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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Easter Evangelists

I was speaking with a lady evangelist who was very sad and disappointed. A new pastor at her home church had forbidden her or any woman from ministering at their church any longer. She expressed heartbreak as she has been at that church for her entire 60 years, and now she was silenced.  Even though I tried to encourage her, she felt defeated because her freedom to minister her love for Christ to her people was taken away, simply because she was a woman.

Thinking about this, I reflected on the many women in church history who have made its very existence possible. I have marveled, with maybe a little envy, at the pure love for Jesus that women of God seem to have. They appear to be more dedicated, holy, and true to the Lord Jesus than us guys. I have known many such women, like my grandmother Lillie, my mother Mary, and my aunt Carol Rose. The woman whose life I have observed the closest is my own wife Martha, who has served the Lord with love and devotion without fail for nearly four decades, and has taught our daughter that same unflinching devotion.

When I was 12-years-old, Mary Ruth Eller led me in the sinner's prayer in Vacation Bible School, and her daughter Regina serves as a missionary in Israel today. My Sunday school teacher, Gloria Dudley, continues her faithful service of teaching and ministering to the church for more than 40 years. Today, there are women with national and international ministries such as Marilyn Hickey and Beth Moore. What would the church be without these treasures?

We learn from scripture of the women who followed the Lord Jesus and helped Him in His earthly ministry, just as these women do today. Women have a special place in the Lord’s heart because of the pure love and devotion they have for Him. 

As we remember that first Easter, we find the Lord’s disciples, the guys, in hiding, cowering and grieving behind locked doors, gripped with fear and unbelief. But the women go to the tomb with boldness to serve the Lord, even in His death. The angel of the Lord revealed to them that Jesus had risen and showed them the empty tomb. As they hurried to tell the disciples, Jesus Himself appeared to them and these women were the first to worship the risen Lord.

Jesus showed tenderness as He told them, through their praises, to go and tell His brothers, the disciples, to meet Him in Galilee. These precious women of God, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome, Joanna, and others were given the first commission to share the gospel!

Scripture tells us,

“So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples — and everyone else — what had happened.” Luke 24:9 (NLT)

Jesus used devoted women of God to be the first Easter Evangelists and spread the Gospel. He is risen!

Copyright © Gene Markland, used with permission.

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