Ted Wilson: Hello, friends! Today I'm delighted that my dear wife, Nancy, is joining us once again, and in fact, she will be bringing us the special message this week.
This Sabbath, June 12, has been designated as Women's Ministries Emphasis Day. The theme for Women's Ministries is "I Will Go Reach My World," and what a wonderful goal this is for everyone to Go, in the power of the Lord, and reach their world for Him!
Nancy, thank you for all you do in going to reach others--both near and far-- for Jesus. I'm sure that many will be blessed by the message you have to share with us today!
Nancy Wilson: Thank you, Ted. I'm happy to share a brief message and would like to especially address our dear sisters around the world.
You know, ladies, God has given each of us a special calling in reaching our world for Him. And it's a calling that only you and I can fill! Listen to this very inspiring and encouraging statement from Ellen White:
"Women as well as men can engage in the work of hiding the truth where it can work out and be made manifest. They can take their place in the work at this crisis, and the Lord will work through them. If they are imbued with a sense of their duty, and labor under the influence of the Spirit of God, they will have just the self-possession required for this time. The Saviour will reflect upon these self-sacrificing women the light of His countenance, and this will give them a power that will exceed that of men. They can do in families a work that men cannot do, a work that reaches the inner life. They can come close to the hearts of those whom men cannot reach. Their work is needed. Discreet and humble women can do a good work in explaining the truth to the people in their homes. The word of God thus explained will do its leavening work, and through its influence whole families will be converted" (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 128, 129, emphasis supplied).
What an amazing influence this is! And to further illustrate this point, let's look briefly at how a young girl was able, through a home, to influence one of the most powerful families of her time. We read about it in 2 Kings chapter 5, beginning in verses 1-5: "Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, 'If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.' And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, 'Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.' Then the king of Syria said, 'Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel'" (NKJV).
Let's pause for a moment and consider how amazing this is! Here is a young girl, ripped away from her family and forced to serve in the very home of the one responsible for her capture!
Involuntarily thrust into this unjust situation, Little Maid could have been bitter, resentful, and angry. But she wasn't. From an early age she had been taught a higher calling--one that looks beyond oneself to the welfare of others.
And, as evidenced by her statement to her mistress, she believed in the gift of prophecy: "If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria," she said, "for he would heal him of his leprosy." What a statement of faith when even the king of Israel seemed to forget about God's prophet!
Notice how this young woman genuinely cared about the well-being of a powerful man who could have rightly been considered her enemy. She cared enough to speak with Naaman's wife, who conveyed the message to her husband.
This took courage. She could have reasoned that because of her lowly position she was helpless, that no one would listen to or believe her. After all, Syria was wealthy and powerful; wouldn't they have the best medical care?
Nevertheless, despite the risk of ridicule and rejection, Little Maid spoke up, and her captors believed her.
Why did they believe her? It was in part, no doubt, to what they had observed—her kindness, courtesy, and thoughtfulness. We are told in Prophets and Kings:
"The conduct of the captive maid, the way that she bore herself in that heathen home, is a strong witness to the power of early home training. There is no higher trust than that committed to fathers and mothers in the care and training of their children. Parents have to do with the very foundations of habit and character. By their example and teaching the future of their children is largely decided. . . . The parents of that Hebrew maid, as they taught her of God, did not know the destiny that would be hers. But they were faithful to their trust; and in the home of the captain of the Syrian host, their child bore witness to the God whom she had learned to honor"(Prophets and Kings, p. 245).
Ladies, as we consider our calling, let us never forget those nearest to us, and the powerful influence God has placed within our hands. Whether we have children of our own, or are "mothers in Israel," God has placed us in the powerful position of teaching, nurturing, and guiding the lives of all humanity!
We are told that: "The king upon his throne has no higher work than has the mother. . . . She has in her power the molding of her children’s characters, that they may be fitted for the higher, immortal life. An angel could not ask for a higher mission; for in doing this work she is doing service for God. Let her only realize the high character of her task, and it will inspire her with courage. Let her realize the worth of her work and put on the whole armor of God, that she may resist the temptation to conform to the world’s standard. Her work is for time and for eternity." (Adventist Home, p. 231).
My sisters, God has indeed placed us in a powerful position of influence--a position that only we can fulfill. While there are many ways we can serve the Lord as we "Go to reach our world," let us always remember our special calling to reach those nearest and dearest through the powerful influence of the home.
I invite you to pray with me just now. Heavenly Father, thank you so much for the privilege that you had given us of working by your side with you and for you Lord, for our children, for our neighbors, for those in our church. Lord you have given women special talents, special gifts, to reach children and to mentor younger women, and to touch our neighbors lives. And so Lord help us to be faithful to the trust you have placed in us, and to be your hands and feet today and always. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. In Jesus name, Amen.