Kingdom Women - The Variety of Women of the Early Church

like to invite you to open your Bibles

to Acts chapter 9 and we'll be

celebrating today is what it means to be

a woman or a man who belongs to Jesus

what does it mean to be a kingdom woman

a kingdom man now I want to start by

saying you know what as we celebrate

Mother's Day sometimes it could be a

problem of putting women in a box no

saying moms are like this there's many

different mothers as there are mothers

right many different kinds of mothering

different style and i thank god for the

diversity and the variety of people in

the body of Christ how many people were

able to come to the prayer meeting on

Thursday night National Day of Prayer

there was a handful of you there good

there were a number of people there

there were people from all over the city

praying for revival in the city of

Boston and I really enjoyed the variety

of voices that we heard in that prayer

meeting pastor say I'm opened in his own

pastoral Pentecostal I wasn't even there

way but I hear it was great there was a

grandmother who was tough as nails you

could tell that she was a strong

grandmother but she had her own style

she happened to be Caucasian she used

illustrations from her blueberry picking

garden there was a korean-american

professor from gordon-conwell dr. Park

who shared in an insightful thoughtful

profound way our own sister nikka nikka

who's like somewhere not here you led in

a reflective deep way there was a

worship leader evangelist name's Enzo

anyone knows Enzo Zen Zoma toga from

Ghana

who led an altar call in his own

anointed way with a lot of pizzazz one

might say it was great then there were

some there were some gringo pastures

there doing whatever we do in our own

way there was a variety of styles and

voices and I just found myself thanking

god for the diversity of the body of

Christ in Galatians 3 28 it talks about

the radical supernatural unity that

different kinds of people can have in

Christ it says for as many of you as

were baptized into Christ have put on

Christ and there is neither Jew nor

Greek there is neither slave nor free

there is neither male nor female for you

are all one in Christ Jesus when we

become Christians we become one the

differences between us blur out of

importance and we become a new people

with a new identity a new citizenship a

new allegiance we become members of the

body of Christ and there's a radical

equality so we come to the point where

my primary identity is not necessarily

the country I come from or the language

I speak or the color of my skin but it

is the kingdom to which I belong that I

am a citizen of the kingdom of God and

God's people become my people God's

nation becomes my primary nation and we

become one in Christ a royal priesthood

a holy nation a people belonging to god

that we might declare the praises of him

who called us out of darkness into his

marvelous light and so we get out of our

comfort zones and we go to churches

where there are people who are different

than we r amen and the style might be

different than what we're used to and we

submit that to the kingdom of God and we

even adapt ourselves in some ways

because maybe my own

gringo style might be difficult for

someone else and I'm going to need to

learn to adapt in some ways right

because we are one in Christ Jesus but

here's where I'm going with this today

unity in Christ does not mean uniformity

the fact that we are one does not mean

that we all become exactly alike on the

contrary our distinctiveness becomes all

the more important and blessed by the

Lord the Word of God in Ephesians says

there's one body in one spirit just as

you were called to the one hope that

belongs to your call one Lord one faith

one baptism one God and Father overall

who is over all through all and in all

but grace was given to each one of us

according to the measure of price gift

there's one God but he shines through

you in a distinctive way and he shines

through me in a distinctive way and

that's what I want to talk about today

how does God want to shine through you

and how am I losing myself in God so

that i can find my true voice in the

kingdom of god not that you're gonna

imitate me i hope or imitate other

christians you know but did you find who

you are called to be in Christ amen so

let's pray as we as we approach this

father in Jesus name I thank you for the

honor and privilege of sharing your word

with your people god I ask in Jesus name

that your Holy Spirit would guide us

father that we would have understanding

together as your people Lord God I pray

that you would speak to us God and that

we would find our voices individually as

we come together in harmony to sing and

preach your word in the city of Boston

so guide us we consecrate this time to

you in Jesus name

man and a man excuse me hay fever season

excuse me about that praise the Lord

