WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Susie Hawkins, coordinator of “The Widow’s Might” ministry at the Southern Baptist Annuity Board, proudly wears a ring that is not expensive or shiny, yet, for her, is priceless.

Addressing the women in chapel during Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s women’s enrichment day Sept. 27, Hawkins explained that her special ring has immeasurable value because her grandfather gave it to her grandmother many years ago.

“Now, in that way, God values us,” Hawkins said. “We are worth something in his kingdom’s work because of the value he has put on us.”

Hawkins emphasized that women are instrumental in God’s work and the apostle Paul even called them his “coworkers.”

“Jesus was so visible and so open in his conversations with women,” she said. “He spent time with them and made them feel important.”

While many well-known women have been instrumental in sharing the gospel and in missions efforts in the early church and throughout the ages, Hawkins said there are still many more women who, though never known, have made enormous contributions to the ongoing kingdom of God.

“It’s truly invaluable the experience I’ve had, the influence of other women as they have encouraged me, exhorted me and stretched me in my gifts and in my ministry and that’s what I want to do today,” Hawkins said.

“In ourselves, we are not worth much, but through the eyes of our owner, just like through my eyes my grandmother’s ring, we are worth much,” she said. “We have value. ‘A woman of noble character, who can find her, for she is worth far more than rubies,” she said, quoting Proverbs 31:10.

During her testimony, Hawkins referenced three women in Scripture whom Jesus used as examples of true lovers of God.

From Luke 7:38, Hawkins highlighted that the sinful woman who stood at Jesus’ feet weeping, wetting his feet with her tears and pouring expensive perfume on them, doing so as a sign of humility and repentance.

“What Jesus does here is nothing short of scandalous because he takes a sinful woman and attempts to use her as an example of true love and I would say an example, even more than love, of humility in God’ kingdom. The sinful woman is an example of true humility.”

Hawkins said the woman in the story was not ashamed of her repentance and was transformed by God’s forgiveness.

“Now, here we see a woman transformed by the forgiveness of God, commended by Jesus and used as an example to those who were watching,” she said.

Hawkins then turned to Luke 21, citing the story about the poor widow who sacrificially gave two very small copper coins as her gift in the temple treasury, while the rich gave out of their wealth.

“This story tells us that it’s not the amount of money or possessions you have that makes you a generous person, it’s your spirit,” Hawkins said.

“Jesus saw something in this woman,” she said. “A spirit of true generosity will not just be evident in the way you spend your money and use your earthly resources, but it will also be reflected in how you give in other ways to God.”

Hawkins then cited the story of Mary of Bethany in Luke 10 who simply wanted to sit at Jesus’ feet while her sister Martha was busy doing housework.

“Jesus reiterates to us, especially those of us in God’s work, the danger of busyness and the value of being single-minded and quiet before God and listening to him and getting our instructions not from others, but from him,” she said.

Being focused on Christ means staying single-minded despite the distractions, Hawkins said.

“As we look at the value Jesus gave these women, so I ask you to value the women in your congregation,” she said. “I would encourage you women to use the freedom God has given you … find the many creative ways you can serve God within our boundaries and perimeters. Relish your role as helper and enjoy it and let God show you how you can be all you can be.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: SUSIE HAWKINS.

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  • Kelly Davis