The women of Zion Yamacraw Baptist Church were encouraged to continue to be evangelists, intercessors, counselors, helpers and servants in winning souls for the kingdom as the church recently honored the members of the Women’s Ministry, and the Women in White, in particular.
Reverend Patricia Smith in delivering her sermon during the recent celebration told her peers that their light should be shining brightly as they live a life of holiness, which she said is the likeness of God.
Smith told them that as they build, they will encounter obstacles, but that they should position themselves and lean on God in the face of trials.
“He will give us strength. He has given us the authority to overcome,” said Smith.
“As we build God’s kingdom, be a teacher of good things. When you open your mouth, let words of encouragement be spoken, not backbiting your sister, lying, spreading gossip, jealousy, keeping hatred and malice in your heart. As we build God’s kingdom, speak of the goodness of God in your life – telling others how they can have this joy too that only God can give.”
She urged them to be wary of negative people who always see the worst in others, and are always complaining.
“Misery loves company,” said Smith. “Women in White, you are empowered to build God’s kingdom. Stay focused! Be a good influence for the younger women, tell them in love when you see them going wrong. Let them know you’ve been there and done that. Don’t take that path. Be an example. Be willing to forgive. It is the gift of a second chance. Forgiveness is beneficial to the one giving it as it is to the one receiving it – that goes for men too.”
Smith reminded the women to be cognizant of what they are letting into their minds, urging them to keep their focus on God and his word.
“As we build God’s kingdom, he is saying to us, I need more action and less faction.”
She spoke to them about “splinter groups” that exist in church where one woman would refuse to work on a project if a certain female is in charge, or who only work for a position in the church. She told them God simply wants workers to get the job done.
“Women we need to spend less time looking around to see who’s doing what. Spend more time looking up. We are all about passing on Christ-like virtues, honoring God and upholding the standard, for the grace of God is the motivating power for this Christian journey. You want to be available to say yes to God’s call on your life.”
Smith told the women their “tongue” should be testifying the goodness of God as opposed to being used as a “weapon of mass destruction”. She said their eyes should be “lifted up to the hills” from where their help comes, and that their ears should be attentive to hear what the Lord says. Their hands she said, should be clean and helpful and their minds should stay on God.
The Women in White service was held under the theme “Celebrating and Empowering Women As We Build God’s Kingdom” – and the women were reminded that they needed to be acceptable to God in all that they do, approved by him because he has given them authority, and complete in him by learning his attributes, qualities and character.
“The more we know him, not just about him, the more we understand what it takes to please him.”
Smith reminded them that fully pleasing God is not because of their works, but by their faith that strengthens, hope that delivers, and love that forgives.
“The Holy Spirit empowers us women of Zion to reach the goal for which we were created, called, gifted to participate in one body – the body of Christ.”
She told the women their spiritual makeup is empowerment.
“We are empowered with spiritual wisdom [to] understand God’s character, for his ways are not our ways. We are empowered with spiritual guidance in how to bring glory to God. We are empowered with spiritual transformation – there is a complete turnaround in our lives, change in our attitude, in our interest, our behavior, our emotions; the Spirit gives us power to forgive our enemies and love them.”
Being empowered with purpose she said, meant he is calling women to a ministry that is bigger than they are and that he equips them for their role.
“You may feel that you have little to offer in service of the Lord, [but] you have the authority, you have a gift – stir up that gift that is within you, avail yourself to the Holy Spirit, and say here I am Lord, send me, use me.”
The vision of Women in White started with honoring and recognizing women for their roles in the family, church, community and being their sisters’ keeper. The organization’s goal is to honor and uplift each other to live an exemplary life in their church and community as they work to fulfill the work that God has assigned to the church.
During the recent service, women of the church, 70 years and older, were recognized for their endurance and fortitude.