okay we are not believing or trying to

produce here in line of Judah cookie

cutter Christians amen have you ever

been to a church where everybody has the

same mannerisms as the pastor you know I

have seen that I see that I've been to

church is where everybody picks up the

same mannerisms of the pastor I learned

a long time ago that I cannot imitate

pastor Roberto very well I just can't

pull it off you know I try to get that

voice deep try to grow beard and no

one's buying it there Noah then they're

not buying it I was trying to be like my

spiritual mentor and pastor but it just

doesn't work we are not called to be

blandly identical to one another god

calls different people to serve God in

different ways she just look in the Old

Testament consider some of the prophets

of the Old Testament think of the

prophet Elijah you know who he was

living out in the desert wearing camel

skin eating bugs Colin fire down on

sacrifices he was a wild guy literally

then there was another prophet named the

prophet Daniel who served in the court

of Babylon who is a political leader of

several different empires so different

types of men same Holy Spirit talking

through them the Holy Spirit spoke to

them the same message the same anointing

different voices different styles

different clothing different

personalities God calls us to be that

way you can look at that in the New

Testament as well just look at I think

of the differences between someone like

Peter the Apostle Peter and the Apostle

John find it interesting that Jesus

entrusted the church to the Apostle

Peter but he entrusted his mother to the

Apostle John I can only imagine what

that would say

what kind of men they were I don't know

different different now sometimes you'll

hear about when many different people

come together that we become a melting

pot you ever heard that phrase melting

pot where everything sort of melds

together into one soupy substance I

don't think I want to be a melted soupy

substance I was preparing this a message

at my my ministry spot panera in walpole

now I've just given my secret spot out

so people can find me there and there

was a great advertisement for a new

salad and it started saying eat

colorfully strawberry poppyseed and

chicken salad eat your greens but also

your yellows your reds and your blues to

the brighter the better now I figure

I've eaten there so much I owe them a

shameless plug right you go get that

poppyseed salad that's what I want to be

as a church I don't want us to all blend

our differences into one another where

we all try to be the same we're created

in the image of God and God is meant to

shine through each individual in a

distinctive way we're called to be

distinctive disciples sort of like a a a

mosaic a stained glass mosaic that have

different types of glass different

colors and textures but the same light

is shining through the glass and

something beautiful happens we're called

to be a mosaic we're called to be a

spicy salad or whatever it is here not

necessarily a melting pot so what about

our gender and this is where we're

coming around to the Mother's Day part

of all this what about our gender

Galatians said there is neither male nor

female there's a radical equality now

the

your hostility doesn't need to exist

anymore there doesn't need to be sexism

in the body of Christ so does that mean

there is no gender anymore I think we

can go to different extremes where we

either try to blur the differences and

the distinctives of who we are out of

existence or the extreme where we

emphasize them so much that we box

ourselves in and separate from other

people now in our society there's a

movement to blur gender differences and

saying that there's no difference

between men and women we don't believe

that we believe that God created them

male and female in the image of God he

created them the men and women together

reflect the glory of God amen not just

men not just women that together we

shine who God is so our gender matters

but you see all too often in Christian

history people have tried to put gender

distinctives into forced definitions to

say all men must be this way all women

must be this way and we put people in a

box all men know how to fix things if

that's true I can think of at least one

guy that's in big trouble all women know

how to cook now some women do do all

does that make you less of a woman of

course not the boxes we put people in

cause people to rebel against that and

say it shouldn't matter and it shouldn't

in a certain way but in another way God

has made me to be Who I am as a man in

God not just in a cookie cutter

definition of that there were a

tremendous variety

women that follow Jesus you ever noticed

that Mary and Martha two sisters one of

them was a really reflective sensitive

woman who would sit at Jesus's feet and

listen to him her older sister Martha

was always moving and serving and bossy

