Damaris: A Little Woman with Great Faith

shore-bird-floridaDamaris is only mentioned once in the Bible.

But certain men joined unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them. —Acts 17:34

In this passage, Paul has just finished preaching his famous sermon on Mars’ Hill in Athens, Greece. He made quite a stir by the things that he said. Some of those who stood by and listened were not convinced, but were willing to talk to him again later. Others, however, believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as a result of Paul’s preaching. Among them was this woman named Damaris. Her name means “a little woman,” and it can also mean “gentle,” as it is probably derived from the Greek damazo, meaning “tame.” Some suppose her to be the wife of Dionysius, but it seems as though that would have been mentioned if it were true. Others suppose her to be his disciple.

So, honestly, the only thing we know for sure is that she was present to hear Paul preach at Mars’ Hill, and she trusted in Christ for salvation by faith. That she is mentioned by name probably suggests that she was a significant woman in the community. For that matter, the fact that she was present at the Areopagus is significant, for it would have been quite rare for a woman to be there. Either she was of high social status, or she was a foreigner, or perhaps she was an educated woman. This third point would make sense if she were indeed a disciple of Dionysius.

One thing is sure, it is an honor to have one’s name recorded in the Holy Bible, but the greater honor by far is to have one’s name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Damaris had her name recorded in both places because she put her faith in Christ. The canon of Scripture is complete, but the Lamb’s Book of Life is not. Is your name in it?

Next week: Rhoda

Photo taken in Pensacola, Florida, 2017

Flee As a Bird ~ Psalm 11

Flee as a bird

In the LORD put I my trust.
How say ye to my soul,
“Flee as a bird to your mountain”?  

Psalm 11:1

This verse is particularly applicable to my marriage and the counsel I’ve received lately on that subject. One counselor in particular has schooled me in all the reasons I have to leave my husband (i.e. flee to my mountain). Are the reasons legitimate? Yes, but I refuse to listen, for I have put my trust in the Lord, not in my husband.

My husband has failed me, and he will fail me again. I too have failed him and will do so yet again. We don’t fail because we want to; we fail because we are flawed human beings. But God is not like us. He is perfect, sinless, holy, righteous, faithful, and true. He cares about our marriage because He created it. I can trust Him with every part of my life, including my marriage, for He is working all things together for my good and His glory. If you were to read the pages of my journal, you would see me coming back to this same truth over and over again. Perhaps I sound like a broken record, but I need to hear it repeatedly because I tend to forget.

Dear reader, if you are married, chances are you have also felt like quitting on your marriage, or you do now, or you will eventually. Maintaining a strong and fulfilling marriage takes hard work. I can’t speak for everyone, but as for me, I had no earthly idea what I was getting into when I got married. But the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory. Conflict creates interest, as long as it doesn’t become the focus.

If you are unhappy in your marriage, perhaps it’s because you expect your spouse to make you happy. That is an unfair and selfish demand. Only Christ can fully, deeply, richly satisfy. I pray it does not take you as long to learn that as it did me.

I was going to keep this one to myself, but the Holy Spirit urged me to share, for He knows what needs are out there. I am not a marriage counselor, just someone who wants to encourage others to keep pressing on in the things that matter.

Written July 1, 2017
Photo taken on Skyline Drive, Virginia, 2014

 

How Excellent ~ Psalm 8

How Excellent

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!
When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, 
the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; 
What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? 
and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? 
For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, 
and hast crowned him with glory and honor. 
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; 
Thou hast put all things under his feet: 
All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 
The fowl of the air, 
and the fish of the sea, 
and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. 
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!

from Psalm 8

Photo taken in Pensacola, Florida, 2017

Sarah: Model of Obedience

This woman played a very significant role in history, and her life has been put on display as an example for us women to follow.

Genesis 11:29-31; 12:1-20; 16:1-6.

Abram takes a wife (Genesis 11:29-31).

She is introduced to us as Sarai, meaning “my lady” or “my princess.” I’ll talk about this more in the second half of our study. We are told right from the start that she is barren. Back then barrenness was considered a curse or a judgment for sin, but in her case, it was God’s perfect will. She could not have understood the reason why until later, but she trusted the Lord.

Continue reading