We brought July, and our time in Women of Courage, to a close last week.
We began the week with reading about the woman caught in adultery from John 8:2-11.
I love how the Pharisees bring her to Jesus and, “They said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act” (verse 4, NASB).
Why didn’t they also bring the man before Jesus as it does take two to commit adultery?
The devotional makes several wonderful points:
- “This woman had no defense and no defender.”
- “Jesus had come to fulfill the law, not enforce it, so that those under it could rest in His record instead of their own.”
- “Forgiveness is not permission to live however one wants … Instead, it’s an invitation to live a life full of love and light and righteousness …”
The devotional asks: Do you feel exposed? Do you feel like someone is waiting for you to mess up? Have you already been judged and found guilty?
Today may we bask in the glorious truth that we have a Defender. He comes to our defense and offers a second chance.
“When Jesus gave the woman caught in adultery a second chance, He didn’t do it to give her freedom to sin, but instead freedom from it. He did it to show her that her life was worth living well and that she had the power to choose that path instead. That’s exactly what He offers us today, and is a second chance worth taking.”
(Woman of Courage, page 163)
Today may we hear Him whispering into our souls, “YOUR life is worth living well!”
Mid week had us looking at Gomer, a most unlikely wife for a prophet.
“Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.” (Hosea 1:2, NASB)
Hosea was promised not only a wife who would wander and be promiscuous, but children as well. He knew entering into this marriage and commitment, he was bound to experience pain and heartbreak and betrayal.
But before we are too hard on Gomer, hear these words from the devotional:
“Every day, we face the temptation to abandon the narrow road to righteousness when following God becomes difficult.”
(Women of Courage, page 170)
Yet God faithfully continues to love us and pursue us.
And He uses every part of our story in His plan for our lives. It’s the beauty and wonder of redemption and restoration.
Have you been rescued by God to only return to your former ways? Are you afraid you’ve blown your chance?
“His love is overwhelming, knowing no bounds. He is quick to reach out to His people, giving them second chance after second chance and crafting stories of redemption for each of His children.”
(Women of Courage, page 171)
May we reach out to Him for He is reaching out to us!
We finished our visits with these women of courage with Abigail, as we read 1 Samuel 25: 4-22, 32-35.
Years ago, I heard Chuck Swindoll do a teaching on her and have never forgotten the admiration with which he presented her. I can still hear him saying with a laugh that Nabel’s name meant “foolish” and so every time Abigail even heard his name, she remembered his lack of wisdom and character.
Abigail possessed tremendous wisdom and courage in the way she diffused this confrontation between her husband and David.
Her story still encourages us to be brave and do what is right, regardless of the risk.
Even today, we see people behaving poorly, making choices and doing things that ignore the needs of others, while increasing their own comforts.
Let’s close with these words from the prayer offered in the devotional book:
“Help me, Lord. Grant me protection and courage, and point me in the direction of Your mission for my life. Help me stand strong and stand for You. Help me see when there’s an opportunity to walk in when others walk out. Give me the heart to discern when to join forces with someone doing Your will, and help them in a time of need. Draw near to me and help me. Amen.”
(Women of Courage, page 181)
He gives us a life worth living,
giving us a second chance,
opportunities to make wise choices and also stand with others.