and tell my sister to help me Martha and

Mary there were others there was I think

of some women who followed Jesus who

were rather shall we say assertive

assertive there was one from a region

called Cyril phoenicia she wasn't a

Jewish woman but she came to Jesus

pleading with Jesus to heal her daughter

said Jesus please come heal my daughter

and Jesus said something that I still

don't really understand although some

day I'm trying to figure it out but he

said he's a right to take the food of

the children and give it to the dogs and

he's a god how dare you say that because

she wasn't a jew it was aimed at the

Jews at that time that's we came to

serve and the woman said but even the

dogs get a crumb from the table Jesus in

other words I'm not gonna take no from

an answer my daughter needs to be heal

that you can heal her and Jesus is just

like you got faith her daughter was

healed right away there was a particular

mom in the New Testament a really tough

soccer mom she had two sons James and

John they were both apostles and she

approached Jesus one day and said I

would like these my son's to sit at your

left and right in your kingdom now there

was one pushy soccer mom but then there

were other types of women who followed

Jesus there was the one remember the

lady who touched Jesus's garment and as

she had an issue of blood for for 12

years she had been outcast in society

and she forced through the crowd and

touched to him of Jesus's garment and

power came out and zap healed her and

she was healed but then she slipped into

the crowd because she knew a woman is

not supposed to be touching a rabbi let

alone a bleeding woman touching Jesus so

she tried to hide and he

wouldn't let her get away and she's like

no being so timid that you don't let me

heal your heart as well as your body so

he stopped and looked around so somebody

touched me and Jesus and the disciples

like everybody touching you they're all

pushing against you they know somebody

touched me different and he's looking

around and he waited till the woman had

to come out trembling she was so shy she

didn't she was she was wounded she was

and Jesus like daughter your faith has

healed you go in peace so we have

assertive women we have women who are

more timid and who need to be taken out

of their shell there are some women in

the New Testament from the street there

are some tough ladies in the New

Testament Mary Magdalene made a living

as a prostitute for many years needed to

have seven demons cast out of her and

became one of the main disciples of

Jesus Christ present at the cross

present at the resurrection present on

Pentecost Mary Magdalene from the street

there was another woman in the region of

Sumeria who met Jesus at a well and and

she had been famously promiscuous she

had had several different men she was

outcast from society she was bantering

with Jesus she ends up becoming an

evangelism and evangelist who brings the

whole region to Jesus there are some

tough ladies there were also ladies from

the upper crust who followed Jesus did

you know that there was a woman named

gelana the wife of chuza who was

apparently a governor a governing

official of tremendous means that a lot

of money and Johanna supported Jesus out

of her own bank account the upper crust

from the ritzy part of town there's all

different kinds of women that follow

Jesus and we do a disservice to

ourselves to the church and to our

sisters in Christ we try to put people

in a box

and so you gotta be like this no we want

people to be radical for Jesus in

whatever way that that comes naturally

to their personality that God has made

that and women can make a splash and

they did in the early church now this is

where we're coming around to the text

we're going to be talking about in in

just a couple minutes we're studying

together in these sermons the book of

Acts these are stories and narratives

and histories of the early church the

early Christians women were a big part

of the story they were the last people

at the cross of Jesus Christ the women

were the first ones to go to the empty

tomb the women were present on the day

of Pentecost praying in the upper room I

think some of the women were speaking in

tongues on the day of Pentecost as well

they were part of that number the women

had an impact the women were part of

spreading the gospel so aggressively so

effectively thats all before he became

the Apostle Paul when he was persecuting

the church and trying to snuff out

Christianity he didn't just arrest men

he dragged off women too it was a

compliment of sorts that wasn't very

common usually you go for the men

they're the leaders right no Saul went

for the women to he know they're they're

fueling this engine now thankfully he

became the Apostle Paul after that and

and made made some amends but but women

were part of this we meet Mary we talked

about Mary the mother of John Mark the

