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Biblical stories of eighteen New Testament women who Jesus encouraged, empowered, and loved.

When a Woman meets Jesus, BookHow could a man who had no wife, no children, no home, no job, no money, and wandered the hills of Judea with twelve men relate to women of his time, much less women in the 21st century?

That's the question that led author, Dorothy Valcárcel, to search for biblical women whose lives intersected with Jesus. As she explored the lives of every woman Jesus met, she discovered that they faced many of the same challenges women encounter today.

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We are delighted that you have come to the Garden where you will find an oasis in your busy day.  Whether you wish to share a prayer request or gain encouragement from the study of God's Word in our daily devotionals, we want you to know that this is a place where you will find supportive friendship. No  matter what load you have  today, it is our prayer that here in the Garden, you will find an environment of love and caring that brings comfort to your heart.

Devotional Week 29, 2018 Wednesday

Week 29 Wednesday

July 18, 2018


 

Today’s Text For Study and Encouragement: 

“Do good in Thy good pleasure unto Zion: build Thou the walls of Jerusalem.”

Psalm 51: 18

King James Version

 

 

EXPLORATION

 

“Why God Loved David” – Part XXVI

 

“Jerusalem’s walls now dashed,

destroyed and smashed beyond belief,

Display the pain of wounded people,

burned and gashed by grief.

But comes a helper, One who sees

within those shattered parts,

A citadel of strength and joy,

rebuilt from broken hearts

He loves and treasures.”

Pastor Jack W. Hayford

Rebuilding The Real You

 

What would it mean to me to know that God’s renewal has transformed my life for His purpose?

 

Definitions:

  1. Renew: To make new. To replenish. To revive. To become new again.
  2. Rejuvenate: To restore to vigor. To stimulate to new activity.

 

“But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to (men and women) appeared. He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”

Titus 3: 4-6

Amplified Bible

 

INSPIRATION

 

“And they said to me, ‘The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.’” 

Nehemiah 1: 3.

 

            Last night I had a pleasant conversation with my college roommate who lives in Canada. One of the pillars of my deep and abiding friendship with Shari is our love for our heavenly Father. Through the years, while at times we have both found ourselves staggering around as the earth underneath us shook by the tragedies that life hurls at all of us, we have taken great comfort in encouraging each other that our heavenly Father’s love is a life-constant, especially in times when your life feels unstable.

 

            As we reviewed the ways our lives have meshed over many years, our conversation, as it always does, turned to the spiritual. Probably because I was working on this devotional for the past several days, we got to discussing a book I was using as a resource for today’s inspiration. The book, Rebuilding The Real You, is one I read in 1986 when it first came out. Written by Pastor Jack Hayford, this volume is a “treasure” on my bookshelf. I haven’t read it once. I have read it over ten times and each time I reread this book, I find some new, unearthed nugget, which gives me additional spiritual wealth from my heavenly Father’s immense storehouse.

 

            This book, for those of you who have never heard of it, it is a Biblical study on the book of Nehemiah. 

 

            When Nehemiah returned to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, as he arrived with supplies from the King of Babylon, what he found broke his heart. The walls of the city were nothing but piles of burned rubble. And from this disastrous mess, it looked like nothing could ever be repaired or rebuilt.

 

            However, and oh how I love this, our Father is a specialist in “Rubble Rejuvenation.” If the world had a telephone book, our Father’s number would be highlighted: “BEST IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE AT FIXING WHAT IS BROKEN!” His area of expertise is taking trash and turning it into treasure. PRAISE GOD! For there are lots of us, myself included, who need what is burned to be renewed.

 

            The book of Nehemiah is a perfect example of how God takes what’s been knocked down, and through the power of His Spirit, raises it up again! 

 

            What I find so instructional is that long before Nehemiah’s experience, we find in Psalm 51: 18, our text for today, that David told God, “Do what You want with me, build Thou the walls of Jerusalem.” I just love the fact that after being confronted with the dastardly deeds of his life and recognizing how low he had sunk, David understood his loving Father so well, that he knew there was no reclamation project too big for his heavenly “Dad.” Aren’t you thankful, too? I know I am. David’s precious note to God, asking for cleansing and renewal gives incredible hope to each one of us – no matter what condition we find ourselves in right now.

