“In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine. They are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, pure, good homemakers, and submissive to their husbands so that God’s message will not be blasphemed.” – Titus 2: 3-5
When God sends an Angel, a message that is very important is sure to follow. Thinking about it puts it into a perspective that is sobering: the One who created the entire universe has taken the time and specific measures to tell you that there’s something that you need to know. That would be quite an experience. Of course, God doesn’t speak to us in that way any more. We have the perfect law of the Lord given to us and His will for our lives is laid out for us in the Holy Scriptures (1 Cor. 13: 9-12; Hebrews 1: 1-2). And He did it so that you and I, specially, could have a complete message from Him.
Even though we don’t get messages from God in that way these days, I think that some people are so much like Christ that they resemble what an Angel would be like because they bless our lives in so many ways (Hebrews 13:1). I’m thinking of a dear sister in Christ, who I have not actually met but I heard a lot of great things about her from a dear friend. Her name is Sister Mary.
Oftentimes, my friend speaks at Ladies’ Days and other events in the Lord’s church, for women. I try to be at every one of those events in support of her (there were a few outside of the country or in far away states that I couldn’t attend). And, at every one of those events, every time my friend taught, she spoke of Sister Mary. She actually talked about two elderly sisters in Christ named Mary, who had a strong and lasting influence on her life because of their examples of faith and service to the Lord.
One of the Sisters Mary passed away this week. The other sister passed away a few months ago. I know that it has impacted my friend, because even though she moved far away from where the sisters resided in D.C., where she worshiped and labored with them for years, they still kept in contact and their examples of love, kindness, and godliness continued to abound. They were both givers – always sharing with others.
“But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” – Matthew 6: 3-4
They were the kind of people who did something nice for someone and gave to others but did not hold on to it or make it a point to keep letting them or others know about it. And how they served others, how they taught younger women like my friend, and how they loved, as Titus 2 commands, has influenced me. And, it has also reached several hundreds more women to whom my friend has shared their stories.
Some people make the argument about how some Christians practice sin – saying they don’t want to have anything to do with God because of what they deem hypocrites. That’s poor reasoning for condemning oneself to an eternity of damnation. We cannot allow our soul’s condition to rest upon what other people do. Christians are humans; we make mistakes and sin like others do, but we don’t make it a practice to sin, and we’re striving to be like Jesus.
Sometimes a brother or sister in Christ might say or do something to offend someone or break another’s trust – it happens even among preachers. We can go directly to that brother or sister and explicitly tell them not to treat us that way (or, don’t taunt me, it’s way off from Scripture for you to do, or whatever the case may be). A preacher once said something along the lines that someone has too much pride when they can’t admit when they were wrong. That’s the kind of stuff that will clear your conscience and let you sleep at night when you go to the brother or sister and tell them and make things right with them. We don’t remain in such a state and we don’t allow one individual’s actions towards us to keep us from serving God.
Plus, “if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). One person’s genuineness or lack thereof will not determine my standing with the Lord God.
But when those kinds of things happen, it’s the godly example of people like Sister Mary that encourages us and reminds us that not every one has a hidden agenda that hurts and causes harm – that there is light in the world in people. And that light that shines through is the light of Christ.
And when the Warren Waddy’s of the world show the darkness, coldness, and ruthlessness of the place in which we live, I think of the light. The kind of light that Sister Mary exuded shined bright through the darkness. I am thankful for sisters in Christ like her, and I’m glad to be a part of the family of God.
You can be a part of God’s family, too. All it takes is belief, confession of Christ as Lord, repentance, baptism, and faithful service to God. It’s the way He planned it for you and I to be adopted into the Holy family.
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