Lydia: A Wise Businesswoman

Time to Shift Priorities? Paul wrote, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” Philippians 3:7 Lydia was a savvy businesswoman who’d established a relationship with many, if not most, of the wealthiest citizens in Philippi. Her specialty was purple cloth, a high-end fabric that symbolized status in first-century Europe because the dye …

A Canaanite Woman’s Faith

Persevering Prayers I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  Ephesians 3:16-17 We don’t know her name. She could be called many things—a Syro-Phoenician, a Canaanite, and a Gentile. Jews usually considered Gentiles unclean and wouldn’t have …

Woman with Chronic Bleeding

Come to Jesus [Jesus] said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:34 Twelve years is a long time to wait for healing. The unnamed woman whose story is recorded in three gospels “had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she …

Mary of Bethany

At the Feet of Her Teacher, Friend, and Lord When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:32 Three incidents reveal Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha, to us, and in each one we find her …

Martha: A Growing Faith

Martha’s Aha Moment “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” John 11:21–22 Martha of Bethany had a servant’s heart. She welcomed Jesus and his disciples into her home on many occasions. She’s often mislabeled a whiner because she …

Samaritan Woman’s Testimony

“Could This Be the Messiah?” Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14 Most of us know the story of Jesus’s encounter with a woman …

Woman with the Alabaster Jar

Extravagant Gratitude Jesus said, “He who has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47 The risk was great, the ridicule inevitable. But she went to the Pharisee’s feast anyway because the love in her heart couldn’t be contained. She had to see Jesus. In her arms she carried an alabaster jar filled with perfume. She pushed her way through the …

Elizabeth: John the Baptist’s Mother

An Answer to Prayer “Elizabeth, your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month,” Gabriel told Mary, “For no word from God will ever fail.” Luke 1:36–37 Elizabeth waited with the others assembled outside the temple. Inside, her husband Zechariah burned incense …

Abigail: The Negotiator

Prepared for Disaster [Abigail] was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite, was surly and mean in his dealings. 1 Samuel 25:3 “Disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household.” The servant’s words were laced with fear. What could one woman do to prevent such a catastrophe? The Bible says Abigail “wasted no time” when …

Hagar: A Desperate Woman

Precious in His Sight Then the angel of the Lord told [Hagar]: “Go back to your mistress and submit to her. … I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count” Genesis 16:9–10 Few Old Testament narratives convey God’s love for the desperate as poignantly as Hagar’s story. She was merely a slave, probably a …