Because She Cannot Wait: So Loved
Wounded women so loved by Jesus. In John 8, we find the adulterous woman. Imagine living in a time when women were considered “less than” men and treated as property. During this Mediterranean world time, women could not vote, and they could not seek justice in the courts. A woman caught in adultery did not stand a chance.
When Jesus returned from his travels where He encountered division and unbelief in who He claimed to be (the Messiah), he went to go the Temple. A large mob of Pharisees and religious teachers listened to Him as He taught, and trouble brewed as the Pharisees brought in a woman who was caught in adultery and they placed her in front of everyone. Jesus knew the Jewish Law stated that BOTH adulterous parties could get themselves stoned, but it was only the shattered woman who they placed in front of Him.
Imagine how humiliated this woman must have felt as she awaited condemnation from her accusers without protection. Was she trembling?
Jesus knew that the Pharisees were trying to snare Him, and He knew their strategy of getting Him to adhere to the Jewish law, which would result in the adulterous woman being stoned. Yet the Roman law did not permit Jews to execute anyone. A no-win situation.
Understanding the ambush that Jesus had found Himself entangled in, He shifted His focus to the one needed Him the most: the wounded woman shamed by the crowd because she sinned. As Jesus saw her humiliation, terror, and shame, he scribbled in the sand and afterwards said, “…let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then He wrote in the sand a second time. Don’t we wish we could know what He wrote! Whatever it was, the accusers stopped and left!
Left on the scene: the adulterous woman and her Savior. Jesus saw her, so loved her unconditionally, and made a way out for her. She must have felt overwhelmed by His love and rescue, and experienced being so loved by Jesus. Possibly a love that she had been searching for all along!
During this month that leads to Lent, let us contemplate:
- The difference that being so loved by God has made in our lives. If you have a story to share with your sisters in Christ, please do!
- There are wounded women all around us who cannot wait to be so loved by God. Ask God to show you where and who they are.
- Who is God calling you to love just like Jesus did with the adulterous woman?
During this season of social distancing due to the coronavirus, seek out others that you can connect with in prayer from a distance. Consider using a conference call line like www.FreeConferenceCall.com or video conference like Zoom. Need help, please contact: [email protected]
As you enter Prayer Connection, invite the presence and power of God to join your prayer time.
Our focus for this month is: “Because She Cannot Wait: So Loved”
Read: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)
Pray: Heavenly Father, this month when we think of our love, we also remember that you “so loved” us in a way that our earthly minds cannot altogether grasp. Your love for all mankind is the kind of love that is so awe-inspiring and Divine. Help us to remember your lavish supernatural demonstration of love, and to live in that love… as we do our best to love others.
- That we are “so loved” by a holy God because of Jesus Christ.
- That His sacrificial love brought us the gift of eternal life and with that comes hope.
- That His love is freely offered as a gift to all who would believe that He “so loved” everyone!
Pray for New Outreach Opportunities
Read: 1 John 4:7-8 (NLT)
“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
- As we try loving others the way God does, help us to seek after our Source of true love.
- Ask God for new outreach opportunities where you and your planning team can love new women to Jesus, because when we love others as God loves we reflect His “love-likeness.”
- Ask for God’s help by the power of the Holy Spirit to forgive and love those that are unlovable. Pray to be bridge builder of God’s love to those who think differently.
Sharing Your Faith
Read: Galatians 2:20 (NLT)
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Pray: O God, your love is beyond understanding. We stand in awe of how you “so loved” us with Your grace that was demonstrated with Your Son crucified for us!
- Ask God to help you understand all that His redeeming love means so that you might experience and live more fully in His love.
- Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit so that we might understand the surpassing love of God so that others may see and know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and can experience that they too can be “so loved” by God.
- Ask God to be used as a vessel of Christ’s love to those that are not Christians. Pray specifically by name for the women who are not believers that you long to see come to Jesus.
Pray for our Nation and Leaders
Read: 1 John 3:1 (NLT)
“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.”
Pray: Lord, we realize that You have blinded the minds of many, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel. We also know that Your “Love light” shines in the darkness and exposes corruption and lies. We depend on You, and You alone to guide us in Truth now and always. Thank You for loving us so much and giving us Your Word.
- Ask God to reveal His love to those who do not recognize Him and to give you wisdom.
- Pray for those in authority, our President, Vice President, as well as local leaders. Pray that God’s love would touch their hearts as they have many decisions ahead that affect our nation.
- For revival in our land, and for God’s love to be poured out on all who do not understand God’s great love. Pray that corruption would be discovered and purged out.
Pray for the Stonecroft Family
Read: Romans 5:8 (NLT)
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
Pray: Loving God, You restored us to friendship with You because of Christ’s death. You did all this while we were Your enemies. We praise You that you made atonement through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Thank you for so loving us and surrendering Your Son in this way.
- Thank God that He saved us from our sins that separate us from Him.
- Asking God for a renewed sense of His sacrificial redeeming love for you.
- That God would use His love in us to bring light, hope, and unconditional love to all around us!
Pray for our International Partners
Pray for our international partners that they would experience being “so loved” by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Kenya: Pray for our new partner Pastor Befon Asigo as they use our Bible studies for their women’s ministry.
- India: Pray for our partner, Pastor Kota and their ministry to orphans. They are in great need for God to provide.
- Switzerland: Pray for Joanne, as she is replacing Hanni now that Hanni has retired.
- Nigeria: Pray for Justina, Gift and Victoria as they fight against fear in their communities about COVID-19.
- Zimbabwe: Pray for Julie and Adelaide as they minister in new ways due to COVID-19. Their country is greatly affected economically.
- South Africa: Pray for Jill and our partners as they face hardship during COVID-19.
Pray for Stonecroft leaders such as Stonecroft Regional Administrators, District Consulting Coordinators, Regional Speaker Trainers, Regional Reps, Area Reps, Chairs, Prayer Consultants, and all new outreach leaders that they would experience and feel “so loved” by God in renewed and tangible ways this month.
Share Personal Requests
Pray for one another’s needs this February and remember to rest in His peaceful love for you that is greater than your circumstances or feelings.
Father, we “give thanks to You the God of heaven, because Your faithful love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:26 paraphrased) Amen.