The Bible gets a bad rap regarding its treatment of women. We need to remember that the Bible was written thousands of years ago in a culture where women did not enjoy the same social standing as men. It wasn't just gender that defined your social standing - race, financial status and other factors played a part. In Galatians 3:29 Paul said, Now, in Christ, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or free, male or female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus. I think the important thing to take from the Bible is how Jesus treated women which was revolutionary for his era. Some of his closest friends and followers were women. As Staci Eldridge reminds us Jesus wasn't afraid to interact with women, especially women who had dodgy cultural backgrounds (like the Samaritan woman); who had dodgy careers (like the prostitute); or who were unclean (like the woman who had the bleeding condition).
There is a big "girl power' movement at the moment after centuries of repression. Neither women or men are better than each other - we are all equal in God's eyes.
The Bible doesn't end with the cross. Jesus rose again and was taken up into heaven. Luke 24:50-51 says, Then he led them out of the city as far as Bethany, where he raised his hands and blessed them. As he was blessing them, he departed from them and was taken up into heaven. But that's not where the story ends - He promised that he will come back again. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
So, in a nutshell, after Jesus died and rose again he went to be with his Father in heaven. When he comes again he will raise the Christian who have died, then he will take the Christians who are still alive to be with him. The life that we live on earth is just part of our story - we get to live for eternity with God if we believe in him. It sounds pretty crazy but so awesome at the same time.
When the problems of life threaten to overwhelm you, remember this world and its problems won't last forever. There is eternity with Jesus to look forward to.
Sex is like superglue - it joins you to someone else body and soul (metaphorically, not literally). God intended this to be a lifelong union, not a casual fling. Genesis describes a man and woman becoming one flesh when they are married. 1 Corinthians 6:18 says, Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Paul explained that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Sex is not a sin - God designed it. But when sex happens outside of marriage it is a sin that affects the body, soul and spirit. Many of you have experienced the heartache of a broken relationship. It's painful even when you have not had sex. When a relationships that involves sex ends it is even more painful because you have been joined to that person in a more profound way. It's like tearing apart two people that have been superglued together!
In Philippians 4:19 God was speaking specifically to the church at Philippi who had sent money to help Paul in his ministry. It's important to remember that he was speaking to a generous church. Proverbs 11:25 says, A generous person will prosper. He also said God would supply all their needs, not their wants. Sometimes in the first world we confuse needs and wants. These needs are both physical and spiritual. The promise also refers to when God will meet all our needs when we live with him in his kingdom and we won't need or want anything.
Even if you don't have much money you can be generous. List some ideas of how you can be generous.
You can download a free printable PDF of this week's verse below.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.