sister of Barnabas who owned a big house

who hosted prayer meetings in her house

we hear later about Philip who was a

great evangelist remember the guy who

shared the gospel with the Ethiopian

eunuch remember him well he eventually

has four daughters and guess what they

all did

all prophesied they were women who had

the anointing the Holy Spirit would

speak the Word of God and services women

who were prophetesses people in the

early church women who had an impact if

you look at the end of Romans 16 you

ever read the letters of the New

Testament and at the end there's a long

list of greetings where the Apostle Paul

says hi to a bunch of different people

have you ever noticed those sections of

the letters usually we skip over those

because kind of feels like we're reading

someone else's mail right he's saying hi

to a bunch of people I don't know well

if you look carefully though at what

he's saying about people there's some

amazing things in there in Romans

chapter 16 the letter he wrote to the

Christians in Rome he greets especially

he highlights a woman named Phoebe who

was a Deaconess in the church she was

the one who carried the letter from Paul

to the Christians in Rome Phoebe he says

that she was a benefactor to many people

including me he refers to someone named

Mary who worked very hard for all of you

he refers to a woman named junior who

together with her husband are called

outstanding among the apostles now does

that mean junior was an apostle I don't

know but it sounds important she and her

husband were outstanding among the

apostles try fina and try fossa women

who had who work hard in the Lord the

mother of Rufus who has been a mother to

me also beloved Persis another woman who

worked very hard in the Lord for all of

you in the book of Philippians the

Apostle Paul takes half a chapter to

address two women they don't ever read

that in Philippians chapter for you o

dia and cinta k there were two women who

were apparently so powerful in that

church that the conflict they were

having was splitting the church right

down the middle and so he took some time

in

the eternal inspired Word of God to deal

with you audience indicates Church fight

now that if you look at it is pretty

impressive that these ladies were that

influential that they merited that kind

of public attention however you dice it

women in the early church had an impact

they made their presence felt now I want

to look at three specific women in the

book of Acts we're going to meet Tabitha

then we're going to meet Lydia and then

we're going to meet Priscilla so in Acts

chapter 9 in verse 36 we're going to

meet a beautiful woman named Tabitha who

was also called Dorcas in Greek and this

is an amazing story says in Joppa verse

36 of Acts chapter 9 in Joppa there was

a disciple named Tabitha in Greek her

name is Dorcas which means I'm gonna had

gizelle so they would have all known

that gizelle that gracefulness she was

always doing good and helping the poor

about that time she became sick and died

and her body was washed and placed in an

upstairs room now little was near Joppa

so when the disciples heard that Peter

was in Lydda they sent two men to him

and urged him please come at once Peter

went with them and when he arrived he

was taken upstairs to the room and all

the widow's stood around him crying and

showing him the robes and other clothing

that Dorcas had made while she was still

with them Peter sent them all out of the

room then he got down on his knees and

prayed turning toward the dead woman he

said Tabitha get up she opened her eyes

and seeing Peter she SAT up he took her

by the hand and helped her to her feet

then he called for the believers

especially the widows and presented her

to them alive this became known all over

Joppa and many people believed in the

Lord how about that now

I would just take a little bit of a side

to point out we know that Jesus raised a

few people from the dead during his

earthly ministry Lazarus a widow's son

well you know in the early church there

were resurrections performed by the

power of God through the apostles can

that still happen today maybe I would

like that someday no just put that out

there I don't know how and when I

believe that that happens today and I

have heard stories from people I believe

in different parts of the world and God

is the same God but I want to talk about

Tabitha here this is a woman who served

God in a maternal merciful caring way

she was full the word the word here says

that in fact she's referred to as a

feminine disciple it's the only case in

the New Testament where the word

disciple is used in the feminine you see

an English disciple could mean a man or

a woman in in Spanish it's DC Paula

feminine disciple she is a dis apology

as a feminine disciple she was maternal

the Bible says she was full of good

deeds and of giving to the poor which

she did the Greek is emphasizing that

