Pastoral Hub

IFGF Global



As this month marks the death and resurrection of Jesus, it is very fitting that our IFGF global theme focuses on how we can lead a life of sacrifice or “Sign me up” for the next few weeks. Jesus provided us with the example of following the will of God to the point of death for the ransom of many. Although we all may be on different faith journeys, it is important to remember that comfort is not guaranteed when we choose a life with Jesus. Jesus did not promise our lives to be at ease; rather we can conquer everything through Him. Walking with Jesus also consists of continuing the work that He has started, which is to bear witness and work in partnership with Him. 

Sometimes, submitting our will to God might seem inconvenient and costly, but let’s look at Luke 7:36-48 (NIV). 
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 
37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 
38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

With that statement, Jesus replied with a parable. 
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 
42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven. “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. 
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 
45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 
46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.
47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

One way or another, we have encountered this story, to which we know that the alabaster jar of perfume is an expensive item. Alabaster is considered a precious stone to keep the perfume or ointment inside pure and unspoiled. But more over, she was willing to wipe Jesus’ feet with her hair—mind you, the same feet that travelled for miles on the long and dusty road. In other words, she was willing to give up everything she had to Jesus, despite the cost and humility she displayed in front of the religious leaders. 

From this account, we could sense her desperation and urgency in knowing that only Jesus can forgive her sins. As I was reading this, the woman in this story gave me a great reminder of how we ought to serve as a response to the gracious love Christ has shown us on the cross. He came to die for our sins so we may have our identity and destiny secured in Him. If we know that He had paid a great price to redeem us, I pray that as God’s children, we may continue to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and strength through loving others. So as women of faith, what might that look like for us?

  1. Inspire and train the next generation
    I may not be a mother yet, but from conversations I’ve had with my mom, she mentions how being a wife and mother is tough work; all the while, they are truly a rewarding experience for her. For mothers out there, you are seen and highly valued. All the patience, gentleness, tender love, and sacrifices you have shown to your family are commendable. 

    My mom emphasized the qualities of a noble woman in Proverbs 31, in which we are called to capture the vision and mission God has intended for our family first, prior to the mission God has for us at church or in the marketplace. She always told me that family is your first and greatest ministry. It takes wisdom to understand how we can best guide our children to know and love the Word of God.

    With the hope of having my own children one day, my mom encourages me to practice Shema, binding the Word of God around their necks and writing them on the tablet of their hearts. Making it a daily routine for our children and the young generation to fear the Lord, worship Him daily, and maintain a close relationship with Him. 

    In various life situations, when facing issues or in decision making, in thanksgiving – we are to exemplify to our children how we involve the Lord in our day-to-day walk with Him. I love how from young I have seen my mom fervently praying for not only my brother and me but also the young generation in our church. She often cares for the spiritual well-being of others, imparts the truth, and provides one-on-one counselling with them. It is apparent to me that for us to inspire others to have a servant’s heart, it must first start with us. 
  1. Faithful in the small, faithful in the big
    Being a care group leader of college students, there were moments when I felt disheartened by seeing people come and go. It felt as if all the effort and work I put into our community amounted to nothing. But throughout the years, God has taught me that our role as His children is to be a messenger. When our focus is on the results, strides, or achievements we have made, we are making ourselves vulnerable to disappointments. 

    I have learned that every good work is for the glory of God because without Him, we are nothing. It’s all about Jesus. And the more I depend on His strength and guidance, the more I witness our God’s power in mending hearts and transforming lives. So, it may look different for all of us, but I believe we are called to be faithful in every task God has entrusted us with. May it be spending time with others, listening to them, praying over them, giving our time, monetary value, possessions, or as simple as encouragement. 

    I am learning that the things of this world can only give a temporary moment of happiness; however, when we practice hospitality and invest in relationships with others, this joy is incomparable. 

I implore you to continue doing every good work for the Lord, even if it seems redundant or minimal. God sees them all and He is preparing your heart for the bigger assignment that is to come. 

In John 15:9-13, Jesus mentions 
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 
10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 
11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 

So women of God, let us continue to have the attitude of a servant’s heart and be receptive to the work that God has set out for us.

With grace and love,
Jennifer Wijaya (Global Women Coordinator)


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