A Note from Chris Adams: Today’s post is by women’s leader Stephanie Edge and offers some thoughtful direction for us personally and as leaders of women. Consider what God will want you to do to help women share the greatest gift!
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 is likely the most familiar and most quoted Scripture in the Bible. However, familiarity can dim our view of the wonder and significance of its message. “For God loved…” Love is an emotion that demands action. Because of God’s great love for the world (that’s you, me, and those in your sphere of influence), He gave. God’s gift was not mediocre, but rather representative of His extravagant love. He gave the most precious gift of all, His Son.
God’s gift was announced by an angel, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: today a Savior who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David” (Luke 2:10-11). It is God’s gift of His Son, Jesus Christ that we celebrate at Christmas and throughout the year. God’s sacrificial gift met our greatest need—reconciliation. Christ was born to die and rise again for our sins in order to reconcile us to a holy God (Romans 5:6-11). As women’s ministry leaders, we have been entrusted with God’s most gracious gift. How then should we respond?
1. We must remind women about the preciousness of God’s gift.
The angel declared that God’s gift was good news (Luke 2:10). And, it was good news indeed. “How happy those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered! How happy is the man the Lord will never charge with sin!” (Romans 4:7-8). Forgiveness is much to be thankful for, and it is the reason we celebrate. In the busyness of the season, we must help women focus on the true meaning of Christmas—the Christ child.
2. We should encourage women to share God’s gift with others.
The gospel is to be for all people (Luke 2:10). And, those who have experienced God’s love personally are to share the good news. In fact, Christ’s followers were commissioned and now have the ministry of reconciliation (Matthew 28:19-20,
2 Corinthians 5:18). Christmas is an incredible time to share the gospel. Will you encourage women to tell others about Christ and to invite their friends and family members to gatherings where they can hear the gospel?
3. We can provide opportunities to demonstrate God’s love.
Just as God’s love for us demanded action, our love for Him and others should manifest itself in how we treat others. Some not only have spiritual needs, but also have physical needs. “If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16). Meeting someone’s immediate physical need is a tangible demonstration of God’s love. Consider offering options for women to participate in such as adopting a family for Christmas, visiting a church member who is homebound, serving a meal at a local shelter, or Operation Christmas Child. The opportunities are limitless. It might be a bit late to do these things this year, but these can extend on into 2016 as well.
As a women’s ministry leader this Christmas, will you help women focus on God’s gift of His Son? Will you encourage them to share the good news of the gospel? Will you offer opportunities to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way? How will you point women to Christ this Christmas? God’s gift was the best gift ever and is worthy of sharing!
Stephanie Edge has served as Director of Women’s Ministry in Jackson, TN and is a Lifeway Ministry Multiplier. Stephanie graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. She also completed a Masters of Theology and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Stephanie currently is an Associate Professor at Union University in Jackson, TN. She has a passion for God’s Word and ministering to women.