Of all the books I've read, there are very few I actually read again. If a book touched my heart, I do keep it, but if I never open it within a couple years, I donate it. This helps keep my book shelves from becoming full of books that mean nothing to me.
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I have been reading for the 4th time A Woman God Can Use, written by Alice Matthews. Alice has taken several women throughout the Bible and written about their lives. The decisions they made, how they lived and how they succeeded. Along with this book I have been doing a Bible study with a book called Women of the New Testament written by Phyllis J. Le Peau.
Of all the women who are mentioned in these books, Mary the mother of Jesus, is one who really stands out to me. Mary was just a young girl, who was engaged to be married. She had grown up hearing about all the promises that God had made to the Jews. Mary knew that someday that the Messiah would come. As a woman, I wonder if maybe Mary held in her heart a secret wish, that she would be His mother.
I can only imagine what it must have been like for Mary, when Gabriel the angel appeared unto her. To hear the news that she had found favor with God. That she has been chosen to be the mother of Jesus. Mary responded, "How can this be, I have not been with a man?" Gabriel continued to tell Mary about her cousin Elisabeth (in her old age)and her coming baby.
Mary was living at time when single women just did not have children out of wedlock. This kind of situation would have brought shame upon herself, her family and to her fiance Joseph.I believe the God had already been working on Mary's heart to be open to the situation. Mary could have said, "No, I do not want to be in this situation. Joseph and my family would not understand." Instead, Mary's reply was "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to the word." Luke 1:38
Mary knew that there would be gossip and other problems for herself and Joseph, but still she accepted this calling.
You can read about the story of Mary and Joseph in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38
|A Woman God Can Use: Old Testament Women Help You Make Today's Choices By Dr. Alice Mathews / Discovery HouseAddressing issues such as leadership, marriage, and suffering,A Woman God Can Use;takes a closer look at the lives of Deborah, Ruth, Esther, and other women in the Bible who displayed wisdom and leadership in service to the Lord.Glean from their struggles, choices, and relationship with God. Find encouragement to help you make wise decisions and balance life’s priorities. Discover how you can build your faith, embrace God’s will for your own life, and be used by Him for His glory.|
|Women of the New Testament, LifeGuide Character Bible Study By InterVarsity Press Lydia shows us how to influence the people around us. Elizabeth's life challenges us to care for others. Other women like Herodias and Sapphira warn us against turning away from God toward bitterness and dishonesty. In meeting each of these women, you will grow deeper in your understanding of what it means to be a disciple.|