We are Virtuous Women.
Our Core Values
It’s all about Jesus: We seek to give Christ preeminence in all things. We exist for His glory, and not to exalt ourselves or this ministry.
The Bible is our Authority: We believe the Bible is the infallible and inspired Word of God, the only foundation for life and our ultimate authority. We want to be women who meditate daily on the Word and apply it to our personal lives.
Unity of the Church: The greatest witness to the world that Jesus is the Son of God is the unity of His church. We are determined to foster and maintain unity among believers and churches. Virtuous Women will empower women to strengthen their local churches.
Discipleship is the Goal: We are called to make disciples, not just converts. We are driven by a desire to see the Great Commission fulfilled.
Empowered by Prayer: We submit our plans and decisions to God in prayer and intentionally encourage women to make time with God a priority in their lives.
DEVOTIONAL | SHANNON MILLER
In the past few weeks or months, have you been going through a hard time of your own, unrelated to the national and international crises in the world? During pandemics and social unrest, the other troubles in life keep coming – from water leaks to anxiety disorders, vet visits to loneliness, broken relationships to cancer diagnoses. It may feel as if there is no place to talk about your struggle, while the whole world seems to be crying out in pain. You may reason that your trouble is not worth mentioning in light of other events. “We compare our suffering to that of others, and deny ourselves permission to feel,” says Brene Brown, but suppressed feelings only deepen, grow, and invite shame. In reality, “The way to ensure that you have a reserve of compassion and empathy for others is to attend to your own feelings.”
How can you attend to your own emotions? You may be able to take time out for self care, or find a listening ear, but then again you may not in the current circumstances. The outlet that is always available is the same one used by King David while hiding in caves, and the apostle Paul while living in a prison cell: you can acknowledge your feelings and pour them out to your heavenly Father. You will find as the Psalmist did that He bends down to listen to every word (Psalm 116:1,2), that amidst all the affliction clamoring for His attention He sees and knows every detail of your struggle (Genesis 16, Psalm 34, Isaiah 40), and that when you bring it to Him He will fill you with grace to endure (Hebrews 4:15,16). You’ll no longer be drawing on your own strength to bear your burdens and love your people – you’ll be drawing from the infinite well of His power and love.
After a talk with Him, you’ll find yourself ready again to extend empathy to others. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God,” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4, NIV). I pray that you will find and then echo His comfort today.
A joke has been circulating about the events of 2020, that we are just checking each morning to see what chapter of Revelation we’re doing today. Although it made me chuckle, it also reminded me what a great comfort the end of the Book can be in times like these. Today, let’s take a closer look at a passage from the very first chapter.
Revelation 1:5,6 in the Berean Study Bible describes our King with these words: “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To Him who loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood, who has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and power forever and ever! Amen.”
What does it mean that He is the faithful witness? We can always trust Him to speak the truth to us, and to reveal the nature of the Father to us perfectly. In His own words, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you,” (John 15:15, NIV).
As the firstborn from the dead, He has conquered death by His resurrection and opened the way for countless souls to join in His victory and be called His brothers and sisters (see Hebrews 2:11-15).
John the apostle wrote, present tense, around A.D. 70 that Christ is the ruler of the kings of the earth. This was during a time of terrible persecution against Christians by the Roman empire, when John himself was exiled. The reality of Christ’s rule is not circumstantial and is not in question when the world around us seems to be going up in flames! In the end, the kings of the earth “will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers,” (Rev. 17:14, NIV).
He is worthy of all glory and power forever, because of His perfect love and selfless sacrifice (Rev. 5, and 1:6). He unbound us from the ties of sin as one releases prisoners, and He renamed us a kingdom and priests. The actions of His love didn’t stop at the cross – the verb in the phrase “To Him who loves us” is in present perfect tense, meaning that He goes on loving us every moment of every day. He is rewriting all of our hard stories and will faithfully carry us to His final victory at the end of the Book!
DEVOTIONAL | SHANNON MILLER.
Watching the news is hard on my heart, and it can leave my heart hard. When all I know of a person is a mugshot and the story of their lowest moments, it is easy to write them off as unredeemable. But with my fingers poised over the keys, I am checked by this thought: If there is no hope for the basest sinner, then there is no hope for me either.
To say that someone could sin so much that they cannot be forgiven, would be to say that Jesus’ sacrifice is not completely sufficient. Or to say that I have better odds than they do because I haven’t flagrantly sinned, would be to say that there is something I can and must add to what Christ has done. What a terrifying thought! If I must supplement His work on the cross with my obedience in some way, then my salvation rides on the edge of a knife.
But it is by grace that I am saved, through faith, and not by works (Ephesians 2:8,9). I bring nothing to the table, because nothing else is needed (Hebrews 9:24-28). He brings all the bread and wine to this banquet (John 6:22-59, Matthew 26:26-29, Isaiah 55). And it is by the scandal of grace that anyone – all who go back on their word, all who cheat with their eyes or with their hands, all who murder in their minds or with a gun (see Matthew 5:21-37), may enter through the same wide-open door of mercy.
What can I tell my heart when its cries for justice start tending toward hate? Where can I take the outcry over sin? I must leave it in the hands of God, and return my focus to following Him. “For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps,” (1 Peter 2:21).
When Jesus went meekly to the cross, He was not allowing injustice to rule. He was allowing justice to take time, and mercy to triumph, as He resisted the distraction of offense and pursued His purpose. He did not leave sins unpunished, but took the punishment on Himself. “He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed,” (1 Peter 2:22-24, NLT).
It is His to mete out justice and mercy, and it is mine to follow, awestruck by the depths of His grace to me.