Throughout this week, we discussed a serious, longstanding, and harmful conflict among the church leaders; a man who called the church back to the authority of the Scriptures; and several women who died to themselves in order to follow Jesus and fulfill the call He had placed on their lives. What can we learn about God’s faithfulness throughout the ages through these events and people? And what can we learn about ourselves and the times we live in currently?
The Fight for Truth
When we study John Wycliffe’s life, we see someone who was steadfast in fighting for the truth of God’s Word despite intense pushback. Even when he was called a heretic, he did not back down, because he believed God’s truth was worthy of the fight. Do we value God’s truth in this way? Are we willing to stand for God’s truth even when rejection is possible? In today’s society, the truth of Jesus is countercultural and even counterintuitive. For instance, the first shall be last (Matthew 20:16); in order to save your life, you must lose it for Christ’s sake (Mark 8:35); and Jesus’ call to forgive someone who sins against you seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:21–22). When we live out these commands that seem backward and do not seek power, fame, and fortune, we will most likely receive odd looks or even some pushback. Are Jesus, the gospel, and His truth worth it? Oh, God, help us to follow You and stand for Your truth even when we feel alone or rejected.
Women in the Church
As we see in the lives of Catherine, Julian, Bridget, and Hildegard, women played a crucial role within the church during the Middle Ages. God called these women, poured out gifts upon them, and used them for His glory and the furthering of His church. Do you believe God has done the same for you or wants to do the same for you? Do you believe He can use you to bring Him glory and further his church? He has called you by name and created you for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). You are his workmanship, created in Christ for good works, so walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). Don’t let the negative, critical voice inside your head convince you otherwise. Don’t let your location, gender, career, or stage of life convince you otherwise. Believe the truth of God and reject the lies of the Enemy. You play an integral part of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:21–26). Within your location, life stage, career, and relationships, what has God called you to? How has He gifted you to do those things? Where do you need to be faithful? Don’t doubt the fact that He wants to use you for His glory and furthering of His kingdom, but rather step into and embrace His calling, His gifts, and His purpose in your places.
As you reflect on the events and people of the church in the Middle Ages discussed throughout the week, what was most influential to you and why?
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