Celebrating International Women’s Day
The stories of several women in the Bible were highlighted during an inspiring online event at the The Filipino International Church, reports Kit Torres
International Women’s day is an annual event celebrated across the world, upholding acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history. Observed for more than a century, International Women’s Day honours the achievements of women and highlights their challenges and success.
‘’United in God's love
Sisters in grace
Looking to Jesus
To lead us each day
We are women
Women of faith.”
These were the lines sang in unison by Women of Worth - the women’s ministry of The Filipino International Church. It expresses the love and grace of Jesus Christ as women united in faith and grace, desiring to serve in glorifying the Lord of lords.
The event was celebrated online last Saturday (6 March), and was attended by women who were blessed with the powerful message addressed by the guest speaker, Pastor Joan Banatao from Madrid, Spain.
The topic: “Non-Shrink Women”
Pastor Banatao spoke about the lives of Sarah, Rahab, Esther, and Ruth, illuminating their strong character of faith and determination to finish the race and not to shrink, an idea taken from Hebrews 10:38 (And, "But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.")
Sarah realised the great potential of believing the promises of God. Her life and her faith turned around when she considered God to be faithful in His promises.
Hebrews: 11:11-12 “And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she[a] considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.”
Rahab was an outsider who became an insider into the covenant of God because she did not shrink back.
“By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.” Hebrews 11:31
Esther was a woman of courage who the took risks and dared to approach the King without being summoned so the lives of her people could be spared.
Esther 4:11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold sceptre to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”
Esther 7:3 “Then Queen Esther answered, "If I have found favour with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life--this is my petition. And spare my people--this is my request.”
Ruth was an outsider who became an insider to God´s covenant when she was included in the lineage of Jesus. Her non-shrunk faith was activated when she told Naomi, “Your people shall be my people and your God, my God.”
Ruth 1:16 "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God."
Her faith rewarded her and blessed her future.
Pastor Banatao, a revered woman of God, concluded her preaching with these words:
1. Women, do you want to bring pleasure to God? Don’t shrink back to the fight.
2. Let’s fight the good fight of fight. 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
3. Women, you are created special!
All the women present expressed their gratitude in experiencing a resounding message of women empowerment by God’s grace. A woman who is confident, fearless, and trusting in the will of God.
Pastor Joan Banatao is the co-pastor and co-founder of Lion’s Heart Christian Ministries in Madrid, Spain. She is the dean of Cornerstone Bible school and she has helped in pioneering churches and trained pastors all over Spain, Europe, and USA.
The event was organised by Women of Worth’s ministerial leader, Helen Delos Santos, hosted by Kit Torres.