she was all she just did so much for

people she apparently made garments for

widows now keep in mind in that society

if you're a widow you got nothing

there's no social security there's no

there's no one to take care of you if

you don't have family right and so she

took care of the widows she made their

clothing and she didn't just make any

old clothing purple clothing and you

think purple okay that's cool Purple's a

nice color my daughter likes purple wear

purple was the most expensive clothing

you could make back then to die cloth

purple was an extremely expensive

process so she didn't give him just

anything she used to make the best for

these ladies she was full of good deeds

full of mercy she's the kind of lady who

who makes soup for the sick people who

comes alongside people are hurting or

suffering the mother Teresa of the world

no women who take care of others who are

a mother not just to their biological

children but to everybody the widows

were weeping about this now I know some

Tabitha's do you know some Tabitha's

some of you are some Tabitha's I know

some women who I bump into him as a

pastor you know I met a lot of hospitals

and stuff well there are some ladies

that I get to the hospital they're

always there it's like how did they get

here how did they know this person was

sick there there there at funerals there

at the graveside there helping sick

people they do so much and we only know

a tiny fraction of what they do because

most of what they do nobody knows about

except the person they took care of

their like tabatha like Dorcas they

might be humble in the eyes of people

but they are rock stars in heaven these

are the people who will get the longest

standing ovation in the kingdom of God I

remember once several years ago I was

doing a particularly painful funeral for

a young man who died of a drug overdose

young husband young father and it was

the middle of winter it was februari

nothing colder than you know some of us

know from experience how cold those

grave sides can be and we were there and

there were some women in the church

there were three or four who came with

thermoses of hot chocolate and after the

service was over they gave cups of hot

chocolate to people at that graveside

paso director when i told him the story

he said they are archetypical women

these are the spiritual descendants of

the women who were at the foot of the

cross there are typical praise God for

Tabitha and Dorcas for women who

minister in this maternal way and it's

interesting that in this resurrection

the Apostle Peter gets down in praise

first and then he looks at her and he

says Tabitha get up do you remember the

story where Jesus raised the little

twelve-year-old girl from the dead

remember that story and he looks at her

and he says tour in Hebrew talithakoumi3

bro means little girl get up well in

Hebrew the language Peter would have

been speaking here the Aramaic he would

have said Tabitha kumi so before it was

Talitha kumi to be a coup me the same

Jesus the raise that little girl is

raising this little girl to through the

power of the holy spirit through the

apostles but it's the same Jesus who is

the resurrection and the life and i love

how tender the story is she opens her

eyes she looks at him he takes she sits

up he takes her hand helps her up helps

her outside and says hey ladies I got

someone for you to meet how about that

no taba thin Dorcas I praise God now I

want to transition to another type of

woman who made an impact in the early

church because we're going to talk now

about a woman named Lydia now while

tabatha made purple garments we're gonna

meet a woman who sold purple garments

and it said something about her so skip

with me ahead to Acts chapter 16 verse

11 acts 16 verse 11 we're gonna meet

Lydia a dealer in purple cloth a

businesswoman who became radical for

Jesus acts 16 verse 11 it's telling the

story of their missionary trips it says

from trow us we put out to sea Luke is

now talking in the first person plural

he's part of the group from tro oz we

put out to sea and sailed straight for

Sam no Thrace and the next day we went

on to Neapolis from there we travel to

Philip I a Roman colony and the leading

city of that district of Macedonia and

we stayed there several days on the

Sabbath we went outside the city gate to

the river where we expect to defy

a place of prayer we sat down and began

to speak to the women who had gathered

there one of those listening was a woman

from the city of Thyatira named lydia a

dealer in purple cloth she was a

worshiper of God the Lord opened her

heart to respond to Paul's message and

when she and the members of her

household were baptized she invited us

to stay at her home if you consider me a

believer in the Lord she said come and

stay at my house and she persuaded us

Lydia a businesswoman this is a person

you meet down in the financial district

