Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Woman, who are you?

I WAS BORN THE EIGHTH CHILD in a family that emerged from the Kansas Dust Bowl and the Great Depression so poor we barely had clothes and food. Yet, we were rich because one by one my teenage siblings gave their hearts to Christ and finally, Dad, and then Mom renewed her relationship with the Lord. Joy, love and singing filled the house and I was raised in a fabulous Christian family that has made its mark for Jesus on the world.
When school kids called me a freckled-faced redhead,” I’d just give them a smug grin. Jesus loved me and had a plan for my life and no teasing would change that.
Although the world is full of redheads with freckles, the world has never had a person like me—and there has never been a person like you.
Even when you were being formed in the womb, God loved the unique individual you are and had a plan for your future.
Now I ask, Woman, who are you? You can tell a lot about yourself by looking at God’s Word.
• You are made in God’s image, so no matter how society defines beauty, you are lovely. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:9-11).
• Even our family traits were designed by God. David writes, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139: 13). In the Psalmist’s day, DNA was unheard of, but here it tells us God made things the eye can’t even see. When I was nothing but a fertilized egg about the size of a mite God knew I’d be a curly-haired redhead and covered with freckles.
• If we know Jesus, we’re different on the inside, too.
No matter how old we are, we’re sparkling new inside. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (1 Corinthians 5:17).

• Lady, you also are cherished, precious and valuable. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. (Matthew 1-29-30).
• The woman God blesses always has hope, but there might be times for tears. Jeremiah would identify with people who spend time weeping. He wrote, “I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember— the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great is your faithfulness!” (Lamentations 3: 21-23 The Message).
• Because of Jesus, you can and should have, deep abiding joy. There is no experience on earth that equals to what happens when a person is born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter said, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 1 Peter 1:7-9 Jesus said he who believes in Me as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow springs and rivers of living water.
• Woman, who are YOU? A person who has dreams and missions to fulfill. About five years ago I began praying the Prayer of Jabez: “Oh, that you would bless me, indeed. Enlarge my territory. May your hand be with me. Keep me from evil that I may not cause pain” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10). Suddenly things began opening for me. I sold articles to Christian publications I hadn’t had articles in before. Newspapers published op-ed pieces with definitive Christian testimonies. I made an e-book out of my out-of-print book, Confessions of a Pentecostal. I published the book I’ve had on my heart for years—Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal. What has happened in enlarging my territory probably is or should be happening in you.
• Woman, there is yet another dimension of who you are. Women are part of the Last Day outpouring of God’s Spirit. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions and your old men dream dreams. And on my servants and my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit: and they shall prophesy: And I will show wonders in the heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
• Christian women, you also are God’s models and God’s representatives because we are a living organism that is part of a spiritual body in union with Christ. Ephesians 1:22-23 says it makes no difference in the kingdom whether we are male or female. When I worked as a journalist I carried a press card that would admit me to almost anywhere, at any time. I walked boldly into places and talked to people where I would have never gone on my own. I could ask questions that might offend, but I searched for truth. As a Christian I am Christ’s messenger and we’re told the gates of hell cannot hold out our witness.
When we are filled with the Spirit—we will BE His witnesses, modeling the fruits of the Spirit at work in us—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness, and self control—while sharing the gospel.
When you look in the mirror tonight to remove your makeup and notice another wrinkle, think. Woman who are you? Look at yourself and be amazed at the best part of us of all. You are eternal. Jesus said whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
The scripture my new book hinges on: “While we live in these earthly bodies we groan and sigh, and it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothes us. Rather we want to put on our new bodies, so these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life” (2 Corinthians 5:4).
Don’t be deceived into thinking the body describes who you are. You are more than a body. You can live with someone else’s heart or kidneys and you doubt you’ll live without your body?
Here’s the sum of it all.
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed ,in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).
And because we know Jesus, we will live forever and ever.
© Ada Brownell 2012