As a woman called to teach the Word, I’m often looking for ministries or resources that better equip me to teach women. When I discover a good resource or get to be a part of a ministry that helps women handle the Bible well, I want to share! So I’m highlighting the Verity Fellowship, an excellent ministry in the Pacific Northwest geared towards women who minister the Word.
I enjoy making New Year’s resolutions. It’s an opportunity to put aside past mistakes and failures and start over in the coming year. I can start anew with my devotional or exercise program that I abandoned last year. My gym sent me an e-mail which declared this to be the “year of . . . you”. The e-mail went on to say, “It’s 100% your choice. It’s your decision. It’s in your hands. YOU are in control. YOU.” That’s the kind of talk I like – talk that centers around me. Of course, as a Christian I immediately recognize this to be worldly thinking, but I need to be careful. My thinking about resolutions can easily end up as worldly thinking masked by a thin veneer of Christian language.
Worldly perfectionism causes us to question whether we’re good enough, to miss opportunities because we’re afraid of failing, and to fixate on the immediate rather than eternal. It distracts us from fulfilling our mission by setting our hearts on achieving worldly gain rather than faithful gospel-centered living. In our sinful and competitive hearts, we all want to be that woman (or man): beloved and envied by all. We want to shine bright enough to attract everyone’s attention, and ensure they’re too dazzled by our splendor to notice our flaws.
I’ve never really enjoyed the book of Esther. I’m not exactly sure why that is. Maybe it’s because I haven’t heard any teaching on it outside of children’s Sunday school. My daughter suggested that it’s because of the Veggie Tale version (Warning to all parents: Apparently the tickle torture in it creates lifelong nightmares in some children). The bottom line is that I’ve just never “gotten” it . . . until this week.
There are many places in the Scripture where you can read about the coming of Jesus. We’ve been waiting for the Messiah since Genesis 3. But when you read the Christmas story this year, don’t forget the genealogies and miss the beautiful significance of the Messiah’s family tree.