this is a woman who was a doer a dealer

in purple cloth the good stuff the

expensive stuff she was originally from

another city that specialized in

textiles Thyatira but she had set up

shop in Philip I which was the leading

city of the the area it was a Roman

colony it was New York City it was the

center of things like sorry to say that

no it was Boston the center of things

and then this was the place to be if you

are a businesswoman dealing in purple

cloth and Lydia was there she was a

businesswoman now the Apostle Paul and

the others were going to a river looking

for a place to pray because there

weren't many Jews it was a Roman colony

it was actually already crossed the line

into Europe there weren't many Jews

there weren't enough men to make a

synagogue so some of the women Jews who

were there had gathered a place of

prayer by the river and so they found

these ladies it was sort of an open-air

meeting right and they're talking to the

women who were gathered there so these

are women who apparently had the

initiative to form a prayer gathering

even though there was no synagogue and

they're there the Apostle Paul is

talking to them and the Lord the word

says that the Lord opened Lydia's heart

to respond something I would say when we

share the gospel it's our responsibility

to love people it's our responsibility

to share the gospel it is the Holy

Spirit's responsibility

to opens people's hearts to receive the

message I can't open a person's heart

only the Holy Spirit can do that so

Lydia received the Lord she went back

home her whole family was baptized and

accepted Jesus and she convinced Paul to

stay with her now I know about you but I

don't know if I'm reading between the

lines but I get the feeling she was a

rather assertive woman I don't know she

was a businesswoman but you really see

that detail when you see the invitation

that she gave to the Apostle Paul and to

his companions it says she invited us

and she convinced us to stay with her

the Greek there is a word called para

bestow which means to compel by exerting

force to constrain by entreaties to

twist a person's are until they say yes

if you consider me a believer in the

Lord you're gonna come stay with me and

you're gonna eat she was let's just say

she would take no refusal right there's

an aggressiveness I don't think it's any

accident that Lydia's from Phillip is in

Phillip I that you you audience indicate

the two ladies who had the big church

fight from Phillip I you almost wonder

if there were some pretty tough lady

some leaders that is not a bad thing so

here's what I want to say and this is

important because traditionally in

Christian circles we want our women to

be Tabitha we want our women to be

mother Teresa right which some are some

are but there's also Lydia's there's

also business women there's also women

who are movers and shakers in different

ways who have that push to get out there

and get things done and serve Jesus in

that

and that's part of the kingdom of God

the Apostle Paul when he's talking about

you odia in cinta k says help these

women who fought by my side in the cause

of the gospel he uses the language of

warfare he said these ladies they've

turned their guns on each other at the

moment but it's because they're fighters

and I want them in the trench next to me

amen this church has had to fight to

spread the gospel and will have to fight

to stand for what we believe and we're

gonna need some tough women and tough

men who know what we believe who will

not turn back who will not take no for

an answer we need Lydia by our side

another detail about Lydia it apparently

she was single right she invited them to

the house there's no mention of her

husband now most likely she was a widow

because most women at that time you got

married because they arranged it since

you were six so there was no guess work

here none of this dating business will

set this up so she would bring she was

probably a widow right but the fact that

she was single didn't seem to stop her

from doing great things in life the fact

that she was single didn't stop her from

being a successful businesswoman in the

leading city of the colony the fact that

she was single didn't stop her from

being a homeowner the fact that she was

single didn't stop her from starting a

synagogue by a river the fact that she

was single didn't stop her from

accepting Jesus as her Lord and Savior

it didn't stop her from inviting the

apostles to her house the fact that she

was single didn't hold her back amen you

know sometimes and we can you know we

want to celebrate marriage amen we want

to celebrate that we did that today but

at the same time people are single are

not half people they men

you know in Spanish there's a saying

it's kinda media naranja you're gonna

find your half orange your better half

which is a beautiful idea that you find

the person who's complementary to you

