In a country where women are so often overlooked and mistreated, the opportunities for ladies to hear the power of their worth are minimal. This past week, Ruth Hamilton, co-founder of POI, spent two days teaching a group of women from our local churches. Using the passage in Philippians 1:3-11, Ruth prayed these same sentiments over the women seated before her.
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”
“During the break, I noticed many of them reading their Bible and reviewing their notes on what had just been taught. I was so encouraged by their hunger and thirst for God’s Word. My prayer for them was that their love would abound more and more with knowledge and insight to help them determine what is best…so that they may be pure and blameless.” -Ruth
The second passage Ruth taught from was the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10: 38-42. They took a look at character qualities that were evident in both the lives of Mary and Martha. Ruth discussed how Martha had a distracted, discouraged, and doubtful heart. But then the women also learned that we can bring our needs to Jesus anytime and anywhere.“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
“Jesus really is concerned about what concerns us. He didn’t cast off Martha’s concerns or become angry. Instead, He lovingly and gently confronted her wrong attitude.” -Ruth
Ruth also taught the women that worry is worthless, and can affect us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. She discussed the three steps of overcoming worry in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious about nothing; pray about everything. Be thankful for all things.”
“We concluded our sessions by discovering and determining what was best—the one thing needed—knowing God and listening to Him. It is simple—we must take time to sit at Jesus’ feet, to worship Him, and get to know Him better. As Cynthia Heald says, ‘We are as intimate with God as we choose to be.” -Ruth