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Women Who Win

 

Women,Leaven and Heaven!

 

“The Kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened,” said Jesus (Mt 13:33).

 

This parable is proof that even in the bygone millennia Jesus had women in mind when He talked  about  Evangelism  and  Missions.  The focus  of the parable  is the insignificant little, affecting the significant whole. If there is anything called woman- power, it is this!

 

A woman by her simple and hidden act changes the whole lump to a tasty usable dough. Her work is done in the kitchen and the yeast she hides is seen no more. Yet it is there, deep inside the dough, multiplying by the millions. By morning, the whole is leavened and shows up by lifting the lid. Oh, when the morning breaks forth in the Kingdom   of God, what women did in their own, simple, foolish ways in a corner, would no more remain hidden.

 

In the following paragraphs we will see how women by their small and seemingly insignificant acts can affect the entire world.

 

One-Donkey-Power (Mt 21:1-17)

 

It is surprising that of all the domestic animals, Jesus chose a she ass and her colt for His grand entry into Jerusalem. She was tied and with a baby. But “the Lord had need of them.”

 

Today God is using simple housewives, tied to their domestic chores, to reach men and women who will reach the uttermost parts of the world, “Say to daughter Zion, see, your King comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey’ ” (Mt 21:5). That’s going with God, to proclaim the Good News!

 

The ass and the colt find themselves totally unprepared for the awesome task of carrying the Master. No one ever sat on them. But the disciples threw their mantle on them in preparation for the procession. Investing on women to train them for missions and evangelism is never a waste.

 

What a welcome they receive! A very great multitude spread their garments in the way, for the donkeys to walk. Others cut down branches and pave a carpet for the simpletons. So they bring the Master to a big crowd with all the gusto of a new career.

 

But from the next verse there’s blackout on news about the donkeys. Nobody seems to look at them. Their eyes are glued to the Son of David, lips singing Hosanna to Him. Probably when Jesus entered the temple, the disciples took back their garments leaving the donkeys to find their way back home. Nevertheless they look proud for the honour of carrying the King. For they know, great shall be their reward in Heaven.

 

Not only adults,  many children  receive the Lord, because  the donkeys  brought

Jesus to them (Mt 21:15). The children playing in the streets come inside the temple,

 

praising God. What a wonderful children’s ministry many women are doing today, that’s going to affect the tomorrow-world. Several School children from slums and villages are missionaries today in various parts of India, leavening the whole lump.

 

Call them fools. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world (1 Cor 1:27).

 

Two-Penny-Power (Lk 21:1-4)

 

A certain poor widow had two mites. That was not the interest she got from the capital. That was all she had. That was her life. By throwing in all her living she set up a world record that still remains to be broken. Rich men and even rich widows have given all their wealth. Strong young men have thrown their living for God. But not another poor widow. Oh, for a holy competition to break the world record!

 

Why did Jesus appreciate her giving? First, it was not what she gave but what she kept back for herself that tugged at His heart strings. It was sacrificial giving leading to  a financial  crunch,  that affected  her living,  that made her children  flinch,  that caused her to abandon herself in the arms of God. The rich men only gave a portion that allowed them to continue their opulent lifestyle.

 

Secondly, He could see her dedication. It is interesting that the last verse of Luke

20  speaks of widows who  sat in their  comfortable  houses, inviting the scribes  to minister to them and got despoilt. But this poor widow went to the temple to worship God. She saw the ornamental temple, the festivals, the long-robed scribes and the high priest live in a palace (Mt 26:58). But the “certain widow” was certain that she gave to God.

 

Her example has had a telling effect on the rich and the poor. Is not this little leaven leavening the whole? It has taught the poor that nothing is too insignificant for God, and  the rich,  that nothing  is too  much  for God.  It has revealed  to the world  the greatness of the small and the smallness of the great; the richness of the poor and the poorness of the rich (Js 2:5).

 

While the bag of Judas that jingled with coins remained in his robe, the broken alabaster  box  filled  the house.  Such  is  the power  of  leaven.  The  tabernacle  was beautified by “bracelets and earrings and rings and necklaces, all jewels of gold” (Ex

35:22). May God help us to realise that the more we spend on us, the less is available for the colossal task of world  evangelisation.  Mother Theresa had  everything  she owned in a small bag. How much do we have to leave behind on earth when we have to take off to Heaven? The less we leave here the richer we’ll be there. “Not many noble are called ... but the base things of the world, and the things which are despised” (1 Cor 1:28).

