Encouragement for Today - Jan. 23, 2012
January 23, 2012
"For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession." Deuteronomy 7:6 (NIV)
It changes your life to know you're treasured. Grasping this truth transforms a woman. I know; I saw it happen right before my eyes.
Our little band of four women and one very brave man set off to India last November to lead two women's conferences. We packed light, but our hearts were ladened with prayers, messages and plans grown over months of preparation. Although we dreamed big, we couldn't fathom the God-sized outcomes.
We also couldn't imagine the magnitude of the hurts needing to be healed. I was astounded and grief-stricken by the stories my new Indian friends shared.
One woman returned late the second day of the conference, bruised and cut by a beating with a fan blade by her husband, enraged because of her attendance at a Christian conference.
A gifted, young leader sobbed as she told us that her father wished her replaced with a boy or dead.
An exhausted pastor's wife confessed that she and her husband were preparing to leave the ministry because of the extreme persecution they faced.
A beautiful, teenaged orphan solely supporting her grandmother and sister returned home one evening to the announcement of her arranged marriage.
A grieving young woman related how family members silently brushed by her after her conversion, as if she didn't exist.
The stories of women with scars on their bodies and wounds on their hearts went on and on and on...
Our team passionately poured the truth God's heart and the promise of today's key verse into these hurting women. "You are treasured by God. You are created in His image. He could never love you any more or any less. He desires you so much that He calls you His own bride. Because you are His, He has a calling and a purpose for your life. You are chosen by Him."
Slowly but surely, tears of sorrow transformed into tears of joy. Understanding began to light the faces around us. Confessions of God's goodness abounded.
The beaten woman not only bravely returned, she came back with her precious son so he could hear he is God's treasure.
The young leader cried through worship knowing she's cherished by God and the women surrounding her.
The pastor's wife testified she was excited to return and teach the women in her town.
The engaged teenager declared she would face marriage to a stranger knowing that Jesus is her true husband.
The "invisible" woman prayed that she would be Jesus' love to her parents and brothers.
At the end of the first conference, one attendee approached my teammate, Peggy. She looked Peggy in the eyes and said, "Thank you for making us important." Peggy quickly replied, "Honey, God made you important." The woman answered, "But we didn't know."
Knowing we are God's treasure is a transforming realization. If you know this truth, then rejoice and spread the news! If you haven't heard or haven't believed, then let me whisper to you...
You are treasured by God.
Let the truth transform you and free you to live the life of joy and purpose for which you were created.
Dear Lord, help me to really grasp that I am Your treasure. Once I've basked in the gift, help me pass it on. I want to join with You and experience the miracle of seeing others transformed by Your truth. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know Him?
Visit Amy's blog to hear more about her time in India and learn ways that you can pass on the truth to women next door and around the world.
Share this truth with a child in need through Compassion International.
Reflect and Respond:
Do I know and believe I am God's treasure? If I believed this truth, how would it change me? My actions?
Who in my world needs to know God treasures them? How can I share this truth?
I Peter 2:9, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (NIV)
© 2012 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105