 

            And lest you think that you had better clean off some of the soot that is covering you or try to repair some of the cracks in yourself before your Father can go to work, let me share some of the insightful and inspired words from my friend Myrt Grimm in Finland.

 

            Writing about the rejuvenating power of Jesus’ ministry Myrt reminded me of the fact that the Pharisees in Jesus’ time on earth, who liked to think of themselves as the holiest and cleanest of people, began a “gossip fest” that centered on the types of people Jesus chose to hang-out with. In Matthew 9: 9, we find Jesus met the man named Matthew (Yes – the one who wrote the first book in the New Testament). Seems at the time, Matthew was rather infamous. He was a hated tax collector, despised by the people, and considered an outcast by the Pharisees.

 

            When it came to the attention of Jesus that His choice of companions was causing a stir, He jumped right into the middle of the discussion by making it crystal clear why He came to earth and who He came for:

 

“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, ‘Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?’ But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, ‘They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’”

Matthew 9: 10-13

K.J.V.

 

            There’s a very interesting word in the Greek defining “repentance” – it is “compunction” which Webster’s Dictionary tells us is “a strong uneasiness caused by guilt for what we have done.” When powered by God’s Spirit, I would call this our “conscience.” And it is through this tender wooing, that Jesus told His detractors, He called the broken, the burdened, and the bruised. But they weren’t left in a heap with all their injuries. Instead, as David told God, “Raise the walls back up. Rebuild me as You see fit.”

 

            As my friend Myrt so beautifully penned, “The Pharisees thought they were more than enough (in the holiness department). But they were unable to show mercy. In Mark 12: 33, Jesus reiterates, “Love God with all your heart, all your understanding, and with all your soul and all your strength, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself…this is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

 

            The love of our Father, that calls us to repentance, is beautifully portrayed in the hymn by James G. Small:


I’ve found a Friend, 

Oh, such a Friend!

He loved me ere I knew Him;

He drew me with the cords of love,

And thus He bound me to Him.

And round my heart still closely twine

Those ties which nought can sever,

For I am His, and He is mine,

Forever and forever.”

J.G. Small

(1817-1888)

 

AFFIRMATION

 

          Come, God-With-Us

 

“Come, God-with-us:

who braves our rejection and hurt,

who holds us in acceptance and love.

 

Come, God-for-us:

who whispers

in our ears

that we-

each of us –

are beloved children.

 

Come, God-under-us:

who cradles us in arms that never grow weary;

whose lap has room enough

for all.

 

 

Come, God-over-us:

who watches

in the long silence of the night

that we might rest in peace.

 

Come, God-beside-us:
who steadies us

when we falter,

who lifts us up

when we fall.

 

Come, God-behind-us:

who picks up all the faded dreams

we drop along the way

and patchworks them into hope.”

Thom M. Shuman

Candles and Conifers

 

 

 

Your friend,

 

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author

When A Woman Meets Jesus

Dorothy@TransformationGarden.com

 

 

P. S. Thank you so much for the gifts you send to Transformation Garden which continue to assist our ministry here in the United States and in 192 countries around the world.  100% of your donation goes directly to providing for our daily devotionals and gift bookmarks. Transformation Garden is a non-profit organization so your gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for any gift you send. 

Also, if you should happen to miss a devotional for some reason, you can go to www.transformationgarden.com and you will find archived devotionals.  

 
My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com and www.Christianbook.com or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian.  Thank you so much for your support of Transformation Garden. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P. S.  Thank you so much for the gifts you send to Transformation Garden which continue to assist our ministry here in the United States and in 192 countries around the world.  100% of your donation goes directly to providing for our daily devotionals and gift bookmarks.  Transformation Garden is a non-profit organization so your gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for any gift you send.

Also, if you should happen to miss a devotional for some reason, you can go to www.transformationgarden.com and you will find archived devotionals.  We also place the daily devotionals on Facebook so you can find them on that site also.

My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com and www.Christianbook.com or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian.  Thank you so much for your support of Transformation Garden.