 

One-Candle-Power (Lk 15:8-10)

 

“Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

 

She was not happy over the nine silver pieces. Her jewel was looking awkward without it. She could not wear it proudly in public. Yes, her family was incomplete with one member lost and her reputation was at stake. She did not wait for the break of dawn. It was the time when a woman would be tired to the bones. But she would not rest. She lighted a candle and started to sweep. One could see her doubling or tripling to look under tables and wardrobes, for she sought diligently.

 

Here we see a mother win over a lost son for God, with whatever revelation God has given her. Her Bible knowledge may be limited. She may not have read a single book on child-rearing. She may even be illiterate. But she’s determined to meet the challenge head-on. She has just one candle. But she makes full use of it and finds the lost.

 

Probably she kept dinning into his ears Bible verses or dragged him to every gospel meeting, emptied her tears in her prayer corner or wrote to every known preacher. She might have made penance for all the mistakes she made in bringing him up. May be some  suggested  she  wait  for  the  golden  rays  of  sun  to  light  up  the  house;  or discouraged her saying, the case was far too gone. But with her one-candle-power she held on like a bulldog till she got him back.

 

There are mothers who are novices in evangelism. They are no good in preaching. They can’t even share their testimony sensibly in a women’s group. Yet, with their one-candle-power they can make the neighbourhood rejoice and Heaven resound with the laughter of angels. This is how the leaven touches Heaven.

 

It is this one-woman-power with one-candle-power that made Hannah weep for a son. When she got him, she lent him to the Lord. This little leaven called Samuel affected all Israel (1 Sam 3:20). If all mothers dedicate at least one child for God, what an army of missionaries we will have tomorrow. Jesus is in need of the colt too. Oh, for such dedicated mothers, who will give their children to God! This is what one ma- power can do to the Kingdom of God.

Grandma Lois passed on her faith to Timothy. Such is one-gama-power that it can run through generations to produce a Timothy who will affect the world. Yes, God has chosen the weak things of the world.

 

One-Zero-Power (1 Cor 1:28)

 

“God has chosen the things which are not.” A zero is nothing by itself but it can add a great deal to everything.

 

There are women celebrities in the gospel world. But there is another big group which cannot do the simplest things in ministry. They can just cook and clean and help. God has kept such “helps” in His Kingdom (1 Cor 12:28).

 

Think of Martha who cooked a hearty meal for the tired Jesus. When Jesus went hungry looking for a fig, He would have certainly thought of Martha and her delicious dishes. Think of women who were cooking for Peter who was simply praying and resting upstairs (Acts 10:9,10). There are many such zeros, to wash the feet of saints, to feed and host them in their gospel journeys.  Wanted Priscillas,  who would not count Paul a burden (Acts 18:1-4). Such were the “helpers”  — Phoebe, Mary, Persis

 

and Rufus’ mother (Rom 16). They risked their necks for the gospel. This Miss or Mrs. Anonymous will win souls one by one, collect some money and send, type, proof-correct, organise meetings, keep accounts and there is no end to this list. Gospel stars are riding the first class compartment of the Evangelistic Train, not realizing that it is these zeros, the wheels, who carry them. Who bothers to look down and give them a pat on the shoulder?

 

What else can these zeros do? They can pray. Sometimes you feel they use this as an excuse for not doing other things. Limelight makes them squint. They have no personality. They suffer from an inferiority complex. They look like failures. Success always dances beyond their fingertips. But they can pray. They pray alone. They get together and pray. They pray in every detail. They pray for the silliest point. They are never congratulated because no computer can evaluate what their praying has done. Heaven alone can measure how many times anybody’s ministry has been multiplied by these “things that are not.” If you want to multiply your ministry tens of times you better get as many zeros as possible. These are our step-up transformers to leaven the whole lump overnight.

 

One-Dove-Power (Acts 1:8)

 

What is the secret of God using the foolish, the poor, the weak and the nothings? It is the One-Dove-Power.  It sounds out of step to talk of dove-power in the day of horse-power  and  atomic-power.  But  it  can  supersede  seven-demon-power.  Jesus FIRST appeared to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons (Mk

16:9). What an encouragement to those who keep weeping over their past, counting

themselves nothing!

 

“They all joined together constantly in prayer and along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus... All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:14; 2:4).

 

They were among the victims of the cruel Saul because they were winning women and building the Church (Acts 9:2). They conducted all-night-prayers (Acts 12); hosted missionaries (16:15); opened their house for the Church (16:40). They were one with their husbands for the cause of the Kingdom (18:26). They even became bold martyrs (22:4). All by One-Dove-Power. Given the One-Dove-Power, women can touch Heaven by their leaven!


   Address for Correspondence & Contributions:

Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
Tel: +91 9843511943
Email: lilianstanley@gmail.com

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