WITHOUT WOMEN THERE WOULD BE NO CHURCH


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

WITHOUT WOMEN THERE WOULD BE NO CHURCH
======================================
Many women were there,
watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from
Galilee to care for
his needs. Matthew 27:55

The New Testament records the fact that many
women were among the larger body
of disciples that followed and served Jesus
Christ. Unfortunately, we only
know the names and stories of a few. They were more loyal to Jesus at the time
of his crucifixion than his male
disciples.

Despite the patriarchal society of that day, four women—two of
them Gentile
foreigners—were named in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew’s
Gospel chapter
one. It is significant that Jesus included women in his
teaching putting them
on equality with men. The same ethical and moral
standards were demanded from
both genders and the same way of salvation was
offered for both.

Throughout the Bible, women filled significant
roles—from leadership like
Deborah to unique motherhood like Mary. The same
has been true of those in the
persecuted church.

A pastor in Cuba once
told me, “Lenin said that without women there would be
no revolution. I say
that without women there would be no church!”

In China, the group of
Christians who have had a major role in the revival and
church growth are
referred to locally as “Bible Women.” Chairman Mao once
said, “Women hold up
half the sky.” But it is estimated that about seventy per
cent of the active
Christian workers and church leaders in China today are
women.

For
example, Chinese Bible Woman, Ding Xianggao, has an incredible testimony.
She is a young itinerant evangelist in China. Very much aware of the cost, she
says, “In my country there are many brothers and sisters who suffer
for
Christ. Some of my co-workers have spent thirty years in prison for the
sake
of the gospel.”

Two of her associates were actually martyred.
Because she is a hunted woman,
she often sleeps in caves and fields to avoid
capture.

Her commitment is expressed this way: “Jesus died for me. The
least I should
do is die for Him. To suffer and go to prison for Him is my
honour, and I look
forward to it.” She ended up in a large prison with over
eight hundred inmates
involved in prostitution, murder and kidnapping. But
Ding believed God had
placed her there for a reason. After three years she
was released from prison.
But not before seventy-eight people had made a
personal commitment to Christ.

Sister Chan was sent to prison for six
months for public preaching in central
China, a prison with six thousand
other women. During her time there, she led
eight hundred women to faith in
Jesus.

God uses everyone who is available in establishing His kingdom on
earth.

RESPONSE: Today I will not assume that I am not useable by God. I
will make
myself available to Him.

PRAYER: Pray for the ministry of
Christian women around the world—especially
those who serve our Lord in
difficult assignments or places.

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