that's what they mean all right but a

person who a single is not half an

orange no you're the whole thing you

know the whole thing there's a great

woman of god in this church who on her

40th birthday and she shared this

publicly on her 40th birthday she was

looking in the mirror and the Holy

Spirit said you are a complete woman

just gives me chills even now cuz I

course I know her and I know what an

amazing woman of god this is so single

and serving Jesus a businesswoman for

Jesus an entrepreneur for the kingdom of

God amen so does a person a woman have

to be single to serve God wait a minute

is that what we're saying and that a

married woman just needs to let husband

do it not at all go with me please to

Roman 16 the chapter I was talking about

Romans chapter 16 we're going to meet

our third woman a woman named Priscilla

okay Romans 16 where the Apostle Paul is

greeting people and we're going to hear

a little bit about Priscilla our third

woman and we'll bring it home from there

it says I commend to you are going to

start with Phoebe just so you can hear

that again right because I think that's

so cool I commend to you our sister

Phoebe a deacon of the church in Kent

Rhea I ask you to receive her in the

Lord in a way worthy of this people and

to give her any help she may need from

you for she has been the benefactor of

many people including me verse 3 great

Priscilla and Aquila so her husband was

named a Killa hey their names their

names even rhyme is Michael Priscilla

and a killer my co-workers in Christ

Jesus they risked their lives for me not

only i but all the churches of the

Gentiles are grateful to them they were

co-workers of Paul as a couple Priscilla

was a married woman

in ministry partnering with her husband

but ministering in her own right as well

in that cool she was and and they were

apparently tentmakers they made tense

just like the Apostle Paul so the

Apostle Paul actually they became very

good friends of the Apostle Paul's they

would work together making tents and

they hosted a church in their house and

they were leaders in the early church

Priscilla and Aquila now they ended up

doing some very important things there

was a man who was preaching the gospel

enthusiastically in the city of Ephesus

his name was Apollo's is that cool

Apollo's right it sounded like a boxer

right Apollo creators like Apollo's a

great preacher in the early church but

he was confused about some things so

guess what Priscilla and Aquila as a

couple invited him over to dinner and

spend some time explaining to him work

correctly the theology about Jesus now I

want to highlight something when the

Apostle Paul is greeting them whose name

does he put first in Romans 16 verse 3

greed Priscilla and Aquila is it it's

not a kill and Priscilla it's great

Priscilla and Aquila so when the Apostle

Paul greets them and when they are

referred to several times it is always

Priscilla and Aquila that is unusual in

the ancient world what's normal even

today is to say mr. and mrs. bishop

right if you said I'd like to introduce

to you mrs. and mr. Bishop hey it would

just be like I look that's weird why'd

they reverse it you know same thing

Priscilla and Aquila every time why did

they put Priscilla's name first you know

I don't know for sure but one gets the

impression that Priscilla was a real

leader in that church in their home now

I don't know what it looked like who

knows maybe maybe a killer was more into

the tents right and the quiet serving

the Lord enough

and maybe she did more of other things

that were more prominent different types

of teaching I don't know but however you

dice it she was prominent priscilla and

aquila together as a team she is serving

in her own right with her own in her own

place that is a beautiful thing see I

love husband's that are not threatened

by their wife shining for Jesus and

doing the ministry she's called to do

I've we've seized every now and then

we'll have women come and preach here

and sometimes they're married and

sometimes their husband right there you

know just cheering them on like yeah

that's that's my girl up there that's my

that's my that's my wife and he's proud

of her he's a happy there's a great

couple in this church where the wife is

a dynamo she's a mover she's a shaker

she's a leader and the husband is a very

quiet reserved strong as a horse man who

loves her that way it's like I want her

out there leading and rocking the world

that's what I like about her you get out

there does it lessen him as a man does

it lessen his spiritual leadership of

course not he's happy to see her shine

and become the person gods made her to

be I bet you a killer was a great guy I

don't know just using my imagination

right priscilla and aquila but what we

know for certain is that we have a

married couple serving jesus together

now here's where i'm going with all of

