Thanks for joining us on this journey of building a consistent habit of reading our Bibles every day. The Bible reading plan we are using this year can be found here: One Year Bible or here on the Bible app. As always, if you miss a day, don’t feel compelled to go back and catch up. Just skip it and start back on today’s date. I am reading the NLT this year, but feel free to use whatever version you prefer. Now here are some thoughts from today’s readings:

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.
– Matthew 28:8

     What is sharing the gospel if not simply telling others what God has done in the person, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? If this is a fair definition, then we see here that the first people to ever share the full gospel were women. Think about it. When God wanted to trust people with the first glimpse of what would become our salvation, He shared it first with some dedicated ladies (who weren’t hiding scared like the boys were, mind you).

     In our culture today, there seems to be a slant against women proclaiming the gospel. There are some fair scriptural arguments about certain roles that may be restricted to men, but that does not mean that every function that may be associated with that role is restricted to men. Throughout the Bible there are stories of women proclaiming the gospel and even being in leadership roles.

     I understand that we want to honor God by obeying His word, and I appreciate it if that is your heart. It’s mine, too. In doing so, however, let’s remember these two things. First, we must consider the whole council of the word of God when studying any subject. If it weren’t for a few verses in the Bible that seem restrictive to women, we would see how God uses women in the Bible and would have no basis for limiting them in any way. So, when interpreting verses that do seem clear and restrictive, we must also consider how God Himself allowed women to speak, prophecy, and lead (even in the New Testament). Secondly, we should always try our hardest to never tell God what He can and can’t do or who He can and can’t use! Remember what Pastor Bill Johnson once said, “God will never violate the scriptures, but He may violate your understanding of them.”

     So, if you are a lady reading this, know that you should never allow your gender to be a limiting factor in your life. You don’t have to be rebellious to live without limits, either. Trust and obey God and He will always make a way. You don’t have to take things into your own hands. God will open the doors for you, so stay faithful and keep growing so you’re ready when He does (that’s great advice for anyone actually).

     If you’re a male, especially if you’re a leader, examine your heart. Look around you. There are probably talented female leaders all around who you’re not utilizing like you should be. Remember, just because the scriptures may limit specific roles to men, doesn’t mean women have no roles or no ability to help with roles that may be limited to males. In fact, it may be that God had to restrict some roles to men because if He didn’t, women wouldn’t need us anymore! (That’s a joke, but something to think about!)

Ladies, where have you been limiting yourself because you’re a woman and didn’t feel like the doors would be open for you? How can you trust God to open the doors for you and how can you prepare for that now?

Men, how can you empower the women in your life better? How can you show your appreciation to them for all that they do?

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