Wednesday, 17 December 2008


God-given Dreams of the Heart
By Rebekah Montgomery

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a desire to share the Good News. Because of this, some of my earliest childhood memories are of “playing church.”
My sister Ruth and I would dress up our cats and dogs in doll clothes, sit them on little red wooden chairs, then present flannel graph Bible stories and lead them in singing.

But we weren’t playing. We were serious. The Great Commission had instructed us to “preach the Gospel to every creature,” which included cats and dogs, of course. We loved our cats and dogs. We never knew when one of them would be called to meet their Maker.
Occasionally, a member of our congregation would make a break for it, but from past bitter experience, they knew escape was futile. Mostly they sat through our services with resignation.

Their lasse faire attitude proved good training for me: As a speaker, I am sometimes greeted with similar trapped expressions on audience members’ faces.
At the end of each church session, Ruth and I would lead many verses of Just As I Am and extend an “invitation.” We felt this was vitally important and conducted them with great earnestness. We didn’t want any cat or dog to fry for an eternity in hell because we had cut short the invitation to play Barbie or ride bikes. Our theology may have been skewed, but our hearts were in the right place.

The longer we urged them toward repentance and salvation, the more verses we sang, the sorrier the animals looked. When we finally had the closing prayer, some of them seemed to bow their heads, so we were encouraged that some had repented.

Examples to Follow

As an adult, I wholeheartedly wanted to serve God. I didn’t suppose God would ever open up a ministry for me. After all, I was a woman, and according to the lights of many, women were not supposed to do anything in the church except cook the food for potluck dinners and clean up afterwards. My parents didn’t subscribe to this interpretation of the scriptures, but so many did that I realized if I were to exercise the gifts God had given me, I would be the target of a great deal of criticism.

Little by little, God showed me in the scriptures exactly what He had called women to do. He showed me Mary who washed the feet of Jesus. And Martha who served Jesus food at first century potlucks. Then there was Mary Magdalene and others who supplied Jesus with financial help. Deborah led, inspired, and judged. Miriam led music. Dorcas clothed widows and orphans.

Lydia networked. Pricilla instructed Paul. The woman at the well evangelized her village. Jesus didn’t consign these women to work only in the nursery and hold babies: He reserved that extra special job for Himself.

But most of all, God pointed out to me the women who stood at the foot of the cross and bore witness of His crucifixion. These were the women who hastily prepared His body for burial then assembled the spices to return on Sunday to do a proper job of it. They were the first to realize that the tomb was empty.

These were the women Jesus told to tell Peter and the disciples that He was risen — and that was precisely the job I felt called to do: To tell the world that Christ was risen.
I concluded if He had called me to a ministry within the church, He would open the doors for me so others would recognize my call, too — which is exactly what has happened.

The discovery of God’s call on my life has been a joyous adventure. He has allowed me to share the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection in a variety of ways, from Bible school for underprivileged inner-city children to wealthy, upper crust matrons, from seminary-trained pastors to illiterate Haitians, from babies to senior citizens.

If He Asks You, He’ll Show You How

Pursue the dream God has placed within your heart. And don’t be afraid or hold back.

f God asks you to build an ark, He’ll give you the measurements.
If He asks you to fish for men, He’ll give you the bait.
If He asks you to get out of the boat and walk on water, He’ll show you the technique.
If He asks you to pick up your bed and walk, He’ll give you a hand to help you up.
If He asks you to pray, He’ll teach you how.
If He asks you to love your neighbor, He’ll give you love.
If He asks you to go to a new land, He’ll give you the map. © Rebekah Montgomery 2008

1 comment:

Rick said...

I have one daughter in ministry and another one that plans to do so as well. If it weren't for the women who have served God over the years the church would certainly be in a terrible condition. Thank God for women who have followed God's call to serve. Thank you.

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