this as we bring this to a close if you

are a woman the goal is not to be the

woman you think you need to be but the

woman that God wants you to be amen same

thing if you are a man not just to be

the kind of man that your culture

society tells you or that you think you

know but the kind of man God wants you

to be a kingdom man a kingdom woman amen

and that's going to take different

styles different personalities some are

going to be more maternal in their

approach some are going to be the

business woman approached some are going

to be married in ministry and there's a

bunch that I probably that I didn't

mention you're gonna do it in your way

in your voice in your style I believe

when we become Christians we don't lose

our personality we find it but we find

our personality by losing it jesus said

if anyone wants to be my disciple let

him take up his cross daily and follow

me because if anyone wants to find his

life or himself he will lose it but if

you lose yourself if you lose your life

for me and for the gospel you will find

it okay men you see all of us have been

wounded in some way and especially in

this area of our gender identity

everybody has been wounded in some way

everyone it brings pain brings sin the

devil has twisted things what we need to

do is say God I just lose myself in you

and your purpose and as we do so we

discover who we were really called to be

and we become more ourselves not less

ourselves but it's because I'm living

for Jesus and his kingdom and not myself

a healed identity a healed calling a

healed gender identity we become kingdom

women and kingdom men in god's way in

God's voice and God style that's what we

need here a line of Judah we don't need

cookie cutters we didn't really people

trying to copy someone else we need

people got their eyes on Jesus and say I

will live for the kingdom of God I want

to see his kingdom spread and then we

discover who were meant to be as a

Christian man or as a Christian woman as

God reveals that to us let this place be

a place of healing and discovery and

power as God's light shines through you

in the way that you are meant to shine

amen so I can invite our musicians to

come up and as we close this time amen

as we close this time I want to invite

you to offer yourself to the Lord as a

living sacrifice again especially of

course this is Mother's Day we're

celebrating Christian womanhood in a

particular way to say God I want to be

your woman we have all

wounded in different ways it's time to

give that over to the Lord let the Lord

heal us let us discover who we are

called to be a men so i invite you to

stand with me and let's pray let's pray

dear Heavenly Father I thank you for the

variety of men and women that we meet in

the early church god I thank you Father

that whoever we are there is a place for

us in your kingdom and in your purposes

god I thank you Lord Jesus for the

variety of women that you used in the

early church Jesus women whose heart has

been had been open to you women who were

fully committed to the kingdom and had

decided to follow Jesus in their own way

god I thank you Father for women like

tabatha among us Lord for women who care

for others Lord and our mothers

spiritual mothers too many people thank

you for Tabitha god I thank you for

Lydia God who fights for your kingdom

and your purposes god I thank you for

Priscilla and for the married women

among us who serve you in partnership

lord I thank you Jesus for the many

other types of women in the early church

prophetesses deaconesses leaders

teachers god I thank you that you still

raise up women today to lead in your

church God and have an impact god I pray

in the name of Jesus for a

harvest god I pray father for the women

on the streets in our neighborhoods

around us who had been wounded who have

been hurt by the evil one the enemy has

come to steal kill and destroy but Jesus

you have come that we might have life

and have it abundantly so we pray for

abundant life for those that have been

wounded among us their God and out on

the streets who are not yet here i pray

that at this altar that women would find

healing as your daughter's a new

identity in christ god i pray father for

successful businesswomen in the city of

Boston god I pray for the women doctors

women lawyers women small business

owners that they would come to meet

Jesus and that everything about them

would become entrepreneurial for the

kingdom of God lord I pray for Priscilla

I pray God for the married women among

us Lord God that you would bless their

marriages God that she would teach

couples to minister together God in

partnership using their gifts freely not

threatened by the other or working as

teams Lord God Lord let it be father

give us a harvest give us a harvest we

pray in Jesus name but now as we sing

the song we give ourselves to you we say

i want to be a kingdom man i want to be

a kingdom woman in Jesus's name