basic knowledge about God, it is likely that a woman, perhaps several women, influenced us at an early age to think about God and follow His teachings. Though men play an important role in the faith community, women often do the lion’s share of the work in local churches. Many important things would not be done — including the teaching of Sunday School classes, promoting mission projects locally and internationally — without the positive influence of outstanding women.
When God wanted Barak to go out to battle against the Canaanites, Deborah gave him courage. He then stepped forward beside her and won a great victory. Judges 4:6-8 says, “[Deborah] sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, ‘The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: “Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.”‘ Barak said to her, ‘If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.'”
It took a lot of courage for several women to go early in the morning to try to anoint Jesus’ body. Instead, they found the empty tomb, and the angel notified them about Jesus rising from the dead. “‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him'” (Mark 16:6).
Further, several ladies were instrumental in building up the early Church by laboring beside the apostles and giving money to keep new churches going. When Lydia became a Christian, she provided a refuge for Christian leaders in her own home, and she and many other women are a major reason why we still hear the name of Jesus today.
What women in your life have influenced you to follow Jesus?
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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